As the wise words say time has a habit of flying past and it is now a few months since we got back from our Flinders Ranges Birdsville trip with Project Pajero. It doesn’t however seem that long ago though.
It’s been a busy time with magazine deadlines, trade shows and car launches and while we still have our wish list we haven’t crossed a lot of them off yet as the Pajero has once again sat idly by as we work.
The last trip uncovered a few things that we wanted to address going forward. The most important of these was a new suspension system. The existing set up while good is now 10 years old and like most of us a little saggy in the rear end.
This was particularly evident on the corrugations on the trip. After looking around at various aftermarket systems we decided to go with a tailored system from Ultimate Suspension. Back in 1986 we had a 60 series Sahara Landcruiser in which we installed a suspension system from Ultimate and it was fantastic.
So once again we have decided on a specifically tailored system for the Project Pajero. This involves deciding on what lift, what the vehicle is used for most and delivering the vehicle to the factory fully kitted out as it would be touring to match the weight to suspension etc. It’s a bit of extra work on our behalf over buying an off the shelf aftermarket suspension system, but the results should be chalk and cheese. We will let you know as it is being installed over the coming weeks.
We have also run some cabling down the back of the car to the auxiliary plugs and topped it off with an Anderson Plug. This is mainly to utilise the 1000W Projecta Inverter we have. We considered hard wring it in but during normal day to day driving we have no use for it and this way we can utilise the inverter and the Anderson Plug for other applications like auxiliary power pack charging etc.
Another issue we discovered on the last trip was the poor lighting from the old headlights. The first thing and most obvious thing was to wash the polycarbonate covers. It’s not until you take them off you realise just how dirty they were. So an immediate improvement but not good enough. Next we decided on some high performance globes and another improvement but again not what we were expecting. So we looked around at driving lights.
Wanting to do something a little different we decided on some LED ‘Bricks’ from KORR Lighting. We already use their camping kit for strip lighting around the camp ground and they are excellent quality and robust while lighting up the night sky.
The driving lights we chose are a pair of 90W LED lights. These are a square design and rated to IP68 which means basically they are waterproof and almost indestructible. They came with their own wiring harness and DIY kit which was straight forward and easy. A couple of hours and we were ready to turn night into day.
The difference driving home that night was enormous. They provide a white light, very broad in their spread and about 500-600m in front of the car. We are heading out to the farm this weekend and will have a chance to test them on the way out and over the weekend. It will provide the opportunity to adjust the direction of the beam and establish if we need a directional HID driving light as well.
We still have a few things to prepare for our next big trip in February next year and apart from a couple of weekend trips to the farm towing some quad bikes most of our time will be spent getting the Pajero ready again.
Speaking of the farm this weekend will give us the opportunity to test the recently installed vehicle based shower, the Projecta combination jump starter and power pack , the Projecta Inverter, our new KORR driving lights and a number of other additions.
As we mentioned our next big Project Pajero trip is a family of four travelling around Tasmania in the early part of 2014, towing a brand new Avida Touring Caravan. Avida has a long history of manufacturing quality Australian Winnebago Motorhomes and has now moved into caravans so we are looking forward to that trip.
However another interesting thing we discovered was that again like all of us as we age we aren’t as powerful as we once were. The Pajero was feeling it a bit towing a camper trailer and a caravan is a bit heavier. So in addition to the upgraded Ultimate suspension system we will have the injectors serviced, look at an exhaust kit and either an aftermarket chip or larger turbo kit for more power.
Another couple of items on the agenda are possibly a snorkel to allow the Pajero to breathe better air and an external transmission cooler for towing.
So stay tuned there is much more to come in the Project Pajero story, especially when we set the old Pajero side by side with a brand new one on a trip away in 2014.
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