Pajero - Montero

Tamiya Pajero Mitsubishi, model number 58044, offered for sale in 1984 and available on the market until 1986
Styrene body
Pajero chassis

Analysis of the model to be restored
The starting point of this restoration is not the best. It is definitely a model that has been used, previous owners modified the chassis in the rear (battery holder area and towers that support the body) and in the front (body attachment). The rear part has been completely modified by cutting the edge that holds the battery and the two body supports. The front structure that is used to attach the body was completely removed. The frame structure is still intact: technically it is reasonable to try to save this frame by repairing the modified parts.

There are few parts that complete this chassis:

– A-shaped front suspension that includes the steering system,
– four wheels and associated isodiameter rims,
– rear transmission assembly that includes the suspension and motor assembly and
– a few other parts to lock the suspension arms, electronics and body.

All these parts are in common with Grasshopper chassis models-they are readily available in the market.

The body is no better:

– the windshield is glued to the body and has been stained, a patina of putty has been applied to the left and right windbreaks, and the windshield washers have been drawn
– left corner of the rear bumper is completely absent,
– left front black bumper is chipped and
– right and left front wheel arches have several cracks.

Frame Restoration
As always, the longest part is the restoration of the tires; the tires are in good condition with no cuts, they have lost some elasticity and dried out. Sequence of pictures summarizing the rubber wheel restoration work:

– Rinse the tires with warm water with a little degreasing dishwashing soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Remove as much dirt as possible and try to avoid increasing the size of the cuts,
– soak the gums completely inside a container containing 99.5% pure glycerin for 7 days,

– leave the erasers resting on a paper towel for 7 days, each day changing the paper towel and turning the erasers so as to facilitate emulsification of the glycerin,
– cleaning daily from residual glycerin with a paper towel for 7 days until the erasers are completely dry.

It is necessary to restore the modifications made by the previous owners in the rear part that they modified:

– battery holder and
– two towers of the body supports.

This is the list of materials needed to proceed with the reconstruction of these two parts:

– cutter, scissors and ruler,
– ABS sheet with a thickness of 2 millimeters,
– ABS tube with a diameter of 6 millimeters,
– solution of acetone and ABS with ABS predominating. This solution is very thick and finds its best application for joining small parts that need to be welded on a surface, the drop of solution stays where it was laid.

Whoever made the modification had the dexterity to make a clean cut: therefore, the frame is already ready to be repaired without further tampering. Sequence of pictures summarizing the repair work for the rear battery-holder platform:

– Cut from the ABS sheet two 10-millimeter-wide strips to reconstruct the rear platform. The thickness of the two strips was calculated using an intact Pajero chassis as a reference,
– weld with ABS and acetone solution the two strips to the frame on the left and right side of the platform,
– after 12 hours the two strips and the frame are welded together-in fact acetone has melted the plastics fusing them together, you can now fuse the edge holding the battery. Cut a 12-millimeter strip as long as the perimeter of the rear platform. Height of the strip was calculated using an intact Pajero chassis as a reference The 2-millimeter thickness of the sheet allows the ABS strip to be bent without the use of any tools, when the strip is bent this retains the new shape. Apply the ABS and Acetone solution that fuses the rear platform and strip together,
– test the new battery holder by inserting a 7.2 V battery in the 5+1 configuration that is the standard used for Pajero 58044. The battery locks inside the perimeter of the battery carrier platform exactly as in the original unmodified model.

Sequence of pictures summarizing the repair work for the two carriage towers:

– cut two 20-millimeter-long sections from the 6-millimeter-diameter pipe,
– drill holes with a 2.5 millimeter drill bit so that you can then screw in the two pins that secure the body clips,
– weld the two towers to the body using the ABS and Acetone solution. From the pictures used to show the machining of the rear platform, it can be seen that the metal pin holes are still present on the frame, therefore, it is easy to find the right position where to join the frame to the left and right towers,
– reinforce the towers by joining them to the battery holder with a wing cut from the 2-millimeter thick sheet.

It is now possible to restore the modifications made by the previous owners in the front that removed the part highlighted in red in the picture that is used to lock the body to the chassis. This is the list of materials needed to proceed with the reconstruction of these two parts:

– box cutter, scissors and ruler,
– sheet of ABS with a thickness of 3 millimeters,
– ABS tube with a diameter of 4 millimeters,
– solution of acetone and ABS with ABS predominating. This solution is very dense and finds its best application for joining small parts that need to be welded on a surface, the drop of solution stays where it was laid.

Whoever made the modification had the dexterity to make a clean cut: therefore, the frame is already ready to be repaired without further tampering. Sequence of pictures summarizing the repair work for the rear battery carrier platform:

– rebuild the front pivot, which consists of a tube and a U-shaped plate,
– join the two parts with Acetone and ABS solution, wait 12 hours for the solution to take effect by indissolubly welding the two parts together,
– round the two ends of the tube by working the surfaces with 600 and then 1,000 sandpaper,
– weld the pin to the frame using the Acetone and ABS solution.

Now all that remains is to pass with a brush a very liquid solution of ABS and Acetone, this solution has the task of better welding the joined parts by penetrating into the micro pores of the joints.
After 12 hours, it is possible to work with 1,000 sandpaper to make the surfaces of the joints perfectly smooth to the touch.
The restored chassis fits perfectly with an intact Pajero body, the result is optimal.

Sequence of pictures showing how to color the repaired frame:

– apply two coats of Primer Surface Grey, this primer is less smooth to the touch, but much stronger and
– apply two coats of TS6 matte black paint.

Disassemble the rear transmission, which also includes the suspension system, Wash all metal and plastic parts with hot soapy water. Wash all small parts and metal parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for a time of 25 minutes at 70°C. Separate different metals. Wash all plastic and Teflon parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for a time of 25 minutes at 40°C.
Rinse newly treated parts with warm water and dry with a paper kitchen cloth. Polish the parts with polish or toothpaste.
Picture sequence showing parts before (left) and after (right) washing treatment.

Sequence of pictures showing how to reassemble parts:

Body restoration

The windshield was glued to the body, cyanacrylate glue was used; there is only one method to detach the two parts: use a mechanical action by inserting a screwdriver wide enough to do the prying. Breakages are to be taken for granted-in fact, at the end of the operation the glass was chipped and one of the glass attachments was broken.
Keep all the parts that came off the glass that will be glued together using cyanacrylate glue as if you were doing a jigsaw puzzle.

The cabin windows are covered with something that looks like cement and white in color, to bring the windows to a state that is as close to the original as possible perform these steps:

– soak the parts for at least two hours in 90 percent or more pure denatured ethyl alcohol; alcohol free of flavors or pink dyes; pure alcohol up to 99 percent can be found on the market,
– work the surfaces with sandpaper soaked in the alcohol itself, use 2,000 paper because it does not leave lines or marks on the surfaces.

Repeat these two operations until the result is satisfactory. The cement has attacked the surfaces, which are now not so smooth, but the operation has restored the surfaces to a good state.

Now the various parts of the glass can be put together like a jigsaw puzzle and restore the glass to its original shape

The body has several parts that are to be completely rebuilt and some are only to be repaired:

– left rear bumper completely to be rebuilt,
– screen and left window surround to be rebuilt,
– right and left drip edge missing in some places to be rebuilt,
– glass attachment to be rebuilt,
– right and left front wheel well to be repaired, and
– left front bumper.

For all these operations, the list of material needed for reconstruction is as follows:

– acetone and ABS solution with a predominance of acetone. This solution is very liquid and finds its best application for joining large regular surfaces or for penetrating inside cracks,
– box cutter, scissors and ruler,
– 600, 800, 1,000 sandpaper,
– ABS bar with a square section of 1 millimeter side and
– 2-millimeter-thick ABS sheet.

In prying the glass and frame apart with a screwdriver, the left windbreak broke off at the roof attachment and a piece of the left window edge came off. All parts are present because they have been preserved, so the operation to be performed is to weld all parts to the body in the right position with use of Acetone and ABS.
To remove the excess part use 600 and then 1,000 sandpaper; to make the angle between the window surround and the body more pronounced use the cutter making friction on the demarcation lines (see the photo on the right), this operation removes last excess material.

On the left side, much of the drip pan is missing from the middle of the door to the front.
Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the drip pan:

– cut a 1 x 1 mm square section ABS bar,
– fix the part on the roof with Acetone and ABS solution,
– wait 4 hours for the parts to fuse together,
– machine the part with 600 and then 1,000 sandpaper,
– define the part with the tip of a box cutter to remove excess parts and make the corners marked

On the right side, a small portion of the drip pan is missing in the middle part of the window. Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the drip pan:

– cut a 1 x 1 mm square section ABS bar as long as the section to be repaired,
– fix the part on the roof with Acetone and ABS solution,
– wait 4 hours for the parts to fuse together,
– machine the part with 600 and then 1,000 sandpaper,
– define the part with the tip of a box cutter to remove excess parts and make the corners marked

The right front bumper is missing a small portion. Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the bumper:

– cut a triangle that has the same shape as the part to be repaired from the 2 mm thick sheet of ABS,
– attach the part to the bumper with the solution of Acetone and ABS,
– wait 4 hours for the parts to fuse together,
– process the part with 600, 800 and then 1,000 sandpaper,

The left rear bumper is completely to be rebuilt use the intact right side as a sample to replicate the exact dimensions; this repair is to be done in several steps by rebuilding:

– rear upper part,
– rear side part,
– upper part of the left side and
– lateral part of the left side.

First, reconstruct the upper part of the bumper at the rear. Once the section has been cut from the 2mm thick ABS sheet compare the new right side part. Use the solution of ABS and Acetone to join the frame to this plate.

To make the structure more solid at the stage where the acetone and ABS solution joins the two parts also insert the side piece toward the hook cut out from the 2-millimeter-thick ABS sheet and using the corresponding section in the right side of the body as a template. Abounding with the use of the solution allows it to penetrate best between the two parts, the excess part is worked off with 800 grit sandpaper after 8 hours that the solution has been spread on the separation line between the body and plate.

To make this repair more solid, it is necessary to add the rear side part that is composed of two rectangles cut from the 2-millimeter thick sheet taking the corresponding part in the right side of the frame as reference. The solution of acetone and ABS applied on the parting lines welds these new parts to the frame and to the plate just attached to the frame, apply a good amount of solution that is worked with 800 abrasive paper after 8 hours after its application.

Shape from the 2-millimeter-thick ABS sheet the upper side part using the corresponding one on the right side as a template, weld this part to the body with ABS and Acetone solution

There are several places where material is missing, so cut out some pieces from the 2-millimeter-thick ABS sheet and weld them to the frame using acetone and ABS solution.

Only the side corner part of the shaped bumper is missing; cut out a strip from the 2mm thick ABS sheet, use the equivalent part in the right side as a reference. Using your hands to bend the corner 90° rounding the section, attach the part using ABS and Acetone solution, wooden clothespins allow you to lock the bumper in place.

After the ABS and acetone solution has welded the various parts, machine the parts with 600 and 800 paper. Replicate the curve of the left rear wheel arch, bottom edge and corner curve by machining the parts with 600 and 800 sandpaper.

Sequence of pictures showing how to repair damage to the two front wheel arches:

– Apply two or more coats of acetone and ABS solution to the affected parts,

– work with 600 sandpaper the surfaces by reshaping the wheel arches, and
– work with 1,000 sandpaper the surfaces.

Sequence of pictures showing how to repair the glass attachment to the roof:

– cut out a piece from a 5mm diameter ABS bar,
– looking at the part to be repaired it is evident that a half cylinder needs to be added,
– using 600 sandpaper machine the the piece of bar to obtain a drilled half cylinder,
– fit the resulting piece to the frame where the original part broke off

– join the parts using liquid solution of ABS and Acetone,
-work the head of the repaired part to the same height as the other three

The following are needed to complete the body:

– rear wheel
– Roll bar complete with lights and
– front hooks to secure the body to the chassis.

The roll bar is still available on the market as a set 19335616 and the other parts are still available on the market as 19000272; these sets are available (in 2024) as replacement parts for Montero model number 58499.
The only difference with the original 1980 parts is that now the plastic of the 19000272 set is black while it was originally white.

Sequence of pictures showing how to give color to the body and its parts:

– apply white primer to the body; “fine surface primer white”,

– Apply gloss black paint to the roll bar and its lights; TS14 “black”, alternatively you can apply black X18

-Apply white gloss paint to the body and its parts; TS26 “pure white”,

– refinish body details such as window and roof perimeter frames on the roof, corners and center bump bumpers on the front bumper, front grille with XF1 matte black; reverse light, rear license plate, front position light and roll bar headlight covers with X2 white; lower toolbox that is located on the rear floorpan with XF59 matte yellow desert sand; upper toolbox where the spare tire rests that is on the rear floor with XF16 matte aluminum; gasoline can present in the rear floor and the rear lights with X7 gloss red; Mitsubischi logo, front round headlights, center part of front and rear bumper with X11 aluminum gray; toolbox lock belts in the rear floor with XF66 matte light gray; front and rear turn signals with X6 orange; spare wheel cover with XF57 sand

 The body is now finished and the stickers can be installed

Restored model
Images showing the finished model.

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