Will An LS1 Fit In A Pajero Engine Bay?

Last time we stripped the Pajero back to a bare body. Go here if you missed it.

An LS1 Swap In Our Pajero

Before we got too far down the track, Dave decided we should drop the new engine in and see what issues we might have. Lots of people have done an LS1 swap in off-road racing Pajeros. But they all seem to sit well back – so far back that large portions of the firewall have to be cut out.

LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero

This causes other issues. Obviously the transmission moves back with the engine. This affects the position of the gearsticks, lengths of tail shafts, location of rear mount in relation to the crossmember and sometimes the transmission tunnel has to be cut out.

An Innovative Solution

Why do the these V8s have to sit back so far? Well, it’s all to do with the air intake and water hoses.

LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero

The throttle body sits at the front and faces forward, as you can see in the above photo. So there’s little room to pipe air in once you fit a radiator. Dave’s solution? Turn the intake manifold around and bring the air in from the back.

This involved fabricating a small intake box into the firewall and having the air filters in the cab. In turn, the air filters can draw clean air from the vents under the windscreen. Clever!

LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero
Mod to firewall to allow engine air intake to be piped in from the rear.

Obviously, you wouldn’t be able to do this in a road-registered Paj. But in a rally Paj, the dashboard and all internals are stripped out so there’s room to do it. This means the engine can sit forward and we avoid all the potential issues with fitting and locating the transmission.

Air intake aside, the LS1 fits nicely. There’s enough room around the engine to comfortably fit in the Pajero’s engine bay. A good result!

LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero
Dave custom-made the engine mounts.
LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero
Plenty of room in the engine bay for an LS1!
LS1 Swap In A Mitsubishi Pajero
This engine is about half the weight of the 3.2l diesel we pulled out.

The engine fits, so it’s time to get stuck into the bodywork.

Next time: Why is the motor so far forward in the engine bay?

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