Let’s Build A Race Car – Stripping Out The Interior

Last time we looked at how this project came about. Go here if you missed it.

The Project Begins

Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
The old girl looking sad and sorry in our front yard.

Okay, let’s make a start. The Pajero was going to Dave’s workshop for its transformation. Time to start our rally car build! His workshop is about 1-1/2 hours from our place. So we decided to strip out the items we wanted to sell, or keep for another vehicle – all the add-ons:

  • Rear drawers,
  • Fridge and fridge slide,
  • Roof racks and awning,
  • Driving lights with wiring,
  • Second battery with wiring,
  • UHF radio and antenna,
  • RAM mount for iPad, and
  • Cargo barrier.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Roof bars, awning, fridge, fridge slide, drawers, shelves, cargo barrier… it all has to come out.
Rally Car Build. Car NP Pajero Ute
Second battery lives in a nook to the left of the fridge.

Then there were the less obvious things like:

  • DP Chip,
  • After-market stereo head unit and speakers,
  • Fire extinguishers,
  • Car seat covers, and
  • Inverter.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
A tangle of speaker cables in the front door.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
DP Chip was delicately removed.

To get a head-start, I also stripped out the interior. Seats (except for drivers seat), door trims, carpets, roof linings, console and seat belts. These all ended up in the back of my ute, for their final journey to the rubbish tip (“Waste Management Centre”). Surprisingly, the load was over 250kg – it all adds up.

Beware The Bright Yellow Safety Circuits!

I had to be careful. We still needed to drive the Paj on and off Dave’s car trailer. Modern cars have such a complex safety circuit – we didn’t want to disturb this and risk shutting down the Paj. Fortunately, all components are colour-coded bright yellow so they were relatively easy to avoid.

When the internal trims were removed, over 10 years of abuse on dirt roads soon became apparent. Layers of dirt filled every crack and crevice – the worst being the rear cargo area. Closer inspection revealed the culprit. Under the rear tail lights are vents. They allow air to flow through the inside of the car and exit out the back. These were leaking copious amounts of dust back into the Paj. Wish I’d noticed this 5 years ago…

Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
The minimalist look…
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
There must be 10,000 screws inside this Paj!
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Rear door is decidedly lighter.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Dust, dust and more dust.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Single seater.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Carpets are next.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Roof lining gone, next the insulation.

As a testament to Mitsubishi’s paint quality and rust-proofing, there were no signs of body rust inside the vehicle at all. A pleasant surprise.

So the interior’s been lightweighted. Time to get the ol’ girl loaded onto a car trailer and taken away for a new life.

Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
On the trailer and ready to be strapped on.
Rally Car Build. NP Pajero Ute
Tied down and ready to go.

Next time: Stripping the Paj back to bare bones.

Get your BONUS Guide:

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Any errors or omissions are mine alone.

Want to know more about off road racing? Then go here.


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