Friday, 5 August 2011

Tow Hitch Drop Plate - Fitted!

The Pajero standing a bit taller than the Freelander required a tow hitch drop plate to be fitted.

Due to the length of our van at 7.1 metres even raising up the front by 10 cms would have the arse end of it dragging on the ground, so we thought it best to hunt down a drop plate.

Ebay to the rescue and we ordered one from autowbars it came with two nuts and bolts and a total cost including delivery of £12.99. Whats more it came within a couple of days - rapid!

Managed to fit it today, removing the old nuts and bolts took some doing! Masses of WD40 and an extension bar to get a bit of leverage did the trick.

Now that its fitted it looks as if I'm about to go ploughing a field!

The tow ball got a good clean with the wire brush on the end of the drill as it was covered in crud. All looks nice and shiny now. That wont last long!

Ive joined the Pajero Owners Clubs Website and have been trawling through the forums getting as much information about the vehicle as possible.

Especially about the 4WD system, it seems to be that towing in 4H seems to be the best bet as it puts less strain on the back diff with little difference to the mpg. On a long run, it seems really good, but pootling around town its a tad thirsty!

Ive also been reading recently about running diesel engines on bio-diesel or vegetable oil.

For those who don't know, Rudulph Diesel first developed the diesel engine to run on peanut oil and not fossil fuel.

It would appear that we are way behind some other European country's in this alternative fuel use. Germany as you would expect, seem to be leading the way with many tax breaks made available.

Here in the UK as I understand it, you are required to keep records of how much SVO (straight vegetable oil) or WVO (waste vegetable oil) you use and you can use 2500 litres a year without having to pay duty on it.

The only down side I see is that you tend to go through fuel filters more often, but this is with some of these guys running 75% SVO in their tanks!

I'm really tempted to try a 25% SVO mix rate to see how things go. Vegetable oil in tescos at the moment is only £1.00 a litre, so saving 39p a litre. Which could work out to be quite a saving.

Has anyone else tried it or doing it? if your not happy about going public with this you can always email me direct at not that there is anything wrong with running SVO all perfectly legal to do!

There are plenty of sites out there with information available, and the vast majority all seem to be in favour of using it as an alternative fuel with no major problems.

Ive just been doing some research on the Pajero, it would appear that we have the winter pack fitted to ours, the first thing that gave this away was the double batteries in the engine bay, the next thing I found out was looking at the fuel filter, we have the heated version, which was fitted on Pajeros which were sold in the colder parts of Japan.

This will help if I decide to go down the route of using SVO as it has a higher viscosity than diesel so the heater will certainly help in thinning it down a little.

The other thing I found out was that the winter pack also put a 2" lift on the suspension, this could possibly explain the need for the drop plate?

It doesn't have heated seats or a heated screen or mirrors, but this isn't standard on all winter packs. It would seem that the winter pack was a bit mix and match depending on requirements/spec etc.

I'm still really pleased with the Pajero, and really looking forward to towing with it next Thursday when we are off to the Purbeck Rally. A 3 day show, lets hope the weather is good, not that I'm too worried about getting stuck in a muddy field anymore.

But so much effort and time is put into these shows by the organisers, and all done free of charge, it would be a shame for it to be a wash out!

Well, its been a long day, so off to bed, till later......................


  1. Won,t the car be fitted with the older type towball? if so you would need the alko extended neck version for your van
    I find towing with a large 4x4 so much easier the only down side is the 18 mpg

  2. Good idea going down the veg oil route - plenty of the lads in my off-road club run their diesels on it with little or no trouble, including plenty of Pajs. There is also a very useful & reasonably priced mobile Paj expert on the POCUK forums who specialises in the fuel pump seals & who is happy to travel all over the country ... well worth knowing about ! Phil.

  3. The tow bar is fitted with an alko tow ball so ok with that, it just needed de-gunking!

    Running on the Veg Oil does seem a good idea, POCUK is where I got 90% of the information from, there seems to be alot of folk running on SVO/WVO, more that we realise. Im going to get myself a spare filter first, these come with the seals first before I try, then take a look at getting the plastic washable filters, new fuel line clips and away we go!

  4. I'd be quite interested in going down the SVO route too...will look into it. Have you any good links?