New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Mitsubishi Delica L400 production commenced in 1994 -- After much anticipation, the L400 arrived on Canadian Soil in 2009!
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New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by jessef » Sat May 01, 2010 1:07 pm

While some drive away a vehicle without thinking about it, others need to know what can fail or what mechanical things can go wrong.

You can find L400 Spacegear's for cheap to expensive. The saying goes 'you get what you pay for'. This is usually the case with JDM vehicles, although not always.

When considering/purchasing/owning an L400 Spacegear 2.8 4M40, please consider the following advice.

These are things that I consider mandatory (L400 Spacegear - 2.8L 4M40 specific) and can be devastating to the engine/L400 if left unchecked/replaced.

Prices are what I've found as average for parts only (labour is extra) -

*replacing everything below can be in the 1,000's of dollars including labor.

DIY removal/installation difficulty :

* No mechanical knowledge - no tools required
** No mechanical knowledge - minimal tools required (screwdriver/pliers,etc...)
*** Minimal mechanical knowledge - tools required (screwdriver/pliers,/wrenches/socket set/drain pan,etc...)
**** Backyard/average mechanical knowledge - tools required (screwdriver/pliers,/wrenches/socket set/air tools,etc...)
***** Expert mechanical knowledge - Major mechanical tools + specialty tools required



1. Coolant expasion bottle $130-150 ***

- It's located on the passenger side firewall in the engine compartment. It is made of non-UV resistant material and get very brittle under UV/sunlight rays. Unfortunately, sunlight hits it in between the fender / hood crack.

- If left unchecked/replaced, it can break at various points, usually at the nipples where the hoses connect. If it breaks, coolant shoots out under pressure and this can lead to complete loss of coolant in your engine = engine catastrophe.

*note : the coolant will need to be drained and replenished (see #2. water pump below).

*note : this is also a good time to change the lower/upper radiator hoses and coolant expansion bottle -> rad hose as they will wear over time (regular maintenance item).



2. Water pump & thermostat $90-200 ****

- Located on the engine behind pulleys/belts.

- If left unchecked/replaced, it can seize and/or plug up with corrosive material. This can cause coolant pressure buildup in various parts of the coolant system. End results can vary from coolant leaks to engine catastrophe.

*note : this is a good time to change the drive belts (since they are coming off) and check the coolant ports/tubes going to/from the block and turbo for any corrosion/plugging.



3. Valve cover gasket set $45 ***

- Located on top of the engine. The gasket set is comprised of 5 pieces. The main valve cover gasket, two cone-shaped rubber grommets and two (front/rear) half-moon rubber seals.

- This is a general maintenance item and if it has not been replaced recently, the likelyhood of an oil leak is high, especially around the half-moon seals.

*note : while you have the valve cover off, this would be a good time to check & replace if needed the timing chain and tensioner (see below).



4. Timing chain & tensioner $120 - 180 *****

- The chain & tensioner should be replaced every 2-400,000 km's. There is no recommended change interval, so this is a broad figure. I would estimate that 300,000km's would be the average change interval. With the valve cover off, it is simple to check the timing chain for any slack/tension. The tensioner is a simple re&re, however the timing chain requires a grinder/specialty tools and if the cam shaft/crank shaft - timing is shifted while replacing the chain, it can lead to poor operating conditions and problems down the road. Mechanic is recommended.

- If the chain is chuffing (steam engine noise coming from the engine while under load - going up a hill with foot on the gas pedal) or loose, the possibility is there for breakage which will lead to engine catastrophe.



5. Injection Pump main seal $400 - 600 *****

Problem : Hard starts, white smoke, coughing & sputtering, stalling after a few blocks, etc...

Why : injection pump main shaft seal has dried up and it allowed air/condensation to seep in causing problems above

Solution : replace the injection pump main shaft seal *note

*this is not a simple process. It requires detail and attention. If the timing marks or anything engine-timing-related is not correct, then the engine will either not run or will run very poorly. This is reserved for either a licensed mechanic or a very mechanically inclined person.

Approximate re&re = 4-6 hours (varies per service shop)

Seal cost = $15-20 (varies per parts supplier)

The rest of the seals/o-rings in the injection pump are viton (synthetic rubber - Mitsubishi replaced the old rubber one's from 1994 onwards) and are not in need of replacement unless they have been damaged. If a service shop insists on rebuilding the whole injection pump and replacing the seals, I recommend to get a 2nd opinion unless the original diagnostic is done by a reputable service shop.



6. Engine/Transmission/Transfercase/Differential fluids and filters - re&re $cost of fluid + labor *** to ****

- This is the nutrients your engine and drivetrain require to function properly. If left unchecked, can cause serious damage to minor and major parts of the driveline. Dirty filters can cause problems down the road.

*Not to be ignored.



7. Glow plugs & wiring $20-60 ea (four in total + wiring)

- essential part of starting operation.

- wiring/bus bar are prone to corrosion. Replace if required.



8. Suspension (these components are all tied together and often if one needs to be replaced, so do the others) :


a. Front control arm bushings $50-70 ea (four in total) ****


- Knocking sound coming from the front end and loose/vibrating wheel.

** Wheel alignment required.

*this is very common on IFS system like the L400. Replace as necessary. Testing is simple. Both wheels off the ground safely, turn the wheel until full lock with force. Person observing the control arms will see if they move or not. If they move, replacement is required. Removing them is only with a torch or specialty press.


b. Front sway bar linkages $40-70 ea (two in total) ****

- Knocking sound coming from the front end and loose/vibrating wheel.

*common as well and replace as necessary. When unbolted and free, it should be tight and not loose (jiggly).


c. Tie rods (inner/outer) $30-70 ea (two each = four in total) ****

- Knocking/clicking sound coming from the front end and loose/vibrating wheel.

*common as well and replace as necessary. When unbolted and free, it should be tight and not loose (jiggly).

** Wheel alignment required.


d. Upper/lower balljoints $40-140 ea (two per side = four in total) *****

- Knocking/clicking/squeaking sound coming from the front end and loose/vibrating wheel.

*common as well and replace as necessary. When unbolted and free, it should be tight and not loose (jiggly).

** Wheel alignment required.






* I will update this thread on a regular basis with new information.
Last edited by jessef on Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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tonydca
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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by tonydca » Sat May 01, 2010 4:54 pm

Great idea for a thread, Jesse. I'd also recommend checking the function/lack thereof of the EGR valve, and adjustment of the TPS.
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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by pattonmaclean » Sat May 01, 2010 4:56 pm

Thank you. Very informative!

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by Flemwad » Fri May 07, 2010 2:21 am

Gday from downunder guys, one more thing as a major add on to save you lotsa cash is a Quality bashpate underneath as the fault is the old tin bashplate already fitted is way to thin and a bolt which joins the 3 piece bashplate together is directly under the oil filter, so if you hit a rock the plate can buckle upwards and put a hole with that bolt into you filter without you knowing giving you some major oil failure and a very expensive engine replace, a temp fix is to remove the bolt that is under the filter and use a large cable tie to hold plates together. Delicaclub Australia has bashplates from Tome but it would be cheaper to make at your end, this damage to filter has happened quite a few times!

One more tip, and engine watchdog off Ebay is a must if your concerned about expansion bottle, it will show your engine temp and you can set an alarm at a temperature just above average running temp, so if the bottle leaks or splits you will have time to turn off the engine before blowing it.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by Spade J » Sat May 15, 2010 11:32 pm

Thumb up!
Cheers

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by jessef » Mon May 24, 2010 3:24 pm

Also the regular items when looking to buy :

Tires - should be either DOT or have the load rating on them. Most Delica's coming from Japan have poor condition tires. Not necessarily identifiable on the outside (rotting/cracking from the inside).

Headlights - Mandatory to be Left Hand Drive. Do not buy one that has been inspected and the seller swapped the original RHD lights back in to save money. The minute it's in your name and you get pulled over or in an accident, liability issues/ticket violation is likely.

Reflectors - Mandatory to have side reflectors. Red at/near mid/headlight level for the rear and Amber/Orange at/near mid/headlight level for the front.

Exhaust - should be intact with no splits/holes.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by William » Mon May 24, 2010 9:10 pm

jfarsang wrote:Also the regular items when looking to buy :

Tires - should be either DOT or have the load rating on them. Most Delica's coming from Japan have poor condition tires. Not necessarily identifiable on the outside (rotting/cracking from the inside).

Headlights - Mandatory to be Left Hand Drive. Do not buy one that has been inspected and the seller swapped the original RHD lights back in to save money. The minute it's in your name and you get pulled over or in an accident, liability issues/ticket violation is likely.

Reflectors - Mandatory to have side reflectors. Red at/near mid/headlight level for the rear and Amber/Orange at/near mid/headlight level for the front.

Exhaust - should be intact with no splits/holes.
Jesse your quoting everything based on BC standards. Not all provinces are the same and it's better to say check with your inspection shop of what's required before buying. I sold a Delica in NWT last week and my customer told me they didn't even have to get a provincial inspection done at all, let along any compliance :shock: Ontario has some strange regulations as well that are pretty slack, Nova Scotia another, PEI one more to add to the list.
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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by jessef » Mon May 24, 2010 10:30 pm

William wrote:
jfarsang wrote:Also the regular items when looking to buy :

Tires - should be either DOT or have the load rating on them. Most Delica's coming from Japan have poor condition tires. Not necessarily identifiable on the outside (rotting/cracking from the inside).

Headlights - Mandatory to be Left Hand Drive. Do not buy one that has been inspected and the seller swapped the original RHD lights back in to save money. The minute it's in your name and you get pulled over or in an accident, liability issues/ticket violation is likely.

Reflectors - Mandatory to have side reflectors. Red at/near mid/headlight level for the rear and Amber/Orange at/near mid/headlight level for the front.

Exhaust - should be intact with no splits/holes.
Jesse your quoting everything based on BC standards. Not all provinces are the same and it's better to say check with your inspection shop of what's required before buying. I sold a Delica in NWT last week and my customer told me they didn't even have to get a provincial inspection done at all, let along any compliance :shock: Ontario has some strange regulations as well that are pretty slack, Nova Scotia another, PEI one more to add to the list.
No, I'm not quoting anyone but myself.

Everything I mentioned has nothing to do with any provincial inspection.

It has everything to do with safety in ALL Canadian cities/provinces.

Tires are important. They are in between your vehicle and the road. Many Japanese ones come over with rot/cracking on the inner casing/sidewall which can't be seen from the outside.

Headlights allow you to see in the dark. Original RHD Japanese headlights point in the wrong direction. Not only do they blind oncoming traffic, they do not shine on the right side, where they should. Hence, do not buy an L400 unless it has LHD beam (regardless of where. OEM headlights/aftermarket headlights/snowplow DOT light assemblies, etc ...)

Side reflectors allow vehicles approaching you from an angle or the side to see a reflective bright amber/red spot when cast upon with lights.

Exhaust is pretty evident. My muffler split a seam last week. I was lucky I didn't get pulled over on my way to the muffler shop. If you think gas vehicles with bad muffler/exhausts sound bad, they are no comparison to a diesel engine with a shot exhaust. Sounds like a tank.

All typical safety concerns when buying ANY vehicle including all imports.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40 2.8L

Post by Slim » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:33 pm

Hi all,
Just to add, down here in Aus, a lot of L400 series 1 drivers have had the seals on their fuel pump deteriorate.
Series 2 drivers are also now starting to have problems.
Can be an expensive repair. Mine was, but my whole pump was basically destroyed so a total rebuild. :shock:
You will first experience problems not long after startup, engine will stall, and then be very hard to restart, resulting in lots of black smoke. If this starts happening, get it checked out ASAP as it could save you a lot of money.
This has happened to most owners in Aus and was put down to the different sulphur content between the Japanese and Aussie fuel, but we have since learned that fuel pumps in Japan are starting to go as well.
Worst case senario, engine run on, can`t stop the engine in time so it keeps running until it blows itself up.
Tip if this should happen, pretty simple really....... RUN!

Cheers,
Slim.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by whiteagle » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:44 pm

Thank you. Very very informative.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by madmel » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:48 pm

A runaway diesel still needs air and fuel. If the RPM is NOT out of hand take off an intake pipe and try and block it with a block of wood, some heavy gauge metal or something (something that will not get sucked in...WATCH YOUR CLOTHING AND HANDS!!! there will be more suction than you expect)....I have even just pulled the air cleaner up and folded the flexible intake runner to snuff it out. This wasn't a Deli but diesel of course. If you can pinch off the feed line (if you can reach it) for the fuel with some vice grips that is another way to kill it.

If the RPM is out of hand it is advisable to get the hell away from it as parts can really fly at high velocities when she lets go and no BS "serious injury or death may result" you know the other bogus warnings.
Last edited by madmel on Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by Finnegan » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:08 pm

Great post - Thank you!
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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by madmel » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:18 pm

jfarsang I totally agree throw those JDM tires away...I have been a mechanic for 20 years and never seen the inside do as you described unless driven flat. However I do believe they use harder rubber compounds so the tires can survive the atrocious ambient temps in Japan....clost to if not 40C. So conversly the carcas of the tires is not designed to handle our minus 40 of some places in Canada....ahhhh thus jfarsang you might have seen stuff shatter withing the carcas as it cannot handle the cold!!! I digress. Anyways junk the tires and go DOT and you will feel a lot more confident...the high CG of these vehicles does not bode well for a blow out on the highway.

Aside from the mentioned preventative maintenance on the 4M40 is there any inherent probs like the Toyotas have for example cracked heads?

Where could someone source LHD lights for L400? Retro L300's???LOL

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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by Delicashop.com » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:47 am

The 4M40 OEM is subject to failure and hope u guys can find a good quality after market ones as they will fail between the 2nd and 3rd chamber area.

Do not buy a factory 4m40T head as it will do the same.

Air conditioners are failing on the series 1's 94-mid 97 due to age and high use in japan (plenty of Mitsubishi ones avail at about 1/3 price of Mitsubishi Motors supply - ensure you also replace the receiver drier.

Trafficators aka indicator storks the plastic is failing and there need to be replaced some only the 1/2units but there is limited supply in japan for them and some need the whole unit to be replaced (generally the base Jasper/Chamonix/Exceed models), but the high end with the headlight washer (Super and Royal Exceed) is also a whole unit and nil stock for 1/2 units in Japan. These are not cheap at all as the older the car in japan the more MMC puts the prices up each year.

Alternators will go and one of the upgrades to the facelift models is the 120AMP alternator that can be fitted in lieu of the 90amp.

Radiators, often the top tank fails due to to age and can be sourced here in Australia. Beware of cheap radiators and they need to be 24+mm thick not the thinner smaller motor ones. When the intercooler is being removed the top tank inlet often gets broken....be warned

Expansion bottles is a must do and ensure a OEM bottle about $100CA is the most you should be paying.

Suspension, rubbers get tiredand often a full replacements needs to be done esp LWB coils and torsion bars.

Hope this helps and think you guys will be hanging out for next mid year and the series 2 models more kw and better fuel pumps! oh and gear boxes
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Re: New to L400's ? What to look for and/or replace on 4M40

Post by Delicashop.com » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:50 am

Where could someone source LHD lights for L400? Retro L300's???LOL
....they simply don't exist in the world sorry..not in Taiwan now out of production although do have part numbers :-) and a supplier, Germany (the series 1's were never sold there) etc...

L300's are avail with the correct E code as LHD
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