Montero solutions

So the Montero went into 2wd mode only. There’s no option for that on the transfer case. So in Awd, it just wouldn’t go, and made a gear on gear grinding noise. In 4wd, I got the rear wheels powered. So my catastrophizing brain “knows” the transfer case or front differential broke. The grinding is probably the chain in the transfer case, right?

So I bought a parts truck with a good tcase and front diff. It had a front impact, so it wasn’t suitable to put my good parts on it, so it got dismantled and the body got scraped. Plus the frame was rotted through.

Come to find out, the front driver side wheel hub was stripped….

Luckily! The parts truck has two of these! Yay!

In the mean time, I installed a 2 speed electric fan from a Ford Taurus and replaced my leaky coolant hoses. Now the heat works!

Low and high speed temperature sensors installed, with an oem thermostat. I absolutely love having a TIG welder and being able to use it. I also replaced the fuel tank because the high pressure fuel line was full of pin holes, thus my 11mpg.

I have a small hand full of things to finish on it, like the exhaust, but it’s back on the road and ready for adventure!

The new power plant

The Arrows crank got beat out of round, so instead on having the machine work done to get the stock motor back in it, I decided on a motor swap. The plan was to go 4G63T 2.0L DOHC Turbo engine. But, as they say, you can make plans, but not plan the outcome. So I traded Dibari a stroked 4g63 for a stocker, or so I thought. After I got it all unloaded and thrown on the stand, it looked, off. After some inspection, come to find out, it’s a 4G61T. The DOHC Turbo 1.6L from the mirage/colt. How fitting for an Arrow.

So, now having this basically stock 1.6L bottom end, it’s time to check it out.

New bearings ✔

all new gaskets ✔

hks 272 cams ✔

Evo 8 intake manifold ✔

Evo 3 big 16g ✔

2g head and head studs ✔

So far everything is coming together smoothly. From the specs of this combination, it should be ~250HP. Which is right where I want to be.

One difference is the deck height of the block is shorter, so I had to clearance the timing belt tensioner bracket, and slot the top hole for it. Also, the water pump is different than a 4g63. It’s shorter as well.

Everything is lined up, the cams are degreed, they were about 4 degrees off. I got the crank trigger mounted, I just welded a bar on and drilled and tapped some holes in it. I welded a couple beads on to keep it centered.

The crz got some love this weekend too. I took the roof rack off the Montero and cut it down to 42″ then took the mostly destroyed plastic off and used gaffing tape as a traction material/color.

Then added the basket.

I also did some kayaking with my girlfriend Jamie last weekend after wandering around the shore of Lake Michigan.

Fare thee well

The time has come to say goodbye to the 1987 Chrysler Conquest. It had some good runs, but I have too many cars, and it’s just a heap. So it went to the scrapyard.

Now that the conquest is out of the garage, the Arrow can get some love. Time to pull the motor, and get those bearings replaced.

But wait, why don’t I throw the Comanche axles under the Comanche and get it off Jack stands. Great idea! So I did that.

I like how it sits. But it has the og rear axle, 2.something gears, Spring over swapped and the 2wd front axle under it. The only 4wd axle I have is 3.73 gears, so I didn’t want to put that under it. I also threw the 4inch front lift on it.

But wait, there’s more…

The maroon 85.5 conquest is giving up its motor. I pulled that tonight. I forgot how easy this pulling Motors and swapping axle stuff really is.

Whew. That was easy. Now it’s time to focus on what’s important. Dinner!

Shrimps and grits. Delicious.


I came home Saturday morning to a nice warm 37°F. I figured it’s warm enough to tackle a project outside. Instead of fixing my gutter, I chose to work on the montero. The plan was, install a winch plate from We were unsure if it was going to fit the 03 montero sport, since it’s designed to fit the regular montero. Well, it’s a inch or so too narrow. So I took a scraped jeep project winch plate, and got to modifying.

You can see the Midwest showing in this picture.

Since the Montero already had some damage to the front bumper cover, I had no problem cutting a hole in the front of it. The overall fitment is pretty good, and the added light bar more than makes up for the busted foglights.

I’ve owned this winch for almost two years, and finally installed it on a vehicle. Some day I’ll use it.

The montero is on the road

The montero is on the road and rippin’ again. It took a bit of work, but it’s going. The valves were all gummed up with some nasty carbon build up. I cleaned those and reseated them, and installed new stem seals. A new timing belt and tensioner was in order, along with a new crank bolt. The water pump for replaced, even though it looked fairly new. I wanted to eliminate the cats, but I’ll take care of that when I do the rest of the exhaust. I installed some new General Grabber AT2 tires also.

There’s some before pictures. I didn’t take any after pics, but everything got a good cleaning. You could tell it had 188k on it and it was babied.

Here she is getting her new shoes. The front bumper has some battle damage, but that’ll be addressed soon enough.

Today I bought a new vehicle

Let’s start at the beginning….

About a week ago, I was checking on Craigslist for another deal. I usually stumble into deals on there. I decided to change from browsing to searching. I knew I want a Montero to mess with, so I plugged Montero into my search. A few results in I find a 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport. But it’s only $800. The ad says it overheats and probably has a bad Headgasket. So I contact the seller, arrange a time to meet, and go check it out. I met up with Shannon on a Sunday afternoon in New Buffalo. She talked about how great of a vehicle it’s been, and she doesn’t want to sell it. She noticed the tattoo on my ankle of a Mitsubishi symbol and commented on it. I told her how passionate I am for the brand, and it seemed to brighten her mood. Then I ask about the title…. oh no, she lost it in one of her moves. I’m thinking, great, another no title car. But then she told me she applied for a lost title already and it should be coming any day now. So we decided on $100 down to hold it and take it off Craigslist. So I waited patiently…..

Just before Labor Day weekend I get a text from Shannon, that the title came in! But, she’s heading for Colorado on Tuesday, and my weekend is already looking to be a busy one. Well, I’ll have to try and get a trailer by Monday. So I message atom, and get no response. Monday morning comes, so I figure I’m not out anything to swing by atom’s place first thing.

I show up there and the trailer looks ready to go. I knock on the door, atom comes out, fresh outta bed, and says he didn’t get any messages from me. He pulls out his phone, it’s makes some beeping noises, and he says oh, these messages from Saturday that just came in?. Yep… those… thanks sprint.

So we hook up the trailer, have a chat, then I’m on my way.

I get there and meet up with Shannon and Eric and we get the battery charging so I can crawl it onto the trailer. Two tires were flat and the battery was dead, and the bad Headgasket. That’s all that’s wrong with it.

Once loaded up, money and title exchanged, I was on my way. Shannon had that look of a mother when her kids going to college, sad, but everything will be alright.

The Jeep could tell it had some extra weight behind it. It struggled to climb some hills, and the brakes started to smell as I got closer to the house from stop and go. But we made it.

Once home, I started diagnostics. Yep, bad headgasket. Puking coolant on revs, but the temp never got high. Threw in a battery I had around and put the original on the charger, which seems to be good now. Looks like I know what I’m getting into.

Now it’s time for surgery.

Everything seems to come apart pretty easy, nothing is heavily oxidized or rusted that I’ve found yet. The timing belt may be original, with 188k miles on it now. When I pushed on it, it jumped 3 teeth. That’s not good! It’s a good thing it didn’t do that when it was running. That picture is as far as I got today, I’ll follow up with my progress as I go. But so far, I think it’ll be a good little investment. Thanks again Shannon and Eric.

New wheels! On my new wheels!

Yay! I finally got a newer car. It’s a 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid. It’s a 2 seater, so I only get to bring one companion on trips, which sounds fine with me. But there’s a good deal of cargo space inside. I bought it from my buddy, so he was nice enough to leave his system in it, which is 2x jlaudio 12″ subs, on a small amp. It’s small, it’s cute, it’s agile. I like it.

Let there be light!

So the arrow still had “test lights” in. That is, 35w low on the driver side, and high on the passenger side, a 100w high on the driver side and a 55w low on the passenger side as if that’s not confusing enough. So now it’s running 55w low hids, and 100w Hella bulbs on highs. I had already installed high amp relays in anticipation of going hid.

It’s really hard to capture the cutoff on a fence on uneven ground.