All posts by owner

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.

More Arrow dash

The built gauge not matching was driving me nuts, and the wood grain just didn’t look right. So I got all matching gauges, and coated the dash with bed liner. I think it came out nice.

The gauges are; exhaust gas temperature, boost/vacuum, rpm, volts, and air fuel ratio. Some day I’ll address the actual dash pad.


The arrows dash was in need of some help. The digital gauges were to bright, the boost gauge read -14 no matter what.

I pulled it out and ordered some different gauges.

Now there is room for five gauges. The fifth hole is there, I just need to cut out the wood grain peel and stick cabinet lament.

I also replaced the radiator with an oem style copper/brass one.

What you’ve been missing

Not much. Actually, not much, so the Comanche is drivetrain less, and the purple jeep is about to be, and the broke jeep is just, broke. In order to get the arrow out of the garage, something has to move. So the arrow snuck out carefully with the aid of a jack.

I’m running eight pounds of boost, on the stock 2L block, crank and rods, with new pistons, a non jet valve head, conquest cam, and Megasquirt throttle body injection. It runs well. The new radiator is on the way. Along with new gauges because the bright blue digital ones overtake the road at night.

The above was filmed with a potato for informational purposes.

So the 5.9L is coming together, and I’ve got the mounts ready to be installed in the mj chassis. I need to get rid of its old drivetrain so it’s out of my way.

But the engine is assembled, I need to change the transmission filter, but otherwise it’s ready to line up in the mj chassis.

Jeep days

So the Comanche needs some dissembling before it gets to a good point, so that’s what this weekend was made up of.


I have to take all the suspension/axles off to put on the scrap zj.


The front was challenging.


I had to cut/grind the upper control arm bolt off.


But it came free.


The rear was very simple, but I did decide to cut off every brake line. It’ll make sense later. Longer lines and what not. Ford parts and junk.


Had to cut off the u bolts. With a torch.


And then I isolated the engine harness from the engine bay body harness. Because a 5.2L swap makes sense.


Then we went fishing.

Spring is in the air

With 50s and sunny, February is starting to feel like spring! But since this is Michigan, it could be winter tomorrow, so seize the day!



Got the arrow all aired out, so I could rearrange the garage so I have room to walk and tear open the 5.9L for the jeep.


That went pretty smooth. Until an intake manifold bolt broke off in the head. But whatever, I’ve got the technology to get that out.


Looks like the crank has been turned before. I didn’t get to checking the bore yet.

Changed the tie rod

So I had a clunk coming from the front end that went away after I greased all the tie rod ends. Then it came back. I narrowed it down to the Pitman arm tie rod. Thanks to Orly’s, the clunk is now gone. I figured since I got 33s for the jeep, it should have properly working steering.



The wheels are terrible. I’ll get the soft eights back on there asap. They have a better offset as well as looking better.