Showing posts from 2017

Over Drive Switch Swap

One of the perils of not consulting the FSM on any job is taking a risk that might disable a perfectly good working function, like the over drive switch. When I replaced the transfer case shifter my initial thought was that the gear selector knob would have to come off in order to get the rest of the console below it out. That's what I had to do with my Gen III, so my reasoning was the same would apply with the 2.5. It doesn't. I discovered that when I removed the stock over drive switch which had little slack, and when exploring inside the housing for the switch for some kind of release screw, one of the soldered contacts snapped off the switch, disabling the Montero's ability to go into over drive. Damn.

The stock switch is embedded in a plastic housing through which the wires are soldered into a small circuit board. I tried to solder the broken red wire but lacked the finesse and tools for such a tiny connection.

I lived without OD for awhile during the summer, but get…

Roof Rack Hack

The Apex Roof Rack has served our adventures well, stowing cargo and being a platform upon which to mount two ARB awnings.

But the drag knocks a mile-per-gallon off the Monty's mileage. I drive 700 miles a week traversing the great State of Utah for my commute and need every MPG I can get.

And I've always had an issue with how high the rack rides on the stock roof rails (though I should note stability was never an issue) and with how tall the rack itself is. So on my last commute back to the Wasatch I came up with a plan. It's that damn tinker gene.

I started by reducing the height of the Apex Rack, knocking it down by and inch and a quarter.

I cut that much off each vertical upright keeping the necessary mounting dimensions I needs for both ARB awnings. I used a brass pipe cutter that worked as precisely as I needed.

Once cut, I deburred each upright, reassembled them with the stock Apex hardware and installed.

This gave me a platform to work with in mocking up a gutter …

ARB Awning 2000 and Awning Room

Completing the sleeping platform and rear ARB awning is a second ARB awning, this one the 2000 (6ft.) along with ARB's awning room. The room has two large mesh windows with zippered flaps and grommets for poles to provide additional shade while open. The main door is also mesh with a sturdy zippered flap. Inside is an additional door to access the vehicle's passenger door.

This room is 79" x 98" and has ample space for a dining area, a changing room, provides protection from the elements and a spot for our dogs to sleep while we sleep in the truck.

The awning and tent deploy in just a few minutes.

During our first week of ownership we were camping at Valley of the Gods when we were hit by a violent microburst that took out one of the rafters of the 2000 awning. I emailed ARB to order a new part and they replaced it under warranty and had it delivered within three days so we could continue our tour. Great product, outstanding customer service.

The awnings tuck into …


We recently added a weBoost Drive 4G-X to our rig thanks to Wilson Electronics who make the device, which happens to be a hometown export from St. George, Utah.

It's a cell signal booster (up to 70db) with an external antenna that amplifies tower voice and data signals.

These signals are processed for broadcast inside the Montero through this antenna that's placed directly below where my iPhone mounts. This creates a WiFi hotspot for us.

I've noticed a strong increase in signal strength while camping in the Uintahs, with faster, more reliable service in data transfer.

I uploaded four videos from this remote location in less time than my home WiFi which is the fastest that Salt Lake City has to offer. So far, so good.

More to come as we travel and work from the road using the 4G-X to connect where we couldn't before.

Noncanceling Turn Indicator Fix

Out of the blue the left turn indicator won't cancel, so I pulled the fuse and made my way home illegally. Don't tell anyone.

I disassembled the assembly and here's what I found.
After removing the stalk subassembly, inside the case I found what was left of a small black plastic pin stuck inside the white slider that makes and disconnects the circuit when the slider is moved mechanically by the stalk subassembly.  I removed the piece and located its original position on the stalk subassembly.  I drilled a 1/16th inch pilot hole,  and then straightened a 1/16th inch eyelet and cut it to the approximate length of the plastic pin and screwed it into the pilot hole.
Works perfectly.

Transfer Case Shifter Replacement

When I first tested this Monty it shifted into 4 and 4l without any issues, even the rear locker kicked in just fine. After purchase I took it out to wheel more aggressively to baseline its suspension and it wouldn't shift into low range and that's when after a bit of research I learned of this drivetrain's Achilles' heel. In the image of my shifter above, surrounding the lever that engages the transfer case forks is a brown plastic articulating ball or at least what's left of it.

While this particular plastic outlived Mitsubishi's warranty, it went to pieces later in many a Montero/Pajero/Shogun. The fix is not a new aftermarket part - none exists that I could find - but to score a junkyard find of a previous iteration found in earlier vehicles that have a white plastic ball instead of brown.

I swapped mine the other day after sourcing a white-balled shifter from a local Montero enthusiast who picks them up from local pick-a-part yards. The job is pretty stra…

A Couple of Generations


Rear Door Mod

With the platform insert there aren't many ways to stow flat rigid items and yet there are two that are indispensable to our travels, a folding step and a folding table. The step is used around the rig when packing the roof rack and it gives my dog a literal leg up in hopping into the back.

The table is an 18X20" GCI compact camp table that's just right for dining for two of us or to get gear off the tent floor.

With the previous mod of the utility shelf eliminated it opened some real estate on the rear door where these items could be stowed. It all works around the Camillus hatchet/door handle well and the placement still kept a window to access the interior door lever. Quick Fists are the greatest kit out there for this kind of arrangement.

ARB 1250 Awning

Shade is a commodity like water where we amble. Trees are sparse in the land that we travel and we've depended on an awning for the decade we've been doing this.

This is our third awning, our second ARB and I was surprised to find some improvements in the product when I slipped it out of its shipping tube.

Gone is the envelope design of the case. This one is tailored, boxed at the ends to better fit the rolled awning with an inverted pouch on both ends to keep the zipper tabs.

Nothing else has changed and doesn't need to. The friction cams on the legs lock tight, the channel material and junction hardware are machined to tuck away and stay put.

The awning is mounted to the Apex Roof Rack using four 3/4 inch rubber lined zinc plated clamps on the vertical stanchions and two 1" clamps on the top rail, under $7 for a solid mount.

Apex Roof Rack

The Franklin Rack didn't work out for our needs; too small, not rigid enough. It's found a new home on my son's Gen 3. I replaced it with this Apex Rack, a larger, more rigid platform with parallel vertical posts where a rear awning could be mounted.

The rack builds with a lower base with a welded basket and an upper rail attached with vertical stanchions. The way it comes together; the rack can be separated into two halves, front and rear, with some questionable hardware that clicks the tubes together - nothing that can't be remedied with stainless hardware. It fits well on the stock roof rails with enough rear overhang to mount an awning.

The rack mounts with four U-bolts with thumb bolts. There's plenty of room for recovery gear, Rotopax fuel and water containers, and our Kodiak tent.

Rocker Blackout and Pinstripe

I used Duplicolor's Spray Truck Bed Coating to black out the rockers and bumpers. I made the mistake of using their rolled on product to begin with, resulting in bad surface continuity.

The coating was sealed at the seam to the factory finish with 1/4" pin striping in signal orange as a nod to the Montero/Pajero's history with the Camel Trophy.

Platform and Drawer System

If you've been reading along on this build you know that there was a dog deck and a folding utility shelf installed, neither of which worked as well as I would have liked. Add to that one of the reasons I went with this 2.5 is its room to create a sleeping platform, and I decided to do a do-over, making this Interior Modification, Part 2, combining a platform with a drawer system. 

I studied a number of DYI systems on Expo and other build threads, making decisions on materials and dimensions, but keeping all this driven by our overland history of what has worked and what we wish we had. The driving need here for us was to have the ability to pull over, level out, roll out pads and bags and go to sleep. 
We've done the RTT route and have a Kodiak ground tent, both with pros and cons. Being able to sleep in the Monty seems to be the best compromise for us; easy set-up and access, great weather protection and climate control, off the ground away from critters and more of a chall…