Modifying a 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Winter Package for Overland Adventuring
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Necessity being the mother that it is, the Hi-Lift Jack had to go somewhere else other than on the Franklin rack. I think it soiled itself when I lifted it up for a test fit. The next more likely spot was on the brush guard.
I drilled a hole through the cross members of two u-bolts, 5/16ths, stainless, through which I inserted the bolt and mounted the assembly to the crossbar of the brush guard. I then slipped a QuickFist clamp on each bolt, fitted the Hi-Lift jack and cinched it down with stainless wing nuts. I added a strap to keep the jack handle from vibrating.
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 systems.
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 chal…
The back-up lamps on the 2.5 are more of a suggestion of light than actual practical illumination, so I decided to do quick and inexpensive upgrade.
I've had good luck with CREE style LEDs previously, as long as I replaced all the hardware with stainless. I came across these NiLight 18W flush mount flood lights and thought I'd roll the dice and give them a try. Eighteen bucks, why not?
The install required trimming a bit of the opening for the stock lamps since the NiLight height is about a quarter inch taller.
Remove the housing.
Then remove the lamp from the housing. I clipped the the socket off from the wires.
Before fitting clean the area around the opening to remove the footprint from the previous housing.
I used a jig saw with a metal cutting blade to score the bottom edge of the opening, creating "teeth" that will be pulled to match the height requirement of the new housing.
Using a pair of ViseGrips, grab a tooth and slowly move it vertically until it break…
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.