irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/5/23 8:52 p.m.
creature503 said:

Man, do I have alot to go over and read tonight. lol


Currently doing a SWB Raider / Pajero build with a 4m40.

Nice, I know nothing about that drivetrain, but feel free to ask me if you have any questions about the rest of the vehicle (not that it's complicated lol). Doing a build thread here or someplace else?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/5/23 9:10 p.m.

With my parents in the middle of a major house move, they jumped the gun and did Christmas (and my birthday, if 47-year olds still get birthdays) early. I had told them how much I liked the ARB Room on the Sequoia, so they took advantage of a Halloween sale at Ironman and picked up a closeout on their 6.5' awning + room combo, which is basically a clone of the ARB setup (they must have some kind of deal, because both are from Australia and most of the components are literally identical....or there's no patents there haha). In any case, it arrived the other day...I stashed it in the garage with the intent to install later, but you all know I can never wait to do projects...

First I had to make some mount brackets. The awning came with beefy L-brackets, but the upside ot having a home-built rack is you can just weld more stuff directly to it, makes life easier. I'll mention here that I really like that Ironman not only sends all the requisite tiedowns, stakes, and nice stainless hardware, but they also throw in a 10mm ratcheting wrench. Not that I don't have several of those, but it's a nice touch and you can never have too many

So, got out the tools and chopped some brackets to weld onto the rack, out of some scrap pieces I had sitting around.

Since they have to go where my driver's side tiedown points are, I chopped those off the rack and re-welded them onto these mount brackets, angled so they'd have better bolt access. 

Then welded them on, making sure to align stuff correctly, and bolted the awning up. It's a bit longer than the truck's cabin, but doesn't reach much beyond my front-riggers for the branch risers anyhow. Will be nice to have full-coverage of the entire passenger compartment side when the awning's out, including the driver's door and sliding window

I'm keeping the little rear awning on as well. I figure if I'm camping I can use the Room (which I didn't set up for pics, sorry) or my tent for sleeping using the main awning, and the little awning provides a dry/covred area over the rear door for making food, or whatever. 


Meanwhile, been thinking about storage for camping stuff. I dislike just having everything in giant bins and would like the ability to "rack" some smaller containters with different types of stuff, whether that be tent/awning tiedown stuff, all my coffee stuff, food, or various other things. So let's built a side-rack over the driver's side rear wheelarch. This is a fully scrap-metal build, since it's more fun than just spending $200 on a bunch of overpriced metal. Luckily, I have a good amount of scrap stuff, plus a bunch of old closet shelving wall support brackets, which are pretty nice for this kind of stuff. The idea with this rack is to fit various standard containers (i.e. stuff I can buy at Home Depot or Walmart), plus a couple gallon jugs (oil/coolant) and other stuff. So everything is designed/measured to accommodate those specific sizes.

Also it has to bolt-in, so all mount points are existing OEM bolt holes (rear seatbelt, old rear seat slider bolts, etc.). I want to be able to remove it in 2 minutes if I need more space for some reason. 

Anyhow, here's what I got done today. The outer frame. I'll add shelves that go back toward the window side, plus a rear section that will be angled. But the main frame was most important to get welded up and secured first.

As noted, each leg is bolted to OEM floor bolts, and up top there are brackets tying into the rear upper seatbelt bolt, and the two screws that hold the OEM rear grab handles on (now replaced with a metal bracket). AL\ll in all, feels very secure and unlikely to go anyplace. 

So, more on that once I have time to get some more progress done. 





irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/11/23 8:30 p.m.

Ok, now to finish up the rack. So a few things first:


1. I figured out exactly what kind of containers I want to use. I had initially planned to just use the stuff from walmart, but since I need to strap things down, those tend to be somewhat flexible. In my garage I have a number of a brand called "Really Great Container" that I keep small tools and stuff in. Got them from a garage sale years ago and they have external ribbing and are pretty beefy. After a quick look, it turns out they sell about 10 sizes of them at Staples/Office Depot so i ran down there and picked up a couple others in bigger sizes than the smaller ones I had. These are part of the plan, and I built the shelves specifically for them. 

2. 100% of what I built metal-wise is from scrap stuff I had sitting around (so, cost =$0). I used wall brackets for garage shelving. I used some steel square tube. I used some round tube pieces that I kept from a broken pet terrarium thing that we had (6 of them @ 16" long each were really useful), and I used various cut-up pieces of closet wire shelving after experimenting on which directions to mount them for best strength. 

3. I ran out of Argon right after the last post, and since I can't get any on a 3-day holiday weekend I did the rest of it with fluxcore, which is definitely not as pretty but does have the advantage of being able to not prep stuff as well (especially the coated closet shelving pieces, which are hard to wire-wheel to bare metal in some places.


It rained on Friday and with the garage chock-full I had to create my own working space....



So anyhow, here's what I knocked together on Friday.  Looks like a junky garage shelf, basically.



But, looks a lot better after 2 coats of paint + a coat of truck bedliner.



And here's what it looks like installed (with fire extinguisher mount added, which used to be in a less convenient place)



On the left there I basically used wire shelves sideways to make a "gear basket" of sorts. I figure it'll just hold a jug of oil, or my mud boots, or whatever other dirty crap I want to throw in there...



Heres with the boxes fitted. I have some semi-stretch camlock straps I got off amazon that will be fore strapping everything down, not pictured...



On the backside the boxes are kind of locked into position by these little posts that go inside the "ribs" of the boxes. Photo through the side window from the outside:



I also had a grocery net sitting around from my GTI so that seems like it could be useful for little stuff, jackets, etc...I'll have to put some small tiedown loops in better locations, but this is the general idea: 



So here's a full view of my cargo setup at the moment (fish-eye makes it look roomier than it is, lol). The boxes on the right are tools, jack, spare parts. I also have a recovery gear box that isn't pictured but it just straps to the floor at the moment....



So that's the setup. I have some smaller accessories, lighting, electrical, and......suspension.....stuff coming up next (suspension maybe not til later in the winter, tbd.).


I also just gave my wife a short list of various camp/cooking items that I'd like to have, but don't yet, since Chrismas and my birthday are coming up.









irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/12/23 9:28 p.m.

On to some accessorizing, or really just adding stuff I've had on the list since the last time night camping: electrical. 


First, when camping out of the back its inconvenient to not have USB power for my phone, etc. So ran some wire, drilled some holes in the lower bracket of the new shelf rack thing, and now I do.... (no real need to add screws but I will eventually...)



Another issues was lighting. unlike the Sequoia, this rig doesn't have much in exterior lighting, and the interior lighting is circa 1985 or so brightness, so, not bright. I'm adding a few things to address those and the first are some outside lighting for the near-vehicle camping area. I decided to go with some aluminum RV-style lights that shine downward and hopefully won't be as blinding as the big floods on the Sequoia. These are off Amazon for $20 each or so and are pretty good quality, plus they have both a bright white flood setting and a dimmer yellow "mood" lighting, which is nice.


They're flushmount, not brackets, so drilling some more holes in the roof.....the wires are underneath the light mount, so no visible wiring outside. This was a bit more work than I thought since the Raider has a triple-layer skin on this part of the roof. I didn't have long enough M4 bolts to get through so for the moment just using some screws with backing plates. Will fix that in the near future. 



And mounted



I don't have the switches and wiring set up yet, but jumped off some 12v to see how the lighting is.  The white is indeed bright and will be good for setting up at night, etc.



And the amber is sufficiently dim that it won't cause too much light pollution at campsites, but will be enough to keep me from running into stuff in the dark.



I'm going to mount a second one of these over the rear door so I have lighting under both awnings, and will also put in some better interior lighting later this week...

da_johnny_boy New Reader
11/15/23 12:16 p.m.

Cool build! This is inspiring me to pick up a SWB 89+ as I need a small lightweight offroader to fit on my trailer. Any tips on picking one up? I've seen a couple on Marketplace that need some work. Should I be looking for one with headlight washers so it has the LSD? Thinking about swapping in a more powerful v6, any issues with the drivetrain and manual transmission due to more power. Thanks!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/15/23 10:16 p.m.

Got some switches off Amazon and made a bracket up. So all my camping and interior lights can be controlled from the back and avoid having to go into the cab to do it..


Didn't take any great pics of the bracket or whatever, but it was just an old steel shelf that used to hold ski boots  (got a bunch of those from the ski shop I work at).




irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/15/23 10:26 p.m.
da_johnny_boy said:

Cool build! This is inspiring me to pick up a SWB 89+ as I need a small lightweight offroader to fit on my trailer. Any tips on picking one up? I've seen a couple on Marketplace that need some work. Should I be looking for one with headlight washers so it has the LSD? Thinking about swapping in a more powerful v6, any issues with the drivetrain and manual transmission due to more power. Thanks!

Yeah, the headlight washers = offroad package with LSD and the driver's "bouncy" seat. There's also an orange sticker on the inner driver's door jamb that notes the LSD, so look for that. A lot of people have ditched the (hard to keep working) headlight washers so also just look for one with holes under the lights that shows they used to have them. 

Otherwise, RUST RUST RUST. Look out for it. Inspect EVERYWHERE. These things rust pretty good, though the frames are thick as hell. check the rear wheel wells where the seatbelt mounts are. check the front clip on either side of the lower radiator. If those are good, you're gravy. If those are bad, well they're the first things to rust on these. 

Honestly, I'm fine with the stock V6. It's tough as nails, perfectly good offroad in terms of torque, and will keep the truck at 80 on the highway except on long hills (and if you can deal with the wind noise).  Mine has the manual, but honestly for offroad an automatic is probably preferable. There are some common swaps for these, but not worth it for me - I'm ok with this drivetrain . Now, if it was the sad 4-banger, that might be a different story. You can also cam and tune and port these pretty easily, from what I hear. 

Note: the V6 models have beefier suspension, front diff, and axles (and some other stuff), so between the V6 and the 4-cyl it's more than just the engine.  Also for the SWBs, ONLY the 1989+ (V6) models had coil spring rear end - earlier ones are leaf spring and are harsh rides on and off road. I woudln't even consider a 4cyl model for that reason, too. Otherwise, hopefully this thread answers any other questions, but feel free to ask anything else you think of. I like to think I know these rigs pretty well at this point lol .

da_johnny_boy New Reader
11/16/23 1:32 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

That's very helpful, I will definitely be looking for a v6 89+ SWB then and watch closely for rust. I definitely would drive south to find a rust free one and don't see any close by me anyways.

 I saw 4 cyl that looked good on the surface but I'd want those upgrades with the v6 model. I see a v6 89 with headlight washer holes and no visible exterior rust that I want to look at but is a 5 hr drive one way. Probably should get some extra pictures before looking at it.

Are there any LSD or lockers for these that are a good swap if I don't get the factory LSD or as an upgrade? I tried to research a bit. I saw a recommendation to do a front diff, with options of ARB, Lokka, TRE ELocker, Eaton ELocker, or OEM gen 2 Air locker. The rear diff didn't seem as readily available. ARB rear locker is available but otherwise would need a gen 2 or 2.5 axle swap to get better options or OEM locker? Not sure what the budget route is. Two ARB locker and necessary supplies would be like $2.5k.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/16/23 7:04 p.m.
da_johnny_boy said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

That's very helpful, I will definitely be looking for a v6 89+ SWB then and watch closely for rust. I definitely would drive south to find a rust free one and don't see any close by me anyways.

 I saw 4 cyl that looked good on the surface but I'd want those upgrades with the v6 model. I see a v6 89 with headlight washer holes and no visible exterior rust that I want to look at but is a 5 hr drive one way. Probably should get some extra pictures before looking at it.

Are there any LSD or lockers for these that are a good swap if I don't get the factory LSD or as an upgrade? I tried to research a bit. I saw a recommendation to do a front diff, with options of ARB, Lokka, TRE ELocker, Eaton ELocker, or OEM gen 2 Air locker. The rear diff didn't seem as readily available. ARB rear locker is available but otherwise would need a gen 2 or 2.5 axle swap to get better options or OEM locker? Not sure what the budget route is. Two ARB locker and necessary supplies would be like $2.5k.

AFAIK there are several air lockers you can get, and also the Gen 2.5 Montero factory rear locker axle is pretty much a direct bolt-on if you can find one in a JY. Front is more limited, there is an air locker out there (ARB, I think), and I've gotten Aussie Lockers to put on the list to make a lunchbox locker for these, probably in 2024.  But yeah, there are options if you don't mind spending some cash and/or if you have good skills doing diffs/gears (which I don't have much experience at).  I haven't looked too hard at lockers since the factory LSD is quite good and mine is still nice and tight. Also for these things with limited front suspension travel (resulting in a lot of wheel lift-off), a lot of the overseas guys think the front locker is actually more important/useful. 

There's been a rumor that a Starion rear LSD will drop-in to the V6 Montero front diff, and you'll see that on the forums, but it's apparently NOT true (and even if it was, finding one is probably near impossible at this point). But yeah, keep in mind the V6 front diff is larger than the 4cyl, so there are different applications of what fits. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/16/23 7:18 p.m.

Just to finish up that project, did the rest of the wiring tonight, and hid it all better. In addition, I added a second yellow/white flood over the rear door, which will be nice for camping and loading/unloading stuff at night. So now I have two...



UPS also brought me some "used in good condition" OME springs off some Amazon seller. The box looked like I went through WW2 on the way here...

Look like someone ran them for a very short time, since the part tags are still attached. But they were about 30% cheaper than new ones, and just have some scratches and scuffs. 

Though the fact that someone returned them makes me a bit hesitant about how these will be. OME claims they're a 1.25" lift with a stiffer main rate (but progressive) on a SWB Montero, so we'll see how much lift I end up with an dhow the ride/handing quality is compared to the probably-very-tired OEMs. Not many reviews of suspension stuff on these rigs out there, since most of the best posts were on 4x4 Wire, which is more or less defunct these days, so got these without much research to go on (a few other choices have equally thin reviews...)



irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/19/23 3:11 p.m.

Suspension day! 

The tired original springs/torsion bars have done their job, but time to get something that gives me a bit more clearance and load-carrying ability so this thing isn't stanced out when I'm carrying all my gear. 

Rear install was pretty easy - just unbolt the shocks and the lateral link and you can just pull the old ones out and put the new ones in. The new ones are thicker coils with one end progressive, but are shorter free-standing than the stockers.

Didn't take a photo of them installed.....they look like springs lol. 

Fronts I also got OME torsion bars, but ran into a bit of a question mark. The bars have nice blue and red stencils on them denoting RH and LH regarding what side they go on:

But here's the odd part: On one end they also have "L" and "R" but those are marked opposite of what the stencil says:

Note though that the paint marks there are the same colors as the stencils (e.g. opposite of the end mark). This is presumably the rear end of the bar (with the other end having green marks, similar to the front markings on other torsion bar brands). Now the only thing I can think of is that the arrow above the letter on the rear end is pointing TOWARD the opposite side of where they mount (to indicate indexing position - though Gen 1 mitsus don't actually have an indexing mark that I've ever seen on the stock ones.  I sent an email on Friday to OME, but with a weekend meaning no response yet, decided to just do them on the sides the stencil marks say. Note that the incluk\ded instructions say to use the stencils and don't mention the end marks whatsoever...  So that's what I did. All in all torsion bar install on these trucks is super-easy. Like it can be done in about half an hour once you know how to do it. So if these end up being opposite of correct, not a big deal to swap them. 

Notably the OME bars are about 2mm thicker than stock ones

Also, this truck has always had a bit of positive camber up front, which annoys me. And lifting it up will give it more positive camber. So I loosened the UCA mount and put 1/16" shims along with the two factory shims, which got my camber pretty close to zero. 

After a couple test drives to settle them, my impressions:

1. The rear springs are advertised to be a 1.5" lift on the 2-doors (and 0.5" on the 4-doors) but mine is currently sitting about 2" higher in the back (probably because the stock springs were very, very tired) - which is good since I don't have all my gear in it. Just jumping on the rear bumper the rear is noticeably firmer, even with the progressive coils. WIth the stock stuff just standing on the bumper (170lbs me) would push the rear end down more than an inch. Now it's only like 1/4-1/2" at most. 

2. Fronts are obviously adjustable on these, so I cranked them to where they're currently about 1.5" higher than before. I may adjust a bit more once I drive it for a while. 

3. Ride quality is improved on all fronts. More solid feeling on bumps, just soaks them up better (on the road, at least). Also a nice reduction in leaning in corners and nosedive when braking. It's not a Porsche, but this upgrade seems to have improved handling confidence after a short test drive, even with the truck now being taller. so that's good. 

Anyhow, a few pics of the "after." All and all pretty pleased with this upgrade so far - wasn't terribly expensive and only took 3-4 hours to do all the install (the shims took longer than the springs). 


thatsnowinnebago UberDork
11/20/23 3:59 p.m.

Nice, can't really go wrong with OME. I've ran their stuff on a bunch of rigs and never really had a problem. Went with Ironman on my current Xterra to see what the deal with their foam cell shocks and to try something new. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/20/23 5:44 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

Nice, can't really go wrong with OME. I've ran their stuff on a bunch of rigs and never really had a problem. Went with Ironman on my current Xterra to see what the deal with their foam cell shocks and to try something new. 

Ironman was my other choice as well, but one of our offroading buddies got me a good deal on OME so went that way.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/20/23 5:44 p.m.

Remembered today that I need to address the PS belt. Last time out on the trails it was slipping pretty badly once it got wet and was noticeably loose. So took a few minutes today to put a new one on and tension it properly (and a new AC belt while I was at it).

While in there, I noticed my fan has a lot of cracks

Still feels pretty solid, but I'll get some plastic epoxy and fill the cracks in when I get a chance. 

Oh, and picked up a properly-fitting Ram Mount for my phone. Tired of it falling off the little ledge I usually stick it on lol. Nice having a dash with metal backing, some star-head self-tappers work fine and make it easy.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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11/30/23 5:57 p.m.

Next weekend I'm heading out to the mountains with friends to do some (possibly snow) wheeling/exploring/hiking and camping. Not really sure how the weather will shake out - cold for sure, but TBD if snow, rain, wind since we'll be up in the Appalachians so decided to go back to one of my earlier concepts in the Raider, just in case I don't want to use a tent or the ARB room. A couple years ago I had a platform in the back of this thing (now removed), with an extension that went over the passenger seat if the upper part was unbolted). So I dug out that piece of wood and decided to see if I could make it work without all the brackets that I previously had (but can't really use now). The plan was to see if it could be done using only the stuff I already carry for camping - i.e. my tool/gearboxes, etc.

So with a regular setup, here's basically what the truck looks like loaded up for camping/weekend trip. I don't have my tool bag or my personal clothes bag right here, but instead I put in the ARB room sack (big). Also are my big foam mattress, sleeping bag, and all of my camp gear, kitchen gear, etc. 

Now, let's take that stuff and see if it'll work

First, remove the boxes from the right side flat base over the wheel arch. This will be part of the platform.  Then remove the front seat from its base (30 seconds, 4 bolts). At camp this would have to sit outside, so will have a tarp to put over it. 

With the seat gone, the sleeping extension board is held up by my cooler, which is just the right height, at the front end

The rear end sits on the side platform, and the left side sits on my armrest, which can be lowered to any height (I built it that way). There's a notch on the corner so the shifter clears the platform.

Then use my toolboxes to complete the "base" and a towel or whatever to level one section. All in all, came out pretty much level.

With the mattress on it, it feels totally level - or at least better than the ground!

When not in use, the extension board just sits under the cargo in the back, so doesn't take much space. So we'll see if this is what I do next weekend, depending on the weather.


Also changed the gear oil in my diff after 3 years. Still looked pretty clean, no water, and very little metal on the plug magnet. Went with a mix of 90w and 140w LSD oil, if anyone cares....

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/30/23 6:34 p.m.

The passenger seat might store atop the driver seat in a fashion similar to this:

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/30/23 8:14 p.m.
John Welsh said:

The passenger seat might store atop the driver seat in a fashion similar to this:

that's a good thought, I'll give that a try as well - may work if the driver's seat is slid all the way back. Though these seats aren't so nice that I care about putting one outside, honestly (plus, I have a third one in my shed lol). But either way that's a good option if the weather is especially bad. thx


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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12/10/23 5:33 p.m.

Last trip of 2023 - Central West Virginia, Dolly Sodds, Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, and surrounding areas.


To finish up 2023 we took a wheeling/camping trip out to West Virginia, which was one day of great weather (50s even up in the mountains) and one day of torrential rain (but still warm). This one had some great trails and scenery,  good primitive camping (if not a bit muddy), and I have a list of improvements to make - mostly small stuff regarding camping/storage - over the winter.  So since pics are more interesting than me talking, here's some pics with captions...


We started off up at Dolly Sodds wilderness, which is the eastern continental divide and popular with hikers and campers. This late in the season we only encountered a handful of people up there - though plenty of hunters with their beagles, mostly standing on their cages atop the pickups - and none of these guys were very polite on the trails, I might add. Basically they never backed off to allow passing, and we ended up pulling into some deep ditches to let them by - one even touched tires with our buddy's Tundra.  In any case, the driving is mostly just gravel roads that any reasonable car or crossover can handle, but there were some great views up there:




Getting toward the end of Dolly Sodds and into the surrounding forest we started scoping out campsites to come back to later. It had snowed 5-6" the day earlier, which had mostly melted so everything was pretty wet...






As opposed to our last trip, which was in an area where all the trees had dropped all their leaves, the Canaan Valley area is full of conifers and rhotedendrons, which makes it oddly green for the middle of December in the mid-Atlantic.....with trails still closed in by greenery, and a lot of water holes, stream crossings, etc.






At this point we dropped off the main trails to look for more challenging stuff, and a better campsite.




Even my little rig got a lot of pinstriping - and we had some guys with us in much larger vehicles.




Looped around and stopped off at Lindy Point, which has some of the most iconic views in the area






Then back on the hunt for camping, through some fun terrain....






The stock Frontier Pro-4X was pretty impressive in its capabilities throughout the weekend, by the way




And couple well-setup Toyotas who do a lot of overlanding all over the eastern US, like this one...




I'll mention here I'm not in many action pics since I do most of the photography on trips, but maybe some others will send me some once they get home....




We raced as quickly as possible through several miles of rough stuff trying to get up to the Olson observation tower before sunset, and made it up there just in time...




We went up the tower for pics (admittedly, I bailed halfway up since my ankle was a bit sore...but others went the full way)




Then headed to town, stopping on the way for some vistas




After grabbing a beer at a local brewery, we headed back down the wet trail to the promising campsite we found earlier.  Slower going in the dark with rain starting.




Everyone got there (8 vehicles, IIRC) and got set up and then we got to cooking (taco night, among other things) and chilling




With heavy rain and wind expected after midnight, I decided to sleep in the rig rather than getting the tent or room out. So after removing the passenger seat (and covering it with a tarp under my rear awning) I was all set



Crashed out just before midnight and already could hear the rain coming down. Then around 3am a big BANG hit the truck. It being dark out and me being tired, I looked to make sure the windshield was not broken and went back to sleep. In the AM I found the parts of a 8-10 foot dead branch that had crashed down on me from way up, brearking some smaller branches on the way down. Luckily it just hit the roof rack and didn't do any damage to anything.




Also, I slept with my head toward the tailgate. In the middle of the night I rolled over and noticed my pillow was wet at the half of it my head wasn't totally on. Then I felt dripping from the roof. Crap - are my new lights leaking? Nope, Apparently one of the straps for my awning had dropped into the weatherstripping and was slowly routing water, drip-by-drip, into the vehicle right onto my pillow lol.




I grogglily opened the door and pushed it out and re-closed it. In the morning, I found that while that one was out, I had at that point let the OTHER strap do the same thing on the other side, which had dripped for 4 hours on my (thankfully waterproof) mountaineering boots. D'oh.  So theere are a couple small improvements I plan to make to get rid of that issue as well as a few other annoying areas where water drips if the door is open (with awning deployed).


In the morning we packed up in the rain and headed out to explore some more. WIth all the rain overnight, the small rivers we crossed to get there were a good bit deeper, but not too bad....






As we exited to the maintained roads, this guy was chiling there watching.




We hit up Blackwater Falls, which were roaring pretty good




And after checking out some other places headed home through WV, above the clouds in many areas, with lots of rain.




Anyhow, a good trip, and the Raider as usual had no problems with any of the terrain, and the new suspension is a resounding success - more comfortable, more clearance, less bouncing around, and no sagging from my gear. So pretty pleased with that - almost no banging stuff underneath on rocks this time out. Still haven't solved the "bang" sound on certain articulations - I've checked almost everything and think it MUST be the bushings in the front right lower control arm possilbly binding and releasing, or something. I can't think of anything else at this point that I haven't checked and/or fixed. 



losduarte New Reader
12/29/23 3:45 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Dear Irish44j,

Would you please sell copies of your catalogs to me?  I have a 1989 Montero 3.0L.  I hit the obsolete parts wall frequently.  Thank you.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/29/23 11:18 p.m.

Wish I had something so formal - Primarily, I find parts at:

1. Rockauto (still plenty of parts for these there, particularly engine/suspension)

2. Various Montero/Raider facebook groups (they are VERY active, so if you're not on FB, find some way to check them out)

3. - which is Hyundai parts in Korea that cross-reference with these trucks

4. and, junkyards / facebook marketplace.

So yeah, no silver bullet here, unfortunately. Just a lot of digging/looking.  If there's something specific you need, feel free to post in this thread and ask - maybe I know where to find it. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/30/23 5:52 p.m.

Project time: moved the Porsche out into the cold and the Raider into the garage. It's nice and short (in length) so lots of room to work....but it cleared my overhead rack by exactly 1/4" (!!)....Thought I might have to air down to fit it in lol.

So this project will be the swing-out gear rack on the left side. To do it, I have to make a frame under the bumper to mount the pivot. Taking the bumper off is usually easy on these, but since I added the trailer wiring plug, lights and other stuff it was kind of a pain in the ass - especially since I stupidly ran some wiring through holes in the bumper frame (which I had to cut and will re-splice later). 

In any case, I'll basically be building off this little frame "wing" that holds the bumper sides on for the most part. It's not particularly strong for my purposes, so there will be a good bit of reinforcing of it (and boxing a mount) before the pivot is mounted. More to come later.

Incidentally, I needed to cut off about 3" of the end of the frame horn, an odd extension that doesn't attach to anything so maybe it was there for a non-US bumper design or something, IDK. But getting rid of it gives me better access to the bumper bolts in the future once by mount bracket is on there. I picked up the Harbor Freight "Bauer" corded band saw today for pretty cheap, and I have to say, it worked great and made short work of cutting through some 1/4" (or maybe thicker) frame horns. You can see the part I cut off in the photo, it's the exension that has the larger hole on top and smaller on the bottom, which seems to serve no purpose at all. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/1/24 7:02 p.m.

Made some progress. I cut up an old hitch assembly, which is a bit over 1/4" 2" square tube to use as the main weight-bearing member for the pivot. First I welded it parallel to the 3/16" bolted-on bumper wing bracket shown above, on three planes. 



Then that whole assembly got bolted up the stock way so I could align everything. Then the bracket was welded to the side, top, and bottom of the frame horn (which is 1/4" thick at the end but almost 1/2" thick rectangle on the inner half!), including a few small gussets and other bracing to eliminate any possibility of flexing Then dilled a hole through the upper and lower walls of the 2x2 tube for the pivot mount, and welded that all up as well. 



Came out pretty good in terms of "vertical-ness" with regard to the pivot. I intentionally gave it a very mild "lean-back" toward the truck's body so when it swings shut the carrier will have a bit of downward drop into the lockdown bracket at the other end. Can't see it, so trust me on that lol. 



I also did a bunch of wire cleanup and rerouting back there for add-on stuff from the past few years. The next order of business (other than building the rest of the swing-out) will be to build a new end cap for the bumper, since I hate the OEM plastic/rubber ones, which are in lousy shape after 3 years (yeah, aftermarket stuff sucks sometimes) and also stick up too high, which would interfere with the swing-out being able to rotate 180 degrees outward. I plan to make caps for this end and the other end with some plate steel (probably 1/8" or 3/16", tbd). Here's my template in cardboard:



basically replacing these ugly things:



more once I get some more materials!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/4/24 9:23 p.m.

Swung by the steel place and got some materials. I was considering 3/16" tube, but after some calculations regarding what I'm doing, weight, etc. I determined 1/8" is plenty sufficient, especially with gussets. Got 20 feet of the stuff (only way to buy it there) and 20 feet of angle iron (mostly for the next project) and had to have them cut them in half to fit in the Sequoia lol....



Today's goal was to make the swing bar and get it fully welded to the pivot. and then get the uprights tacked in place. I still haven't totally decided how this will look in the end, but I do know the main frame will look pretty simple, as shown below. Of course, gussets will be added at appropriate places. 




The camera angle is funky, but everything is straight/level. Trust me lol. That said, the vertical bars actually lean back - about 10 degrees, close to the angle of the back of the raider. 



There's enough space between the bars and the vehicle for the fold-down table that will go on that side, and the incline will help things from falling out of the gear box that will be there, when the front door is opened. Still not entirely sure what I'm going to use yet, but looking into things. Also considering whether I"ll leave he license plate visible in the stock location, of if I'm going to cover that up with a larger gearbox and relocate the plate (and the light for it). Unlike most of my projects, I'm taking this one a bit slow since I haven't quite fleshed out exactly what I want the final plan to look like. I'm usually better at visualizing!


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/6/24 10:40 p.m.

Last night I was goofing around with random containers in my garage to see what size of container(s) I want to mount on the swing-out. Still somewhat undecided on what I want to do - one large box, two smaller boxes, obscure the factory license plate and relocate it, or don't obscure it. Still need to think further on it.

Testing lol

In the meantime, figured I'd get going on the new bumper corners. Decided I'll build them with 3/16" steel, which is actually thicker than the OEM bumper (and of course far stronger than the rubber/metal side bumpers that they're replacing). Still haven't decided if I want these to be bolt-on, or if I'll just weld them to the heavy tubing that's holding the pivot, as well as a few other easy spots. I can't think of any reason I'd need to actually take them off in the future (can easily access everything behind them from below) so welding it all into one piece seems like the solution here. We'll see. First I had to make one of them (out of metal, after templating it in cardboard). First, I found out that my plasma cutter wasn't feeling like cutting 3/16" today. Not sure why, it's cut 1/8" previously with ease, so I'll look into that some other time. So I busted out the angle grinders and cut all the pieces the old way. Didn't take any pics of the pieces themselves, but here's them all tacked together after some adjustments, etc. 

And on the vehicle

Once satisfied it fits the way I want it to, went ahead and fully welded it, and ground everything down smooth, turned the edges to get rid of any sharp angles, and made some minder grinding ajustments. I still have some small "lip" pieces to add on a few of the upper and lower sections, but this is more or less what they'll look like. I also have a bit more to do in the area around the pivot itself - need to build it up a little so I have a good surface for the swing-out's positional spring pin.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/7/24 9:05 p.m.

More progress today. Got the corner piece fitted, added some 1/2" flat along the upper edge of the side, and a front piece to link it to the OEM bumper corner support piece. Then added a second plate around the pivot base to give extra strength.



Here's where it ties into the factory brace piece. I removed the factory mudflap upper holder and will fab up my own piece to protect the underside of the bumper (and the wiring) from gravel/mud as much as possible.



And painted with one coast of bedliner on it as well. I also added the spring pin/safety latch so the swingout can be locked in a few different positions (open 180*, open 90*, and a secondary lock when closed). I think I'm going to add a bit more metal around the radius of the spring pin travel with notches in it for the pin to drop into.




Still a few details to finish up, but pretty pleased at how the corner came out. The other side will be easier since it doesn't need as much bracing and won't need the cutout for a pivot over there.

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