Author Topic: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero  (Read 3697 times)

Drew84

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Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« on: May 14, 2017, 05:55:50 AM »
I've posted the whole story elsewhere, but I figured since this is a Montero specific forum the majority of users are familiar with the way these trucks are set up.

The dream...
Montero_cover by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

It was a typical Craigslist ad; a couple of tiny potato quality cell phone pictures and a 3 broken sentence description. After some emails, then spotty text messages and a google address of the campground (permanent residence) where the owner resided. My friend and fellow Clunkbucket enabler Brad and I showed up at the gates and proceeded to drive around until we spotted the truck. Creepy maybe, but effective when cell service is spotty. By the way, I always recommend a buddy system for Craigslist car deals. It always helps to have a friend for backup if you need a hand with the car and a second set of trusted eyes when inspecting the vehicle sometimes helps too. A good friend should also act as the voice of reason if a vehicle truly is a shit box. Once or twice I've steered or been steered away from a potential lemon, I hope.

First impressions of the truck were not the best. It had 33" bald mud tires, the inside was filled with trash and the owner had gone wheeling through mud with all the windows down. This meant the interior was a disaster. Thick mortar-like mud was on nearly every surface. It stunk of cigarette smoke and nicotine film coated any surface not covered in mud. It had some dents and dings along with some scratches, the front bumper ends and driverís side mirror glass were missing. Strangely the sun visors and glove box were also missing, but it had the gimmicky inclinometer and driverís bouncy seat, like a Bostrom seat on a bus or big rig.

Reality
IMG_2433 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2438 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

The  27-year old truck was a runner and fired right up but with a loud exhaust leak from a broken EGR pipe and some oil smoke off the exhaust manifolds. The seller also tells me about a knocking noise over bumps and that he took all the skid plates off to check it out. He thinks that itís a bad transfer case mount and ratchet strapped the transfer case to the frame to stop the noise. The passenger window doesnít work and there is a twig jammed in it holding the glass up. Other than the loud exhaust leak and leaking valve cover gaskets, the engine sounded normal, no knocks, no lifter tick.

IMG_2434 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

The steering felt tight, which is a typical problem area with these trucks, so that made me happy. I was smitten by this diamond in the rough. I sealed the deal with a deposit and a promise to return a few days later with another set of wheels and street tires to pick it up.
Keep your cars analog.
1990 Talon TSi
1991 Galant VR4
1999 Montero "Cold weather"

Drew84

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 06:14:27 AM »
Since the Garbage Montero ran and the guy I was buying it from had been driving it around for the last month, I figured Iíd just drive it the hour and a half to two-hour drive home. No big deal right?

First off, it had gigantic ďracing slickĒ mud tires. How these larger but bald mud tires helped the previous owner go wheeling, I will never know. The important thing is you could not drive these on the highway. That Saturday night after looking at the truck I went back to Craigslist to search for some used wheels and tires. Luckily the Montero uses the very common 6 x 5.5 or 6 x 139.7 if you go metric. Which means wheels from Toyotas, Nissans and GM trucks will fit. I searched and searched and finally gave up and went to bed. Sunday morning rolls around and Iím still looking. I stumble on a post by a guy south of Boston selling Montero sport wheels with used tires off a truck he junked for $300. Awesome, I text him, he calls me back and an hour later around 10 am. The seller tells me, ďYeah theyíre pretty decent tires, actually Iíve got all five off the truckĒ I said ďAlright then for $300 youíve got yourself a dealĒ. The Garbage Montero is missing the spare so this works out great for later on. I call up Brad again and get him to meet me at my house. The weather has changed from a beautiful day on Saturday to a complete downpour on Sunday, but since itís Sunday traffic in the Boston area is light. We shoot down pick up all four wheels in my girlfriendís (now fiance's) Legacy Outback (The official car of New England). Turns out the seller owns a junkyard, score. Brad and I make a good connection for junk parts.

Two days later I get back in touch with the seller of the Garbage Montero and let him know Brad and I will be up to get the truck by 8pm. We pack everything youíd need for a wheel swap, jack, tire iron, electric impact, torque wrench, factory lug nuts, gloves and some extra tools for other stuff that could come up. I also grab a gas can after I nearly forget it, something tells me this truck will be on ďEĒ. Luckily (sort of) itís nearly the height of summer in New England which means daylight till at least 8:30 pm. Unluckily itís nearly the height of summer in New England which means night time temps in the 80s with 70% humidity.

We show up, I hand the seller the remaining amount of cash, heís cleaned most, but not all the trash out, we grab every extra part he has, skid plates especially. I jack the truck up and like a two-man pit crew Brad and I start swapping tires. It is unbearably humid and light is quickly disappearing, we are in the woods, there are mosquitos and whiskey tango campground patrons gathering to watch the spectacle of these two city boys change tires like itís a caution flag with ten laps to go at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Itís actually really impressive, we must have had those swapped in under 15 mins and the old wheels in the truck. Iím pouring sweat at this point my blood sugar is dropping since we skipped dinner, I just want to get the fuck out of there. The seller hands me the keys, I go to fire up the truck, it wonít start.

ďOh sometimes you have to jiggle the shifter,Ē said the seller, Great I think to myself, maybe donít shut this thing off on the way home. This was a bad idea, a dumb idea, hell weíll get to the main road and if it quits, Iíll have it towed I guess, I thought to myself. NowI flip on the lights, Brad does a quick check of them all to make sure they work, they do and weíre ready to go. I look at the fuel gauge, itís on ďEĒ. We grab the gas can and dump a few gallons in, still doesnít register much on the gauge, fuck it, letís go, Iíll baby it to the rest stop on the highway 15-20mins away.

A couple pumps on the brake pedal, the truck has good pressure. The brake light is on, I check the e-brake, itís down, must be low on fluid. I put the shifter into drive anyway. Brad follows closely from behind. We creep down the dirt road away from the camp, this is the first time Iíve driven it. It shifts lazily from first to 2? The overdrive button is in the off position, odd, but the seller only drove around town he said. The t/case knocks on the floor over bumps, but so far it stops, turns and goes OK.

I ease the Montero onto the highway on ramp. I slowly wind it up to 65, it tracks decently straight, remember Iím running used junkyard wheels and tires well past their prime and who knows when the last alignment was done. Lane changes suck without that driverís side mirror, but since itís summertime and I have the window down I can do a full Ace Ventura out the window blind spot check. This truck is disgusting inside, it smells, everything is sticky with nicotine. I feel disgusting, Iím covered in dried sweat, my back feels itchy against the seat. Itís night time now and the windshield is filthy and hard to see out of. I accelerate a little harder and the auto-tragic kicks down into what feels like neutral, the revs scream out of control as the engine races to redline and with the exhaust leak it sounds like it wants to explode. I quickly let off and ease back into the gas pedal, the transmission finds a gear and I keep moving at a steady 65-70 mph. Meanwhile the fuel gauge continues to hold steady just above ďEĒ.

After what felt like an hour, but was really probably 20 mins, we pulled into the rest stop, these are the really nice new ones NH just built on I93 outside of Concord. Theyíve got the works, a restaurant, state liquor store, convenience store and gas station. I immediately pull to the pump and put $25 in the tank. I notice while Iím filing it I can see lighting in the distance, shit thunderstorms? Iíd better check the wipers. They of course, do not work, well I hope it doesnít rain. Meanwhile, Brad walked over to ask how it ran while I pumped the gas.

I said, ďIt runs decent, but the transmission seems lazy and I canít see out the windshieldĒ.

Brad picked up the windshield squeegee thing from the side of the gas pump and wiped down the windshield.

ďOh shit,Ē Brad says, ďItís the inside thatís really dirtyĒ and wipes the inside with the squeegee, it makes a huge difference.

I move the truck to the general parking area and we walk inside for a caffeinated drink and a quick something to eat, both of us are starving. Itís late and the only thing open is the convenience store, I buy gas station roast beef sandwiches on onion rolls for each of us and some iced teas. We munch on the sandwiches in the parking lot and talk about the Montero and snap a few pictures for Instagram. We get lucky, no rain that night and the rest of the drive is slow but uneventful. Maybe I really did find an undervalued gem?

P6230049 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr
Keep your cars analog.
1990 Talon TSi
1991 Galant VR4
1999 Montero "Cold weather"

Crumb

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 08:10:46 PM »
 Nice! These are my favorite types of stories.

ImNoSaint

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  • Third Montero, First 2.5
Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 06:58:58 AM »
More please.
1998 Mitsubishi Montero Winter Package
2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 - sold
2007 Hummer H3 - sold
2003 Mitsubishi Montero LTD - sold

Drew84

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 06:19:31 PM »
Oh yeah, I screen grabbed the CL ad.

Keep your cars analog.
1990 Talon TSi
1991 Galant VR4
1999 Montero "Cold weather"

Drew84

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 07:58:25 PM »
With the Montero safely parked in my driveway, it had to be cleaned before I could address any mechanical issues.

IMG_2461 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

The Garbage Montero is living up to its nickname, even after the prior owner cleaned the truck out. The Montero was still filled with garbage on top of having mud splattered inside and outside. Iíve never gone mudding in a  truck before, but I assume unless you have a stripped down rig ready to be hosed out afterward, that you'd leave the windows at least partially up. Judging by the mud encasing nearly everything under the truck, this thing had been up to the rockers in mud, which now had dried to a mortar-like substance.

P6270089 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

P6270092 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

P6270087 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2516 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2509 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2522 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

I started by giving it a good exterior wash with a scrub brush. A good cleaner/degreaser is your best friend with a job like this. I sprayed it all over the engine compartment and as many places underneath as I could reach, then I just a garden hose as best I could to remove all the crud.

Then it was time to work on the interior, which I was so dirty, I took it apart. So far this truck was living up to its reputation for simplicity. I unbolted all the seats with a 14mm socket and ratchet. After unscrewing the door sills, center console and removing them, the carpet unbuttoned from the floor. I carefully salvaged the insulation under the rear carpet so that I could reuse it.

IMG_2526 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2535 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

I sprayed the carpets with the green degreaser and just started scrubbing, rinsing and scrubbing some more. I probably would have been wise to get a pressure washer, but whatever, some elbow grease did the trick. Iíve never seen so much sand wash out of a carpet, it was just never ending. Iím still vacuuming sand out of the carpets, I donít think it will ever all come out.

IMG_2515 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2573 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

I figured the Garbage Montero was a good a project as any to try out carpet dye. Short wheelbase (SWB) aka 2 door Monteros and Raiders have aftermarket replacement carpets available, Long wheel base (LWB) or 4 door models donít. So, I needed to do as best a restoration as could, this carpet dye fit the bill I think. Itís not perfect but certainly brought some life back to those very tired carpets.

IMG_2581 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2582 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

The rest of the interior got my other favorite product, Tuff stuff. Comes in an aerosol can, you can spray it on pretty much anything thatís not glass. Works really good on seats before vacuuming them. It leaves a great smell behind too. I finished the interior up with some basic Armor All and glass cleaner. The transformation was truly amazing.

After hours of cleaning the Montero, it finally in a hospitable state and clean enough to actually work on without being distracted. Iíll start getting into the mechanical repairs in the next installment. 

IMG_2657 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

IMG_2658 by Andrew Pascarella, on Flickr

Keep your cars analog.
1990 Talon TSi
1991 Galant VR4
1999 Montero "Cold weather"

Crumb

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 10:23:07 PM »
 Damn dude, nicely done.

Drew84

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 08:23:41 AM »
Damn dude, nicely done.

Thanks, this was a total junk yard truck, but I brought it back from the brink.
Keep your cars analog.
1990 Talon TSi
1991 Galant VR4
1999 Montero "Cold weather"

Crumb

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 04:12:00 PM »
 Thats my side side hobby!

Kaioken

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  • Hi guys, its me Jay
Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 06:37:44 AM »
oh wow!  I thought mine was bad when I purchased it. 
I'm stuck in Florida...for now
1999 Mitsubishi Montero
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

IncorpoRatedX

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Re: Overlandfill aka the Garbage Montero
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 01:10:52 PM »
Garbage to gold (or at least silver) I guess to gold, since you eventually moved into a gold gen 2.5... Either way, excellent work man.