It’s circular. It goes around and around, and up and down. Circular. Feelin’ the flow. Three or so years ago, I met a local group of Mitsubishi 4WD guys who call themselves the AZ Crawlers. I didn’t even know existed. One year ago, they helped me find my own Mitsubishi 4WD. Last month, they showed me what it’s all about. And I haven’t even hit the trails with them yet.
WHY I DROVE 70 MILES “ACROSS TOWN”
I’ve lost track of how many engines I’ve pulled, rebuilt, and/or installed over the years. Needless to say, it’s a lot. One time, I traded a buddy a built engine for his old stocker and cash so I could sell my Talon without losing too much money on the built engine. Sure, he never paid me in full for that built engine, but how often do you do an engine swap before selling a car? Oh wait. I do it every couple of years, it seems. The Galant VR4 I sold to buy my Pajero got a fresh engine in it before it went to the new owner (who tipped me more than the other buddy stiffed me, by the way).
Despite all that – and recently stripping the 4G54 in the Pajero down to a bare block in the engine bay, re-assembling everything, and driving it to work – there is still a LOT I don’t know about this new platform. It’s my first carbureted vehicle. It’s my first truck. It’s my first 4WD. When I got everything back together and it ran like crap, I just couldn’t figure it out. The rats’ nest of wires in the computerized, turbocharged Galant I wanted to escape were replaced with a rats’ nest of vacuum lines on an early, electronic carb on the truck. I needed help. I got in touch with the AZ Crawlers.
WE COULD LEARN A THING OR TWO FROM THESE GUYS
Not only did I drive away in a 100% better running Rocinante that afternoon, I also had a truckload of spare parts, but more than that, I got to better know a tight-knit group of locals who have probably seen and done it all with these trucks. You see that big truck up there, the one with SIX guys working on it? It belongs to a guy who doesn’t even live in Arizona. They’ve been building that truck for him over the course of a year. Incredible.
ehind every successful gearhead is a group of other gearheads. Thanks to these guys, my truck was finally ready to explore some trails. This story – and the story of my first 4WD adventure – coming in the next issue of Gearbox Magazine. Are you subscribed yet?