I apologize for the scarcity of new stories lately. GBXM is back to being a solo venture (ahem – serious partnership inquiries welcome), my new day job is a 24/7/365 business, so I’ve had to step up and cover some oddball shifts – including a couple 12-hour, overnight shifts – and, to top it all off, Rocinante (pronounced: RO-see-non-tay), my 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero daily driver, recently jammed-up its oil pump, making it undriveable.
VEHICLE OPERATORS ARE NOT DRIVERS
It seems like any mouth-breather with $20 can get a license these days. Which is why I’ve decided it makes more sense to put my car money into a race car. The problem with driving a nice, new car is that some clueless asshat will be texting or fiddling with his iPod or trying to impress the person in the passenger seat or just plain not paying any attention when he or she slams into that nice, new car. So you invest in a nice car for the race track, where pretty much everyone knows how to drive.
The nice thing about daily driving a beat-ass, $2000 vehicle is that you don’t have to worry about making it pretty after a minor wreck. More often than not, you can get a salvage title, drop $200 on junk yard parts and spray paint, and put the balance of that $2000 insurance check into the race car. Of course, the bad thing about daily driving a beat-ass, $2000 vehicle is that you do have to worry about the ticking time bomb of previous owner maintenance shortcomings inconveniencing the shit out of you.
THE MOST INVOLVED OIL PUMP REPLACEMENT EVER
Oil pump replacement is generally on the more involved end of the maintenance spectrum; you’ve probably got a timing belt and such to remove to gain access to it, but this is the first time I’ve found the oil pump practically required a full rebuild. I mean, at this point, I might as well throw new rings and bearings in it, ya know?
On the G54B in my Pajero, the oil pump is located behind the timing and balance shaft chains, behind the front case, which is wedged between the head and oil pan. So the head had to come off. Fine. I had to pull it to replace the $5 plug leaking from the back of the head that was 1″ from the firewall, making replacement otherwise impossible anyway. I finally figured out how to lift the head off over the timing chain (tip: the cam gear is a 2-piece affair), but that only revealed more filth and grime and stuff needing removed.
Like the AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and brackets for each. Of course, then I couldn’t fully scrape the oily sludge off the block without getting 3ft of 1/2″ extensions out, crawling under the truck, and and snaking them over the transfer case, past the transmission bellhousing, to get the starter bolts loose enough to remove from the engine bay.
A few weeks back, I replaced the exhaust manifold gasket in an attempt to quiet things down. Apparently, I missed a gaping crack in the #4 runner, but that’s not all! Upon crawling back under the truck with the impact gun to spin the nuts loose on the manifold-to-downpipe connection, I discovered 2/3 of them weren’t even there! Wow. Just. Wow.
Here’s what the engine bay in my daily driver looks like right now.
And where do you put all the filthy bits you remove from your engine bay? In the back, of course. A lot of this is hopefully going to the shop for a good solvent bath and/or media blast this week. Yay.
I’VE JUST BEEN A LITTLE BUSY, YA KNOW?
I’m not giving up on GBXM. Far from it. In fact, I’m still working on a lot of awesome stories from all over the world on the back end. I’m really stoked about the stuff coming this month and this year.
If you’ve ever had to get your daily driver back together the night before you need it to get to work, you understand where I am these days. Add a new baby at home and you can imagine how ridiculous it gets having to load up mommy and baby to drive daddy to work and then come back and pick him up later.
I gotta get this thing back on the road and soon.
How about you? Ever had your daily driver let you down? Did you rebuild it or replace it? Did you come out better on the other side?