Josh Mead has a license to ill. Seriously. Think we’re kidding? Check out his ’97 Montero, with the ginormous tires, meticulously Frankensteined driveline, and then imagine him stuffing a 6G72 out of a 3000GT under the hood. In the last 10 years, he’s gone from DSM to GVR4 to Evo to GVR4 to a pair of Montys. Ill.
What’s your real name? Where do you live?
Joshua Mead, Niles Michigan/South Bend Indiana.
What do you do for a living?
Manager at UPS
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
1990 Galant GSX, converted to VR4, 1997 Montero Sport LS 4×4, 2001 Montero Sport Limited 4×4. Mitsu driver for ten years.
What originally attracted you to Mitsubishi?
The backbone caught my attention; so to speak, I’m of course referring to the 4G63. Growing up I was a big fan of Mopar, I spent a lot of my free time with my best friend and his dad going to events and car shows. One day my friend brought home a 1990 Plymouth Laser, 2 liters and turbocharged, after toying around with the intake, messing with boost, then dealing with a blown turbo, I was hooked; boosted iron block power needed to be in my driveway. I sourced a 1992 Eclipse and later moved on to a Galant VR4, then EVO VIII and back to a Galant, all the while keeping the sport utility Montero’s around for reliability and of course, utility.
How do you use your Mitsubishi?
The 1997 Montero Sport was originally purchased as a reliable daily driver, at 180,000 miles, it was exactly that, until I chopped out all of the suspension and started custom building it from the rubber up. The 2001 Montero Sport was purchased to replace the 97 as a ‘mostly’ mod free daily driver. Despite my addiction to modifications, it’s only blessed with an external transmission cooler. The Galant is a summer toy, minor power mods make it reliable and fun to drive.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi?
The 2001 is the simple answer, daily drive it until the wheels fall off! The 1997 gets a little more complicated. The goals here involve a lot of dented body panels, vertical burnouts on rock faces and snapped u joints.
Considering your goals, can you tell us about a couple of your favorite mods and how they help you towards realizing the goals you’ve set for the vehicle?
Currently in the works for the 97 Montero is a 3000GT SL 10:1 engine to replace the stock lower compression 6G72 that comes in the Montero, backed to the stock AW4 auto trans and followed up with a Jeep NP231 transfer case with a slip yolk eliminator kit, a direct bolt on as the late 90’s sports shared the same trans as the late 90’s Jeep Cherokees, at the end of the front drive shaft sits a high pinion Dana 44 front axle, coil springs and a simple 3 link suspension. Shoved nicely in the rear end of this beauty, much like any good smut film is a nice thick 9 incher. Both axles came from a late 70’s ford truck, both holding 5.14 gears to help turn the 17 inch dodge wheels, wrapped in 37 inches of rubber.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person? What do you do?
Every day! My brother and best friend have been Mitsubishi owners for as long as or probably longer than I have. We get together all the time and turn wrenches, my brother has two Chrysler Conquests, one still rocking the original G54B, the other is hauling a stroked out 4G63, a turbo large enough to eat small animals and a turbo 350 trans to get the power down, my best friend currently drags a 92 Galant VR4 down the ¼ mile in 11 seconds, all the while on a stock long block.
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
Drag racing, auto cross racing, rally cross racing, trail running and off roading; they’ve all been extremely exciting, but none of that compares to the years of close knit friendships we’ve developed while being up all night finishing a project or out until the late hours tuning a freshly built specimen.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
I’ve been quite happy with the Montero’s; I’ve never been left stranded nor had a breakdown that caused major damage. But I was headed out to Chicago one afternoon and while on the highway this horrible “BRRRPRPRPPRPR” sound came from the front wheel, I hit a bump and it stopped. I pulled off the side of the highway and climbed under the 97 to see what was going on; this was back when it was stock. No apparent problem was found so I hopped in and moved it slowly back and forth trying to see if anything was loose, I found nothing and decided to continue on. A couple more times that day it happened and then again on my way home the next week. After tearing the hub apart and inspecting the bearings, repacking, and going through everything, it wasn’t until weeks later that I found the carrier bearing for the front CV shafts in an exploded view of the front hub; this tiny ten dollar part had been the culprit of this ridiculous noise. After replacing it, the sound was gone and never came back, but I ordered two of them, just in case. The extra is still in the glove box of my 97, even though its front axle is now out of a Ford truck.
What is your embarrassment moment – that time you made a stupid mistake?
Buying a GReddy Type S blow off valve for my first DSM, I think I ran at most, 17 psi, which can easily be handled by the stock, proven 1G DSM valve. I was a kid and thought it was shiny and looked nice, so I dropped the $250 or more on it. I quickly grew up and understood the saying “if it’s not broke, don’t replace it with expensive, unneeded, shiny parts”
What is your finest hour – that time you saw it all come together perfectly?
Well, it wasn’t perfect, but it came out pretty good. If you google “Galant VR4 vs EVO”, it’s the first video that comes up. I was driving my 12 second Galant VR4 against an EVO VIII, this was back in 2006 and evo’s were still pretty new. Despite having my adjustable suspension left in the softer settings, I still got the launch and as the camera man said “raped him”. The driver of the EVO was a really nice guy and it was a “just for fun” race, but it caught massive internet popularity.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
Iron, it’s rough around the edges but a solid foundation, usually comes hand in hand with owning a mitsu, they have their quirks, require attention, but for the most part they’re extremely forgiving and can take years upon years of abuse. The maintenance is the challenge, buying replacement wear parts when you want to upgrade a turbo or exhaust system can be a challenge to your self control, but it’s better for you in the long run.
Which Mitsubishi communities do you frequent most and why? (What’s your screen name?)
Galant VR4.org, the most amazing Mitsubishi enthusiast site I’ve ever been a part of. DSMtuners, one of the most active Mitsubishi classifieds, EvolutionM.net, I like to keep up with the EVOs and retrofit as much new technology to my outdated VR4 as possible and Pirate 4×4’s Mitsubishi section, some of the most amazing fabricators and rigs can be found on that forum.
How have you benefited from your involvement in these communities?
I met many lifelong friends, even a couple of girlfriends, haha. I’ve also learned a lot here and there.
How do you try to give back to these communities?
With as much valid and correct information as I can provide, there’s a lot of misinformation running around and I try to keep things as factual as possible.
What keeps you going; keeps you motivated to pick up your wrenches?
Who needs motivation to relieve stress? Not me, it’s soothing to turn a wrench on a Saturday afternoon.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
I’ve got some work I need to do still, but eventually I’d like to throw a 6G72 single turbo engine from the 3000GT VR4 into my 97 Montero, it’s tough for a boost junky to live without a daily dose. The 01 montero doesn’t need any mods, the Galant needs JDM bumpers, coil overs and a few other bits and pieces.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
My brother Jay Mead and my best friend Adam Crandall have been the most helpful individuals when it comes down to it. We’ve spent years in the garage together.
What areas of vehicle ownership are most interesting to you?
The distance you travel. In the first year of ownership of my 97 Montero, I found myself finding random parts for my VR4 I wanted to pick up from states away, just for an excuse to go on a road trip. In less than a year I put 30,000 miles on the truck, then bought a 2003 EVO VIII and parked the truck for 5 months while I enjoyed the EVO, when winter came I decided to drive the Montero again, I spent an hour checking fluids and looking over everything from brakes to wiring, hopped in the truck, cranked it over, it fired right up and I went back to racking up miles again. Everywhere you look, you find Mitsubishis with really high miles, even when they’re still pretty new, it’s because so many of them are so much fun to drive.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
4G63 related; AutoMotoSports. Montero related; ARB’s line known as “Old Man Emu” or for the more adventurous in modifications, Ruff Stuff Specialties and Ballistic Fabrication
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
Both, and both are /IncorpoRatedX
We hope you enjoyed Josh’s stories as much as we did!
- What were YOU into before you got into Mitsubishis?
How many Mitsubishis have YOU owned?
What do you think about off-roading?