The engine in my 1998 Mitsubshi Montero is about to make its final trip.
I should be just under 199,500 miles when I shut it down for the last time.
The previous owner ruined the valve covers. They’ve never sealed right. I think the rear main is leaking too, but there’s so much oil down under there, who knows.
The valve seals are shot. Fezzik lights up and starts smoking in slow drive-thrus (looking at you, Starbucks), rolling gridlock (you too, I-17), and the odd red light.
Between the leaks and smoking, my poor old Cyclone V6 is almost perpetually low on oil. You can imagine how proud I am, rolling up to that Starbucks drive-thru window to collect my trenta cold brew with furiously ticking lifters under the hood in a bluish-tinted cloud of acrid Rotella T6 mist.
There’s a crack in the radiator neck. I’m always low on coolant. No bueno en Phoenix, Amigos.
I’ve been meaning to replace the driveline fluids since I bought the truck three years ago. Put that money into brakes, valve cover gaskets, radiator hoses, heater hoses, an alternator, three sets of platinum and iridium spark plugs, radiator caps, thermostats, belts, air filters, tires, and that damned ignition transistor pack that makes your life a living hell if you’ve never heard about how it fails.
And then I got the timing belt done at 142k, where we learned it wasn’t changed at either 60k or 120k as per the factory service interval. Hey, so what if the pistons and valves have a little heart-to-heart once in a while, right?
The transfer case shifter might as well be a ladle in a crock pot of chowder.
I was all set to hit it hard this week. Then I got a nasty letter from the IRS. I let it get to me.
I’ve been tucking away $20 bills for the better part of the year to make this happen. Sure, I could have probably done this at any time, but hey. There are plenty of things to spend money on when the truck’s running okay.
And then, Monday, I get this letter from the IRS telling me I screwed up my 2016 taxes to the tune of pretty much what I paid for Fezzik (excluding the litany of semi-successful repairs mentioned above) and it caught me on the chin.
I took the week off.
Here in a few, the engine in Fezzik makes its final trip.
Until it gets rebuilt by Joshua Mead’s expert hands.
A month ago, I handed Josh my entire collection of $20s.
48 hours from now, Fezzik will be back home in Glendale. With a fresh, professionally rebuilt engine under the hood. It will not smoke. It will not tick. It will not leak. It will not overheat. It will not leave me wondering if this is 4-HI or 4-LO. And the slushbox will shift like butter.
These are the final hours of my life with Shitsubishis. I’m getting back to my roots, where a decently maintained Mitsubishi served me so well, brought so much happiness and meaning to my life, I wouldn’t drive anything else.
Somewhere out there, Daisy is rotting away in some Payson, Arizona, backyard.
Josh and I are bringing the Daisy magic back to my driveway. In Fezzik.
Here goes nothing.
Oh yeah, and I mentioned NWA. For some reason, I actually wrote the following first.
Woke up quick, at about noon.
Just thought that I had to swap my engine soon
I gotta fix that turd before it ends
So I can go wheelin’ with all my friends
About to go and damn near went blind
My temperature gauge showing warning signs
Ran in the house and grabbed my shit
With the PAX3 on the side of my hip
Bailed outside with a gallon of watta
Leaky radiator isn’t gettin’ much hotta
Jumped in the seat, hit the road in my ride
I got squeaky brakes on both of the sides
Then I let the Pioneer play
Bumpin’ new shit by Stick Figure (yay!)
It was “Easy Runaway” at the top of the list
Then I played my own shit, it went somethin’ like this
Cruisin’ off-road, a Montero
Slappin’ the branches, stompin’ mud holes
Went to the woods to get the scoop
Knuckleheads out there cold shootin’ the poop
A car pulls up, who can it be?
A fresh VR4 rollin’ Joshua Mead
He rolls down his window and he started to say
It’s all about makin’ them Montys play
‘Cause the boyz n tha hood are always hard
You come talkin’ that trash we’ll pull your card
Knowin’ nothin’ in life but to be legit
Don’t quote me boy, ’cause I ain’t sayin’ shit.