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Sunday, February 17, 2008


I didn't really need another project, but it happened anyway,

Yep, I've blundered into another car project. I have a friend named Roy who had an old Dodge Ram 50, a little pickup truck that Dodge imported from Mitsubishi. (They were also sold as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max.) He gave it about the minimum permissible maintenance, and it seemed like he was determined to drive it until the wheels fell off.

Yesterday, he had a wheel fall off.

Technically, he had a lower ball joint break, so the wheel actually stayed on the truck, but the wheel was canted over at a crazy angle. The police complained he was blocking the road with it, so he had pulled it off the road with a lawn tractor. Still, he was kind of worried that the cops wouldn't like it sitting on someone else's property with a broken suspension.

Roy wondered if I'd be interested in it. While Kelly didn't want it around the house (quite understandable; wait for the pictures of it), I thought it might make an interesting shop truck at work, and the price was quite attractive, since it was free. I originally thought I'd probably have to call a wrecker and have it towed. But when I got to the truck, I saw I wasn't really in for anything that difficult. The ball joints were simply attached to the control arm with three bolts, and the bolts weren't even too rusted. The weather report warned of storms coming in, but I saw my chance and went to work. I managed to remove the ball joint, so Roy and I then went searching for new ones. To my surprise, the local AutoZone had two. (I wanted a second one since I figured the other side has to be equally shot.) So I bought them and managed to get the broken ball joint installed on the side of the road before the storm hit. I'll take it up to work sometime later this week. Right now it's parked at Roy's house.

The truck had an interesting surprise. I checked it for stickers or part numbers under the hood to see if I could figure out what sort of engine it had. Sure enough, there was a sticker in the back of the engine compartment saying "Engine code: G63B." For those who don't speak Mitsubishi, 4G63T is the Mitsubishi engine code for the motor found in the turbo Eclipses and the Lancer Evolution. Wikipedia seems to think it had a different engine altogether, but I suspect that's about as likely as the claim it will run happily on E85.

I'll get some pictures up soon.


So, you'll be keeping this one at the office, I'll assume.
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