4x4Wire

About you, your 4x4 and access

General information about the various mods available to 4x4 vehicles covering pros and cons to assist in the decision of "Is this the right mod?"

Retrofitting a Factory Air Locker into a Gen-II Montero/Pajero

Can I mount the complete Mitsubishi system?

Yes, but know that electric parts are different (or at least located in different places) from LWB/SWB, from '94 and earlier/'95 and later (depending on where they are sold). My electric parts came from a '95 SWB and fitted in my '97 LWB. However, do this simple check: remove the little plastic cover at the left of the electric plug (the one in the dash, under the radio bay) and you should find a little connector.

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Simple Cleaning

Simple Green comes in two formulations - the green all-purpose cleaner and the purple heavy-duty cleaner.

I use the purple heavy duty full strength in my parts washer. It removes dirt and grease buildup simple and easy.  I keep a spray bottle handy for cleaning around nuts and bolts prior to trying to loosen them and cleaning the hard to reach corners.

I find Simple Green does better as a powder and copper solvent for cleaning guns than the old standby Hoppes #9.

Non-toxic, bio-degradable, and multi-purpose. A great economical cleaning agent to have around the shop...

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Lock your stuff - Console Vault Install

Console Vault - Secure mobile storage

I found the console vault from ConsoleVault, Inc provides an convenient and elegant solution to hidden secure storage for many vehicle owners.  My Ford F-150 has a fold-down console/armrest in the front seat arrangement.  ConsoleVault provides drop-in key or combination boxes that are an exact fit for the console.  The vault is a 12 gage steel with pry-resistant hinges - sturdy construction.  The interior measurements are 7 inches by 9 inches.

The instructions are brief and claim 5-10 minutes installation using simple hand tools.  While installation was easy, it did take more than 10 minutes and did require more than simple tools.

To explain, the vault drops into a plastic frame which is the standard material in the fold-down console.  It is held in place with four self-tapping bolts.  While the bolts are supposed to pierce the plastic, I found 2 out of 4 would not.  And, a third bolt bottomed against a piece of metal before fully inserted.  So, one went in with no problem while the other three required pre-drilling a starter hole.  

With the install complete, the vault does provide a secure storage place for those valuables that need the protection from “smash and grab”.  The combination is based on a three number selection which can be changed when desired.

Yes, the vault is pricey.  Cheaper options are available.  Once installed, it does provide a layer of security.  The fit into the console is snug leaving little room for a screwdriver or pry-bar to force it out or force the lid open.  And, a product used by law enforcement does provide a certain amount of comfort knowing your valuables are protected with a quality product.

The console vault does come with a thin carpet liner.  I did cut a piece of rubber-backed indoor-outdoor carpet to use in place of the carpet liner provided.

Console Vault provides a wide range of mobile secure storage options that are designed for the specific vehicle.  Visit their website for additional information.

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Born again, new life for old grill

BBQ Stand to Chopsaw StandThe old grill had seen better days.  Weather and rust had taken it toll on the cast iron body.  But, before heading to scrape pile of history, there was life left in the stand.  The frame was sound.  There were wood platforms on each side.  One end had wheels.  It was the perfect base for my chop saw stand.

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What's in your flashlight?

Streamlight Flashlight

What's in your flashlight?

Peering under the hood, I reached for the flashlight just to illuminate a corner hidden in the shadows. While it was daylight, it was dark under the hood and something was dripping.

The first flashlight I grabbed was the standard two D-Cell light that barely produced enough light to see in darkness let alone brighten the dark corner under the hood in broad daylight.  Next, the big bulky four D-Cell Maglite was brought into play.  Finally, enough light to pin point the fluid leak was from the windshield washer bottle.


Have you ever tried to maneuver the long-body Maglite in tight corners?  Have you ever desired a bright light in a shorter body flashlight?  And, ever get tired of replacing batteries?  Or, had trouble keeping replacement batteries handy?

My search for a bright light flashlight with a short body (and rechargeable) turned up a promising product from Streamlight, the Stinger XT.  The Stinger XT features a Xenon bulb powered by a Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable battery pack.  The machined aluminum body is 7.7 inches long and weights just over 11 ounces.

Two mounting adapters are included with the Stinger and two interchangeable power cords; 12DC cord with cigarette lighter plug and a 120VAC cord with wall transformer.  The Stinger is designed to be left on continuous charging.

The design of the mounting adapter allows in to be placed with almost zero clearance for inserting a removing the flashlight.  This allows easy mounting in the cab of a 4x4 where the flashlight is in always within reach.

The Streamlight provides excellent light in a compact package with several mounting options.  While expensive, Streamlight lights do have a reputation for durability as the flashlight of choice for many police and fire departments.

Fore more information, visit their web site at:  www.streamlight.com

 

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