Fezzik: Life Begins at 200K

Haha, right? And, ironically, I decided to go in to the office yesterday for a change of scenery and to maybe meet some of my peers in person for the first time. Fezzik was 3in too tall for the parking garage. I had to park out behind the theatre on the curb with the construction workers.


I feel like @haolepinoy had a sweet DIY flat rack in his build thread (we miss you, dude, hope all is well).

I’ve also be looking at Superstrut designs, which I’m attracted to because I could build in phases. Not sure if I’d keep the factory rails or invest in expensive mounts.


Depending on what you consider cheap, check out the smittybilt defender. Avail in platform style, gutter mount, adjustable. Mine is very low profile. 8020 adds up when you start piecing it together. And you have to get legs.

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My truck WITH RACK AND RTT still fits in my 7 foot garage.

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[ mileage ]

  • new rear brakes
    – cross drilled and slotted rotors
    – Power stop ceramic pads
    – shoes not necessary
    – braided lines

First bolt I tried sheared in the worst way–stayed tight, turned like it was coming loose, and then broke loose in such a way I was surprised to see it was broken

"No worries! I thought. “I have new, powder coated brackets and hardware to go with the calipers.”

Except I have neither of those things.

The rest of the corner came apart easily

No need for new shoes, so my lifetime avoidance of drum brake work continues.

However, because there are no Monteros in junk yards within 300 miles of me, nobody has a spare, and nothing reman can likely reach me until the night before I have to leave for LA, today I’ll be hogging this bracket out with a fat drill bit and filling the bore with JB weld in the hopes I can re-drill it straight and get by for a couple weeks.

Lost my center punch after hanging blinds in the kitchen a couple weeks back. The bit walked a bit, and I punched through the side of the bracket. My futile extraction attempt was 1.5mm off center.

Good news! I found my center punch! It was on the shelf in P’s closet from when I installed the new closet door!

Also, I got a new caliper bracket from O’Reilly’s, new guide/lock pins from AutoZone, and a brake bleeder pump from NAPA.

Rear brakes are done, man.

Drove to LA the next afternoon without a hiccup.


I’ve got my ADD panhard bar, all the OE boots for the torsion bars, and what I can only describe as a ridiculous amount of lights to install.

  • the Lightforce LED180s
  • new 5" LEDs from ADD
  • new “side shooter” LED reverse lights from ADD
  • 2 different sets of rock lights
  • red & white LED reading lights for the second row
  • engine bay and tailgate access lights
  • and a fiber optic headliner

Oh yeah, and I also need to get the rear bushings swapped out too.

The better news is, I’m ready to hit the trails now.


Look at you! Fezzik is at her apex! Life really has begun for her!

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Yeah, buddy! Freaking awesome right now.

Fiddled with lights last night. Feeling pretty good about things, but have a wiring question.

Right now, all I gotta do is run 12v through a switch in the cab to turn the lights on. I’m thinking I’ll just tap into the closest/any switched power and daisy chain it across all the switches in the bank, right?

Okay. So here’s the big money question. It’s been the one thing that’s always eluded me, going back at least 12 years. (I’ve never seen it through this far before.)

Let’s say that line coming into the switches is coming from the cigarette lighter. The lights work when the lighter is energized. Easy enough.

Could I also tap into the high beam circuit and feed the same switch bank through a SPST “master” toggle to “arm” the big lights either with the high beams or individually?

I’m going to have 3 pairs of aux lights up front in addition to my fogs. I want to be able to have any or all of them tied to the high beams–but I also want to be able to run them individually in any combination (for some damn reason).

Is this the ticket?

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Yep, assuming you’re just triggering relays and the load is staying under the hood. It’s something like 0.01 amp to trigger a relay so it wouldn’t even need that high of a wire gauge to be safe.

Maybe…depends on how the wiring works from Mitsubishi. I’ve successfully done this on a Jeep (and will do it on my Disco) so I can quickly go to “all off” if a vehicle flies around a corner in front of me. Safety wise the factory wiring should be plenty big enough to handle the load of a few (or a dozen) extra relays.

The Subarus couldn’t do this because of the weird way their headlamp circuits are wired up (“always on” positive connections and a “switched” ground [with no relay] for high/low control). I could probably make it work if I tinkered long enough, but the Subarus all left me before I had the chance to figure it out.

Damnit. Yes, also that shit. :man_facepalming:

Back to the googles.


Got my trigger. Confirmed 12V at the light harness when I hit the high beams. Gonna have this trigger a signal through my switch panel. If the high beams are on, the aux lights are on.

That will work, right? Just got to figure out what to pick up right there that I can easily take into the switch panel?


Yep, that should work. Though, if you’ve the patience/time for it I’d try to trace it back up to a location closer to the firewall so you don’t have as long of a run.


Yep, relays for the win!

If you’re putting them underhood, get decent ones. When I put my hella 500 LEDs wiring harness underhood last summer, I needed 24v relay asap since the kit came with two 12v. The cheapies lasted 6 mos. Replaced them with good ones free Christmas. Hellas ironically. Lol.

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  • tightened heater hose clamp
  • new ignition coils

My skid plates had been off for months. Shit you not, six days after I finally get them back on, I’ve got a coolant leak. Off they come! And wow. I knew we were sitting low on 30s, but that trail run did a number on my front skid plate. This is just the rocks in the center of a narrow two-track up into the mountains last weekend.

My first thought is heater hose, so I start looking and it doesn’t seem like heater hoses? Fortunately, I was talking with Josh at ADD. He suggested recording video with my phone and carefully slipping it between the engine and firewall. Brilliant idea. Never occurred to me.

Pure, dumb luck, I try one more video and catch this.

I reach in and start feeling for cracks or cuts and… Is the clamp only finger tight?


I cleaned the K&N and swapped in fresh NGK coil packs. Damn truck runs so nice right now. I am excited for tires and rear bushings (and getting the rear locker working).

Edit: Upon rewiring the relay for the 4WD indicator lights, I got some improvement. The locker works! But something’s still not right, and the lights come and go.

BONUS: Idles real nice right now. I’m pleased.


Just keeps getting better and better!

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Just got off the phone with Ernest. Looks like he’s all jammed up until May. Poor guy. I was hoping he might be able to reseal my tcase and give the 4WD system a once-over before I start driving this thing in the heat, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I might be looking at resealing this.

In lighter news, what about fangs on the front?

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As my brother famously said (on more than one occasion)

“It’s your truck…”

Despite any added dental implants, it really does look good buddy!

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Perfection is the enemy enmity of done.

Half a can of brake cleaner and a couple weeks later, the tcase leak appears to be a leaky drain bolt. If I weren’t so lazy exhausted from putting out fires at work and selling my house, I’d have tried tightening it.

We’re going wheeling Saturday–Soldier Pass and Broken Arrow in Sedona–so I figure I’ll put a torque wrench on it when I put the skid plates back on tomorrow. Fingers crossed I can just sneak up on it a bit and throw a new crush washer on before GC in two weeks.

Oh, and I’ve got a set of 33x10.5x15 BFG AT KO2s coming from Tire Track. They’ll be here Wednesday/Thursday. So I’ll be trying to get them mounted next Friday at 4WP.



  • pressure washed undercarriage
  • checked all nuts & bolts
  • greased all zerks
  • paint marked

Also, I’m on skinny 33s now!


I whipped up some cheap utility/rock lights.

Took about 90 minutes to make, install, and wire to battery. I like the idea of using them for area lights stuck up high. These held their spots at 85mph and a very rocky trail. (Need channel locks to remove from flat surfaces.)

JP got his TJ back after three months with a local specialist. They took his entire driveline–diffs, tcase, trans–apart a piece at a time to isolate what sounds like a throw out or thrust bearing on the clutch/input shaft.

Or so they said. JP ended up at the transmission shop supposedly playing games and learned they hadn’t touched it yet because they told those guys they were backed up by several months. The Jeep shop put everything back together–then didn’t charge anything for “the work”. JP now has zero confidence in a significant mod/maintenance list.

Considering we’re camping this weekend, he wanted a shakedown run to make sure the Jeep was around.


Three months later…

…a catchupdate.

May 21 - Last camping trip as AZ resident.

May 31 - 250,000 miles!

June 19 - Left Phoenix.

June 22 - Arrived in Iowa City.

July 8 - Got Iowa plates.

I ordered a black version with FEZZIK, but they’re running behind because supply chain? Now I want to get QXOTIC. Oh, and I couldn’t find the title, but they let me register anyway. No emissions. No inspection. No problem.

July 13 - The rust cometh. :grimacing:

I thought it was salt related. I thought wrong. It’s humidity. I’ve got little rock chips everywhere in need of sealing. PORLLY?

July 30 - Fezzik wears a canoe for the first time.

This is fun. I will have one.

August 3 - Lost & Found brake bolt.

This guy fell out earlier in the day.

I found him in the street a few hours later, reinstalled, and was back out for ice cream in less than an hour.

August 18 - Got gas?

I’m not sure when I last fueled up. Tomorrow’s apparently 60 days since we got here. I think this is only the second time I’ve filled up since?

The picture is more for tracking purposes, really.

And here’s an interesting thought. I’ve driven 1,000 miles across the country and all over town here, and have only put about 2,800 miles on the truck, all in.

Keanu Reeves Reaction GIF


I’m already mildly concerned about rust treatment and proofing. Bought a new floor jack yesterday. Need to get a power washer and start hitting the rust before it gets cold.

I’m also interested in making the move to Android Auto.

@PajEvo we’re gonna need to talk soon, eh? Lemme know when you’re back from the center of the Earth and can hop on a call?

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