I'm new and need help finding a starting point.
A few years ago I bought a 92 Mitsu Mighty Max from my neighbor for $500. I have spent the last 4 years getting it into a good, running, stock condition, and most of that time she was in a shop getting worked on. Over that time I have been looking online, doing a little research, but mostly thinking about her and what I want the truck's end goal to be. Finally I have come to a decision, and I need a place to start. So far I have made very few changes to the truck, mostly small things like replacing spark plugs, spark plug cables, distributor cap, battery, small body work. You know, general maintenance stuff. I do know that it was produced in June (thats what the sticker says) of 1992 and it has the 4G64 2.4L 4 cylinder, but other than that I don't know much. Looking for parts online has proven to be a constant exercise in futility, but a guy I know who works on D-50s and Mighty Maxes all the time recommended I come here. And so, I have a few questions.
1: I was told that my engine could either be one of two, and depending on which it is will foresee what kind of parts are available to me. The way you can tell is whether it has a 6 lug flywheel, or a 7. Without taking the transmission apart, which I don't have the means to do, is there another way I can tell which I have?
2: I know this will be hard for most to understand, but I like my engine, and I do not want to engine swap. I know enough about cars and engines to carry an intelligent conversation, but I don't know specifics. I know that engine swapping is the best bet, as it pretty much always is, but for a very long list of both personal and financial reasons, I want to keep the 4. With that being said, what kind of parts are available to me (based on the answer to the first question)? Also, what should I look out for/find out when it comes to performance parts?
I am a car hobbyist with moderate experience with cars and engines. I love reading things and watching videos about them, and learning as much as I can. My plan for this truck is to build a nice sleeper/lemon style that I can drive to work every day and use as a regular truck when the need arises, but she can really haul ass when I want to just have some fun. I work on my truck on the super cheap, but if a nice part comes along thats pricey, I don't mind saving a little if its worth the money. I will probably do a full photo shoot type thing here soon, but I just don't have the time these days.
TLDR: I have a June 1992 Might Max with a 4G64 engine. What is available without engine swapping?
I run a completely stock 4G64 and I am quite happy with its performance. It works fine for hauling and just getting around. I have nothing to prove by racing anyone, going no where fast, or road racing (I did that as a teenager in Los Angeles). Those complaining about their 2.0 carbed engines make me glad I have a fuel-injected 2.4 that can actually REACH the high end of the speedometer. On the highway, I actually have to watch it or I'll be doing 80.
RockAuto.com has been a boon for finding parts. Others on this forum can tell you about good vs. bad performance parts...experience is the best teacher, and they have that experience.
Keeping the timing belts in good repair, clean fuel filter and functioning valve seals are about all I can suggest. Some suggest removing the EGR valves, I've chosen to just keep mine in good operating order. And to top it off, a few members here can get you parts directly.
I am of the opinion that, as more of these trucks get irreversibly hacked and wheezed, the stock trucks increase in market value. But you'll find few dedicated Max/Ram owners concerned with market values: we'll be buried in these trucks when we die.
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