Been quite some time since I've contributed AND I realize this is mostly a technical forum, but who says a cosmetic upgrade can't be technical?
A funny thing happened a couple of weekends ago at a local Greek festival. After we ate (and, it was delicious), my bride an I went looking at the wares being displayed by various and sundry vendors in the festival area. Most of it held little to no appeal for me. My wife and I had gotten separated as we look at stuff at a different pace, but as I was looking at some cheap jewelry, she appeared behind me and said, "You've got to come see this."
She directed me toward a bowl filled with wooden eggs...swirled maple wood eggs, to be exact.
She's heard me talk for years about making a set of custom shifter knobs for the Gen I turbo Montero. In fact, some (many) years ago, we were at a similar festival and we actively looked for some wooden eggs. I reckon they were out of vogue because we didn't see a damn one all day. I've quietly looked ever since. None to be found. I did get a set of rock eggs that had visible fossils in them probably 15 years ago, but was always rather skeptical about being able to drill appropriate holes in them without making a large mess. Plus, a drill bit that's up to the task is pretty expensive. It just never happened.
So, when the wooden eggs were discovered and procured, a plan began to be devised.
All of us who have Gen I's have probably already had the knobs off several times. We've seen the gear shift knob is threaded directly to the stick, while the transfer case knob has a "stop nut" and lock washer on the threaded part of the short stick to lock in that knob. I did not utilize those as I'm hoping for the best when it comes to potential rattles. So far, so good in that regard.
You'll need to order yourself a couple of threaded inserts. Timesert makes them, but I bought "Big Sert" steel inserts on Amazon. The size you'll need is M10 x 1.25 x 20mm (part #50123).
You'll also need a drill press and flat vice to clamp up the eggs and drill the holes dead straight. Chuck up a 5/8 bit into the press.
Clamp your first egg in the vice with a couple of thin pieces of wood on either side of the egg so the jaws don't scar it. Make very sure it's straight in the rig from all angles.
Here's the clamp rig:
And the drill bit and insert.
Carefully drill your holes. In the gear stick egg, drill about 30mm. Go about 40mm down into the transfer case knob as it needs to sit a little lower.
Again, carefully, take up both ends of the inserts with masking tape. The blue stuff from 3M (Scotch) is the ticket...more expensive and worth every dime. Trim the tape so that just the ends of the inserts are covered.
Now, grab a couple of shot glasses so you can stand the eggs up straight in them after dropping in the inserts. You'll want to glue them in place. I used Gorilla Glue, as it expands a little and will take up any slop between the insert and the sides of the hole.Try not to get any glue inside the inserts (hence the tape). Use a gloved finger or a Q-tip to coat the outside threads of the insert well.
Drop them in the holes, stand the eggs in the shot glasses and leave them overnight while you get some sleep.
MAJOR NOTE: These inserts are directional. One end has a small collar on it while the other end does not. Most inserts are probably like this, but I didn't know it. Make real sure the collar is pointed "UP" while the eggs are drying in the shot glass. If you put them in upside down, they will not thread onto the shafts. Found that one out the hard way and pissed away an extra hour having to get one of them out to turn it over (Swiss Army knife to the rescue). Then, had to basically start over on that one. Just thread your inserts onto one of the shafts before gluing to get the orientation correct in your brain.
Once they're completely dry, take a small bladed knife (I used one of the small Swiss Army knives...again) to get any excess glue off the top of the inserts.
Thread them on and enjoy. Feel pretty good in the hand.
There you have it.