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captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 8:55 a.m.

It all started ~9 years ago when I purchased a First Gen 91 Long Wheelbase LS Montero for $900. I loved this thing. Drove it for about 5 years without a single major failure. Tires and fluids. That's it. Like a real dumb dumb I sold it when it wasn't getting much road use. I always wanted to build a trail rig/overlander out of it, but it never transpired. I shed tears just posting this photo.

064E2665-1886-4AA2-98FE-73B7B229630F by hatchethairy, on Flickr

A few months after selling the 1st Gen I then picked up a 2nd Gen. It began to show some trans issues as well as wiring gremlins a month or two into ownership. It required more of the annoying tinkering that can make a project feel like pulling teeth, so it was kicked to the curb. Can't seem to drum up any pics of that one at the moment.

So it turns out I'm a Montero guy.  They don't have the Toyota/Jeep tax, extremely reliable, fairly capable with the right model selection, easy to work on, and best of all cheap.

I've been hunting for a decent 1st or 2nd Gen to make a parts hauler and weekend camping rig recently. What popped up however was a 3rd Gen for $2500 with 196k on the ticker. It's not as well loved as other models, but extremely capable from the factory. This one is fully loaded. Leather seats with 3rd row. Cold A/C up front and in the rear. Decent sound system. It's pretty neat. I love driving it. The wife loves it.

It came equipped with some 255/75/17 BF Goodrich M/T's which are ~32" when new. They still have some decent tread and came with a brand new spare that has never seen the road. Four of those are mounted to some Chevy wheels that need a proper balance or some hubcentric spacers to correct vibration. The guy I bought it from also threw in some 16" wheels and tires.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

The rubber was cracking on the 16's, and after a bit of research found that there are a ton of the BF Goodrich spare tires with full tread selling all day for only $100 each in the 17" size. Apparently these 255/75/17 are commonly attached to Jeep Wranglers from the factory or dealer I'm not sure which. Around here you can't swing a dead salamander without hitting some form of Wrangler. It's Jeep country. So I sold the 16's for $200 to get them out of my way to a Chevy guy. Since then, I managed within just two days to snatch up 3 more new M/T's to complete my set. No one ever seems to use the spare tires, and are usually willing to part with them. Date codes are all 2015-16, so not terribly old. Score! I'm still looking for a 5th to use as a spare, but for now these will do the trick. All three totaled only $310, and if you do the math I really only spent $110 out of pocket after selling the 16's. Oh, one is also attached to a Jeep wheel. I think I can get $25-50 for it once the tire is pulled off so there is some more money back in my pocket.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Anyway, here's the rig.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey HalfDork
8/15/19 8:59 a.m.

That first gen looks something special. I like the new one too.

I'll make sure not to buy one as then you'd have to sell yours...

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 9:03 a.m.

Now on to the overlanderer stuff. As a family we recently went tent camping and to my surprise the kiddos and wife LOVED it. It was hot as hell too, so I thought for sure it was a one and done kind of scenario. Not so much. So now this rig can serve a purpose other than parts/human hauling. A few weeks ago I signed up for a rally to run my FRS on, and the same organizers have started an off road version of that. It's a perfect way to get my feet wet on off road stuff as relatively new person at this sort of thing.

adventure series 3 by hatchethairy, on Flickr

So here's the basic plan. Get another set of rims to mount the new 17's to or just stick with the Chevy wheels. The cheap side of me is leaning toward the Chevy wheels. They look decent really, so maybe find or figure out some center caps to complete the look? Nothing too serious really needs to be done, so that's nice.

Maintenance check up list:

Timing belt/crank bolt

New rad possibly, this one looks like it may not last too long

Oil leak at cam seals and valve covers

Oil change

Trans fluid

Diff fluid

Tranfser case fluid

Check brake pads/shoes and replace if necessary

Brake fluid flush

Possibly replace brake accumulator

 

 

 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 9:19 a.m.
AxeHealey said:

That first gen looks something special. I like the new one too.

I'll make sure not to buy one as then you'd have to sell yours...

Solid plan. Don't let me catch you slipping.

Stainless
Stainless New Reader
8/15/19 12:17 p.m.

Looks great so far. There's simply nothing better than some wilderness time for setting one's soul right.

One word of caution, though. If you're just starting out in the overland world, you might find that most of the forums and other internet resources are full of people who are *absolutely certain* that a safe, enjoyable adventure requires thousands of dollars of overpriced equipment. Some of them might even dare to criticize your interest in your family's wellbeing if you waffle over the idea of a $150 water cannister. In reality, most of them are more excited about getting the stickers and 2500 artsy pictures of a fancy truck than they are about getting the right tool for the job. So, take what you read with a grain of salt about the size of a Buick. 

Good luck out there!

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 1:13 p.m.

In reply to Stainless :

Yeah, I don't think you will see a bunch of that stuff in this thread. I'm cheap. And simple. I don't understand the reasoning behind half of the gadgetry or pageantry behind what is basically glamping. Granted there are items that make sense to have around when the time comes, but a fridge or something similar won't be showing up on these here pages. With that said, nothing wrong with having some comfort items, and if you are doing stuff often enough it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Also I'm not a sticker guy. Hard to see through windows if they are covered in stickers.

I'm thinking a high lift jack thingy, shovel, hatchet, small tool sets, etc. Possibly some exterior lighting that doesn't break the bank, but I don't think that's even medium priority right now. I've got a small gas grill cooker that isn't huge, but doesn't need to be attached to anything for off road cred or anything. Maybe a roof rack to store some stuff, but honestly getting stuff up or down sucks and they cost too much for my taste.

Stainless
Stainless New Reader
8/15/19 1:52 p.m.
captainawesome said:

I'm thinking a high lift jack thingy...

Yeah, the ol' tooth-loosener. I'm not sure how much off-roading you've done before, but I recommend learning about these things before you try to use it for the first time. Believe me, I am the furthest thing from a Safety Sally, but high-lifts can be really dangerous (especially when lowering the vehicle) if you're not familiar with the damned thing. Super handy, though... as a jack and a "no other choice" winch.

If you can swing it (and if you plan to be the only vehicle out there), an auxiliary battery with a manual isolation switch is really nice. That way, you can run lights or whatever at camp without ever running the risk of killing the starting battery. It's not strictly necessary, but it's nice to not worry about remembering to start the truck every couple hours while you're drawing power. 

 

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
8/15/19 2:36 p.m.

There was an old Montero in CL that was haunting me for a while, had the inclinometer on the dash and everything. Great rigs. 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Stainless :

I honestly don't know much about them, so thanks for the warning. I'll do some reading and see if they are even something I'll need. I like to pack light.

 

In reply to pinchvalve :

If you get one, get the LS model with a v6. The 4 cylinders can do things, but that extra power with the v6 is totally worth it.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
8/15/19 3:05 p.m.

Make sure you have some way of actually using the hi lift to jack up your rig. As in rock sliders + steel bumpers or getting the little hooks for your wheels. Although using the wheel hooks precludes using the jack to change tires...

Stainless
Stainless New Reader
8/15/19 3:20 p.m.
captainawesome said:

I honestly don't know much about them, so thanks for the warning. I'll do some reading and see if they are even something I'll need. I like to pack light.

If you intend to really get out there (no roads), then it's a super valuable, multipurpose tool. I have one with me whenever I plan to do anything that genuinely requires 4-wheel drive, and I've used it out of necessity. They're cheap and not very bulky. Make sure you know how to use it and you'll be fine. If you take some chain or non-stretching straps, it's also a usable winch and good for other "come along" type tasks too.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 New Reader
8/15/19 4:13 p.m.

I need a new SUV and this thread got me looking at the Montero.

The first thing I would do is paint the chrome taillight bezels. Other than that they are pretty cool looking!

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/15/19 4:46 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

As long as you aren't worried about gas mileage much it's a good buy. Our area is very hilly and full of curves plus mostly in town driving which puts us in the 10-12 MPG range. Not ideal for most, but for part time duty it serves us well. We have had it almost a month now, and it's been great.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
8/15/19 4:54 p.m.

Oh, dang. didn't know about the gas mileage, kind of similar to the fj80 as far as mpg. 

Still neat rig for sure. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 9:14 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Diggin it! 

The Sumo Wrestler  my '01 Montero Limited

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 9:19 p.m.

Are these the Chevy wheels? I think they look great. 

Were adaptors needed to mount them on the Mitsu? 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 9:22 p.m.
OjaiM5 said:

I need a new SUV and this thread got me looking at the Montero.

The first thing I would do is paint the chrome taillight bezels. Other than that they are pretty cool looking!

As for the Chrome... 

For '01 &' 02 the Limited trim model (leather seats) got chrome tail light bezels and the XLS trim (cloth seats) got black bezels.  For 03-06 a slightly different tail lamp with no bezel. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 9:35 p.m.

For roof rack, I recommend Irish's self made rack. I'll see if he can post a link to his build. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
8/15/19 9:51 p.m.
John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/15/19 9:57 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Mucho grassy ass

rustybuckets
rustybuckets Reader
8/16/19 6:27 a.m.

I've been looking for a good value 4x4 for awhile now. I'd use it for winter, longer trips, and some light overlanding/camping. I wouldn't even call it overlanding- just camping out of my truck every once in awhile. This seems to fit the bill! Two questions though -

1) could you tell me how much room is in the back with the middle and back seats removed please?

2) What kind of gas mileage are you getting with your setup?

Thanks!

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/16/19 7:24 a.m.

MPG: the epa rating on my 2001 w/ 3.5L is 12/14/18 and calls for Premium. That sounds about right. My gut answer would be 15

 

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
8/16/19 7:32 a.m.

I want one of these. In white, red, or black with black leather interior. 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/16/19 7:39 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

No adapters needed for the Chevy wheels, wheel pattern is 6x5.5 which matches Toyota, Nissan, and others. The hub bore is much larger for the Chevy on the Gen 3, so some hubcentric rings would probably be beneficial to your ride quality. Mine currently doesn't have any, but from what the guy I bought it from said, they never balanced the wheels and put on proper wheel weights. I think that's my first plan of attack. Wheel weights.

I wonder if the later model tail lights would fit without issue? I kinda like them without the trim, but honestly unless they were cheap seems like a way down the road project.

 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/16/19 7:39 a.m.
irish44j said:

Here you go.  :)  My copy of Nonack's rack lol. 

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/the-nonack-grm-budget-safari-rack/128714/page1/

YES!

Super simple and probably doesn't make a ton of noise in the wind.

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