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Thread: LWB vs SWB, Which Is Better?

  1. #1
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    Default LWB vs SWB, Which Is Better?

    I would like your opinions on which is better and why. The choices are an 87 swb and an 89 lwb Monteros. The drivetrain differences will not matter as I will replace it anyway. http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=43367
    I know the 89 lwb has coil springs in back and more room, but also more overhang in the back. Not to mention more weight and a longer body to turn around. What else can you come up with?

  2. #2
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    I prefer the LWB (I've had both). The 2 door just ends up being too small unless you buy and pack backpacker style.

    As for the powerplant, unless you drive it like an SUV (i.e. expect it to accelerate like a car) the later 3.5L DOHC and even the later 3.5L SOHC engines are fine IMHO.

    In terms of the drivetrain, the 94-2000 models with the 3.5L engines all have decent sized front difs (>8") and big rear diffs (9.5") and corresponding axles. I run 35's with this setup and a good friend of mine runs 37's (he upgraded to 4.9:1 r&p's) without any issues.

    For a 2 door I suggest a v6 model as they will have the larger front and rear diffs (>8") and trailing arm suspensions versus leaf sprung suspensions.

    You said you're swapping out the drivetrain? With what??

    1996 Montero SR (3.5L v6, rear Locker), 35" mudders, 3.15:1 xcase crawler gears
    Build Thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...su-build-up...
    1989 SWB Montero RS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 33" mudders (sold)
    1990 LWB Montero LS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 33" mudders (gave to rxinhed)
    1990 LWB Montero LS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 31" AT's (rolled 1st time I ever drove off road)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikane View Post
    I would like your opinions on which is better and why. The choices are an 87 swb and an 89 lwb Monteros. The drivetrain differences will not matter as I will replace it anyway. http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=43367
    I know the 89 lwb has coil springs in back and more room, but also more overhang in the back. Not to mention more weight and a longer body to turn around. What else can you come up with?
    Seems like you got it covered. SWB is more fun IMO it just feels sportier. LWB is more practical and you can fit more passengers and gear into it. It all depends on what you are going to use it for. The LWB is a lot more stable on steep climbs and is less likely to lift up the front end. While the SWB is easier to Maneuver through rock gardens and the like.

    I couldnt decide either. Thats why I have both.
    -Justice R
    04 Limited- Tows the bass boat
    99 Montero Cold Weather Package, engine knock
    91 Montero LWB Grasscat I modified, Mitsu locker in rear, 33's, Snork, Winch (sold)
    89 Montero SWB auto, Locked F/R, Armored,Aussie Crawler Gears, 33's (Sold but wish I had not)
    02 Montero XLS Wife's rig (Traded in for Jetta TDI)
    95 SR 33's armor, ARB, winch, wheeled Hard and put away wet (sold to AZ Crew for cannibalization)
    95 SR " (totaled in a wreck)

  4. #4
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    I'll agree with the preference for a LWB. While bigger than a SWB- they are still far from a large rig.

    Cargo room does go pretty fast in a SWB. 2 person trips only. The LWB gives you room for extended trips with 2 or an extended weekend with the family.

  5. #5
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    I realize that the bottom line is if I want the extra room or not. That's a decision I have yet to make. I guess what I'm after is the differences between the two year models, physical size aside. Like I said, the 89 has the coil spring suspension, as opposed to the leafs on the 87. What else would the 89 lwb have over the 87 swb?

    In response to "off-roader"s question, I intend to use a Toyota 5mge (out of a Cressida) bolted up to a Tacoma tranny/transfer case to maintain the proper front driveshaft drop.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikane View Post
    I would like your opinions on which is better and why. The choices are an 87 swb and an 89 lwb Monteros. The drivetrain differences will not matter as I will replace it anyway. http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=43367
    I know the 89 lwb has coil springs in back and more room, but also more overhang in the back. Not to mention more weight and a longer body to turn around. What else can you come up with?
    Seems like you got it covered. SWB is more fun IMO it just feels sportier. LWB is more practical and you can fit more passengers and gear into it. It all depends on what you are going to use it for. The LWB is a lot more stable on steep climbs and is less likely to lift up the front end. While the SWB is easier to Maneuver through rock gardens and the like.

    I couldnt decide either. Thats why I have both.

  7. #7
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    What has been mentioned is about it then.

    SWB 4cyl has leafs. SWB V6 has coils. All the LWB have the coils and V6.
    All the V6 models have bigger diffs, front and rear, that have lockers available. To my knowledge, the small (4cyl) front diff does not have a locker option at this time.

    LWB has better brakes. Gen2 even better still. LWB tend to have more "goodies", such as power windows.

    Other than that, it's just size related differences.

    If your doing an Inline 6, and the Toyota trans and transfer case are on the long side, then you *might* run out of length for the rear driveshaft with a SWB.

  8. #8
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    Ah nice, all good points for the lwb. Are the diff gears 4.625 on the v6 models too?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikane View Post
    Ah nice, all good points for the lwb. Are the diff gears 4.625 on the v6 models too?
    Yes and there is an option for 5.29:1 R&P and 2.85:1 xcase gears as well.

    1996 Montero SR (3.5L v6, rear Locker), 35" mudders, 3.15:1 xcase crawler gears
    Build Thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...su-build-up...
    1989 SWB Montero RS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 33" mudders (sold)
    1990 LWB Montero LS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 33" mudders (gave to rxinhed)
    1990 LWB Montero LS (3.0L v6, rear LSD), 31" AT's (rolled 1st time I ever drove off road)

  10. #10
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    Hawaii
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhyrraM View Post
    If your doing an Inline 6, and the Toyota trans and transfer case are on the long side, then you *might* run out of length for the rear driveshaft with a SWB.
    Anyone know the length of the Montero tranny/transfer case combo, from bellhousing to rear of transfer case? Thanks in advanced.

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