EyeInTheSky's Gen 3 Budget Build Thread

#1
Good afternoon all,

As promised in one of my earlier posts, I will be detailing my build here to both show off my (mediocre) skills as well as to solicit advice.

My first car was a 1995 Montero SR. The pics below are the only surviving ones I know of currently. It was bone stock except for a junkyard swap engine my brother put in. When I got it the body had 250,000 miles on it, the engine had about 60,000. I drove the $HIT out of it (as any 17 year old would). I loved that vehicle, from the big things like overall design to the small details Mitsubishi put in, like switch locations and cupholders. Sadly, it blew a head gasket, and we decided to sell it to the state for around $3,000. Now it is in circulation as a Coors can. :-/

Proof of my youthful exuberance.


Fast forward 10 years and I'm back on track. I've had some other vehicles since (1992 Prelude Si, 1996 Grand Cherokee 2wd 4.0, 2007 Accord V6 manual coupe), but nothing truly capable of overland travel. My Jeep is too rickety and small, and not worth the time/effort/money it would take to bring it up to snuff for camping and mild wheeling with my wife and dog.

I purchased a 2002 Montero Limited in September, 2016 for $3,000 from its original owner. Minor things need fixed here and there, and the mileage is pretty high, but all the major preventative maintenance has been done.

As she sat this morning, no changes since buying:
image0005.jpg image0001.jpg



First things first, new tires. I got a set of Kumho Road Ventura AT51's in 265/75R16 for $512 installed after rebate. Much better.
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New pieces and parts are rolling in from my (slightly drunk) Amazon/Ebay ordering. I have some recovery gear either here or en route (hi lift, recovery strap, shackles, etc).


To-do list in no particular order:

Dual battery setup
I want a "house" battery for any other accessories I install. I have a spare group 34 battery from the ZJ that will go on the passenger side near the firewall (no intentions of adding a snorkel). 95 amp continuous duty solenoid, switches and terminals are ordered, wire will probably come from Home Depot's "mis-cut" section (50-75% off original price per foot). I'm in no hurry so I'll wait for good deal on the wiring.
Using this as a guide:
http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...ke-a-cheap-isolated-dual-battery-setup-for-50

EDIT - Will look into increasing charging ports in the front as well. Looking at the Cllena unit from Amazon.
https://amzn.com/B01BXTX11Q
EDIT 2 - Wiring got a lot more complicated as I looked into specifics. Somehow completely forgot to include relays in the design, so those are now on their way thanks to Amazon Prime.
EDIT 3 - Wiring is mostly done. Waiting on new charging ports to come in the mail. Replaced stock power port in center console with a dual 2.1a USB charger.
EDIT 4 - Lots of new wiring, six toggles on center console (switched negative) to a relay box. Currently controls front lights, CB/PA, rear charging ports, and backup camera power+trigger. Also found the part number for the European dual battery tray. Will be ordering (if I can confirm measurements first).

CB radio/loudspeaker
Should be arriving today. May wait to install until second battery is in, or do the physical install but leave wiring until later.
EDIT - Slow and steady. Decided against mounting in lower DIN, will relocate to passenger side of the center console. Antenna is mounted, wire is run, but I need to complete the run and punch through the rear door.
EDIT 2 - DONE. And it's awesome. I already yelled at my friend to get off his cell phone while driving.

KYB/OME suspension upgrade.
Don't really want to lift it much, just improve handling offroad and make sure my new tires have all the room they need.
EDIT: KYB Gas-A-Just shocks are on their way, OME coils when the budget allows.
EDIT 2: Shocks have been replaced. Coil springs when the budget allows.

Roof rack
I plan to install cross bars similar to another user who added cedar planks to his (though I will be using aluminum...probably). Planning to use Simpson Strong Tie type plates, bolt them to the factory rack, then bolt the crossbars to the plates. The roof basket I will eventually put on will be connected via wing nut clamps so I can pull it off when it's not needed. Probably going to do an Ebay special for that specific piece. I also will be mounting my civilian pioneer kit up there just to keep things out of the way. Looking at using the chain link panel clamps with wing nuts for that.
EDIT: Oak cross bars are installed, need some finishing work on them (neoprene underneath for when they flex, cutting mounting bolts down), and will be ordering a roof basket when the budget allows.

AC inverter
Self explanatory. Will probably mount in the rear and run off the house battery.

EDIT - After a few months of using the Montero, I'm not seeing the point. I don't have any AC-powered devices I really need to run.

Lights
I ordered two regular old offroad lights. Debating where to install them. Considering a front cross beam on the roof rack and bolting them there. Trying to avoid penetrating to body panels as much as possible.

EDIT - Installed on front bumper. Working on location for rear/side lights.

Hitch
Previous owner removed the OEM hitch so I need to find one that will pull a small to medium trailer without screwing up my departure angle too much.

MonstaLiner - Letting my wife pick the color scheme (though I'm retaining veto power). Probably going to go with a lighter color on top like tan or gray, a darker green or black on the bottom, and bright red for an accent color.


Maintenance items:
Clean track and/or replace front passenger window regulator. - IN PROGRESS
Transmission flush - DONE
Replace driver's side exhaust manifold - DONE
Serpentine belt - DONE
Update crank pulley bolt - DONE
Replace valve cover gasket - DONE
Change diff/T-case fluids - IN PROGRESS
Replace spark plug wires - DONE
Clean up headlight lenses - DONE
Clean throttle body - DONE
Air filter - DONE
Mount flux capacitor - IN PROGRESS


My main goal here is to make this an inexpensive offroader for mild to moderate overlanding with the wife and dog. Open to any suggestions, criticisms, or outright hatred if necessary.

Looking forward to sharing my experiences with you all, and hopefully through my trial and error, help some future user the same way you have all helped me.
 
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#2
Congrats! Sounds like you are on the right track, but I would be cautious with anything other than Mitsu/KIA/Hyundai or ENEOS-SP fluid in the trans. Enjoy! After nearly a year of acquiring parts, I will be installing the WHOLE SHEBANG in the coming days....Suspension/Coils/Brakes/Coils/TB/WP/ etc. Enjoy, as I love mine, and it sees quite a bit of dirt/slickrock here in Moab. Most capable, versatile vehicle for the least sheckles. PERIOD.
 
#3
The best laid plans...

The title of this post says it all. Life intervened multiple times so not much progress has been made.

I successfully sold my 2007 Accord so that's one less vehicle sitting around.

I scrapped the idea to mount the hi lift on the roof, and instead want to mount it to the spare tire rack. The other night I spent a couple hours taking everything apart mentally, just walking around stroking my chin and saying "Hmmm, maybe...no. That's stupid." As a result

of my pondering, the only "mod" I was able to install was to mount the fire extinguisher. :-/ I just pre-drilled a hole in the plastic paneling, used a nylon lock nut behind the panel, then did the second attachment point with a small screw, as I was tired of my hand being crushed by the plastic and I didn't feel like pulling the entire trim piece off for such a little job.

20160930_204726.jpg

The CB components have all finally arrived so I'm fabbing up an (admittedly redneck) mount for it in the lower DIN and will be running the wires/mounting the antenna soon.

Did some basic PMCS on it today: oil change followed by a trip to the dealership for a transmission flush. I had them diagnose the oil leaks and they informed me that it's the rear cam seal, valve cover gasket, and oil sending unit. They quoted me $950 parts and labor for the cam seal and valve cover gasket, and another $189 for the oil sending unit. Lol. Going to be replacing that rear cam seal tomorrow ($3.05 at the dealership) and the valve cover gasket ($30ish at Pep Boys) sometime next week.

I got to take a little overnight shakedown trip up into the Los Padres National Forest. Scotch was consumed, as were some Cubans. I love boys' trips.

Nothing too exciting on the 4x4 side of things up there, though I did find a dirt road that I had some fun on.

The tires made the rig feel a little less "peppy" but overall, as long as I kept the RPMs over 2500 I was fine on the mountain

roads.

Only photo from the trip:

20161002_120102.jpg

So far the wife is very happy with the Montero, as is my six month old puppy:

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normal_dave

waytoomuchwritinginposts.
#4
Good Report,

Get out there and get to know the truck, priority is the basic maintenance items list. My list of mods magically grew shorter after spending time driving out in the woods, as confidence in the basic vehicle design grew, I determined I really only needed the basic recovery gear.

On the valve cover gaskets, please consider OEM. Not sure what your aftermarket source carries, but I've had better results with the pricey Mitsus. Also review this post, (ignore the inner liner discussion of course).
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/159848-Valve-cover-inner-liner-separation?p=2111907#post2111907

For your transmission flush, absolutely SP-III fluid only as mentioned above, regardless of what the aftermarket label says. I found a local Hyundai dealer with SP-III on the shelf @ $ 6.68 per quart, seemed to be a really good price, and is the true equal of the Mitsubishi SP-III. Here's a good write-up for that as well:
https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=15879

Speaking of the Hi-Lift jack, I need to learn a little more, but are our Gen 3s and independent suspensions pretty restricted to using a wheel lift adapter or rear receiver draw bar adapter for jacking with a Hi-lift?
Interesting discussion from the Aussies, (I think they've already done most everything we are thinking about doing with a Montero...) https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=36755 Hey, I just "Hi-Jacked" this thread (insert rim-shot here)...
 
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#5
When I called around the dealerships I had a huge range of prices for SP-III, in Denver the cheapest I found was $7.40/qt from a Kia dealer, the closest Mitsu dealer was something like $12. Particularly when you need 12 quarts to do a full flush it adds up.
 
#6
Good Report,

Get out there and get to know the truck, priority is the basic maintenance items list. My list of mods magically grew shorter after spending time driving out in the woods, as confidence in the basic vehicle design grew, I determined I really only needed the basic recovery gear.

On the valve cover gaskets, please consider OEM. Not sure what your aftermarket source carries, but I've had better results with the pricey Mitsus. Also review this post, (ignore the inner liner discussion of course).
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/159848-Valve-cover-inner-liner-separation?p=2111907#post2111907

For your transmission flush, absolutely SP-III fluid only as mentioned above, regardless of what the aftermarket label says. I found a local Hyundai dealer with SP-III on the shelf @ $ 6.68 per quart, seemed to be a really good price, and is the true equal of the Mitsubishi SP-III. Here's a good write-up for that as well:
https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=15879

Speaking of the Hi-Lift jack, I need to learn a little more, but are our Gen 3s and independent suspensions pretty restricted to using a wheel lift adapter or rear receiver draw bar adapter for jacking with a Hi-lift?
Interesting discussion from the Aussies, (I think they've already done most everything we are thinking about doing with a Montero...) https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=36755 Hey, I just "Hi-Jacked" this thread (insert rim-shot here)...
I'm usually a Fel Pro guy for gaskets; I guess I'll have to read some more.

I've read some of the horor stories regarding using other fluid, so I'll take their word for it. I had the dealership do a full flush with SPIII yesterday. It was $187 out the door with gasket and filter. They charge $7.95 per quart for SPIII.

Regarding the hi lift, I have a Wheel Mate on its way as well. More than anything I'm prepared to use it as a poor man's winch, though reading about other people's use of them, there seem to be two schools of thought: love it or leave it.
 
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#7
Nothing like a night-before wrenching session

Sorry for the dark pics but I was trying to get stuff done before the wife and I head up the eastern side of the Sierras for our birthday trip.

Added the shovel/spitting maul bracket using chain link panel clamps ($5 at Home Depot) and some extra hardware (another $4 at HD). Seems to work, though I will be adding a slightly longer bolt so I can put a lock washer on for extra insurance.

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#8
Alabama Hills

Well, I had a long trip report typed up, then I got to thinking that this isn't the place for it. This is the forum for Mitsubishi-specific, so maybe another day, another place I'll post it. To keep it as brief as my English degree allows:

I had a successful two and a half day trip into the Eastern Sierras. Took a half-day at work Friday and hurriedly finished the shovel/splitting maul mount shown in the above post. I stopped by Home Depot and got longer bolts as stated above, but now they're too long! At least this time it's an issue of aesthetics instead of safety.

I also frantically finished my redneck roof rack. I got my inspiration from this thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/98615-Gen-III-Stock-Roof-Rack-Mod

ImNoSaint's roof rack looks soooo much better than mine. Maybe one day mine will grow up to be just like his. I also didn't want to drop the headliner, so I went with bolts on both the factory rack side as well as on the oak beams. Of course I ended up not needing the roof rack at all on this trip, but hey, "Be Prepared." I will be adding a third cross member soon as well as cutting down the bolts; I just ran out of time before the trip.

20161008_082030small.jpg

Got on the road later than planned (as usual). Wanted to leave by 2-3pm, ended up around 430pm. We were driving merrily along, when halfway up the Grapevine the "Service Engine Soon" light popped on. I had been using the manual shift and keeping my RPMs above 3k just to keep pace with traffic. I immediately pulled over and did a quick check. Engine seemed to sound fine, no fluids leaking, no smoke/steam/visible gremlins.

Not wanting to venture out into the desert with an unknown CEL code, I had my wife call some local shops and auto parts stores trying to find someone who would read codes for cheap and/or free. Of course, this was difficult at 530pm on a Friday, and the shops that would do it wanted $100. No friggin' way. I babied it up to the next turn around point and headed back down the hill, facing a better than 50% chance of my trip not happening. I ponied up $72 at Pep Boys for the cheapest ODBII reader they had (my Ebay knockoff reader quit working and I never got around to replacing it).

P0306 - Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected
http://www.engine-codes.com/p0306_mitsubishi.html

The engine was idling fine, no weird timing, no knocks. I pulled the battery connections for a few minutes to clear it, turned it back on, and drove it around some. No code. My wife and I decided to take our chances, since we have AAA Platinum with 120 miles towing, so back up the Grapevine we went.

Around Inyokern the light came on again. This time, I plugged in my over-priced reader while keeping cruise control at a steady 72mph and it came back with two codes:

P0134 - Cylinder 1-4 Heated Oxygen Front Sensor Circuit No Activity
http://www.autocodes.com/p0134_mitsubishi.html

P0171 - System Too Lean Cylinders 1-4
http://www.autocodes.com/p0171_mitsubishi.html

I had my wife do some research, and the majority of the info we came across said this was probably 02 sensor issues and/or injectors, but regardless, not anything that would harm the engine. We decided that if we were in for a penny we were in for a pound so we continued on. At the next fuel stop the codes still didn't clear after cyling the ignition.

We got into Tuttle Creek Campground at the BLM Alabama Hills Area around 9pm and set up camp by lantern light. We then treated ourselves to my requested birthday dinner of steak and whiskey and retired for the night.

We woke up early the next morning thanks to our furry alarm clock (who occasionally forgets how tents work):

Isa Tent.jpg

It was nice to see the sun rise over the mountains, but come on pup, just a little longer.

When I turned the Montero on in the morning no CEL, and it has continued that way since. We did some mild to moderate offroading, including some fairly high speed driving along a dried out playa with no issues to report. How bout those sagebrush scratches?

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This trip made me a little disappointed in the Montero's power-to-weight ratio. It really struggled up hills when on-road, requiring me to be in second for the steep stuff and constantly down shifting to fourth while on the highway. This may have something to do with the codes it threw, but it certainly wasn't in limp mode. I might change my tune after cleaning my injectors, but this was a recurring theme throughout the trip.

I plan to Seafoam the injectors (through a vacuum line), clean the throttle body, and replace the fuel filter. If this doesn't bring me a bit more power, I might look into performance upgrades for her.

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and look forward to more adventures in my Montero.

Some action shots:
Lookin' pretty among the rocks.
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The wife trying her hand at some wheeling.
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Our pup is pretty concerned about the line my wife chose.
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Owen's Lake in the background.
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normal_dave

waytoomuchwritinginposts.
#9
Great trip report!

Don't sweat the check engine light too much. Before you start replacing 02 sensors, look upstream for a cause first. I discovered much too late a failed EGR solenoid was causing all my issues on the wife's truck. It is mounted to a bracket behind the throttle body, on the upper intake, and just above the coolant crossover. I think there is a vacuum test to confirm failure, but it causes all kinds of downstream issues. New OEM part and problem solved.

Also remember our coil packs fire in pairs of cylinders, a single coil simultaneously fires to two cylinders, one at TDC combustion, and the paired cylinder on the exhaust stroke and is wasted. You can swap spark plug leads on the coil and if the misfire follows the swap, then the problem is upstream from the coil, if it stays on the prior bad cylinder, then look from spark plug lead towards cylinder.
 
#10
Great trip report!

Don't sweat the check engine light too much. Before you start replacing 02 sensors, look upstream for a cause first. I discovered much too late a failed EGR solenoid was causing all my issues on the wife's truck. It is mounted to a bracket behind the throttle body, on the upper intake, and just above the coolant crossover. I think there is a vacuum test to confirm failure, but it causes all kinds of downstream issues. New OEM part and problem solved.

Also remember our coil packs fire in pairs of cylinders, a single coil simultaneously fires to two cylinders, one at TDC combustion, and the paired cylinder on the exhaust stroke and is wasted. You can swap spark plug leads on the coil and if the misfire follows the swap, then the problem is upstream from the coil, if it stays on the prior bad cylinder, then look from spark plug lead towards cylinder.
Thanks for the tip. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I haven't gotten the misfire code since Friday. I'm going to clean the injectors and see what happens.

I pulled the fuel pump assembly this morning and wow. Screw the designers of that! I like my old in line fuel filters. I knocked some crud out and wiped it down, not much else to do. Also checked the throttle body, somewhat. The butterfly valve was clean. Didn't remove the TB completely, but from what I could see it looked spotless.

Air filter is pretty dirty so I'm going to replace that tomorrow. Any suggestions on OEM vs Purolator?

Planning to Seafoam the injectors Thursday since I have the day off. Looking forward to the smoke screen.
 
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#11
More Parts On The Way

Just submitted an order through RockAuto for some KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (KG5743 and KG9144). Had to do some finagling on the order, since as soon as I added the second strut, shipping jumped from $11.99 to $34.99. I added some dirt cheap wiper blades to the order, which changed the warehouse the struts were coming from, which dropped the shipping considerably.

I've never used RockAuto before, but they seem like the Spirit Airlines of the auto parts world (they'll charge you $4 for water and $10 to print a boarding pass at the terminal).

Total was $213.68 including new wipers all around for the Montero and my wife's Hyundai, so I'm pretty happy.

Also, KYB is running a $25 rebate right now, so if you're looking to pull the trigger, here's a little more incentive.

http://www.kyb.com/trucks/

Currently I get some skittering on higher-speed (highway) turns that makes me pretty uncomfortable, plus over some types of bumps I feel like I'm riding in a Cadillac with all the floating I do. Hoping this gives me a little more sure-footedness on the road.


Looking forward to the SeaFoam planned for Thursday to try to clean out my injectors. A store nearby has the cans on sale for $6/ea. I'm seeing a lot of people running it through vacuum lines, but the aerosol version is supposed to go through the throttle body. Any input as to which would be more effective for clearing up my injectors?


Lastly, I was doing some random Ebay research and saw a Chinese snorkel for the Gen3 for around $120. I don't want to get into the pros and cons of ARB Safari snorkels vs Ebay knockoffs here (The ARB isn't worth it to me, since I could buy 3 Ebay snorkels for the same price. Wouldn't that be a sight? My snorkel having a snorkel having a snorkel. I could be a Mitsubishi submarine).

My question regarding snorkels is, since the snorkel will take up that free corner on the passenger side by the firewall (which is where I was thinking of mounting a second battery), would it be worth it? Would I get more use out of a second battery to run the "house" electrical? Or having that peace of mind for any water I encounter while running around the Sierras?
 
#15
At my mechanic's shop right now. Preliminary info: possibly cracked exhaust manifolds, previous owner used cheapo spark plug wires, driver side cam cover seal is leaking (only changed passenger side), valve cover gasket looks ok (dealer said it was leaking), oil sender unit leak. More to come.