Se7en62's '99 Montero Gen 2.5 Overland Build & Adventures


Adventure Seeker
[Follow along on Instagram @overland_pajero]

I've had this Montero --> Pajero in my garage for about a month now so I figured I'd put together another build thread since things are starting to rock and roll.

After my wife and I spent some time in our XJ traveling around Texas and the Southwest, we realized we wanted something a little bigger. I did the typical search for an FJ80, but after I started reading about the Gen 2.5 Montero my search was over. I found this clean one in Palm Springs, CA for $2,500, so after a couple conversations with the owners I bought a one-way plane ticket and flew to pick it up.


After meeting the previous owners at the airport and exchanging funds for a title and bill of sale, I turned around and drove it the 1,100 miles back to Austin.



I stopped in Phoenix to met up with another member and install a set of manual hubs. After we were through, I only had enough energy to drive about half-way to Tuscon. Which was perfect timing to fold the seats flat and get some good rest.


UPDATED: 03/12/19

1999 Mitsubishi Gen 2.5 Montero 4x4 Winter Package w/ 196k ($2,500)
Gen 2.5 (NL) Body
Anchorage Gray Pearl (F4470) / Munich Silver (F1688)
Factory Rear Air Locker
Power Windows and Locks
Leather Seating for 7
Heated Front Seats
15" x 7" Factory Wheels

[CHECK @ 174k] Timing Belt
[CHECK @ 174k] Timing Belt Tensioner
[CHECK @ 174k] Water Pump
[CHECK @ 174k] Rear Camshaft Seals
[CHECK @ 174k] Valve Stem Seals

[CHECK] Duracell Platinum AGM Group 24 ($140) <-- Made by Deka/EastPenn.
[CHECK] Replace Rear Door Latch Assembly ($8)
[CHECK] Hart Slotted Zinc-coated Brakes Rotors and Ceramic Pads ($227)
[CHECK] (4) Timken Wheel Bearings & (2) Seals ($78)
[LABOR] R&R Front Brakes, CV Axles, and Bearings ($290)
[CHECK] A.D.D. Updated Crankshaft Bolt ($35)
[LABOR] R&R Crankshaft Pulley & Update Bolt ($30)
[CHECK] Replace CV's w/ Cardone Reman. Units ($81)
[CHECK] Flush Radiator and Coolant System w/ Blue Devil Radiator Flush ($7)
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Coolant System w/ 2.375 Gallons Green 50/50 Antifreeze ($30)
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Transmission w/ 8.9 Quarts Mitsubishi Diamond SP-III Transmission Fluid ($32) [4qt Drain & Fill]
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Transfer Case w/ 2.6 Quarts Lucas Synthetic 75w90 [API Class GL-4] ($54)
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Front Differential w/ 1.2 Quarts Red-Line or Lucas 85w90/80w90 [API Class GL-5] ($18)
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Rear Differential w/ 3.3 Quarts Red-Line or Lucas 85w90/80w90 [API Class GL-5] ($27)
[CHECK] Drain & Fill Engine with 4.8 Quarts Rotella T6 5w40 and new K&N Oil Filter ($65)
[CHECK] Lifetime 4x4 Alignment ($87)
[CHECK] 8-Piece Steering System w/ UCA's w/ Ball Joints, Lower Ball Joints, Inner & Outer Tie Rods - ($134)
[CHECK] R&R EGR Valve ($48)
[CHECK] EGR Control Solenoid ($30)
[CHECK] Build and Install "Big 3 Upgrade" w/ 1/0 Wire ($136)
[CHECK] Replacement Front Passenger Window Regulator ($44)
[CHECK] R&R 4x4 Vacuum Switch Solenoid ($27)
[CHECK] R&R Fuel Filter ($19)
[CHECK] R&R Air Filter, Clean MAF, Clean Throttle Body ($40)
[CHECK] Detail Interior and Condition Leather ($28)
[CHECK] Replace Floor Mats ($40)

[CHECK] Drain & Fill Engine with 4.8 Quarts Rotella T6 5w40 and new K&N Oil Filter ($65)
[CHECK] Rotate & Balance Tire w/ Spare Rotation
[CHECK] R&R Aftermarket Radiator with Spectra Radiator and Gates Hoses (Temp.) ($144)
[CHECK] R&R OEM Thermostat ($25)

[CHECK] Drain & Fill Engine with 4.8 Quarts Rotella T6 5w40 and new K&N Oil Filter ($65)
[CHECK] Rotate & Balance Tire w/ Spare Rotation
[CHECK] R&R Auxiliary Fan w/ Spal 12" Pusher Fan ($80)

[DELIVERED] Hella 77mm Horns ($15)
[DELIVERED] Flex Technologies 3.5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm Silicone Vacuum Hose ($45)
[DELIVERED] NGK Plugs and Wires ($47)
[DELIVERED] Fel-Pro Valve Cover Gaskets ($25)
R&R Valve Cover Gaskets, Plugs, and Wires

[CHECK] AVM Series 400 (443) Manual Locking Hubs ($142)
[CHECK] (5) General Grabber X3 33x10.5R15 ($1,300)
[CHECK] Remove Factory Running Boards
[CHECK] Remove Factory Roof Rack
[CHECK] Rebadge as "PAJERO" ($100)
[CHECK] De-badged Gen 2 Grill ($18)
[CHECK] ARB Winch Bumper ($855)
[CHECK] A.D.D. Old Man Emu Expedition Lift w/ Bilstein 5100's ($950)
[CHECK] A.D.D. Adjustable Panhard Bar ($180)
[CHECK] A.D.D. 3-Piece Skid Plate Combo (Front, Mid, and Trans)Front Skid Plate ($500)
[CHECK] LED Headlights ($35)
[CHECK] Fabricate Full-Length Roof Rack ($180)
[CHECK] Install (2) Pelican iM2700 Cases to Roof Rack ($FREE)
[CHECK] (8) Surco GM100 5-1/2" Gutter Mounts ($120)
[CHECK] Rhino Rack Foxwing Mounts for Rear Awning ($58)
[CHECK] Cascadia Vehicle Tents - Mt. Shasta Extended Pioneer w/ Annex + Summit Rails and Shoe Bags ($700)
[CHECK] Teton 20°F Canvas Double Sleeping Bag ($180)
[CHECK] Teton Flannel Pillows ($24)
[CHECK] ARB 4.5' x 8.5' Rear Awning ($80)
Fabricate Side and/or Rear Ladder
Trail Gear 67" Rock Sliders
Fabricate Fender Side Bars
[CHECK] Tint ($82)
[CHECK] LED Reverse Lights ($20)
[CHECK] Wizzy Wheel ($22)
[CHECK] Replace Hood w/ Hood in Better Shape ($40)
[CHECK] Spare OEM Gen 2.5 Headlights ($40)
[CHECK] Spare OEM GEn 2.5 Taillights ($40)
[CHECK] 35w LED Cube Lights Combo Beam ($24)
[CHECK] 100w Lightforce Blitz 240 10" Halogen Off-Road Lights ($100)
[CHECK] Lightforce Combo Beam - Crystal Blue - Lens Covers ($60)
[CHECK] Lightforce Hi-Mounts for RMDL Lights ($30)
[CHECK] Cleanwaste Go-Anywhere Toilet ($65) w/ 15-pack Toilet in a Bag ($15)
[CHECK] ECCPP Billet 6061-T6 AL 1.25" Wheel Spacers ($70)

Replace Front Seats Mounts w/ "Bouncy" Seats, but retain heated-seat function
[CHECK] Remove 2nd and 3rd Row Seats
[CHECK] SafariStraps 41"x28" ($85)
[CHECK] Powertye 16"x32" Net to be used as Attic ($15)
[CHECK] Replace All Interior Bulbs w/ LEDs ($35)
[IN PROGRESS] Build Drawer System ($135)
[CHECK] Dometic CFX95DZW Dual-Zone Fridge/Freezer w/ Wi-Fi ($600)
[CHECK] DFG Offroad Fridge Slide w/ Cutting Board for CFX95DZW ($440)
[CHECK] LED Courtesy Lights ($FREE)
[CHECK] LED Cargo/Map Lights ($40)
[CHECK] Build Cargo Compartment 12V/80A Power Supply ($162)
[CHECK] KPPOL 50w 6-port USB 2.0 Quick Charger ($16)

[CHECK] Smittybilt XRC9500 ($200)
[CHECK] UltRanger Winch Hook ($30)
[CHECK] Luso Overland Pintle Hitch Recovery Point ($75)
[CHECK] UltRanger 3" x 20' Tree Saver
[CHECK] UltRanger 10-Ton Snatch Block

[CHECK] Everything I've bought has been Grade 8.8 or higher, so... ($130)
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Adventure Seeker
Thanks! I'm really stoked about this truck. They are so cool and so interesting with such a rich history. Today, I was installing a new water softener in my house and was in the garage all day and just kept catching myself staring at it and smiling. My wife even caught me once around lunch time and just laughed at me for standing in the driveway doing nothing. LOL!

Anyhow, I'll keep the first post updated as things progress. I tracked the oil leak down to the valve covers...or at least that's whee I'm going to start. It's a slow enough leak that I can take some time and be methodical about racking it down.

Anyway, here's some pictures from yesterday starting with a before and after. The PO had (3) different brands of tires on it, so they had to go ASAP.

Filling up and admiring the rubber. I can't wait to get this thing off-road now!

I just can't get enough of this face. :safari-rig:
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Do not replace your halfshafts. Re-boot them. Noticed you said you were just going to buy new halfshafts instead of cleaning, re-booting the old ones. I have learned from this board not to do that. There is a reason two new boots and grease are $50 and a new halfshaft is $70. The new halfshafts are garbage, nothing like the oem quality ones you have.


Adventure Seeker
I finally tracked down the where the oil leak is coming from. I realized that if I'm parked on a flat surface or with the front-end facing down hill that the oil leak goes away. If it's positioned facing uphill though, it leaks more. This helped me realize that when the oil pools at the back of the valve cover it leaks down the back of the block, then down the lines and then drips from the backside of the transmission pan (engine oil only, not tranny fluid.)

Anyhow, I went ahead and ordered a new Fel-Pro valve cover gasket set. Then since I'll be under the intake plenum anyhow, I figured I'd do the plus and wires while I'm there. So, NGK Iridium plugs and NGK wires are on the way as well.

That said, I keep getting the EGR (p0400) code. I've removed it a couple times now and so far with a fresh tank of 93-octane it hasn't come back. If it does, i'm going to suspect the gasket around the EGR pipe at the driver's side upper-rear of the engine. That was removed and replaced when Bobby and I rerouted the wiring harness while I was in Mesa.


Adventure Seeker
Oh, the first shiny part to arrive was the ADD Adjustable Panhard Bar. This belongs on my mantle, not under my truck!

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Adventure Seeker
This past weekend, I was able to get a few things started and finished tonight. One was to just replace all the broken little tabs that hold the interior trim to the rear door. No pictures, but it's self-explanatory.

Next I installed the JDM Corner Lamps. These came with orange bulbs, but had a different connector. All I had to do was swap the connect from the OEM corner and go grab a couple of 1137's in Amber. I left the lower light disabled for now, because I like this look better.


Next up was to swap the wobbly "red-ball" transfer case selector for a Gen 2's "white-ball" selector. It was fairly straight-forward, but I overcomplicated it because I hate to do things twice if I can do it right the first time. In the interest of someone else doing the same task, I'm including a little write-up here.

First, follow this link and follow the instructions to remove the console, but when you get to Step 9, read my text below:

Now you're at Step 9 and can't figure out how to get your Gen 2.5 transfer case forks to look like what's pictured, while also conforming to the fact that your transfer case has to be in 2H before reinstalling the new selector. Well, it won't happen because (A) That image is of a Montero Sport's transfer case gate and (B) The forks in that image are not in 2H either. So disregard that image.

All you need to know is whether or not your transfer case is in 2H, then use some bent-nose needle nose pliers to pull the return spring to the passenger side while you install the new selector. Below are images of what your forks look like in 2H, 4H, 4Hlc, and 4Llc.

Transfer Case Forks in 2H

Transfer Case Forks in 4H

Transfer Case Forks in 4Hlc (Notice how the 2WD/4WD fork is in it's 4-Locked position and is now aligned with the Hi/Lo fork. This alignment allows the selector key to pass over into the Hi/Lo fork when you shift to 4Llc.)

Transfer Case Forks in 4Llc (Notice now that the 2WD/4WD fork remains in the 4-Locked position, but now the Hi/Lo fork has moved rearward into 'Lo' for 4Llc.)

When you're making your adjustments, just make sure that you're transmission is in 'Neutral.' If the transfer case selector doesn't move smoothly, something isn't right. Once you're done, the selector should work perfectly. Now, go back to the link provided above and finish your reinstallation of your selector and console.
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Adventure Seeker
You know when you see these two brands next to each other on one product, that you have something extra special. Adventure Driven Design's custom-spec Bilstein 5100 shocks for the Gen 2.5 Montero. I ordered A.D.D.'s "Expedition Lift" which uses the Old Man Emu expo-spec springs and torsion bars and combines them with these custom-spec ADD/Bilstein 5100's. I cannot wait to get this system installed!

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Adventure Seeker
I also unboxed the ARB and it's laying in the garage now, but I thought I'd share it. Once the suspension goes on, I'll dive into installing this sweet puppy.

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Adventure Seeker
Installed the A.D.D. Bilstein 5100's up front this evening. Tomorrow I have a lift reserved at 9am at the local DIY shop so I can get the rest of the suspension installed. My garage is enough to work on most projects, but I just prefer using a lift for suspension work.

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Adventure Seeker
Yesterday, I was able to get over to a local DIY shop and finish the suspension install. I have a garage, but I didn't feel like laying on concrete for 5 hours. this place is pretty cool in that they will rent you a lift with all the tools you need in a color-coded rolling cart for $30/hr. In all, it took me about 5 hours and I think it turned out pretty good. Now I just need to remove the rear sway bar and install the winch bumper. Once that's done I'll give it a couple days to settle before I consider trimming the UCA bump stop or adjusting the torsion bars.

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Progress like good! I'm likely going I'm a very similar direction with regards to suspension once I get my interior and gearing swap sorted out.

Once you have some miles on the suspension, I'd like to get your thoughts on the kit and ride quality.

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