1991 Montero RS LWB rescued! - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1991 Montero RS LWB rescued!

First post, hopefully of many more. I've known about the site for years, but I guess this is an excuse to post.

I'd like to hear the suggestions and any critical tips on this particular 4x4 and drivetrain, as I am pretty unfamiliar with it except for web research over the last week, and the Haynes manual I have now.

So basically, my brother & I rescued this 1991 Montero RS 4-door, one owner. Mostly garaged from the looks of the paint, certainly off-road almost never. 180k miles, blown head gasket. Runs very smooth, starts on the first turn. No real rust, it's been a Nevada truck.

The original owner gave it to a buddy with a wrecking yard, was going to "recycle" it for the scrap money (!). My brother noticed it and worked a deal for $350. Couldn't pass that up. We saved it literally the day before the crusher arrived.

I want to turn it into a reliable expedition/family/vacation vehicle on a trim but effective budget. We will be putting a lot of our own time into this, in addition to having the pro work done by Dr. Smash in Carson City.

If I am able to put a part of the 4WD budget into this that I was planning for a newer vehicle, it should work out nicely. Especially if I can set aside time for it.....

Starting with a clean, tight, and non-abused shell and running gear is half the "family" 4WD battle unless you are buying new, after messing with it some today and evaluating the condition I think I am good to go. It really looks like it lived in the garage and only came out for winter driving around town for the vast majority of its life.

Everything feels tight - the steering, doors, running gear, etc. The body is 98% straight, with a couple of dings on the rear hatch and the hint of a push on one door that I didn't see until I got it in the right light. Glass is good, windshield is recent. All electric windows and locks work fine. It has AC, a tranny cooler, and a power-steering cooler.

The idea is to get a good rebuilt motor, replace anything that doesn't look serviceable, and turn it into an expedition/vacation vehicle. I don't want to crawl it, but pushing vegetation aside and sliding on rocks can happen in our part of the world.

Pie-in-the-sky build-out ideas, mostly custom fab, include:
One-of front and rear bumpers
Front electric winch
Skid plates
Side slider bars
Quarter-panel exo tube frames
Upper body exo tube frame with rack mount points
Full-length aluminum top rack tray
Interior and exterior mods for tool storage, extra battery/electrical, air system

The nice thing about this older model is that I'm staying with a vehicle I can work on myself.....and we aren't afraid to cut and weld on it....

Even with the blown head gasket, the 3.0 V6 EFI seems to have plenty of power, so I see no reason not to stay with the factory motor configuration. I do not have the dough for an $8k+ turbo diesel conversion, or else that is what I would do. I would rather get it back to factory reliable with good engine, good tires, suspension, and good mods over the next year if all goes well.

Any nasty surprises specific to this model and drivetrain? Any words of wisdom regarding "must service" parts of the truck while I have the engine out? Any "must-do" suspension or other mods?

I'm gonna cross-post this on a couple of other 4x4 forums as well, but since Pirate is so large and universal I figure this should be a good start.

Cheers,
Scotty











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Old 02-07-2011, 08:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to Pirate!

That Two door is a nice rig! I like the gas can mounting.

The head gasket i super easy to do. machine the heads and while out.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to Pirate!

That Two door is a nice rig! I like the gas can mounting.

The head gasket i super easy to do. machine the heads and while out.
Roger that, thanks! I've been telling my brother for about a year that he needs to do a build thread for that SWB. These photos don't show all of the mods and work that he's done on it.

I'm still really thinking that since I want to get the LWB set up for another 100k miles+ of reliability that a quality rebuilt engine from a reputable outfit would be a good investment. In terms of time it would be quite a bit faster and in terms of parts and machining costs I am guessing that it would only be $1000-$1500 more. I would keep the existing motor as long-term spare parts set, and perhaps rebuild it as time allowed.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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quality rebuilt engine from a reputable outfit.
Be ultra careful on your rebuilder selection. Ask lots of people about prior experience with the selected vendor and Mitsu engines both here and over on the wire.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Be ultra careful on your rebuilder selection. Ask lots of people about prior experience with the selected vendor and Mitsu engines both here and over on the wire.
Will do. If getting a rebuilt is more risky rather than less, I'll just rebuild what I've got.
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