2003 Montero: Keep, Trade for 4Runner, or ???

CJREX

New member
Thanks for all the input guys.

I'm going to go out and drive them all just to see if there's anything about them that "clicks" with me, but try to keep an open mind and not fall for the new hot chick when everything I need is already at home.

Knowing my current Montero's history is a big plus since I have had it for 125k of its 145k miles.

I'll add the GX to my short list though honestly one of the reasons I really took a shine to the 4Runner was the V6 with a timing chain (the V8s have the timing belt), though the V8 may help me cope with the loss of my Bronco (built 351W) ;)

I know my current Monty has the timing belt as I've changed it myself twice (@65k and 125k), which is why the idea of not having to do it is appealing :)

I am only interested in the later years of the 4th gen 4Runner so my selection is a bit limited, but I'm not really in a hurry.

I also notice after a quick look that the GX does not appear to be hit with the "Toyota Tax" on the used market. Will most definitely look into those.

Thanks!
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
Having driven them both, i much much muuuuccch prefer the 4th gen 4runner to the 5th gen. It's really the same truck, just lighter and with less crap everywhere on it.

Our 2006 has 205k miles on it and drives literally like it's brand new. I'll be doubling down on it in 3-4 years and buying the latest/lowest miles Gen4 i can find to replace it. It's just the best jack-of-all-trades vehicle i've ever owned. For MY purposes, i would rather the V6 just because it's slightly more of a cockroach and the engine bay is less crammed. For OUR purposes, the V8 is the preference, because it simply doesn't care about towing my car(s). (And my wife enjoys the odd stoplight drag, i think. The thing is silly fast off the line)
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
This is a much more toned down version of Toasty vs 3 years ago when he had the GX which was "this thing is so weak", "the CVs are tiny and the Toyota dudes think it's normally to spend thousands to make them stronger", "it can't hang with the Monteros, I need to buy a Gen3".

Memories, enough years to forget about the weak sauce CV's and other short comings. For the eventual platform change what i'd really like is a 200 series to replace the Montero. I did however just re up my Montero contract with that new '98 so a resto mod Gen 2 will be my new DD. A 200 would eventually replace my '99 once it's worn out from wheeling but even that truck is getting a new suspension and only has 70k on the engine so it'll be a while before i jump ship.
 

CJREX

New member
A bit of an update:

I've now driven 2 GX470s and 2 4Runners, all with the V8.

I still want to try a V6 4Runner.

Initial impressions are that the V8 is not as strong as I was expecting.

Stronger than the Montero V6 certainly, but I guess I was expecting more torque akin to my 351 powered Bronco.

GX470 seats are very nice and comfortable, equal or better than Montero. Also similar terrific visibility and headroom. Seems to have a tighter turning circle.

4Runner not so much. Not bad, but just not as good to me. I did like the roll down rear window though.

Between the two I prefer the GX470 as you seem to get a whole lot more truck for the $$. It's also a lot more comfortable.

4Runner appears strongly affected by the Toyota Tax

So after checking them out I still don't know if they're worth the cost differential over my Montero.

I'm thinking about expanding my potentials to include the Xterra as I don't really need the room and there's a 6 speed not too far away..

More research required...
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I think the 03 Shogon Sport ( UK ) or in Australia it is called the Challenger Is one of the most sure footed 4x4/SUV's on the market it's a lot better than my 1996 Pajero/Montero Exceed, 2'5 Diesel, My Shogun Sport is the 2.5L Diesel with a 5 speed Manual and it does better than 40 MPG on the Highway and can haul 700kgs / 1543Lbs and has a GCM / Gross Combination Mass , meaning it and a loaded Trailer of 5410kgs / 11,927Lbs,

It is great on the highway and off road the steering is a lot sharper than the other models and it gets going pretty good too, Mine has done about 81,647 Miles,

Here it is with it's new set of 5 10plies Toyo Open Country M/T's,
 

Attachments

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I think the 03 Shogon Sport ( UK ) or in Australia it is called the Challenger Is one of the most sure footed 4x4/SUV's on the market it's a lot better than my 1996 Pajero/Montero Exceed, 2'5 Diesel, My Shogun Sport is the 2.5L Diesel with a 5 speed Manual and it does better than 40 MPG on the Highway and can haul 700kgs / 1543Lbs and has a GCM / Gross Combination Mass , meaning it and a loaded Trailer of 5410kgs / 11,927Lbs,

It is great on the highway and off road the steering is a lot sharper than the other models and it gets going pretty good too, Mine has done about 81,647 Miles,

Here it is with it's new set of 5 10plies Toyo Open Country M/T's,
Except they never sold them here with a diesel, and here the gen 3 is a better rig than the Sport.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Except they never sold them here with a diesel, and here the gen 3 is a better rig than the Sport.
I don't like the series 3, because they don't have the ladder chassis. and they wallow in the corners. In factory trim my sport is way better.

Yeah you guys got the V6 version which is not as good as the diesel and In Australia the Challenger version was the same as your with leaf springs in the back,, My one has Coil Springs in the rear and Torsion bars in the front and goes round corners like a Train on Rails. and it looks a bit like a Navigator but smaller,

I would like a Navigator or a Suburban because of how much they can haul and the load space in the back but the fuel bill would be the killer.
 
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billiebob

Well-known member
So I have a 2003 Montero Limited that I bought in 2003.

Basically stock. It has been nothing short of a stellar vehicle as far as reliability goes (15+ years, 145k miles, and non-routine maintenance costs have been a tensioner, a solenoid, and the updated crank pulley bolt/washer. <$100)).

Now though, I want to trim my fleet so I will be selling my built Bronco. It is awesome off road but not so much on road.

That will mean that either my existing Montero gets built or I trade it for something that may be more capable.

General consensus is that the 4 runner (I want a 2005-2009 model) is better, but how much better?

Is it worth trading to get only a little more capability?

I guess the rear IFS is the only real downside to the existing Montero as the rest of it is pretty solid.

What about a gen 2.5 Montero?

I like the look of those.

End goal is general trail riding/overlanding. No rock crawling.

What would you do?

Thanks
I prefer to camp next to the guy in something unique. I say keep the Montero. And keep it stock, just drive it accordingly. Build it? Why? Some of my friends have been far more, remote, desolate places than me in "station wagons" than I'll ever see in my Rubicon. One of them traded that 1966 Beaumont Wagon for a 1st gen FourRunner.... and went fewer places.

The vehicle you drive has no effect on the capability of your overlanding. ZERO !!

Only reason to get rid of the Montero.... RUST.

The Montero, while rare in North America is a world class vehicle. Likely surpassing the Rubicon in accomplishments. Keep it.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I prefer to camp next to the guy in something unique. I say keep the Montero. And keep it stock, just drive it accordingly. Build it? Why? Some of my friends have been far more, remote, desolate places than me in "station wagons" than I'll ever see in my Rubicon. One of them traded that 1966 Beaumont Wagon for a 1st gen FourRunner.... and went fewer places.

The vehicle you drive has no effect on the capability of your overlanding. ZERO !!

Only reason to get rid of the Montero.... RUST.

The Montero, while rare in North America is a world class vehicle. Likely surpassing the Rubicon in accomplishments. Keep it.
I was thinking of lifting mine and going up to 35" Tyres but that would cause too many issues Towing a Camper/Caravan Trailer, As it is It has enough ground clearance for most Trails except Rock Crawling, I just went up a couple of sizes in Tyres.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I was thinking of lifting mine and going up to 35" Tyres but that would cause too many issues Towing a Camper/Caravan Trailer, As it is It has enough ground clearance for most Trails except Rock Crawling, I just went up a couple of sizes in Tyres.
yes, but likely if you went back to stock size tires, youd never go bigger again. It is the most common "upgrade". Go from 30s? to 33s? I say 10% difference if you already have deep gears is OK. But eventually go back to the originals, just to check that decision.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
yes, but likely if you went back to stock size tires, youd never go bigger again. It is the most common "upgrade". Go from 30s? to 33s? I say 10% difference if you already have deep gears is OK. But eventually go back to the originals, just to check that decision.
Yeah I think your right, My next upgrade will be front and rear ARB's, I thought about going with Detroit Lockers but I want to be able to have the Diffs unlocked for use on the black top and Lock em up when needed, but I will fit each one with it's own compressor or wire them up so the rear does not have to be locked if I just want to lock the front Axle.
 

CJREX

New member
Final update: Montero is gone, replaced by 2004 Grand Cherokee Overland with the 4.7 HO V8.

After driving more of the 4Runner and GX470s the V8 in them just didn't quite satisfy.

Drove some 4.7 Grand Cherokees and they were OK but the HO version kicks it pretty good.

Solid axles front and rear and since mine is the Overland it has the gerotor limited slips in both axles.

Loving it so far.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
Final update: Montero is gone, replaced by 2004 Grand Cherokee Overland with the 4.7 HO V8.

After driving more of the 4Runner and GX470s the V8 in them just didn't quite satisfy.

Drove some 4.7 Grand Cherokees and they were OK but the HO version kicks it pretty good.

Solid axles front and rear and since mine is the Overland it has the gerotor limited slips in both axles.

Loving it so far.
Not a bad rig, add the OME suspension and some 235/85r16 on stock wheels and it will definitely get you some places without affecting driving comfort.
 

CJREX

New member
Not a bad rig, add the OME suspension and some 235/85r16 on stock wheels and it will definitely get you some places without affecting driving comfort.
Actually already picked up a set of Wrangler take off wheels and tires with 255/70/17 Yokohamas (I couldn't stand the factory chrome Overland wheels. Way too chromy for me)

Mine has the Upcountry suspension (factory 1" lift) and I'll be installing a 2.5" front/2" rear BB next weekend and I think they'll clear OK until I can get the Bushwacker cut out flares and a real suspension lift.
 
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