3rd Gen Montero Questions

normal_dave

waytoomuchwritinginposts.
Congratulations, would love to hear the purchase story (without the price), and your decision process and plans going forward. Others may be reluctant to do a fly and drive, and your experience and success would be encouraging.
 

DeltaFry

Observer
Thanks and Sorry to intrude here @michealbrown but I had this query about tires - I have a 2005 Montero with Michelin P265/65R17 LTX M/S. Is this good enough for some off-roading or I need to go the A/T way. Please let me know what you think.
 

normal_dave

waytoomuchwritinginposts.
Of course, I have an opinion, we have this exact tire on our '03 Sport, and they are easily the best mud/snow street tire on the market. All Terrains in a good brand are better at off-road, but not tremendously so. The new version of this famous Michelin is called the Defender.

I just chose my low cost version similar to the Michelin, for my Montero. It is this one, and I'm very pleased so far.
http://www.sumitomotire.com/trucks/products/Encounter/EncounterHT.aspx

The best part about the Michelin (and now for me the Sumitomo) is the great highway manners, and long tread life. I'm considering getting some extra rims, mounting some aggressive A/Ts and swapping when I'm planning some off-road work.
 

tdesanto

Expedition Leader
Sorry I'm a bit late to the party...glad others were able to help with the info. Glad too that the 3.8 has a bit more power for the mountain passes. My 3.5 struggles a bit, but once I just got used to the idea of running the engine at 5000 RPMs, it's fine. Looks like it's in good shape.
 

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
I answered DeltaFry's question in a message, but I thought the info could be useful here as well.

I have 3 different A/T tires (Dunlop 32", Goodyear 32", and spare Dunlop 31") on mine, because that was how I found it in the car lot. Treads were OK so I couldn't justify new tires right away. It will need new ones this year, though. Towing wore the inside of the rear tires (normal for IRS) so I moved them to the front and am saving money for new Toyos. The stock 265/65 does well in most conditions as it did for my '01, but it never hurts having a little more tire. The 01 tires were bald on some trails which makes it more difficult in rain on rocks. :D Don't ever drive on bald tires. They are the reason I had to buy an 05 after 1 day of snow and ice.

Your Michelin tires are LTX M/S which are highway biased with features for mud/snow/winter weather. They will be softer than non-M/S tires to maintain traction in cold temperatures. In dry conditions, there will be no problem on that trail. If it rains and becomes muddy, then the small treads will fill with mud and become slick tires. Even most A/T tires do this, and only true mud tires will clear the treads in deep mud. A/T tires still make the best compromise as they can be found with 55k and 65k mile ratings and adapt to most situations. Your LTX tires will suffice for almost any dry trail you are willing to test for now. Save some money for a good set of 265/70 A/T in the near future.

This is a good video of a stock vehicle's capabilities. They have A/T tires, but still the same idea. Just keep steady and smooth throttle while the traction control sorts out power distribution to the wheels. Lifting 1 or 2 wheels off is normal and is known as the Montero Salute. Keep balance and slow pedal inputs to control the vehicle until it touches ground again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WPsT4p1lE8

Gen 3 and General Tire Info:
The Montero/Pajero can fit up to 33" (285/75) tires without lifting the vehicle, but some more aggressive treads may rub at full steering lock. I recommend staying at 32" (265/70), because a larger tire is not as necessary on a full IFS/IRS vehicle, especially with the traction control system. Mud tires are also not helpful unless you are always in mud, since they only last about 20k miles on road due to their soft compound. A/T tires are the best all around tire for offroad and highway use. I can highly regard the Toyo Open Country ATII (65k warranty, used on my family's Jeeps and 4WDs) and Cooper Discoverer AT3 (very good alternative with 55k warranty).

Good A/T tire review by Expo http://expeditionportal.com/where-the-rubber-meets-the-road/

EDIT: A question was also asked about armor in the email. I am posting my response here as well.
This is info about armor suppliers that I have found. I have not used them and cannot give a review, but they are the best choices I have found so far.

Bumper is almost unanimously ARB, but they only build a front bumper. Rear bumper is always a custom job.

Skid plates other than the factory bash plate have to be made or ordered from Australia. Bushkinz and Ironman 4x4 are good choices. I believe Ironman has some USA dealers.
http://bushskinz4x4.com.au/products/#!/NM-NX-Pajero-2000-Onwards/c/15754538/offset=0&sort=nameAsc
http://www.ironman4x4.com/products/underbody-protection/pajero-nm-np-2000-2006-underbody-protection

Rock sliders can be made, but Rocky-Road makes great ones for a decent price. They are also an ARB dealer, but there have been reports of slow processing for those parts. The Rocky-Road parts ship quickly, but it seems to take longer to get ARB through them.
http://www.rocky-road.com/montero-rock-sliders.html

**My personal armor on the '05 consists of the factory pieces (metal bash plate and plastic skid guards) and a rear trailer hitch mounted plate. I was always dragging my hitch through dirt and mud, or I was banging it on a rock. I found Skidmark 4x4 and ordered a 1/4" steel hitch plate (free shipping on all orders). Mine came in a black wrinkle coat that has stayed for 2 years of use. I have used it everywhere offroad and have dropped the entire vehicle off a ledge onto it while on a rough trail. Only has a few scrapes on the outer corner and has saved my hitch from damage. It has been the only additional armor I have needed so far.

Skidmark site http://www.skidmark4x4.com/order-now/
 
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DeltaFry

Observer
Thanks @MichaelBrown - much appreciated. with a 32" inch tire why do you say -"larger tire is not as necessary on a full IFS/IRS vehicle"?
 

TerrenceLP

Observer
Thanks @MichaelBrown - much appreciated. with a 32" inch tire why do you say -"larger tire is not as necessary on a full IFS/IRS vehicle"?
Solid axles need bigger tires to raise the diff's. On the Montero the diff's are high up already so bigger tires on the same scale of a solid axle is not necessary and you start running in to drive axle problems. 32/33 inch tires at the right width is plenty.
 

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
^^^^^What Terrence said

For a frame on body vehicle, the only thing that lifts the diffs higher is increasing tire size. Body and suspension lifts are just a means to fit larger tires. IFS/IRS has the diff mounted higher than the hubs so more can be done with smaller size increases. A 2" lifted Montero with 33" tires will have about the same ground clearance as a solid axle vehicle with 37" tires. The IRS axle-diff connection is almost 2" higher than where the axle meets the wheel hub, and the suspension lift raises everything by another 2". The biggest worry is the low hanging bodywork on the bumpers and side skirts.
 

DeltaFry

Observer
Thanks @Terrance and Michael - makes sense. Couple of queries - If I add a 32" with OME 2", how badly does this effect the high way driving stance and rolling? You are kind of changing the CG here right? And, doesn't this lift also raise the hanging body work ( the lowest part determines the ground clearance here, don't it?)
 
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