3rd Gen Montero Questions

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
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?)
Being a suspension lift, the OME set raises every part of the vehicle above the wheel hub by ~2". Most have reported similar or improved handling when the springs and shocks are spec'd correctly for the vehicle and load. There may be more body roll when loaded or if a roof rack is used. Stiffer kits should be requested to handle these issues. Call OME/ARB or whoever you wish to buy the kit from to specify your desired handling and normal cargo loads. HD springs give a sportier feeling, but the suspension becomes stiff over bumps and rough roads. SD springs will be close to factory with a little more body roll. MD springs (if available) can be a compromise between these two. Also using different springs front and rear can affect how it will handle.

You should not have any problems with 32" tires and 2" lift. Expect more body roll as with any lifted vehicle, but it is not as severe as body on frame or solid axle designs.

Thread showing ground clearance change after 2" Lovells lift. https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=21612


Thanks again and this is getting exiting. So I can add a 32" or 33"(skinny) A/T without having to make a lift - correct?

I have a 31"(P265/65R17) so this should give me about 1" to 2" inch lift. With OME(or others) what's the best Tire to go with? What about this --> 265/80r17(keep the same rim?). Please share your thoughts.

Another query was(& this maybe DUMB) - Why do you need ARB lockers when you have the Gen 3 Stock traction control with you?

Really appreciate the help and guidance here.

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
It can fit standard 33" tires without lift (285/75/16 is confirmed, 285/70/17 is the matching size you will want), but mud tire treads tend to be slightly larger than the advertised measurement. AT tires should all fit. Some like the skinny (255 or 235) tires to avoid any chance of rubbing or because of the old Land Rover look. The 32" (265/70/17) is also a very common tire size and is currently used on Jeep wranglers.

If you are planning on a lift, then there is no reason not to have 33" (285/70/17) as any slight rubbing at lock will go away with the lift. Otherwise it may be best to stay at 32" (265/70/17) to maintain better on road behavior.

The traction control systems used in the Montero (and also in newer 4WDs) is very good and can adjust to fit almost any situation. However, the systems rely on using the ABS brake control to manually the brakes at each wheel. This causes more wear on the pads and rotors. It also can get confused or have a slower reaction to the available traction. I installed a factory hybrid LSD from a 01-02 Limited Montero to replace a bad rear diff. This unit has meshed gears which lock together when the torque supplied to each wheel does not match (Torsen = Torque sensing). The gears are very strong and more durable than a clutch pack LSD (clutches wear over time), but they cannot operate when a wheel is completely lifted because the torque on each side becomes 0 even when the speeds are different. To combat this, Mitsubishi installed a small LSD clutch pack that heats up and locks just enough to provide a torque difference on that side, hence the hybrid name. The gears then take over to continue moving the vehicle. This unit also works in conjunction to my traction control as the ABS can brake the wheel instead of using the clutches.

A true locking differential (factory on Gen 2 SR and Gen 2.5 winter package) eliminates all of these moving parts and simply locks both sides together. Both sides get the same torque and speed all of the time, which is very good offroad. It is very bad to use in on road driving as there is too much strain on the driveline from the increased traction of the road. Therefore, all of these locker systems need to be actuated on-off when needed through air (ARB uses high pressure, Mitsubishi OEM uses low pressure) or electronically (Toyota OEM). This makes for a much more expensive system to be installed, and while having lockers on both axles provides the most traction in difficult situations, most trails can be completed without them. Traction control systems now perform just as well as these devices in the same situations when programmed correctly (just watch the video of a Jeep Renegade offroad).

My preferred offroad builds should usually follow in this order:
1) Tires - Good AT tires as you will spend more time driving around town and to the trail than actually on it
2) Communications and directions - At the very least, handheld radios. Further on this could be CB or HAM radios. Never go out alone, and have a way to talk to whoever is on the trail with you. Always have a good map of the area for when a GPS isn't working.
3) Armor - skid plates or just reinforcing low hanging points. A skidmark 4x4 hitch plate and the factory skids are good enough for me on a Gen 3. Rock sliders are a good addition
4) Recovery - High rated (12k+ lb) D ring shackles, recovery and towing strap. Brush cutting equipment for downed trees and branches. I haven't listed a winch as this is stuff to get you out of a bad spot or off the trail in the event of a failure. Winches are very good, but expensive to install and are usually used to get further down the trail and stuck again.
5) As needed - This is where you go out on a trail with what you have before adding more. Do you need another 2" with a lift, or were you already high above the obstacles on your favorite trail? Do you need a bumper just to mount a winch if you never get that stuck on a trail? Do you need fuel storage for an extended trip? Would it be better to add spotlights for driving or AUX lights for around the vehicle at a campsite? Is it worth getting a dual battery setup if you don't stop for more than a few days at a time on a trail? Do you need to install $5,000 worth of gear on the truck or would you be better off spending $200 in gas and food getting to the trail?

Take it out with a group and an experienced spotter to get the most out of the truck. A lot of vehicles are built better and more capable than their drivers. I also follow the advice of one of my racing instructors about using the cars offroad. "If you aren't prepared to watch it wreck and burn to the ground, then don't bring it out here. A lot of it is not in your control, so you have to be prepared for what may happen." A little more extreme than a day on the trail, but breaking on the trail and needing a fix doesn't hurt as much when all your money wasn't sunk into a new shiny piece that didn't stop the damage.


@MichealBrown - Thanks for pulling the right nerve. Really appreciate it. I'm not into Re-engineering and like stock. Hey, my present bike runs on a 1948 engine and took me to the top of the highest motorable road(I added a photo)..

The way you closed you description made me thing again on what's important first.

32" AT for a start first (also add Rock Sliders + Plates). This should be a good start for now.



What MB said! LOL

I agree, when you get out there you will start to see what matters most. And start asking yourself, (self) what type of rig do I want? Trail Burner, Backwoods Runner, Desert mobile, rock crawler, etc...

My build is inspired by a Dakar Style Fun Truck, so I know what I'm aiming for.

The goal is to Beat the Jeeps and on connecting or fire roads, Live axles trucks are dust in my rear view. So what, I'm not clearing the fallen tree, but I'm having fun like a rally car taking the long way round!


Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
Thanks, guys. I just give the best information that I have at the time. It also couldn't hurt to make this thread a sticky for the next person who asks about Gen 3s.


Awesome, @terrance - Dakar is the fun part of the stock ..... I'd rather trek that 4 feet rock Boulder hill, but use the pleasure of driving at rally speed on roads where the butt starts hurting in an all axle frame.. thanks @mb gotcha


New member
Yeah. This thread has been fantastic. Looks like I'm picking up an 05 Montero on Friday. Color me excited! This will be my second one. I had a GenII that despite a thoroghly rusted frame was nearly unstoppable. We were bummed to see it go. We've been patient in looking for a new(er) one though. 138k, and meticulous records. While I won't be doing much overlanding with it here in MN, it'll certainly see its fair share of gravel here, and for forest travel in Northern WI and MN with the yearly trip to the Black Hills, Rockies or Arkansas to really use it.


So I have a 2005 Monty Limited and it reads 98K. I'm slowly changing stock items as corresponding to the service interval. The timing belt and water pump are on the top of the line along with the serpentine belt. The timing belt change is every 60K and assuming the previous owner made a change at 60K(+-), I still have some K miles left(or not).
So I went about shopping for this service from a Mitsu dealer to someone who thinks the model is still in production.
Weird fluctuation in terms of the cost ( almost 100% :Wow1:). And all of them are quoting OEM here as per them, at least. The guys on the higher side say these is no Kit for this and all the various components come as separate line items whereas others put in a single timing kit(+ water pump) into the quote.

As this is an important part, could you please advise on your own experiences making the change here? Thanks for your help in advance.


Rock auto has the Aisin kit TKM005. Its about as OEM as you can get. $211
Last edited:


Thanks PLH and Offthepath for your suggestions.

I am right now dealing with a much larger problem at this point in time and seek all the advice from Montero officiandoes. I'll try putting in the context if it were to help describe the problem itself.

Yesterday was a nice and sunny Saturday and thought it would be a good time to go out for a weekend drive. So it was Texas hill country and about 200 miles for the drive. These are curvy roads but with 60 MPH speed limits. It was all going well and we were getting back to enjoy the Saturday evening. After a heavy lunch, I don't know why(maybe laziness), I happened to start using the cruise control(CC) and yes, this is a hilly area.

So as we were approaching a hill, the CC revved up heavy to control the speed(I didn't feel a downshift). I felt there was some loss in power but things were ok after that. We drove about a mile to a 4 way intersection with a STOP sign. While braking here I felt the CC was still trying to power the vehicle. Then we stopped. The A/C was on at full blast and I pressed the accelerator and the we wouldn't move. About 20 seconds and put off the a/c to notice the engine stopped. I restarted the engine and immediately felt a noise coming from the engine and the car moved with resistance to a place nearby(luckily there was some shade for the 100F temp).

I got out and thought let's simply give it some time. After 10 minutes, tried to start but the same noise and the engine stalled. It was a Saturday and that place had not internet. Walked into a local Bar and asked help. Great people, they managed to have a local mechanic arrive. So all this took about 30 minutes. He then asked me to start the engine and I did. He checks the oil(no problem) and he also check the Engine oil light(no problem). The engine started this time but there was that noise. Our man, makes a sad face and says, it's bad.

So he says the Rod bearing's gone.:eek::eek::eek:

He didn't even charge me and I thanked him for the help. Managed to get it towed home where it stands now. Got up in the morning today and managed to record the noise for cold start and when the engine was warmed up. Here they are -->

1. 2. 3. 4.
I also picked up 3 sources where this was talked about --

1. https://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=41050
2. http://mitsubishiforum.com/forum/mitsubishi-montero-montero-sport-14/2002-montero-loud-engine-knock-33052/page2/
3. http://www.4x4wire.com/mitsubishi/tech/minutemods/lifter_noise/

I'm sure there are many other sources but I'd appreciate your help and feedback on this.


I always look on the bright side, since so many times what I thought was a catastrophe, turned out to be not so bad.

In your first video, I agree, right at the beginning of the start, I did hear a brief "heavy knock", which you could claim was bottom-end related, but it disappeared quickly. My experience with a rod knock is that it gets louder as RPMs increase. A slight rod bearing issue also sometimes won't make noise until after you just revved up the engine and on deceleration, the knock appears for a few seconds.

Th rest of the time all I heard was what sounded like noisy lifters (sort of like the worn sewing machine running) to me, along with the usual slight ticking noise of fuel injectors.

When the lifters loose oil pressure, they bleed out or collapse, this reduces valve opening, and effectively reduces power dramatically. It can take a while to get them back up to pressure. When mine started to go (on my 3.5L) we started to lose power going up a hill in drive, and started getting what I thought was spark knock, or bearing noise. When I repaired, replaced, and re-bled the lifters, all the troubles ceased and the engine is very quiet now.

Using an automotive stethoscope (or in my case a wooden dowel rod to the ear) probe the top of the valve covers in multiple locations carefully, listening for the ticking noise. It may be greater or weaker in a certain area, but if you hear the noise just under valve covers on both sides, then I would suspect lifters, or something similar. Also if your timing belt has lost tension but not yet slipped, you might be experiencing similar issues with valve timing and lifter noise.

Maybe install a mechanical oil pressure gauge for testing your pressure before panicking. See if the pressure is good, and take a peek in the oil fill hole with a light while the engine is running and make sure oil is splashing around freely under the valve covers.

If the knock is indeed bottom end noise, you should be able to hear it louder or more pronounced from under the car. Safely please, get the car up on jack stands, wheels off the ground, then listen from underneath and see if the noise is louder, I'm betting you won't hear it as much anymore.

It's also important to have the right oil filter, I usually order extra genuine Mitsubishi whenever I order OEM parts, one with the anti-drain back valve which holds some oil in place for startup. Your noise seems to fall away as soon as oil pressure builds. Be sure to use the right grade oil for your engine and the local air temperatures you are experiencing. Many Mitsu folks switch to higher weight/viscosity oils to combat the leaks or valve seal issues. I think this causes trouble with the lifters because those passages are tiny!

You may indeed end up with bad news, but based on what you have provided so far, I'm not ready to throw in the towel and give up.

Good Luck


Thanks @NormalDave, I appreciate your comment here. I also am hoping but a second test I ran(videos below) kind of makes me think it's Rod Knocking. I put the engine on load(acceleration / AC). Could you please listen in and let me know your thoughts here?

1. 2. 3.