Its been a while


Alright, 2 years ago Monty (2005 Montero Limited) had the dreaded butterfly valve fall into the valve train. I was able to recover the butterfly, but the screws probably made it into the engine, it sucked and Monty has been dormant ever since. Bought a Toyota Tacoma and moved to the Toyota side of the forum. Well... I was just rear-ended a few days ago and the Poor Toyota was totaled. Now I am looking at going back to Monty, because as much as the Toyota was awesome, the price tag was not, and I don't think I want to make those monthly payments again. I enjoyed the montero just as much on the road, and much better offroad.

With that said, I have about $8,000 bucks to drop at it, but before I do anything, I want feedback from this forum, you guys have always been helpful to me and I value your advice. Pretty much, I am torn between dropping the money on a newer vehicle or fix up Monty and continue with it. In everyone's opinion, is a 2005 Montero worth saving? Is there a similar vehicle out there with similar capabilities and reliability?

I will probably need a new engine ($3900 + $1200 installation), tranny has been working fine, so I think I can manage that, probably need to redo the suspension (need guidance on this). Please advise. Thanks in advance.


Expedition Leader
I am sorry for the loss of the Taco, and the Monty. That's a tough run of luck. I recently thought a similar decision matrix and came up with this:

Not a huge aftermarket support, as some of the key brands that made things like skid plates have gone out of business or been sold to new fab shops that have discontinued many of the WK products, but there is enough around to do a mild build fairly inexpensively, and you can pick up a WK for cheaper than a Monty these days. The sweet spot seems to be in the 2008-2010 MY's with Hemi and either Limited or Overland Trim


Hopefully you were not seriously injured, glad to see you are in good spirits. Well $8K will do a lot to a Montero if you get one in decent condition (body wise), and use the rest for mechanical updates, and suspension upgrades, let alone if you tackle most of the work yourself. Look around, every now and again you can find a early 90's land cruiser for that price too. Whatever you decide, keep us posted!


Thank you both for your responses and regards for me. I was not injured much at all, thank goodness. But unfortunately the Taco took a heavy hit. Thanks for the advice on the WK, I have played with the idea of owning some kind of Jeep again since I've had 2 in the past, but my last experience with a Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ, 5.2l) was meh. I love XJs and used to own one as well (best car i've ever had IMO) but now I have 3 kids and we wont all fit comfortable in it for long trips. A WK on the other hand would be a fantastic idea, but it is super hard to find one with a hemi and I don't even want to get close to one with a 4.7L.

I can't find a vehicle with a better 4x4 system that the Montero, in conjunction with the same features as the Montero (please correct me if I am wrong). This includes Mitsubishi's Active Traction Control and 3rd row seating.

Because of this I am leaning towards fixing up Monty - the body is in great shape and other than the motor everything was working as expected. They are getting really expensive out there, I saw a 2006 Montero yesterday up for $19,000. >>>>>>JA4NW51SX3J026843 | 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited for sale in Grand Rapids, MI ( <<<<<That's just insane. Mine is not in much worst condition than that one shown in the link above (body wise).We'll see how things go, and I'll keep you all posted. I am still open for more suggestions. Any opinion helps, I'd really value everyone's opinion on this, however crazy it might be.


Here is a picture of the accident. And yes... I was backing out of my drive way when she hit me. Bent bed, cracked cab, and bent frame. Totaled.



If you already own the Montero to me that would make the choice even easier. If you have $8K at least here in Houston I could afford to fix it and even buy a beater $2K civic or something for work if need to be.


Well... It Begins. I will be fixing Monty and making an overland - daily driver vehicle. Just started shopping for parts to replace and new aftermarket mods, so stay tuned for pictures and a build thread.


Active member
Maybe try looking for a donor vehicle with a good engine? I’ve seen a few “bad transmission” or “head gasket” gen 3s in the $1500 range over the last few years


Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.
I'm not versed on all of the differences, but the early Gen 3 comes with a 3.5, and the later Gen 3's in the USA came with a 3.8 and traction control.
There are likely more differences that I'm not aware of...

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
I largely separate the Gen 3 (Chassis V60, NM/NP) into these groups:
01-02 XLS - 3.5L engine with 4spd transmission and manual transfer case, 4.9 Gears.
01-02 Limited - 3.5L engine with 5spd transmission and electronic transfer case, 4.3 Gears.
03+ (Limited) - 3.8L with 5spd transmission and electronic transfer case, 4.3 Gears. Traction Control added.

Your 2005 should be able to use any 3.8L engine from 03+. Use all sensors and wiring harness elements from your vehicle, where possible.
3.5L engines had throttle cables instead of drive by wire. XLS models had different transmissions and 4WD transfer cases.

RockAuto has parts, but PartSouq can get OEM. OEM is recommended when replacing important/hard to reach sensors (Cam/Crank speed, Knock).
RockAuto is good for maintenance/wear items.


Have you verified that there is actually engine damage before you make plans to replace it? It's entirely possible that the butterfly screws passed through the combustion chamber doing little or no damage, and are now stuck at the entrance to the catalytic converter.


RyanT, thank you for your response. There is definitely valve damaged at the very least. A piece of the butterfly valve went in with the screws - Also the butterfly valve itself is bent at most of the edges, and has sustained some heavy damage. I have not removed the head, to observe, but I bought a snake camera and inspected through the valves. Inside the cylinder bore and on top of the cylinder I saw chips and scratches. I did not find the screws but found pieces of metal throughout the cylinder bore. In other words the engine is done for. I really do not understand this major flaw on this engine and why it was designed this way, but I am done griping about it, since it happened so long ago now.

Now as for finding a used engine, I pretty much exhausted all of my avenues. All I could find in junkyards and being sold with other issues are 3rd gens 2001-2002 XLS versions. I could not find any newer 3rd gens with just an engine, and those that are available are outrageously overpriced. So the only thing I could do at this point is reman/rebuild the engine, which after calling local shops for a week and a half here in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, I found out no one is willing to rebuild or reman it, My only option for a rebuild are shops in Southern California and Los Angeles area, which means that I have to remove the engine, send it, wait 3 weeks and they send it back on my dime which in total is $6000. if I spend 6K on Monty, I don't have much left for other fixes needed and I won't have a car for another month and a half. So, unfortunately, its time to say goodbye to a dream that might never happen, it just doesn't make sense to me to spend so much time and effort on a 16 yr old vehicle. I guess I just need to come to the realization that Mitsubishi made a great vehicle and unfortunately is no longer available here.

If any of you guys have other options or even know of a person selling a Montero 2003+ at a reasonable price I'll pull the trigger. But as of now, I think is time to replace the Tacoma with another vehicle other than Monty. I am thinking of maybe a Land Rover LR3, Jeep Commander, Jeep Wrangler, Lexus GX. Let me know if any of you have had experience with those.

Thank you all,

Felix Guzman

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