Possible Montero sport cv upgrade?

Aetro

New member
My recent run in with inattentive drivers has left me with lots of bent stuff in the front end. Has anyone else bent their steering knuckles before? I thought cast iron would brake not bend, but the picture shows otherwise.

Can anyone confirm that 3rd gen montero CV's will connect to a 97 sport front axle?

I noticed the axles are longer and since the outer cv's are different I'd need to change the knuckles too. I'll have to find out if they use the same balljoint configuration. I'm assuming this would provide a wider stance and require some 1 off control arms

I'm ready to redo a lot since I already have to replace a lot

On another note, I also saw a ford 9" minispool seems to have compatable diameter and spline count for the rear 28 spline axle. Has anyone tried one of these?
 

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Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
So your steering is unique to the L200 trucks, the axle however is basically the same Mitsu 8" that most Monteros have. The beefier CV axles you can look into come from 94-98 Monteros with the 3.5 engine, they're also in all Gen 2 Manual transmission trucks if you were to find a donor. The CV's will have NTN 100 stamped into the birfield bell and embossed on the boots. NTN 95 is the smaller axle and all Gen 3's have those.
A bent knuckle is a new one to me, maybe they're weaker on the L200? I don't know but i've seen the Montero knuckles take abuse from 37's on rock crawler trails without damage, not that you could easily use those with your steering.

As for the Ford 9" compatibility... Maybe, the Mitsu 9" isn't an exact clone of the Ford 9". The splines are basically a match and other similarities but I wouldn't waste your time on trying to fit a mini spool when Montero and Sport air lockers are so common, inexpensive and literally drop in. The other option is to find an early Sport 9.5" locking rear axle and just make the full upgrade to the bigger axle, they're less common but still out there and usually only a few hundred or less. Cheaper than getting and installing a spool that may or may not need machining to fit or not work at all.

Now, back to that custom control arm and making Gen 3 parts work. I don't think it's worth the money or effort, a Sport on 35's and stock IFS should be able to wheel all but the most insane trails. It sound's like your damage was a result of speed and inexperience rather than weak parts, i'd recommend fixing it and investing your time and money into deeper transfer case gears, lockers and better *(not necessarily larger) tires. Now if you're just living in that grease slick hard clay terrain with wet rocks mixed in just start shopping for 1 ton axles.

If you're dead set on Gen 3 IFS and the wider front track, get the entire Gen 3 subframe and torch your old stuff off then weld the Gen 3 subframe under your Sport frame, convert to rack and pinion. It'll be cool but not stronger.
 

Aetro

New member
So your steering is unique to the L200 trucks, the axle however is basically the same Mitsu 8" that most Monteros have. The beefier CV axles you can look into come from 94-98 Monteros with the 3.5 engine, they're also in all Gen 2 Manual transmission trucks if you were to find a donor. The CV's will have NTN 100 stamped into the birfield bell and embossed on the boots. NTN 95 is the smaller axle and all Gen 3's have those.
A bent knuckle is a new one to me, maybe they're weaker on the L200? I don't know but i've seen the Montero knuckles take abuse from 37's on rock crawler trails without damage, not that you could easily use those with your steering.

As for the Ford 9" compatibility... Maybe, the Mitsu 9" isn't an exact clone of the Ford 9". The splines are basically a match and other similarities but I wouldn't waste your time on trying to fit a mini spool when Montero and Sport air lockers are so common, inexpensive and literally drop in. The other option is to find an early Sport 9.5" locking rear axle and just make the full upgrade to the bigger axle, they're less common but still out there and usually only a few hundred or less. Cheaper than getting and installing a spool that may or may not need machining to fit or not work at all.

Now, back to that custom control arm and making Gen 3 parts work. I don't think it's worth the money or effort, a Sport on 35's and stock IFS should be able to wheel all but the most insane trails. It sound's like your damage was a result of speed and inexperience rather than weak parts, i'd recommend fixing it and investing your time and money into deeper transfer case gears, lockers and better *(not necessarily larger) tires. Now if you're just living in that grease slick hard clay terrain with wet rocks mixed in just start shopping for 1 ton axles.

If you're dead set on Gen 3 IFS and the wider front track, get the entire Gen 3 subframe and torch your old stuff off then weld the Gen 3 subframe under your Sport frame, convert to rack and pinion. It'll be cool but not stronger.
Wow, thanks for all that information.

The cause of my damage was from a chevy Colorado driver turning left from the opposite direction of an intersection. I hit him right at the rear axle and his right rear hooked on my right front and eventually everything bent enough for us to slide apart.

I love this thing, rescued it from a college kid that drove it until nearly everything was worn out and broken.
I'm probably going to make it a toy since I found the frame also bent right where the control arms connect. I've taken the whole front end apart to the frame and engine and the only thing broken was the lower ball joint, everything else was bent. It stayed in place until I disconnected the tie rod and upper ball joint though.

I know there is a nearly complete 97 Montero with a 3.5 in a local junkyard along with another 01 Sport.

The minispool was $40 and I'm curious to check it's fitment. I'd expect it to be easier to make work than a full spool.

The wider stance with the other axles seemed like a good way to get more articulation out of the ifs without stressing the cv joints. I'd have to do some math, but more distance between the cv's should have some kind of effect. The 3rg Gen outer cv looks larger diameter and has more spline to engage the hub.
Unfortunately the wife has nixed the idea of getting too creative (expensive) lol. So I think I'm going to just replace parts and put a beefy bumper on the front
I'll try to convert some more pictures to jpeg and share its current state
 

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plh

Explorer
yeah, that is bad. Frame shop can probably pull it for $500 to $800, but probably not worth it with all the sheet metal damage. Start over!
 
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Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
Damn! collision makes more sense.

I'd start over on that one, Sports can be found dirt cheap with mechanical issues. If yours still runs great you've got a good donor, whats the deal on the other Sport you have?
If you do decide to repair the wrecked one, graft a front frame from a Wagoneer on there with it's leaf sprung suspension. I've done that before it's not terribly hard nor expensive and you'll gain like 5" of lift, spring over the rear and do your body work. SAS'd sport on a budget!
 

Aetro

New member
Damn! collision makes more sense.

I'd start over on that one, Sports can be found dirt cheap with mechanical issues. If yours still runs great you've got a good donor, whats the deal on the other Sport you have?
If you do decide to repair the wrecked one, graft a front frame from a Wagoneer on there with it's leaf sprung suspension. I've done that before it's not terribly hard nor expensive and you'll gain like 5" of lift, spring over the rear and do your body work. SAS'd sport on a budget!
The other sport was bought to replace the wrecked one for daily duties. It's a single owner elderly driven 2003 with 60k miles, immaculate interior and minor scratches all over the outside from hundreds of automatic car washes. The rear seat belts were still in their factory positions lol. Got it for only $4k. It's the first automatic mitsubishi I've ever bought (7th overall, 2nd monty, I typically stick with the turbo AWD cars) but it does have the 4.90 gears. I'll have to do a timing belt and waterpump on it as soon as my evo is back on the road.
I'm not used to half-a$$ing repairs, but I think ill try to straighten the 97 with some 4" straps and a couple trees. If it doesn't work it will likely be retired.
That wagoner idea sounds awesome, any links to the project?
While looking around at CV axle solutions for other lifted ifs vehicles I ran across some for dodge, gm, and Toyota that replace the inner Tulip joint with a CV and seem to use some kind of linear bearing in the shaft for the plunge. They advertised 47 degree angles (Tulip is usually only good to 25 degrees or so) and an additional 40mm of plunge over OEM CV's. Do you guys think an intermediate shaft could be shortened to be used on the other side? This might allow the use of the chevy versions with the flat inner flanges
I'm thinking more along the lines of a desertrunner suspension than a rock crawler though there isn't much of either here in Michigan. We've got mud, snow, and sometimes sand
 

plh

Explorer
There is a reason that there are Toyota CV replacements. They are so much weaker than Monteros (plus there are a LOT more Toyotas imported over the years). Except the LC - those are pretty good.
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
Your CV's are way stronger than the others you mention, if you have OEM units still they're at least NTN 95s or possibly NTN 100's since yours was a manual. 6 bearing Birfs inner and outer, none of that tripod garbage.
 
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Aetro

New member
Your CV's are way stronger than the others you mention, if you have OEM units still they're at least NTN 95s or possibly NTN 100's since yours was a manual. 6 bearing Birfs inner and outer, none of that tripod garbage.
Wait these don't use the tripod joints on the axle side? I just assumed they did, how does the axle manage the plunge in and out during movement?
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
Nope, they use a plunging Rzeppa. MMC didn't cheap out on these things, that's how we can run 37's on stock axles and crawl rocks with minimal issues outside accelerated wear. If you have 95mm joints I wouldn't exceed 35's though.
 
Nope, they use a plunging Rzeppa. MMC didn't cheap out on these things, that's how we can run 37's on stock axles and crawl rocks with minimal issues outside accelerated wear. If you have 95mm joints I wouldn't exceed 35's though.
really interesting, I’ve never known anything about cv axle joint until reading this thread. I did a quick google search and one of the first articles states that the Rzeppa is actually less strong of a design than the tripod of the same size. It does say that the Rzeppa offers more articulation though. So on our trucks, is the articulation what kills these cv axles while pure strength at normal angles is less of a concern?
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
So, The tripod doesn't get weaker with angle like the Rzeppa does but they are smaller than the CV's that come stock on the Montero. With our stock CV's the internals actually start to come out of it's bell (outer cup) at full angle, when they're inside their cup they're really strong. If you don't trim your bumpstops or change anything the Montero CV's will be stronger than most.
The strongest CV's you can currently buy are Rzeppas (From RCV), what makes them different from a conventional Rzeppa is that the bell is doesn't allow the star or bearings to exit the cup at full angle and they're made from a 300M alloy. Sort of amazing, I have them on my truck and let me tell you that you can really hog on them like sweeping lock to lock while chewing through boulders on 37's. Allegedly the ones i've got are guaranteed up to 40" tires
 
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