Question: 3rd Gen Montero Rear Suspension Setup

wonton

Member
I used to have a Gen2.5 and really loved it. Now, I’m thinking of getting into a 3rd gen Montero once COVID-19 is under control and back to normal.

My question is: Do you guys know why Mitsubishi decided to go with independent suspension in the rear vs solid axle? From what I understand, solid rear axle setup seems like a much more stout and great for rock crawling/off-road setup. Even other truck manufacturers (Landcruiser/4Runner/Jeeps) still run solid axles in the rear. With that said, what is the benefit of the independent suspension for offroading?
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
Sort of the wrong question. Try this instead: What is the drawback of a solid axle on the road?

Independant suspension provides a more compliant and stable ride ON the road, which is the vast majority of vehicle usage. Offroad it is not nearly as good at articulation that a 3 or 4 point solid axle system can be. Some mfr's (Toyota and Land Rover for example), have come up with fancy ways to improve articulation in independent suspension systems by using air shocks and cross linking them so that upwards compression on one squirts over and pushes down on the other side. It helps, but its still not as good. But the ride home from the trail is better....

If you read car magazines, they are very skewed towards on road performance. Read a Gladiator review or current Jeep Wrangler review and they talk about the ride being "acceptable despite the solid axle underpinnings" for just one example. They treat solid axle setups as "legacy" systems and rarely acknowledge their benefits. Rumor has it the Bronco will have solid rear axle!
 

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offthepath

Adventurer
The rear axle (ring and pinion, CVs and axles) of a 3rd Gen is very stout.

With the lack of flex it is not the best for rock crawling, and if that's your plan, get a different vehicle. But for 95 percent of everything else it works well.

For most of our off road use I prefer IRS on the montero.
 

Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
The Pajero/Montero was also being developed under the race conditions of Dakar in Africa. High speed desert racing benefits from IRS greatly where there is little crawling/low speed obstacles. This also improves road handling over the solid axle. If you look at King of Hammers/Ultra4 cars, they still cannot agree on the best setup. Some use solid axles for better traction in the boulders while others use IRS for open desert stability and speed.

The IRS handles very well over obstacles, but it must be driven differently. Instead of letting the solid axle droop to the ground to maintain grip, you focus on keeping the chassis centered and allow the traction system to power the wheels with ground contact. Slow, steady throttle application causes the system to engage during wheel spin. Search for "dancing pajero" on Youtube to see some examples of this.
 
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