Long time lurker, finally decided to make a thread here on expo. This is my second Montero. My first was a Gen 1 LWB:
The gen 1 was one hell of a truck and I dearly miss it, but I wanted something a little more comfortable for long road trips and more power for driving up the mountains to go skiing. Originally I had my sights set on a Gen 2.5, but the little voice in the back of my head just kept on bringing up the Gen 3. The more and more I thought about it, the more the Gen 3 started to appeal to me..So now I had my sights set on a 2003+ limited, preferably in black.
Anyways, I ended up selling my Gen 1 for $4,000. Immediately afterwards I got on my phone and got on craigslist. Lo and behold, there's a 2003 Gen 3, black, 20th ae for sale just an hours drive away! Asking $3,500. Messaged the guy, got to talking, and things weren't looking too good. The guy wouldn't be available to meet until the following day (when I would be busy), and he also had 2 more people coming the morning of said day. Well, I couldn't just let this Montero slip through my fingers, so I messaged back and said "yo, I've got $3,500 cash in hand and I'll come buy it right now if you can meet tonight as long as what you've told me matches what I see in person." Fast forward a couple hours and I'm now the owner of a Gen 3! 8)
So here's the deets: Basically a 2 owner truck (guy I bought it from bought it from his neighbor January of this year and didn't do much). 167k miles, timing belt/water pump done at 100k. New radiator, hoses, thermostat done late Jan. Runs/drives great.
Registered until Feb 2020 and already passed CA smog. Problems: valve covers leak a little oil. No actual records of service (other than oil change). Sunroof works but falls off its track. Driver seat torn. A couple switches don't work. Vibrates on the freeway above 80mph. Brakes work, but feel a little off. Other than that, this is a solid truck!
Impressions: The Gen 3 is huuuuugely different than my Gen 1, but it still retains the tank-like feel. It's much more modern for sure, yet it still feels familiar. In comparison to my Gen 1, the Gen 3 feels like a sports car. Power is fantastic, I can fly around corners, suspension is more supple, and the interior is much much nicer.
Plans: This won't be some crazy build, just some subtle mods to enhance the looks and performance of the truck. Lift, wheels and tires, steel bumper, skids, ditch the aftermarket A/V and replace with modern headunit, catch up all the maintenance, clean up/fix the minor interior bits, and enjoy! Can't wait to get this off road!
The extra $500 in my pocket was just itching to be spent, so I went out and got some new (to me) wheels and tires! Toyota 4runner SR5 wheels and Falken Wildpeak AT3W in 265/70/r17. Going to paint the wheels black and get them mounted. I don't trust the wheels currently on the truck.
I also decided to ditch the factory spare tire cover as it was cracked and the paint was peeling and just looked rough.
Wheels are painted and mounted!! If anyones curious, these model of Toyota wheels are 17x7" and 15mm offset. (not pictured: hubcentric adapters to fit the mitsu 67.1mm to toyota 106mm. Removed the side steps and trimmed the front bumper at the same time.
Picked up a factory front skid from the LKQ yard for $15. Was hoping to score the grill too, but it had already been taken.
Also started to deep clean the interior. Vacuumed all the carpets, thoroughly cleaned all the plastics, and cleaned and conditioned the leather. Still need to shampoo the carpet and headliner. Also deleted the 3rd row.
If anyone's curious, the 3rd row weighs 51 lbs and the side steps including all the hardware weigh 42 lbs.
Next stop: Miyaki Motorsports for timing belt, water pump, pulleys, spark plugs, valve covers, cam seals, etc.!