Would you put a new timing belt in a Montero with 245k on the clock? See photos

I know little about this rig other than it was a one owner for the first 234k miles. I'm working thru some gremlins right now but for the most part the engine seems strong. Previous owner to me installed a new starter and had transmission service and oil service at 238k. I have opened up the timing belt observation window(see photos) and the belt looks pretty decent to me. I've checked it a couple of times randomly. My question is this. Given the miles on the engine should I just risk it and try to push on as long as I can until I am forced to do a rebuild or should I spend the money now and have a new belt and water pump installed? Is it reasonable to think I can squeeze much more out of this engine? Thanks for your input.IMG_0247.jpgIMG_0247.jpg
 

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plh

Explorer
which engine? no change history? Long tow miles cost $ even with AAA etc. If its not a 3.0l its an interference engine. A belt visual gives only indication of a totally shot belt. 3 things can go out : Tensioner (screws valve timing - valves to piston introductions generally are not happy), Water pump seizure (screws belt), belt (piston and valve introduction)

But if its a 3.0l, then its only an inconvenience of being stranded.
 
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billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
Read the Owners Manual. It'll tell you when to replace the belt. The pump should not be an issue.
 

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offthepath

Adventurer
Do a leak down and compression test. If that looks good it's worth the money to keep it going.

Regardless, if the timing belt lets go the engine will potentialy be Big money to fix (you may need a new block and heads) as opposed to a relatively simple rebuild.
 
which engine? no change history? Long tow miles cost $ even with AAA etc. If its not a 3.0l its an interference engine. A belt visual gives only indication of a totally shot belt. 3 things can go out : Tensioner (screws valve timing - valves to piston introductions generally are not happy), Water pump seizure (screws belt), belt (piston and valve introduction)

But if its a 3.0l, then its only an inconvenience of being stranded.
Sorry it's 98 Montero 3.5. I'm trying to track down the last owner to see if he knows any of the service history.
 

evomaki

Observer
In my opinion it all starts with a compression test, and then how much time and money do you have. I always start with a compression test so I know what I have. Take all the plugs out, pull the fuel pump fuse and consistently check. Also, reading the plugs will tell you something as well. Now what's a good compression number? Varies by gauge, temperature, etc. , but you want consistent results. If this is a cheap beater for you and you don't have the $ for a timing belt swap right now then drive it. If you like your ride, then take care of it. Valve interference could damage the head and block (potentially) to the point of not making them suitable for a re-build down the road. A re-build is a good bit of time and money, at least 20x the effort of replacing a timing belt.
 
I bought this rig to restore and make a capable camping rig for my son and I. It's a 3rd vehicle. I bought it because the body (sans some hood and roof oxidization) and interior are nearly perfect and it's a zero rust frame California rig. At 245k mi I was surprised it was even running. I'm trying to read the tea leaves a bit and ask questions on the forum as I'm not mechanically inclined. I did change the window regulator turn signal stalk. As for engine work I don't know diddly. The valve cover gasket's are definitely leaking and I've determined my rough idle is from a spark plug tube cover that keeps popping off and will not seat properly. Can anyone venture a guess as to why this is happening?
 

PacS14

Adventurer
I would do all the maintenance if you plan on venturing into remote areas, even if you don't plan on going rock crawling, mudding, etc, just camping in remote areas you want the peace of mind that your vehicle is mechanically sound, leave the exterior faded paint for later.

If you don't want to try and do the full time up (spark plugs, cables, valve cover gaskets, etc), look for a shop that will do it all, to do the timing belt, water pump, etc won't be much more to get to do the whole time up.

I have a 99 with the 3.5 and I have done all the work myself, but is not the first car I mess around with and I have collected a lot of tools over time that allow me to do a lot of the work myself, but with a simple mechanic toolkit and a few random tools the tune up can be done, and you can download the FSM from one of the links found here for your vehicle and is step by step instructions.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
Maybe the real question is this:

Should I do a complete $500 parts and labor timing belt replacement on a $500 vehicle?
 
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I would do all the maintenance if you plan on venturing into remote areas, even if you don't plan on going rock crawling, mudding, etc, just camping in remote areas you want the peace of mind that your vehicle is mechanically sound, leave the exterior faded paint for later.

If you don't want to try and do the full time up (spark plugs, cables, valve cover gaskets, etc), look for a shop that will do it all, to do the timing belt, water pump, etc won't be much more to get to do the whole time up.

I have a 99 with the 3.5 and I have done all the work myself, but is not the first car I mess around with and I have collected a lot of tools over time that allow me to do a lot of the work myself, but with a simple mechanic toolkit and a few random tools the tune up can be done, and you can download the FSM from one of the links found here for your vehicle and is step by step instructions.

Good luck and keep us posted.
It's all the crap that sits above the valve covers that scares me. I can do the basics and have the simple kit as well. Thanks for the input.
 
Maybe the real question is this:

Should I do a complete $500 parts and labor timing belt replacement on a $500 vehicle?
I'll have you know sir that I paid $750 for this rig. Plus another $750 to get it to Idaho. I've been looking for one for a bit. Always wanted a Montero back in the day. This was not a "it's all I can afford purchase" but rather " I always thought they were cool and now I want one. That being said I don't want to put 5k in it and have it be a piece.
 

Shovel

Explorer
eh, I bought a $930 one sight unseen with 270k+ miles, turned it into something pretty damn awesome I think - put another 35k miles on it and then sold it for about what I had into it at that point, give or take - ready to drive around the world if the new owner wanted to.

The key is being willing to put the work into the small bits, instead of chasing the obvious vanity bullsh** . Vanity's fine, we all like it, but nobody needs another unreliable unmaintained heap covered in light bars and grump wheels.

So look at it like when you have a good, clean, reliable gen 2.5 you really could sell it for 8-10k if you wanted to. So it's a 8-10k car. Maintain it like that not like a $500 beater. If you "maintain" it like a beater you're going to be fighting an uphill battle because it's always going to be a piece - better off selling it along to the next guy and get something with more abundant junkyard parts for your thrift project.
 

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First off I love your Gen 2.5 build thread on ADD. I'm trying to do this the right way. I'm not putting a big lift and tires on it and going rock crawling. I want to take it back to original first before doing any mods at all. I'm just in a quandry about how to do the engine stuff. I deleted the running boards and put 31x10.5 15's. That all the upgrading I'm doing until it's running right. I'm also trying to figure out what I can/should delete off the California exhaust that came on it? It's going to be registered in Montana. No smog check up there.
 

Shovel

Explorer
You can get a Y-pipe from a federal truck if you want and then relocate both of the downstream o2 sensors to behind the main cat... that won't really net you any power but if the front cats are dead it will turn off your CEL.

There is no value in deleting any of the other emissions equipment, a lot of it is not only for keeping trees happy but also keeps the vehicle reliable by properly metering fuel and, as you saw with the PCV, drawing combustion gases and cooked oil vapors out of the crankcase so the oil doesn't become acidic and break down as quickly.
 
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