"Yoshi" - 2005 Limited Build & Adventure Thread

Toasty

Expedition Leader
Who have you been using as your source of original Mitsubishi parts? Most of my sources have started to go away in the last 5 years.
I use our local dealer, they're pretty familiar with Monteros because there are still so many of us here. Partsouq.com is my #2 and what I use for rare parts, not sure who SONICMASD uses.
 

Michael Brown

Adventurer
Thanks. I had used Fred Beans Parts a while ago, but they are gone. Now I usually split between RockAuto and wherever I can find the right OEM part.

The dealerships around me are not the best source for parts, if they even know what I am asking.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
Rear Traction Device - Which to choose? As you probably have figured out by now, my analytical personality caused me to study every option for months in as much depth as possible. When my daughter was around 3-6 months old, she would only contact sleep. So I had literally hundreds of hours of having her asleep on me in a chest carrier, as I walked in circles around in a dark room - endless time to read and watch everything I could find on Montero traction devices.

Option 1 - Mitsu LSD - These can be found on other USA Gen3s, including some 2001-2002 XLS models with 4.90s so ideally those would be the ones to target.

Pros: Cheapest, easiest to install (don't even need to open up the carrier, just install the whole unit), tried and tested, always on.

Cons: Least effective option. Don't get me wrong, they are a huge help and the Aussies have developed a way of wheeling where you use your handbrake to help engage the LSD on obstacles but at the end of the day, if you put a wheel in the air it's not going to perform like a true mechanical locker.

Option 2 - Mitsu Rear Air Locker - Gen3 Monteros in South Africa, UK, the Middle East, and a few other places had the option to come with a factory rear air locker, just like our familiar Gen2 SR models. I contacted several junkyards and the cheapest source with shipping included was consistently yards in the UK. You're looking at around $600 shipped for the basics: Rear Carrier Assembly with Air and Electrical pigtails (technically all you need is the locker, air line, and electrical harness but then you'd have to drill holes into your existing diff housing) and Air Compressor. I'm 95% sure that this is all you need to get the unit up and running with your own wiring to a simple switch in the cabin. To get the rear locker to interface with your dash lights and factory settings (only work in 4Lo) then you would need an electronic control box module thingy, factory switch, and I suspect a lot of the wiring harnesses.

Pros: Cheap compared to new lockers, Mitsu quality, Manual Selection, Fast to engage and disengage, 100% locked connection, bolts right up/easy installation (in theory since to my knowledge only one US Montero owner has ever done the swap and he lives overseas now and is very hard to reach), low pressure system so less likely to leak than the high pressure aftermarket units.

Cons: Used units only; coming from overseas so no way to really test it out and if it doesn't work you might be screwed since return shipping would not be worth it; you'll be a guinea pig since this swap has not been well documented; the air compressor is hard to find and although there is a very good chance our US Gen2 SR air compressors will work, the part numbers are different and no one has tested it to confirm; most of the parts will have a good amount of rust on them being from the UK and being old junkyard units; air locker but the low pressure system can't be used to air up tires.

Note the locker air line and wiring harness going into the passenger side of the rear diff:

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F47C is the factory diff code you want:

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Air compressor (located under the vehicle, right next to the rear diff so that's why they are usually rusty):

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Electronic control box (i think this is optional if you don't want it to tie into your existing 4x4 system/dash lights) :

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Diagram:

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Here is the info you'll need when ordering from abroad:
  • Complete Rear Differential unbolted from the rear driveshaft and from the rear axles. The air hoses and electrical connectors need to be intact. (See photo for an example of what this looks like)
  • Rear Diff Air Pump/Compressor unit - MR953484 (this is bolted right next to the rear diff under the vehicle and not inside of it like on the Gen2 SR).
Optional stuff:
  • Electronic Rear Diff Control Box - MR305675
  • R/D Lock switch from interior switch panel in center console - MR402471
  • Wiring harnesses????
Option 3 - ARB Air Locker - This is the most common way to go in the USA when Gen3 guys want traction help. I've never had an ARB locker but have heard of so many polarizing stories that I don't know what to think, seems you either love them or hate them. I've had other ARB products and for the most part they are good quality but there are literally thousands of posts of people who have had locker failures. Typically it is from either the o-rings inside the unit leaking (not supposed to happen for 10 years but many experience this much sooner and some, like the AZ Crew never have), and the air lines leaking. The air lines the unit comes with are just plastic and can melt if too close to a heat source or crack, or pinch, etc. You can buy an insulating/protecting loom for them for around $80 or you could get real creative and run solid metal air lines since the Gen3 doesn't have a rear diff that moves much.

Pros: Very common with endless customer service and aftermarket support, Warranty, strong and high quality unit with the exception of the o-rings and air lines, you could pair the rear locker with a front locker from ARB as well if desired and run them off the same ARB air compressor, Manual Selection, 100% locked connection, can air up tires with the compressor if you get the middle or top of the line compressor units.

Cons: Expensive at around $900 + $175-$550 depending on which model air compressor you get + $80 air line protecting looms + (optional expense depending on which set up you go with a lot of guys run the $70 manifold kit when pairing the twin compressor for tire duty and air locker use.), needs to be set up by an experienced ARB installer since there are a lot of ways it can go wrong and lead to reliability issues, some state that unlocking and locking the unit can be a pain depending on how your vehicle is positioned and like all air lockers I've ever seen you might need to move forward and back a bit for it to lock/unlock which can be precarious in certain situations that 99% of users will never experience so it's kind of moot, Air Lines/Seals to worry about.

Option 4 - TJM Air Locker - Another popular Aussie brand claims to be better than ARB because it does not use O-rings to establish an air seal in the unit and instead has this piston/actuator thingy. They can be had for $300 less than the ARB unit too. The TJM air compressor is like the base ARB one and just runs the locker and I was not able to verify if a bigger ARB compressor can be used with the TJM unit to run both the locker and air up tires.

Pros: Warranty, used on other vehicles in the US though I've never heard of a US Montero running one, significantly cheaper than ARB.

Cons: You'll notice I didn't list reliability in the Pros section despite that being TJM's most touted advantage over ARB. That's because of this forum post: https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/was-deal-thread-now-tjm-locker-install-thread.964929/

Basically, Summit Racing cleared out all of their TJM stock a few years ago at an insane discount and a bunch of Toyota guys grabbed lockers for their Land Cruisers. Problem is that almost all of them had actuator failures soon after and some had air line fitting failures too. Was it just a bad batch of actuators that Summit Racing had or is it a design flaw?

Cons contd - same as ARB mostly, air lines to worry about, must be set up by a really really good installer, and a little bit of trickiness can sometimes happen with locking and unlocking.


Option 5 - Chinese ARB Clones - Although several US guys have reported good things, I'm not taking the chance on this build being that it is not a budget build and even if it was, the diff is not something I would ever go cheaper on, so I didn't research these options in depth and never seriously considered them.

Option 6 - Harrop E-Locker - Built under license in Australia, the Harrop unit is an electromagnetic unit that traces its lineage to Eaton E-Locker of the Detroit and Trutrack locker fame, but today's Harrop unit is a newer generation that has had some improvements over the original Eatons.

Pros: Popular in Australia with excellent reviews (most guys put them in the front diff if only doing one since many of the Pajeros over there came with a factory LSD in the rear), No Air Lines or O rings or Pistons to worry about, Nearly instant lock/unlock (1/8-1/4 wheel turn), Manual Selection, 100% locked, No compressor needed, Warranty.

Cons: Expensive (at $1500 it will be in line with, maybe a little cheaper or more expensive than ARB depending on what compressor you go with and who installs it), cannot air up tires with it, guinea pig (no one is running one in the USA to my knowledge, Unwanted unlocking of the locker will be something you come across when researching these because if you are locked but roll backwards (down a hill, or you put it in reverse) the locker disengages then reengages automatically which is not ideal.
 
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SONICMASD

Adventurer
Well if you made it this far you're probably wondering what I went with?



And the winner was...............................................Option 6 - Harrop E-Locker



Here's why:

1. Reliability is the name of the game here since I'll often be alone, far away from civilization, and with my family; and the Harrops had by far the best % of good reviews and loyal testimonials. No airlines or seals to worry about and a very simple design is a nice advantage.

2. Quiet and Instant - just push the button and you're locked.

3. Unique - As mentioned earlier, the reason for this build is to test things out and be different and contribute something new to the US Montero scene. So bringing in one of Australia's best kept locker secrets fits right in line with that and matches my thinking with the Lovells springs decision.

4. I wasn't a huge fan of having an air compressor wired in. They're expensive, take up room in the engine bay, more wires and relays etc to wire in, and plus I already have a great Viair portable air compressor that is great because I can move it from vehicle to vehicle. If I end up needing airbags in the rear coils for towing one day then I might have to revisit this option but even then, that would be like a $50 compressor wired in, not a $550 one.

5. The main con that you'll come across is that the locker unlocks when rolling backwards because of the way its internal locking design works. Early Eaton units needed a 1/2 a turn to 1 full turn to re-engage which can be precarious under situations that 99% will probably never experience. The new design has mitigated this significantly and now the locker re-engages within 1/8-1/4 of a turn. Having read the reviews (Ih8mud.com and the Pajero forums of Victoria have plenty of threads on this) and personally spoken with several guys with lots of Harrop locker experience (both new and old generations), they assured me this "con" was so overblown that it's not even funny and is something that most will never even notice or would likely ever affect anything in real life wheeling.


How to Purchase: If you're going to have a local installer do the job for you then you'll want to contact Georg at Cruiser Brothers. He can order you the locker and you'll get it in about a week since it air ships from Australia.

In fact, Georg sums up my findings and research pretty perfect with this Ih8mud forum post:

Bottom line is that we have yet to see a single failure of a Harrop locker in a 200, doesn't matter if it's in the front or rear,r what size tire they're running or how the vehicle is used. We have more than one customer with 315 tires on their 200 ( with plenty of added weight ) and they are beyond happy with the Harrop lockers and have had ZERO ISSUES.

Without wanting to get into a major discussions, I think at this point it's been well established that there isn't a "perfect" locker out there. The Harrop and ARB units are widely considered the best options. They both have proven themselves to be reliable and trustworthy. Both of them have their strong points and downsides.

IMHO, the Harrop is a better choice for overland type vehicles with FF axles since there are no issues with air leaks and the fact that it's a simpler system ( less parts, less chance of failure ).

For rock crawling, the ARB is "better" since it will not unlock if the vehicle changes direction going forward or back.

We have yet to have a customer purchase a Harrop locker ( or a pair ) and call back saying "I'm not happy with the product".



While researching Harrop and TJM lockers I came across one name over and over on the Toyota forums - Zuk with gearinstalls.com. Allegedly, this is the go to guy when it comes to Toyota diff work. I checked out his website and was blown away by the detail of his posts, it's clear that he has a true passion for his customers and his work. For every diff he works on he documents the entire process and takes tons of photos along the way and for many of the interesting ones he posts about the install on his website, here's one example of a Harrop and gear install: http://gearinstalls.com/harropJasonSAS1987HP8.htm


I normally use Ernest for all my work and he's done a great job of setting up 4.90s and lockers in the past for me but I had him busy with plenty of other work on this vehicle and wanted an experienced Harrop installer to handle that aspect of the build and given that this legendary diff master was just down the street from me I decided to reach out to Ken, AKA Zuk. It was great speaking to him and he further assured me of my decision to go with Harrop. He said he has one in his built up Tacoma and loves it. Furthermore, he stated that like Georg and Cruiser Brothers, he has never had a single issue with one but conversely has seen plenty of issues with ARB and other air lockers. Being a 100% Toyota professional, I had to do some convincing for him to take on this crazy Mitsubishi project and frankly the ARB would have been a deal breaker for him. Speaking with Ken was great and was just the icing on the cake of my Harrop decision. With that we agreed to test out this install and I ordered my locker from him and a few days later it arrived from down under and Ken started sending me what would be the first of many many pictures.

4/9/19:

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Toasty

Expedition Leader
ZUK did the diffs on my Hilux, he's a great dude and a wealth of knowledge. Plus when you go to his house you can stop at China Magic Noodle!
 

offthepath

Adventurer
Sweet build. I went with Arbs and had an internal air leak right off the bat that needed a new seal. I wish I went with Harrop, although the twin air compressor has been so nice. It has made up for tearing the diff apart twice and so far I have not had any other issues. Lol knock on wood.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
ZUK did the diffs on my Hilux, he's a great dude and a wealth of knowledge. Plus when you go to his house you can stop at China Magic Noodle!
Ahhh yes, the Hilux; that was a real Toasty Special. AKA spending a ton of time and money building something amazing and then sell it right after finishing it. I'm not complaining though, as you know, that's how I got Black Betty :)
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
1/28/19: Let's take a break from the diff work for a second and go back in time because I forgot to mention this handy mod. I noticed that this Montero had a much dustier and natural type of smell to the air that blew through the vents than my 2003. On one trip I swear that I could taste the dust from the vehile in front of me coming through the vents haha. And then I remembered that my 2003 already had the Cabin Air Filter mod done to it but this one obviously must not.

Basically the story is that US Monteros didn't get equipped with Cabin Air Filters from Mitsu for some reason, probably to save a little $, while many overseas versions did. So the blower box is already set up for the filter, and it is even marked to show you where one would go but it is just not cut out to accept one and as such, no parts stores in the US carry a Montero Cabin Air Filter.

I searched all over but couldn't find a filter that fits perfectly without having to cut/modify it to fit our Left Hand Drive blower boxes. Nothing in the part stores, and searching online didn't turn up much either. Not Bosch, not even an OEM RHD Denso filter that I had shipped from Europe just to try out worked perfectly - I had to cut off part of the plastic mounting face and even then it only had 1 screw hole line up correctly so one side was not secured at all other than by friction. But I didn't give up and eventually found the right filters! They fit like a dream and it's just about the easiest modification you'll ever do.

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Step 1. Open the lower glove box all the way so that it droops down by turning the little tabs on the inside until they pop out. You will see the white blower box with an indented rectangle in it showing you where the cabin air filter would go.

Step 2. There is a metal bracket that looks like a claw in the upper right that needs to be removed to get to this indention, it's just one bolt (10mm if I recall) and as you can see it has already been removed in this photo but jump ahead to the last photo to see what the bracket looks like:

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Step 3. Cut out the rectangle. It is not very thick plastic, you could use a dremel tool but I just used a utility knife with a brand new blade.

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Step 4. Insert your Cabin Air Filter and secure with 2 screws (not included with the filter). The screw holes are not threaded so you'll want to pick a screw with a diameter that is a slightly larger than the hole so it bites into the plastic a bit.

Cabin Air Filters usually almost always have an arrow showing you which direction they go but the confusing thing is that different manufacturers use the arrow to signify opposite things. Some say it means Point Up, and others say it means Direction of Air Flow. In the case of the filters I am using and have linked above, it means Air Flow Direction and the arrow should be pointed DOWN.

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Step 5. Reassemble in reverse and enjoy your filtered cabin air.

The claw bracket back on now:

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Inyo_man

Explorer
Great addition!

I did this mod. many years ago and had one of the fellas on an Aussie forum post a filter to me in the states.
This post reminds me that I likely need a fresh filter in there... blowing the filter out with compressed air only works for some many miles...

Cheers
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
4/14/19: Here's another quick and easy mod I did a few months ago. For some reason, later years of the Gen3 got a different computer screen than earlier years. I'm not sure if the change happened in 2004 or 2005 but I do know that 2001-2003 screen were full color with a nice bright red compass rose icon. But in this 2005 the screen was almost monochromatic and dominated by blues:


UPDATED NOTE - 8/10/19 - THIS MOD HAS PROBLEMS, UPDATE POSTED IN NEW REPLY A FEW PAGES DOWN.

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I managed to score one from a junkyard donor and swap it into Yoshi. Don't be alarmed if after you install a new computer the mileage to empty is just dashes, it'll display after a little driving:

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You can even tell the difference between the early and later computer screen colors even when they are off, look how blue the later ones are:

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They have different part numbers too, MR512860 is the full color one.

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TxFireman

New member
4/14/19: Here's another quick and easy mod I did a few months ago. For some reason, later years of the Gen3 got a different computer screen than earlier years. I'm not sure if the change happened in 2004 or 2005 but I do know that 2001-2003 screen were full color with a nice bright red compass rose icon. But in this 2005 the screen was almost monochromatic and dominated by blues:

View attachment 522630

I managed to score one from a junkyard donor and swap it into Yoshi. Don't be alarmed if after you install a new computer the mileage to empty is just dashes, it'll display after a little driving:

View attachment 522606

You can even tell the difference between the early and later computer screen colors even when they are off, look how blue the later ones are:

View attachment 522631

They have different part numbers too, MR512860 is the full color one.

View attachment 522632
We have a 2004 that I bought for my daughter to drive, and it has the lame looking all blue color. It reminds me of some old nentindo game boy lol. I like the more colorful version as well.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
5/10/19: Onward! Let's rejoin the diff work over at Gear Installs LLC. Zuk started with the rear diff and began sending me live texts and photos of his progress.

Inspecting/Measuring the existing 4.30 Gears:

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He found that they were in excellent shape, not that it really matters since they're going bye bye. But then when he went to take the pinion nut off he ran into something that in many years of doing nothing but diff work he has never come across before: a seized pinion nut. The threads were damaged somehow, maybe some overzealous mitsu installer or rouge machine, and locked up and it took him around 700ft lbs or torque to get the nut off and he says the temp on the nut & socket exceeded 140 degrees! Really freak thing considering how babied this Montero has been and how good of shape the actual gears themselves were in.

Onto mounting the 4.90 ring gear and locker into the housing and testing the depth:

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These are the kinds of texts he sends along with the photos "Drive side looks like I need to go a little deeper". I don't really know what any of that means but man do I appreciate him including his customers in the process like this!

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So pretty:

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A helpful heads up to anyone attempting this job: Watch your fingers. Per Zuk:

"Interesting to note that the operation of putting the differential center carrier in with the washer plates dangling on the edge of the bearing means the fingers are in a dangerous place..... possible broken fingers or severe Cuts could happen. One of the main problems is the damn center carrier plus ring gear on it is so damn heavy it takes a muscle man to hold it up while lowering it down it's a tricky operation and I am very much aware of it so I should be okay. Now with that said..... now to remove center carrier drill the hole then take it apart shim up the solid collar put the seal in and reassemble with new washer plates that are maybe .002" thicker on each side."

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SONICMASD

Adventurer
5/10/19 cont'd:
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The front diff's driver side seal was seeping but rather than just replace that one, I took this opportunity to replace all the oil seals in both diffs with new OEM parts just for good measure. I kept the bearings the same, not because it wouldn't have been best to replace them but because they are pretty damn expensive and they are so stout and this car was so well cared for that I had no qualms, and neither did Zuk, with reusing them.

Leaking front diff seal:

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New seals in the rear:

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He even sends you all of his notes and measurements:

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