"Yoshi" - 2005 Limited Build & Adventure Thread

SONICMASD

Adventurer
Ya the problem with a fast build is a lot of things were changed within a short amount of time. Lift, cvs, diff bushings, wheels, tires, alignment, muffler, etc. were all done within the span of a few drives so my memory of what changed when isnt the best since this isn’t my daily driver.

Unfortunatey, I dont know of any other Montero group members up in Flagstaff though I have seen a few stock ones around town.

I took Yoshi in to a shop yestersay for diagnosis, fingers crossed they find the issue.
 

RyanY

Adventurer
Assuming the road force balancing was done properly, its safe to assume that the problem is not in your tires. A decent tech would have been able to determine if any of the tires was out-of-round or had any significant structural issues that would cause your vibration issue.
 

southofantarctica

Brush Dawg
I'm curious if you really need the rings. I'm running Tacoma wheels and gained no appreciable vibrations compared to stock. That's been almost 10k since I put them on.

Your brakes aren't dragging and/or chewed up are they?
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
Every Gen 3 I've messed with that had vibration issues was at the wheel, they're super sensitive. I know i texted you this already but for the group, get a dial indicator (even a cheap one) and check runout on the wheel bead (side) then the ID of the wheel. Should be .000 +/- .002, if it's near the .010 mark there's your issue.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
UPDATE - Dropped Yoshi off at a shop I've never been to before (because I just moved towns) but has really good reviews and a stupidly expensive labor rate. I wrote down and gave them the full history of the vehicle:

History:

1. Tires came off my 2003 Montero and only have 5,000 miles on them. No issues when on my previous Montero which also had Toyota wheels though a different set/design but with same offset.
2. TRD OR Wheels are from a 2018 4runner and are like new with probably less than 1,000 miles on them.
3. Hubcentric rings - have tried taking them on/off - no difference in vibrations.
4. All steering components seem fine to me. New ITR boots since old ones were torn but ITRs were inspected and had no play before new boots installed.
5. New Muffler just installed.
6. Butterfly Valve deleted.
7. Diff bushings and Motor Mounts just replaced.
8. Lift is new (Lovells springs, Bilstein shocks)
9. 5 wheel balancings have been done recently - 3 at 3 different PepBoys locations, 2 at same Discount Tire doing Road force balancing.
10. Alignment done at PepBoys - everything in the green after they replaced a camber bolt in the pass side LCA that a different PepBoys broke when attempting to do the alignment.

Problems:

1. Steering wheel vibrates - especially above 50mph
2. Car pulls to the right.
3. Clunk in front (sounds like front driver side wheel) when offroading - suspect sway bar endlinks but they are tight with no play. This has been present since day one, and existed before the all of the above work was done.
4. Low steady Humming noise, sounds metallic, kind of like an exhaust or intake noise - only happens on acceleration and only in 2wd. This noise is new since all the above work was done, did not exist before.

My suspicions/ideas on what the problem(s) could be:
  • Tire Balancing
  • Alignment
  • Worn out steering/suspension component
  • Warped Brake Rotor
  • Wheel Bearing
  • Wheel runout

So the Service Adviser was pretty impressed by my history and story and was a nice guy and assigned this to his most experienced tech. So a day later, I just got home from picking up the car and speaking to the tech in detail and here is what happened:

They checked the suspension components and like myself and PepBoys, did not find any worn or loose bits. They did not measure the runout with a dial on the wheels but just looked at how new they were and immediately dismissed that. They checked Wheel Bearings and said they're not the culprit either. The tech drove it and was convinced it was out of balance tires to he rebalanced them (6th time in 1.5 months) and the problem remains. He says it's not the suspension, or the brakes and is doubtful it's the wheels or alignment and his best guess is that the tires are defective. Says he could see them wobbling slightly even when balanced on the machine.

In some screwy world that I may never understand, like new tires that ran perfectly fine on my 2003 are now said to be defective when put on my 2005. So $128 later I guess I'm slightly better off than when I started but not by much. Next step I guess is to contact Discount Tire and see if they're willing to try putting on a fresh set of tires on the vehicle to see if that truly is the problem. I mean, the wheels on my 2003 with these tires were 17x7 and these current wheels are 17x7.5 - could 3,000 miles of use (properly inflated) really deform the tires that much so that they would ride so terribly on wheels 1/2 an inch wider?

If that doesn't work I'll get the dial gauge Toasty recommends and measure the wheel and rotors myself. I also plan on taking off the front sway bar to see if that eliminates the clunk offroad.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
Oh here's another theory - is it possible
I'm curious if you really need the rings. I'm running Tacoma wheels and gained no appreciable vibrations compared to stock. That's been almost 10k since I put them on.

Your brakes aren't dragging and/or chewed up are they?
Some people run non oem wheels without the rings so no, you don't really NEED them but it's certainly the proper way to do it and have heard of several Monty owners fixing their vibrations by returning the wheels from lugcentric to hubcentric like they should be. Also, it makes putting the tires back on sooo much easier since the studs are lined up with the wheel holes and you don't risk wallowing or stripping anything out as easily.
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
So, its not that the wheels are out of round or defective. It would be that they're not bolted on center, I'm surprised they didn't check that. Put your indicator on an control arm with the truck jacked up, put the dial on the wheel. Spin the wheel and watch the dial, maybe I need to make a trip up to Flag soon 😁.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
So, its not that the wheels are out of round or defective. It would be that they're not bolted on center, I'm surprised they didn't check that. Put your indicator on an control arm with the truck jacked up, put the dial on the wheel. Spin the wheel and watch the dial, maybe I need to make a trip up to Flag soon 😁.
But wouldn't the hubcentric rings make it impossible for the wheels not to be bolted on center? Also, odds of 6 shops bolting them skew? But regardless, yes, hurry up and come visit. I got a guest bedroom and a fridge stocked of beer for you.
 

Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
But wouldn't the hubcentric rings make it impossible for the wheels not to be bolted on center? Also, odds of 6 shops bolting them skew? But regardless, yes, hurry up and come visit. I got a guest bedroom and a fridge stocked of beer for you.
Ok, so it's sort of unlikely but also not improbable. Thing's that happen are; debris stuck to wheel mounting surface (including galvanic corrosion), if the centric rings have a different seat radius than the Montero hub or a combination of these things amplified by a tech who doesn't believe in wheels torque to spec (most techs).
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
8/10/19 - Update on the compass module mod I wrote about on page 2 - switching out the compass computer for a unit out of a 2001-2002 Montero does not work 100%. Everything works except the Miles Until Empty number. It will read about 100 miles too low. I've tried several tanks of gas and resetting the battery and it doesn't match up correctly so it'll report you as out of gas when you still have about 1/4 tank left. Sorry to Michael Brown who followed in my footsteps after seeing my mod post and got burned by the mod fail as well. He thinks it is a resistance issue so maybe if you are smart with electrics you can wire something in to have the computer read the tank properly but this mod should not be considered a simple plug and play anymore.

Random pic for attention/place holder:

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Now, here's the thing - the 2003 Montero had a color screen + 3.8L engine so I'm betting that that year and computer part number will work flawlessly. I'll try and track one down and install it and will report back if that happens.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
8/10/19: Screw these wheel vibrations, I'm going offroading anyways! Had an epic weekend last weekend in Northern AZ. This Montero is the real deal. Before leaving the house, I hurriedly installed the wiring for the new Harrop eLocker because I knew it would help out a ton in the loose volcanic cinder terrain we were heading to. It turned out to be a huge help going up and down insanely steep ancient volcanoes, especially because deep loose sand type of terrain is the worst type of medium for the Montero's Traction Control which freaks out when you get too much wheelspin, thinks your skidding to your death on ice, and cuts throttle when you need it most.

But I digress, it was a weekend full of Swimming, Hiking, Camping, lots of 4x4ing, and even saved a badass but broken down Frontier we came across.



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Crazy steep hills on loose terrain, 5500 rpm 1st gear, 4x4low on the way up screaming for minutes to get to the top and then white knuckle on the way down. No way to turn around without rolling, only way to go is straight down.


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Out like a light:

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SONICMASD

Adventurer
Contd. Next day - drove down to Sedona, hit up the Oak Creek for some swimming and then did Broken Arrow for a totally different kind of 4x4ing.

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Broken down Frontier blocking one of the busiest trails in AZ. Pink Jeep tour guys were being dicks to the guy and were super mean and upset because they "had a schedule to keep" rather than helping the guy out.

Turns out the Frontier's computer died so nothing was working, couldn't even keep the car on.

I hooked up a strap and pull him off the trail to let the convoy of Pink Jeeps by:

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Then we disconnected and I was planning on leaving him there but then after speaking to him more realized what a pickle he was in. With no way to start his car he had no way to get rescued other than an expensive 4x4 tow truck which would probably have to come up all the way from Phoenix. He said he had AAA so if he could just get off the trail and back to asphalt he'd be good. Now, anyone who has done Broken Arrow knows that to get into the trail you have to go over a pretty high rock face and with no power that was going to be interesting. But we came up with a plan, I hooked back up to the rear of the truck, pulled him up a rock hill to get him turned perpendicular to the trail exit/obstacle, then rehooked up to him and pulled him from the front to the edge of the obstacle. Then I unhooked, went down off the obstacle to a safe distance, got out and pushed his vehicle down the rock face. Once he was down, I rehooked onto his front and towed him down the dirt track 1/4 mile or less to asphalt. We've all been there or all will be there one day so help out your fellow 4x4s whenever possible, just be safe and smart.

This is the 5th time I've had to save someone. My recovery kit consists of:

4 - 3/4" D Rings (AKA Bow Shackles)
2 - 30' 18,000# snatch straps
1 - Rear Recovery Point for 2" Hitch receiver
1 - Pair of gloves
1 - Shovel
1 - Hatchet

And soon I'll be adding a winch + winch dampers (AKA winch blankets), snatch block, and hi lift jack

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One of the hardest obstacles on the trail, doesn't look like much in this photo from far away but it's a 30 degree angle and most avoid it altogether. The Pink Jeep Tours just go down it, probably too much of a liability to go up it since you're just staring straight up at the sky with no ground references whatsoever. Anyways, I went down it and then turned around and went up, no sweat with the rear locker on but I also did it in my last Gen3 with just the traction control, albeit with a little more wheel spin to get going.

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The hardest obstacle on the trail would be going up Devils Staircase rather than just going down which is how the trail is designed and I've never done that. I was going to do it this time, my 5th time doing the trail but first in this Montero, but earlier on a little nothing ledge that I misjudged and went off a hair to fast I hit my driver side rock slider on the ledge and it bent up and contacted the rocker. So I figured if the sliders couldn't take that baby bump I better not go up Devils Staircase until I investigated further, just in case. Probably has to do with how the Gen3 doesn't have a solid ladder frame to tie the sliders into since the sliders themselves don't look like they bent but I'm not really sure yet because I haven't taken them off for a good look.

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Epic weekend is the only way to put it - so happy I finally moved to Flagstaff and have this amazing outdoors in my backyard.

And today, I got gas and found that on this last tank I got 13.4mpg which is amazing considering all of the full throttle, just shy of redline, 1st gear, 4low driving that was done at the Cinders OHV + Frontier towing and 4x4ing the next day. With just regular driving on the tank before this one I got over 17mpg which is a big improvement from when I first got Yoshi. The truck was getting 14 in mixed city driving with 31.5" Load E Nittos and the stock gearing. But now it has picked up 3 mpg with Load C 33s, 4.90s, fresh gear oil, and a tune up.

One other thing I noticed was that the car smells like unburnt gasoline when going up steep angles - turns out this is a common Gen3 problem from a fuel leak in some fuel vent pipe and there is a factory recall for it that I'll need to get done next time I take the truck down to Phoenix.
 
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SONICMASD

Adventurer
8/10/19: Vibrations issues Update.

So after having PepBoys work on tires and alignment 3 times (and almost killing me in the process), then Discount Tire roadbalanced the tires twice, I finally took it into a "real" auto shop a week ago for diagnostic work on what is making my steering wheel vibrate so much above 50mph and pull to the right. I also told them of 2 other problems or related symptoms possibly in addition to the steering wheel shake: 1. metallic humming noise from front passenger side on acceleration but only in 2wd. and 2. clunk in front suspension when offroading/hitting a bump.

I explain to them that everyone just wants to chock it up to tire balancing and that I'm looking for real mechanics to actually do detective work. They check out the steering/suspension joints/rods and not finding anything loose they insist it has to be the tires and ask to rebalance them or else they can't move forward. Okay, fine, go ahead and rebalance the tires for the 6th time in 6 weeks. So they do this and nothing changes.

So $128 later, their final diagnosis: I have at least one defective tire. They didn't test the wheel runout or check the runout on the brake rotors and instead went with the diagnosis that my 5,000 mile old BFG KO2s must be defective. Okay, I can't really force them to keep digging and that their diagnosis is wrong without proving it...and I guess a tiny part of me thought that it was technically possible that tires that ran perfectly on my 2003 Montero a few months ago would suddenly become defective.

So I took it back home and went and borrowed my buddy's 4runner too. I jacked both of them up and switched their tires and wheels. I had planned on doing the back too but after unbolting and bolting on just the fronts I gave up. My driveway is steep and the concrete is in really bad shape and it was a nightmare to work on. Plus the back of the Montero is so high that my floor jack can't lift it without a big wooden block and it's kinda sketchy. So I just did a test drive with different front wheels and tires since that is where the problem would most likely affect the steering and nothing changed, still shimmied. Back home, unbolt, rebolt 4 more tires to get things back to normal and return the 4runner.

Back to Discount Tire (Appt #7 for this issue) and had them rotate the front tires to the back just cuz that had never been tried surprisingly up until this point. No change.

Back to Discount Tire the next day (8th appt) - Had them take off my wheels and tires, install a set of different tires that they had on my old OEM wheels, took it for a spin - No change.

Back to Discount Tire today(9th appt) to have them put my wheels and tires back on, and get their tires removed from my OEM wheels. I also had spoken to VDO Redi Sensor Tech Support about how no one knows how to get their universal TPMS sensors to work with Monteros and they sent me an instruction sheet to give to the tire guy to follow. So I had Discount attempt to reset the TPMS and they couldn't and I doubt they read the instructions so I'm going back again during weekday business hours so they can call the VDO tech support phone number and be walked through how to reset the TPMS system properly. Stay tuned for that because it would be nice to have an alternative to the dealer when it comes to replacing the TPMS sensors.

So what did we learn over the last 2 weeks - IT'S 100% NOT THE LIKE NEW TOYOTA WHEELS OR 5,000 MILE OLD TIRES THAT WORKED PERFECTLY ON MY LAST MONTERO.

Despite what the shop says, my list of suspects remains very long because I'm not ruling anything out until it has 100% been ruled out by process of replacement:

Shop's List of Suspects:

Wheels
Tires
Wheel Bearing
Tie Rods
Ball Joints
Sway Bar
Control Arms

Alignment
Brake Rotors
Steering Rack

My List of Suspects:

Wheels
Tires

Wheel Bearing
Tie Rods
Ball Joints
Sway Bar
Control Arms
Alignment
Brake Rotors
Steering Rack


I'm taking it back to the shop on Monday, telling them their diagnosis was wrong, giving them a copy of the FSM steering rack test procedure, telling them to check that, the brake rotors with a runout dial, Alignment, and that the other Camber/Caster bolts are intact and tight and not broken like the one PepBoys destroyed during Appt #1 of this saga.
 

offthepath

Adventurer
Contd. Next day - drove down to Sedona, hit up the Oak Creek for some swimming and then did Broken Arrow for a totally different kind of 4x4ing.

View attachment 532188


Broken down Frontier blocking one of the busiest trails in AZ. Pink Jeep tour guys were being dicks to the guy and were super mean and upset because they "had a schedule to keep" rather than helping the guy out.

Turns out the Frontier's computer died so nothing was working, couldn't even keep the car on.

I hooked up a strap and pull him off the trail to let the convoy of Pink Jeeps by:

View attachment 532189

View attachment 532190

Then we disconnected and I was planning on leaving him there but then after speaking to him more realized what a pickle he was in. With no way to start his car he had no way to get rescued other than an expensive 4x4 tow truck which would probably have to come up all the way from Phoenix. He said he had AAA so if he could just get off the trail and back to asphalt he'd be good. Now, anyone who has done Broken Arrow knows that to get into the trail you have to go over a pretty high rock face and with no power that was going to be interesting. But we came up with a plan, I hooked back up to the rear of the truck, pulled him up a rock hill to get him turned perpendicular to the trail exit/obstacle, then rehooked up to him and pulled him from the front to the edge of the obstacle. Then I unhooked, went down off the obstacle to a safe distance, got out and pushed his vehicle down the rock face. Once he was down, I rehooked onto his front and towed him down the dirt track 1/4 mile or less to asphalt. We've all been there or all will be there one day so help out your fellow 4x4s whenever possible, just be safe and smart.

This is the 5th time I've had to save someone. My recovery kit consists of:

4 - 3/4" D Rings (AKA Bow Shackles)
2 - 30' 18,000# snatch straps
1 - Rear Recovery Point for 2" Hitch receiver
1 - Pair of gloves
1 - Shovel
1 - Hatchet

And soon I'll be adding a winch + winch dampers (AKA winch blankets), snatch block, and hi lift jack

View attachment 532191



View attachment 532194


View attachment 532193


One of the hardest obstacles on the trail, doesn't look like much in this photo from far away but it's a 30 degree angle and most avoid it altogether. The Pink Jeep Tours just go down it, probably too much of a liability to go up it since you're just staring straight up at the sky with no ground references whatsoever. Anyways, I went down it and then turned around and went up, no sweat with the rear locker on but I also did it in my last Gen3 with just the traction control, albeit with a little more wheel spin to get going.

View attachment 532195


View attachment 532196


View attachment 532197

The hardest obstacle on the trail would be going up Devils Staircase rather than just going down which is how the trail is designed and I've never done that. I was going to do it this time, my 5th time doing the trail but first in this Montero, but earlier on a little nothing ledge that I misjudged and went off a hair to fast I hit my driver side rock slider on the ledge and it bent up and contacted the rocker. So I figured if the sliders couldn't take that baby bump I better not go up Devils Staircase until I investigated further, just in case. Probably has to do with how the Gen3 doesn't have a solid ladder frame to tie the sliders into since the sliders themselves don't look like they bent but I'm not really sure yet because I haven't taken them off for a good look.

View attachment 532198


Epic weekend is the only way to put it - so happy I finally moved to Flagstaff and have this amazing outdoors in my backyard.

And today, I got gas and found that on this last tank I got 13.4mpg which is amazing considering all of the full throttle, just shy of redline, 1st gear, 4low driving that was done at the Cinders OHV + Frontier towing and 4x4ing the next day. With just regular driving on the tank before this one I got over 17mpg which is a big improvement from when I first got Yoshi. The truck was getting 14 in mixed city driving with 31.5" Load E Nittos and the stock gearing. But now it has picked up 3 mpg with Load C 33s, 4.90s, fresh gear oil, and a tune up.

One other thing I noticed was that the car smells like unburnt gasoline when going up steep angles - turns out this is a common Gen3 problem from a fuel leak in some fuel vent pipe and there is a factory recall for it that I'll need to get done next time I take the truck down to Phoenix.
Good for you for helping out. I wish the guy would have left the truck in the middle of the trail. **** those jeep tours.
 

SONICMASD

Adventurer
8/16/19 - Mystery Vibrations 2019 UPDATE - So with the new 100% certainty that it is not the wheels or tires, I took it back to the mechanics and they just spent 2 days looking it over and could not find anything wrong with it. They even had 3 techs drive it down the highway with 2 of them with their heads out the window staring at the tires and they said they could even see the vibration in the toe of the tires.

Not finding anything wrong with the joints, arms, or tierods they suggested it could be the rack and pinion because, well, basically what else could it be was their logic. That was a $1800 quote to replace the rack with a reman so I told them, look, if it needs a new rack that's one thing, and sometimes I'm all for throwing parts at things, but not when it's an $1800 guess. So I gave them a copy of the FSM's Power Steering section and they tested the entire power steering system per Mitsubishi's flow chart and found no problems with the rack other than a tiny bit of movement in the steering rack mount bushings but doubtful that it is enough movement to cause these vibrations.

So now my list of suspects looks like this:

My List of Suspects:

Wheels
Tires
Wheel Bearing

Tie Rods
Ball Joints
Sway Bar
Control Arms
Camber Bolts
Alignment
Brake Rotors
Steering Rack
Steering Rack Bushings

Next steps:

  1. Recheck Alignment to see if anything has moved since my alignment last month, maybe it will give me a clue as to what wheel to focus on.
  2. Remove Front Sway Bar (I don't really expect this to affect the vibrations but maybe it will remove the clunk in the front end I get when offroading)
  3. Research possibility of sourcing replacement steering rack bushings.
  4. Check brake rotor and hub runout.

MORE SYMPTOMS TO CONSIDER:

Ok, these next 2 thinsg may or may not be related to the vibrations in the steering wheel but I have these metallic humming sound that kind of sounds like it is coming from the front passenger side of the vehicle but not 100% sure. Intake sucking, Exhaust leak, wheel bearing, Fron Diff Whine? Good guesses but here's the thing, the noise only happens on acceleration AND in 2wd.

So there goes every theory out the window. If it was an exhaust leak, why would it matter if the car was in 2wd? Same goes for an intake leak. And a wheel bearing wouldn't care if you were on the gas, if the wheel is turning it would keep humming.

My question is - Can you guys think of anything that only spins or could make contact with something in the front driveline when in 2wd?? So bizarre.

Also, I think I have a massive exhaust leak from the new muffler I just had installed. I noticed that my 2nd row floor mat was really hot, literally melting! So I looked underneath the truck and the undercoating was pealing off above the new muffler and the muffler has like vapor residue markings on it. I'm going to smoke test it this weekend but 99% sure it's got a hell of a leak. I'm kind of pulling my hair out over here and losing sleep with all of these snowballing problems.
 
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