"Yoshi" - 2005 Limited Build & Adventure Thread


7/13/19: Let's go back in time a bit because I never updated this thread with my final spare tire decision. If you recall, I tried the hack of flipping the spare tire carrier upside down to accommodate a 33" tire (32" is the max the stock set up will fit).

Yes, flipping the tire mount upside down does technically work but I'm not a fan of this hack and do not recommend it. First of all, the 33" spare barely fits, it's like almost rubbing the rear wiper arm:


Secondly, the mount when flipped is tilted so you will need to use washers on one side to help balance out the look. Here is what it looks like if you just flip it without washers:

Drive side - tire sits close to body:


Passenger side - tire has big gap between the body:


And thirdly, and most importantly - It's difficult to get the spare on and off. It was nearly impossible for me using a 31.5" Load E tire but the 33" tire is actually easier because you can rest it on the top of the rear bumper and just push it up a bit to line up the lugbolt hole. You lose the factory hook to hold up the spare so you can bolt it in place so it's a tricky procedure and I wasn't a fan.

Solution - But the spare tire mount back on the right way and buy a Chinese aftermarket copy of an OEM Mitsu Gen4 part made to raise the spare tire up.

You can find them all over ebay Australia. They aren't cheap at around $110 delivered but it's better than tearing apart the rear door to jerry rig the mount flip IMO.

I only have 3 small complaints with the thing but overall it's the best solution I've found so far short of spending a lot more money:

1. Is that it's Blue (will easily be fixed one day with spray paint)

2. It is too beefy! The thing is 3/8" steel plate which is way overkill to hold up a spare tire and it's damn heavy. 1/4 would have been just fine but I guess this is a good problem to have.

3. I wish they welded a hook on the top to hold up the spare and line up the wheel perfectly. Because right now, you've got to rest the wheel on the lugstuds which can mar them if you have a steel wheel, shouldn't be a problem for me with alloys but I guess I could in turn mar the lug nut holes in the wheels, though not too likely. The bigger thing is it's possible to wallow out your lugnut holes if you just put the wheel on the studs and go to town when tightening them down. You need to finger tighten them a little at a time to ensure the lugnuts center up the wheel straight.

But again, these are minor complaints and I'm very happy with this setup.

(yes, i put in two bolts/nuts through the bottom holes of the oem mount later)

Even gap behind tire:

Good rear wiper arm clearance:

Lots of space left with a 33, I think a 35 would fit:




I recently took up mountain biking as a hobby and my Yakima spare tire mount still works with this setup:

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9/15/19: With the spare tire mount situation resolved, I finally got around to putting the rear door together a couple months later. I took the opportunity of having everything apart to sound deaden the back door with Noico and replace the rear door handle with two quick fists for a hatchet mount.





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9/22/19: Having all but given up on trying to find the cause of my steering wheel vibration in Flagstaff, I drove Yoshi down to Phoenix with an empty utility trailer (had to pick up some stuff anyways) and dropped it off at Toasty's place while I continued on down to Rocky Point for a little R&R in my 2012 TDI Jetta Sportwagen with the family (phenomenal vehicle btw, can't say enough good things about it).

How great of a guy is Toasty!? Takes time out of his Gen2.5 SAS and V8 swaps to mess around with my shimmies?!

I just realized I've never shown you guys what the vibrations are like despite ranting about them for months now.

Here they are, it's like Yoshi has Parkinson's:

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Unbearable as you can see.

Well, Toasty is familiar with everything that I've tried but he treated it like he knew nothing so as not to eliminate things that less experienced people (so everyone on earth basically) had signed off on. He's fixed a lot of Gen3 vibrations before and it always comes down to the wheels & tires so he started there. Sure enough, he found that the run out although close, was not close enough. He also found that the hub centric rings were not the right diameter by a little (which I knew but didn't think .2 of a mm would make a difference) but more importantly that they were also not level/didn't fit into the bevel of the hub perfectly. He cleaned the mounting surfaces and remounted the front wheels with 3 regular cone lugnuts by hand to center them up. Then he torqued them down with 3 of the Montero's regular Mag lug nuts, then removed the 3 cone lugnuts used to just center the wheel and replaced them with the remaining 3 mag lug nuts. He remeasured the run out and it had improved by a lot.

"The centric ring ID is off and the thickness seemed to be inaccurate which was the bigger issue. So the .015 run-out wasn't a huge deal radially but axially it was. Probably overall .030 out."

What a guy! Check out his post fix test drive:
And then to make matters even better, he left a couple heavy metal compact discs in the armrest. It's likeScandanavian symphony metal which has been pretty interesting and rad, I dig it.

On the drive home I could tell that it was definitely better. With a hand on the wheel you can mute the vibrations and the big jerks have been eliminated. I could still feel smaller, faster vibrations though but reserved judgement until 2 days later when I'd be towing the camper with about 500lbs of stuff in it (no biggie, maybe 1,700 lbs total).

The next day I had an appointment at Mark Mitsubishi for some other issues, but we'll come back to that later. 2 days later, on the drive up back home to Flagstaff the truck did great, steering was much improved but I found myself wanting more and thinking of other vehicles on the whole drive up. "what would this be like with a new Ranger?", "Ok, I'm dropping down into 3rd on this hill climb, I bet a V8 could stay in 4th." etc.

Back home, I disconnected the trailer and went for another drive and here is what the vibrations are like now:

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As you can see they are much improved since the big jerks/pulls/bump steers have been eliminated. I don't have my hand on the wheel so that's why the small vibrations look so bad. So in the end, much better but still not acceptable IMO. It's a Gen3, it should steer like a sports car and I won't accept anything less. Now keep in mind, the front wheels were just centered using cone lug nuts - not the most precise thing in the world and the rears are still running the defective plastic hub centric rings. So step 1 is to order a custom set of aluminum rings to the exact specs of these Yota wheels and go from there. Step 2 would be a front end refresh because I think I have multiple things going on.

I wouldn't be surprised if new UCA bushings, ball joints, and tie rods fixed the little vibrations while the hub centric rings were behind the big ones.

Now - I bet Toasty probably has mixed feelingsabout this post because he's gonna start getting messages from everyone to fix their trucks. He hasn't said anything to me but I'm gonna throw this out there anyways - he's not a mechanic by trade, has a full time job, enough wrenching to do for several lifetimes with his own projects so don't ask him to work on your rig unless you're paying him to weld. The only reason I bothered him was because we're tight and as you can tell by this thread, I was desperate and had exhausted all other options.

So what the hell happened? I dunno. It was a combination of strange things:

1. I tried the wheels without the hub centric rings and it made no difference - but without the cone lugnut centering technique they must have been off center too much.
2. I measured the wheel run out with a gauge! First time using one - I measured in the wrong spot when measuring the wheel lip as I didn't know how to measure radially and then axially.
3. I put the oem wheels back on the vehicle and still it shook! - Well Discount Tire put the OEM wheels back on with some 29" take offs. The vibrations were waaaaay less, less than they are now and I chalked that up the tiny tires. I figured, ok, there are still tiny vibrations that I can feel at a higher speed than normal, like 80mph instead of 50mph. That must be because the 33s and larger offset wheels are amplifying an underlying problem.

Well, there might be some truth to that but now it seems like with the right wheel centering I should be good up to 80 and the tiny vibrations over that (way smaller than in the 2nd video posted above) are probably the result of a 2nd issue like suspension/steering bits with 170k on them possibly?

So there you have it. I feel like I'm starting to hone in on the problem but not excited to spend more $ on custom hub centric rings (the last set of plastic ones I ordered from the same company worked great in my 2003 but when I got this set for Yoshi I noticed right away that they looked different/made elsewhere since they didn't have the same markings and were a size .1mm different than before). I'm also not excited if I need to dump another grand into a front suspension/steering rebuild. And lastly, I'm not excited that this tough, Dakar champion, overbuilt rig can't handle tiny fractions of a mm of variance on the wheels. But again, thanks Toasty! (don't hate me for talking crap about Monteros ;-) )


Haha, by crap i meant this:

“ I'm not excited that this tough, Dakar champion, overbuilt rig can't handle tiny fractions of a mm of variance on the wheels.”

Probably the worst thing I’ve ever said about Monteros not related to the engines.


King of Macastan
When you find a good set of concentric rings, can you post a link, I've been trying to find some decent ones but have had the same issue you have had with fitment and tolerance issues.
I'm running some Toyota 4runner rims on mine.


You got it. The plastic ones I have currently are from https://us.hubcentric-rings.com/

I had good luck with my last set from them but this set must have been made elsewhere as it looked cheaper when I got it and it had different markings.

I just ordered a custom billet aluminum set from http://www.motorsport-tech.com/ which are supposed to be the finest, made in USA, products you can buy. I'll post back as soon as I get and install them.


Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
Always got your back dude! Hope some precision rings take care of business, manually centering wheels every time you pull one off will get old really fast.


Well-known member
You got it. The plastic ones I have currently are from https://us.hubcentric-rings.com/

I had good luck with my last set from them but this set must have been made elsewhere as it looked cheaper when I got it and it had different markings.

I just ordered a custom billet aluminum set from http://www.motorsport-tech.com/ which are supposed to be the finest, made in USA, products you can buy. I'll post back as soon as I get and install them.
I have a set of the billet aluminum ones! They are solid and I never had an issue with vibration!


9/23/19: I took Yoshi to Mark Mitsubishi for an appt. to get two things done:

1. Fuel Tank Leveling Valve Recall - I read about other Gen3 owners talking about how their rigs smell like gasoline sometimes and someone posted that there was a recall for a leaky Fuel Tank Leveling Valve, whatever that is. Here's the recall: https://repairpal.com/recall/04V319...ScyPJEGigFol8eztohpxGskT_1-illzDlP2jbQkhSafDc

But much to my surprise, this only covered weird inter Gen3 years - 2002, 2003, 2004. My 2005 is not affected and Mark MItsu could not only not even find this document in their system since everything is linked to the VIN. It's strange to me that this would exist during those middle Gen3 production years and not on others and the symptoms match up perfectly with what I've noticed - heavy unburnt fuel smell when wheeling steep inclines. So now I need to go about testing this to get a firm diagnosis on my vehicle before then figuring out what this part is, where it is, and how to replace it.

2. Next on the agenda was getting my TPMS system reset. All of the original sensors had died long before I bought the truck, Toasty just put a black rubber bulb cover over that cluster light which pretty much hid the light during day light but you guys know me, if something exists, I want it working. Which is so silly because I don't even like TPMS on an offroader and have owned plenty of vehicles without it including my last 3 Monteros. But because this one has it, it drives me nuts when it's not working - humans are weird.

The Mitsu TPMS system requires the MUT-III dealer tool to relearn new sensors so no place outside of Mitsu can work on it. You might recall though that I found a product claiming that it could indeed work with almost any make and model vehicle's TPMS and specifically said it would work with Gen3 Monteros - the VDO Redi Sensor by Continental. Well, I tried like 4 or 5 different shops and none of them could get it to work. I spoke with VDO tech support who said it should work but when I put them on the phone with the "tech" at PepBoys they agreed - it won't work.

So after purchasing 5 of these sensors, having them installed in all 5 tires, now I had to take a chance and hope that they at least worked with Mitsu's MUT-III computer. Luckily, they are indeed the right frequency and the dealer had no problems relearning/programming the system. $140 later and for the first time in many years, Yoshi now has a clear instrument cluster and functioning TPMS system. Now, one day I'll get around to taking out the cluster and removing that rubber boot on the light bulb ;-)

The lesson here is - VDO is wrong about their universal sensors being able to work with any scan tool on the Montero but these sensors might be cheaper than what the dealer sells and they will indeed work IF the dealer does the relearn.

It is pretty funny thinking about the differences between Montero and Toyota guys.

Mitsu guys - Stupid TPMS system, why does it even have this on an offroader!? And if you're gonna have TPMS, why make it dealer proprietary software, they just do this crap so you have to go to the stealership. These sensors suck, they die after 10 years and then you've got a giant repair bill! I just covered mine up with electrical tape, you don't need that crap.

Toyota guys - Love the TPMS system, another example of the engineers being so far ahead of their time. Even the spare tire has a sensor so you can be alerted if that is low - you don't want to find out in an emergency that your spare is flat too (they thought of everything)! Just got back from my favorite dealer, service was great, they got the new sensors reprogrammed lickity split and it was only $307.55 out the door which is nothing for something that lasts 10 years!

I'm not picking sides here, I think I fall right in the middle between those two exaggerated characters. But speaking of Toyota guys, I've been spending a lot of time on Ih8mud lately, learning about 100 series...
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I have a set of the billet aluminum ones! They are solid and I never had an issue with vibration!
What size rings do you have? When I ordered mine today they recommended 106.1 to 67.1 even though the Toyota wheels are 106.2. They said it would be super hard and you'd have to use a hammer if they were made the exact size so they always do Toyota rings .1mm smaller than the wheel and have never had an issue.


For the has smell - check your evaporative canister, mine had a crack on the top that let gas fumes out and you could smell them in the rig. A bit of epoxy work and it's all fixed. It also solved an intermittent check engine light.


10/3/19: Time for a transmission service. I don't know when the last time it was done but I do know that it has been at least 36k miles and guestimating my the condition of the fluid I'd say probably been in there for 50-60k. No burnt smell, trans shifts fine, and the fluid still has a reddish tint but obviously it's more brown than red and needs to be changed.

Parts List

1x Case (12 qts) of genuine Mitsubishi SPIII
1x ATP Filter & Gasket Kit
4x 2910A065 - Upper Transmission Crossmember Bushings
4x 2910A066 - Lower Transmission Crossmember Bushings

You don't need to necessarily replace your crossmember bushings but it's a known source of driveline vibrations in Gen3s once they get up in miles and now is the time to do it since you're already removing the crossmember to drop the trans pan, and they're cheap too so why not? I think mine had compressed a lot over time and were actually allowing the transmission to move around a bit.

Basically, I just followed a combination of the FSM and these guides and the job was pretty easy. Using the method outlined below you can get all of the fluid out, not just what is in the pan. I used 10.5 qts of new SPIII because I purposely let the car run a little longer and pump out some good fluid just to be sure I was definitely through the old stuff.

Nothing complicated but pretty tedious. The worst parts of the whole thing was getting the pan to separate and then cleaning up the dried gasket material because it looked like the pan had never been off before and was still sealed from the factory. This is probably not uncommon since in the service manual it never says that removing the pan is needed and only gives you steps to just flush or drain the fluid out and never replace the filter/screen when doing a service. But, from what I heard on the Aussie forums, the maintenance schedule does specifically say to replace the filter if you're using the vehicle for 4x4ing/heavy duty use.

A note on the ATP filter kit - It comes with a gasket whereas the 100% proper FSM way to put the pan back on is to use Mitsubishi Super Bond RTV which is like $30 a tube. However, I don't much like using RTV if I don't have to. It's messy, you only get one shot at it, and is a pain in the ass to have to clean up the next time. There are other brands of filters and gaskets out there but in my research ATP had really good reviews across several websites. I am happy to report that the filter and gasket fit perfectly and so far no leaks and it looks like a very good seal. The only negative is that when boxing up the kit, they FOLD the gasket twice to get it to fit in the box and the workers don't seem to be gentle with it. The one I received had a deep tear in it so I contacted ATP by phone and they sent me a new one in a big box by itself to make sure that wouldn't happen again. This seems like a common problem because I discovered some reviewers mentioned that as well so be sure to inspect your gaskets before install!

Torque Specs are a must on this job, especially on the soft aluminum of the transmission pan and valve body.

Fluid state before:


Cleaned Pan (this sucked):


Pan with ATP Gasket:

Crossmember bushings:


Old Crossmember bushing vs New:


Yoshi seems to be shifting even smoother than before even though I never really noticed a problem. So I think now I've replaced every driveline bushing except for the 2 holding up the front of the rear diff, so that will be a project for another day I reckon.
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11/4/19: Gentlemen, today was a satisfying day. I received my custom Billet Aluminum Hub Centric Rings and they solved the vibration issues that have been driving me nutz for months. Which is hilarious because as many of us Gen3 guys know, wheels - rings - tires = 99% of vibration issues. This was a roller coaster and I'm glad it's over.

Got the rings from Motorsport Tech - they claim they're the nicest rings in the world, made in USA, yadda yadda yadda. They're 3x the price and take 3x as long to arrive and when they did arrive, the packaging job was half assed so one of them got knicked up a bit along the rim. I sent them an email with photos and they were less than enthused and not apologetic at all but I took a file to the bur and installed it and things seem good to go. Just a bummer how much work can go into a product only to have a missing 5cent piece of seran wrap or bubble wrap almost screw things up. Maybe it's cuz I'm in the physical products business and ship thousands of packages a year that this sort of thing irks me more than most cuz I take packing and shipping so seriously haha.



These billet rings were 1mm thicker than the plastic ones I had and had slightly different beveling dimensions around the edges. They fit snuggly and very tightly in the wheel centerbore as I used a block of wood and hammer to punch them into place light-moderate force.

FYI - size that I went with was 67.05 to 106.1 which leaves a little room from the official diameters of the Mitsu and Yota centerbore specs of 67.1 and 106.2mm respectively. Glad I did that cuz like I said, as is they needed to be tapped into place for a very snug fit.




See for yourself :) Here I am driving 75mph with one finger on the wheel:

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For reference, here's the comparison video from August 31st post wheels, tires, and alignment:

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