Adventure Driven Talk

Tech Questions and How-To Articles => Build Threads => Topic started by: twisterad3 on January 30, 2018, 02:03:53 PM

Title: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on January 30, 2018, 02:03:53 PM
Hi all!

I recently joined the elite group of Montero owner.
I picked up a 97 Montero is pretty rough cosmetic shape, but not terrible engine shape. Long story short on this build, I've ordered a bunch of parts to conquer some general maintenance items BEFORE throwing 33's or 35's at it. I'd say the "Ultimate" goal is get 35's to tackle all the trails I'd like to here in Idaho/Oregon/Washington but I think I'll be able to get through most of what Idaho has to offer on 33's. Here's the teneitive break down of my 30day plan.

First 30 days:
-----Strip and clean interior plastics and seats
-----Vacuum and Shampoo carpet
-----De-crust buttons (those things barely toggle)
-----Fix misc obvious issues
-----Replace broken passenger window regulator
-----Replace timing belt (OEM)
-----Replace water pump
-----Replace gaskets as necessary to stop any/all oil leaks
-----Replace all 4 corners suspension (4600's were ordered, but upgrading to 5100's)
-----Figure out why rear locker switch isn't working
-----Get better wheels there (31's are fine for the first phase)

This Montero is budgeted around $3000 total. I'm currently up to $2200 on my Rig, maintenance parts, and other misc stuff for cleaners, filters, and fluids.

Part of my 60 day plans are to upgrade the rims/wheels and acquire the larger brake upgrade from the MS sport, along with the 4.9 axles. That may come this weekend though, since the parts are all sitting in the local wrecking yard in reasonable condition.

For those of you that are interested, I'll be logging my build with the help of my trust Action Camera... I did a shake down to see what needs to be addressed first, and suspension was the primary thing I found.
Camera work is not the best, but it was a spur of the moment decision. I figured it's an easier way to kind of show the progress of the rig.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: Crumb on January 30, 2018, 08:54:27 PM
 Welcome!  nice video.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on February 01, 2018, 12:58:12 PM
Thank's Toasty. The first week of owning the Montero was filled with dismantling and chasing down gremlins while waiting for parts to arrive. I think some of my parts are held hostage at the Post Office, so I'm going to venture over there today to pick it up.
I can't wait to clean the underside of the car and fix the oil leaks... That should make quick(er) work of tracking down any additional leaks that need to be addressed.
In the mean time, I'll be tackling the passenger window. I ordered a replacement mechanism for it... Should be a pretty simple and straight forward fix, but then again... When does anything "simple" not turn complex? haha.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 12, 2018, 09:56:07 PM
Build Update:
Video Form (TLDR):

Written For:
So, with the major setback of free time (week long trips, jeep runs, etc) I was finally able to get out and turn some wrenches.
I obviously didn't complete my 30 plan as desired, but I'm finally able to chug a long. This last weekend, I dove into the motor to replace the massive leaking front oil seal. I also replaced the timing components and water pump while I was in there. Everything was running smooth until all my timing cover gaskets were falling to the ground in chunks... I ordered some new gaskets, since I didn't want to use massive amounts of RTV, so I'll finish that up one night this evening. In the mean time, I have all the seats back in the Montero ready to go. Once I finish all my general maintenance, it's time to move on to some of the fun projects.
What I have sitting in my garage currently are:
-33x12.5x15 Tires
-ADD 5100 Struts
-ADD Body lift
-95 Front and Rear axles (for the 4.63 gears)

This weekend, the objective is to get the struts, body lift, and tires on the car. It's a long road, but i'm trying to make sure everything is trail worthy in the next few weeks... I'm going on a 4x4 run with a bunch of Jeeper's, and I have to make sure I represent the Montero community to the best of my ability.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: jaccox on March 13, 2018, 05:53:45 AM
Just watched the timing belt video and it is a little action camera but your tensioner pulley looks to be oriented right but your tensioner seems to be extended a little further than the FSM calls for. I believe the gap is 3-5mm which I use the eraser of a pencil to measure since it's really close to 5mm. Now this could all be due to camera angle but when you pulled the pin on the tensioner did it slide out with ease or did you have yank pretty good and the tensioner shot out after. I'm hoping this is all just camera angle that I'm mistaken for. easiest way for me to tell that the tensioner is set properly is after it's all set and I do my two revolutions of the crank with my ratchet my tensioner pin still slides easily in and out of the hole. Other than that love the video and especially the creativity to get that crank seal off. Best of luck with future upgrades. You can't go wrong with ADD components those guys have stuff dialed in to the next level for these trucks
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 13, 2018, 07:09:59 AM
The first time I set the timing, the tension was almost fully extended... the second time it was within spec, since i clocked the tensioner beyond what the repair manual suggested..
Since I still haven't received my gaskets, I'll break out the micrometer before sealing it all up and moving onto the next piece. But there's plenty of tension on the belt, which I can't say from the first pull... haha.
When I pulled the pin, it wasn't a struggle, but it also didn't just kinda fall out. It was somewhat in-between.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: jaccox on March 13, 2018, 11:34:13 AM
should be able to flick the pin and it spin in place so you can take it out with no resistance. Check the FSM for the spec on the distance but I am kinda sure it's the 3mm-5mm.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 19, 2018, 02:51:06 PM
So, this weekend I made a lot of progress... Frankly, it helped that I took 2 days off to make it a 4 day weekend, but I was determined to get the Montero back up and running, and back on the local dirt trails for a test drive.
On Thursday (while waiting for the timing cover gasket) I replaced the power window, installed a locker bypass switch (so I can be locked in 2wd), and put the interior back in the car... I have to say, that was more work than it should have been. It seemed like every bolt hole for the seats were cross thread. I had to break out the ol' tap and die set to chase all the threads... That added a LOT of time to the reinstall... Mostly just cleaning 211k worth of crap that accumulated in the holes I suppose...
I received my time cover gasket material from Napa Auto on Friday evening.. Then I bolted everything back together on Friday night (Well, Saturday morning at 3:30a)... Got the car fired up, np. Everything was running okay in the garage. Noticed a crazy door lock/unlock happening after starting the car... Not important at the moment...
Since the car was running, it was time for a test drive on late Saturday afternoon. I had some new 5100's to put in the car, so I decided to test drive it to my buddys shop. Pull up to a stop sign, nothing but steam coming from the engine... Oops. Apparently I'm not 100% through in re-assembly at 3am... No worries. Easy fix of a coolant line that wasn't connected.
I got the car to my buddies, and replaced the front struts, and didn't have time before dinner to get to the rears. Decided that I'd either spend another evening the garage, or get to them the following morning.
The following morning, I fired up the car to warm it up before heading to my buddies. Started the car, shut the door, as I usually do with my truck... Well crap. The doors started their random lock/unlock/lock cycle again, and all my windows and doors were now shut. :-/
I'm stuck in the garage, wanting to install my shocks, car running, and no way to shut it off since EVERYTHING was closed. All doors. Rear hatch. Hood.
At this point, it becomes, which window is easier to replace... Then I decided that I would just get 2 pry bars, and break apart the passenger 3rd row seat window plastic clip... That worked. Minimal damage at least... :-/
I eventually get the car to my buddies shop, get the rear struts in, then go take it out to the local high desert to make sure everything is running smoothly. Long story short, the 5100's made a world of difference in comfort... Even without the new springs or torsion bars. Those are my next purchase for sure.
Overall, it was a fun/gratifying weekend. I got to play in the dirt for about 2 hours in my Montero, try some small technical climbs, and just have some (in my opinion) well deserved fun...

Next up, I really need to troubleshoot my electrical gremlins. This is not my area of expertise, so it'll be new territory for me...
If you're bored enough, check out this 33 second video of some weird lock/unlock gremlins that live in my Montero:
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: jaccox on March 19, 2018, 03:03:21 PM
I can nail this down for you real quick. Aftermarket dealer installed security system. You have the little red light on the dash with the button don't you? If yes removed that and your woes will be solved. It's simple to removed and jump the starter inhibitor wire. Also the lock actuator on the driver door sometimes has a bump stop that disintegrates and allows the lock to overshoot and bounce back the opposite way, so if you unlock it then it will overcorrect and lock itself back. On expo portal there is a good write up on the procedures. I'll attempt to find them tomorrow for you
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 24, 2018, 09:02:01 PM
You have the little red light on the dash with the button don't you? If yes removed that and your woes will be solved.
Forgot to update this, but jaccox... you were correct. So simple... I didn't believe it until I tried it. haha
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: jaccox on March 25, 2018, 03:17:49 PM

Forgot to update this, but jaccox... you were correct. So simple... I didn't believe it until I tried it. haha
Glad you figured it out cause not gonna lie forgot to even dig for those write ups on the forums. Got carried away trying to track down demons on my Monty lol. Good to hear you sorted it all out.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on April 23, 2018, 11:38:05 AM
Build Update:

After getting all the reliability concerns addressed, and the electrical gremlins... We've been going on a lot of adventures here in Idaho.
The simplest way to find out what I need to build next is to get out on the trail, get hung up, and figure out how to engineer the rig to overcome the obstacles.

When we went to Hooker Canyon and Lost Trail, it's becoming evident that I need some lift. The stock Montero with 33x12.5 isn't cutting it. However, the factory gearing isn't either. While crawling up some rocky hills, I've certainly put al the factory bash guards to the test. The factory front, transmission, and gas tank guard... (d'oh!)
I order the thick armor plate from ADD... So when the 3rd plate gets here, I'll be installing it.

Next stages to this build is to
--Swap my 4.27 axles for 4.63's I pulled from the wrecking yard...
--Put in my 3.15's when they arrive (ordered them already! Yeah tax returns!)

Then next part to purchase is going to suspension lift... and some Rock Sliders.

When I did a run with 2 of my buddies (both have XJ's), we were asked to do the run with a group of XJ's that were meeting at the trail that day... I wasn't very excited about doing the run with all the modified XJ's since essentially I'm sitting on a stock Montero with bigger tires... But I was able to impress (or at least reduce the s**t talking) from the solid axle Jeep guys. They were all shocked at how I was following them through almost everything with IFS.. then I blew their minds when I told them I'm all stock except for tires. :-)

If you're interested in the run, here's my video log of that day's run.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: concealer404 on April 23, 2018, 11:54:52 AM
Hey two questions:

1) Cup holders?!?! are those just a drop in aftermarket thing?
2) What wheels are those?
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on April 23, 2018, 12:02:55 PM
Hey two questions:

1) Cup holders?!?! are those just a drop in aftermarket thing?
2) What wheels are those?

The cup holders came with the car. I assume they're stock.  They were below the the little arm rest thing on the center console. That part was broken, so I just kept the cup holder.

The wheels were from an older chevy truck. Not 100% on the years. I've been looking for a 5th one to mount a spare too. They had the 6 on 5.5 with a 108 center bore and the tires mounted for $400 locally on FB market, so I purchased them to replace the worn out 31x10.5.   Their offset seems to work, after some clearing of the fender...
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 13, 2019, 11:47:59 AM
Finally making progress on my build.

It's been slow going since I only have small chunks of time at once, but my goal is to run the medium difficulty trail with the local 4x4 clubs.
It's been a long year of collecting and store some parts. For the better half of the year I've pretty much just run the stock 97 Montero with 33x12.5's and some new shock absorbers. Meanwhile, I've had the following parts sitting on my (metaphorical) shelf in the garage (does the floor count as a shelf?).
- 3.15 tcase gears
- Body lift
- ADD suspension lift
- Front bushings
- ADD full skid plates
- Trail Gear sliders
- 35" Good Year MT's. (Regretting selling those now though)
- 4.64 gears
- 4.9 gears
- White ball shifter

A few weekends ago I was trying to decide which mod to perform if I could only perform one meaningful mod before our run. My choices were broken down to suspension lift, tcase gears, or 4.9's and ARB- if the ARB was delivered in time (spoiler, it wasn't).
So I decided that the tcase would be the way to go. Better control in the rocks, more precision, should be able to avoid getting stuck longer...
I dropped the tcase, pulled up the "how to guide" on the forms, then got to work... Only every little thing was fighting me.
Sure, part of it is I'm figuring it all out as I go... But the install looked pretty straight forward. I ran into a major snag when I couldn't get the shift fork out. Eventually I had to separate the case, force the rail out with a brute force, then put the rail that holds the shift fork in my press to get it out....
I decided that I'm not going to risk putting this tcase back together with the gears just to realize that maybe something was damaged and that would later explode... So I purcahsed a used tcase (arrives tomorrow).

Since the tcase was going to take a week, I decide that it's a good time to tackle the suspension lift. I install the rears, and I disconnect the torsion bars to put in the new ADD ones. I realized that I need to just wait a day so I can get my tcase done. With the torsion bars out of the way, I can get the tcase in much easier!

Anyway, long story short... I'm tired, sore, and ready to have this thing back together. There really aren't enough hours in the day..
But on the plus side, I'll have:
- 3.15 tcase gears
- body lift
- suspension lift
- rock sliders
- armor installed ON THE MONTERO instead of sitting on the floor!
Then when the ARB comes, I can just swap in my 4.9s... Although I'll probably have a shop do that honestly. I'm not really feelin' it.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: Shovel on March 13, 2019, 12:10:41 PM
All that progress is cool!

How close are you cutting the schedule?
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 13, 2019, 12:18:39 PM
All that progress is cool!

How close are you cutting the schedule?

The run in on the 3/30.
Should be enough time to get it all done, but I have my kids all day this weekend, and will be out of town from the 22nd to the 28th...

My goal is to get the tcase gears in tomorrow night, reinstall the tcase on Friday, then hopefully find time over the weekend to wrap up the front suspension over this weekend.
Then on Mon/Tues reassemble the interior after some trimming.

I know it seems like all the time in the world, but it really goes by quick.
Title: Re: DMonteRo Build
Post by: twisterad3 on March 15, 2019, 12:18:26 PM
Found out I have the wrong torsion bars to go back into the Montero. Minor setback.. I still have the stock ones.
I got my replacement transfer case to install gears on last night. I pulled the face plate off, pulled out the old gears, got the new gears in there, assembled it and everything's spinning freely.
However, I'm assuming I did something wrong. I can't move the shifter to save my life. The H-L shift fork moves. The one that gets a little trimming. But the 2-4WD shift fork won't move. The rail doesn't slide at all.
I bolted back up the shifter to see if leverage from the fork would help, and I couldn't get it to move. Anyone have thoughts?