Author Topic: Rescue Gen 1 SWB  (Read 3536 times)

johneric

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Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« on: May 13, 2017, 01:27:47 PM »
John's 1989 Montero - 2-door SP, 3.0L V6

Well, How Did I Get Here?

When my brother moved to Boulder in the mid-1990s, I flew out to help him get settled. He was car shopping at the time, and we found a nice 1990 LS at a used lot. I'd had a geology professor in college that bought a showroom-new 1989 Dodge Raider, and I'd loved the look, so it was a treat to drive the LS in the Colorado snow. A couple of years later, I picked up a lightly-used 1995 SR - I race sailboats; the SR handled the towing very well, and also opened up the world of off-road driving for me. I owned the SR through 2015, and it served me very well, including some great white-post camping trips in the Angeles National Forest with my daughter. When she grew out of the backseat, I started hunting for a SWB.

Project Blue

I found a few of the 4-cylinder SWBs, and came close to buying a couple, but with some uncharacteristic resolve and patience, I continued to search for a good V6. In 2015, I came across an ad for one in a junkyard in San Jose, CA. It was "CA DMV Junked" status, but the yard told me it ran well. It had been rear-ended by a car, so the bumper was gone, the back gate was deformed, and there was other cosmetic damage, but they thought the frame was straight. I pulled the Carfax and found there had only been two owners, and that it had been a Texas truck until 2008. I took a big chance, bought a one-way ticket, and flew to San Jose. A cab ride later, and I was looking at a real mess - interior was filthy, the filler hose was split, it had a lawnmower battery, and the driver's seat base had bent badly in the accident. That meant it had been hit hard and the PO had been a big boy. Regardless, it started right up and purred. Quick spin around the lot - the brakes felt good and it tracked straight as an arrow. I laid the cash on the table and drove straight to a Firestone for a battery and fluids. Then I got on the road for home.

Blue made it home without a single issue! Over the Grapevine in 5th and 20mpg! I started to gain confidence that I'd found a real diamond in the rough. Took it to the shop right away for a thorough inspection and smog test - turned out all six cylinders had good compression, so it seemed a rebuild wouldn't be needed. Full tune up, plugs, wires, distributer, hoses and belts, catalytic converter, O2 sensor and a muck-out of the incredible build up in the throttle body - all that got me from "Gross Polluter" to "Pass" on the smog test. I was armed with receipts and headed to the DVM to resurrect Blue from "Junk" to "Salvage." While I lifted my skirts for the DMV and CHP to get their approval, I made a call to San Jose - there was an oil change sticker in the windshield, and I'd resolved to do some sleuthing. The shop put me in touch with the PO, who was delighted to hear the truck had found a home rather than the crusher. He told me he'd been sad to give it up after the accident, but the settlement had been too good to pass up. It particularly pained him, he said, because he'd dropped a 30k-mile, used Japanese engine just a year or so before! Good compression mystery solved!

Newly tagged and titled, I started the restoration. The inimitable Russell Davies hooked me up with a bumper and a color-matched rear gate from the Montero Ranch, which allowed me to largely erase the accident that had put Blue in the junkyard. Next, I pulled the nasty interior and put in a new carpet kit - mass-backed over fresh liner and pad.

Then came the happy trips to the LKQ yards around the area - Pomegranate wheels and new BFG tires, a pair of bouncy seats, receiver, upgraded tool kit, front bumper and brush guard, SR rear springs, factory fogs and harness, bumper ends, another "oh-shit" handle for the driver, an LSD for the rear, lenses, interior cargo bars, a million little plastic bits (like the hood prop clip), etc... and then the on-line parts searches, too - new pedal covers, 4WD sensors for the transfer case, H4 headlights, ladder, filler neck and armor, load bars, a Galloper inclinometer, Pioneer stereo and Rockford Fosgate speakers, a *cup holder*, the missing jack handle, etc. Then came more good stuff from the Montero community - notably better visors from Rob Zebrowski, and a Starion LSD from Ernest Paddock.

No project is ever totally done I guess, but here's the list so far. There's bodywork and paint somewhere in the future.

Rear LSD
Starion LSD in front
Gen 2 SR rear springs
Bilsteins
31-inch BFGs
Dual bouncy seats
Gen 2 seats
Pioneer AM/FM/Aux/BT/Sirius
Rockford Fosgate speakers
Mass-backed carpet kit over Dynamat and pad
Galloper inclinometer
Hella E Code H4 headlights (100/55)

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:48:15 PM by johneric »
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

Hellvector

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 03:42:14 PM »
Looks great!
91 LWB Montero, 97 GSX, 96 TSi AWD, 91 GVR4 926, 89 Colt, 73 Colt, Problems

PajEvo

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 08:54:12 PM »
These are the kind of build threads that will raise this place up. Excellent story, and great rig. Thanks for sharing, and keep us updated!

Cheers,
Phil

TOASTY

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 06:28:49 PM »
 Great rig man!

B

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 06:32:17 AM »
Awesome color, and well done on a fantastic restoration. Especially the interior, the photo of the carpet looks showroom fresh!
2000 Montero LWB 3.5 SOHC Endeavor

1990 Eclipse GSX 2.0 Turbo AWD E-85

1991 Talon TSi 2.0 Turbo AWD

MudRaider

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 04:45:01 AM »
John, it was a great pleasure to meet you and see this truck in person.

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 10:05:25 PM »
likewise! great day for montero owners - i can't wait to see some of you guys again!

Latest: picked up a pair of Gen 2 trailing arms and torsion bars - arms are going in for sure, post rehab with the ADD rebuild kit. pics soon - almost to the point i can't avoid the final cosmetic stuff; found a place to do the headliner and tint the way i like it, and then there's nothing left but to paint it.

was thrilled to see all the great pics from MOD!

1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

Sparky

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 07:02:13 PM »
Beautiful! This makes me want to have a raider/swb montero some day.

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 08:27:04 PM »
careful, sparky - that's how it started with me! i agree that the shorties are aesthetically remarkable and pleasant to regard...
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

ChargerX3

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 09:20:59 PM »
Beautiful restoration! I can only hope i find one in similar condition. How do you like the front lsd? Also how is having dual bouncy seats? Tough getting people in the back?

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 08:08:38 PM »
front LSD - only felt it go to work once when i had a wheel all the way up, so i guess that's good; works when needed and don't notice it the rest of the time.

dual bouncies are essential, imo - it was tight getting in the back even when i had the flip base, and the kid more often just went between the seats. there are DIYs on putting bouncies onto the flip base if you want to maintain that functionality. now my kid sits in the front, so i've kept the back seat in the garage... which makes room for the bike.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:49:08 PM by johneric »
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 08:24:16 PM »
meant to update that i'd found a gen 2 with a blue interior in the yard, so i grabbed the plastic seat trim and cleaned it up. now my interior matches.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:49:20 PM by johneric »
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

ChargerX3

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 09:55:36 PM »
Thanks. Iíll have to hunt down that retrofit as i would like to retain that functionality.

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2017, 08:04:48 PM »
got a box of goodies from the good folks here at ADD a while back - holiday weekend gives me time to install. first up is the front swaybar bushings and end links...



« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:49:31 PM by johneric »
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB

johneric

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Re: Rescue Gen 1 SWB
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2018, 06:22:52 PM »


has been a while since i updated! developed a leak in the front LSD diff, so i had that torn down and all new seals. while it was on the rack, added the torsion bars from a 1992 LWB, which are progressive. also added the gen 2 trailing arms with the ADD Siberian bushing kit - these are all parts that i'd been accumulating, and i'm glad to finally have the chassis and suspension done. once the diff leak was sorted, i was back to a leak-free rig.

next up was the early gen 1 metal grille, courtesy another gen 1 enthusiast - he'd traded a pile of parts to an overseas source to get an MMC-badged grille, but just didn't like the way it looked in the end. my good fortune! he also had a spare set of the Korean-sourced steel headlight and tail light guards that i'd been admiring, so now the exterior accessory checklist is complete.

next task - pull the headliner and recover it - i'm doing that one myself.

last task - bodywork and paint. i plan to do original blue with a silver or light grey on the lower panels, and replace the pinstripes. maybe my christmas present to me. no rush, as i get pretty scratched up on the trail.



« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 06:26:40 PM by johneric »
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB