Author Topic: Itís Gonna Be Dark. A 98 Montero build.  (Read 1875 times)


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Itís Gonna Be Dark. A 98 Montero build.
« on: October 30, 2018, 01:17:54 PM »
After spending the prior six months researching and looking around at what was out there and actually getting behind the wheel of a handful of vehicles up for sale and then not ever buying any of those vehicles... I did it. It was a knee-jerk reaction, really. I hadnít planned on buying my Montero that day. At least not that one. But maybe I did, and I was just fooling myself.

Let me back up. Iíd been looking for a Montero to build for a good while. Iíd read the lists of repairs that MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY and the lists of items that most often break and the upgrades that can make it all a little better. And then I went to a Roaming Lost meetup at Commodity Coffee in Long Beach, and there were MANY MONTEROS. More than Iíd seen in one place. Ever. And I talked to some great owners who have become ridiculously helpful in my build, and who are incredibly kind and offered up all of their knowledge. But there were so many Monteros. Did I mention that? And then Iíd thought about the two that I saw the previous week and didnít buy (both of which subsequently sold). And the blue 2.5 in Houston, Texas that Iíd somehow thought seriously about purchasing (until I looked into transport and the amount of money that Iíd want to put into the vehicle, and the asking price, and California Smog, and...) and then there was the white Gen 2.5 outside of San Diego from the guy who turned really flaky and never set up a time for me to see the car. But thatís the car I wanted. I knew it. It was white. It was a Gen 2.5. It had the winter package. Why wouldnít he setup a meeting? I was ready to buy!

And then I started thinking Iíd never find exactly what I was after, and that maybe I should start looking into other options. You can probably see where my mind was going (partially in circles, yes). And then I found it. September 6th. A Thursday. I saw the ad on Craigslist. It didnít really give me much info. I called. Okay, $1500 didnít sound bad. Not if it was what I wanted. But I had a few questions. The woman said that her boyfriend would call me back to answer the questions. He did. And at the end of our call, he said the thing that pinged around in my brain all through the night and the next morning on my drive from Long Beach to Bakersfield - we just need it gone. $1000 if you just take it with you, is what she said when I got there. I drove it. It was fine. It was beat. It had 183K miles on it. The sunroof didnít close, fully. The rear passenger door handle was broken off, and the inside handle was stuck. The rear driver side window didnít roll up or down. The rear door didnít have a handle. Or a shroud. The license plates lights were dangling there, though. Did I mention that the registration expired in January? There were four different tires on it. Five, if you count the spare. The interior was trashed. Completely filthy. I drove it around a little, because Iíd driven up this far to see it. I drove back to the POís house with the intent of driving home without a Montero. I just wasnít certain it wasnít too far gone. I started rattling off all of the things wrong and the PO blurted out ď$800 if you take it today.Ē So, I took the leap.

I paid the lady $800, signed a makeshift sales document, and she handed over the title. I drove it a few miles to a restaurant called Locale and called AAA and waited for them to arrive.

I had it flatbedded down to C&A Auto in Van Nuys and handed it over to Chai, so I could get a full assessment at what Iíd gotten myself (and therefore, my wife) into...


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great start to the story! i'm hooked - in for the next chapter.
1989 Montero SP
3.0L V6 SWB


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Nice find and nice price tag!


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It runs and drives for under a thousand, plenty of wiggle room to bring it back. You could have bought a nicer one but it would even still require the same work to get it ready for adventure. Yours sounds like it's just going to need more sweat cleaning and fixing the little broken things.


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Nice score. I hope you enjoy getting it back up to daily shape as much as I have mine, and others who've bought older neglected rigs.

"AZPAJERO" - 1997 Gen 2 Montero SR, 5.29 gears, 37" tires, Detroit front locker, Factory rear

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