Mitsubishi Montero & Montero Sport This sport utility vehicle offers more size than the other Mitsubishi SUVs, but manages to keep a sporty look and comfortable feel, unlike many larger SUVs.

Another 1st Time buyer thread...

  #1  
Old 04-21-2018, 12:22 PM
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Default Another 1st Time buyer thread...

Hello all,
New member, looking at 2001 Montero, AWD.

context: I live in SE Wisconsin - aka salt city in the winters. I'm originally from Texas, so what happens to cars up here hurts me on a very personal level. So I keep my truck (pride and joy) out of the winter grime by keeping a "winter beater" around. Well my 99 Cherokee had embodied this beater status all the way to the ground, and I'm looking to replace it. The Montero is one of the models I'm looking at because of price and availability.

I'm looking at an 01 on FB marketplace, might go have a look tomorrow, but IN GENERAL, I'm curious about the following:

- Timing belts? Are Montero's interference engines? While noone wants to be on the side of the road, it's significantly different if valves try to party with the pistons...
- Rust? I can live with cosmetic rust, I'm worried about frame, ,drive line, catastrophic issues...
- other known, common issues....? Anything from mild to wild, if I can sniff it out before I buy, I'd appreciate the help.

I'm a former mechanic, now engineer for a prety well known tool company (starts with an "S" and end with "on" :P ), so tools and facilites are not lacking, but time is a premium nowadays with family, grad school, work, the decepticons, etc etc...so I'm looking for a unicorn vehicle - little money up front, not a lot of work to keep it going. The Montero seems like a good fit, agree?

Thanks in advance for all the help.
 
  #2  
Old 04-21-2018, 02:21 PM
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Location: Washington State
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Welcome to the forum. Are you looking at Full size Montero or Montero Sport? They are very different in many ways. Older Sport models were 5 passenger body on frame design I believe most of them have solid rear axle and independent front end. Starting from 2001 Full Size Monteros are 7 passenger uni-body construction with 4 wheel independent suspension.
I had my 2001 Full Size since it was brand new. Love it and never want to part with it.

Montero engines ARE interference types. You do need to change the timing belt at required intervals to avoid the valve/cylinder party.

I'm lucky to live in the part of the country where vehicles do not rust away due to salt on the roads. On mine there is minor cosmetic rust on old parts under the body, but every fastener can be removed and reinstalled back (does not crumble into dust in your hands). In the Mid West some people reported having corrosion issues with the fuel filler tube. It runs right through the right rear wheel well and seem to catch some corrosive stuff behind the shield.

As far as I know the 2001 models were built exclusively in Japan. They must have used very good materials, because they last for very long time. Common issues are oil leaks around valve covers. Camshaft position sensor seal is prone to leak if the o-ring is old (back of the engine, driver's side). Any oil leaks on the front of the engine (camshaft seals) must be corrected because oil will get onto the alternator. Alternators do not like ingesting oil. Camshaft seal replacement is easy when doing a timing belt.

One very common issue is blinking orange Center Differential Light. This indicates an issue with the transfer case or 4wd system. Most of the time the error is due to a bad vaccum tubing or a bad sensor. Chasing down a sensor can be a pain (there are 5 or 6 of them on controlling the 4wd system), but not a difficult job to replace one once you know what is going on.

Depending on mileage, you are likely to see a Catalitic Converter code (P0420?). If you do, do not replace O2 sensors (unless they do not work). That is fist advice you'll get from many people, but it is not the right thing to do. You will need to replace what is called a Y-pipe. The two small cat converters seem to loose efficiency after 150-200k miles and trigger a code. There is a "cheat" to work around the code, but if you have to pass emissions testing, it may not be for you.

Almost forgot - for transmission fluid do not use anything but Mitsubishi transmission fluid. Many reports of shifting issues, slippage, etc. when using non-Mitsubishi fluid. The cost of it is nearly the same as other brands, so in my opinion it is not worth skipping on that.

I hope this provides the answers you were looking for.
Good luck. Hope you see you here on the forum with your "new' Montero.
 
  #3  
Old 04-24-2018, 03:36 PM
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Location: North Dallas
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CEL caused by EGR system. It took me six months to figure out, and I replaced every EGR component to discover a brass restrictor in a vacuum line was the cause of the PO400. Idle may need to be reset after disconnecting battery. I made the mistake of changing the IAC with an aftermarket part and making the issue worse. All I needed to do was follow the instructions for stabilizing the idle. The vehicle is easy to work on, but I've learned to never use cheap aftermarket parts to save a few bucks on emission sensors and components. Also if you're buying an OEM part on Ebay for a good price, there's a chance that it was a defective return. Order from a dealership
 
  #4  
Old 04-24-2018, 09:12 PM
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Location: Washington State
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Originally Posted by pumpnethyl View Post
CEL caused by EGR system. It took me six months to figure out, and I replaced every EGR component to discover a brass restrictor in a vacuum line was the cause of the PO400. Idle may need to be reset after disconnecting battery. I made the mistake of changing the IAC with an aftermarket part and making the issue worse. All I needed to do was follow the instructions for stabilizing the idle. The vehicle is easy to work on, but I've learned to never use cheap aftermarket parts to save a few bucks on emission sensors and components. Also if you're buying an OEM part on Ebay for a good price, there's a chance that it was a defective return. Order from a dealership
100% agree on using OEM sensors and critical components. 2001 model year does not have to relearn idle after batter disconnect. I think that starts after 2003 model year.
 
  #5  
Old 04-25-2018, 02:53 PM
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You guys are great. Thanks for all the replies, and the book's worth of info Hunter!

I'm still watching facebook market and c-list, but until finals are over (oh the joys of grad school.....), I probably wont be looking very hard.

I'm pretty impressed so far with the price and seemingly the quality on these guys. Now that I've been keeping my eyes open around here, there's a fair share of them, and they seem to hold up to the salting fairly well (way better than my 99 jeep!)

I'll be in touch. Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 05-01-2018, 06:49 PM
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Unlike the American counterparts Japanese vehicles are generally built much better especially when material selection and corrosion is taken into account. Coming from Chicago originally I could not believe the amount of rust on the cars there. They are defiantly not constructed to last.


From your description I think the Montero will fit your requirements. Like any used vehicle much will depend on how well its been serviced and where it comes from. I'd tend to find something from one of those States which doesn't throw copious amounts of salt on the road.


jim
 
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