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1998 Mitsubishi Montero Gen 2.5 aka Groot

7 posts in this topic

As some of you know I used to own a 2000 Montero Sport XLS 4WD that I recently sold in March. I loved it..but it was a bit small and wasn't going to fit my needs in the near future on what I wanted to do with my family and future business endeavor. I was actually in the search for a Gen 2 or 2.5 prior to purchasing my Montero Sport but couldn't find a decent one and needed a vehicle so I decided on the Montero Sport. 


I bought it in 2014 for $4k and I sold it for $ I made some money driving it for 3 years. :victory:

I decided on a Gen 2.5 because its been refined engineering wise as any model towards the end of its production and for the looks...obviously I wanted a winter package one with minimal to no rust, in good condition and really wanted to find one white. I happened to find one at a Nissan dealer in Washington state with 200k miles 1 owner, no accidents, with a long carfax history of maintenance mostly done by the the Nissan dealer I bought it from. I had a buddy look at it in person and test drive it and other than the common oil leak from the valve gaskets..its a perfect running Montero. Finally finalized the sale this week and the auto transport is scheduled to pick it up Monday this coming week.  I was able to negotiate a cash deal...basically "I can wire the money now at this price", so I got it $2k out the door. 

1998 Mitsubishi Montero Winter package w/ adjustable suspension

I was able to take a few screens shots before the dealer took it down from their website after the sale was finalized.

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Here are a couple pics the sales man took before it was picked up ...tucked behind the service building safely.


Couple undercarriage shots.

Saturday 5/14/2017 the auto transport finally picked up my Montero.


The Montero arrived on Thursday 5/18 around 5:30pm but I only had time check it in. My dad went to the ER earlier that day and right after the auto transport called me on their ETA on their arrival. I had the truck dropped off at my best friends shop which is about 30 mins away from where I live.

This past Saturday I finally got a chance to look over the Montero. Part of me being able to negotiate the price was because of "ticking noise" from the engine and a transmission ATF leak. They didn't want to put more labor time into fixing those issues so that helped me get the price I wanted.

-Lifter Tick : Since the Montero sat soo long in the lot when they started it it had lifter tick. When I got it after a few cycles of it running it disappeared.
-ATF leak : We are going to pull the transmission this weekend to diagnose, we are needed to pull it anyways because we are doing a rear main seal.

In general the interior and exterior are in excellent condition. Paint still has clearcoat and no dings or dents on the exterior. The front has normal chips here and there from most likely rocks from the roads but that's a easy fix.

All I need to replace is:
-Inside drivers side door panel
-Drivers side a/c vent
-Center a/c vents
-A pillar trim bezel

Finally the keys are in hand and even has the OEM (I guess dealer installed from what I read) keyless entry.


1st round of maintenance parts arrived. ALL seals are OEM, tensioner and even new harmonic balancer.


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Got a good amount accomplished this past weekend on the Montero. As part of the negotiation to get it at a much lower price..there was a ATF leak that developed during the purchasing process which actually delayed the purchase a good 2weeks. I was going to remove the transmission anyways to do the rear main it wasn't a big deal on my part, but used it as a negotiation tool to get the price lower.

Most of the remaining maintenance parts arrived from Rockauto.

Florida DMV couldn't go forward issuing the title to me because even though the dealer provided them with all the necessary paperwork..since it was out of state they needed it verified in Florida. Got local PD to come out and verify the VIN and fill out the form so I can provide that to the DMV. Took about 4 trys..because of O being inputed at 0 and 5 being inputed as S. :squint:

Preparing to remove the transmission.

Immediately when the torque converter was pulled off..the culprit was found. The front pump seal wasn't even seated, only thing that prevented it from coming out was the TC.

Trans pulled out...going to replace all the input/output seals, clean it up, and replace the Tcase shifter for the White ball one.

Ended the day on Saturday...went ahead and removed the mudflaps and side steps.

My ADD Kingpin upgrade arrived....along with other goodies! Thank you soo much guys! Look forward to more of your products on the Montero

Proto likes this

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This past weekend nothing major was done to the Montero as I am still waiting on a lot of Mitsu parts to move forward and plus I had a few things going on with family also. I did remove the center console though to clean 19 years of crud and other junk that has accumulated even though overall the Montero was well taken care of...I don't the previous owner went deep into really cleaning some areas.

I wanted to do this because well:
1. This contributes to a musty smell of the interior
2. Its disgusting
3. I like to have a clean vehicle interior.

So here is the center console pieces...fairly well taken care of but in the nooks and crannies show definite signs of buildup over the years of ownership of crud accumulation and liquid spills through the years. Either the owner was a non smoker or if he/she was, she never smoked in the Montero. No hint of smell that a smoker was in the vehicle and the astray shows no signs cigerettes were ever in there.


More crud

Now to remove the super select shifter boot there are 4 small metal locking plates...carefully pry them off and DO NOT damage the plastic posts, which help lock the base plate to secure the base of the boot to the console.

For the switches and buttons I used baby wipes to remove the crap around the bezels and then after that wiped them down with Lysol disinfectant wipes and finished them off with a microfiber wipedown. I used toothpicks to get into the small tight parts in the switches/buttons.

Before and After

I used a mixture of distilled vinegar with water (60/40 mix) and a old toothbrush to clean the center console as I didn't want to use any harsh chemicals and plus vinegar does a amazing job of breaking down all that grime almost instantaneously.

For the shifter boot I just wiped it down with baby wipes and disinfectant wipes and it was good as new.

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No real progress the past couple weeks...still waiting on OEM parts on backorder which I expect to arrive this week and also being Fathers day this past weekend, I spent it with family.

The little time I had, I did some small little things along with cleaning up the license plate lens. After 19+ years exposed to the elements they lost their clarity, but with some $8 polishing compound and a microfiber towel...they look just as good as new.


Solviss likes this

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Finally all the rest of the OEM parts I ordered arrived last week so I can no make some forward progress. Main goal this weekend was the clean up the transmission and install the new seals and clean up all the dirt and grime that have built up for 19+ years on the transmission. Its not as hot as it is in the Southwest..but the heat and humidity really drained me this weekend as I had to clean the trans outside my boys shop.

Rest of the OEM stuff finally here.
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Amsoil for tcase and diffs

Transmission/Tcase Before

After cleaning.

Somewhere under this nastiness is a transmission mount and bracket frame.
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Oh...there it is.

If you kept up on this build thread the main issue why I got my Montero so cheap is because of a transmission leak. The seal on the left wasn't even seated in at all and didn't look like the correct seal from factory. On the Right is the correct OEM seal...obviously a difference.

Next weekend the transmission should be back on the Montero and I can start doing the front motor service.

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Its been awhile since my last update, just been busy and somewhat lazy trying to find a new place to host pics. I decided to use Flickr so now I keep this thread updated now.

Pulled the original Tcase shifter and the red ball took a massive dump which I knew because it was hard trying to shift the Tcase prior.
36061904802_7143877eec_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

New white ball shifter and oem gasket.
35835143400_ba65210c93_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

While the transmission is out its a great opportunity to replace the rear main seal, rear cam cover O-rings, and coolant crossover pipe gaskets.
35421812943_7e2222e21e_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36061906162_8782a71b89_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35419508243_e0e272c887_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Transmission got new OEM front pump seal and both transfer case output shaft seals and now ready to go in.
35419506263_9187191346_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35419505343_cd2602d024_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Ended the day...good amount accomplished, transmission all bolted back up. I just need to replace the filter w/ gasket and will bolt the exhaust. Montero ended up on top of a totaled Corvette.
36090042961_70ffb6c29b_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36090051421_194f85cefa_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Time to start with the motor...this time take care of the top end stuff.

36090040151_b33a7a3062_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35419497543_4ed3602308_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36183297396_040edf37fa_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36090025131_b7605b7959_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

From my previous experience from my other cars when I did initial maintenance after taking ownership gaskets were a pain to remove because they were hard and brittle. I knew the previous owner took care of this Montero as when I did the Carfax there was a long maintenance history. It was confirmed as every seal and gasket was soft and easy to remove which was a delight to not to fight to remove them.

The intake runners and plenum had a nice layer of carbon buildup once I removed them. I clean the ports of the intake on the heads as much as I could but the plenum and intakes I decided to really clean them well.

36090023121_6291ae1909_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36090019351_412ffc08b4_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I decided to use the over cleaner method to get rid of all that carbon buildup. I used about 3 cans of Oven cleaner , probably could get away with 2 cans..but I sprayed generously. You may need to wire brush to loosen to move stubborn parts of the buildup and reach deeper in the runners.

36224264485_f65fa3efed_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36183290206_37e00eda41_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36183288026_52fe66759f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36224259995_3b731b5eae_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36224255935_900efbcf02_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36089994481_e4dcda35f6_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36224253265_e003ce8f30_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36059217322_7c657b7d6b_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36089975291_3b853ba2a8_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36089987361_af9ddb409f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

More updates...its been awhile. :)

So all the seals from Mitsu was going to be $80+ for the injectors...I wasn't too keen on spending that much. After some research I found that Beck Arnley was pretty reputable so only spend $15 for all the seals from Rock Auto.
36059211992_8ae88ba73c_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Looks like the last maintenance done whomever put in Autolite Platinum plugs. Motor has exactly 224k and looks like the plugs all look normal from wear. NGK Platinums are going in to replace these Autolites.
36089951481_cb06a7a3e9_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35390901914_a0dbcedbd8_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Can't tell if the thermostat on the left is aftermarket or oem but looks very close to the OEM thermostat on the right.
 36059193242_51683f813f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35390893774_369c4eafb0_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Installed all the cleaned top end parts and new gaskets and seals along with new NGK platinum plugs and wire set and new coolant hoses.

35393958734_c1bf313ae2_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35835156410_a656680132_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35835157860_bde2c564c6_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Next to finally do front engine service with new Tbelt, pulleys, water pump and crank and cam seals and finish putting the exhaust and replace all the fluids.

Getting close to having this sucker road ready. :wings:

I was going to keep the stock wheels but the chrome is flaking off badly on 3 of them. My bro in law had a buddy doing a purge clean out in his storage unit and told me about some wheels that might fit my Montero. Sure enough they were 6x5.5 with a 108mm center bore and 15x10 with a 4" backspacing. They are not perfect but for $40 I can look past that.

Not sure if I am going to keep them chrome or paint them...either or, they are going on Groot.

36143529252_019613b0a6_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Going to repaint  a couple pieces and taking the opportunity to really clean nooks and crannies of dirt buildup over the years this coming weekend.
36059192052_f4a22592ac_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

This past weekend I make a lot of progress to getting Groot ready for daily driving. I pressure washed the motorbay which wasn't that bad. most of the stuff was just layered dirt over the years...just a few spots of old oil and dirt where the notorious valve cover gaskets would leak.

36025948940_e887411bb2_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36025947700_486a56452f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36025948440_81107c90b7_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I won't lie...I was a bit nervous doing the front case stuff after reading threads and posts of nightmare of some guys with broken crank bolts, seized crank pulleys, half moon keys or guide pins issues, etc etc. Either or..I had to do it but I had some confidence because of the previous owners diligent work to keep maintenance up to date and the work I did up to this point, I didn't have any issues replacing parts. As I removed parts do the the water pump and Tbelt was smooth sailing, everything was easy to remove and remarkably a clean well maintained motor with 224k on it. My only issue was the cam seals...they put up a fight, but were able to be removed.

So here are some pics of the process:
36025946140_e8d19fa1fe_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36025945590_be19ffab70_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36025944540_98eb54cd9f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35614859573_44d672c723_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35614858833_38151931e4_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Old water pump removed and cleaned and prepped the surface for the new Aisin water pump.
36025942800_87459e77ac_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Removed old crank seal for the new oem one.
36025941830_e654c28de4_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

New crank seal installed and water pump.
35614857513_03315cac3b_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Cam seals weren't OEM (Oem is brown) and didn't want to budge especially the drivers side. We had to drill a small guide hole and screw in a self tapper screw till it grabbed the seal and pulled the screw head with a longnose plier and it came right out.
36254273312_585fc8811b_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

All the timing parts installed: Aisin water pump, OEM tensioner, Gates timing belt w/ idler and tensioner pulleys
36025940900_fb1c24f758_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36254271702_6c1d6f23d9_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

New OEM harmonic balancer along with updated crank bolt and washer also installed.
36025940180_373082cc1c_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Putting everything back together
36025939040_588fc56f5c_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

New Gates accessory belts.
36254269692_8dcfb4c45f_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Wasn't able to really finish up on Saturday, but Thursday Groot should be ready and running as I still have to fill up the trans and diffs/tcase with fluid.


Not much of a fan of chrome so making changes to de chrome stuff on the Montero. First are the wheels which I got for $40 which aren't perfect and I didn't want to spend too much to make them look perfect as I am not even sure I am going to keep them for the long haul. Ran into 2 products that "blackout" chrome which only requires surface prep and paint over. Rustoleum and Duplicolor make similar products but decided to try to duplicolor stuff. Not show quality stuff..but did the job, though I should of stopped at 3 layers instead of 5 layers.

I also got the new tires for Groot from a buddy of mine. Hooked me up with a set of RBP (Rolling Big Power) tires for a deal I couldn't pass up. They are 32x11.5x15 Repulser M/T...I have another one I still have to go back and install for a spare.

36455535846_c69a73bb16_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36333565102_99f8c51d73_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36333431662_3a9e9b5bd6_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Tires mounted on the wheels.
36364460831_0423b90742_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Not a huge fan of chrome so thinking of ideas to dechrome the Montero. First is the center chrome pieces of the front bumper. I am going to wrap them in C/F wrap.

36364458321_3729b0187a_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

36455414756_bbd0da1686_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

This was a good weekend...filled engine with fresh Vavoline Max Life HM synthetic oil 10w30, new coolant, all new AMSOIL gear oil and Tcase fluid and ATF. Test drove the truck for a bit and ran smooth and shifted like butter.

All that is left is install a couple more exterior parts from JDM land and put back the interior and its ready to drive.

Cleaned the trans pan real good before putting it back on
36711268765_1f702ba40d_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36665267736_68c2457a74_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

New Wix fuel filter installed
36665268236_3e363b9511_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

The grill showed it age through the I sprayed a few coats of Rustoleum trim paint. (Link to product [URL=http://""][/URL]
36665279366_a07a8ddcec_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Here is a teaser shot of the face
36542695082_4a49e936f2_z.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Sorry for the long update on the build but its been a crazy couple of weeks. I finally brought Groot home from my best friends shop where its been since April doing all the maintenance overhaul stuff. Its about a 48 mile trip from where his shop is at to my house so it was a good test on after everything that was done to it. I won't lie...I was a bit nervous as I am almost always after working on my cars. It made the trip without any issues at all...even run in a pretty decent downpour. A/C is freaking cold in this thing and engine and transmission operated smooth as butter.

I still have a few things to do but I just wanted to get the Montero home.

Ordered a new OEM radiator cap.
36912832592_f8ce761e97_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Luso Overland recovery point getting ready for install.
36269648473_8a49a1f2b8_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Put some fuel in the tank for the drive home. dad owns a 05 Gen 3
36269647833_b4b399083a_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Groot is finally home parked next to wifeys Gen 3.
36686927030_41ffe50e51_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

This was Labor day weekend, weekend right before Hurricane Irma decided to visit florida. Didn't really get to enjoy and savor driving the Montero as that week was all about preparing for the hurricane.

Since the Galants are in the garage the Monteros had to be outside. I reversed parked both of them as close as I can to the garage door to help divert direct wind from hitting the garage door.

37154770872_a47ffe7396_c.jpgHurricane Irma by grimgs, on Flickr

My new lakefront property day after Irma hit
36489625094_5958c808fd_c.jpgHurricane Irma by grimgs, on Flickr

The lake behind our house is what concerned me as if we continued to get more rain it would of crested, but fortunately it didn't. This is the highest its ever been since we moved to this house in 2010, its usually about 6 feet lower from where you see the shoreline in this pic.

37154776822_fc5d92c490_c.jpgHurricane Irma by grimgs, on Flickr

Groot did suffer some damage from the hurricane which I didn't notice till a couple days after it hit when it got hot again. Something hit the windshield which was just probably a small nick and when the weather got hot again it cracked. I should have a new windshield this weekend...fortunately its covered.

One of the foglights were out so while attempting to replace the fog light bulbs the oem mounting screws where very "fragile" when removing and already stripped the Philips head on the 1st one. Used a old trusty technique of PB blaster and my torch to heat up the mounting screws. This trick made it extremely easy to remove the old mounting screws..and went ahead and replaced them with allan head screws with new lock washers.

36535278024_aaba35a16d_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36535279844_f49b5fd1e1_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
37197967486_a5a8382bd0_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36535276774_3a5b462d0a_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Its been a few weeks since I brought Groot home but the weekend after I brought it home Hurricane Irma hit and have been busy since with home, family and work.

Here it is finally..."Groot 1.0" as its still going through some upgrades as my light/medium overland build.

List of things done in phase 1.0:
-Front case service (Gates timing belt kit, Aisin water pump, OEM cam and front crank seal and timing belt tensioner, OEM harmonic balancer, OEM updated crank bolt,)
-Top service overhaul (All OEM intake/plenum gaskets, EGR gasket, OEM Valve cover gaskets, OEM cooling systems gaskets and Orings)
-NGK Platinum plugs
-NGK Spark wire set
-Beck/Arnley fuel injector gaskets/Orings
-New OEM Y-pipe exhaust gaskets
-White ball tcase shifter upgrade w/ new oem gasket
-OEM front pump seal
-OEM tcase output seal front and rear
-Amsoil synthetic gear lube for transfer case
-Amsoil synthetic gear lube for front and rear differentials
-Ceramic brake pads
-WIX fuel filter
-Undercarriage coated with rust prevention and 3m undercoated
-OEM air filter
-ALL interior bulbs replaced with LED smd bulbs
-LED Simdevanma 6000k headlight bulbs
-LED "yellow" Calais foglight bulbs
-JDM corner lens
-JDM rear spoiler
-32x11.5x15 Rolling Big power tires
-15x10 wheels ($40 special 8))
-Luso overland recovery hook

23678126458_4eb34b52d6_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37499146332_ee13435be7_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37499147582_0b3da72a66_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37530327501_2a41eb1754_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37482481716_c941408f87_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37482482606_678b3b285c_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr
37530327731_14e1d66e4a_c.jpgGroot 1.0 by grimgs, on Flickr

I decided to try out some LED bulbs instead of HID's mainly because I don't like the wiring clutter HID kits have and I have read pretty positive reviews on the newer LED kits out now. I decided to try out these LED bulb kit from Amazon that has 4.5 star reviews and literally is plug and play. No ballast to worry about and non of the wires for the bulbs and ballast....just the LED bulbs, it makes for a very clean look and simple install. These are 6000k LED output bulbs and they do give off a "cleaner" light beam if that makes any sense compared to HID's.

36665207356_3ecc3068a5_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35876398124_a0bc6d6023_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

The only modification that I needed to do is to cut the dust boot wide enough so the LED bulb back where the fan is and the wire/plug can come out.
36665277366_e7583102a2_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
35901651163_dc4cf3bcfb_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I also upgraded the foglight bulbs to LED yellow bulbs and they are brighter than the standard halogen bulbs.
36575290083_65e4255972_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Once I get some good night pics I will post them up so some of you can see the light output.

During this time of the year I tend to be busy with normal life stuff like work and family but with the holidays...I am even more busy. I won't have much updates till probably in January but here are a few things that have happened.

My windshield had some damage from hurricane Irma and something hit my windshield which turned into a expanding crack...fortunately I put decent coverage and the process on getting a new windshield with USAA was seamless. Safelite came out and replaced the windshield with a Fuyao glass. I did some research and apparently they are pretty good and supply glass to many OEM vehicle manufactures.

37245088491_4cb1485652_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
36535275814_33683cb54a_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr



I guess you can say my family has a thing for Monteros.

My wife's 02 Beige 02 Gen 3, my dads 05 Gen3 and my sister owns the 12 Lancer GT.
24959811588_7c7239d196_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
24959811868_5e54baf2e3_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
38801280202_20c6df8362_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

One thing I didn't get around to doing when I was doing the maintenance overhaul was repaint the roof rails. I finally got around doing it before I went ahead and installed my roof basket. One of the perks of running a warehouse is sometimes you get do stuff to your vehicle. It was slow during thanksgiving week.

24959815038_be916588c4_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
38832498241_6ccaffb330_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

About a couple weeks ago I started to notice some drops of oil spots underneath the Montero so after some inspecting the high pressure oil cooler line was starting to leak. It progressively got worse especially after the cold snap we got a week ago so ordered a brand new OEM oil cooler line. I am saving the old one to get it rebuilt sometime as a spare so in case down the road this one ever fails I have a spare one and also in case Mitsubishi decides to make them not available anymore.

38116249304_db733dda99_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Pic is upside down but using the harmonic balancer as reference of the front of the motor..the high pressure oil cooler line is the one with the more silver banjo bolt (more towards the front of the vehicle). The oil line was leaking from the actually rubber hose part where its clamp to the metal portion of the line which the oil dripped down the line onto the rear brush plate and leaking from the vent openings there.

I noticed also that the return line was leaking some oil from the banjo I went ahead and ordered new crush gaskets for the return line.

27329310259_cff8777374_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I guess timing was perfect because both Monteros needed a oil change so tackled both oil changes and replaced the oil line on Groot while at it.

24245805507_0dba9b02c7_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

You will need to remove the air box to have access to remove the top portion of the oil cooler hoses. The high pressure side is the lower one and the return line is the one on top.

38396485564_f09466fa8a_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I recommend having some sort of rag of paper towel for when you disconnect the oil line as remaining oil will spill out...keeps things less messy.

24245801397_6c1585bd55_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

The hose lasted almost 20yrs and over 200k can't complain. Good reason to spend the money and replace it with the same OEM quality part. The crush gaskets are in the smaller bag which is x2 per banjo bolt.

24245801557_b66bec66c9_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
25240151028_ddd309ffbc_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Fixed and doesn't drip a single drop of oil  ;D


Been awhile since I updated but I have been pretty busy with work and just getting over the Flu. :-[

Phase 2 of the build is with a few rare JDM/Asian market parts arriving so I am slowly going to install them.

1st up is Pajero fender sidemarkers installed. It was a fairly simple process...hardest and longest process is removing the old adhesive from the Montero emblem from the fender. I used a heat gun to remove most of the adhesive and a several steps of polishing the remaining stuff off.

USDM Monteros are NOT prewired for these sidemarkers. I had to build a harness from the pigtail and connector provided with the sidemarker lens and wired them to the signal wires from the front corner lens.

39224672635_b8192b735f_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
28342768439_0cff992dc4_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

This is a comparison of the Pajero sidemarkers with the Montero badge.

40123974911_a9c9813776_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

When I removed the Montero emblem I heated the area where the adhesive is at and used dental floss to cut the adhesive. This technique prevents any potential gouging of the paint service if you try to "pry" off the emblem.

39224671645_47b4428c16_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39411882254_13f8bc67e2_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40090930252_02b8fa30ae_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I got majority of the old adhesive off but there a few spots where there is actual paint damage from i guess 20 yrs of exposure to the elements.

28342766869_645dccdb3a_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Soldered new wire to some existing wire from the pigtail and heat shrinked it and wrapped the harness with electrical tape for additional protection.

40090929092_36b78c5d65_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Used this rod to run the harness to the front turn signal area.

39224669245_2fafbd4e68_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
28342760339_06e66050eb_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Once wired up just test if it works and install the sidemarker. For those looking to do this..there is not indication on the sidemarkers which side they go on. The side where the bulb connects needs to be on the left side of the fender hole facing towards the front.

To remove the sidemarker simply take a small flathead screwdriver with gently press sidemarker away and pry. This doesn't take much effort to remove the sidemarker.

One of the issues that I was having with my Montero was that the rear door wouldn't lock or unlock with the rest of the power door locks. I always had to manually lock/unlock the rear door which became somewhat inconvenient over time.

While installing some parts and decided to lube parts of the back door handle ....this was a good time to diagnose the issue. Immediately found the issue as the door lock rod wasn't connected to the power door actuator. A piece that holds the rod in place was missing which prevented the rod from staying connected to the end of the actuator.

26333676587_01a407160c_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39254053435_e39cab8d88_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Its this rubber piece...not sure how it fell out but somehow it did thus causing my locking/unlocking issue. I thought I would search for it in the innards of the door thinking it fell off and its somewhere resting towards the bottom of the door insides and go figure...I found it.

Sprayed some silicone and reinstalled it and it fixed my issue with the power door locks for the rear door. Hopefully this helps out fellow Gen 2 owners who may be experiencing the same issue.

25280956827_7f66f75778_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr



Some people may know I recently purchased a set of Work Deerfield wheels from Japan. I got a really good deal on them...but they also needed some restoration as issues like clearcoat peeling, deep staining on the lip, curb rash/curb dents, etc etc. These wheels are 3 piece and aluminum so I had plenty of options to restore them. I originally wanted to repolish the lip but the issues I had were a coupe of the wheels had nicks on the lip and really wanted to keep the "Deerfield" sticker on the spoke of each wheel but that wasn't going to happen if the clearcoat had to be removed. A friend of mine recommended someone and took it to them and he really knew what he was talking about. Repolishing the lip wasn't a option due to the nicks on on the actual lip one couple of the wheels which required sanding down and the chrome is actually paint. He recommended powdercoating them a different color so I wanted a dark wheel as my 2nd option.

He recommended a gloss black lip with a satin black face...i wasn't sure on that look but he had a bunch of wheels to show as examples. I really liked the I bit the bullet and agreed for him to powdercoat that color scheme. Took him about 2 weeks to do everything but I finally got to see the finished product and I am extremely happy with the outcome. The wheels look brand new.

Here are a few before and after pics. I am going to mount them sometime this week and will post pics of them installed. Here are the specs:

Work Deerfields
15x8  -13 offset
Powdercoated Gloss black lip/rivets and barrel with satin black face.

39737595665_49960bfbeb_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39737595775_4706bfeb1b_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40591736662_f17b23f00f_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40591734672_b3a6bded1c_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
26762168498_375e372a07_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr


39737586255_a22965cdfe_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40591717962_ddb23f70b1_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40633588011_4ca861a707_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr are pics of the Work Deerfields mounted along with some other JDM goodies like the rear Pajero badge, Pajero sidemarkers, and front skidplate with Pajero lazercut cut. Decided to take the Montero out near some remote area near my job for a quick photoshoot. All the pics were taken on my Google Pixel.

39030213930_cc646925a0_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
25968276517_0187c5ca36_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39945480435_e56091601c_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
25968274357_ac71ec6c04_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40839698881_2df760be84_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40131141864_977a50242b_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
40839696271_0c178f5929_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39030198290_67942a9220_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
39945479795_dcb08f418c_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr


My uncle went on vacation to tour china and Taiwan and asked if he was able to find some parts for my Montero if he could get them. He brought back these for me...I am pretty happy. 8)


41137113215_e4ea9053c1_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Its starting to get hot again in florida and after a week 1/2 of constant rain from that tropical storm a few weeks aga and cloudy days the sun has made it debut and its been killer the past couple of weeks. Last week heat index was above 100 degrees and a weakness in Groots cooling system showed up.

On normal street driving my temps are normal till I enter the highway where it creeps up above the half way point. I noticed this early in the week and it progressively got worse to the point the highest it got was right under the 3/4 mark on the temp gauge. Then normal street driving it was starting to float a tad bit higher than normal. I posted on facebook and got a overwhelming response that it was my radiator clogged. If anyone has kept up to my build...everything in the cooling system is new, other than my radiator. I was going to rod it out but didn't have time to and visually inspecting the radiator it looked ok and its been 7 months since.

So I decided to remove the radiator and get it rodded out. Once I drained the coolant I already noticed the inside top innards of the radiator there was build up which backed up the suggestions that it was clogged. I took it to a reputable place in Orlando where I have encountered the shop before in the past working for Toyota and friends who had work done for them with their radiators and intercoolers called Prater Radiator. I took it to them and visually the radiator looks good for being the original from 98 and gave me a quote of $137 to get my radiator back to optimal condition.

28878830578_e7509c5db7_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
42034894554_50d4960721_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Here it is when I dropped it off. Should be ready tomorrow and update the thread accordingly.
40941578940_1bb3708b4e_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

28007656117_4f5c3a889c_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
Took my radiator to Prater Radiator here in Orlando, FL and took them 2 days to rod out my radiator. They said it was clogged a good bit but other than that the radiator is in pretty good condition. The shop owner highly recommended me to flush out to remaining coolant out of my motor/system before I install the newly rodded radiator to get rid of any remaining material in the system that caused the clog in the 1st place.

42345024304_68f33d7549_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I read up on the garden hose method but Florida tap water isn't the cleanest water. It has hard deposits especially limestone etc etc so I didn't want to flush my cooling system with that water. I came up with the idea to flush my system with distilled water and using a transfer pump. I published my method in this thread:,

I am very happy with the results as I was able to flush my system out and used distilled purified water while at it.
27937095007_a2176e37c0_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I got 2 pairs of Asian market taillights from my uncles vacation to Hong Kong a couple months ago. He got me a pair of Leibao tails and a pair of Pajero crystal lens taillights. The Leibao tails have some fitment issues as they are "taller" compared to the OEM tails. I am going to have to figure out a solution but in the mean time I am went ahead and installed the crystal tails as they do look better and have better light output than the OEM taillights.

Currently I haven't wired up the backup lights yet...waiting till I get some time remove my rear bumper to black it out and install the cree LED's in place of the stock location rear backup lights.

The only thing I wanted was a smoked out clear section so I got some smoke vinyl and applied it to the turn/backup section of the tails.

This is the crystal taillights and I swapped over the OEM taillight grille in place of the chrome grille they came in
43013850412_83ed37db45_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
41252568090_e9244256b1_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

This is after I applied the smoke vinyl
42160265945_1b16fe9a69_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Smoked vinyl installed on the left compared to it being non smoke on the right.
28195376697_687c501129_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

My wife got me some cool fathers day I needed these Yakima holder brackets for the roof basket
42345027204_6960e1a074_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

So for quite some time I have been shopping for manual hubs for my Gen 2.5 and only looking for Aisin hubs. I missed out on a couple deals ..but I was either lookin for FHM-002 or FHM-003. I found a seller on Amazon that was selling them but not the greatest deal at $150 each. Seller would sell them out and then have them for a short time before selling them again. A couple weeks ago I got a notification on my Pixel amazon app that offered FHM-002 "used". I checked it out and sure enough Amazon had 2 listed each different price as "used but great condition". Me and my wife have bought similar "used" deals from Amazon before and all it was the box was slightly damaged but the actual item packaging inside was in perfect condition and still to this day work like they should.

I did some research and apparently items returned or when order picking if the original packaging is not to there standards the warehouse sells them as "used" items at usually a discounted rate. Amazon will though inspect the product inside to make sure if its meets quality inspection to "sell". Also they are covered under Amazons 30 day return policy so I can still return the items. I went ahead and bought both of the only 2 "used" FHM-002 Aisin hubs for $177. 8)
29451772398_55fced6f71_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

So 2 days (Amazon Prime 8))...this is what I got.
42603493784_74cac81c8d_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
42417550595_293897356b_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

Like the other "used deals" I got from Amazon..the boxes weren't perfect with some imperfections. I opened up the boxes and the hubs were still in original packaging, still factory greased....honestly brand new, never opended.
29451669568_974daccf07_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
41512032050_0e61dcdf0b_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr
29451676498_f69aa60be4_c.jpgGroot by grimgs, on Flickr

I will be installing these probably next week, but I got a deal I couldn't pass up.

Currently the seller has them for sale brand new for $110, but currently out of stock.

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