Your Projects: Radwood Event? Rock-Crawling Excursion? This Mitsubishi Offroader Is More Than Capable of Taking It On

Driving a sports car isn't the only way to stand out from the crowd. Why not be seen in something  built to take on dirt, mud and the road less traveled?

Forum member engiekev's 1985 Mitsubishi Montero was picked up in September of last year. Equipped with a 2.6-liter inline-four and backed by a five-speed manual transmission, the Montero had 132,000 miles on its odometer when purchased.

Now 35 years old, this vehicle unsurprisingly needed a bit of sprucing up. That mainly meant fixing up the exhaust, replacing the tired struts, and catching up on deferred maintenance.

The Montero is still just as capable as the day it rolled off the assembly line, and this video is proof:


As for the future, engiekev is hoping to get a small lift kit and some skid plates to make the Mitsubishi even more capable—and the idea of adding a turbocharger to the mix hasn't been ruled out.

Read more about engiekev's 1985 Mitsubish Montero (and possibly peer-pressure him into adding a turbo) over on the Builds and Project Cars Forum.

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Comments
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engiekev
engiekev Reader
9/23/20 11:18 a.m.

Wow, thanks for the feature!  I need to do a better job of updating the build thread for sure.

We actually bought it in August 2017, and I'm leaning more away from the turbo swap (though it's not all the way ruled out!) to avoid project creep. The weber carb has been more than reliable, we've never had a no-start, and it's kind of fun in its simplicity. Like an off-road tractor.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/23/20 11:24 a.m.

In reply to engiekev :

Of course, keep up the good work!

Not going to lie, I kind of want a Montero of my own now.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/24/20 1:09 a.m.

When my 87 Montero had its original carb I lent it to friend and he kept sending me snapchats with the GPS speed showing that he'd got it up to 82.. 83... 87!!! Ever since i put a Weber on it i have had ZERO carb problems and it will hit 100mph, which seems kinda crazy to me. Right now it is hooked to my tow dolley which has a big jobbox full of 4x4 lumber on it weighing down a piece of purlin i bolted to the end of the ramps so i could use it as a grader.. Tractor stuff!! I actually got it stuck for the first time and second time doing tractor stuff and had to use my Porsche (cayenne..) to pull it out. LOL

engiekev
engiekev Reader
9/24/20 6:23 a.m.
Vigo (Forum Supporter) said:

When my 87 Montero had its original carb I lent it to friend and he kept sending me snapchats with the GPS speed showing that he'd got it up to 82.. 83... 87!!! Ever since i put a Weber on it i have had ZERO carb problems and it will hit 100mph, which seems kinda crazy to me. Right now it is hooked to my tow dolley which has a big jobbox full of 4x4 lumber on it weighing down a piece of purlin i bolted to the end of the ramps so i could use it as a grader.. Tractor stuff!! I actually got it stuck for the first time and second time doing tractor stuff and had to use my Porsche (cayenne..) to pull it out. LOL

It really has more than enough power for offroading with the 2.6L and Weber carb, since the gearing is so short at 4.625.  Supposedly there was an optional 4.8XXX for altitude markets but they are very rare.

I mention it drives like a Mitsubishi off-road tractor, well because I also have a Mitsubishi tractor! Satoh (Mitsubishi) 370-D that came with a 2cylinder diesel engine and 4WD. Surprisingly a lot of the parts look similar in design to the Montero. It's probably faster off the line than the Montero.

malibuguy
malibuguy Reader
9/24/20 2:42 p.m.

effing sweet.  love rad offroaders.  Usually a decent tire away from showing up most "big" builds

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/24/20 11:04 p.m.

INTENSE TRACTOR ENVY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!cryingcrying

 

That looks like the EXACT DAMN THING i need in a tractor. I mow a ~2.5 acre open field which is ok with a riding lawnmower, but i also need a serious tug/yard-mule with 4wd on the same property that is tiny enough to get in front and behind of things i need to push. Smaller than my Montero and with lower gears. That looks PERFECT!!

engiekev
engiekev Reader
9/25/20 7:13 a.m.
Vigo (Forum Supporter) said:

INTENSE TRACTOR ENVY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!cryingcrying

 

That looks like the EXACT DAMN THING i need in a tractor. I mow a ~2.5 acre open field which is ok with a riding lawnmower, but i also need a serious tug/yard-mule with 4wd on the same property that is tiny enough to get in front and behind of things i need to push. Smaller than my Montero and with lower gears. That looks PERFECT!!

Keep an eye out for them, they pop up from time to time on facebook.  4WD is harder to find but really you may not need it unless there are steep hills, the 4WD doesn't help much in getting unstuck because there isn't a lot of weight on the front axle, and the rear diff has a locker! Mine may be for sale soon since it doesn't really mow the best, the belly mower is less than ideal on these and impossible to find parts for.  Other than that it's fantastic for pulling a trailer around, pulling brush, and I use a 5ft rear blade to grade a driveway and plow snow with ease!  Although I've been searching and there really isn't a tiny subcompact like this out there that isn't expensive or has major issues, these Mitsu tractors are built like tanks!

 They were sold as Satoh 370D, and then later as Mitsubishi MT372D which was very similar.  The earlier Satoh 370D is less desireable, becuase the rear PTO drives counter-clockwise and has a different spline size than standard american PTO implements (you need to buy a PTO reverser, which cost around $800 now).  Mitsubishi made all kinds of tractors like this in the 80's with funny names: Beaver, Buck, Bull.  These guys are the authority on Mitsu tractors and they still sell new parts imported from Japan, not cheap though.

http://www.satohparts.com/satoh_us.html

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