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irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 3:41 p.m.

Well, anything 80s is Rad, right? And it will likely have something to do with rally in one way or another. But I am ahead of myself. A few months ago was browsing around marketplace and ran across a Raider. I honestly didn't remember these at all (they were only made with Dodge badging for 3 years). Of course I've seen many Pajeros in the Carribbean, and plenty of Monteros (usually 4-door ones) in the US. And yes, they are, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same vehicle other than the badges and names. Dodge doesn't even pretend to have made it:

Anyhow, got to thinking it's time for a new project vehicle. The rallycar is pretty much good to go, and the Porsche is 98% complete as well. I thought for a little bit about doing more upgrades to the Sequioa, but not much reason for that since I'm not anywhere I can do real overlanding and most of that stuff would compromise it as a tow rig. Space is always an issue for me, as those of you who follow my other build thread know. So the next project has to be small enough to be worked on in the garage during the winter. Back to the Raider, compared to my little Porsche 924S

Length: 157" (Porsche: 165")

Width: 66" (Porsche: 66")

Height: 72" (Porsche: 50" - though seems less than that, really)

So, determining a Raider/SWB (short wheelbase/2-door) Montero would fit my purposes (literally), I started looking around on CL (none there anywhere) and Marketplace. A number of them popped up for $1000-5000 depending on condition, etc. The Raiders listed were generally ratty and rusty, and the Monteros were mostly nice but nice enough to be expensive and not much of a "project." My only real requirement was NO or VERY LITTLE RUST. I hate rust, I hate fixing it. I don't want to do that. That's part of what killed my XJ Cherokee project a decade ago.

Other factors:

Engine: They came with either the 2.6L four cylinder or the 3.0L V6. V6 is preferable to me so as not to get run over while tryijng to get on our highways around here.  Plus the V6's have larger diffs and other heavier-duty stuff compared to the 4cylinders. 

Transmission: They both came with manual or auto, but a manual V6 is a bit of a unicorn (I didn't find one when I got this, but have since picked up another one with a V6 and Manual (otherwise, total rustbucket) that I'll take the drivetrain out of . 

Other: Not required, but I really wanted the off-road package, which includes a factory rear LSD and can be identified by the presence of headlight washers. 

After talking to a number of sellers over a couple months I pretty much shelved the idea, not really finding what I wanted in my price range.  Then the other day one pops up in North Carolina - a V6 automatic, complete in almost every way, in decent cosmetic shape and no signs of body or frame rust. And it has the washers, so it has the off-road package. Only thing: Engine is shot. The engine/trans are actually out of the vehicle and stashed in the trunk (apparently a spun bearing). Which is ok - I'm not in love with the 6G72 necessarily, so having a bad engine gives me a reason to look around at some other ideas (later on, I'll decide to stick with the 6G72 as you'll see). 

So, I grab the truck and trailer, and boogie 330 miles south to the Atlantic shoreline, being assured he will not sell it while I'm on the way. Long story short, loading it sucked without a winch (I keep meaning to get one), but it was as-expected and i handed over a small amount of cash (3 digits) and got it loaded up.

And trucked home with a quick stop overnight at my sister's place in Raleigh. 700 miles round trip. This will turn out to be the SHORTER of the two tows I'll make down to North Carolina to pick up a Raider in 2019)

 

So, before I get into more details, you may ask - what's the plan? Well.....I don't exactly have one yet! Unlike the rally car (obvious goal there) and the Porsche (intended for cross-country road trip eventually), I don't live very close to much off-roading, or beaches. Not to say good trails are THAT far away (maybe 3 hours). Rob Pepper immediately said "cage it and rally it." But I already have a rally car - and for those who remember my e21 build, I get bored fast just doing the same kind of build I've already done. Plus, this seems like it would be pretty sketchy as a stage car, being short wheelbase and tall, with pretty little aftermarket support. And again, I already have a pretty good rally car. 

So, my initial though is to make it kind of a poser-ish Rally Raid setup - after all, Mitsubishi did extremely well with these things in the 80s at Dakar.

Image result for dakar dodge raider

 

I like the idea of making it more that style performance, both just in pure style, and so we can use it as a recce vehicle at rally. And it would still have the ability to do some "real" offroading if I want to. Anyhow, we'll see what direction I take with it. This is going to be a long-term build, nowhere near as fast as the Porsche was or as involved as the BMW was.  For the moment, this one is going to be my "inspiration" of sorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 3:41 p.m.

So, got it home, washed it, unloaded it, and stuck it in the garage (sorry rally car, you get to spend teh winter in the driveway).  The car was last driven in 2016 or 2017, so hasn't been sitting THAT long. 

So let's take a look at things:

Most importantly, there is almost no rust at all on this thing. The frame is very clean (some surface rust in a few areas, but definitely nothing bad) and the rockers are damn near perfect. The other rust spot for these is below the taillights, and this one is also pristine there

This is the only rust I noticed that will need real attention (at the top of the passenger A-pillar)

Some exterior shots. Everything is there, some of the rubber seals will need replacing, but nothing urgent. The hood was blown open during a hurricane and kinked a bit, but I think I can save it. If not, 4-door montero hoods fit too.

love the side-opening door.

Interior is in good shape. A few little areas will need attention, but it looks complete and only a few hard-plastic items are cracked. This also has the off-road package "bouncy seat" which you can adjust it to accommodate different bounciness, or something. The seats are pretty worn, but in pretty decent shape for a 30-year-old vehicle. The rear bench is also there.

And yes, it has the sweet gauge pod :)

So apparently this was a loaded-up model, because it has power windows and locks. I'm actually a bit disappointed in that, as I like hand-crank windows for a vehicle like this, but it's fine

Overall, the interior is in pretty good shape, including the headliner, and most of the issues should be pretty easy to improve or fix.

The drivetrain is out. It was taken out to get it fixed when it spun a bearing, but they decided it wasn't worth the cost. So, the engine, transmission, and transfer case are in the back. they apparently were outside during the hurricane so got some wetness on them and there's some rusty stuff. But again, not real concerned. I am unlikely to use this engine anyhow.

It was taken apart methodically though, even the nuts and bolts are zip-tied onto the components they go to

So, will decide at a later time what to do about propulsion....in any case, the engine bay is just as un-rusty as the rest of the car, and everything is there looks like its in decent shape (steering box, brake system, etc).

Suspension: Seems ok. i'm sure the shocks could use replacing, and I will definitely do ALL bushings. These are front torsion-bar double-wishbone setup, and in the rear this is interesting: All 2-door Gen 1 Monteros/Raiders had rear leaf springs for most of the model run, which gave them a preetty crappy ride. The later 4-doors switched to coil springs back there. As did ONLY the late 1989 Raider/SWB Montero. Which, I am happy to say, is what this one is:

Sitting on the bumpstops with 500lbs of drivetrain in the boot...and a coil spring peeking out....

 

So, that's a major plus. And of course it has the LSD rear end and the larger rear axle compared to the 4-cylinder model

So, that's it for now. This is going to be a slow build, as I mentioned before, but will keep track of what I do on here. I have to go learn more about these thigns first (there are some fairly-obscure groups of people who own these, and most of the how-to information is from a decaded ago and missing pics. Not quite as easy as Porsche or BMW restoration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
11/11/19 3:44 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
11/11/19 3:46 p.m.

Reserved for drooling.

Always liked the didge basged Mitsubishi stuff.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
11/11/19 3:49 p.m.

Very nice. We had a govt issued Pajero in the late 80s, which was repalced by a Patrol, and a LC after that.  One thing that bothered me is the US version got all the rear red tails, which didn't look right to me.

We also had a 4 door with the giant sunroof in the middle which our visitors loved... 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 4:01 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

https://www.norra.com/PDFs/NORRA-2020-Vehicle-Rules-v3.18.pdf

At least for the short term, I'm not making this a gutted/caged trucklet. I want something maybe the kids will want to go on a woodland adventure in or whatever. Not like I could possibly affort a second car full of race-spec stuff and more entry fees lol. Hard enough to do a couple rallies a year!

But, never say never. 

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon HalfDork
11/11/19 4:29 p.m.

Oh hell yeah more weird grey import Mitsubishi/Dodge things.

I love the "Imported for Dodge" badge and it looks like it's in awesome shape.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 4:36 p.m.
RacetruckRon said:

Oh hell yeah more weird grey import Mitsubishi/Dodge things.

I love the "Imported for Dodge" badge and it looks like it's in awesome shape.

yep, I'm actually amazed at how good the interior, paint, and rust situation is. It should be a good starting point for a fun (and not too crazy) build. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
11/11/19 5:46 p.m.

There's one in a local yard to me that's rusty, but the interior in weirdly good shape.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 5:56 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

There's one in a local yard to me that's rusty, but the interior in weirdly good shape.

I can't find any evidence of any leaks, anywhere. And this thing sat through like 3 hurricanes like a block from the atlantic ocean. Guess the design is just simple and keeps the weather out. The plastic inside is all pretty hard stuff - I wouldn't be suprised to find more broken plastic stuff as I dig into it. It's only marginally better than '80s GM interior material quailty lol. 

untchabl
untchabl Reader
11/11/19 6:55 p.m.

Saw a 2-door Raider at a junkyard in Greensboro, NC today. It was a 4-cylinder 5-speed but that's about all I remember about it. Hadn't seen another Raider in a long time so I was surprised to see it.

Yours looks like a great start for a project.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 7:21 p.m.
untchabl said:

Saw a 2-door Raider at a junkyard in Greensboro, NC today. It was a 4-cylinder 5-speed but that's about all I remember about it. Hadn't seen another Raider in a long time so I was surprised to see it.

Yours looks like a great start for a project.

That's funny, since i towed mine THROUGH Greensboro NC today. I picked it up out in Newport/Emerald isle on the coast. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy Dork
11/11/19 7:35 p.m.

Cool new project!  My buddy in HS had a 4 door Mitsubishi with a 5 speed. I don't remember what engine but it was unique and fun!

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
11/11/19 7:37 p.m.

Since my first tracker I've had a weird soft spot for small 4wd vehicles. I'll follow along! 

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
11/11/19 7:42 p.m.

Great score.  I used to grab the suspended seats and inclinometers out of these things BItD.

Always thought they looked Fabulously RAD in the Dakar style livery...

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 7:51 p.m.
Cooter said:

Great score.  I used to grab the suspended seats and inclinometers out of these things BItD.

Always thought they looked Fabulously RAD in the Dakar style livery...

Eventually I may have to do something like that, but perhaps using matching colors to my rally car (i.e. black and dark red) vice the brighter colors they had for the Dakar trucks. Our team name is "Pitchblack Motorsports" after all ;)

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/11/19 8:26 p.m.

I see, pick up a cool project, stop in Raleigh and ignore everybody.  No, it's fine.

Seriously, though- I've always liked these boxy things. I'm glad to see this one is getting a shot to drive on.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 8:29 p.m.

So I just now decided to dig through all the junk in the trunk and find out what's there, other than the obvious transmission. So, whomever pulled teh transmission actually sealed up any openings to prevent issues (i.e. dipstick, transfer case, flanges, etc). So while it's looking a bit cruddy on the outside, there's a good chance the transmission and T/C are in working order, since they were before they were pulled.

As to the engine, it was totally disassembled and thanks to being outside in a hurricane with salt spray and everything, it's pretty much a total goner, as well as pretty much everything mechanical associated with it. I haven't dug through the bins of parts yet but most of it is just rusty, corroded, and not stuff I'm going to use regardless.

I'll probably just haul it all around back and put it in the shed for spare parts, but that pretty much clarifies that whatever I put in here, it won't be the engine that came with it. The easy way forward is probably to find a wrecked Montero or early-90s 3.0 Caravan or something and swap that in. The "hard way" will be to go another non-Mitsubishi direction, or look into later Montero DOHC engines. The main downside to going too new is the electronics and stuff.  IDK, plenty of time to consider. I plan to make the engine/drivetrain the very last thing I do on this vehicle mechanically, so plenty of time to do more research, keep my eyes open for stuff, etc. 

All tucked away

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 8:35 p.m.
Brett_Murphy said:

I see, pick up a cool project, stop in Raleigh and ignore everybody.  No, it's fine.

Seriously, though- I've always liked these boxy things. I'm glad to see this one is getting a shot to drive on.

hahah.....well, I stopped in Cary, technically, between 7pm and 7am when i headed back to DC. And with all due respect to all of you GRM Raleigh folks, hanging on the deck drinking vodka and having conversation with my big sister will win every time over you guys every single time ;)

untchabl
untchabl Reader
11/11/19 9:07 p.m.

If you decide to not use that transmission, I'd be interested in buying it from you. It's an early, non-electronic version of the transmission I run in my tube chassis rockcrawler.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
11/11/19 9:19 p.m.

Funny you mention you like the rear door. My FJ has same rear hatch door, but mine opens for UsDM market, whereas yours is like the lexus GX and opens to the street instead of curb (JDM) market 

 

interestingly most people hate the door and ok ih8mud people pay ridiculous amount for Barn door or abulance door as they call them

great car you have 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 10:15 p.m.
untchabl said:

If you decide to not use that transmission, I'd be interested in buying it from you. It's an early, non-electronic version of the transmission I run in my tube chassis rockcrawler.

I will likely hold onto it, as one of the main engine possibilities is the 6G74, which bolts directly up to it (and the 6G74 transmission is probably too big to use). But, if I let it go, I'll remember to let you know first. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/11/19 10:18 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

Funny you mention you like the rear door. My FJ has same rear hatch door, but mine opens for UsDM market, whereas yours is like the lexus GX and opens to the street instead of curb (JDM) market 

 

interestingly most people hate the door and ok ih8mud people pay ridiculous amount for Barn door or abulance door as they call them

great car you have 

it's actually pretty inconvenient the way the truck is parked in my garage, since it opens toward the wall, not the middle of the garage. But, it's fine. I just think it's neat because it's different, not for any functional reason. On such a short truck it's not like you're usually low on space to open it lol. 

The only truly good rear hatches are those on Toyotas that have the roll-down window (like my old 4Runner and current Sequioa). Why all SUVs don't have that is beyond me. I use it all the time for multiple reasons.....airflow, quick access to full cargo bay, long items like a piece of lumber, etc. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
11/11/19 10:23 p.m.

I do like the 4runner rear window down 

but not being from the midwest, tail gates aren't something I care about. I hate it in my LX570. 
 

I prefer my FJ Cruiser rear door, exactly like your car, but it opens to the proper way to the curb 

 

 

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
11/11/19 10:48 p.m.

So pumped! I freaking love SWB Pajeros

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