My Montero Sport - Part 2 '99-early 2000 ...
Updated July 20, 2000 As you can probably see from the pictures there have been some changes to my Sport. The spare tire carrier now sports a spare 33" Yokohama Geolander M/T. I now have the ARB Air Locker installed in the rear differential instead of the back seat. Granted, I now no longer have the benefit of a locking back seat and will have to remember to be careful on the more extreme sections of trail where the back seat could become hopelessly stuck but have otherwise reclaimed critical passenger and cargo space due to the removal of the rather large and very heavy cardboard box containing the locker.
Well, win some, lose some.:-) I also made a small change to the compressor and air tank setup. On my air manifold I added a valve stem to allow me to charge the air tank at a gas station or from someone else's compressor in case my compressor is inoperable. This is not only handy but critical if you frequent trails that REQUIRE a locker even to get back out.
I've also had Denver Spring Service build and install leaf springs in the rear. I then raised the front another quarter of an inch. The measurement at the rear wheel was 39.5" from the ground to the bottom of the fender skirt following the vertical centerline of the rear axle shaft after the installation of the new spring set. This has since settled to 38.25". This does jack the rear up a bit more then the front as you can see in the picture below, but as there still are no lifts for the front IFS system I felt I could live with it. The huge increase in the departure angle was well worth the $180 in materials and labor. Once the springs were installed it was time for new shocks. In the picture to the left you can see the new rear shocks. Rancho RS9000 5-way adjustable shocks went in the front and rear. The rear shocks are 9126s @ 26.82" extended and 15.97" compressed length. Considerably longer then stock Sport shocks but very much needed to accommodate the increase in wheel droop made possible by the new springs. The front shocks are 9019s @ 14.80" extended and 9.67" compressed.
I finally stopped useing the rear stabilizer bar at all a few months ago but left it attached to the axle as it doubled as a fairly decent guard for the bolts on the 3rd member. When I installed the ARB Air Locker I removed the rear stabilizer bar completely. About two months ago I removed the front stabilizer bar on a trail run and have not bothered to reinstall it. With the torsion bars tightened up as much as they are and the stiffer leaf springs the little body roll the Sport exhibits is something I can live with and the difference in trail performance is enormous. The Independant Front Suspension (IFS) functions much, much better now!
On a run up the Jenny Creek trail in Colorado last fall a large pointy rock (are there any other kinds??) took a rather large bite out of the stock muffler and pretty well destroyed the hangers and pipe past the muffler. So, after a short call to Summit Racing I had a shiny new Flowmaster DeltaFlow 2.25" inlet/outlet muffler on the way. In addition to the muffler I also ordered the Flowmaster heat shield kit. Mountain Muffler was kind enough to build a 2.25" cat back setup around the new Flowmaster. Besides increasing the pipe diameter from 2" to 2.25" and relocating the muffler up and back for better ground clearance they also relocated the exhaust tip much higher up and inward of the stock exit point. If you look at the picture to the right you'll notice the lack of an exhaust tip dangling from the back of my Sport. This little cat back muffler modification made a very large difference in the low end torque output! Especially at higher altitudes!!
On the same run I also pretty much finished off my stock nerf bars. As you can see from some of the earlier pictures they were in pretty bad shape. I do have to give Mitsubishi credit, though, their nerf bars saw a lot more abuse then they were ever designed to take and did well. But, dedicated rock skids were in order. After talking to dozens of people, looking at countless designs on the 'Net and in person I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. I'd resolved myself to building my own until I found All Pro Off Road and took a good look at their Extreem Rock Guards. This is a picture of the 60" guard. Since these are officially for Toyotas they showed up without legs cut or attached. Unfortunately, this is as far as I've gotten. Should have them installed soon!