KTMK36 moving to a Gen 2.5!!!!


So I sold my 1989 Montero 4 years ago...here is link to that thread

1st part of this story is how shady some car dealers are and the incredible and unbelievable events that led to me getting my new Gen 2.5.
2nd part will be going over what it is exactly I got for the money and get ideas and what to do to her
3rd part will begin the transformation process to what, if anything, I do to the new Monty.

PART1...skip if you could care less about a horrible car buying experience!
I got the hankering for another Montero....looked all around couldn't find anything that got me excited. Recently moved to the Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater area...one day I find in ORLANDO what appears to be a very clean Gen 2.5 for sale at a decent price...so I make 2 hour drive and go see it. super crappy dealership in an area of other super crappy dealerships and garages...immediately begin to worry about the mechanical aspects of the Montero....seems like a place that would use duck tape and zip ties to "fix" an issue...

Test drove the Monty....first off, interior was IMMACULATE, I mean wow....vents for ac broke, but other than that...seats (cloth) look almost new...couple issues, one rear driver side door window doesn't roll down....easy enough fix...the dash 4x4/4x2 lights only show front wheels engaged, regardless of what Super Select you had it in....someone on this forum showed me that it is more than likely a vacuum/solenoid...easy fix as well

On test drive, the truck felt like it had less power than my 1989 Montero...at least in take off. But drove well enough for the year and what it was. I wanted to go home and do some quick research before pulling the trigger...the 1989 was BASIC, this has a lot more bells and whistles...I had a tough time finding parts for the '89...so I wanted to see if I would run into the same issues with a '98.

I did 3-4 days of digging around and Found this YOUTUBE video that helped me decide to pull the trigger...
So I call and it is still available, so I put a deposit down on it...they asked for $2k...normally I would be like "hell no, $500-800" but since I was already there, met them and test drove it...I felt comfortable moving forward! I tell him I cant get back up for a week to get it, no biggie....couple days later, he tells me "he didn't know, but BEFORE (uh huh) my deposit...someone test drove it, ran out of gas and burnt starter up trying to restart it...he assured me that was all it was and would get a new starter...I knew, that if that WAS what actually happened, more things could have been hurt/broke/destroyed than JUST a starter!

He committed to me if that was the case they would refund deposit...so I told him ok...took rest of that week for them to fix it...sales guy was HORRIBLE about texting/calling me back...was irritating me and causing concern...finally he said its done, I told him I'd be there in 2 days....day before he calls me and tells me he test drove it and INDEED more things are wrong with it and they didn't feel comfortable selling it.

Sounds stand up of them, no? BUT...I also had a inkling that MAYBE nothing was wrong with it...see I beat the guy up pretty good on price, got it dropped from $5k to $4k....and now I wondered if they didn't have someone come in and offer $5k...they sold it and now making up excuses to me?....Don't get me wrong, that's a long shot and maybe even paranoid thinking...but you will see what caused the paranoia soon.

So I am upset they let some customer "destroy" their car...which btw the Montero was supposedly the Owners Brothers car and they were selling it for him...They agree to refund deposit, but he says...we are right across from the auction house...tomorrow is the auction, let me look and see if they have something that would work.

I laughed, knowing the auction house would NOT have a Gen 1, 2 or 2.5 Montero, but agreed to let him look...I made it very clear, I WOULD NOT pay over what I was going to pay on the other deal we had and to send me all pics and goodies on anything they should find...AGAIN no darn well, they would not find a Montero.

Well low-n-behold, he contacts me with a 98 Montero w/ 100,000 miles on the clock....40k less than the one I was gonna buy. Wasn't crazy about color, kind of a baby blue...the one I was gonna get was white. Interior pics of the Montero were super clean too...so I said GO FOR IT...BUT ONLY IF IT IS SAME or CHEAPER PRICE!!!! He said he understood and told his boss/buying manager I was "in" and to get it. He said they were on car #12 nd the Montero was #80 so I knew it would be awhile before I heard from them n it...I text again reminding him of price and said I want updates to the bidding once it happens so we don't go over my budget.

5-6 hours later he tells me they won the auction and I replied great...when can I come see it....THIS is when things really took a turn...he told me they had to figure out how to get it to the shop...I was confused, as the auction was literally across the street.

So I asked "What do you mean?"...he said the car is in Houston, TX and did I WANT to pay to have it shipped here...of course I immediately get on the phone and tell him to explain this to me...he said car was in Houston and either I could go get it or pay them to go get it. Now I am LIVID as I feel they did this just to keep the deposit...force my hand sort of speak, I said "You never said it was in Texas...you said you were at auction across the street" His reply... I never said the car was at the Orlando Auction....I SCREAMED...YOU IMPLIED IT WAS and YOU NEVER said it was in TEXAS either!!

This began an ugly war of words...I have a Dad who lives in Dallas and thought fine, I will go see him head to Houston and pick it up....so I told him to just send me the buyers order and lets get this over with...he sends it....and guess what, it is $1,700 MORE than the last one...which I said do not get if it cost more. So now price has increased...I tell him refund the money, they tell me tough crap...for 4 days we argued, finally I gave 3 options...#1 Police report, attorneys and DMV (they hold business license of car dealers here)...#2 for $1,700 more they get car here, they provide a 90 day bumper to bumper warranty...#3 I go get car, deduct my travel expenses (which I figured to be $1,000...Trailer to put SUV on to tow back, gas there and back, hotel and food) from the price of car

I decided to drive to Orlando to hammer this out...I get there in the Morning...the car lot is EMPTY the office EMPTY!!! I call him and accuse them of taking my money when they knew they were going out of business, blah, blah, blah....he denied it, said they were moving locations and directed me to their website to see the announcement. I asked why didn't you tell me, this looks sketchy as hell and then not telling me looks even worse.

a few days of bickering and pointing fingers took place. They pissed and moan and refused to budge...this was on a Saturday, so I told them Monday I would begin process of police report and such.

Monday I text and said lets avoid this, I will pick up car you will reduce price, so lets find an agreeable number....and we finally did...so I move forward....then they tell me some GOOD NEWS...they are picking SUV up and bringing to FL....sounds good right? But I am also worried about some kind of sabotage....as we were ugly with each other, I really didn't want them putting hands on the SUV at all...but it was already in the works to get the SUV there....today is Saturday 9/2/23 and they tell me it is there, they are detailing it and I can come get it...

Again, wish they hadn't detailed it or anything and I wish I had been there when it pulled on to their lot....but oh well.

So I guess we will see what happens Tuesday when I go to get it...he is supposed to send me pics and video of it, so we shall see....below the pics...the WHITE one was the one I WAS gonna get and blew up....the BLUE one is the Texas one that I am getting!


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Michael Brown

You followed me, so now we're both lost
Hope it all works out for you. I had a bad experience buying my last Montero from a used lot. Had a blown diff that they did not mention.

Side note, the white one does not appear to be a Gen 2.5. As far as I know, the 2.5 all have the wider fenders like the blue one.
Gen 2 gets split into 3.0 and 3.5 engines.

Some others can give more info on the 2nd Gen models, but I would grab an FSM from the link in my signature.


Hope it all works out for you. I had a bad experience buying my last Montero from a used lot. Had a blown diff that they did not mention.

Side note, the white one does not appear to be a Gen 2.5. As far as I know, the 2.5 all have the wider fenders like the blue one.
Gen 2 gets split into 3.0 and 3.5 engines.

Some others can give more info on the 2nd Gen models, but I would grab an FSM from the link in my signature.
You are correct, the white one was just Gen 2...but it was a 1998 even Carfax had it as a 1998...so makes me wonder if some of the non-blister fenders snuck through in 1998 before the change?
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UPDATE: Picked it up, got it home and drove around...it actually had more take off power than the white one...interior is flawless and it has 40k miles less than the white one...it has 100k miles...so I would consider it rare in that regards...all vents intact (not broken), seats and door cloth impeccable....even carpet looks new, even had the cloth cargo cover area with it that hangs from the hooks in brand new condition as well as stock flashlight and tools in door!...all manuals and paperwork including window sticker...amazes me it was $35,XXXX brand new....so the bad or problematic....head gaskets leaking, so I replaced those...drivers window regulator broke...replaced it...A/C knob broke, replaced it...charged system w/ leak detector as I assume there may be a leak...wood accents beginning to peel...which is fine I hate the wood look and will wrap in flat black or grey....pitman arm and control arm bushings need replaced as well as shocks...which is something I was gonna do anyways....so all in all not bad considering!!!!!!

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