Mitsubishi Montero: Idler arms can make for dull steering

I’m not expecting my 1991 Mitsubishi Montero to handle like an Evo. But recently, I’ve noticed the on-center steering has felt more dull than usual. In fact, the center dead zone feels to have expanded. My Montero driving experience as of late is more akin to piloting something from the maritime world than an on-road machine. That’s not ideal. To figure out what is going on under there, I invited Friend of Hooniverse Rick Radcliffe over to help my eyeball the underside. Of the truck… jeez.

We jacked up the nose to put it on jack stands, just enough to be able to turn the steering wheel easily. And that’s where we could see a fair bit of play in the idler arm. The bushings are worn out and tired. The good news here, of course, is that this is an easy fix. My Montero is out of service while I wait for the new part to show up but once it does it’s an easy install. Pop it all back in place and then bolt it up.

Hopefully, when it’s back together, my marine steering will return to something closer to vintage off-roader-esque.

2 Comments

  1. i did the Pitman and idler arm bushings on my old W124 after changing the written tie rods and not really getting any difference in steering feel. even with cheap parts and not much play in the bushings before replacement, it made a world of difference. lesson – with these old steering box rigs, there are lots of places you can get play, and you really have to replace everything worn before you get the benefit at the wheel.

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