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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you ever done a suspension or body lift on your Isuzu yourself?
Yes1178.57%
No321.43%
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I am in process of installing a Calmini suspension lift. Slower than normal going as this is a new car for me and I have to run out to buy extra tools and whatnot. I have run into a slight halt and could use a little assistance.

I am trying to remove the upper A arm on the front end to replace with the new blue one. The two large bolts that hold the pivot pin to the frame are frozen. I have tried an electric 300lb impact wratchet, a pneumatic 250, tons of WD40, and I was FINALLY able to crack one of the bolts loose using my largest breaker bar and a floor jack for load. This was scary but got it done. I cant get the second one to budge and these are so deep in the wheel well that I cant get leverage. What should I do?

It was suggested that I try to rent a 1000lb pneumatic impact wratchet. Or perhaps find a large T bar? I am afraid of busting off the bolt heads on these undersized things.

Kaz in Dallas.
 

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I recall having to use the biggest breaker bar I could fit in the wheel well to get those bolts out the first time. Try some PB Blaster. It penetrates better than WD40, and tap the head of the bolt using a punch. I good impact should be able to pop it loose.

Good luck,
Andre
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PB Blaster did the trick, Thanks! I also bought a 20" extension and used my largest breaker bar. I got both bolts out on one side and now I have to get the ball joint to let go. I'll go rent or borrow a ball joint press in the morning and see what halts me up next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I need some more help here.

I am still on step three of the Calmini suspension lift install working on the driver's side. I was finally able to break the two bolts holding the control arm pivot pin to the frame, but now, I cannot get the control arm and pin assembly out. The steering shaft is in the way. There is not enough room to lift out the assembly.

Here is a diagram of what I am working with.
http://www.autozone.com/images/cds/gif/ ... 187213.gif

I will either need to disconnect and move the steering shaft or perhaps cut into the body to find some more maneuvering room. I would cut the whole control arm in half if I knew that the new one would fit in without the same problem.

Any ideas?
 

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Can you post a pic of the truck and the trouble spots? I've never installed a lift on an Isuzu and I'm having a tough time picturing what the trouble is or how to get the UCA out.
 

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A pic would help. because I can not figure out why the steering shaft would be in the way of removing the UCA. I just went out and looked at mine, and there appears to be plenty of room. The '96 should not be different in that respect. I've had my drivers side arm off multipel times, and never had an issue, and I don't see where cutting the body would help :?

It should just lift over the mounting plate.
 

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kazko said:
I was finally able to break the two bolts holding the control arm pivot pin to the frame, but now, I cannot get the control arm and pin assembly out.
Did you remove the bolt and plate (#4 & #5 in the diagram)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got past the steering linkage blocking problem today by cutting a small bit into the body flap in the wheel well. I now have the control arm out. You can see the cutting I did top right in the first picture below. Really no damage done. That was MUCH preferable to disconnecting the steering linkage.

Now the problem is that the control arms I was sent appear to not be the ones I need. Keeping in mind that my truck is a 96, I believe that the pack I received was for 95 or older.

Here are the images I just sent Calmini. I have been having a ton of problems working this project so far but none of it related to the kit until now. The pictures should show how the new upper control arm is too narrow to pass over the frame mount which would keep the pivot pin from seating correctly against the frame. Also, the bump stop is attached in the wrong location. No big deal as I can move it, but that suggests to me that this was destined for some other vehicle. I will let you folks know what Calmini tells me.

If I get a correct part or somehow proceed with these, I will then need to get my pivot pin out. That thing seems rather not interested in leaving its current home. I dont have access to an H press but perhaps I can find a machine shop around or come up with some sort of a jig at home. Any input there would be appreciated.

ITEMS I NEED:
-Manual locking hubs
-Replacement wheels, prefer cast alum
-Roof rack for spare tire and occasional cargo. Prefer something like this if anybody has any ideas what might fit on a Rodeo.






 

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I don't know about those control arms, so hopefuly Calmini gets back to you asap. Give them a call tomorrow too just to be certain you get a response.

Glad you got the UCA out. I know how frustrating it is when things don't go so smooth :lol:
 

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Looks to me that control arm is just wrong.

I'll be interested in what they have to say.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Calmini support has been available but rather terse thus far. I was trying very hard to explain that the gap available for the fulcrum pin inside the control arm appeared way too narrow on the Calmini control arms to work correctly. All I got back was that they have been in business for 20 years and know what they are doing blah blah blah. I wasnt looking for that, I just wanted to be understood and to feel better about the deal.

They decided that one of my arms was faulty and sent me a new pair. These actually measure the same as each other so they are at least correct for the job. I held the parts in place earlier today and I am still unsure that these arms are what I need. The inner bushing area of the Calmini arms will not clear my frame mount, instead the part has to go over the frame mount. Yes, without the fulcrum pin or bushings in place.

If I were to insall no shims for alignment, the inner metal areas of the new control arm would prevent the pin from seating against the frame like it needs to. However, I think the shims will be the saving grace and the only reason that this might work here. The shims will keep the fulcrum pin far enough away from the frame to allow the control arm to move freely.

The kit instructions are rather short and missing a lot of useful information. I consider myself somewhat capable of doing this kind of stuff but indeed I do not have a shop at home, only hand tools. Much more information should be offered to a DIY person, if not even just socket sizes and needed tools and/or services. I took the control arms to a shop today and their very typical 20 Ton H press wouldnt budge the pins free. The only way to proceed was to use an air tool to chip the old bushings into pieces. And even then the press worked hard until BAM!, the part let go. I have been having that kind of problem every step with my truck on this project. Every bolt appears to be frozen and very difficult to free. Thanks to PB Blaster and probably some banging with a 250ft/lb impact wrench, I have been able to eventually get the bad bolts to break free using my largest breaker bar and a 20" extension. It sure is jarring once you finally get to that point of breaking it free. BAM!

I expect the rear end to be MUCH easier than the front has been.

Today is day 6 into my project. I could see this being done in a long day or two days or work IF you are fully prepared with equipment and steps to get it done. I've had to come up with some stuff such as using a saw to cut the old control arms to release the ball joint instead of trying to get it to come out of its taper fit.

More to come.
 

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I didn't catch from your previous post, that the control arms didn't match each other :?

I'm glad that you got the parts replaced, but your customer service experience was about what I expected. I didn't have the pleasure of installing my lift for the first time, and I don't even have the stock arms to compare.

I'll see if I can measure the frame mount on my truck tonight, and see if it is any different than yours.

Andre
 

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Did you try using some heat to loosen those bolts?? That, if possible,
would have been much easier to do.

Do you have a picture of the differences of the Control arms?
 

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timrkopi said:
Do you have a picture of the differences of the Control arms?
They are a few posts above :?:

Kazko, what do you get to do with the incorrect UCAs they sent you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
YAY! I found time tonight to complete the front end including adding my Superwinch manual hubs. Assembly has been the easy part of this project. I decided to install with my ball joints below the arm instead of on top like it was stock.

So it turns out that I was right. The Calmini control arm is too narrow for the truck and only works if it has enough shims to space the fulcrum pin away from the frame mount. The stock control arm could mount fine with no shims, but the Calmini one is too narrow and will not allow the fulcrum pin to rest flush against the frame mount. So the shims saved my install. You can see what I mean in the picture below.

I will finish up with the rear tomorrow which should be loads easier than the front was. I will post some finish pictures then.


 

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Looks good. I hope everything is able to be alligned within spec. You might end up with that ball joint in the stock position. Typically, with the Calmini Arms, you don't flip the ball joint.

Glad to hear you're making progress.

Andre
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have been waiting to get new wheels before I posted these pics. The lift is complete except that the rear leaf spring shackles have not yet been replaced. I am waiting for new bushings to arrive before I tackle the thing. Once that is in, I should have another inch of lift than what is depicted in these pictures.

The new wheels are great! We tried a few that they had in stock for fittment. All of the other styles would stick way out but this one fits under the fender like a stock wheel and it clears all the way, no fender trimming. So I now have a set of MB Wheels - Rocker - 16X8 6-139.7 25MM. I purchased them at Discount Tire for $90 each.

The tires I chose are Pathfinder LT265/75R-16. I am very happy with the look that I got by staying with a 16" wheel. Again, these tires clear fantastic without any mods. They do fill in well so it almost doesnt even look like I did the lift. I think an LT285 would have fit as well but would have looked a bit large under a 3" lift.

BEFORE LIFT:


COMPLETED LIFT WITHOUT NEW SHACKLES:


WHEELS BABY!:






These new wheels even compliment the Superwinch hubs rather nicely.



I am looking for suggestions as to what to do next on this thing? I am pondering adding those newer euro clear style tail and front lamps. Normally I do not like those things but the more I look at my boring paint job, the more I think a little bling would make this truck seem nicer.

I have also been pondering a sport basket on the roof and moving the spare up there to get out of the way of my precious tail gate.
 

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kazko said:
Calmini support has been available but rather terse thus far. I was trying very hard to explain that the gap available for the fulcrum pin inside the control arm appeared way too narrow on the Calmini control arms to work correctly. All I got back was that they have been in business for 20 years and know what they are doing blah blah blah.
I think I would have to call Calmini and say something to the effect that they may have been in business for 20 years, but that you knew after 3 days that they were wrong. They are very arrogant IMO in their customer support...

Those wheels really dress up your rodeo. I like them! As for suggestions about what else to do, fender flares and bumpers would make a huge difference in the looks of your rig.
 
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