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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, the amigo project is on hold due to being more of a "Rustoration" then intended, so itll take the back-burner and in the meantime a new and more practical project has surfaced. Ive found that aside from the jokes, being the "Isuzu Guy" in town isnt a bad thing. My former employer at the shop had a white 98 Rodeo come in that ran into the back of an RV. The passenger side is crumpled but its still mechanically sound. The owner abandoned it at the shop when it totaled and my old boss called me up and assumed that I would want it. He gave it to me for the price of towing. Meanwhile I found a guy with a green 2000 Rodeo who flushed out his burnt tranny and couldn't get it to move afterwards. I was able to talk him down to $400 and its put me about $600 into the project so far which feels real good. I couldn't have gotten much luckier.
The Green Giant

Organ Donor


Im pretty excited about the green one, its super clean! The interior looks close to new, and the body is near flawless. The main damage is in the rear bumper ends which will be no problem at all, also a little fender-work on the drivers side, but nothing that needs immediate attention.


Toyota Hitch is a nice extra


First time working on a 2nd gen Rodeo, 3.2L, and the 4L30-E, so im open to any advice and suggestions as to things I ought to do while I have it torn apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alright, first things first, before I start dumping money into this I need to make sure that the 98 Tranny is even worth swapping over, I got it into the shop and got it on the lift, drained the ATF and was pleasantly surprised, it was by no means new fluid, but it had no metallic flakes. Was borderline burnt, but I think it hadnt gone too far yet. Reddish-brown color. I decided to go forward with the swap, although I need to hook up power to the odo to see how many miles are on it.

ATF Reddish-brown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First time pulling a 4L30-E, GM really made it a PITA. All went relatively smoothly until I hit the Fly wheel bolts. Adding it to the list of reasons I hate GM. The offset wrench couldn't quite get a good grip and I called it a day in fear of stripping them out, and the last thing I want to do right now is pull the engine. I went back to the house and ordered a Zero offset 17mm off amazon. It wont be here for a week, so Ill have to work around it, as well as get parts ordered.
In the mean time I ran into another issue with the exhaust, The Y pipe wouldn't come off in two parts, so I had to get out the cutting wheel. Good thing this is the donor car. When I pull the green one in Ill probably need to soak the exhaust in Kroil overnight before I dare risk tripping things out. I haven't checked out the underside of the green one yet, but I figure that regardless of condition I probably should go ahead and order the 3 exhaust gaskets that go on all three ends of the Y-pipe. I dont want to have to dink around with leaks afterwards.

 

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Subscribed to this build. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright, so the zero offset 17mm wrench came in and it is by far the best way to remove the TC bolts from the flywheel. I nearly stripped them out using a 45 degree offset. the fit was perfect and it took about 5 minutes to get them all out. The rest of the tranny came out relitively easy aside from the top two bellhousing bolts which eventually came out using every extension I had. I was all alone in doing the drop but in the end I managed to do it using ratchet straps and a jack, I was supprised how smoothly it went for my first time.

zero offset perfect fit.


Ready to drop with ratchet straps


What victory looks like


First wave of parts arrived.


So now Im probably going to pull the engine in the donor rodeo before sending it to the scrap yard, then I can bring the green one into the shop and get out the crap tranny and put the new one in. Ill have to splice a new tranny wiring harness, so hopefully that goes smoothly, but one step at a time right now. Still debating the best way to get the new tranny in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've done some reading about how the 4L30-E's main cause of failure is from overheating and that many people install and auxiliary trans cooler for prevention. I found a thread about the install and found the same cooler on eBay that they used. Im wondering if its more of an issue in warmer climates or if its that necessary here in Alaska. I'd rather err on the safe side and put it in, but I wouldn't want it to be counter productive in the winter time when it gets down to -20F. Id say the warmest it ever gets up here is around 85F, and thats a really warm summer. Any speculation yall have on the matter would be great.

Heres the cooler im looking at,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hayden-Transave ... fI&vxp=mtr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the donor rodeo out, stripped, and ready for the junk yard and got the Green Rodeo in the shop and up on stands. Junk tranny is out and now im doing the overhaul and wiring for the 00-98 conversion.



Buster28 sent me the two wiring diagrams and im working on the splice right now. Also I have to run into town and get some rubber cooler lines to splice where I had to cut out 2 sections since the nuts seized up. Heres the diagrams

2000 Diagram


1998 Diagram
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After four hours, two floor jacks, two ratchet straps, and one helper, new transmission is finally installed. Much to my surprise we managed to do it all while leaving the entire exhaust assembly attached. The wiring crossover was confusing at first, but in all reality its pretty straight forward. As a side note for anyone doing the swap, my positive wire for the pressure control solenoid on the 2000 wiring loom was Violet/white contrary to the yellow wire as indicated on the wiring diagram.
Also a couple other quick notes;

-The fuel lines attached to the transmission by the bell-housing seem to have been exposed to excessive heat and over time adhered themselves to the steel tubing, so in removing the transmission the lines had to be cut, and after it was out I had to scrape the melted rubber off with a knife and sand it with 180 sandpaper to get all the old hosing off. When reinstalling I was nearly short on fuel line, but I think I have enough on to function properly without leaks. Time will tell.

-The radiator cooler line nuts were heavily seized up and would not come off without twisting the steel tubing when removing either transmissions. I had to cut them, then when transmission was removed I soaked them for 30 minutes in ATF/Acetone mix and applied heat and finally the nuts broke loose. I ended up sectioning out segments of the tubing and bridging them with some 3/8th in. ATF hose after double-flaring the four tube ends. The only concern I have is the hoses being exposed to high heat from the transmission and having similar issues that the factory fuel lines had, to be safe I routed them so they were not touching the transmission body and hopefully they will not cause any problems.

Double flared tranny cooler lines


Bridged with 3/8th ATF Hose


I was up all night getting the transmission up and into place, so now all thats left is reassembly of the dust shielding, starter, drive lines, torquing the bellhouse bolts, and servicing the transmission/TC . At this point im just praying everything goes smoothly when starting it for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shes Alive!

Everything's reassembled and serviced. Im thinking this tranny is in excellent shape and has been regularly serviced. When I went to remove the ATF pan the gasket was new and the filter was pretty clean. Ive heard others on here say that when they've gone to change their filters that the gaskets are so worn that it takes a half hour just to scrape off the remaining gasket. This one came right off in one piece. at 116000 miles im wondering if the previous owner had it rebuilt at 100,000 or something. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I was able to drive her out of the shop and man does she have some power compared to the 84 p'up. I had to take her down the Isuzu right of passage on the lake trail to see how the 4wd handles and everything went flawlessly.



I just finished flushing all the coolant and other fluids as well as filter changes on everything I could. The only issue ive been having is with the anti-theft system that likes to lock the doors whenever the car is turned on or off. Im going to take a closer look under the dash for a possible aftermarket alarm system as suggested by Buster.
 

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Very nice so far. before you scrap the white one I would pull all the sensors and relays that the two have in common. bulbs, rubber brake lines everything. I am notoriously cheap and hate to see what amounts to thousands of dollars of functional parts going to scrap. when i go isuzu junk yarding I always come home with a pocket full of small stuff. plus im ocd and hate the drive to the parts store and or the wait to get stuff from internet. I like to have it in stock!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
jb3179 said:
Very nice so far. before you scrap the white one I would pull all the sensors and relays that the two have in common. bulbs, rubber brake lines everything. I am notoriously cheap and hate to see what amounts to thousands of dollars of functional parts going to scrap. when i go isuzu junk yarding I always come home with a pocket full of small stuff. plus im ocd and hate the drive to the parts store and or the wait to get stuff from internet. I like to have it in stock!
Yeah I'm right there with you. I've already pulled everything, even the rear gate glass, window switches and some headrests since they interchange with the earlier generation. I would pull the good doors but I just don't have anywhere to store them. Eventually I plan on building a hanger with a room in back where I will store everything salvageable from each Isuzu I come in contact with, dashboards, door panels, probably even quarter panels that I'll cut out. I figure every Isuzu crushed is one less we have to work with in N America. It's already starting to get difficult to find older models and it's a matter of time before the 2nd gen rodeos and troopers start becoming a rare find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Starting on aesthetics, I took my hitch into work and pulled it off last week to strip all the rust off of it. It all surface rust, but a bit of an eye sore. After all the rust was gone(except around the brackets) I applied metal-etch primer and then used some roll-on Hurculiner. Im not typically a big fan of the non-catalytic/air dry bed-liner, but it worked pretty great for a hitch, Ill be building a Bull-bar for the front soon and will probably use it on there too. Also it was some old stuff my work was throwing away, so you can't beat free.

Metal-etch primer after rust removal


After Hurculiner


Installed
 

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If you haven't installed the aux tranny cooler, do it for sure. The cooler you can keep your tranny, the better.
 
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