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1989 Isuzu Pickup 4WD 2.6 5sp
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This forum has been an incredible resource. So with this beater now in my garage for past month and a half I figure it's time to start posting progress updates. I bought the truck as a project and have a steep learning curve ahead. I've already started a "4ZE1 tune up priorities" help request thread so I'll just pick up where I've off there.

Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Tire Wheel Vehicle


Wheel Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Tire Car


What is it?

  • 1989 Pickup 4WD 5sp[/*]
  • ----Build plate----[/*]
  • M.D. TFS7SC AH/IJ[/*]
  • ENGINE RLJ -4ZE1 ENG[/*]
  • GRADE RBA -INTERIOR BASIC [KB][/*]
  • TIRE 9JG -FRT&RR 31X10.5R15 15X7JJ[/*]
  • BODY TYPE ER8 -ISUZU BRAND PACKAGE[/*]
  • B.COLOR 834 -BODY COLOR RED MAHOGANY[/*]
  • B.TRIM 150 -INTERIOR COLOR GRAY[/*]
  • ---- Options -----[/*]
  • C41 -HEATER & DEFROSTER[/*]
  • ED2 -MANUAL LOCKING HUB[/*]
  • S1P -TAIL GATE CENTER PULL TYPE PLAIN[/*]
  • S4K -DOOR MIRROR DRIVER & PASSENGER PLAIN[/*]
  • S7R -RR BODY DOUBLE WALL CARGO 0.5 TON[/*]
  • S9W -BENCH SEAT W/HEAD REST VINYL[/*]
  • YM4 -LAMINATED TINTED GLASS [/*]

Goal

  • Reliable and capable trail rig for bouncing around AZ backcountry [/*]
  • Interior spruced up to point where wife will enter cab[/*]

I started out by trying to identify the source of the known fuel leak that the PO said, "happens after the truck sits a couple of days." It didn't leak when I test drove but dumped quite the puddle after it sat in my garage for 2.5 weeks. With help here the plan was to replace all fuel hoses and injector seals. More digging around and Shaggy's thread pointed me to Jim's Injector repair service. I'm glad I did! Jim let me know last night that one injector was bad. I'm replacing it and another reman injector (I believe/hope the source of the leak) with OEM remans from Car-ID.

I got the injectors on their way to Jim on 12/16. Jim will be sending them back to me today or tomorrow. I'm waiting to dig into anything else in the engine until I can start the truck again without a fuel leak. So the past couple weeks I've been focusing on the interior, collecting parts, learning about wiring, gauges, etc. Here's where I'm today on 1/1/21.

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1989 Isuzu Pickup 4WD 2.6 5sp
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here's a G80 4.56 that I pulled from a '94 Trooper. Cleaned it up a bit and added it to the pile. First time I ever pulled a third member out of any vehicle and was happy to practice at the junkyard. I thought I was clever to use the driveshaft to try to soften the landing :D sort of worked but still landed on a dirty, fluid soaked floor mat.

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Metal Fashion accessory Electric blue Art Font


As I write this I'm about to head back out and degrease the engine and repair the many many exposed wires including the fat positive battery lead at the starter that was directly below the fuel leak! Yikes!

Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Bumper Flash photography


That red wire is the starter solenoid control and bypasses the loom. It is connected to speaker wire which runs along the firewall, in to the cab and is spliced into the starter at the key. According to the book the only thing this seems to accomplish is bypassing the clutch neutral safety switch. Going to keep it as-is until I get the engine running again then circle back.
 

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1989 Isuzu Pickup 4WD 2.6 5sp
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tentin said:
The before and after on that seat is impressive. You just used purple power and a brush?
Thanks man. Yep, exactly. Also had a water bottle to spray it all down and then hit with the shop vac. I did this maybe 3 times. I still need to steam clean it. Definitely some visible spots there in different lighting.
 

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Jim sent the results of the testing. One fail on initial testing but then two more ended up leaking. So I have four OEM remans coming from Car-ID. Three (four?) weeks ago my original plan was replace injector seals. So glad I sent them in and hopefully dodged more fuel leaks down the road. Thanks again for the advice, all!

injector-testing.png


Injectors should be here by Wednesday. Also have a replacement cluster arriving from Romania Tuesday. While endlessly scrolling eBay clusters I noticed it was mislabelled for a late model Rodeo and rolled the dice. I contacted them to ensure that the one in the listing is the one they ship. I confirmed my truck has the proper wiring in place with this post from Lowzone. However in the bay there's a dangling connector of what the book seems to describe as the the tach plug. Also have oil pressure sending unit on the way.

Screen Shot 2021-01-02 at 8.58.28 AM.png
 

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While that cluster looks like it MIGHT be right (and I HOPE it is), a Rodeo cluster should not be correct. Rodeos (1991-1994) did not come with a tachometer on the 4 cylinder models (to my knowledge). A v-6 cluster tach will not read correctly. Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
DSUZU said:
While that cluster looks like it MIGHT be right (and I HOPE it is), a Rodeo cluster should not be correct. Rodeos (1991-1994) did not come with a tachometer on the 4 cylinder models (to my knowledge). A v-6 cluster tach will not read correctly. Dennis
Yep, this cluster seems to have come off of a 3.2. I rolled the dice on it after I found this post which describes an adjustment pot inside the casing. I received and cleaned up the cluster yesterday and will be removing casing to locate the potentiometer in question and drill an access hole tonight. Actually calibrating will require tools that I don't have.

The truck currently has a mechanical oil pressure gauge installed where the oil pressure switch installed. I'll keep that in and see how it squares with the oil pressure sender. All wiring on both ends of the loom appears to be present.

The "new" cluster was dirtier than the one I pulled off the pickup. An amazing feat considering the pickup's condition :D

Hood Fluid Font Automotive exterior Bumper


Office supplies Office equipment Table Eyewear Bottle


Unrelated to the cluster but it was nice to roll the pickup out of the garage on Sunday for the first time since I parked it there while the boy and I deep cleaned the Trooper.

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Okay, we now need to go down a rabbit trail on this thread. What kind of bike is that in the back? Looks like maybe a regular cycle with a "mower type" engine fitted to it? Gotta know. Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
DSUZU said:
Okay, we now need to go down a rabbit trail on this thread. What kind of bike is that in the back? Looks like maybe a regular cycle with a "mower type" engine fitted to it? Gotta know. Dennis
Happy to! It's a '73 Fox Thunderbolt. Back then they called it a "minicycle" - cross between a minibike and dirtbike. We upgraded it with Harbor Freight Predator engine (the Honda clone) and knockoff swingarm from Honda monkey bike. Also has a knockoff comet torque converter. The pickup is currently taking it's parking spot (and a bunch of other crap) in the garage so the bed is getting filled up.

It rips pretty damn good. The shocks are shot so it's hilariously bouncy and weird. Still fun as hell tho.

Here's a better pic for scale. My son is around 6 foot:

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motorcycle Motor vehicle


Shoved in to the Trooper

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire Plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally made some progress yesterday! Replaced fuel filter, replaced fuel rail fuel hoses, and installed injectors. The fuel relay jumper trick worked out great and let me catch and fix a leak before turning it over. I have a question but first a theory:

Here's what happened when I arrived at home from picking it up.

  1. Drove home 65mph for 120 miles[/*]
  2. I backed it to my driveway, and turned it off[/*]
  3. then the truck dumped a bunch of fuel from passenger side engine bay[/*]
  4. fired it back and it was squealing horribly (this was new since I turned it off)[/*]

Based on the results of the injector repair guy tests I know that one of the inectors was not spraying and was leaking. So maybe the fuel pressure blew the seal when the truck was off (causing fuel dump) and when I fired it up back it was only on 3 cylinders causing the engine to vibrate badly and making the harmonic balancer squeal. Note: I don't know what I'm doing.

Here is my question (finally): Now that it's definitely running all four cylinders again, is it possible for the harmonic balancer to "re-balance" itself? Could running on 3 cylinders permanently kill the balancer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Update: the squealing sound is gone. Maybe the harmonic balancer did work itself out?

On to the exhaust. Now that the truck is running again I'm heading to emissions testing. There's a really noisy rattle under the truck (presumably cat) and there's a 2nd, newer looking cat installed after the rattling cat. Any ideas why someone would do this? maybe to save costs on pipe? Here's a super weird stitched together pic of it.

Water Vehicle Engineering Asphalt Metal


My plan is to roll the dice and see if it'll pass as-is. Then I'll make an attempt to replace it all later myself with 2.5 inch pipe. I've never done it before but greasemonkey makes it look soooo easy (just kidding - looks tough)
 

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It's cool seeing your progress! Keep posting!

About your squealing, my guess is it was related to the fuel dumped into the engine bay. It might have got thrown on your belts and caused them to squeal.

As for the balancer, unless it was damaged due to the misfire (unlikely unless it was at a point of failure already, or unless you ran it a really long time with a misfire) it's unlikely it will be damaged.

That picture of the exhaust system seems interesting. It could be modified, but the weld doesn't look super terrible.

I was curious so I found a couple answers on some different websites.

https://itstillruns.com/car-need-two-ca ... 62299.html

https://www.quora.com/Why-does-a-car-ha ... converters

So, either Isuzu was trying to push more power and it was cheaper to add a secondary cat, or some previous owner might have had trouble getting it to pass emissions and just decided a junk-yard cat would help.

I'm curious to see what you find, as it seems the trend to add an additional cat is relatively new.
 

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andy_sykes said:
Iunlikely unless it was at a point of failure already, or unless you ran it a really long time with a misfire) it's unlikely it will be damaged.
Actually the harmonic balancer on these is a well know failure point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
andy_sykes said:
It's cool seeing your progress! Keep posting!

About your squealing, my guess is it was related to the fuel dumped into the engine bay. It might have got thrown on your belts and caused them to squeal.

As for the balancer, unless it was damaged due to the misfire (unlikely unless it was at a point of failure already, or unless you ran it a really long time with a misfire) it's unlikely it will be damaged.

That picture of the exhaust system seems interesting. It could be modified, but the weld doesn't look super terrible.

I was curious so I found a couple answers on some different websites.

https://itstillruns.com/car-need-two-ca ... 62299.html

https://www.quora.com/Why-does-a-car-ha ... converters

So, either Isuzu was trying to push more power and it was cheaper to add a secondary cat, or some previous owner might have had trouble getting it to pass emissions and just decided a junk-yard cat would help.

I'm curious to see what you find, as it seems the trend to add an additional cat is relatively new.
Thanks and I appreciate the links! Looking at the condition of the two cats it for sure looks like some kind of band-aid junkyard fix to add the 2nd. The rattle is extremely annoying so I'll be looking at it soon.
 
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