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Yikes on that buildup, I'm crossing my fingers you figure out a way to clean it. Or at the least, it doesn't f up your radiator or any channels in the block. Could you potentially put in some mesh to act as a screen on the radiator input, then slide the hose on over it to hold it in place?

Good progress though, and the light at the end of the tunnel, you'll be there soon!!

-Andrew
 

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1989 Isuzu Pickup 4WD 2.6 5sp
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Lightning said:
Yikes on that buildup, I'm crossing my fingers you figure out a way to clean it. Or at the least, it doesn't f up your radiator or any channels in the block. Could you potentially put in some mesh to act as a screen on the radiator input, then slide the hose on over it to hold it in place?

Good progress though, and the light at the end of the tunnel, you'll be there soon!!

-Andrew
Oh crap. Didn't consider nor do I have any idea how I'm going to confirm the passages are not blocked. Maybe just take temp readings around the block? I cleaned up the t-stat housing as best as I could. The chunks visible in the pic are rock hard and cemented to the walls so I'm not expecting much loose crud since the engine has been coming up to and holding temp fine. Tonight I'm re-torquing the head and adding fluids. I'll get it up to temp and see what happens next. TBH my confidence in everything going without a hitch is low. To the point where I've been browsing around for engine replacement options lol. Appreciate the encouragement!
 

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1989 Isuzu Pickup 4WD 2.6 5sp
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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
The pickup is running again! However... I've introduced an issue with the idle. After the truck is to temp, if I gas it and release, the RPMs will drop to like 500 to 600 and then it'll eventually sputter out and die after attempting self-correct. If I start it and don't tap the gas then the truck holds idle at around 1000rmps.

I should note that I did not put the AC belt back on. Would this cause it?

Thanks in advance for any tips. Pretty stoked it's this far along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
UPDATE: starting cold the truck has the same rough idle issue that eventually leads to stalling.

Since the last time it started and idled as expected I've done the following:

  • replaced the timing belt[/*]
  • replaced the water pump[/*]
  • replaced the radiator[/*]
  • replaced the thermostat[/*]
  • adjusted valves[/*]
  • replaced coolant and oil + oil filter[/*]
  • removed and replaced #1 spark plug to find TDC[/*]
  • DID NOT reconnect AC belt [/*]

Anything in the list known to introduce a rough idle? Thanks much!
 

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To clarify: It USED to start and idle and run okay. Now it idles rough when cold and stalls, but runs okay when warmed up?
I suggest first to double check that you hooked all vacuum hoses back up correctly, some of them can easily be crossed or hooked up wrong. Make sure none of them are pinched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
DSUZU said:
To clarify: It USED to start and idle and run okay. Now it idles rough when cold and stalls, but runs okay when warmed up?
I suggest first to double check that you hooked all vacuum hoses back up correctly, some of them can easily be crossed or hooked up wrong. Make sure none of them are pinched.
Thanks Dennis. The idle has never been a problem until I performed the changes listed above. I'll go through the hoses again and triple check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
UPDATE 2: IDLE PROBLEM has vanished. I have no idea why. The only thing that changed was yesterday it was 50 and rainy, this morning it was 50. This afternoon it's around 70. Will humidity cause it to idle poorly? I also removed the air filter and started it up. Idled around 1500. Put the air filter back in and idle dropped to 900. Perfect!

So I guess I'm good to go? Will attempt emissions on Monday.
 

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Started off today with coffee and FSM. Replaced all the burnt out cluster bulbs and installed the new speedometer cable assembly that I got from Jerry. I was dreading this job for some reason, but the swap went fine. With that and the bulbs in, I could finally reassemble the dash.

early-morning.jpg


JL-NOS-speedo.jpg


speedo.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Tentin said:
Glad to see my truck isn't the only one that has an operating temp of "6500 rpm" as I call it.
Lol yea that's an upgrade for LS trim level only (which mine recently became)
 

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Mine runs the temp in the same place also.
 

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Emissions passed with flying colors and truck is now registered! Hit the muffler shop on my way. He showed me that both cats were empty save the golf ball sized chunk in the newer looking one that was rattling around.

I drove about 30 miles including some at 65mph on I-10. Truck felt great! Was the first time I drove it outside of my neighborhood since it died in my driveway at the end of November. I'm loving the sound of the 4ZE1.

Yesterday I got the oil pressure sending unit install but it's reading 20psi higher than the mechanical gauge. Wonder if I can calibrate that at the sender with some resistors or something? Low priority at the moment.

My latest hit list (in priority):

  1. change trans and both diff fluid[/*]
  2. Tires[/*]
  3. suspension[/*]
  4. leaky power steering [/*]
  5. replace spade connectors with actual connectors on TPS and coil - looking for MAF connector too[/*]
  6. small oil leak after driving that's below where the trans and engine mate[/*]
  7. swap in G80 third member [/*]
  8. camping mods[/*]
  9. add a tow bar [/*]

Regardless of the list, we're aiming to get the truck out on trails this weekend. STOKED!

fresh-wash.jpg


fresh-wash-2.jpg


exhaust-action.jpg


south-mountain-rear-view.jpg
 

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150 miles later and the pickup is doing good! A bunch of those miles on dirt with half a dozen or so in low range. This got us out to where there's shot up bowling balls and burnt couches.

We had some fun playing in the desert. My boy launched and broke the mini bike. We ate ramen. The pickup is great addition and feels very capable in the new, stock 31s.

truck-profile.jpg


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mud-launch.jpg
 

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Looking good! Those connectors you mentioned are the same on most 2.6 engines. Don't need to come off a pickup. The oil leak coming at the back of the engine is likely from the distributor, the O ring gets hard as a rock and lets oil seep. Usually looks like a rear main but isn't most of the time. Liking the Trooper too. I really like my SpaceCab but keep my Trooper around the the harder stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
hessmess said:
Looking good! Those connectors you mentioned are the same on most 2.6 engines. Don't need to come off a pickup. The oil leak coming at the back of the engine is likely from the distributor, the O ring gets hard as a rock and lets oil seep. Usually looks like a rear main but isn't most of the time. Liking the Trooper too. I really like my SpaceCab but keep my Trooper around the the harder stuff.
Thanks! Yep, I already the replacement connectors. Just need to install them. I've been trying to find evidence of the distributor leaking, and while it seems wet around it, there's no clear trail down to the bottom of the bell housing. There's also oil residue around the torn shift fork boot (have a replacement one ready) and maybe around the oil pan seal too. I'm thinking it's time for a deep clean and maybe that UV additive.
 

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It was obvious on my distributor leaking, but I didn't notice it until I was laying down under the truck and using a flashlight. Hopefully it won't make itself difficult to repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
hessmess said:
It was obvious on my distributor leaking, but I didn't notice it until I was laying down under the truck and using a flashlight. Hopefully it won't make itself difficult to repair.
Thanks, hessmess. I'll be under there tonight changing diff and trans fluids. Planning to spray the trans down with purple power and see what happens. I assume that the inside of the bell housing should be clean of oil and that if there is, maybe the trans seal is the culprit? If so, I'll be back to youtube to learn how to drop the trans :D.

Here's my updated priority/hit lists after fluids and brakes are done:

Tires / Suspension

  • Stage 1: tires and leaf spring helper - DONE[/*]
  • Stage 2: CS029r old man emu heavy load leaf springs[/*]
  • Stage 3: full rebuild front suspension (learning via Chris fix vids)[/*]
  • Stage 4: KYB monotube front with Rancho rear shocks (Rock Auto)[/*]

Leaks (in priority)

  • Try out trans leak stop additive[/*]
  • power wash old, insanely caked power steering fluid[/*]
  • look into rebuild kit for steering box (front shaft input is leaking)[/*]

Fabrication

  • Battery strap[/*]
  • skid plate[/*]
  • front receiver hitch[/*]
  • tow bar mount point[/*]
  • KC light bumper mount[/*]
  • Bed mount for winch[/*]
  • Bed mount for house battery[/*]
 

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Your truck makes me so excited for when I get my Rodeo running smoothly. It looks great! Did you ever figure out the idle issue? I've read a few times that engines with distributors can act funky when the humidity is high and or the distributor actually gets wet because of water ingress through cracks. Usually not an issue in Phoenix because its most dry anyways. I've also destroyed a O2 sensor with seafoam once... but that doesn't sound like an issue for you if you passed ADEQ testing with empty catalytics :lol: .

Pulling the MAU5 isn't too bad. I used a regular floor jack on my driveway and about 6 socket extensions. :wink:

Those trucks really do look good at stock stance with 31s and snowflakes. Its perfect in my eyes haha.

EDIT: Oh and I have made a real simple metal battery strap for one of my older rigs, I'll have to make another one for my current Rodeo so I'll shoot you a photo on that by early next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Thanks for the encouragement! Glad to hear it. The idle issue sorted itself out coincidentally when the humidity was back to regular Phoenix levels. Passed emissions with new exhaust and catalytic converter :D

I'm now noticing a bit of a scrape sound when coasting in gear. Another reason to attempt to drop the trans I guess.

Appreciate the compliments! I pined for a long while on 33s vs 31s and opted for power and torque over ground clearance. I'll report if this ever becomes an issue. We plan to use the rig in the backcountry and to get to hiking/backpacking trailheads.

Looking forward to battery strap pic! I'm starting with a battery strap from a 2nd gen trooper. I think it'll only need to be stretched.

I got the rear diff, transfer and trans fluids changed out last weekend. Pads and rotors are next.
 
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