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95 Pickup, 98 Amigo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After years of canyon carving sports cars I decided to start looking for a truck for a little quarantine project for me and the girlfriend. Filtered my search to require a manual transmission and 4WD, and stumbled upon this sweet little truck with 130k miles, decided to check it out, and instantly fell in love. Since this is my first dive into the 4x4 world I'd like to take my time to learn the truck instead of just running straight for a lift and tires and calling it a day.

Failed CA smog on the first try due to high NO levels. Noticed that all the vacuum lines were cracked and even some were dangling so I replaced those and passed on my free retest the next day. Still don't really understand them as they don't match the diagram under the hood, seems like it's all been touched before.

Girlfriend replaced her first set of spark plugs with my supervision. She's still working on her righty-tighty's and lefty-looseys but otherwise did a great job.

Also replaced the stock blown shocks with $12 Gabriel Proguards from rockauto and it's a world of difference. It was borderline scary to drive on the freeway before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Exactly. One of the first things I'd like to get my hands on is a limited slip for the rear. Doing my research and it seems like the G80 from a junkyard Rodeo might work and there's roughly 15 of them within a 50 mile radius according to pick-n-pull's website. Just gotta make sure it's compatible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went to the junk yard to grab a rear abs sensor, snapped in half as I was trying to remove it. Someone also snagged the brush guard I had eyes on. I guess the day wasn't a total wash as I was able to snag a Haynes manual someone left behind.

Took the wheels off and attacked them with a DA polisher. Still some oxidization left but they look 20x better than they did before. Also mounted a fire extinguisher to the floor under the seat on the passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep 2.6. Firewall code actually says S7R instead of S7C, I'm assuming that's the equivalent.

Latest updates: upgraded the dash speakers to 5.25" speakers from the stock 4" ones. Had to slightly modify the clearance but once the grill is on you cant tell anymore. Also sanded down the bed and applied herculiner with a roller which came out great but I'm kicking myself for not taking before/after photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Things are starting to pick up a bit. I've got an important internship coming up and I'd like to get as much done as I can within the next couple weeks. Went to the local OHV park (Hollister Hills) and had a few high centering scares that convinced me it's time to go higher.

Since then I've:

-2" torsion lift in the front and flipped ball joints, thinking about going a few more turns before I get my alignment.
-Replaced distributor cap and wanted to replace the rotor but it seems rock auto sent me the wrong part
-Replaced the rear brake rotors and pads with centrics
-Adjusted the valves, torqued the rocker arms. Wanted to torque the head bolts but seemed to have lost my 10mm hex bit socket
-New valve cover gasket and resprayed the valve cover
-Replaced the passenger side CV axle which was a pain but realized I could skip a step and leave the lower ball joint attached and still get the axle out once I got the angles right.
-Bought the steel and bolts needed to do a 3" rear shackle lift. Plan is to make it aftermarket style with the welded center reinforcement but also use the stock bushings

Still need to do:
-Driver side axle
-Rear shackle lift
-Front brake pads and rotors
-Tires?
-Alignment
-Rebuild driver side Aisin hub, the switch doesn't turn all the way
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Went back to Hollister yesterday, made it to the top for the first time which was a blast. Definitely need to reconnect my handbrake, because cliffside hill starts are a bit scary right now. This is the section I stalled on, loud music warning.

On the way out of the park we decided to stop by the bathroom and then the truck wouldn't turn back on. Turning over but not firing. Had spark, and no sound coming from the fuel pump. Tried new fuses and relays but still couldn't get it to audibly prime. We were the only people on the mountain at the time but about an hour later we ran into someone who offered to flat tow us back down to pavement so we could call a tow truck. To further complicate things they aren't allowing passengers in tow trucks right now due to covid, so we had to call for a friend to pick us up. All in all I think we spent about 5 hours stranded on that mountain... at least we had beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Walked down to the truck today and tested a few things. The "jumper" trick didn't work, although the connection tested hot (12v). Both 20a fuel pump fuses (the one in the engine bay and the one in the cabin) are getting zero volts, even when cranking. Looks like I've got some research to do
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think it's a little bit of both haha. Thanks!

Today I tried to force 12v into the fuel pump circuit by making a jumper between the headlight and fuel pump fuses. Turned the headlights on and the truck started up and ran for 3 seconds and then abruptly stopped. I figured I blew a fuse or something but they all checked out. Was nice to hear the thing run again, even if it was for just a moment.

Next idea was to run a long jumper wire directly from the battery into the connector for the fuel pump. I could hear the fuel pump running which seemed promising, but no luck.

Last idea I tried was the alternator bypass jumper with a second jumper into the fuse. No fuel pump noise, nor did it fire up. The mystery continues

edit: Update, a combination of hotwiring the fuel pump directly from the battery AND the alternator bypass jumper was the secret. Rather than chase down the flaw in the wiring the plan is to buy some thicker wire and make a new fuel pump circuit with a toggle switch in the cabin. Either that or tap into something that is already switched 12v when the key is in the on position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks for the link! Sounds like the truck originally came with steel wheels with plastic hub caps

Came across some 32x11.50x15 Falken Wildpeaks for $225 and couldn't say no. They have less than 1000 miles on them, I guess the guy said they were too small for his taste but still doesn't explain why he would sell them for so cheap considering they were ~$750 new. His loss. No more dry rotted old all seasons!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Finished the rear lift shackles (v1), I measured once and cut twice and accidentally lifted the rear 3.5", breaking my welder in the process. Messed around with 3d modeling for the first time and sent my girlfriend's dad a template to make a version 2, which will get put on when finished. Rather than dealing with sourcing a sleeve to make the bolts match the stock bushings (which need replacing anyway), I'm converting to polyurethane jeep bushings which should fit with a few minor adjustments.

Got rejected at the alignment shop for having too much play in the front end. Installing rockauto tie rods and balljoints when I get the chance.

In other news I bought another project. A 6 spd Subaru BRZ with ohlins suspension, stoptech big brake kit, and a bunch of cooling mods. Hooray for another underpowered 4 cylinder! Haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Just got back from the trails yesterday, lucky I went since once I got home they announced they are closing for the time being because of ICU capacity. Stupid because I couldn't think of a better place to social distance besides the mountains... yet every non essential store is still open.

Truck did great, I was able to clear some obstacles I've had my eyes on and did a few new trails. Loving these new tires, night and day difference between the street tires that the truck came with. Could definitely use an LSD. Had a bit of a scare getting stuck on an awkward corner in a steep section, mostly my fault though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yeah they can be addicting, just last week I was messaging a lady about a supposed $700 '88 trooper that ran, but it seemed a little sketchy and she stopped responding to my questions.

On the pickup I've noticed the temp gauge drops hard when I'm going downhill, leading me to believe the thermostat was stuck open. I bought a rock auto one, installed it, and the gasket leaked pretty bad. Took it back off and used RTV and no more leaks.

Took a trip up to the mountains for the weekend to chase some snow and had a blast. First real roadtrip with the truck. The tires did great and I had way more predictable grip than I thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yeah it fit right in with no issues, I just took note of how the old one was positioned with the jiggle pin and matched it when installing. The part number was Stant 13858 and the gasket that failed to seal without RTV was an APEX AWO2032. I applied it to both sides of the gasket, attached the housing finger tight, then fully tightened the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Went out and bought a truck tent and air mattress. $100 for the pair on craigslist, just had to patch one small hole in the mattress. 100 layers later of rubber cement and e6000 and now it works like new. Went out to the mountains with some buddies and had a blast. Tent and mattress worked great, probably the most comfortable camping setup I've had to date.

The truck ran decent, but it seems my hesitation issue and lean CEL is back. Spraying brake clean I could've sworn I narrowed down the vacuum leak to the EGR valve and thought I saw a crack in the rubber diaphragm, but when I took it off I didnt see one. Put it back on and now cant identify the vacuum leak any more. Totally confused
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Not sure, I grabbed it off a pickup in the junkyard so it was able to bolt right on with no modification. It uses 3 bolts per side to attach compared to the stock bumper which had two. Pick n Pull classified it as a "Trailer Hitch with Ball" (???) and it was only $30. Definitely got lucky with that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Mine's definitely a 4.30 unfortunately. The plan right now is to eventually swap in a 4.56 G80 rear and a 4.56 front with a lokka. Not looking forward to pulling apart the front end but hopefully it isn't too much more work than when I replaced the axles
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Guess I'll give a little update. My lean code and very slight misfire at idle are still around. I did a hot compression test and my numbers were 180-185-180-190, wow! Installed my carter fuel pump just for the sake that I had it laying around after buying it when I had that wiring issue and that was kind of a pain in the ***. I was expecting kind of like a classic two belts held up by four bolts, but was greeted by vertical and horizontal brackets that just seemed to not want to let the tank drop no matter how much I wiggled it and played with the angles. Eventually I was fed up and just bent back the rear vertical bracket an inch with a ratcheting tie down attached to the bumper which gave me just enough wiggle room to drop the tank and install the new pump. Had to mallet the bracket back into place on reinstall but everything worked out. Glad I had to never do that on the side of the road or on a trail.

Narrowed down my lean code to a vacuum leak at the EGR diaphragm AGAIN. RPM's go up when sprayed with carb cleaner without a doubt. Seems to be temperature related whether or not it will leak, which explains my difficulty diagnosing it. Need to take a trip to the junk yard and get a new one.

Went back to apparently my favorite place to break Isuzus, Hollister hills. Little Susie Q did great all day and even rescued a 4runner that decided it wanted to tackle the biggest mud pit there without checking the depth (~2.5 feet). Wish I had gotten a picture but for reference this is the mud pit being referenced. My buddies 95 Montero was overheating pretty badly on the steep stuff and we ended up taking the hood off and throwing it in the truck bed which didn't really help much. Still survived the day though with a lot of cool down breaks.
 

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Haven't updated in a while. I tossed the $12 rock auto shocks, they had great road manners but were not good at all off road. Not only that, the rears were way too short after doing the shackle lift and I was missing 3" of travel. I bought some KYB Gas-a-justs after being impressed with them on the Amigo. Stock sized front ones, and then rears from a 1987 ford f250 after reading that they would work. The top mounts worked and they were the perfect length (3" longer than stock), but the bottom mounts were not correct at all and I had to remove the metal eyelets on the shock bushings which was not fun at all. All said and done though, huge improvement from what I had

I got some wheel spacers after noticing some rub on the inner front fenders. Totally bought ones way too big (2") thinking the studs were longer and that I had to clear them, but really I could've gotten away with like a 1.25" or so. Had to do some clearance modifications with an angle grinder and a mallet, it's all on the inside though so it's not visible. Also I removed the plastic part of the front bumper, not for clearance reasons just thought it would look cool. Definitely want to fab up a winch bumper at some point.

Here's a glamour shot
nobumper.png


Anyone know what these two connectors are? I assume they're for some sort of diagnostics but just wanted to make sure

thumbnail_20210506_150752.jpg


And then what is this black thing? The wiring all leads to the device on the right which is on the lower part of my dash near the stereo

thumbnail_20210506_151050.jpg
 

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