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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So many of you know I've been wheelin just fine with the 34's and drop diff and OME springs and the aussie locker.
Been wheeling with a lot of people on this board and learned a lot. Glad to be here really.
I've also been pushing it pretty hard for about 7 years now. Well now its time for a change. The whole front-end just pisses me off every time I have to work on it.

So I've been collecting parts here and there and just in the past few months its been getting serious.
Over time I managed to get everything I need now for the swap except tires.
Gonna post up here first and hold off on putting anything up on NC4x4 until I have some more work done.

So here is a good shot of my truck as it sits now:


Here is what I currently run:
3" suspension - longer shackles and Torsion bar crank with Inde4x ball joint spacers and flip
OME Dakar HD springs
1" body lift
drop-diff (1.25")
4.56 gears (10 bolt front swap from trooper and regear the rear to match)
Aussie locker in the rear
34" LTBs (sold) on 15x7 snowflakes (sold)
Trail Gear (for toyota) rock sliders
2" gas tank lift
Aisin manual hubs
Moog ball joints.....

Here is the plan:
???" suspension lift
3 link on a Dana 44 (64" wms) with 4.56 gears and an OX locker
Highsteer on flat top knuckles (already got 'em)
12" Fox coilovers up front
SOA the rear end (keeping the aussie in there)
1" or 1.5" inch spacers on rear (to bring the rear wms to 62" or 63")
Trackbar on the rear
37" 12.50 on 17's (thinking MTRs or STTs or KM2s)
Warn premium manual hubs
Cromoly axle shafts
Revo gear - T-Case (3:1)

Pics as time goes on... here are a few teasers.
And if the truck blows up or takes a crap... I'm cutting it all off and moving on. No love loss - I just love the fact we have room for 4 adults and can wheel comfortably and the wheelbase is badass compared to a jeep. Also love the body on frame, cast iron front diff, good stock gearing... Isuzu did it right. SO yeah, this is a good truck to start a build on. No sense in moving on yet.
;-)

Flat Top knuckle with High steer

OX locker

Full width 44 (donor) and the J10 Axle

Nissan 17x8 rims
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thought about it also, I agree.... might happen.
Currently I have 4.56 in the rear and the donor axle had a match so it seemed like a no-brainer.
Even my fab guy said run them until you want to change, if you want to change.

I'm going to ride on them until I decide I need 5.13's or 5.38's
With the 3:1 t-case gear, it will help offroad but keep in mind this isn't my daily driver.
I hope to not be on the road that much begging for hp/torque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just got my axle... well axles back few days ago. Selling the full width housing eventually.
Gonna get joints, tube and some more plate steel here soon.
no special updates yet.
I did find some wheel spacers that magically are the same pitch as our lugs. Those will go in the rear when I'm done.
Should be putting in an order for tires here soon.
Need tires to figure out the link geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finally going into the shop.
Apologies for delays - I'm at the mercy of the schedule of my friend doing the Fabrication work.

I rounded up the remaining parts on my list a few months ago, but was just waiting on tires.
Well, I got these Goodyears last week.
Stoked!
37x12.50 17's


Everyone that was waiting on my parts, I'll start hitting you up here soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Its getting "Real" now.
Got everything unbolted and had to cut a few things off.
Tires mounted on rims and everything is at the shop.

No IFS no more:

37" Tires:


I've followed a few other builds here, going way back to Bryan (anubis) his 3 link and SOA in the rear.
98passports 3 link front job and ssericz's 4 link trooper build.
Looking for any advice on the front shaft since it is so damn short.
Aside from putting a doubler in or swapping whole trans to something longer, may have to custom make one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actuallly I do have an 84 double cardan yota shaft at the house. I took it one day thinking it was a good find.
I do have a manual trans and the distance is the issue. Don't know yet if the yota shaft will come in handy yet.
Gotta put the axle in position with tires on it and measure

I did see your pic again of your shaft. Yep, much longer.
Hmnnnn
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Work done so far:



talked about going to a 2wd housing and forgetting the T-case all together and connecting an already geared D300 or np205 behind it.
or if the trans output isn't same for 4wd as it is 2wd....
cut the t-case housing, pull front gears out, then plate weld the case back solid again, eliminating the front output, then go 300 or 205 behind it.
or.... yeah for now.... realistically
try the short shaft from the front output modified for the steep-arse angle of full droop.
looking like a 45 degree angle since we can't move the axle up and change out the steering options to something else.

Yep, I said we 'talked' about it.... but really just need to see what works for now and also what doesn't rob my wallet all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We looked at the exhaust and talked about rebunged O2 sensor locations.
The exhaust is got to move no matter what for the upper link.
If you can find a pic of any reroute exhaust from the header back with O2's, PM me.
I have seen Jonesy's exhaust on his Solid Axle. Let me dig for it....
dang it. deleted.
Let me see if we can get those recovered. :blackeye:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks man.
I may also run out to the junkYard and cut some O2 wires to extend my connections with some careful splicing if it comes down to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Got the front axle back together and wheels/tires on.
Good and bad news.
Need new ball joints on one end.
Need a new bearing on the other end.
Need seals on the spindles while we're at it.
Everything went together well. Not too bad at all.

Good it all looks well but however... the rims have too much backspacing and I will need to get different ones in order to clear the high steer.
I could run a spacer but that is not ideal. Big oopsie. Thought they would work. :shock:

The tie rod that is on there now is just to keep everything straight for now. I will replace with rod and heims at both ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Yeah man his welds are like a stack of dimes.
We got the shaft kinda figured out too.
Gonna do something like Eric (the red 4 linked trooper) did with a metal washer to match the eyelet on the toyota flange and drill a few more holes in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Actually I am going to run the heims and move the bar on top so to get it out of the way.
Running a normal TR bar on the bottom could get smashed or bent more easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
If I could get away with just a 1 - 2 inch spacer I would contemplate it.
However, those rims have more backspace than was first assumed/measured.
I will already be running a spacer in the rear to bring the width out more than the 57-58 inches we have already.
I wouldn't want to go with an even thicker spacer. Physics and personal preference really...
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Got more work done this week.
He clarified the Tie rod ends for me. They most likely will be all 1-ton stuff and ream the pitman to match.

driver side links bracket on frame

driver side on the axle
his welds are sick. :happy3:

passenger side

passenger on frame

i know this may seem a lil crazy but the upper link on the driver side has to clear so up and over we go.
If my trans/t-case were longer, this would not be a problem. The crossmember would be behind or inline with the link brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Well I can weld but not like that.
:mrgreen:
Its my good friend Chris who runs MarsFab Offroad.
We're not out west but there are quite a few talented people who can build in NC.
He's one of the best.
Check out my video from few years back. He's built both the silver buggies and the massive 4door Jeep/F250 diesel and a lot lot more....
Should've seen his fully exo'd crawler with Dana 60 front and 70 rear he built and later sold.
So yea, I'm grateful to have someone like Chris doing the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
If I had to do it again, I'd probably search far and wide for a built landcruiser, an old stretched and built FJ, or even possibly a built and bobbed 4dr Taco.
The money you spend all at once and over time in parts will be more than you can buy a decently built rig for.
Yeah you may not have done it all yourself or it may even have some bad fab work to be fixed but the economics is simple.

The deal with my choice to build my truck was that I had started saving parts about 4 years ago and kept going little by little...
75 for an axle
400 for an OX (yeah sorry great Fn deal - its all in who you know)
600 for coilovers
250 for flat top knuckles, high steer and front gears (came with the full width axle) LOL
Around 7-800 in joints, tube, heims, metal for brackets etc etc
Around 200 for wheels (junkyard)
350 something for each tire plus shipping...
Around 300 something for labor on gear and locker install
20 for spacers (used) and gonna need 2 more - I'll get different wheels next year.
The rest will nickel and dime you to death. Keep in mind I have been chipping away at this little by little every year.
I did NOT just do this all at once!!!

Need:
New Brake lines for the front
Need lug nuts for the front
Need brake hardware
Need new BJs and inner axle seals
Need new bushings and shackles in the rear
Need coils once we find ride height and determine compression what not
I can keep going......
I'm not saying what labor is gonna cost me.
;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Forgot to mention,
Fabbing front driveshaft solution
Rear shaft retube to one piece, remove the carrier
Hmnnnn there's more I'm forgetting.
Oh - trackbar in the rear... There's more you'll see....

I did decide to stop wheelin back in May and sold my 34" LTBs, my 15" snowflakes (5 of each) and also salvaged what I could from my truck when the IFS came off and as u can see sold some stuff here. Its not much in the scheme of things but it helps a little. Yeah a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Thanks bra.
I was actually thinking of writing a follow up on just exactly what you wrote.
None of this is a defense of what I decided to do. You don't have to go this route.
I'll try to list options here.

The key factors in my expenses were the fact that:
I had to buy new tires, 37" ones too. You could go used and possibly 35 or 36's and find those easy. I missed out on a near-new set of 37" goodyears by a few weeks that were for sell by a guy up the road from me and I didnt have the money to buy them at the time. Damn it.
On a related note, if you guys read Peterson's 4wheel magazine, they had an article about finding and building a decent rig for 4 grand. It can be done and I kinda like the landcruiser they bought and built for 4g's.
You could get some rims that were 15 or 16" and run those if you want for 36's or 35's. hell I can find those all day long.
You don't need to run 17's or new rims. just saying....I am holding off on new rims until next year sometime and I already know I want to get some beadlocks.

About the leafs versus coil versus coilover debate.
Leafs wander and define your steering options right out the gate. You will need to do a highsteer unless you go SUA.
Also leafs don't have the right compression and rebound I want or the travel distance.
Coils don't ride as nice as Coilovers but they do ride nicer than Leafs and I'm sure you could find a set of cherokee lift springs and have a fab guy make them work. (like 98passport kinda did here.)
I knew I wanted a better ride up front and I had a goal in mind. Exactly as Jonesy said.

You don't have to put a locker up front. You could weld ur spider gears if you want to. Hell you could decide to leave it open until you had the money.
That can save you costs there too but you'd still end up buying ring and pinion and gearing whatever donor axle you had and possibly your existing rear.
I know another guy older planet member Mike that put a Ford 9" rear in his that was already geared. He ran different lug rims until he could get the shafts drilled to 6 lug on 5.5. You could save money there too.

You don't have to go highsteer with flat top knuckles. Again I knew what I wanted.

I forgot to mention in my parts list:

Around 100 for some premium Warn locking hubs - I have an extra set too. (lucky I guess)
[edit} Forgot to add this... 400 something for my Revo Gears too from Inde4x. (ebay special :wink: )

As for the uniqueness of the truck. Damn right - same page as my thoughts, Jonesy.
No one sees these with a solid axle. I think I know and have seen every single SAS Isuzu in the country either through online or in person.
Plus they have 4 doors, a fully boxed frame, ac, all power (mine does), heat and I do like my fold down tailgate.
As for everything else Jonesy wrote, he is dead on and I totally agree.

Now for a teaser pic. Here is the proposed ride-height:
Yes I plant to do something with that chewed up front bumper and valance. :drunken:
 
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