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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everybody:

I'm a relatively new member here, but I've been reading the forum on and off for a few years when repairing the truck you see here (before I owned it). I got a 1997 Rodeo with only 95,000 miles from my parents after my dad bought a 4Runner and didn't want to trade in the Rodeo. He had owned the truck since 1999. I think he would have missed it too much and wanted it to stay in the family! I had been looking for a reasonably priced, capable 4x4 for a year or so, and they gave me a good deal since it needed some work. My goal with this vehicle is to be able to get me and my family out in the woods or off the pavement to see more of nature. I also plan to use it as my primary winter vehicle.

When my dad dropped it off in September it was in really good shape overall, but it had several problems. Luckily, I've never been afraid to get my hands dirty, so I fixed everything myself over the next couple months. I spent a lot of labor time, but not a lot of money. This truck is really starting to grow on me. I have only done a couple of gravel or off-road excursions so far, but it is working great so far.



Maintenance and repair to date:

1. No 4WD engagement --fixed with a $4 VSV set from the junk yard. I had already "repaired" the VSV once thanks to info on this site.

2. Large coolant leak --turned out to be the "Y" hose that feeds the heads. Made my own for $3 in bulk hose. The hard part was putting on the new hose without pulling the intake!

3. Small sunroof leak --sealed the fasteners that go through the glass. The gaskets had dried out.

4. Iffy drive belts--replaced

5. Worn out shocks--replaced with Sensa-Tracs--$25 rebate and good reviews on here :)

6. Frame rust--Eastwood frame coating inside, and POR-15 and undercoating outside. Of course, no body rust to speak of.



7. passenger side rear door would not open-- latch mechanism was jammed up. It is tough to remove the door panel when you can't open the door, but I got it eventually by pushing a rod through the window channel.

8. Needed spark plugs-- replaced with new parts that Dad had bought but not installed.

9. No AC: Added a can of 134a graciously provided by the previous owner.

I've also added the following:
Aisin Manual Hubs bought from the classifieds



CB radio for trail runs and off-road parks. I put in in place of the ash tray, but I want to sink it an inch or two farther into the dash if possible. I used a right angle antenna connector to help with the depth, but it is hitting the metal dash supports now.



Still to come:
31" tires (245-75-16). 5 Treadwright Wardens on order. I've read that 265/75/16s (32s) will fit with no lift, but I didn't want the extra weight, and I didn't want to make the truck any slower!
small lift?
rocker protection?
2m radio for better communication
shelf/platform in rear compartment for recovery equipment storage
Extra 12V outlets and wiring for accessories
Auxiliary lighting

I've already learned a lot from browsing and searching the forums. I hope to be able to share some of what I learn in the future.

-Brian
 

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Beautiful LS! Low miles too! Its a nice one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was playing around on a partially dismantled driveway. It was almost 60 degrees outside today! Tires are stock 245/70/16 (~30"). I'm on the bumpstops diagonally in front and rear. With the amount of leftover clearance, a 31" should be comfortable, and a 32" tire might squeeze in if the width was the same.






Also played around with the Hi-Lift I got for Christmas. Better to practice with it now than try to learn how to use it in the dark or in the mud.




Also took some pictures of my Garmin nuvi with the EcoRoute HD accessory. This can send OBDII data to the nuvi and give you fuel economy and gauges on your nuvi. I think it is a good alternative to the Scan Gauge II that a lot of people use. The EcoRoute can scan and clear OBD codes, too.


You can choose different gauges to display:


Some info can be displayed next to the map. mi/g is miles per gallon.

The actual EcoRoute accessory plugs into the OBDII port.


-Brian
 

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That is a sweet GPS setup. What brand of CB and antenna did you go with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!

CB is a very basic "Cobra 19 Ultra III" from Wal-Mart. I got it because it was inexpensive and small. It feels a bit cheap, but I wanted to spend money on the antenna, not the radio. The antenna setup is a 3' Firestik combo. The cable, mount, spring, etc. were all included. It is the FS series that you tune with a thumbscrew. I also bought a SWR meter to tune the setup. I got the antenna stuff from Right Channel Radios.

I think I might lower the antenna mount a couple inches so I can fit in the garage (when I get the kids' bikes out of the way).

-Brian
 

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Now I know what size to go with when I get a CB, thank you. Truck looks nice. Did you already order the Wardens? I first had the 265/75 Wardens and went to a 265/70 Guard Dog because I didnt like the weight. 245/75 looks good with no lift, but if you want to lift I would say go bigger.
 

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Damn! I wish my rodeo was newer and had the OBDII! That is too cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ian1006 said:
Did you already order the Wardens? I first had the 265/75 Wardens and went to a 265/70 Guard Dog because I didnt like the weight. 245/75 looks good with no lift, but if you want to lift I would say go bigger.
Lift will have to wait a while because my tie rods are rusted up so much that I can't get it aligned again. I'll need new tie rods before I can lift it because it will need to be aligned afterward.

Your truck looks good on the 265/70 Guard Dogs and with the small lift. I did order the Wardens in 245/75/16. They will be just about the same outside diameter as the 265/70 (~30.5"), but just 20mm narrower.

I'm sure I'll want bigger someday, but for now I wanted to keep close to the stock acceleration, braking, and on-road handling.

-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got my Treadwright Wardens (with kedge grip) two days ago, and put them on today. Instead of paying $15-$30 a tire and arguing with the tech about the static balance method recommended by Treadwright, I opted to install these myself at a DIY auto repair shop in the Kansas City area (diyautorepairkc.com). It was $10 per tire including disposal of the old tires, and I got to check each tire's balance and roundness myself.

The tires all took 3-4 oz of weight in static mode, split between the outside and inside of the rim per Treadwright's instructions.

First impression: The ride is stiffer and there is a bit of hum from the tread. There is a hint of a shake at 75mph or so, but I really don't drive this truck that fast if I can help it, so I'm not too worried right now. I'll wait to make my judgement about the tires until I drive them some more, but for now I'm satisfied, especially for the price.

Delivery day:


The rough area between the new tread and the old sidewall:


Mount and balance:


Outside the shop after the test drive. The old tires are in the back seat because I am going to try to sell them.





It is a little hard to get used to seeing a BFG AT tread on a Goodyear carcass, but that is all they had in a C load rating. I think they look pretty good overall, though.


Hope to find some dirt to play on soon. Who knows, maybe it will even snow again this winter!

-Brian
 

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Look great! Reminds me of my 265/75 Wardens on the same carcass! Do some research on the carcass, you will be pretty happy when you learn about the features.
 

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Looks great....just so you know though, I have a 97 rodeo too; you CAN install 265/75 tires without a lift, they fit just fine.

I ran my truck for 3.5yrs before putting a lift on it with 32" tires, I have the automatic too; the 32" tires don't slow my truck down at all, and I live at high altitude in Colorado
 

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Ramblin Fever said:
Looks great....just so you know though, I have a 97 rodeo too; you CAN install 265/75 tires without a lift, they fit just fine.
With the right size offset rims ;)
 

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Ian1006 said:
Ramblin Fever said:
Looks great....just so you know though, I have a 97 rodeo too; you CAN install 265/75 tires without a lift, they fit just fine.
With the right size offset rims ;)
Not sure Ian what's been the issue on your truck, seriously, as I've ran 265/75's and 285/75's on 3 different styles of factory rims all with different offset's....never had an issue.

I finally settled on the 16x8 wheels that I have now; but I also don't have the huge passport fender flairs either, and that could be the issue you've had.
 

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Ramblin Fever said:
Ian1006 said:
Ramblin Fever said:
Looks great....just so you know though, I have a 97 rodeo too; you CAN install 265/75 tires without a lift, they fit just fine.
With the right size offset rims ;)
Not sure Ian what's been the issue on your truck, seriously, as I've ran 265/75's and 285/75's on 3 different styles of factory rims all with different offset's....never had an issue.

I finally settled on the 16x8 wheels that I have now; but I also don't have the huge passport fender flairs either, and that could be the issue you've had.
Well its always rubbed on the back of the flares and on the sway bar...maybe my sway bar is bigger?
 

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Ian1006 said:
Well its always rubbed on the back of the flares and on the sway bar...maybe my sway bar is bigger?
No..should be identical, unless yours has been replaced
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm pleased with the tires so far. On gravel and dirt, the ride and grip are much improved. I was also impressed with the traction in the little bit of snow we got recently.

The new tires are just a hair under 50 lb each. The old ones (P245/70-16 Bridgestones) were only 31 lb. each. That means I've added almost 80 pounds of rotating weight to the truck! Acceleration and braking are still adequate. The on-pavement ride is a little rougher, like the suspension can't fully deal with the extra unsprung weight. Maybe I'll experiment with different shocks sometime in the future, but it is fine for now.

I think that 32" tires (265/75-16) would probably fit, but I might have to remove the mud flaps and maybe trim the plastic under the bumper (front of wheel well). I haven't had a chance to fully flex the suspension to check clearance. I wouldn't mind taller tires for more clearance, but I really don't want to go any wider or heavier.



A few days ago, I went out to play on some minimum maintenance roads out in the country. Someone had been tearing them up in a full-size truck so I had to straddle the deep ruts.




-Brian
 

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leadfoot said:
I think that 32" tires (265/75-16) would probably fit, but I might have to remove the mud flaps and maybe trim the plastic under the bumper (front of wheel well). I haven't had a chance to fully flex the suspension to check clearance. I wouldn't mind taller tires for more clearance, but I really don't want to go any wider or heavier.

-Brian
32" tires will fit on the 97 without issue....or at least I've never had issues, never had to trim anything on mine.

The 32" tires I have are Goodyear's Duratrac a/t tire in the LT265/75 R16 Load range C size, they are just a shy over 40lbs each......one of the MAIN reasons I chose them is because of their lightweight size in comparison to other tires of the same or even smaller size.

I've ran heavy tires before....been there, done that....won't do it again.

Here's my truck, same year as yours. You have a nice truck BTW





 

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leadfoot said:
Thanks!

CB is a very basic "Cobra 19 Ultra III" from Wal-Mart. I got it because it was inexpensive and small. It feels a bit cheap, but I wanted to spend money on the antenna, not the radio. The antenna setup is a 3' Firestik combo. The cable, mount, spring, etc. were all included. It is the FS series that you tune with a thumbscrew. I also bought a SWR meter to tune the setup. I got the antenna stuff from Right Channel Radios.

I think I might lower the antenna mount a couple inches so I can fit in the garage (when I get the kids' bikes out of the way).

-Brian
If you do a little trimming to the plastic behind the cb it will slip in a little further. it will be a little more flush to the dash. Thats what I did with mine. Only problem that I ran across was that it was a little hard to hear in that location. So I cut out the speaker and extended the wire. Its now mounted under the headliner material between the sunvisors.
 
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