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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Little history:
I've had my Rodeo Sport for 7.5years now, and its treated me pretty well. Outside of some CV boots, wheel bearings and IMG - nothing major has happened. I was going to replace it with another vehicle, but I cant justify getting myself into another car note while the Rodeo lives. Since my girlfriend will be going back to school and giving up her lease, I decided to "let" her drive the reliable truck to school and such. By "let" I mean, she refuses to drive it until certain things are met - you know luxuries like working AC, a radio, interior panels, etc. (I get myself into projects and forget to finish them) Unfortunately, like me, the Rodeo has gotten pretty ugly with age and things arent 100% - it definitely will NOT pass girlfriend approval in its current state.

This will be my attempt to document and share some of my issues, successes, and overall progress - Hope you guys enjoy it. I'll add pictures as I go along.

fun stuff that has been done
Rear Tail Guards
3.5" Lift: OME Springs, Rancho Adjustable Shocks F/R, and Rancho's myRIde wireless controller
Firestone Destination ATs
Class 3 Hitch
Halo Foglights
Clear front corners
Door Visors

Projects to Finish
Seat Reupholstered - *DONE*
Interior Panels Reupholstered - *DONE*
Window Tints - *DONE*
New Front Bumper w/ Extension - *DONE*
New Foglights w/ brackets - *DONE*
New AC Compressor/Drier/Gatorback Belt - *DONE*
Transmission Cooler - *DONE*
Working Sound/Navigation/Entertainment System (Carputer, 4ch amp, touchscreen monitor, etc) - *Have parts, ONGOING"
Alarm with Auto up/down windows - *Have parts, ONGOING*
Front Grille Guard - *DONE*

Seats Reupholstered: DONE
So, apparently, girls arent fans of sitting on worn fabric with Coke and mud stains. I dont know, I think it adds character. Ideally, I wanted to go with Katzkin leather seats or something similar; however, the price for those on a car this old is just too prohibitive ($1000+). Solution? EBAY leatherette covers. I was a little concerned about the quality, but I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. Once you throw away the cheap plastic hooks that come with the covers and use zipties to apply tension to the seat loops, its actually not that bad. 2 months in and my Yellow Lab has yet to destroy them with her claws - SUCCESS! :bounce:
Total cost: $55




View of backseats when in folded position
Cheap hooks BOOOOO, Zipties YAAAY

Interior Panels Reupholstered: DONE
Rain has gotten into the car, numerous times. So many, in fact, that the door cloth inserts became this gooey, cloth/glue mix that would rub off on your forearm if you let it sit long enough. I dont see a problem here, but let me not digress. Changing the insert was not as easy as I had imagined. You need to remove the panel, drill or melt the tabs holding the plastic mold in place, glue the new fabric unto the mold and mount the mold on the door panel with screws. After a couple of failures of measure 100x times and cut once, but still messing up; I decided to take it to a local upholstery shop. I went with the vinyl that was the closest match to the Rodeo Sports light grey interior.
Total cost (shop + wasted fabric used in DIY): $75 for both sides


Yes.. I know I put on the opposite side door handles on... uhm, lets just say it gave me 5hp more and call it a day :oops: (its since been fixed)

Window Tints - DONE
Plain ole tints to help get GF approved. I tried using that roll on static cling stuff from Walmart, but it kept coming off.I had the rear soft top windows replaced with charcoal vinyl (by the same upholstery place). The shop cut out most of the clear window and sewed the charcoal vinyl unto where the clear window met the black soft top. The front tints were matched to it, I believe they were 35-40%, I cant remember. Ultimately, the GF cant take all the credit here - a local thief helped me determine that I needed new vinyl windows - the front tints just seem like a given. If I had to do it again, I'd just replace the whole top with one of those EBAY versions with charcoal windows.
Total cost: $300 (3x back windows + front tints + static cling stuff)


New Front Bumper w/ Extension - In progress
Long story short: A lady was parallel parking, got out of her car to remove a glass bottle, stumbled out while the car was in gear, grabbed the steering wheel, managed to get pinned underneath her Altima, and careened her vehicle into the front of mine - which was on the OPPOSITE side of the street. Lucky for her that my car was there, otherwise she was heading into heavy traffic. That is one hell of a story, couldnt even make it up if I wanted to.
I never bothered to fix it, until now. You can see the hideous ebay halo foglights in the picture. We were all young and stupid once, right? I bought a used bumper in 'rough' condition on ebay, but it was complete with brackets and reinforcement bar. I would need to fill in the scratches and digs, the middle extension + grille guard will cover a lot of the imperfections.

Before/Current:

The extenion was previously removed, to get painted.

Bumper Prep:



Extension Prep:

I had to fill in these large gapping cracks, luckily it made the verticle bars bow out and cover much of the damage.

Extension Primered:


The repaired bumper and extension are done, I'll take some after shots for you guys. This is the first time I've done any bumper repair and painting, and while it isnt the greatest job ever its definately better than whats on the truck now. The paint was grabbed from Paintscratch.com and was rattle can applied. They offer a good match, it just takes FOREVER to receive the paint.
2x Titan Grey - Bumper
1x Bright Silver - Extension Piece
2x Rubberized Primer
2x Clearcoat
3x Rubbing Compound
More 200, 400, 600, 800 grit pieces of sandpaper than I could count......... RIP little guys. :sad1:

Before and After pics - waiting on finishing my AC compressor and Transmission Cooler install before mounting the bumper

Total Cost: $50 (ebay bumper) + $130 paintscratch.com = $180

Rear Tail Guards - Done
My rear guards had gotten rusty over time - No, no, no I'll never get approval then! I had some Ultra Flat Black Camo Paint lying around and got to work.
Total cost: $0


"I see some rus-ty guards, I want to paint them BLAAAAAAACK"


More to come!
 

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It's like a Wheeler Dealers build...nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sound System: In progress
With the front panels off, I took advantage of the opportunity to install a set of Kappa 60.5cs component speakers I had lying around from another previous project. I believe I bought them on Dealcatcher or one of those refurb/extra stock websites, a long long time ago. Additionally, I replaced the rear speakers with some Polk EX602a, also lying around somewhere. While the initial plan was to run new wire from the speakers to the eventual AMP/current HU, I REALLY did not want to attempt trying to fish wire thru the poor excuse of a rubber sheath between the front door and body. Similarly, I would have to remove just about every rear panel just to route speaker wire for the rear speakers, and not make it look like a hack job. So... yeah... that plan got thrown out the window REAL quick. I would end up using the existing factory wiring as: 1) I'll never hear an audible difference and 2) should be sufficient for the 75Wx4 AMP i'll be installing under the front seat.

The Kappa crossovers were mounted IN the door panel as I'll be tapping into the factory speaker wires.


Unfortunately, the tweeter pods were lost somewhere so another mounting solution had to be figured out. I decided to use the existing tweeter mount behind the door panel, instead of buying pods and flush mounting them.

Yes that was glue gunned on there. .... Have you noticed a pattern yet?


I am not sure it will stand the test of time, but we've been having some 90-100+ degree days here in Jersey and its still hasnt melted. crossfingers

The Kappa mids didnt fit well, as Isuzu uses these weird 5.25" square speakers. Other members on this board got around this by mounting the speaker on the panel, allowing it to sit on the lip, and modifying the speaker grille with a Dremel to allow the cone to move. I went the other way with it. I used my Dremel to alter the door panel and open up the area thus allowing the 6.5" speaker to sit in the same location as factory.



The danger in doing it this way is that the speaker magnet might hit the window. While it was close, these Kappas have a 2" depth and JUST make it in.

It fits.... barely.... but it fits

Heres the door panel all buttoned up. The bottom speaker grille looks off, but it definately looks no different than stock.


Nothing more to see here:
The rear speakers as just plain COAXs I found. They have a real big problem with bass, and rattle terribly - probably blown. I'll most likely change these in the future.

Kappa 60.5cs - $90-100 (no clue, in 2005)
Polk ex602a - Free
Stinger 16ga wire - $15
Speaker Harnesses - $15
Total cost: Lets say $130
 

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Looks good! I like the soft top tinted windows.

I see you have Jersey tags. In in NJ, where abouts are you?

BigSwede said:
It's like a Wheeler Dealers build...nice work.
I love that show! Totally one of my favorites!
 

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Nice work! But if you have to have girlfriend approval you are in deep doo if you get married! :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
squatch said:
Nice work! But if you have to have girlfriend approval you are in deep doo if you get married! :roll:
lol i hear that. Im just making it so she WANTS to drive the Rodeo instead of HAS to. That, and the pile of boxes of Rodeo projects started stacking up in my apartment.

Im up north, near Fort Lee area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Transmission Cooler - DONE
As I had the bumper off, and easy access to the grille, I decided I might as well add a transmission cooler. With lots of steep hills around here and an occasional uhaul tow, the added insurance was well worth it. I went with a B&M 70268 SuperCooler Automatic Transmission Cooler.
Mounting + Hose Run:


I placed the cooler in series before the radiator, by running the input/top of the transmission cooler to transmission line (closest to the passenger well)
<-- right in pic

and the output/bottom of the transmission cooler to the metal line on the bottom of the radiator (radiator input)
<--- top in pic

Removing the old lines, I got a bit of transmission oil out of the lines but not nearly enough to refill the loss - altogether it was about a cup or less. Turned the car back on and checked for leaks - all good.

The RETURN OF THE GLUEGUN!
Now I have this grille off, what can I do ... what can i do. Grille off + spare chickenwire + lonely gluegun =



Total cost: $55 (transmission cooler) + $0 (chickenwire) + couple pennies for X amount gluesticks that sacrificed themselves for the greater good

Working AC - Done
I had the AC compressor clutch go out on me a couple years back and bypassed it with a shorter belt. My solution was to drop the softop when it got hot. This summer has been especially ridiculous, even for me; the constant nagging of 'when are you getting the AC fixed' sped this process up.
Surprisingly, after all these years and given the way the compressor blew out, there was still refrigerant in the system. The old r134a, orings, compressor, and drier were replaced. I made a judgement call on how much oil to put into the new compressor as I had lost some oil from the old compressor due to tilting it out. There should be 50-66cc of oil, I put in about 100ccs.


Everything was put back together, vacuumed down and refilled. Compressor wont turn on since there is no power at the connector. There's a post about my struggles with it here on the planet if you want to follow the troubleshooting procedure. Long story short - a wire in the engine harness was broken.

Result: should have been better, I probably put too much PAG oil in the new compressor


Total cost: $255 (compressor, drier, oil, oring kit from ebay) + $30 (new 134a) + $70 (hour of time troubleshooting with a mechanic) + $27 (gatorback belt) = $382
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cronk said:
Coming along nicely. Seat covers look great!

How hard was it to do the door upholstery? I've been wanting to do that to my Rodeo for a while.
Theres not really much to it but patience and time. That being said, I have neither of those, so ultimately I ended up taking it to an upholstery shop. Looking at the back of the panel, there are roughly 8-10 tabs holding the white plastic mold in place. You'd have to melt or cut off the tabs and free the mold with the cloth insert. Its glued on there and hopefully it'll come off easy, otherwise you'll be scraping it off.

Pick your fabric of choice, and fit it onto the plastic mold with spray adhesive. (adding foam if you want). If you go back to the post with the speakers, you can see the mold was reattached with small screws. If I wouldve continued with it, i'd use the trusty gluegun BUAHAHAHAHA :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Finally got the bumper on with the guard, and polishing issues taken care of (rotary buffer/polishers are no joke)

Before:


After:


Its a little darker than I intended, but it doesnt stick out all that much for me to want to repaint it.
 

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the front looks much better!
 

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Looking good!!! Keep up the good work!
 

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nice brother. good to have a/c and small things you know esp for women. not all like the "rugged" feel look of it... i found out with my wife.... i had to go get another trooper :twisted: :roll: 8)
 

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Christ, girlfriend approval looks way harder than wife approval. Truck is looking pretty nice!
 
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