Isuzu SUV Forum banner

Red Beans 2/Maint + Upgrades

129148 Views 509 Replies 65 Participants Last post by  lorenzo816
I've been putting off some work on the Trooper so It was time to get started. Instead of several different threads or making the original Tow Boat thread 20 miles long I decided to start a new build thread. 1st a couple of posed shots on a camping float trip a couple of weeks ago. Just so we remember why we do this stuff.

I started on the rear axle because I just picked up a much needed rear sway bar. I have had a set of used Calmini HD sway bars since I got my truck. The front one is on the truck and the rear one won't work well with the OME springs I have. So I picked up an ADDCO rear sway bar for the 1st gen.
Addco on top. Calmini on bottom.

Calmini clamps to the leaf springs and the clamps won't line up and the U bolts are now much too short. This is Calmini bar laying on the spring where it would clamp.

The Addco bar end link goes to a plate that mounts on the bottom of the spring plate. And the fact that my OME springs are thicker. The end link is off by about an inch. Now add 2" of lift and that becomes 3" off on one end or the other of the sway bar. Frame mount or end link.

I'll either have to make the end links longer or space down the frame brackets. I actually have a kit that does that in my other truck which made me think that dropping the bracket was the way to go. The end links are pretty long already.
The sway bar kit comes with these cool U bolts that go in the frame.

I found some 3" channel at the junk yard down the road. It still has wood attached to it.

The size was right and It cleaned up fine. So here are my drop brackets.

I ended up turning them open side out because they just worked out better that way.

Much better angle on the sway bar arm here.

Than here.

End link bolted up.

That takes care of the sway bar. Had to take it back apart for paint and it's on the 2nd coat now. I haven't checked the exhaust now that this is together. Maybe it will go right over the sway bar since I dropped it.

Remember 2+ years ago?

Well 2 salty winters later here in the Mid Atlantic.

I knew my E-brake cables had frozen up. it seems so had the E brake part of the caliper.

The calipers also were not floating at all. The drivers side was stuck pretty well on the pin. It took some serious prying to get this caliper this far. Hasn't been that long since I last lubed them! 22k from a set of rebuilt calipers.

The rotors had worn as well.

So after a trip to the machine shop my Powerstop rotors are now nice and smooth again.

Still waiting on some brake parts. and then they will go back together along with new E brake cables. I'm going to change the rear diff oil, lube the driveshaft, and work my way to the transmission and transfer changing oils and then the front axle. Much more after that as I get to things.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 510 Posts
nice squatch.
your attention to detail is superb :salute: :notworthy:
nice work Squatch.... 8) 8)

Wow 2 years and that must rust .... I am rust ignorant having been in Az all my life except a stint in Belgium in the Air Force....

Feel free to slam me or make mocking gestures for my ignorance at asking but here it goes .....

So that rust is caused form the salt they use on the roads correct?

Do most places use salt for winter roads or are there better ways just salt is cheaper?

I would almost be sick if I did all that great work to my Isuzu to have it rust like that in 2 years.....I think I would only drive it in summer and have a sacrificial vehicle to offer the Gods of winter each year...

Once again Squatch nice job.....
8) 8)
See less See more
The availability and low costs of salt precludes the use of alternative deicers for the most part, though, some areas have now seen that in heavy use areas where they use over 300 lbs. per person, per season, a more environmentally friendly substitute is in order.
Very nice. Very good write up for the sway bar. That will be useful to a lot of folks I imagine.
AZneonguy said:
nice work Squatch.... 8) 8)

Wow 2 years and that must rust .... I am rust ignorant having been in Az all my life except a stint in Belgium in the Air Force....

Feel free to slam me or make mocking gestures for my ignorance at asking but here it goes .....

So that rust is caused form the salt they use on the roads correct?

Do most places use salt for winter roads or are there better ways just salt is cheaper?

I would almost be sick if I did all that great work to my Isuzu to have it rust like that in 2 years.....I think I would only drive it in summer and have a sacrificial vehicle to offer the Gods of winter each year...

Once again Squatch nice job.....
8) 8)
Most of that is caused by salt they put down to clear the roads. Not too bad really. Mainly the rust is on the springs. It hard to keep paint on springs but I'm not impressed with the coating on the OME springs. The rest is on parts like the caliper that get real hot and paint won't stick to those anyway. So they just got a quick spray job. The spray paint I put on the shocks has held up well, Frame is fine. There is rust on the back axle but that didn't really get anything more than a spray can job anyway. I already had it painted before I started the frame job. So it was just a dress up before I got carried away with everything else. Remember this isn't a new truck. Just a spruced up old one. When you start with rusty bolts and stuff it's going to come back sooner or later.
Just thought I'd copy and paste the To DO list from the things to do before Uwharrie thread. That list is pretty much driving this thread so far.

Replace control arm bushings.----------DONE!

Install NEW HD torsion bars.------------DONE!

Big front brakes and repack front hubs.--------------DONE!

Check/service rear brakes and probably change to semi metallic pads.-------Done! New calipers, pads, hardware, E brake cables, Rotors turned.

Install new rear E-brake cables and adjust. Salt finally got to them.-------Done!

Flush brake lines and bleed.---------DONE!

Grease front sway bar bushings.-----------DONE!

Grease chassis. --------------DONE!

Install new addco rear sway bar. ----------Done!

Front end alignment.-----------DONE!

Touch up chipped bedliner on body and bumpers. Possibly extend bedliner up to the same line Greasemonkey did on his 1st gen.-------------Ain't going to happen this time.

Fix fog lights. I think the relay died.

Touch up rust on wheels.---------AFTER URE.

Repaint rusty wiper arms and install new blades.

Compound paint and wax.----------AFTER URE.

Fix engine oil leak. (oil filter adapter)

Install and degree new Calmini cam in place of Delta 260. Break in and adjust valves. ---------AFTER URE.

New timing belt while I'm in there. It has 20k and it's easier to do while I'm in there. --------------AFTER URE.

New cap, Rotor, plugs.

Replace anti-freeze after I put radiator back in.--------AFTER URE.

Change all fluids engine, transmission, transfer, axles.-----------rear axle done.

Trans/Trans Done 3-11

Clean and re-oil K+N filter.

Replace Header collector gasket.

Exhaust work complete and resonator installed.---------DONE!

I'd also like to get the windows tinted and new seat covers.-----NOT YET

Install a new spare tire cover.--------NOT YET

The Eagle/Lorance GPS/sonar for my boat can use flash memory cards and has a map function. It won't tell you the directions but will display road maps and show you your GPS location on the map. I can way point mark the route as I go. I'd like to get another mount and power cord and dash mount it in my truck. Then I just pull it out and put it in the boat when I get to the ramp. ---------------This ain't going to happen anytime soon either.

Mount up my old CB in the truck--------Mounted NEW CB march 2011- Done!
See less See more
Oh cool, you got bushwacker flares? Cant wait to see a picture.
stusvend said:
Oh cool, you got bushwacker flares? Cant wait to see a picture.
Here the preveiw from when I brought them home. I have a used set in good cond.

The drivers rear is on. I need to pick up some rivits on the way home today to keep going. I need to do a little body work on the rear pass door before I can install that one. I slid into a sign on the ice winter before last.

Made a nice find this am. I found a place on the other side of Balt that does SS and mandrel bent exhausts as their main bussiness. I'll probably be taking the truck there to get the exhaust straightened out from the sway bar install. SS exhaust is great but it's a pain to find someone to do the work. You really need a mandrel bender to keep from kinking the tubing. Most exhaust shops don't have one or a TIG welder.
See less See more
Those flairs are going to look awesome. Gonna make everyone jealous.
Spent last evening beating on my pass rear door with a hammer. Here is a pic of the problem taken when it happened. I haven't touched it since.

Just a small dent from sliding into a road sign on ice. It kept me out of the ditch. Anyway I borrowed a couple of dolleys from a neighbor and used some rods, punches and a hammer to beat the shape back into some form similar to the way it should be. Then I sanded and primed the spot. I didn't do any bondo work. The fender flare should cover most. I'll worry about bondo if and when I ever paint the truck. For now I just want the rust stopped before I cover the dent with a fender flair. I'm going to spray paint the primer tonight.

My rear calipers came in last night. I'm now the proud owner of a slightly used set of Isuzu OEM rear calipers. These look great and should be much better than the rebuilt junk that was on there. When the time comes someday I'll rebuild these myself. Right now they look like new. Even the E-brake springs are shiney. Now just waiting on the rear brake pads. I bought 3 sets of Non-Chinese made Semi Metallic rear pads on close out on Epay. If they work the way I want then I'm set for a good while. When they arrive I can get the rear end buttoned up with new caliper, pads, E brake cables. I changed the rear diff oil over the weekend. It looked great. After 20k miles on a "brand new" set of gears and LSD I expected some sparkle in the oil from break in( I did change the oil at 1k) but it was just dark from the LSD wear.

Also got a new cam belt and seal. Now I have what I need to install the Calmini cam!
See less See more
stusvend said:
And you wonder why I have to fight rust. That was just a little one day snow sleet storm. Last winter the truck was white all winter. I had meant to take pictures. When I jacked my truck up and blocked the frame so the rear axle hung down I found saltsickles on my shocks. 1/4" thick crystals of salt up on the shock body where it is cover by the top part of the shock (3" overlap when sitting on the ground). Washing the truck under carrige in the spring didn't get in there. It looked like something you would see on a cave wall. I was actually growing salt cystal chains in side the shocks like we did in grade school.
:shock: I'm glad that I don't have to fight that kind of salt. Thats just crazy.
Can't wait to see the Bushwackers in place. I wish this stuff was still available.

Awesome, another red beans thread. Subscribe? Yes.
A little update. I now have all the parts I need to work on the front end. Still wtg brake pads for the rear. So I finished the flares in the rear put it back on the ground and started up front. I still have to install the drivers side front flare and the piece of the rear one on the drivers side door. I would have finished last night but my 26 year old Craftsman 3/8" drill finally bit the dust. The cordless needed charging and I didn't feel like dealing with my 1/2" Milwaukee with an 1/8" bit. It's kinda heavy.

For those that are hyped about the Bushwackers let me explain. They pretty much look like stock flares on a Chevy truck and cover about the same. They only give about 3/4" to maybe 1" extra coverage. The stock RS flares extend more. The molding is OK but not awesome like all Bushwackers I've ever dealt with. Fit is OK not great. For me it was more of a conveinence thing. They were avail nearby for cheap used. The ones I was going to make would look just a well(to me anyway) and cover the wide tires better. I really need to find some pics of the old truck that had these. The piece that attaches to the rear door is a PIA to install. It is 2 pieces that don't really fit that well together.

As always the pic have been taken but are a little behind getting loaded. Don't expect as much pretty paint this time around as it really doesn't hold up that well underneath the truck and many of the replacement parts I'm using still have decent factory paint. That and I'm in a time push to get a lot of work done in the next few weeks.
See less See more
All the flares are now mounted. I'm going to have to wait until daytime to get some decent pics.

Did some scoping on the next phase which is to entirely take apart the front suspension and replace the control arm bushings. I used the old ones when I originally did the truck. The lower ones came with the frame which had over 200k on it. They were OK at the time. Cranking up the TBs is hard on control arm bushings though. The upper ones only have around 105k. They came on my truck. I've already got to other UCA's ready to go with new bushings pressed in. I didn't see any real rust on the lower bolts ect. I sure hope that's a good sign. I'm not looking forward to doing this job.

Has anyone found POLY boots for the Indy HD tie rods. My boots are toast in only 20K miles and are on the replacement list.

Just looking under the truck you can tell I run hard in gravel a bit. Some rust on the floorboard behind the front wheels where the tires constantly throw stuff up. I'll take care of that while I'm in there.
See less See more
You certainly put your trooper through the paces dont you squatch? About how many miles annually do you think you put on it? Just curious.
Just checked the old thread. I 1st drove her on 7-11-08 with 86+k miles on the clock. 2years later a little over 107k. Technically with my "historic" registration I'm not supposed to go over 7,500 a year. Looks like I'm doing 10,000. More the 1st year than this. New toy syndrome.

As far as putting her through the paces I definitely use her but try not to abuse her. I've driven almost 400k miles behind the wheel of a Trooper most of that 1st gen. I'm real familiar and comfortable with what they will and won't do. I'm not afraid to put her to work. I load more weight than most would in and behind this one but it is now set up for that. The 12 bolt will handle whatever you can put in and on the truck as well as the frame can. With the springs I'm running no worries. Not unusual at all to load 20-25 bags of mortar or concrete mix ect in the back. They run 80-90lbs a bag. The pics in my sig are real typical of the way she's normally driven. But mostly I drive pretty gentle. I don't really beat up on her. Not the way 4 wheeling does. Most of the off road duty is working not rock crawling. But most of the time she's driven it's for work or "expeditions". My DD is a 40 mpg Civic. It gets most of the normal duty. I do try to drive the Trooper every week or 2. But it can sit with the boat hitched up for weeks without unhooking. I just get in on the weekends and go. Of course this year the snow duty was pretty intense. Md threw the record books away last winter and wrote a new one. She saw a lot of this kind of load last year and will again soon.

The truck looks pretty stock but there is not much that wasn't touched or tweaked in some way. Some of what I'm working on now is project stuff that I just haven't gotten to yet. They're never done. Much is just maint and some is repairing things that really shouldn't need to be repaired but are great example of how low the quality of replacement parts has fallen. When I had my 1st Trooper and replaced calipers and Rotors I use brand new OEM because that's all that was available. Expensive but good for 150k+. The replacement rebuilt Wagner stuff I used on this truck does not impress me at all. 20k miles= 1 seized front caliper and both rear ones were hung up and the E brake part was rusted solid. I painted them when installed and lubed everything as I always do! The rear pads that came with the loaded calipers are 2/3 gone and roughly worn. I used to get 50-70k out of the OEM stuff.

My rear brake pads came in today and look pretty good. 3 sets of Italian made semi metallic pads on Ebay old stock clearance. $8 a complete rear set. If they work well I'm set for a while. They look real good side by side with the old ones.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 510 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.