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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to pull a front third member off of a Gen 1 Trooper. I've read that is a bear that will require removing basically all of the front driveline components. However, this will be at a junkyard and I don't need to any parts aside from the third member. Would some strategic cuts with a reciprocating saw help speed things up? Not sure if a metal saw blade will make it through a CV axle.

One more wrinkle is that this car has wheel lock nuts on, so I am currently unable to remove the wheels. I already tried a hammer and chisel on one of them and it didn't work. I scoured Autozone, Amazon, etc. looking for the correctly shaped key but have had no luck, so I ended up ordering a 1/2" drive Gator Grip style universal socket that will get here tomorrow. I was able to get the rear third out without removing the wheels. Just undo the four bolts holding the bracket to the axel tube and kick, and the axles popped right out.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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Many yards carry a big kit of reverse style sockets to get wheel locks off.
I've pulled a 3rd member in a junk yard. I forgot my breaker bar so I had to come back the next day, but otherwise it took me two hours or less. It's not terrible, especially if you've already done it once. I was pulling the entire diff to get to the inside axle cups. I suppose you could cut the driver side off, but that ruins the other parts for anyone else.
 

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Not really sure what you could cut. Maybe the little mounting brackets/ears to help shimmying the diff out of there if the angles aren't really working out.

Here's a diagram that helped me visualize what the plan of attack is.
Hand Organism Gesture Font Art


Edit: forgot to mention, bring a heavy mallet so you can just smack the balljoints out
 

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I did this to harvest the diff brackets.
1. Wheels off
2. CV clips off (SAVE SNAP RINGS AND WASHERS)
3.Upper ball joint nuts off
4. Whack each spindle from the top to break free from ball joint (medium size "ford tool" - hammer required)
Steer appropriately to give room for extracting CV shaft - remove clip rings from soup cans (SAVE RINGS)
5. undo bolts to idler arm. If possible, remove pittman arm from steering box (ford tool again - might need two, one to hold against arm, one to strike with). Other option: remove drag link and / or unbolt steering box
6. (maybe?) unbolt sway bar mounts
7. don.t forget to unbolt front driveshaft
8. unbolt REAR mount bolts first, then front bolts
9. it should drop out. If you only want the "chunk" (actual diff carrier), unbolting the mount brackets and the soup cans come off with the brackets, then you can undo all the carrier bolts from the housing.
IIRC, this is what I did. It didn't take me all that long. Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well I just got back from the junkyard. The universal socket didn't work on the lug nut so I had to go nuclear.

If you want to try this method, you'll need:
  • Reciprocating saw (12-15AH worth of batteries if cordless)
  • 3-pack of saw blades rated for thick metal & hard alloys
  • 17mm socket with extensions and swivel joint
  • 17mm wrench (optional)
  • 14mm wrench with a thin wall box end (I used an offset wrench)
  • 14mm socket or additional wrench.
  • Hammer
And here's the procedure:
  1. Remove skid plate(s) near front diff (if applicable)
  2. Remove the body stiffing crossmember (4x 14mm bolts + nuts.)
  3. Unbolt driveshaft from diff input flange (can also be done later)
  4. Unbolt four bolts on pass. side differential bracket (17mm)
  5. Cut through axle around the midpoint.
  6. Slide the diff off of the pass. side axle.
  7. (Optional, unbolt driveshaft here instead of step 3)
  8. Remove all the bolts on the third member and remove (14mm)




So yes, I did have to destroy the axle/diff housing assembly, but with those wheel locks on there, I don't think anyone will be able to get those parts anyway. And I was out of there in under two hours, and that included a trip to Home Depot! Worth the effort for a set of 4.77s.

 

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BRUTE FORCE. I love it. You didn't mention that it was 4.77s. Dennis

EDIT: Oh, and I had forgotten about the skid plates (I'd removed them from al of my Isuzus)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry for being coy. I did not want to jinx it, and I'm also a bit paranoid. I've seen round eye grilles disappear in less than 48 hours from being listed at these pick-n-pull yards.

But sure enough, this Trooper had the big tire package. I think it was 9JH on the firewall plate (FRT&RR 31X10.5R15 15X7JJ AL). I counted the revolutions of the driveshaft against the wheel's and was amazed to have found the real deal. So they are still out there.
 
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