Swingdown Tailgate mod to 1st Gen Amigo

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Swingdown Tailgate mod to 1st Gen Amigo

Postby Ssiggy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:26 pm

James​y asked me realllllly nicely to post info on my 1st Gen Amigo tailgate conversion on my wife's beast, Esmerelda. I briefly discussed it on the Planet, but here it is in detail.
Get some 1st gen Rodeo hinges and cables at the junkyard. If you're going to use the Amigo tailgate, you will not need the torsion spring that is attached to the donor Rodeo's tailgate.
The key to this thing is temporarily mounting the hinges to the truck and tailgate while it's closed and latched using the existing side hinges. You must do this to properly align the latch mechanism.Image

If your truck does not have a body lift, you may need to remove the bumperettes first. I found that I could not properly drill holes for the hinge mounts all the way through the body for the hinge mounts because I did not have a super long drill bit and that positioning the hinges where the Rodeo has them would interfere with the two rear body mounts. So, I used rivnuts into the body panel. Jerry cautioned me beforehand that I may need to reinforce the sheet metal where the hinges mount, but inspection of the Rodeo at the junkyard showed that the sheet metal at that location was the same on the two vehicles. In addition, it's really the straps that hold the tailgate up, the hinges are just a pivot point.
So mount your hinges temporarily without removing the old hinges, or at least drill the holes. I did reinforce the tailgate sheet metal with fender washers, because that section is just a single layer of sheet metal. ImageImage
I mounted the hinges, then removed the original hinges. I also had to cut the sliding track mechanism that limits the side tailgate travel. Then I locate some spots to hang the straps, once again using fender washers behind the sheet metal.ImageImageImageImage
In my case, the latch mechanism worked perfectly. The tailgate is only latched from the one side, but it is very secure. I felt like the spare tire would make it too heavy, so I removed it. I suppose using the original Rodeo torsion spring on the tailgate might fix that. I chose not to mount it since I was using the Amigo tailgate, not the rodeo one.
The conversion was very straightforward, no surprises. It works perfectly. I can stand on the tailgate with no issues. It should allow a hard top or soft top to work without problems.
THERE IS NO DANA ONLY ZUUL!
Well, there IS a Dana-- a Dana 44

'99 Amigo 3.2 AT 4WD - 2" body lift, 3" suspension lift, revos, Aussie Locker front, sliders,vinyl wrap, VX seats, OME 912 springs - Rolled but running
'92 Amigo (from Shaggy) future project
90 Amigo 2.6 5-sp 4WD - 3" body lift, 3" suspension lift, Calmini uppers, Calmini headers, Delta cam, Jet chip, sliders, revos, Warn brush guard/winch mount, ProMark 12K winch, snakeskin wrap

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Re: Swingdown Tailgate mod to 1st Gen Amigo

Postby DSUZU » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:46 pm

Thanks for posting. I don't have an Amigo or a Rodeo (that I know of :D), but it is always nice to see a "How you do it" posting. When we had our Rodeo, my wife always hated the drop down tailgate. She said it made it hard to get groceries in and out (spoiled by the top hinged minivan doors). Myself, I would prefer the fold down. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

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Re: Swingdown Tailgate mod to 1st Gen Amigo

Postby tylerruinstrucks » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:43 pm

Thinking about doing this with my 89 Amigo. Bummed that the photos no longer work on this post, but think it seems pretty straightforward. I suppose I would also install the Rodeo swinging tire carrier?
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Re: Swingdown Tailgate mod to 1st Gen Amigo

Postby DSUZU » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:51 pm

The Rodeo tire carrier is mounted to serious mounts made into the left rear of the body. You might be able to cut them out. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."

Forget the "free education". Why waste time. Just give me the "FREE INCOME".
DSUZU
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Posts: 9548
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Location: St Pete Florida
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