The Oddball build - Isuzu solid axle 3-link, Coilovers on 37's

Discussion in 'Build Threads' started by Lorenzo816, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Chris asked me to start a build thread so here goes

    Love it or hate the Isuzu, my truck is overdue for a solid front axle. I have had this truck since 99 but only been wheelin it since 06. Time has come for a change.

    I've wheeled with a bunch of you guys here and learned a lot. Honestly talking to everyone about options and seeing in person what and how stuff works and what came on what.... helped me put this together.
    Thank you.

    Running an IFS on 34's with a rear locker has surprised the shit out of some people.
    It works really well but I need more height and more articulation to go wheel places I want to go.
    I'm sticking with the Rodeo because it has a decent wheel base, came with a Dana 44 rear end, its paid for, its beat up but not badly, I've had it since 50k miles, it has 4 wheel disc brakes, has a parking brake at your elbow (not a t-handle in the dash), it fits four adults comfortably and room for gear plus what not.... lots of reasons, most of the same reasons you'll hear from someone building up a 4runner.

    Here is how my rig sits now (well used to sit):
    3" suspension with torsion bar crank
    OME Dakar HD leaf springs in the rear
    1" body lift
    custom drop-diff front a little to help the CV angles a bit
    4.56 gears
    Aussie locker in the rear
    34" LTBs on 15" rims
    Trail Gear rock sliders
    lifted gas tank
    Aisin manual hubs
    Heavy duty tie rods
    removed the sway bar.....
    I could go on but most of the front end stuff is gone now.

    Here is a pic from when we lived at the old red house across from the Outpost:
    looks like that was before my OME springs too, its sagging in the rear. Plus my bumper looks like a dog chewed it compared to this pic.
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__ZcJm9joEl7I_Us4Qw4NoTnI_AAAAAAAAK4Y_BFeDo50hOtg_s800_DSC03057.JPG

    So over the past few years or so, I have collected a lot parts to get this 'build' to a point where I could pull into Chris' shop and get serious. (marsfab)

    Solid front axle options are limited for the Isuzu, since they are PSD and the Yota gears don't line up perfectly with the Dana44 gear options. Plus we have a 6 on 5.5 bolt pattern so take that into account for axles, wheels and more. It just gets expensive anyway you look at it. I'd call it the "moneypit" but Kenneth already took that build title. :p

    I honestly think I know every solid axle Isuzu in the country... well just about thanks to the PlanetIsuzu board. What most guys do is 44 front and keep the rear 44 or 60's F+R or 60's with a 14' rear or 44 front with 9" rear or the Isuzu 12 bolt rear. The kicker is the front driveline is really short and even shorter on a manual trans. Short of putting in a 2wd tailhousing, cutting the t-case and adding a 300 or 205 $$$ all money options. A high angle driveshaft is all you can do before breaking the bank. Saving grace is the driveshafts use 1310 joints for this generation.
    Also depending on your steering set up you may need to relocate the box or replace it. All $$$ pit here.

    Plus no matter what I do, there is nothing in the back of any magazine I can just call up and order.
    This is all custom. And Chris is the man to do it.

    I opted for a 44 front but not full width and kept my rear axle.
    Got it off a late 70's J truck. (can't remember but it came from someone on here a few years ago - thanks!)
    Its about 64" wms and 6 on 5.5. Studs are different but whatever.
    The rear 44 on the Isuzu for my year is around 60-61ish wms so it works about right.
    I actually ended up buying another 44 axle just to rob the gears, knuckles and high steer off of it.
    (thanks mike)
    Got an OX from my friend Matt (RHSCTJ)
    Thanks to Josh and his Dad in K-town at Universal Automotive for gearing the front and putting in the locker. (muddin38yota)
    I decided on Goodyears for rubber and 17" rims. I'll get some steel beadlocks eventually.
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__JyzoXzCdPcU_UnkzrSWKYfI_AAAAAAAAKse0676bfde4a39887816b1c8928609d05.jpg

    The plan is to 3 link the front, SOA the rear, add 12" coilovers up front and run 37" tires.
    I haven't seen but one other coilover 3 link rodeo and it no longer exists. There is a 4-link trooper on the west coast but looks like he had an unlimited budget. There are a few leaf sprung conversions and coil set-up converted rodeos/passports so this is unchartered territory.

    Hell it was Chris' idea to run the 37" tires and "do something really different, everyone has 36's and coils or a leaf sprung solid axle conversion."

    So fast forward to now. Everything has been cut off and all the good stuff parted and sold to fellow Isuzu heads.
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__yNy1mJCZ_M8_Un4qQoAOB3I_AAAAAAAAKt275da8b4889b3bd348bd1e9c7491d21d.jpg
    no turning back now.
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__y1SBxjZkq8U_Un4qQGnOdSI_AAAAAAAAKtbb5d939159a633fa5f656f6d1257a24b.jpg

    Got everything ground and cut off the frame
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__58QRw2aBqcg_UobBP8F_wTI_AAAAAAAAKwb542023db9c55fe0876cdbb4a3869504.jpg

    Got the front axle put together to mockup the suspension links and brackets.
    I need to replace some BJs, a seal and a bearing. Not bad but might as well replace it all anyhow.
    (I added some spacers later on. These nissan rims have a ton of BS)
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__fLikBQyVymc_UorrFWY8zgI_AAAAAAAAKx41b2e9db9799fd1105dc0671c22ee4eb.jpg

    To solve the issue of the y-pipe collection plumbing of the exhaust and not interfering with the front driveshaft on the passenger side, Chris put this together:
    alh5.googleusercontent.com___Kh7Ua9svHk_Uo1rfo_lWYI_AAAAAAAAKx4_mwNMojbG5Ag_s800_IMG954999.jpg

    Now I can weld but definitely call me a beginner.
    Chris, as you know is bad ass at this shit. Some call it welding porn

    alh3.googleusercontent.com__uVYerwKUFv4_Uo1rf2oey4I_AAAAAAAAKx8_oz7As_Fbe_8_s800_IMG_2274.jpg
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__iQr2jDLQLgQ_UpAxkos6WtI_AAAAAAAAKy97968b46c1415cb673eca7c8623f2d32.jpg
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__8hbPrmbwLxc_UpAxjozq8_I_AAAAAAAAKyd3e20da5a493aa2c3d2cb0ac1edaae12.jpg
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__JffavUw1gCM_UpAxmFW7dSI_AAAAAAAAKyb82b696197052e851daa056d8cfadcb8.jpg

    To clear the upper link, a creative cross member was fabbed up to hold the drivetrain.
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__AqGhlwWYe1g_UpAxnR2MhgI_AAAAAAAAKy294e69c7f28857b68f70cdeffb900fb1.jpg


    Chris has been working on getting the final touches of the 3-link together and the steering is complete.
    Didn't even have to move or change out the box.
    alh6.googleusercontent.com___wnsyx3JiKw_UrHzD7vNPAI_AAAAAAAAK1d3fbd158ed6bb4ac2a06770e7ed336e2.jpg
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__uHM1de4w_a4_UrHzD3TxgHI_AAAAAAAAK1db12c8f19c794fb7187510497fcb59ef.jpg
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__AyvQXy_CqOo_UrHzD3XysNI_AAAAAAAAK10566a184898133ced90e6f54ad2c00c5.jpg
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__F5i_PL53Sj0_UsNEpJIootI_AAAAAAAAK253ab04921516d8bb4f8316dc24887c39.jpg
    you may have seen this one in the bad ass weld thread:
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__j_XW1K8I8JA_UsNEuQg_zFI_AAAAAAAAK2df625154adef42202a3d5b9b2dd62e67.jpg
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__ePOpfcOTPR8_Us3E9jHWpYI_AAAAAAAAK39920da103a33eefbcbf670c4d10f12a5.jpg

    Dropped by today and looks like 4" up and 8" down is where it might sit up front
    There is a slight bend in the track bar and a small one needed in the drag link but everything is dialed up front except the coil mounts on the frame.
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__Ig4R623rEo8_Us3E9vPHhnI_AAAAAAAAK3ac303187bcbba5f7f0161bf99cf0f433.jpg

    Here is where it may sit when we're all said and done.
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__U0mrK_viE2g_Us3E_dHXZ5I_AAAAAAAAK384479e621175cff7b042d8fe42424dd0.jpg

    So yeah the cats out of the bag now.
     
    Kamel, bannerp, JWebbie2 and 3 others like this.
  2. RHSCTJ

    RHSCTJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    ROCK HILL, SC
    Very nice! Lovin the wheels.
     
  3. pcole0920

    pcole0920 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Lexington NC
    truck looks great. Don't see them built everyday
     
  4. BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC.

    BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC. BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC.

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    swannanoa
    Very nice work.

    BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC. 828-779-2242.
     
  5. Dylan W.

    Dylan W. lone resident of Bro-Lite Island

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Mocksville NC
    Get ready to buy a truck and a trailer! Looking good Lorenzo and Chris!
     
  6. snappy

    snappy YHDG's adopted son!!! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    high point
    Think it will go in the snow at mtn city now???? Lol looks good.
     
  7. Roadwarrior

    Roadwarrior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Boone NC
    Digging the Xterra wheels, interested to see where this ends up
     
  8. rodcycle

    rodcycle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    Hickory
    Looks great!
     
  9. BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC.

    BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC. BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC.

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    swannanoa
    The only thing I would do is add a tubular support brace from the trackbar mount to the right frame rail.
    The rodeo that I done was the same way and it ended up cracking the frame around the mount.

    BUCKEYE PERFORMANCE INC. 828-779-2242.
     
    lockedup5 likes this.
  10. VortecJeep

    VortecJeep Powered by Uranium-235

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Location:
    Concord, NC
    Looks great, can't wait to wheel with you again! Chris does some amazing work!
     
  11. HAPPY

    HAPPY Mike B.

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    Granite Falls
    Nice fab work! Looking good.
     
  12. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Ha, you remember that ride? Hell the first day we took Skyline, I had no problem, then the ice-snow came that night and it got slick.
    The only ones that didn't make it were Scott (ol jeeps) and myself. Didn't have a front locker in either vehicle.
    And Damn was it cold that day.

    Cool, thanks for the advice.
    And thanks guys for the words. Its been a long time coming.
    Helps to be friends with a fabricator. :cool:
     
  13. snappy

    snappy YHDG's adopted son!!! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    high point
    Heck yeah i recall that trip. I would roll the window down while wearing a tshirt and trow out a biscuit to all the guys in open rigs!!!
     
  14. Jason W.

    Jason W. Carolina Trail Blazers

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    nebo nc
    Ready to wheel with you again bud, seems like it has been years!
     
  15. 95yjjeep

    95yjjeep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte
    Great idea Lorenzo! Thanks for sharing! This is bad ass!

    Damn Chris! Everytime I see your "next creation" it just makes me wish I could reside in your head for a minute. I guarantee there are all kinds of prizes, games and circus-like shit going on in there. Basically, you sir have crazy talent and I'm glad it is being showcased in the offroad community.

    Forgot to add...those brackets are :bling:!
     
  16. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Chris sent me these today.

    I think this width of each worked out right.
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__X71lKSrM5_s_UtcnXnmF3KI_AAAAAAAAK5caf79574e5ddf77bbdfe642ab6df4395.jpg

    I'm digging the stance.
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__7iAsTfGSeZk_UtcnYRVrJwI_AAAAAAAAK514ae9485c5a4d7136bbd6fcae5af012d.png
     
    lockedup5, Kamel, BRUISER and 4 others like this.
  17. frankenyoter

    frankenyoter No Rain, No Rainbow

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    DARK CITY
    I like it! Good to see different stuff being thought of and created.

    Any plans for roll protection?
     
  18. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    ^^^
    Thanks

    "Roll protection"
    Ha, ya. Drive with intention.

    It's gonna be a learning curve figuring out its limits.
    Everything I know from the IFS will have to be thrown out the window.
    Roll, pitch, camber.... It will be like driving a new rig.

    It's no trail princess so ya I'm have to be 'nice' to the Zu at first so I don't roll.
    Exo is a lot more dime than I can think about right now.
     
  19. lockedup5

    lockedup5 overcompensating underachiever

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Burke County (Hildebran)
    Man this thing is looking awesome. Can't wait to see it done and you on the trail w/ it.

    Noticed you replaced that back glass we almost got in a fight over. lol
     
  20. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Thanks Kenneth.
    Ya man, that was the left side actually.
    But yea that was the second time I broke it.
    Good times that day. ;-@

    Makes me think about taking out the rear auto locker.
    That's the reason why I slid into the tree that day.
     
    lockedup5 likes this.
  21. ObeseFieldMouse

    ObeseFieldMouse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Winston Salem
    those welds make me want to paint mine a few more times. lookin good
     
  22. MarsFab

    MarsFab Will work for money

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Harrisburg, NC
    Built some new coil over towers today too.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389914946.273489.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1389914993.281934.jpg
     
  23. Lorenzo816

    Lorenzo816 CTB

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cabarrus County, NC
    Coil over towers are on.
    Going to get valve job done next week and springs. (Thanks Alex!)
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__HEfolIV3BtQ_UtoKF3_hjaI_AAAAAAAAK62f1e199b7d359dd85533772fcbe8dd11.jpg
    alh6.googleusercontent.com__hCLYx6caRXw_UtoKK7wMoAI_AAAAAAAAK61a479c15b7f5d4ae59eee40e3a0d7d1c.jpg
    The drag link needed a slight bend:
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__VJDsspyM46I_UtoKRsOkzZI_AAAAAAAAK670d219c878077ea3f951b9650375fe01.jpg
    Full lock you can see where it was needed:
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__0o7lC4PG1uo_UtoKg0QCQtI_AAAAAAAAK7207ae5120380e77f3fe03fc4150415ee.jpg
    Big Chris grinding a spot on the upper link bracket to get a full compression without contact.
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__xPmXFg_7pFg_UtoKQst7mqI_AAAAAAAAK640c4e9636b50349f15f0511000619829.jpg
    Everything magically "keys" together thanks to Chris.
    There still was about a 1/4 inch to go on the coilover, so follow the diagnol line up on the upper link bracket to where the track bar bracket comes down, that's where it barely 'kisses'. (grind some more)
    alh4.googleusercontent.com__F2TGwWTSeDA_UtoKY7sq89I_AAAAAAAAK6a5a2ed480a7ec72dd756731545bc79ff.jpg
    no contact at full lock on the fender. I will have to dial the steering stops out just a little so it doesn't hit the link:
    alh3.googleusercontent.com__fSlUy582GrI_UtoKdzW1vcI_AAAAAAAAK7ff22003caeb592f8a2274f30fcde3768.jpg

    hanging
    alh5.googleusercontent.com__eH8e2gX7s2g_UtoKoHuKXJI_AAAAAAAAK7586eb48c0160a7bdde1745af3601c72f.jpg

    Now truth be told, the drive line is retarded short. We all knew it was going to be short and steep just didn't know how much until the ride height was figured out. Plan for now is to get it drive-able, rear axle hung, welded, shocks, get rear shaft retubed to a one piece, and front axle all put together, fresh paint on all the brackets, links, put in new ball joints, new seals etc. etc... and go get inspection.
    Damn tag is expired and now not only is your tag sticker tied to an inspection but so are the taxes.
    Give us a little more time to 'figure out' the front shaft options.
    Might just put in a limiting strap for now.
    Chris and I did talk about other option$ too. :rockon:
     
  24. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt @ Rev Limit Fab

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    Is there no a way to add dual cases. The front driveshaft is stupid short.
     
  25. snappy

    snappy YHDG's adopted son!!! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    high point
    Get a Toyota flange and have the flanges milled i did this on my first buggy and got almost 42* out it. I will look for pics of it
     

Share This Page