Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

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I'm luving it
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Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:51 pm

Bought this truck couple weeks ago. Someone had attempted a solid axle conversion on it but didn’t do it correctly. The shock mounts were not in the correct locations. The steering box was mounted in the stock location making for horrible steering geometry. Lots of leaks and general maintenance needed done. The clutch needed replaced. I was just going to sell instead of correcting all the issues, however this weekend I had some free time and ended up just tearing into it to correct the issues. So far I sleeved the crank shaft, camshaft, all new seals, new timing belt, new water pump, new t stat, fixed a couple other oil leaks. After all this a started it and it ran great. However, I wanted to work on the steering issues, the clutch, and clean up the engine bay. So I pulled the engine, cut off shock mounts, cut off various other brackets, took out the stock steering box, cut out old battery box, washed as cleaned engine bay, and got engine bay ready for new paint.
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1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

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I'm luving it
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:55 pm

Next is to paint engine bay, fab up a Toyota IFS steering box as far forward as possible, adapt Toyota stuff to run with Isuzu stuff, set up steering geometry properly, and weld in new shock mounts.
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

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I'm luving it
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:03 am

My dilemma is how to get rid of the 4 speed for a 5 speed. Best option is swap in a 5 speed from a 86-87 Trooper however those seem on the rare side (anybody have one?)So I am kicking around running divorced transfer case from a Nissan 720 pickup. I would keep my current 5 speed and just run an intermediate driveshaft to the divorced transfer case. This option would also help with my current front drivshaft angle.

My question for the forum is: will the stock five speed hold up using it as a 4x4? The transmission was “upgraded” and gone thru a couple years ago.
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

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I'm luving it
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Posts: 147
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:54 pm

Little bit of painting
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1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

oldestisuzuist
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby oldestisuzuist » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:02 pm

I had some steering geometry problems with my SAS LUV also, all it took to cure was a custom made pitman arm that was much longer & dropped down at least 1.5". You might see if a similar fix would allow you to retain the stock steering box & save some fabricating. Also with the stock steering box a power unit is pretty much a bolt-in swap.
What was "upgraded" in your 5sp tranny? If the front case half was swapped to a '86-on later model tranny then it's the same strength as a like year 4x4 5sp and would likely last just as long. If your tranny is still the early model then it won't last as long, but will be relatively easy to swap to the later model if & when it does fail.
A 4x4 5sp tranny is longer than a 4sp, so the front driveshaft angle wouldn't be quite so bad. With a divorced t-case the rear driveshaft can get pretty steep in a short wheelbase truck.
For replacement top shock mounts look at those from a '80s-'90s era Ford F250, in stock form they bolt to the frame so they're cheap & easy to remove from a salvaged vehicle & easy to weld into the proper location on your truck. They use a top stud type shock, then add a bottom eye-type mount. Two drilled pieces of flat stock welded to the spring plate or axle tube spaced to locate the bottom eye between using a gr8 bolt is one way, a horizontal welded stud for the bottom eye is another. Be careful about using a shock with too long of a collapsed length, I did & broke the top out of both shock mounts. You can adjust your top & bottom shock mount locations & the length of the axle bump stop to fit a shock that will give you full suspension travel & still not bottom at either full compression or extension.
'78 Chevy LUV,1.9,4sp,headers,31's,SAS Dana 30,Dana 20,SOA rear w/Aussie Locker, body ROUGH, bought new 12/4/78. A pre-P'up?
'87 Trooper,2.3,5sp,headers,31's,ball joint flip & spacer,Aussie Locker rear,Superwinch hubs,brush guard w/5.5K winch.

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I'm luving it
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:46 pm

Thank you for all the suggestions. I’m having some medical work done so I will be off my feet for awhile. So I will have plenty of time to figure it out and get the parts ordered I will need.
I found a source here locally for a 5 speed 4x4 and some other random parts. Hopefully this will all come together when I get back on my feet.
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

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I'm luving it
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Posts: 147
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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Mon May 14, 2018 4:28 pm

Toyota steering box installed with flat pitman arm and new drag link. The pitman arm has 1/4” clearance from hitting the frame so I can run the smallest lift if I want. I gained 1.5” clearance between the tie rod and the drag link by using a Toyota box and mounting it against the core support. I also used a Sky flat pitman arm which is the shortest arm I found. I reinforced the frame around the steering box with 1/4 steel. Steering geometry is fixed. Transmission cross member cut out I am going to install universal crossmember for the transmission. I found a 1986 Diesel 4x4 MSG 5 speed and some other Isuzu goodies locally.
Attachments
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31D490F2-6981-451E-B47F-A290948F3D75.jpeg
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

User avatar
I'm luving it
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Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:36 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Steer Shaft connected

Postby I'm luving it » Sun May 20, 2018 1:56 am

Steering shaft is set up to work with the Toyota box. It’s a mix of Toyota parts and Isuzu parts. Had to run two u-joints because the box in now mounted on outside of frame. For safety I even made it collapsible in case of collision.
FCA364F5-1473-4374-9ED8-07A97BD1E046.jpeg
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

User avatar
I'm luving it
Regular Member
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:36 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Sun May 20, 2018 2:00 am

Set the spare block in the engine bay to measure off of for the transmission crossmember.
79794281-F788-47A0-860B-AEBB084BF7F0.jpeg
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

oldestisuzuist
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Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: N W Arkansas

Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby oldestisuzuist » Sun May 20, 2018 1:26 pm

What kind of turn angle will that short Pitman arm give?
Looks like stock LUV angles are about 30 degrees for the outer wheel, 39 degrees for the inner. Larger tires may hit the frame/springs at these angles but the larger the angle the better.
'78 Chevy LUV,1.9,4sp,headers,31's,SAS Dana 30,Dana 20,SOA rear w/Aussie Locker, body ROUGH, bought new 12/4/78. A pre-P'up?
'87 Trooper,2.3,5sp,headers,31's,ball joint flip & spacer,Aussie Locker rear,Superwinch hubs,brush guard w/5.5K winch.


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