Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

This is the place to discuss DIESEL engine modifications.
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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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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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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
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Posts: 174
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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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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Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Mon May 21, 2018 12:49 am

The pitman arm tad shorter than the normal length of 6”. I tested it out and it turned lock to lock with the steering stops removed.
I won’t be running large tires. Really wanted 33x9.50 but they don’t make them anymore so going to settle probably for 33x10.50. I’m running stock Toyota rims that came off a solid axle so I shouldn’t have any problems.
1982, Diesel, reguler cab, short bed, 5 speed, 2wd, 185/75/14, 2" exhaust, tiny tac, 35-40 mpg.

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Postby I'm luving it » Mon May 21, 2018 1:04 am

So I found a MSG 5, 4x4 out of a 86 turbo Trooper. However the trooper evidently uses a crossmember that is more towards the middle of the transmission. The Pups use a mount that is at the back near the output shaft. Since this transmission didn’t have the holes drilled in that area I had to drill new holes. The mount in the back is better for my application. You can see in the pictures where the two mounts are between the Trooper and the Pup. I also had todo some fabrication to get the universal crossmember to mount up to Isuzu crossmember mount. I plated the inside and outside of the frame with 3/16 steel to bolt the crossmember too. Driveshaft also needs shorted 5” to account for new trans.
Now to get the motor straight and at the right angle before welding everything together. Planning to give the motor and trans 3 degrees down and line the motor and trans straight.
The transmission tunnel is tight when installing the longer transmission. I want to tuck it up as far as I can but I am limited because of tunnel clearance. I really don’t wanna go crazy and cut and weld the tunnel. I currently have about 3/4” between the trans and tunnel....hope thats enough........
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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 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:24 am

Not much space with bigger longer MSG 5 speed 4x4.
The 4x4 shifter is located about 4” back from the 4 speed 4x4 transmission. Have to cut a new hole and seal up the old one. The pictures show the space between the tunnel and the transmission. The first is the drivers side of the tunnel. The second picture is the location of the transfer case shifter that’s a plastic bag in the shifter hole. This is with the motor sitting at 4 degrees down. The motor is about 2-4” shifted towards the drivers side because it is hitting on the passengers side of the tunnel. May have todo some cutting of the tunnel.
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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: 174
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:36 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby I'm luving it » Thu May 24, 2018 12:43 pm

Cross member finished. Sleeves installed in frame.
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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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Posts: 1323
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: N W Arkansas

Re: Fix solid axle issues and motor swap

Postby oldestisuzuist » Thu May 24, 2018 5:50 pm

A 1" or so body lift might give enough clearance without cutting the tunnel. The double steering joint will eliminate the need to cant the steering column down at a steeper angle. You will have some changes in alignment at the radiator, fan & shroud. A lift will also help with the amount of fender you have to trim to run 33" tires. I have 31s on my LUV, maximum front fender trim in back, quite a bit in front and more suspension lift than yours has now & the tires still rub at the back.
The more I look at your Pitman arm the more I think it will be too short- the truck just won't turn sharp enough to be practical, especially off road. My arm was about 6" like yours, I had to have it lengthened to about 8" before it would turn the wheels far enough for the tires to contact the springs, then adjusted the wheels stops until the tires would just clear, which gave maximum turning angle with the tire & wheel setup I have. A larger diameter tire and/or a wheel with more backspace will reduce the maximum allowable turning angle, so with the right tire/wheel combo your arm may be fine. I would look into it a bit further before you get things covered up just in case you need to modify.
'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.