Frame replacement on JDM camper

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amotomura
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Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:35 am
Location: Northern Ky
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1993 Isuzu Rodeo Pickup camper - JDM

Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by amotomura »

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a 1993 Isuzu pickup that was converted to a camper in Japan. It was done by a company called Yokohama motor works. The Isuzu pup has a 4JB1T turbo diesel with 5 speed manual and 4 wheel drive.

Unfortunately, the frame has extensive rust and rust repair patches. Some patches are really well done. Some are poorly done.

I would like to replace the frame on this vehicle.

I tried to contact Isuzu of North America to see if they can give me a frame part number based on the Japanese VIN, but they can only look up US VINS.

A quick measurement puts the wheel base at 135”. I’m not sure if this is the same as a long box or an extended cab truck. Does anyone know if these two have the same frame?

So, my first step is to find a frame for this truck. It looks like I can still buy a new frame. They are a bit pricey, but I only want to do this once and not worry about it later. I might be open to a used frame from the south if it is really solid.

Does anyone know how I can find out which frame I need?

Thank you,

Andrew
F86399E0-FD8D-4265-82AE-8FBFE4AAA952.jpeg
Frame rust:
D770A473-5FB3-4615-90FC-104591877DEC.jpeg
Worst spot, right above axle:
A6953C85-2598-4024-A951-7F78FBCD3DC5.jpeg
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diceman469
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:45 pm
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
Isuzu vehicle(s): 85 Pup 2wd base

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by diceman469 »

That's a custom wheelbase. Your easiest route is to repair what you have. The best route is to swap it onto a more stout frame. Personally I would probably start looking at Dodge Dakota frames as they're pretty popular with body swaps. 4wd, modern brakes, v8s with overdrive transmissions, cheap to purchase. Possibly research a 1 ton rear axle solution to handle the weight.

Obviously this is the long way but you'd have to stretch a replacement frame regardless. Either way you have a lot of work ahead of you.
1985 Isuzu Pup 2.6L turbo on Megasquirt 2, MUA5, D44/4.30 rear
1992 VW Cabriolet 2.0 turbo on MS2
2014 Mercedes CLS550 Eurocharged
amotomura
Regular Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:35 am
Location: Northern Ky
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1993 Isuzu Rodeo Pickup camper - JDM

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by amotomura »

Hello Diceman,

Thank you for the advice!!

I’ve been going over my options for a little while. I pulled the engine in the fall to get ready to drop the frame this summer. Once the frame is out, I’ll have a better idea of options. After watching some crazy YouTube videos, maybe it’s repairable. If not, I’ll try to find a replacement frame from a southern state. Last option is to go with a different truck chassis. My preference is for Tacoma or possibly Tundra. I had a couple Dakotas in the past, and both had transmission issues.

One of the selling features of this vehicle was the Isuzu diesel with manual transmission. My preference is to keep this if I can!

Let me know if anyone knows location of solid Isuzu 88-94 4x4 frame!!

Thank you!
Andrew
gruff54
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Location: Central NC

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by gruff54 »

Your frame looks rough. Once you started repairing it, I expect you'd be wondering where to stop. I think you're on the right track finding a solid 4x4 frame and extending it. May want to look at an early Rodeo frame as well. How much longer is your wheelbase compared to a pickup's? (Don't have time to search for that right now)

Mike
'89 Trooper 2.6L-5 spd
'87 Trooper 2.6gas to 4jb1-t swap(in progress)
amotomura
Regular Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:35 am
Location: Northern Ky
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1993 Isuzu Rodeo Pickup camper - JDM

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by amotomura »

I read somewhere that Rodeo frames were not as strong because the single piece body provides stiffening that a separate cab and box of a pickup doesn’t have. It kind of makes sense, but I have no way to verify this.

I’ve seen posts where people have put rodeos on pickup chassis, but not the other way around.

Any experience?
gruff54
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Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Central NC

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by gruff54 »

"Any experience?"

No, not here. My son and I are planning on grafting the front half of a 4x4 Rodeo frame to the back half of ext cab pickup frame. He's give up on finding a extended cab 4x4 frame, so we're gonna make one. I've talked it over with Jerry and he didn't mention the Rodeo frame being weaker and I won't know til we start cutting both frames apart. But who knows when that'll be? Probably won't be soon enough to be any help to you. :(
I may reach out to Jerry and ask, also hope to see him at Uwharrie next month.

Mike
'89 Trooper 2.6L-5 spd
'87 Trooper 2.6gas to 4jb1-t swap(in progress)
amotomura
Regular Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:35 am
Location: Northern Ky
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1993 Isuzu Rodeo Pickup camper - JDM

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by amotomura »

Hello Mike,

That’s a cool sounding project. It will be somewhat similar to what I’ll end up doing! Please take lots of pics and post them if you don’t mind! At the rate I’m going, you may end up doing yours before mine.

Also, please let me know if you hear anything from Jerry. The weather is getting better here, so I’ll be searching wreckers for a solid frame soon.

Andrew
gruff54
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Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Central NC

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by gruff54 »

Dunno when we'll get to it. Both my son and myself have very little free time, and we need to find it at the same time! I think the hard part will just getting started. I'll definitely let you know what I find out if I talk to Jerry.

Mike
'89 Trooper 2.6L-5 spd
'87 Trooper 2.6gas to 4jb1-t swap(in progress)
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lowzone
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Location: Eastern Tennessee
Isuzu vehicle(s): too many to list :D

Re: Frame replacement on JDM camper

Post by lowzone »

the 88-95 shortbeds are about 114" wheelbase. I was going to put a C5 corvette driveline in and the wheelbase was within an 1"....check the long bed and spacecab wheel bases....they might be whats under the camper. 88-95
if i build it, it will scrape......or catch on fire
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