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Old 03-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Jeep inline 6 into Isuzu Amigo/Rodeo

Anyone ever tried this swap? If so what did you encounter that slowed you down? I bought a TJ Crawler that's trashed and registered as an ATV only which I don't like, I'd like to be able to drive it shorter distances to trails so I don't have to trailer it EVERYWHERE. I don't trust any of the welds from frame to suspension and I have an Isuzu amigo I've been dying to turn it into a crawler. Well I finally got the hair up my a$$. Engine, Trans, T-case, Axles (swapped 9"and HP 44 Geared and locked) will all be swapped. Let me know what your thought's or encounters may be. Thank you

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the Jeep motor is a whole lot longer than the Isuzu. It's gonna be tough to fit it between the firewall and radiator without doing a lot of firewall mods.

Ever wonder why an Amigo and a YJ are the same wheelbase, but the amigo has a ton more rear leg room AND has more storage behind the back seat? It's because the jeep motor is so long.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the Jeep motor is a whole lot longer than the Isuzu. It's gonna be tough to fit it between the firewall and radiator without doing a lot of firewall mods.

Ever wonder why an Amigo and a YJ are the same wheelbase, but the amigo has a ton more rear leg room AND has more storage behind the back seat? It's because the jeep motor is so long.
Yeah I've taken a few rough measurments and i'm definitly planning on some cutting and pounding to get it to fit. Hopefully I can do most of my modifying by cutting radiator support. Planning to do away with clutch fan and run a pusher with custom radiator. Also doing away with A/C crap and will probably run an external tranny cooler mounted elsewhere.

Not concerned about axle clearance with oil pan as it will end up being fairly tall. Obviously gonna need custom drivelines and planning on stretching the wheelbase around 10" overall. I'll be running 3 link front and 4 link rear on full widths with coils as it's what I am robbing from the jeep. Probably custom crossmembers and willing to do small body lift 1 to 1-1/2inch to possibly gain a little more firewall space. If I can do 55mph on the highway i'll be happy. roughly looking at 12 to 13 inches of lift over stock 2wd height so I can fit it in the garage. Obviously this isn't just a weekend project i'm hoping it can be done in a couple months with some help from a friend and provided the budget doesn't get stretched too much.

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Old 03-17-2012, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If it ends up just being way too big I have access to a 94 S10 with the 4.3 Vortec but mileage is higher and well I just like the cool factor of a straight 6 in an isuzu. Also I already have the Jeep that is getting torn apart for the axles and arms.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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IMHO the 4.3 is a better motor, and it fits quite easily without huge mods to the firewall.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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IMHO the 4.3 is a better motor, and it fits quite easily without huge mods to the firewall.
Yeah just looking at the low mileage factor. Would need a trans for the 4.3. I have everything I need for the 4.0. Drivelines are already made (may need to be shortened a bit). Everything I have already works together really well plus I like a challenge. I'm actually working on getting a blown up 4.0 and trans to see how everything fits before getting too dedicated to the swap. From my measurments I think it should go in with just radiator support cutting and a BFH at a few key points of the firewall.

I've definitely considered the 4.3 and before I aquired the jeep I was actually looking at a 5.0 from a ford explorer. I want something that's known to be reliable and unless I rebuild the 4.3, buy or rebuild a trans and start fresh on drivelines it just seems like I won't have anything I truly feel is reliable and will end up costing twice as much. I don't want to deal with adapter plates and stuff of that nature and when it comes to replacing parts I like being able to swap everything complete and find it at the self serve junk yards (i'm cheap). Locally 4.3's have all been overheated or need bearingss and all the transmissions look like theyre running diesel engine oil. 4.0's on the other hand are rather easy to get ahold of and transmissions are a dime a dozen.

Maybe i'm a glutton for punishment I just have it in my head to get the 4.0 in there and although I think anyone who has done a 4.3 swap gets credit and most likely has something pretty cool to show for it. I want something more one of a kind and as my research has shown nobody has done a 4.0 in an isuzu, and probably for a reason but i'm not one easily humbled once i'm set on something.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's fair enough, and I can respect wanting to do things "differently", even if that means putting in the same motor every jeep on the block comes stock with keep in mind though, the stock autos that come behind the 4.0 aren't exactly heavy duty. If you can find a running astro van or S10/Blazer to steal the complete drivetrain from that would be the hot ticket. I'd take a 4l60 or 700r4 over an AW4 or 4rlwhatever any day regardless of the engine in front of it.

Sometimes being patient and waiting for the right donor pays large dividends in the long run. the 4.0 and the 4.3 are both VERY stout reliable motors....to the point I barely even look at mileage unless it's over 200k. If you're gonna grab something as a package, pay more attention to the trans than the motor, it's probably what'll bite you in the ass later.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I know nothing about putting a 4.0 into an Isuzu, except that it'd be cool.

I do however fell the exact opposite about the transmissions. Did you know that 4l60E's are the industries most commonly rebuilt transmission? And while stock rebuilds are kinda affordable, a rebuild that'll hold up to serious wheeling is gonna be big money. No way in hell would I install a used 4L60E in any offroader and expect it to hold up.

Around here the notoriously long lasting 4.0 is always outlasted by the Aisin transmisison behind it. Derivatives of the AW series are also found in Turbo Supras, and Lexus V-8's, so they got to be somewhat rugid.

And basically every GM 4x4 with a 4l60E ends up needing at least one, sometimes two, before 200k. I've got pretty good at swapping them for people.

I've personally killed two stock 4l60E's in stock S-10's with stock tires and light wheeling.

Just my $.02.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're gonna throw up statistics about which one gets rebuilt more often you might want to take into consideration the sheer number of them on the road. They came in every GM light truck and RWD car for decades. It's not a big surprise to me that they get worked on a lot, there are a metric shitload of them out there.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinkBug View Post
If you're gonna throw up statistics about which one gets rebuilt more often you might want to take into consideration the sheer number of them on the road. They came in every GM light truck and RWD car for decades. It's not a big surprise to me that they get worked on a lot, there are a metric shitload of them out there.
This is perhaps THE most awesome, truthful reply to someones' random statistical B.S., EVER! Right on! It is also the most OBVIOUS correct answer as well... I just have to ask the O.P. though... why? Nothing really wrong with a stock Rodeo engine, just keep up maintenance like any other engine and it will serve you faithfully for years. Why is it SOOOOO many J-word owners decide to swap their "anemic" straight 6 engines? Ask your friends first and J- word owners before you commit to this swap in order to prevent a lot of headaches... (J**p is a 4 letter word)
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is perhaps THE most awesome, truthful reply to someones' random statistical B.S., EVER! Right on! It is also the most OBVIOUS correct answer as well... I just have to ask the O.P. though... why? Nothing really wrong with a stock Rodeo engine, just keep up maintenance like any other engine and it will serve you faithfully for years. Why is it SOOOOO many J-word owners decide to swap their "anemic" straight 6 engines? Ask your friends first and J- word owners before you commit to this swap in order to prevent a lot of headaches... (J**p is a 4 letter word)

The Isuzu Amigo from 89-94 was only offered in a 4 cyl Either a carbed 2.3 or EFI 2.6. Both of which decent engines but lacked in power. Initially my thought was just keep it Isuzu and install the rodeo/trooper 3.2L V6 but it's been done more than enough. Nothing against it as a swap or engine in general but I want something different.

The 4.0 is what's available at the moment. The donor vehicle (97 TJ) is a complete hack job suspension wise. However the low mileage (85K) drivetrain has been maintained religiously. I'm not a 4.0 nut but I've always been drawn to I6 engines over V6 engines. In my PERSONAL experience they have been more reliable.

The 4.3 GM is a great engine, Its reliable, easy to work on, has plenty of power and lots of aftermarket support. If the jeep engine turns out to be too much of a project then this will be my second option.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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re: the drivetrain, you know that if your Rodeo came with a 5-speed then you can - with the simple swap of a AX-15 jeep bellhousing - simply bolt in the 4.0 to the rest of the drivetrain, right ???

I've thought about doing this quite a few times

BTW - another swap that this makes possible is any AMC v8 with TBI injection, no cutting, hammering or firewall bashing needed

Last edited by grimgaunt; 04-27-2012 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Was just killing time in the airport and seen this post. If you are still looking to swap motors here is a 4.3L swap I did last year.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?t=42413
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