How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

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How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:56 pm

Hello All,

This is my first time posting here. I have a 1997 Rodeo 4 cylinder 2.6L. I would like it a 4x4, and I was wondering if there was any way to do that with the current engine and transmission. I don't plan to do anything major with it. Mostly just trail riding and overlanding. I want to be able to put a tent on the roof and go exploring. If this is not doable is there any recommendation on a good reasonably priced swap that I could do?
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby geoffinbc » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:17 am

Its a big job. You can try and source a donor and make a factory swap. Or go right to a solid axle swap. You could choose the stock transfer case or keep your stock transmission and do a divorced case.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby DSUZU » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:58 am

Having owned the exact same type Rodeo (as well as various 4x4s), I'm sorry to say you will be facing a very uphill battle. It will be much easier to just get one that is already 4x4, even if is to start from scratch on a build. In addition to the rest of the stuff you'll need, your rear axle ratio is most likely not compatible with any 4x4 ratios. At minimum, you would need a 4x4 donor vehicle to begin with. No Rodeo came with a 4 cylinder and 4x4 (or automatic tranny). Also your tranny is a Brazilian metric tranny that is different from the Isuzu trannys. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:59 am

DSUZU wrote:Having owned the exact same type Rodeo (as well as various 4x4s), I'm sorry to say you will be facing a very uphill battle. It will be much easier to just get one that is already 4x4, even if is to start from scratch on a build. In addition to the rest of the stuff you'll need, your rear axle ratio is most likely not compatible with any 4x4 ratios. At minimum, you would need a 4x4 donor vehicle to begin with. No Rodeo came with a 4 cylinder and 4x4 (or automatic tranny). Also your tranny is a Brazilian metric tranny that is different from the Isuzu trannys. Dennis


That is what I was afraid of. Is there any way to get a different transmission and then turn it into a 4x4?

If not I might be able to get a v6 Honda Passport drivetrain. But I would love to keep my little 4 banger
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:02 am

geoffinbc wrote:Its a big job. You can try and source a donor and make a factory swap. Or go right to a solid axle swap. You could choose the stock transfer case or keep your stock transmission and do a divorced case.



sadly there was no 4x4 4 cylinders. So there is no stock transfer case unless I get the drivetrain out of a V6 rodeo or passport.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby mudoilngears » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:11 am

DSUZU wrote: Also your tranny is a Brazilian metric tranny that is different from the Isuzu trannys. Dennis
A 97 Rodeo with a 2.6 should come with a MUA5 shouldn't it? What is this "Metric tranny" I have never heard of?
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby mudoilngears » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:14 am

thswifferjet wrote:
geoffinbc wrote:Its a big job. You can try and source a donor and make a factory swap. Or go right to a solid axle swap. You could choose the stock transfer case or keep your stock transmission and do a divorced case.



sadly there was no 4x4 4 cylinders. So there is no stock transfer case unless I get the drivetrain out of a V6 rodeo or passport.


Yes there are, plenty of them, first gen Troopers, Pickups, and Rodeo's all came with the 2.6 and 4x4.
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1998 Rodeo LS 4x4 4JB1-TC Diesel Swap, more mods to come!

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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:23 am

mudoilngears wrote:
thswifferjet wrote:
geoffinbc wrote:Its a big job. You can try and source a donor and make a factory swap. Or go right to a solid axle swap. You could choose the stock transfer case or keep your stock transmission and do a divorced case.



sadly there was no 4x4 4 cylinders. So there is no stock transfer case unless I get the drivetrain out of a V6 rodeo or passport.


Yes there are, plenty of them, first gen Troopers, Pickups, and Rodeo's all came with the 2.6 and 4x4.


I know they did that with the other models but no 4x4 4 cylinder Rodeos at least not in 1997.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby mudoilngears » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:32 am

It's the same transmission, what I'm saying is that there is a 4x4 transmission, that will bolt right up to your engine.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby gwana66 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:47 pm

Didn't the first gen Amigo have the 2.6 and 4WD? All of the drivetrain except the rear driveshaft should be compatible. It will still be a big job, but there are probably quite a few rotted out first gen Amigos out there. The biggest problem and the reason it isn't factory is that it won't be able to get out of its own way. Too heavy. I have the 2.2 and 4x4 in a 2nd gen Amigo, probably 300-400lbs lighter than a 4x4 Rodeo, more HP than the 2.6, and it's abysmal. Fine off road, but it's a slug around town even with 4.77 gears.
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Even the hubs are manual now.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby RickP » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:09 pm

Step 1 Sell 2wd Rodeo
Step 2 Buy 4wd Rodeo
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:15 pm

RickP wrote:Step 1 Sell 2wd Rodeo
Step 2 Buy 4wd Rodeo

Yeah except my rodeo is in very good condition and most rodeos in my area are just all sorts of messed up.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:17 pm

mudoilngears wrote:It's the same transmission, what I'm saying is that there is a 4x4 transmission, that will bolt right up to your engine.


So if I find a 4x4 in a junkyard I should be able to get a 4x4 transmission and transfer case off of it?
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby thswifferjet » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:24 pm

gwana66 wrote:Didn't the first gen Amigo have the 2.6 and 4WD? All of the drivetrain except the rear driveshaft should be compatible. It will still be a big job, but there are probably quite a few rotted out first gen Amigos out there. The biggest problem and the reason it isn't factory is that it won't be able to get out of its own way. Too heavy. I have the 2.2 and 4x4 in a 2nd gen Amigo, probably 300-400lbs lighter than a 4x4 Rodeo, more HP than the 2.6, and it's abysmal. Fine off road, but it's a slug around town even with 4.77 gears.


I know. That is why we call my rodeo the Slodeo. I am not looking for speed.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby gwana66 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:25 am

You would need the transmission/transfer case, the front differential and axles, all mounting hardware, the matching ratio rear axle, both driveshafts, the 4WD control unit and switching valves (if equipped with SOTF), the front steering knuckles, possibly the transmission crossmember and engine crossmember, and there may be computer and wiring differences. That's just off the top of my head. I believe the Rodeo actually had different frame part numbers for 4WD and 2WD, so there may be something fundamentally different.
98 Amigo, 2.2 5sp 4x4, 4.77 gears and factory LSD.
Power nothing - No power windows, no power locks, no power engine. ;)
Even the hubs are manual now.
2003 Grille and headlight swap
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby mudoilngears » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:29 am

gwana66 wrote:You would need the transmission/transfer case, the front differential and axles, all mounting hardware, the matching ratio rear axle, both driveshafts, the 4WD control unit and switching valves (if equipped with SOTF), the front steering knuckles, possibly the transmission crossmember and engine crossmember, and there may be computer and wiring differences. That's just off the top of my head. I believe the Rodeo actually had different frame part numbers for 4WD and 2WD, so there may be something fundamentally different.

The knuckles shouldn't need changing, unlike other makes, Isuzu used the same bearings in 2wd and 4wd trucks except the pickup from what I know. The frame is missing two of the mounting points for the front diff as I recall, but that's and easy fix. No electronics or vacuum switching on these years, so that's not an issue.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby gwana66 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:13 pm

I know at least on the 2nd gen Rodeo, the 2WD knuckles are not drilled to accept the CV axle. There is a solid stub axle for the bearings and hub on 2WD, the 4WD stub is hollow for the drive axle. Not familiar with the first gen spindle, but I see that 2WD and 4WD knuckles have different part numbers. You'd need most of the assembly anyway for the hubs and driveline, and it would be easier to just grab the whole mess from a junker, CV axles and all. Pop the ball joints and take the whole thing.
98 Amigo, 2.2 5sp 4x4, 4.77 gears and factory LSD.
Power nothing - No power windows, no power locks, no power engine. ;)
Even the hubs are manual now.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby DSUZU » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:41 pm

IIRC, the 96/97 4 banger Rodeo used the Borg Warner 5 speed manual (again, IIRC, it was metric and Brazilian made). It is NOT an Isuzu MUA5. The 2.6 WILL bolt up to the MUA5s used in 4x4 pickups, Amigos, and first gen Troopers. That will give you a transfer case / tranny (they are integral). From there, you might be best off with the axles from a donor Rodeo 4x4. Not sure on the 97 (never checked mine), but the 94 Amigo I just parted DID have all the (4) holes for mounting the front differential. You may still be up for fabbing a crossmember as I think the 97 crossmember was different on my 97.
FWIW, the 5 guy and I had discussed possibilities of making a 4 cylinder 4x4 Rodeo, or 4 cylinder automatic Rodeo using a pickup tranny for the automatic (2wd) or dropping a 2.6 and Trooper tranny into a V-6 4x4 Rodeo. With enough backyard engineering, anything is possible.
Honestly, probably your best route would be dropping your body onto a 4x4 Rodeo frame, then adding the 4x4 tranny. Any route will involve some down time.
My original plan was to build a "hybrid" 4x4 four door pickup by marrying a pickup cab rear to a rearless Rodeo body. See Ron's (lowzone) signature picture and imagine it on 4x4 instead of lowered. Then my Spacecab came along. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby holger » Thu May 04, 2017 7:50 pm

I believe that the most efficient course of actions would be just installing an automatic locker into the rear differential and using that vehicle for light 'wheeling and camping. May be re-gearing the rear differential to compensate for the absence of the low TC range. May be installing a lift kit for better rear axle articulation. Then the vehicle will be quite capable enough for your purpose. And it will cost you a fraction what you are going to spend on 4x4 setup swap, and it will take little time.

You will be better spending that time and money on camping, not on wrenching.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby DSUZU » Thu May 04, 2017 10:07 pm

FWIW, I once got my wife's 4 cylinder 2wd Rodeo stuck out in an abandoned orange grove. I managed to get it out, but I determined that day that 4x4 was a MUST HAVE for me. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby holger » Fri May 05, 2017 3:39 am

DSUZU wrote:FWIW, I once got my wife's 4 cylinder 2wd Rodeo stuck out in an abandoned orange grove. I managed to get it out, but I determined that day that 4x4 was a MUST HAVE for me. Dennis


For serious 4wheeling yes. For some back-road camping 2wd with a locker is more than enough. I know in my experience that almost the whole Mojave road through the desert (that's more than 100 miles of sandy and rocky roads) can be done in 2wd, usually.

4cyl Rodeo with 4x4 and without a locker is not going to be an ultimate offroad machine, anyway.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby holger » Fri May 05, 2017 3:51 am

DSUZU wrote: I once got my wife's 4 cylinder 2wd Rodeo stuck out in an abandoned orange grove


I wish I could get stuck with my wife in an orange grove. For a week. No cellular reception.

That's a very good point why somebody would want to keep his truck in 2wd.
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Re: How can I make my 4 cylinder 4wd?

Postby DSUZU » Fri May 05, 2017 4:38 pm

Note: Wife's RODEO. Wife was in a board meeting about 35 miles away. While she was being "board", I was out playing. Had she been with me when I got stuck, it wouldn't have been pleasant. (actually didn't take me all that long to get out.) As for :lol:, the organization had provided us with a 5 star hotel room and VIP package. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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