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  1. #1
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    Making a 1995 ISuzu Rodeo an Offroader.

    My dad has a 1995 Isuzu rodeo. He got a new car, and gave this to me,untill I can save up for something nice.


    This car has 230,000 miles on it. It drives like a new truck. All my friends have jeeps with 37" tires,fj cruisers, and so on. They all go offroading about every week.

    My question is, can I make a decent offroader with this? nothing extreme, just something I can take out on a trail.

    I know nothing about 1:1 offroad marketing. Im slowly learning.

    How much would it cost to put a cheap lift on it, decent all terrain tires, and all the other essentials to offroading.

    How do you think the truck will hold up?

    Mine is 2WD
    this is the same exact SUV i have, but mine is 100% stock



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  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. KyLeader7's Avatar
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    Personally, with that many miles and it being 2wd, it's not going to be like that above picture. Putting a huge lift on a 2wd doesn't look too good IMO. Depending on what size tire you want and brand it varies. My 4 37" BFG all terrians for my truck were $1500- though with warranty. That's about the right size for long travel and fenders. I wanted to put a little lift on my Jeep Cherokee 5.9 but never did (180K ).

    Don't get me wrong, If it's what you want to do then go for it. IDK if they make a production lift kit for these, or if they are one off's. You can always get a small spacer lift and level it a bit, which makes it looks better.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, I dont expect to lift it that high, or run tires that big.


    Just maybe a 6 inch lift, possibly 30" tires....


    Its just the mileage that worries me.
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  4. #4
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    30" tires are pretty small in the off-road world, and would look tiny on a vehicle with 6" of lift....
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  5. #5
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    6in lift and 30s would look stupid. 6in n 35s is where its at, still gonna be a mall crawler being a 2wd i'd just drive it the way you got it, puttin money in it would take away from the money you'd make for a better truck.

    do they even make lifts for rodeos?

    also the truck pictured is basically one off.being that they did a SAS(solid axle swap)
    Last edited by Brandonj; 08-24-2010 at 07:47 PM.
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  6. #6
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    dude i wouldnt do it..my friend bought one of these and my brother and there nothing but junk ever couple of weeks he had it in the shop fixing stuff on it
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  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. streetdemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustler 007
    My dad has a 1995 Isuzu rodeo. He got a new car, and gave this to me,untill I can save up for something nice.


    This car has 230,000 miles on it. It drives like a new truck. All my friends have jeeps with 37" tires,fj cruisers, and so on. They all go offroading about every week.

    My question is, can I make a decent offroader with this? nothing extreme, just something I can take out on a trail.

    I know nothing about 1:1 offroad marketing. Im slowly learning.

    How much would it cost to put a cheap lift on it, decent all terrain tires, and all the other essentials to offroading.

    How do you think the truck will hold up?

    Mine is 2WD
    this is the same exact SUV i have, but mine is 100% stock
    Category: Things that will make your offroading experience lacking, very lacking. If you are just driving on trails without going through the mud and whatnot, you'll be ok, but 4wd is VERY important to most any type of offroading. The mileage isn't ahuge deal because hey, if it runs it runs, but the thing I would be concerned with is the fact that it is tough on a motor/trans being out on the trails and I don't know that it's going to last long at all like that. Honestly, you'd be better served picking yourself up an older blazer (K-5 especially) and taking that out. You can get them under a grand ready to go and they will make the isuzu look like a toy on the trails. I actually just found a Smaller Blazer (89) today on CL with 120k for 500 bucks, just needs some little stuff, that I am considering just for a temporary beater.
    Some like R/C's that are fast, others like nitro

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMaxxcrazy33
    dude i wouldnt do it..my friend bought one of these and my brother and there nothing but junk ever couple of weeks he had it in the shop fixing stuff on it
    REally? My Aunts Honda Passport(same thing) ran perfectly. Had over 100k miles. My Stepdads 95 Isuzu pickup had it normal problems but it couldn''t die...he even stop changing the oil still wouldn't die!!!!. It meter stop reading at 86000miles...5years ago lol.
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  9. #9
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    Believe me, there's no question that 4WD is important, but 2WD trucks can wheel.

    It often requires a different style of driving, though. Different maneuvers and more momentum. I'd also recommend front/rear recovery points and being with someone else who can yank you out when you get stuck.

    I was surprised to discover all the situations where 4WD wasn't even necessary.
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  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMaxxcrazy33
    dude i wouldnt do it..my friend bought one of these and my brother and there nothing but junk ever couple of weeks he had it in the shop fixing stuff on it
    Strange, I've had mine since it was new in 99 it now has 150,000 on it and runs like a top. It has even pulled a 16' trailer filled front to back, top to bottom, from Canada to Ft Lauderdale. Through the Pocano's and the Smokey Mountains.

    The only thing besides regular maintenance was a fuel pump.

    Added note: Since Isuzu stopped selling trucks in the U.S., factory replacement parts are hard to find and also expensive as the sellers of these parts know they are hard to find. But often the Honda Passport or the Chevy S-10 might have the same part. Often you will find a GM bar code sticker on it and just cross reference it. Isuzu Fuel pump $200.00 from the dealer, Chevy S-10 fuel pump (same GM part #) $80.00

    Considering what I have posted I would say light offroading OK, but watch out on those factory replacement parts.
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  11. #11
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    Ok, thanks for all the input. Im still thinking about it. As for off road, I mean I would go very easy on it. So im just not sure.

    I think im just gonna drive it, until I can afford my 98 supra....Im almost there.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitronaught
    Isuzu stopped selling trucks in the U.S.
    When did this happen?

    It's funny, I just saw the Isuzu version of the Colorado/Canyon the other day. It's the only one I have ever seen in person.
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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 31794ty's Avatar
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    Honestly I wouldn't waste my money on a lift. With the truck being a 2wd and getting up.there in miles, I think parts would start breaking quickly. Just drive it the way it is and save for a nicer vehicle.
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  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay 313
    When did this happen?

    It's funny, I just saw the Isuzu version of the Colorado/Canyon the other day. It's the only one I have ever seen in person.
    I've been trying to locate any private vehicle dealers, not 1 in Florida. I called Isuzu and they stopped making personal vehicles in 2008 and closed those particular line of dealers. I called them at owner relations 1-800-255-6727 and even the Ascender which you can see on their website is not even sold...

    I don't need a cargo truck... loll Only 3 dealerships in Florida sell Isuzu factory parts for private vehicles, SUV's Pick Ups, etc.
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  15. #15
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    I know nothing about offroading but I'm suggesting that you should keep it stock, earn in money and buy and already lifted/offroad built Chevy Blazer, Ford Bronco or something similar.
    Always cheaper to buy a finished one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustler 007
    How do you think the truck will hold up?
    Hmmm... a 2wd offroader doesn't sound like a good idea. It sounds a lot more like a good opportunity to do snow drifting!

    Isuzu got out of the private vehicle market in the US a couple years ago, probably tough to find parts.

    Then again, my idea of fun in a full size car is being able to corner at vomit-inducing speeds so I shouldn't comment.

  17. #17
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    you can lift and wheel anything if your pockets are deep enough

    try calmini.com

    i wouldnt worry about mileage too much i just rebuilt the inline six in my cherokee at 298k only because i wanted a little more power so it got bored and stroked
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  18. #18
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    just remember that you NEED to learn how to wheel those of us on 35's locked front and rear, with a basement box all started with a budget lift and 30's

    and bigger tires really just get you stuck further down the trail than the other guy....
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  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. KyLeader7's Avatar
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    Woah woah guys, nothings wrong with 2WD. For crawling, sure it different but theres other form of offroad than crawling ya know .
    Learn by doing

  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    Wait. 1996 was the last year Isuzu made the pickup until it became a rebadged S-10. I believe the Rodeo was strictly Isuzu and Honda(Passport).
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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. streetdemon's Avatar
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    I would look around in your area for a used 4x4 to go wheelin with. They can be had cheap enough. Keep that as your daily so you have something reliable and then save 5-600 bucks for something you can go offroading with.
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  22. #22
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emaxx2.0
    Wait. 1996 was the last year Isuzu made the pickup until it became a rebadged S-10. I believe the Rodeo was strictly Isuzu and Honda(Passport).
    Nope, the dash, definitely Chevy S-10 (drove one for work), fuel pump, ABS rears, sensors, driveshaft, rear axles, rotors, calipers, coil overs, alternator power steering, radiator, interior front clip, windshield wiper arms and blades, oil filter, air filter are all GM/Chevy S-10. Even the frame adnd the cheap steel wheels on some models are the same as a Chevy S-10.

    Differences I found, A/C, water pump, tranny, starter motor are strictly Isuzu.

    I have had this SUV since 1999 and have done most of the maintenance myself.
    When you pull some of these parts off sometimes you get lucky and find the GM sticker with their barcode on them as I have previously posted.

    Trust me I know that Rodeo from the inside out after 10+ years.
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  23. #23
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. streetdemon's Avatar
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    Look around, I got THIS for 400 bucks.
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  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitronaught
    Nope, the dash, definitely Chevy S-10 (drove one for work), fuel pump, ABS rears, sensors, driveshaft, rear axles, rotors, calipers, coil overs, alternator power steering, radiator, interior front clip, windshield wiper arms and blades, oil filter, air filter are all GM/Chevy S-10. Even the frame adnd the cheap steel wheels on some models are the same as a Chevy S-10.

    Differences I found, A/C, water pump, tranny, starter motor are strictly Isuzu.

    I have had this SUV since 1999 and have done most of the maintenance myself.
    When you pull some of these parts off sometimes you get lucky and find the GM sticker with their barcode on them as I have previously posted.

    Trust me I know that Rodeo from the inside out after 10+ years.
    Really? I didn't know. I thought GM only worked with the pickup line.
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  25. #25
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emaxx2.0
    Really? I didn't know. I thought GM only worked with the pickup line.
    The Isuzu PUP? Put it next to the same year make of Chevy S-10 pickup, the dash and even the front grills look identicle... The Rodeo and the Passport sit on the S-10 chassis and use a different front clip (for obvious reasons). GM just sold the OEM parts to Izusu and Honda for them to assemble their own SUV's.
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  26. #26
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Emaxx2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitronaught
    The Isuzu PUP? Put it next to the same year make of Chevy S-10 pickup, the dash and even the front grills look identicle... The Rodeo and the Passport sit on the S-10 chassis and use a different front clip (for obvious reasons). GM just sold the OEM parts to Izusu and Honda for them to assemble their own SUV's.
    yup the pup. My stepdad just had is poorly abused 1995(or 96...it doesn't look like the S-10 and has isuzu labels everywhere). lol.
    Simply the best. The beautiful Traxxas SRT and TCP

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetdemon
    I would look around in your area for a used 4x4 to go wheelin with. They can be had cheap enough. Keep that as your daily so you have something reliable and then save 5-600 bucks for something you can go offroading with.
    X2

    wheeling a daily driver is no where near as fun as the train of thought " well, it only has to make it back to the trailer"
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  28. #28
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    Make a pre runner!!!!!! Flared fenders and all the suspension travel you could ever want to go blasting through the dunes with your foot buried in the floor with your 5 point harness keeping you strapped into you suspension seat while your g/f is in the passenger seat just SCREAMING cause your driving like a mad man!!!!

    Ahhh YES!

    If you want nice, cheap lifts go here: www.suspensionconnection.com . My cousin put on of their lifts on his 95 Ram and it was THEE MOST COMPLETE kit I've ever seen and fit PERFECT!!!!

    As far as bumpers and things like that, check local fab shops BEFORE going and buying something off the shelf. If the price is the same, compare materials between custom and off the shelf. The beefier the better for offroad. If your gonna go wailing though big ol' mudholes, get or make a snorkel (TRUST ME!!). Check your local classifieds for tires. For wheels, steelies are about best cost effective bet. Since its an Isuzu, if its got 6 bolt wheels, GM Fullsize, Toyota, Mazda and even Nissan wheels will fit. Try to stick to 15" wheels since tire options are plentiful.
    Last edited by StreetShaker; 08-28-2010 at 07:31 AM.
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  29. #29
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    http://rs98.pbsrc.com/albums/l280/sn...h=480&fit=clip

    This is my 95 rodeo that I recently completed, I did a solid axle Dana 60 swap Cummins 4bt diesel engine, turbo 400 transmission, IROC Z super swampers, I put about $25,000 into this so if you want a pricey trail rig that will go anywhere, this is what you would have to do.








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    Last edited by Double G; 08-17-2015 at 09:32 AM.

  30. #30
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    Like others have said I really wouldn't spend money on this truck. Being 2WD you are at the very least going to need some kind of locking Rear Diff and I'm not sure if they even make a locker for your truck.

    If you really want to go off road on the cheap your best option is an older Tacoma pick up or a Suzuki. The Suzuki can be lifted to clear 32's for around $500. Tires will be another $600 and a locker around $500. Considering a good running quality Suzuki is about $2500 you could be on the trail for around $4000-$4500.

    The Tacoma is going to cost more but you can get the TRD with the locking diff as a factory option. A good lift kit on these trucks will cost you about $2000 but the time you're all in plus about $600 for tires but trust me it's worth it and is my personal offroader of choice. (I like pulling Jeeps out).

  31. #31
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    I work at a fabrication shop and I am building a 95 Honda Passport. Bought for 1700 and it runs perfect. I put Amsoil in everything. I have sponsors for the build. Flowmaster, POR15, Black Oak LED, Auxbeam LED, Independent4x, Ruff Stuff Specialties, Winchline, and more. I am putting a solid axle from a 82 Toyota up front and a 4 link in the rear. Treadwright tires also sponsored me with 5 mud tires. Doing the build for Instagram and YouTube. They are good rigs, but you would need to covert to 4 wheel drive if you are serious.

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