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98 Isuzu Amigo - The Darcy Build

gknapp

Member
Hello all,

Just acquired a very orange but very clean 1998 Amigo 5spd 3.2 v6. Coming from the Land Rover and Nissan world, this Amigo feels like it will be a fresh new project/adventure. I am slowly working out the details of what is going to happen with this little truck, but very excited. Build list will get updated. As of now I am strictly tackling cosmetic and minor drivetrain issues. I am surprised by the simplicity of these vehicles and the abundance of replacement parts. The 4WD system is curious.

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Year: 1998
Make: Isuzu
Model: Amigo
Trim: S (I guess)
Color: Orange

Interior
Wet Okole Seat Covers
Pioneer SPH-10BT
Infinity Primus Speakers

Exterior
Rally Top Hard Top

Suspension and Tires
Lift - TBD. Torsion bars are a whole new world for me.
Manual locking hubs
Wheels - TBD
Kumho Road Venture MT71 235/85R-16

Armor
ARB 3448200 Winch Bumper - ETA June 2021
Stock Skid Plates

Wishlist
Some sort of HD rear bumper
Front/Rear Lockers

Items to Address
As of this afternoon, a small power steering leak. Need to pin point location.
Stuck air blender switch.

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gknapp

Member
The battery was tired. And Old. So a new one!

Duralast Platinum AGM 24F-AGM 710CCA

Should be enough to handle any being shoved in this little truck.
 

Attachments

SRN

Adventurer
Welcome to the Isuzu world, we're all a little curious. ;) Looking forward to seeing the build!
Head over to Planet Isuzoo to find pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about these things!
 

gknapp

Member
Welcome to the Isuzu world, we're all a little curious. ;) Looking forward to seeing the build!
Head over to Planet Isuzoo to find pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about these things!
Thanks! I have been digging through Planet Isuzu the last few days gathering as much information as I can. I guess I am most surprised at the lack of armor for this truck and its Rodeo brother. No rear bumper options and only two front bumper options; ARB and Calmini (which is butt ugly).

I reached out to ARB USA about the 3448200 winch bumper. Its out of stock stateside and in Australia. So I am looking at a 3-5 month wait to get one. It seems like there would be more options out there for a truck that has a fully boxed frame and a fairly simple nose design. Then again, I am no fabricator.
 

SRN

Adventurer
Thanks! I have been digging through Planet Isuzu the last few days gathering as much information as I can. I guess I am most surprised at the lack of armor for this truck and its Rodeo brother. No rear bumper options and only two front bumper options; ARB and Calmini (which is butt ugly).

I reached out to ARB USA about the 3448200 winch bumper. Its out of stock stateside and in Australia. So I am looking at a 3-5 month wait to get one. It seems like there would be more options out there for a truck that has a fully boxed frame and a fairly simple nose design. Then again, I am no fabricator.
They are orphan vehicles here in the US and were never really that popular, sadly, with the off-roading community. So not a whole lot of aftermarket ever got going for them and now, nearly 20 years after Isuzu left the US, not much left.
 

utherjorge

Observer
Hello! that looks a lot like mine! I'll throw a pic in here, but I'm nearly "done" with my build and am about to upgrade the lighting on the whole front end for a lot of reasons. I'll go back here and make some comments, but the Planet Isuzoo site is a great place to start, and a lot of FB places, too.

 

utherjorge

Observer
Suspension and Tires
Lift - TBD. Torsion bars are a whole new world for me. I upgraded to better T-bars. rides rough...but I have less than 1k miles on mine since I did this. With the bumper and winch weight I am sure it will settle down.
Manual locking hubs - Yay or Nay? I have no experience. I have a set to put on there. Doing this saves your CV axles as they won't be engaged unless you lock the hubs and then engage 4x4. However, down the list for me. Mine will be for getting out on lower-level trails. I'm not rock-crawling.
Wheels - TBD I have the stock ones and will paint them to match. I also have a set of Tacoma wheels I like better but I'll hang on to them for now. I have 5 stock, and they're aluminum, so why not?
Kumho Road Venture MT71 235/85R-16 - In the mail, and seems to be a real unpopular size for the Rodeo/Amigo. Can't understand why. I have 265/75/16 Falken Wildpeaks.

Armor

ARB 3448200 Winch Bumper - Currently Sourcing My bumper is a left-over from my last rig which needed to be modified. It's a heavily modified Suzuki bumper from Zuk Offroad. Front and rear are the same.
Stock Skid Plates Stock except for my custom front.

Wishlist

Some sort of HD rear bumper
Front/Rear Lockers Supposedly there's a company that makes an e-locker...but after agreeing on a price, they have ghosted me. ARB air lockers exist for both.

Items to Address

Fuel gauge wont read. Apparently this is a common problem. Yep. Mine too.
As of this afternoon, a small power steering leak. Need to pin point location.
Stuck air blender switch. I have no idea what this is lol
Busted Grill. If you upgrade to the newer/better lights, you'll need a grille anyway. Also, my winch would interfere, so I have to get one and cut it up to fit.
 

utherjorge

Observer
Yes sir. Body didn't change through the end (when it was eventually renamed the "Rodeo Sport" (maybe in 2001?) but the headlights were really improved.

There is a two year window or so where the plastic housings were replaced with glass. These also get the better headlight bulbs, too, which I will go with. I'm not switching to LEDs for my headlights, as I already have enough of those to blind Jesus.

However, when you switch the headlights, you will need a new grille and new side marker lights (Turn signals) for the same year. The glass housings have a different angle at the bottom so you will need a new grille to match.

This was no bother for me as I'm dumping my side markers for Xprite 3" round LEDs to fit in my bumper that I've been hanging on to for a couple of years. In the (soon to be empty) spot where the old turn signals were, I am installing rough Country DRL pods so I have daytime running lights that also work as additional LED pods.

Also, as I mentioned before, I have to cut my grille up anyway so it fits my winch. Once I get all of the above in (I hope this week???) I'll get a new grille, paint it the orange to match, and I'll either get new mesh behind it or do a better job of cutting so I can leave the stock grille in there...just trimmed.

EDITED to add the link to a discussion on Planet Isuzoo.
 

gknapp

Member
Cosmetic update.

I decided to vinyl wrap the door pillar. They were in pretty bad shape and its the first thing my eye went to every time I would get in to drive.

Got a sheet of 12x36 vinyl and cut it into manageable strips.
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Then it was just a matter of sticking, heating, cutting and squeegeeing. Still some imperfections but 100% better then it was. If it doesn't last, it was a simple enough process to repeat in the future.
Driver B&A
Driver Door.jpg

Passenger B&A
Passenger Door.jpg

The plastic trim will be painted.
 

utherjorge

Observer
Most definitely need to start figuring out the lift.
I have a two inch body lift, two inch suspension, and the larger tires make it a total of five inches above stock. Cranking the t-bars and new tires can get you three right there.
 
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