1997 Isuzu NPR build

noenegdod

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Started building this truck a while ago. I had asked a few questions on here in regards to it but figured Id consolidate everything into a build thread.

The truck started out like this when I picked it up in California.
20181102_124352.jpg


After getting it back home to Calgary Alberta it now looks like this:

20200904_160143 (1).jpg

Now Im having an aluminum shell built for the back. I was going to do it myself but just dont have time anymore.

For the electrical side of things the general overview is:
  • 4s4p 280Ah cells (have them)
  • 3000 watt Victron multiplus (have it)
  • Electrodacus BMS (shipped on its way)
  • No solar. I camp in heavily wooded mountainous areas and look for shade. I might at some point install deployable solar.
  • Shore/alternator/1000W Yamaha generator for power. (have a 2400watt now, going to sell and replace with the 1000)
Concept drawing for the bulk of the electrical system:

Please pick it apart and make suggestions.
  • I know it needs a fuse to the DC distribution box.
  • People get so insanely emotional about parallel fuses so read page 14 before commenting on the parallel 400A fuses: https://www.mc-mc.com/ASSETS/DOCUMENTS/ITEMS/EN/Bussmann_FWP_100A22F_Catalog_1.pdf
  • The battery protect 220s are each good for 220A continuous and 600A each for 30 seconds. As a pair they can easily tolerate the 507A the winch draws for several minutes at a time. This was by far the easiest way to ensure the Electrodacus would shut everything down, including the winch if the batteries got to low. Probably not the cheapest but the easiest with the skills I have.

Concept diagram.jpg


Over the weekend I am working on the battery box and I need to make a move on epoxying the studs into the cells which I am procrastinating on as it is causing me a tremendous amount of anxiety.
 

noenegdod

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Made some good progress on the battery box this weekend.

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Dzl

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I love the look of the Isuzu!

Off topic for this forum but tell me more about the suspension, I've never seen anything like it. Looks like you bought a 2WD and an aftermarket 4WD conversion? W/ much longer travel & coil suspension?
Did that affect payload capacity? That must've cost a pretty penny! Looks like a great platform though, I"m envious. What's the rough B2B length
 

noenegdod

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Ya, its was a 2wd and I converted it in the driveway. No kit though, designed and built in the driveway/garage. Literally everything from the engine back and down was taken off and recycled with the exception of the transmission. It was converted to accept a blackbox underdrive that acted as an adapter to an NP205 transfer case. The front end is a trussed Dana 60 that was converted to full hydraulic steering and the rear is a trussed GM corporate 14 bolt. Both have Trutrac differentials and 5.38 ring and pinion. Both are 4 linked, the front is a parallel with a pan hard (5 link?) and the rear is a dual triangulated 4 link. The coil overs are are made by king and all 4 of them have 14" travel. When done it should have 6" of compression and 8" of droop. Im not sure what the B2B is. Probably somewhere around 17'-18'. The box for the rear is 12' and it ends right behind the air box.
The wheel base I know though, 130". Its the same length as an old regular cab, long box chev c/k. Its 8'5" tall.

As far as payload goes, Im sure it did take a hit as the rear end that came out was huge. The front and rear ends are out of a 1 ton and it will never see a lot of weight so not that worried about it
 

noenegdod

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I know there is a few ME floating around in here and though Id ask for some opinions from them and anyone else that is interested and willing to give one.

The box is mainly storage for camping. It will be insulated and heated/cooled for winter camping and when the summer is too warm so I can seek refuge inside. The roof is low and wont ever lift as the truck is intended for harder off road and must be structural. The roof of the box is the same height as the roof of the truck and sits directly on the truck chassis.

The Box is all aluminum. It is bolted directly the the chassis and as such it it subject to and must resist the twisting loads imposed on the chassis, that is why it is built so heavy. Total weight for the box is 1100 lbs as it sits.

Cant think of any other relevant facts. Would appreciate any feedback, considerations or opinions before I pull the trigger and have it built in a couple weeks.

Box1.PNG

Box2.PNG

Box3.PNG
 

svetz

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Not an ME, but are sides strong enough for the front/back forces? (similar to how you have the cross-braces for the left/right forces.
 

noenegdod

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Not an ME, but are sides strong enough for the front/back forces? (similar to how you have the cross-braces for the left/right forces.
The X brace is only there because the back end is wide open with a door. The sides and front are sheeted in with 1/8" which is far more robust than an X. Its the same idea with a house. You never see any diagonal bracing in a sheeted wall but in a steel building where the exterior envelope is not structural you will see diagonal bracing. Thanks though!
 

2009Bounder2020

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I run similar suspension setup on my4x4, i use 12 inch kings with rear triangulated 4 link and a 5 link (panhard). Mine is not street legal and handles like crap on dry pavement. Its great for rocks and will run fast (for a wrangler about 100mph) in open desert.. Very cool build you have going . Im running wrangler body with a 408 Hemi Stroker Motor@575 Horsepower, tranny is a 727 TorqueFlite w/ Manual Valve Body and 5.38 Gear Ratio. I would love to build a street legal 4x4 camper like your some day. love that your running truetracs we run them on my sons street legal jk wrangler and besides pure rocks they are better than hard lockers. Some day we wanna run mine in the King of the Hammers race. Ive ran a few qualifiers but health reasons and work have not allowed me to fully chase that dream yet.

as far as advice you look like you got this down easy.. , make sure battery is super secure , ideally sitting on a thick rubber mat and waterproofed.
 

noenegdod

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I run similar suspension setup on my4x4, i use 12 inch kings with rear triangulated 4 link and a 5 link (panhard). Mine is not street legal and handles like crap on dry pavement. Its great for rocks and will run fast (for a wrangler about 100mph) in open desert.. Very cool build you have going . Im running wrangler body with a 408 Hemi Stroker Motor@575 Horsepower, tranny is a 727 TorqueFlite w/ Manual Valve Body and 5.38 Gear Ratio. I would love to build a street legal 4x4 camper like your some day. love that your running truetracs we run them on my sons street legal jk wrangler and besides pure rocks they are better than hard lockers. Some day we wanna run mine in the King of the Hammers race. Ive ran a few qualifiers but health reasons and work have not allowed me to fully chase that dream yet.

as far as advice you look like you got this down easy.. , make sure battery is super secure , ideally sitting on a thick rubber mat and waterproofed.
Nice!

I wish I had the $ to build some hp but at the moment Ill have to live with the stock chev vortec 5.7L it came with. This thing does ok on the pavement, it isnt going to win a slalom race or anything but isnt too bad. Because I chopped off the factory inner Cs and replaced them with Reid racing units, I was able to get the pinion angle I wanted as well as keep 6deg of caster so that is a big help. I want to blame the full hydraulic steering for this but it does have a spot right at center that isnt responsive. It takes a bit of practice but once you get used to it it isnt too bad. Is yours full hydro or do you still have a mechanical link?

100mph? Not here! 100kmh is probably all the courage I have......

I really did a lot of second guessing over the truetracs. I went with them because I really dont do much of anything in any serious rock. I knew I didnt want an electric or pneumatic selectable. I was considering Ox but they dont make anything for the 14 bolt. If I had it to do over again I think Id still use a truetrac in the rear but stick a Detroit or possibly an Ox in the front.
 

Mad_Texan

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Looks like a nice build on the chassis! You may check over on Expedition Portal for recommendations for chassis/ box mounts. I know often the box is mounted with a pivot so it won't have torsional stress on it when the chassis twists. Your box is a little shorter but longer than mine but there aren't any X braces in mine and the back opens with double doors. That being said yours is coming in at about half of what mine weighs. What size tires are you running?

 

noenegdod

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Looks like a nice build on the chassis! You may check over on Expedition Portal for recommendations for chassis/ box mounts. I know often the box is mounted with a pivot so it won't have torsional stress on it when the chassis twists. Your box is a little shorter but longer than mine but there aren't any X braces in mine and the back opens with double doors. That being said yours is coming in at about half of what mine weighs. What size tires are you running?

Thanks for the link! Nice truck if that is it in the picture. Do you have a build thread anywhere?

How would mine be half the weight of yours!? Unless you were talking about loaded and heading out. Mine is 1100 lbs in just aluminum.

I absolutely poured over expedition portal and dozens of forums and other resources looking for info on how to mount the camper. I eventually decided to ridged mount it for several reasons.

  1. Simple
  2. A subframe eats up several inches on height and I did not want the box taller than the cab. As it is with insulation the interior height is only 50". If I stuck a subframe under and allowed for twist Id be left with ~44" or even less.
  3. Because of how I wanted to build the suspension I was already stiffening the frame in 3 locations which would increase stress in the 2 spaces left between the front and rear coil over mount X braces and the center link/transfercase subframe.
  4. Because of #2 I wanted to remove as much torsional stress from the frame as possible so building the "camper" very ridged and using it to keep the frame from twisting seemed like the best approach (Im no ME so hopefully Im not heading for disaster).
There is still the section of frame that will be unsupported from the front to the box to the front coil over X brace but fingers crossed that it is short enough and strong enough to tolerate that stress. The amount of frame sticking out from the front of the box to the front X brace is less than 30" so I think It should be good.

The tires are 40" toyo MT.
 

Mad_Texan

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As far as my build the links in my signature to either Steel Soldiers or instagram are best.

My box is all aluminum but weighs in around 2000lbs. not loaded but including two benches. That number is verified thru curb weights on cab and chassis CUCV's (5250) and the ambulance version (7370) like mine as well by people who sold the box for scrap. It was built pretty beefy for the military. I did forget that it included the AC unit on the box which is probably 200lbs. The only bracing in the rear was welded in the opening corners.

The more I think about it while typing... If mine came to just aluminum our boxes are probably closer than I realize. It's insulated and paneled on the inside including the floor. 🤦‍♂️

All your reasons make sense and probably the biggest difference in your build from most in the suspension. It's probably has at least 10 times more flex than most builds on the same style chassis which should help with frame twist. Do you have a build link?

I attached a pic showing how the opening has welded in bracing in the corners.
 

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noenegdod

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Sadly I dont have a build thread anywhere. I was just too busy to take the time. I have 100s of pictures though so I do intend to put something up at some point.

The corner bracing is something Im going to have to consider as well. When I was typing the last reply I started thinking about the load that the side door openings will see when its lifting a wheel and it gave me pause.

Well what ever it weighs it looks great! I took a quick peak through a few pages of your build but need to get back to work. Ill finish it later tonight as well as your solar build.
 

Mad_Texan

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Sadly I dont have a build thread anywhere. I was just too busy to take the time. I have 100s of pictures though so I do intend to put something up at some point.

The corner bracing is something Im going to have to consider as well. When I was typing the last reply I started thinking about the load that the side door openings will see when its lifting a wheel and it gave me pause.

Well what ever it weighs it looks great! I took a quick peak through a few pages of your build but need to get back to work. Ill finish it later tonight as well as your solar build.
Thanks! Look forward to seeing how yours comes out!

On the corner braces, because I've been trying to figure out how I want to mount my rack for solar panels, I've been looking through pics of a box like mine that someone opened up. The side walls and front wall have the same triangular braces in them as the rear opening.

Here is a link that may give you some ideas: https://www.steelsoldiers.com/threads/m1010-ambulance-box-build-reference.146746/
 

2009Bounder2020

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Nice!

I wish I had the $ to build some hp but at the moment Ill have to live with the stock chev vortec 5.7L it came with. This thing does ok on the pavement, it isnt going to win a slalom race or anything but isnt too bad. Because I chopped off the factory inner Cs and replaced them with Reid racing units, I was able to get the pinion angle I wanted as well as keep 6deg of caster so that is a big help. I want to blame the full hydraulic steering for this but it does have a spot right at center that isnt responsive. It takes a bit of practice but once you get used to it it isnt too bad. Is yours full hydro or do you still have a mechanical link?

100mph? Not here! 100kmh is probably all the courage I have......

I really did a lot of second guessing over the truetracs. I went with them because I really dont do much of anything in any serious rock. I knew I didnt want an electric or pneumatic selectable. I was considering Ox but they dont make anything for the 14 bolt. If I had it to do over again I think Id still use a truetrac in the rear but stick a Detroit or possibly an Ox in the front

I think your truetracks will serve you well,, you can always spool the rear if you really want to , it will turn better on streets with the truetracks.

Without full hydro mine would only go straight, depending on terrain we run 40 or 44s + beadlocks, im probably 200-275 lbs per wheel

that dead center feeling (or lack of feeling) will become a comfort to you after more hours. Once you get it set up I would recommend meeting up with the King guys, they are very good and if you prearrange to meet them at an event they are running they will even help you fine tune. One day we snapped a coil spring a million miles from nowhere and we welded wrenches to get it back in, they king guys saw us and brought us new spring from their trailer and the next morning they spent about 3 hours helping me dial it back in..... I love that company and all their products.
 

noenegdod

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I dont think I would ever spool the rear. Street driving is going to be a large part of the use so dont want to sacrifice that, Ill just winch if I needed a spool.

Once the border opens up again and I can get down to the states I was planning to take a trip down and visit Ben at Filthy and/or go to King. Have you dealt with Filthy Motorsports?
 

noenegdod

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Made a little more progress on the battery today. The foam drawer liner showed up so that got cut up into 32 pieces.

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I originally wasnt planning to use a square tube strong back but decided it has some merit for a couple different reasons.

Threaded rod ended up being short now because of the drawer liner and HSS so will need to replace that. Once I have the new rod, on this end I am going to tack the nuts onto the threaded rod. Compression adjustment will be from the other side.

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On this side, the nut will be replaced with a nyloc and compression adjustment will be from here. One of the reasons I did it like this is because the springs I used will need to be compressed ~ 1" which is a lot of rod sticking out. Now, all that thread will be inside the HSS and wont be catching on anything.

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noenegdod

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Finally finished the installing the springs. Had to get new threaded rods as 18" was just a little to short.

Tacked the nuts onto the end of the rods on the spring end.

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I used oxy/acetylene hose to act as the spacer between the 1/4" rod and the spring ID. They were a perfect fit on both accounts.

20210311_203500.jpg

On the other side most of the threads remain in the tube. I was a bit surprised how much rod needed to be pulled through. A full 1.5" was required to get the required spring compression (~0.90") the rest was compressing the foam and cells themselves.

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