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Isuzu Off Roading/Trail Reports

135

Comments

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Paisan, I know a guy here with an old trooper, and we've talked about doing some offroading around CT. I'll let you know if anything comes of that.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Definitely let me know, I'd be interested, and I'm sure a few people on here would be too!

    -mike
  • There is a group putting together a trail ride about 10 miles south of Birmingham AL on May 5,6. All Isuzoids welcome. Trails will be mostly beginner to intermediate with wide variety of terrain in Cahaba Valley WMA. Should be lots of interesting things to see and try.

    If you're interested, check out thread on 4x4wire under Isuzu forum. Should be lots of fun with many of us just itching to try our newest mods.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I am really impressed with 4 LO on loose conditions with the trooper. I was on a pile of gravel and it was no sweat with 4 LO backing up and going forward. I think on soft sand 4 LO would likely also be the way to go.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I have found TOD to be good in loose sand. Though when the going got really tough, the transfer case would seem to slip? I think it was switching front to rear and rear to front back and forth...it would sort of thump? It was never got stuck, but it was almost worrisome. The problem being, 4 LO was great in such situations, but not when going 25 MPH across the beach, when you go over a dune and find a deep and loose patch, you didn't have time to stop and engage, you just had to floor it and not stop. Never had a traction issue, but the thumping didn't sound "normal". I have not been able to reproduce and not had any problems anywhere else. Loose sand and gravel I think caused a lot of switching of traction, rather than just all 4 wheels not having grip? at least that is the theory.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    One of the great things about TOD was the switching back and forth when I was driving up a very steep 1.5' deep snowy driveway. It would do 50/50 then 0/100 giving the fronts a chance to grip. 25mph in 4wd Lo should have been fine. I drove mine for about 1/2hr down a road @ 30mph.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I think 4 Low is much better under 5-10 mph, since you don't get the tires spinning before the TOD engages the front wheels. I agree at higher speeds TOD definitely does the job--I also found TOD to work great in deep snow.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I never spin em with TOD on under 5-10mph. I'll have to try it though.

    -mike
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Oh, it can be done, believe me!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Oh I know you can spin em, but I've never spun the rears only (before the fronts catch) In other words, I haven't seen a situation where 4wd lo 50/50 split would have helped me any more than the TOD other than the additional Torque.

    -mike
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    ...if you spin em you will reach your top speed of around 30mph in a second or two, but there is not much point in doing that unless you like hearing your engine scream...
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Does anyone know whether these bars would protect the rocker panels from dents while offroading? I know the rock stomper bars are best but how do they look? Even if the nerf bars were dented in the process it would be better than the rocker panels receiving a dent.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd go with some bars from matt @ independent4x.com especially for you GPM since shipping will be near zero. I'm actually gonna talk to matt about making some bars that will act as side steps as well as protection. Maybe we can have a day where matt will make em for us and install em as well.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Yeah, I checked out his side bars and agree if they were slightly extended out they could serve as both. I just purchased the rear bumper protector form Matt--I asked for it at 60 inches as you suggested and based on measuring the back of my trooper. At 60 inches it would have definitely warded off the corner bumper bash and the dent that I got from behind when the guy cut the corner to close.
  • Does the rear bumper bar take the hit before the spare tire? It seems it will have to stick out quite a bit to keep a head on bump from not reaching the mounted spare. Isn't there a chance that depending on the vehicle that bumps into you, damage will reach higher than the rear bar?What do you guys think?

    Also, is anyone going to try a 2 1/2" or 3" square bar? Thanks.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It is mostly for parking incidences with lower cars. If you get rear ended by a suburban or an Excursion, you'll likely not benefit. It does stick out about 1" behind the tire so it should protect you enough especially if you hit the brakes and there is nose dive/rear lift. I just plan on using it as protection from $700 park jobs in malls and parrallel parking situations by people who do the bump and grind parking technique.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    At 6 to 6.5 inches from the bumper it is flush with the most outward point of the rear spare cover. Under a scenario of bumping into a pole at the most outward part of the cover, the cover would get either nothing or maybe a little (but it will flex) and the bar will pick up the bump. Most car bumpers will hit the bumper bar before hitting any parts of the bumper. I'm going with the 60 inch bar to protect to the very corners of the bumper. I've been hit in the rear (not very hard in most cases) in most of the cars/van/SUV I've owned (including now my '99 trooper), so I think its a good investment. The trooper rear bumper needs some extra protection IMO.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    you need to go about 7 to 8 inches out to clear the outermost part of the cover. I asked that my bar be 10.5 to 11 inches from the center pin hole to the outside edge. That would put it 7 to 7.5 inches from the bumper.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Hey, I saw the pics. Looks like you guys put your troopers though some paces. What happened to sbcooke's trooper? Paisan did you tow sb out to the road?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    See the meet the members area...

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Fill us in on the details of how your trooper did towing sbcooke out of the water hole and through the mud. Was there much spinning? Were you in Lo or TOD?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I was towing him as if he wasn't even there. I used TOD most of the time, once I put it in 4lo for one hole, but I think it did worse than my TOD so I just left it in TOD the rest of the time. We had to go a good mile on the trail to get out to a dirt road, went through about 3 or 4 mud-holes towing him. The worst part was the tow strap kept coming out of his front hook. I had the tow strap in my hitch pin which worked out nicely. Finally we tied it up so that it wouldn't come off. I was quite suprised as to how well it towed a 4500lb truck through the mud and what not. The OME springs and Ranchos did make a big difference off-road too. We climbed up some steep inclines with ease as well.

    -mike
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I looked at those pictures, and I noticed you have your foglights on, but your headlights aren't. One of the things that has bugged me on my 99 was that I can't turn on the fog lights without the headlights - is that different on your 00?
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I was impressed at how easily paison pulled me through a few mud holes. The biggest problem from my part was no power brakes! I had to be on the e-brake the entire time to try to keep slack out of the tow strap. A couple of times I saw paison's truck pull a little sideways when he took up the slack and the strap caught, but over all a nice job on his behalf.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Well, that's great that it was so smooth. Its a good thing there were two troopers.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think it's cause my fog lights are 100w and the headlights are only 80w cheesy blue. Cause mine are the same, no fogs w/o headlight on low beam. :( I wish I was telling you how to override that here. I know some of the '98-'01 Rodeo and Amigo drivers have overriden that but not sure how.

    -mike
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I looked at those pictures, and I noticed you have your foglights on, but your headlights aren't. One of the things that has bugged me on my 99 was that I can't turn on the fog lights without the headlights - is that different on your 00?
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    Took our Trooper up to Ainsworth / Kaslo / Nelson B.C. last weekend and got to try it out on a moderately rough trail to the top of Buchanan lookout. Actually we didn't make it to the top - we were blocked by a tree across the road and probably at least 10 feet of snow still on top. We climbed a pretty steep trail and crossed lots of big water bars with no trouble. TOD worked great. The Trooper just ate up the steep trail with no problems and hardly slipped a wheel. The ride was amazingly smooth for how rough the trail was. To my surprise, we didn't scrape a single time.

    I'm a pretty experienced off road driver (5th 4WD vehicle, plus thousands of off road miles in US Forest Service and State of Idaho vehicles) so I'm not that easily impressed. I can tell you though that Troopers are very competent (and confidence inspiring) off road. Can't wait to take it out again.

    There was one not so great surprise though. When I had to back off a particularly steep part of the trail (tree across the road) I had to stay on the brakes pretty hard to keep it from running away. 4 lo reverse didn't seem to help either. It was a bit of a handful to keep it at a reasonable speed backing down the (long)trail. A little disconcerting with 1000 ft dropoffs ~: 0 I'm used to 4Lo reverse being the same as 4lo first gear so this was a bit of an upleasant surprise.

    The highways we traveled on in Southeast B.C. were pretty steep, narrow, and windy. I noticed several times that the grade logic feature in the transmisssion kicked in when coasting down the grades. Some times it worked really well and kept the vehicle at a constant (appropriate) speed on the downgrades. The transmission would shift down and the RPMs would go up to around 2000 - 2500. Didn't have to ride the brakes to keep from going too fast.

    At other times though it was just annoying. I'm not really used to it yet. At times when I didn't want it to shift down I just kept slight pressure on the gas pedal and that seemed to lock it out.

    Driving those curvy mtn roads was also a reminder that I need to put some better shocks on this thing and maybe some tires with stiffer sidewalls.

    All in all a great weekend and a good shakedown for the Trooper. Hard to believe these things can perform like they do off road, then deliver a plush highway ride when you get off the trail (just don't try to fling it around a corner like a sports car!)
    I'll try to post some pictures later. Got some pretty spectacular shots of the Purcell and Kootney ranges in Southern B.C. The hot springs at Ainsworth were awesome after a day of driving!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Cool glad to hear you were happy with it. I too found the reverse gear to be nearly useless off-roading. Had the same problem on my rodeo. If you could e-mail me [email protected] some pics for http://isuzu-suvs.com I'd suggest the rancho 9000s since they are adjustable, nice soft on-road, nice and stiff off-road.


    -mike

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Come to the Isuzu Owner's Chat tonight, if you are an owner, or interested in buying one! 10pm-11pm EST this evening.


    -mike

    http://isuzu-suvs.com

  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Yeah, a chain saw is a good offroading tool for that scenario. Together with a tow rope one could unblock the path.
  • keepontroopinkeepontroopin Posts: 297
    An occasional tree downed on the path should not be an obstacle for the trooper. If it is too big to drive over simply attach a chain to it and pull it out of the way. You will be surprised at how big of a tree the trooper can move out of the way. We run into this a lot at our hunting camp since it sits about two miles off a mountain road in central PA. Unless it is a CA redwood or a two hundred year old oak it really shouldn't be a problem if you have a strong chain.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    I figured I should report on my Moab experience, as there were only a few late model Troopers there, and only one mostly unmodified Trooper that did some of the more difficult trails.

    First of all, I should say what a fabulous time I had. My 99 Trooper performed magnificently, the scenery is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the Isuzu enthusiasts who attended were extremely nice and helpful to a newcomer like me.

    If you aren't familiar with Moab, check out moab-utah.com. It is just down the road from Arches National Park, and is a Mecca for all manner of off road activities including 4-wheeling, mountain biking, hiking, ATVs, etc.

    The terrain is arid Western type, with no mud and few trees to scratch your finish. The bedrock is sandstone, aka "slickrock", which actually is not slick at all and provides amazing traction.

    My 99 Trooper had a few mods, including OME shocks and rear coils, Pirelli LT265/75R16 tires, and an ECB nudge bar up front. I figure between the tires and coils I gained a couple of inches of clearance. BTW all of these mods are easy to do, and not very expensive by off-roading standards.

    I ran 4 trails, one each day. I chose trails rated 3.5, to challenge myself hopefully without significant body damage. Looking back, I am pleased with that choice.

    I know some of you are worried about damaging your new vehicles, so here is an inventory of the damages I sustained:

    - Scraped the underside of the hitch receiver repeatedly, I was glad it was there!
    - A tiny, almost unnoticeable ding in the end of the exhaust pipe (which would have taken a beating without the hitch).
    - Some brush scratches, mainly from the Kane Creek Canyon trail, which winds through tamarisk trees for much of the trail. I don't know how they will look after a good wash.
    - Scratches to the lower front corner of the fascia, from nosing into the dirt coming off of near-vertical descents on Fins 'n Things.
    - A dent in the lower curve of the nudge bar tube on one side from going through a severe dip on the Kane Creek Canyon trail, at the bottom of which I was dragging both ends.
    - Scrapes to the underside of the nudge bar bracket.

    Most of the above doesn't bother me, after the first year I get a lot less anal about the finish. I might try to buff out the front plastic fascia scratches; if anybody knows of a good way to do that let me know, the scratches look white on my black bumper. Actually, when I look at these marks, it brings back good memories and I smile :-)

    Most of the driving was in 4lo, which doesn't really involve the TOD, AFAIK. I think the transfer case is locked when in 4lo judging by the way the tires were scrubbing on the rocks during tight turns.

    The climbing ability of my Trooper was awesome, even with only LSD rear and open front diff. I was walking up slopes that other more heavily modified vehicles were having trouble with. The automatic really helps also, you can easily maintain smooth power flow which aids in keeping traction on a climb.

    I definitely recommend LT tires for all the rocks! Although there was another bone-stock 99 Trooper there that did not blow a tire, he didn't go on any of the 3.5-rated trails that I did, however.

    Well, I am tired of typing now, but if I have left anything out, respond with questions and I will elaborate.

    Steve
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    thanks for the update. sounds like your trooper did great.
  • duktrooperduktrooper Posts: 78
    I'm inspired for next year. How did you like your OME's performance? What tire pressure did you run on the trails with Pirelli's?
  • pinoy99pinoy99 Posts: 79
    Steve,

    Yep, in 4lo T-case is locked; no TOD.
    Long wheelbase does help walking up steep slopes.
    Body scratches...you're lucky, trails in PA/NJ are full of brush BUT the more you off-road the less you care about scratches :)
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    The OME shocks/springs worked great - no compaints whatsoever. In fact, when Matt (of Independent4x4) was riding with me, we were clambering over some rough bedrock ridges, and he looked at me and said "like driving in a parking lot".

    I ran the Pirellis at about 20 psi. A lot of guys were running less than that, but I tried 20 and had next to no traction problems, so I stuck with it.
  • emiuraemiura Posts: 59
    Here is my report on Moab experience. I drove my stock 99 Trooper with original Dueler 684's. I'd orginally chosen four 3-rated trails, but due to not enough participant, two of the trails were canceled and ended up driving 3.5-rated trails.

    Results:
    - Dent on transmission skid plate (no damage to the trans). Caused by climbing "Mean Hill" on 3D trail (3-rated). Had to drive up relatively fast due to loose ground, and underbody hit a rock at the top of the hill.
    - Scraped underside of front bumper and hitch receiver. Caused by approaching and exiting steep hills on Fins-n-Things and 7 Mile Rim trails (3.5-rated). The hitch receiver prevented damage to the exhaust pipe.
    - Left front side mudflap became somewhat loose from hitting rocks as the truck came down hills/steps. Both front and rear mudflaps were dragging/hitting rocks on 3.5 rated trails but did not break. They are actually quite flexible.
    -Scratches on side body from trees and brushes.

    By looking at sdc2's Trooper, suspension lift and larger tires would definatelly help to run these trails. I'd also remove both front and rear mudflaps before next year if there is a easy way to do it.

    Overall, I am happy with how the stock Trooper performed. I've received many good advises and "spotting" from experienced drivers. I could not drive some sections without their helps.

    ...Eiji...
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    great report. Sounds like the troopers can handle the tough stuff in stock condition. I really hope that Isuzu has a future for the trooper.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    It was fun meeting you at Moab - too bad we didn't run the same trails together, I would have liked to compare notes...all in all, though, your "damage" report is pretty similar to mine.

    BTW thanks for your translation of the driving light installation diagram...my Japanese is kinda weak :-)

    Regarding the mudflaps, I took the rears off at Moab...what I though would be a simple task turned into an hour long struggle! Don't try it unless you have to! I also tried to get the fronts off but the screws just turned without backing out, and there was no way to get to the backside to see what was going on...
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    While I was re-installing my rear mudflaps I noticed a hefty dent in the shield over the gas tank. I guess I'll have to pull it off and beat it back into shape...oh well, better that than the gas tank itself!
  • crunchycrunchy Posts: 26
    Hi Everyone,


    I took a day trip to the TNF last weekend with some guys from the PNWIOR (Pacific Northwest Isuzu Off Road club), and have posted some pics on my site. http://63.105.28.12/trooper/


    We had a great time, and people in other types of vehicles couldn't believe we were making it up the one super gnarly hill. Especially me, in my totally stock (except for the stereo), brand new, not-even-license-plated-yet, leather-seated, 2001 Trooper. ;)


    Sue

    P.S. Yes, Mike, you may take any pics you want :)

  • emiuraemiura Posts: 59
    I've finally gotten my Moab pictures uploaded to Photopoint. Here is the link:


    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1704418&a=13093184&f=0


    Stock '99 silver Trooper is mine.


    ...Eiji...

  • keepontroopinkeepontroopin Posts: 297
    Looks like you guys had a pretty good time. Wish I could make it out there sometime!
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    neat pics. looks like a great time.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    When I was on Long Island, I went out on the sand a little in 4WD TOD. Didn't have much time, but the trooper did great in the deeper sand. At one point I did a turn around in the deep sand, and I was impressed with how well it swung around. Still haven't washed all the sand off my mudflaps--oh well.

    I also had a question for CWmoser, do you buy a beach driving permit when you go out to Nantucket or is there no charge for the 4x4s out there?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    This past weekend, I needed to pull a boat out of the beach near my house upstate. It's deep soft sand @ a 45-55 degree angle, maybe steeper, and I just yanked it and drove up spinning the wheels (didn't air them down) all the way out. with a trailer in tow, probably about 700lbs of trailer.

    -mike
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    sorry, I meant that question for sbcooke; I don't think cwmoser does any offroading.
  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227
    gpm5, you're right. I don't do off-roading. In fact I don't even allow one to eat in my Trooper. Guess I'm a little particular but I don't want to have to clean it up.


    Example of how particular I am with my Trooper:

      http://www.isuzu.8k.com/FloorMats.htm

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    10-11pm EST. Come chat with other Isuzu Owners. If you are an owner, or prospective owner, you don't want to miss this opportunity to get in touch live with other's who have real world experience.


    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/isuzuchat.html


    -mike

This discussion has been closed.