OK, here goes…
My 1997 Rodeo’s altitude adjustment began with a careful inventory of all of the parts involved, followed by a thorough reading and re-reading of the instructions. (Like many, I often don’t bother to read the instructions, but considering what was on the line… in this case I made an exception.)
I have to say that the instructions leave quite a bit to be desired. --- I am far more of a ‘picture oriented’ type person, so the complete lack of visual representations did little to ease my mind.
This is where having a mechanical genius for a friend makes a big difference. (Thanks again Joe!) --- Now before you go thinking that I’m mechanically inept… I should tell you that I’m no slouch when it comes to understanding the basic nature of how most things work… HOWEVER, I have absolutely no doubt that if I’d tried this project alone, I’d still be sitting out there working on it, and looking at the instructions as though I were a chimpanzee who's trying to calculate algorithms with a slide rule.
And to Joe’s credit, he somehow endured all of my pesky, worrisome, old-lady-esque questions… “Ummm… Are you sure that the blah-blah-blah won’t end-up yadda-yadda-yadda?”
Once we began, I was relieved to find that the whole project was surprisingly straightforward, and nowhere near as intimidating as I had allowed myself to believe. --- Frankly, the hardest part was safely and securely getting the rear end high enough off of the ground to get started working on it… Once that was done, everything else seemed to move along quite smoothly. (Well… ALMOST!
--- More on that later.)
--- After getting the rear end up in the air, with the frame rails sitting upon the jack stands (located just forward of the leaf spring hangers), we jacked the differential up, in order to relieve the weight of the axle off of the springs.
--- With the jack compressing the axle, and another set of jack stands under it to hold everything in place, it was time to remove the shock stud bolts…
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift1.JPG" alt=" - " />
^^^ This was some very messy work… Given the prior three-weeks of below-freezing temperatures, washing it first was pretty much out of the question.
--- Then the U-bolts, U-bolt plate…
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift2.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- And the lower shackle bolt…
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift3.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- Then the forward, stationary leaf spring hanger…
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift4.JPG" alt=" - " />
^^^ Joe’s photographic online debut! --- Almost a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ thing, huh?
--- With the spring off, a vise served us well in preventing the spring tension from becoming an issue. --- The instructions called for a large C-clamp. (Behind the scenes: In-between what you see in these two photos, we found it easier to use a C-clam to compress the leaves while installing the new, longer center pin.)
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift5.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- And BTW, don’t forget to put some grease between those leaves!
--- With the Add-A-Leaf
in place, it was back to the vise. --- A hacksaw took care of the extra center pin length. (That extra length is there for a reason… It makes it much easier to get everything back together again.)
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift6.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- This side was ready to go back on!
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift7.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- Nothing to it… right?
<img src="http://home.sunlitsurf.com/~e-zoozoo/3Lift8.JPG" alt=" - " />
--- It was at this moment that we ran into the first little snag. --- I purchased these Add-A-Leafs from TrooperMark (Thanks Mark!), who in-turn had gotten them from Matt at Indy4x
. --- Mark bought them for his `88 Trooper, and while the leaves will fit on any leaf-sprung Isuzu, I think the center pins might be different for Troopers, BECAUSE
<small>[ February 03, 2003, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: early_cave_drawings ]</small>