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 Post subject: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:53 am 
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Hey there all,
I thought I'd start a post on my '76 2x4 build as I've finally started the project.
The build is planned to be both time and cost conservative, as I have a couple of other vehicles (not LUV's) in need of attention. So for now it's just about getting the little truck back on the road with a simple build.

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I bought this little truck off a mate a few years ago as a fixer-upper for my daughter's first car, something we could build together and teach her about restoring and maintaining her car as we went. But I didn't have anywhere to store it at the time, so my mate said he'd keep it in his shed until I was ready to pick it up. I knew it might be some time before I could get it, but he's dumped it under some trees out in the weather and never bothered to tell me.

When I picked it up it was in a very sad state, so naturally we put off the build for a few more months. The cab was a lot more rusted out than when I first inspected it & some thieving so n so had pinched the grille badge & a few other parts off the car. I started the tear down a few weeks ago and it had deteriorated quite a lot in the time it was sitting. I knew the body was pretty rough, so I was on the hunt for a replacement cab, and found one at a salvage yard for the right price a few weeks ago that also has the factory rear tub.

I can however use the body from the 4x4 I've recently bought on my 2x4 chassis, so I've decided to retain the stock G161 four banger & keep the driveline from the 4x4 as a spare. She'll get a few tweaks such as fresh head rebuild, mild porting, ULP compatible valves and new valve springs, mild cam, performance induction manifold, most likely swap the Nikki carb for a 26/32 Webber, & it's already been upgraded to a 5 speed with heavy duty clutch, and electronic distributor and has a set of 'Wildcat' 4 into 2 into 1 headers and 2 & 1/4" un-restrictive exhaust system. The photos below are of the '76 engine bay prior to the tear down

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The '76 had a set of after market bucket seats fitted, and a set of Speco instruments for oil pressure, temp and ammeter readings, so they'll get fitted again for sure :D

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Last edited by Sherro57 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:07 am 
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Last weekend we started the serious stuff with removing everything that may be of use from the old rusty cab, and then cut up the cab to save some sheet metal that may come in handy, then dumped the rest to the scrap yard. Here's some pix of the carnage :D

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I had an early knock off from work yesterday, so got in and started removing the carburettor, induction manifold, headers and ran out of daylight before I got to remove the head. Once the head is off I'll be sending it to a machine shop on the south side of my city to give it a full overhaul, fit stainless valves for running ULP and some mild port work and decide on cam upgrade.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:15 am 
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I found a 4x4 in a local salvage yard for a replacement cab etc, and it turned out to be a real gem.

It's got an almost perfect cab body, very minimal rust, only in a couple of small spots in the rear tub, it was missing two of it's wheels, the battery and someone had cut the wires from the loom for the coil & also taken the coil, but within half an hour it was purring like a kitten. It turns out the '79 4x4 I secured from the salvage yard was actually driven to there and the registration plates removed, but unfortunately has been listed on the Government 'Statutory Write-Off' register, so it can never be re-registered for public road use :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:46 am 
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the 4x4 one looks pretty sweet, are you just going to swap the 4x4 cab onto your 4x2 frame?

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:12 am 
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mrflibbles wrote:
the 4x4 one looks pretty sweet, are you just going to swap the 4x4 cab onto your 4x2 frame?


Yeah I'm spewing that the 4x4 is in such great shape,,, I picked it up from a wreckers, it was actually driven there and then number plates removed :(
Anything that goes to wreckers is sposed to be put straight onto "Statutory Write-Off" register and therefore never to be re registered for public road use. But I did a check about a week after getting it home and all the details came up, but was not listed on the write off register last week when I did a title search? So I may be in luck,,, however that's not to say it won't be added by the wrecking yard in the future?
4x4 would be cool, and useful, but it'd be too tempting to take it bush,,,, and me knowing me, it'd be bashed up thinking I could tackle some extreme track somewhere :lol:

So the plan is to restore the 2x4 chassis, do any engine reconditioning etc then transfer the cab and tub from the 4x4 onto the 2x4 chassis, and swap out the '79 KB Isuzu dash, side glass and grille with the '76 LUV dash, grille, badging etc and source a tailgate with the 'CHEVROLET' embossed lettering. I found a NOS '72 LUV tailgate in the US, but I'm having trouble getting anyone to freight to Oz.

Between the two I've got everything to get either of them back on the road with little fuss. But I'll give the engine a fresh up and swap the NIKKI carby over to a downdraft 32/36 Webber & ported intake manifold.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:38 am 
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I don't think the 72 tail gate will fit either tub you have, you need one with the tail lights on the side of the tub like you have now...

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:11 am 
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mytmouz wrote:
I don't think the 72 tail gate will fit either tub you have, you need one with the tail lights on the side of the tub like you have now...


Hmm,,, well if that's the case, I best not order the one I saw?
All I'm really after is the 'CHEVROLET' text across the tailgate instead of 'ISUZU',,, I had considered getting a raw sheet stamped out and grafting it in place, or making/buying a new/replacement tailgate skin for the one I have, but can't seem to find anyone at this stage to do it?

I'd even be happy with a fiberglass tailgate if any such creature exists?

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:25 am 
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I pulled the manifolds off the '76 LUV the other day after work, and took the carburettor off before diner tonight. I'm not sure if the induction manifold is salvageable or not, it's pretty corroded? :(

But I'll clean all the grime of on the weekend and have a better look at it and see if it's repairable, then if it is, I'll remove the bridge below where the butterflies sit and start porting out the hole to prevent air friction in the neck, improving air flow and decide on either cleaning up the coolant galleries of plugging them up entirely. Eliminating a heated manifold will mean a cooler induction manifold, which should allow better fuel atomisation in theory?

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The stock carburettor will not be retained,,, if there's anyone chasing one,,, free to good home :D all you need to do is pay for shipping

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:32 pm 
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that is a nice header I didn't know they made the 4-2-1 headers for these engines I have only seen the pacesetter 4-1

our carb isn't the same as yours you guys have the Stromberg nikki and we have a hitachi dch340/dcp340 depending on the year, they look pretty similar but not sure if they are directly compatible

I cut the Chevrolet part out of a trashed tailgate I had but it isn't in very good shape and isn't the full skin. as far as I know there is no fiberglass tailgate for these trucks, not much reason to lose weight off the light end :lol:

as far as the intake goes im really not sure if it would cause coolant circulation issues if you plugged up the ports but I don't think it would as long as you made sure to reroute the heater core hoses

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1980 Mikado, Chevy 4.3 V6. Compcams 270HR, edelbrock intake and carb, vortec heads, s10 NV3500, stock 4.10 rear. The toy
1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4, 31" kumho mt's, the wife's daily driver
1993 Lexus SC400 my DD
2005 Honda CRF450R where the real fun is at


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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Sherro57 wrote:
mytmouz wrote:
I don't think the 72 tail gate will fit either tub you have, you need one with the tail lights on the side of the tub like you have now...


Hmm,,, well if that's the case, I best not order the one I saw?
All I'm really after is the 'CHEVROLET' text across the tailgate instead of 'ISUZU',,, I had considered getting a raw sheet stamped out and grafting it in place, or making/buying a new/replacement tailgate skin for the one I have, but can't seem to find anyone at this stage to do it?

I'd even be happy with a fiberglass tailgate if any such creature exists?

I would be willing to work with on an even exchange. I really want the Isuzu embossed tailgate and badge off the grill. I will give you a luv tailgate with the Chevrolet embossed on it and a bow tie for the front grill. I don't know what shipping would cost but I'm very interested in making the exchange. My tailgate is in good condition. Let me know Sir.


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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Also interested in right hand drive steering column.
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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:21 pm 
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You need the coolant t on the intake. Its more then a heater deal, its the by pass hose, needed when the thermastat is closed or you will get cavitation.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:01 pm 
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1badluv wrote:
Sherro57 wrote:
mytmouz wrote:
I don't think the 72 tail gate will fit either tub you have, you need one with the tail lights on the side of the tub like you have now...


Hmm,,, well if that's the case, I best not order the one I saw?
All I'm really after is the 'CHEVROLET' text across the tailgate instead of 'ISUZU',,, I had considered getting a raw sheet stamped out and grafting it in place, or making/buying a new/replacement tailgate skin for the one I have, but can't seem to find anyone at this stage to do it?

I'd even be happy with a fiberglass tailgate if any such creature exists?

I would be willing to work with on an even exchange. I really want the Isuzu embossed tailgate and badge off the grill. I will give you a luv tailgate with the Chevrolet embossed on it and a bow tie for the front grill. I don't know what shipping would cost but I'm very interested in making the exchange. My tailgate is in good condition. Let me know Sir.


Well that sounds like a good deal?
I haveall the Isuzu fender & grille badges, plus the 4x4 fender & grille badges intact. And I'd be happy to see what shipping fees to the states would be worth,,, the exchange you suggest sounds like a fantastic plan :)
I wasn't aware the RHD steering column was different? You're possibly in luck with that coz I'd planned taking the front half of cab to the scrap yard a few days ago, but got caught i traffic so missed them. My daughter needed the Rodeo which I'd loaded the cab onto for dumping, but she dropped it at her freinds place instead as her freinds dad was gathering other scrap metal. If it's still there I'll head up tomorrow & set it aside

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:31 pm 
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1bad,
I didn't think of it earlier, but if you're looking at converting a LHD to RHD you will likely need steering box etc as well?
And yep, I can clean the spare one up & ship it over to you if required?

I'll also have the '79 RHD Isuzu instrument cluster, (more modern type) & spare RHD glove box & glovebox lid if you're interested? I'll take some pix & put them up after work.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:15 am 
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love4theluv wrote:
that is a nice header I didn't know they made the 4-2-1 headers for these engines I have only seen the pacesetter 4-1

our carb isn't the same as yours you guys have the Stromberg nikki and we have a hitachi dch340/dcp340 depending on the year, they look pretty similar but not sure if they are directly compatible

I cut the Chevrolet part out of a trashed tailgate I had but it isn't in very good shape and isn't the full skin. as far as I know there is no fiberglass tailgate for these trucks, not much reason to lose weight off the light end :lol:

as far as the intake goes im really not sure if it would cause coolant circulation issues if you plugged up the ports but I don't think it would as long as you made sure to reroute the heater core hoses


Yep they are a nice set of headers, very neat fit. Made by a company called "Wildcat' part #084, they have 1 & 1/2" primaries and 2" main pipe. I'm not sure if they're still available, but there's been a bit of a revival in the Holden Gemini scene with the G161, G180 & G200 series engines. A firm over here have a modified EFI manifold available, plus have blow through turbo induction manifolds, and CAD designed mandrel bent turbo exhaust manifolds for the Isuzu G-series engines.

Before I get too carried away with this induction manifold, I'll be comparing it to the one on the 4x4 and pick the better of the two obviously. The fuel chambers on this one seem alright, but the coolant galleries are pretty corroded :(
I don't really need the heater option as the climate where I live is mostly sub-tropical. It can get cold in the winter months, especially at night, but most of the time it's great weather. But for sure, I'll investigate any potential coolant circulation issues if I was to plug the holes.

But yep, before any machining or anything gets done, it'll pretty much be a case of pull down both engines & clean all components thoroughly, inspect for cracks/fatigue etc,,, pick the best components from both engines and set them aside before refurbishing and assembly of the engine.

In the last few days I've found out that I can get a brand new Lynx manifold & Dellorto DHLA 45 or compatible Webber side draft or even twin SU Carbs to fit the Lynx manifold for a reasonable price, but I haven't been able to get hold of any feedback from people who have used these configurations on an Isuzu G series. So I may even just go that path if it'll save me on the time needed to clean up the manifolds I have and then machining costs? The Dellorto & SU side draft looks pretty 'WILD' though I must admit :twisted:

The down draft Webber on a stock manifold that's modified for better flow seems to be a popular choice on a G161, but I'll do a bit more research on what other options are available.

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:48 am 
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Luvrv8 wrote:
You need the coolant t on the intake. Its more then a heater deal, its the by pass hose, needed when the thermastat is closed or you will get cavitation.


Hmm, "MY BAD",,, I just bought a Lynx after market manifold & side draft Dellorto DHLA 45 :D

I think I might have to plumb in a 'T' piece near the thermostat once it arrives though, as it looks like the Lynx manifold doesn't have any provision for a heater pipe or thermo bypass?

Now that the 2x4 is stripped down to a chassis and running gear, and mostly dismantled engine I'll probably use the 4x4 as a test mule coz it's still 100% drivable

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:49 pm 
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yeah gemracing has the full efi/turbo kit I am also on ozgemini was going to turbo my g180 at one point

got any pics of your new intake and carb combo? I have only seen that setup once but it looked pretty awesome

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1980 Mikado, Chevy 4.3 V6. Compcams 270HR, edelbrock intake and carb, vortec heads, s10 NV3500, stock 4.10 rear. The toy
1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4, 31" kumho mt's, the wife's daily driver
1993 Lexus SC400 my DD
2005 Honda CRF450R where the real fun is at


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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:10 pm 
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love4theluv wrote:
yeah gemracing has the full efi/turbo kit I am also on ozgemini was going to turbo my g180 at one point

got any pics of your new intake and carb combo? I have only seen that setup once but it looked pretty awesome



I tried to copy the image off the classifieds advert, but the website won't allow me to copy, spewin' so I'll have to wait until it arrives in the next week or so. I'm pretty excited to get hold of it and throw it plus the headers on the 4x4 to test it out :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:19 pm 
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The Dell carbs are nice. We run them on a lot of VW's. "Lookin" good

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 Post subject: Re: My '76 2x4 LUV build
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:57 am 
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I had a pretty busy weekend. I have to make room to get my daily driver, a 1990 Holden VQ Statesman in the garage to remove the windscreen and finish off the paint around the pillars. I gave it a full respray a few months ago but messed up around the windscreen, so in an effort to make room for the big saloon there was a big clean up & lots of stuff thrown out. I can see my floor in the garage again :lol: and managed to finish off a couple of smaller jobs that were backing up, including finish the painting of a mates right fender that has been sitting here for almost 2 months, and did a trip to the rubbish dump which has got rid of stuff messing up the yard,, no wonder I'm feeling tired? :D

I ordered a Holden Gemini workshop manual during the week as they have the overhaul section for the Isuzu G161 engines. The Australian LUV was delivered with either the G161 or G180 initially, mine has the G161- twin OHV.

Anyhooo, the shop manual arrived on Friday, so in between all the other stuff I did over the weekend I got to strip down most of the engine and ran the head through the parts wash to clean it all up before sending to the machine shop for reconditioning. It looks like the cylinder bores need honing and there was quite a lot of carbon build up on the piston tops, two burnt out valves and the coolant gallery has corroded through just near the spark plug socket on pot #1. So before I send the head off I'll tear the head off the other engine to compare the two,,, probably send both to the machine shop and let him decide which is the better out of the two heads. Luckily for me, the '76 & '79 that I've got, have both been fitted with the G161 engine, so I can pick & choose parts from either vehicle. :lol:

The 5 speed transmission was overhauled about 6 months before the car was taken off the road, plus the flywheel was machined and new heavy duty clutch fitted. That was a few years ago now, but the gearbox is still nice & tight and doesn't seem to have any leaks.

Here's a couple of picture updates of the mostly stripped down block & the head in the parts wash (I use a 50/50 mix of Kerosene & Diesoline)

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