Builds The "Red Rocket" Troopy

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Awesome, can't wait to see how your 55 comes out as well. I've thought about using the Isuzu transmission with some sort of TC attached to it, but the 5th gear ratio on mine is at least 1:1, then I'd have to regear the rear and front end just to not be maxxed out at 55 mph in 5th gear. At least the h55 is 0.845:1 if I could get my hand on a NV4500 for relatively cheap then I'd go for that due to the higher OD, and there are adapter kits for the Isuzu engines to those transmissions, but as I'm on an extreme budget for all of this I don't think I can add that to the mix as well.

If you could get any lead/info on adapting an h55 to the 4BD's that would be greatly appreciated. Or if there is a pretty cheap option to adding a transfer case to the Isuzu transmission then I could have money left to regear it with. Thanks!
Rubber overdrive? HMMWV tires and wheels: HMMWV Tire And Wheel | eBay - https://www.ebay.com/itm/294609243329?hash=item4498144cc1:g:i0QAAOSw9lVhrOlT&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoJQvXk%2BqNUDSpShGHCw%2Bjv7cg5a0lOrvaL697eixQwo4HvPDzyCsZegVPLjzSVat4ik4CJJ8vTf4T6b5Tis%2B3yLVP3PswUCygue%2FFclvPLuMxARRldAck%2B3TkX69QhptIW4%2Fvzyff%2FvAVA9kT6LhZ2LMCz%2Bfdt82Ay6YEypCBT8FUOi5APvMzVea0s0xVnmNRBu69EpJCgKiYJFFqlalUKY%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR8rllfH7YA

With HMMWV rims/tires you can have true beadlocks and 37" radial MT's at bargain prices. 37's Aired down to 10PSI with beadlocks and you're cruising almost anywhere offroad slowly with ease. That much rubber under the troopy they last super long as well.
 

Broski

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Rubber overdrive? HMMWV tires and wheels: HMMWV Tire And Wheel | eBay - https://www.ebay.com/itm/294609243329?hash=item4498144cc1:g:i0QAAOSw9lVhrOlT&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoJQvXk%2BqNUDSpShGHCw%2Bjv7cg5a0lOrvaL697eixQwo4HvPDzyCsZegVPLjzSVat4ik4CJJ8vTf4T6b5Tis%2B3yLVP3PswUCygue%2FFclvPLuMxARRldAck%2B3TkX69QhptIW4%2Fvzyff%2FvAVA9kT6LhZ2LMCz%2Bfdt82Ay6YEypCBT8FUOi5APvMzVea0s0xVnmNRBu69EpJCgKiYJFFqlalUKY%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR8rllfH7YA

With HMMWV rims/tires you can have true beadlocks and 37" radial MT's at bargain prices. 37's Aired down to 10PSI with beadlocks and you're cruising almost anywhere offroad slowly with ease. That much rubber under the troopy they last super long as well.
Those tires are dry rotted and not safe. and the bolt pattern is wrong ! 🤷‍♂️
 
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Rubber overdrive? HMMWV tires and wheels: HMMWV Tire And Wheel | eBay - https://www.ebay.com/itm/294609243329?hash=item4498144cc1:g:i0QAAOSw9lVhrOlT&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoJQvXk%2BqNUDSpShGHCw%2Bjv7cg5a0lOrvaL697eixQwo4HvPDzyCsZegVPLjzSVat4ik4CJJ8vTf4T6b5Tis%2B3yLVP3PswUCygue%2FFclvPLuMxARRldAck%2B3TkX69QhptIW4%2Fvzyff%2FvAVA9kT6LhZ2LMCz%2Bfdt82Ay6YEypCBT8FUOi5APvMzVea0s0xVnmNRBu69EpJCgKiYJFFqlalUKY%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR8rllfH7YA

With HMMWV rims/tires you can have true beadlocks and 37" radial MT's at bargain prices. 37's Aired down to 10PSI with beadlocks and you're cruising almost anywhere offroad slowly with ease. That much rubber under the troopy they last super long as well.
Biggest I think I want to go is 33x10.5 I feel like no power steering would be such a pain on 37's, then again never tried it so I wouldn't know. The troopy on 37's would look crazy haha! I know this is just an example, maybe 35's someday? I just don't really feel the need. Tires are just so dang expensive now.
Those tires are dry rotted and not safe. and the bolt pattern is wrong ! 🤷‍♂️
And there's the rational side of things as well...
 
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Biggest I think I want to go is 33x10.5 I feel like no power steering would be such a pain on 37's, then again never tried it so I wouldn't know. The troopy on 37's would look crazy haha! I know this is just an example, maybe 35's someday? I just don't really feel the need. Tires are just so dang expensive now.

And there's the rational side of things as well...
I wouldn't do 37's without power steering. That guy in lillington seems to have alot of tire wheel combo's cheap. He's had an ebay add up for over a year now. It takes about 3.5" of spacers in 8-6 lug or a wheel recenter kit to make HMMWV wheels work. Used or NOS surplus HMMWV tires are a steel of a deal now............If you don't need/want beadlocks, big tires, or a project to be different there's no point. ... You're right tires are so dang expensive now.
 

Broski

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LOL there’s nothing easy about making 37s work. Especially on a 70.
There’s a lot more to it then just getting them bolted on.
 

joekatana

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I wouldn't do 37's without power steering. That guy in lillington seems to have alot of tire wheel combo's cheap. He's had an ebay add up for over a year now. It takes about 3.5" of spacers in 8-6 lug or a wheel recenter kit to make HMMWV wheels work. Used or NOS surplus HMMWV tires are a steel of a deal now............If you don't need/want beadlocks, big tires, or a project to be different there's no point. ... You're right tires are so dang expensive now.
Those military 37's suck and the weight of a wheel/tire combo combined with a 3 inch spacer is enough to create some serious issues on your cruiser . I used these a while for wheeling only and quickly got rid of them and got some new beadlock wheels and decent tires instead . It's not because it's cheap that it's any good !
 

FJBen

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That tire/wheel combo is like 150lbs that’s a lot of unsprung weight. Any saved money on those old rotted tires will be out with spacers and mods to make it work right.

I ran my FJ55 with 35s SUA without power steering. Dual lockers a 2F at 5000’ altitude.
Wheeling was hard and I definitely needed more gearing. I can’t imagine my old 55 with 37s without gears/power steering.

I think the 35x10.50 would be a great size on a troopy, I’m running 34s and really like that size.
 
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That tire/wheel combo is like 150lbs that’s a lot of unsprung weight. Any saved money on those old rotted tires will be out with spacers and mods to make it work right.

I ran my FJ55 with 35s SUA without power steering. Dual lockers a 2F at 5000’ altitude.
Wheeling was hard and I definitely needed more gearing. I can’t imagine my old 55 with 37s without gears/power steering.

I think the 35x10.50 would be a great size on a troopy, I’m running 34s and really like that size.
NA engine at 5000ft with big tires can be problematic. I wouldn't want to do 37s without power steering. J's troopy is probably going to be the new home of an Isuzu 4bd 1t engine and tranny he has at his house. I believe that tranny he said is 1:1 5th gear, and being a npr tranny has a really low first..... Hmmwv tires come in a wide variety of condition. From NOS to worn out and dry rotted. Older Humvee wheels from the 1990s do not weigh 150 lb. Perhaps the newer rims for the armored Humvees with that solid rubber run flat? Either way 37s with three and a half inch aluminum wheel spacers is a weak point.
 
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Decided to get my revenge on the engine that started it all while home for thanksgiving and was honestly quite surprised. I was so worried about my upper end with the turbo, head gasket blowing, cracking a head, precup falling into the cylinder etc. but everything looked just fine, the cylinders have cross hatching in them, I cant see or feel any cracks in the head other than the precups, head gasket doesn't look stressed or damaged anywhere. Just find it funny that the "most indestructible" thing on a 3B *in my mind at the time* was the thing that failed quite catastrophically.

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As for the engine swap... I'm starting to catalog parts that I need to get for the upcoming surgery on the Red Rocket. My dad is good with CAD and is doing all the technical stuff and measurements that I would for sure mess up. A professor up at app state who is building a 45 series by stretching a 40 series offered me help with fabricating stuff for the swap as soon as thanksgiving is over. We are thinking the best course of action and simplest as of right now will be to keep the entire isuzu bellhousing attached to the Isuzu engine, then just make an adapter plate for the rear of the Isuzu bellhousing to mate up to the front of the h55f.

If anyone reading this needs anything for a 24V 3B then I'll give a you a "Red Rocket Friends and Family Discount" for 10% off any products
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Looks great, buddy. Good to hear you have a plan and a team in place.
You are involuntarily sitting on a two peak stockpile of 3B parts, which become quite rare (at least here).🤤
If only I would know what [first] might fail on my 3B...🤔
If only you wouldn't be on the other side of the pond called Atlantic.🌊
If only I would have storage capacity 😒
Good Luck with your mod.
Cheers Ralf
 
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....

As for the engine swap.... We are thinking the best course of action and simplest as of right now will be to keep the entire isuzu bellhousing attached to the Isuzu engine, then just make an adapter plate for the rear of the Isuzu bellhousing to mate up to the front of the h55f.

Since you have CAD design support, have you considered electronically mocking up your baseline configuration (Isuzu engine/bellhousing combo with an adapter to H55) to enable defining what this baseline does to transmission placement (i.e., shift and transfer case shift level locations, drive shaft lengths and angles, cross member/transmission support member location & fabrication, electrical connection changes in harness for transmission/transfer connections). The Isuzu engine will require new mounting / radiator / shroud in any configuration that you choose. Be sure to look at engine oil pan sump location versus your front axle too. [you don't want the axle to collide with your oil pan when it articulates up.]

My suggestion is develop the information so you can make data driven decisions rather than jump at what appears to be the easiest. Easiest comes in many forms

  • easiest decision to make today
  • easiest to pay for
  • easiest to maintain and service for years to come
  • easiest in total fabrication scope and time
  • ....

Good luck
 
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And I should have mentioned the input shaft to the H55 ... if you are using the Isuzu engine and bell housing, then you are probably also retain the Isuzu flywheel and clutch which may require different input shaft geometry than what the H55 has.
 
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Great what you're doing. Good service to the community to keep posting up the information.

It's interesting to me to see the difference between old guys fabricating by hand fitting calibrated eyeball method, and the young guys doing the cad cam, 3D printing, laser cutting, etc...
 
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First engine is pretty much just the block left... and since this block is toast my buddy and I, who is in industrial design at app state, are gonna make a table, will update with results at some point.
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Check out this crank damage!
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I cant tell if it's casting marks but they look deep and kinda spread out, I think it has also fractured among many of the casting marks

Since you have CAD design support, have you considered electronically mocking up your baseline configuration (Isuzu engine/bellhousing combo with an adapter to H55) to enable defining what this baseline does to transmission placement (i.e., shift and transfer case shift level locations, drive shaft lengths and angles, cross member/transmission support member location & fabrication, electrical connection changes in harness for transmission/transfer connections). The Isuzu engine will require new mounting / radiator / shroud in any configuration that you choose. Be sure to look at engine oil pan sump location versus your front axle too. [you don't want the axle to collide with your oil pan when it articulates up.]

My suggestion is develop the information so you can make data driven decisions rather than jump at what appears to be the easiest. Easiest comes in many forms

  • easiest decision to make today
  • easiest to pay for
  • easiest to maintain and service for years to come
  • easiest in total fabrication scope and time
  • ....

Good luck
I don't plan on having to move the transmission at all, along with anything in the rear end, I THINK that around a 1in spacer should be enough to everything all lined up and spaced properly, if anything the input shaft would have been too long so I'll just need to make the adapter plate the thickness that I need to make up for.

I do expect to have to make new engine mounts obviously, along with using the stock isuzu radiator (which is quite a bit larger than the 3B) and the shroud... all of that I'm not too excited for but I realize its part of the whole process. I've read previously that you need at least a 3in lift in order to clean the oil pan on a 40 and 60 series, I have a 2inch lift so I'm expecting to have to cut a divot in the oil pan possibly and hope it doesn't interfere with the oil pickup. If not I'll do some cheap block lift another inch or so and put 33's on it to make it not look too dorky.

Thank you for running over the basics and getting me thinking, if anyone else has anything to add please do!! Wisdom is key and I am very much lacking it.
And I should have mentioned the input shaft to the H55 ... if you are using the Isuzu engine and bell housing, then you are probably also retain the Isuzu flywheel and clutch which may require different input shaft geometry than what the H55 has.
Yes this too, I have found a clutch used in the overseas market for this engine but with a spline count and dimensions that should work with the h55f 21 spline and mesh with the isuzu pressure plate/flywheel just fine.

Great what you're doing. Good service to the community to keep posting up the information.

It's interesting to me to see the difference between old guys fabricating by hand fitting calibrated eyeball method, and the young guys doing the cad cam, 3D printing, laser cutting, etc...
I'm glad to keep yall updated, the people who follow this thread among about 30 of my close friends are the only ones who really care what I'm doing in detail, all of my Instagram or social media followers don't understand this at all, they just would love to see the Red Rocket run again. Plus without y'all id be lacking a lot of wisdom and information!
 
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as for the 2nd engine failure, there was definitely a knock VERY LOUD KNOCK coming from the bottom side on the engine, but I also noticed that I lost 150psi in one of the cylinders... well you can clearly see which cylinder lost it, wasn't firing. I had a 3cyl 3B for a minute or 2 haha. I haven't dropped the oil pan on it yet. Once again this head, at first glance, looks fine, no obvious cracks besides the precups

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As the owner of a 3b-t running around 20 psi do you have any insight on why this happened?
Any telltale stress marks/pre-existing fracture lines/ casting imperfections on the crank, con rods etc that might have helped lead to this, or point you in a direction of why this failed? Bad bottom end bearings?
Was there an 'event' that preceded this breakage? long loaded trip, boost spike, flogging it around at high boost low rpm?
 
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if one cylinder was not igniting, could it have broken a con rod then snapped the crank from uneven force on it?
I cant think of a reason why one cylinder wouldnt have been igniting, being a diesel
 

cruiserdan

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Or a hydro-lock
 

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