72 Wagoneer

1972 Jeep Wagoneer - Isuzu 4BD1T Diesel

My dad bought a used 1983 Grand Wagoneer when I was in high school in about 1987.   It was always a cool rig, but needed lots of repairs.  I scoffed at my father for giving it away finally while I was in college or shortly thereafter.  I didn't have a place for it, money to fix it, or time.  But still, I'm looking to buy one, and I could have had that unit for free.  I've been casually looking for about 5 years now.  I've probably looked at over 100 online.  Too much money or too much trouble.  My wife said it would be awesome if I found a red woody with black interior.  Not only is red super rare, but good luck finding a decent one.

I decided that I love the 1963-1972 dashboard.  I just can't seem to find anything appealing about the later models.  I'm willing to go a great distance to pickup a great donor, but it just so happens that 20 min from my house I found a 1972 (my wife's birth year) Red, woody, Wagoneer with no rust, no dents, amazingly in-tact interior that needs a motor.  Tom the seller found it in a barn, and the odo says 40,000 miles.  Should be 140k, but the seats have no wear.  It doesn't matter too much because I'm replacing the motor, transmission, and transfer case.  Tom already upgraded to Dana 44 axles from a 1977 Wagoneer.  He was in the process of doing a "resto-mod".  He wanted fuel injection and disc brakes.  Both excellent upgrades.  



First order of business was admitting to my wife that I bought it.  Turns out she loved it and I was off the hook for buying a complete project.


The next morning I set up a space at work for all the parts and the rig.


I couldn't keep my hands off the Jeep, and I'm so curious about how the Isuzu motor is going to go in, I pulled the motor.


Been hitting the internets pretty hard now.  Studying up on transmissions, transfer cases, weights, HP/TQ levels, and all that.  So what you see here is a 1988 GM 350 tbi motor, GM 700r4 Transmission, and a Dana 300 Transfer Case.  The 350 is dead, the 700r4 is probably not going to take the Tq from the diesel, but as long as the D300 is in good shape, I'm going to use it.  It already has the adapter for a GM tranny.


What blows me away is the condition of the interior so far.  Yes, it's dirty.  Tom told me it was actually a barn find.  Seats have no tears, roof liner is perfect, except for the windshield all the glass is good, all the handles are there.  Somebody cut speakers in the door panels D'oh!, but if that's the only boy racer silly modification, I'm happy.  One of the most important parts to me is the stock steering wheel and horn.  Every single truck I've looked at either had a replaced wheel or it was destroyed.  I was a little worried because the PO had installed a 80's GM steering column for the tilt.  But he had the original on a shelf!!!
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I just hope that I have all the parts for the dash board.   There's like 6 ash trays for this thing.  No head rests, but plenty of ash trays.







Factory AC!
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Not sure which one will be the winner.  Most likely a combination of the best parts.
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Notes on Gearing:

1989 Isuzu 4BD1t - 126 hp at 3000 RPM, 250 lb/ft at 2000 RPM rough stock.
GM 4L80E - gear ratios 1-4: 2.48, 1.48, 1.00, 0.75
Dana 300 - gear ratios H-L: 1.00, 2.62
Dana 44 - gear ratios: 3.54

Cruise:  2000 RPM > 0.75 OD > 3.54 Axle > 29" tire = 65.02 mph.  Perfect!
Idle:      650 RPM > 2.48 1st > 3.54 Axle > 29" tire = 6.39 mph.
Low:     650 RPM > 2.48 1st > 2.62 Lo > 3.54 Axle > 29" tire = 2.44 mph.

Motor: 721 lbs, 3600 rev limit  (Jeep 360: 405 lbs)

Motor #1
1986 automatic - DOM: May 1985 - Wastegated IHI Turbo - 116 HP @ 3000 RPM
Notes from seller:
1986 Isuzu 4BD1T direct injected diesel engine with just under 200k on the clock. The
engine ran great when pulled, the previous owner wanted the manual trans behind it and didn't need
the rest of the truck (he had a NPR tow truck with an auto that died). I removed as much as I could
when I pulled the engine so all accessories have wiring with pigtails and no hoses were cut.

Motor #2
1989 manual - DOM: Sept 1988 - Garrett Turbo - 126 HP at 3000 RPM
Notes from Seller:
It came from light truck parts in portland as a  runner, we got the whole truck minus the starter, my buddy was going to use it under a street rod cabover truck but sold all of it to me & I got the complete motor& trans, some shifting cables, I removed them from the chassy myself,  I got the rear end & front axle  & tires I dont know mileage, the trans I assume stock 5 speed, if you call me I can send pics buy phone rick xxxxxxxx leave me a message & I will send pics

Research notes:
Dougal:  The IHI turbo was used from 85-88 and the Garrett used from then until about 1994. The 88+ motors have a different cam and seem to run a bit quieter. THe IHI manifold will only fit IHI turbos, it's close to T25 pattern but not quite. The Garrett manifold will be T3 pattern.

Bush65: Isuzu made several worthwhile improvements to the 4BD1T in late 1988 (the model that have the Garrett turbo). Stronger pistons and improved piston cooling (both to overcome an issue with piston cracking), larger displacement oil pump, camshaft with valve timing that suits turbocharging (earlier engines had a cam that suited NA). Stock power and torque are higher and fuel consumption is reduced (around 15% for all).  The later 4BD1T's are quieter and smoother, such that Isuzu eliminated some acoustic measures that were employed with the earlier engines.

Maybe a slightly bigger tire with a period correct aftermarket wheel set?  It is sitting 4" higher than stock with the Dana 44 axles.
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