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ZombieR2 needs to pick your brains

78443 Views 1049 Replies 50 Participants Last post by  jesselee20040
I have a build thread, but I'll probably get more insight in this section- this will only be the SFA part of my truck rebuild.

Here is the other thread- I'm not going to bother posting SFA stuff in there now.


Here is the blank slate for the 1987 Wagoneer front and 1994 Isuzu Rodeo rear. I'm going to run 35x12.5R15 BFG KM2 tires and keep the 4.30 gear ratio and Trac-lok limited slip front and back. I plan to use an astro steering box with a wagoneer pitman arm, but I'm not going to know for sure until I mount the front axle.

The Rodeo dana44 seems to be in good shape, even the brake pads look brand new, I think I will be OK to just clean it up and re-grease/lube everything and paint it before putting it in.

zip ties on the calibres

I cut the old perches off and smoothed it out

I ordered this kit from 4wdfactory.com

8-11-92 is the date stamped into this differential cover.

I'm going to try and keep the stock leaf springs and make new shackles to adjust the rear height to match the front.

I haven't decided on the front springs yet, but dodge dakotas are plentiful at my local junkyard. The front dana44 will probably be a full rebuild- it looks pretty worn out.

I have Mile Marker hubs waiting to go in.

Thanks for taking a look!
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^ lol

It would have been a cooler thread name if it wasn't already a pretty common theme for threads in here. :/

I can't seem to figure out what tie rods and drag link I need, the pictures don't look like what my steering does.

The rodeo brake line is oh-so-close to hooking right up to the s10 hardlines too, but looks like I'm going to get a length of undetermined stainless steel line and have the s10 hardline threads on 1 side and the rodeo block threads on the other side and eliminate the rubber lines while I'm at it.

I'm also going to try and connect the stock track bar to the rodeo axle (good idea?)

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^ replacing them with braided steel lines.

I hope the u-bolts from the 8.6 just fit the d44, that would make connecting the track bar a cake walk.
GM 8.6


so 2.658.5'' vs 2.790''

U-bolt fits

There is a bit of a gap at the bottom of the u-bolt, but I think that would seal up once they were torqued
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^ I haven't measured yet, that is something I can do today while working to get the rest of the surface rust and grime off the rodeo rear.

My guess is the rodeo rear and the jeep front will be about the same width as a regular 4x4 S10, but I'll be using rims with much less backspace so the track width of my ZR2 might be same as stock- or stick out slightly more.

Because a ZR2 is 3'' wider than a regular S10 4x4, and I need rims that are 2'' less backspace so I should be about .5'' wider track than stock ZR2, but the rims I picked out are 3.75'' Backspace not 4'' and the new rims are 1'' wider as well. (15x8)

I'm also going to be loosing the ZR2 flares, it'll cost about the same to replace the damaged stock parts as to go to fiberglass fenders and bedsides.

I want to put new ZR2 decals on
So I'm sure when I'm done I will have a lot of people telling me "That's not a ZR2 it doesn't have the flares!"

That and my cab will be from a 2wd S10 so it wont have the RPO code labelled on the firewall. oh well
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It's hard to tell with the D44 disassembled but looks like it is actually 4'' more narrow than the ZR2 8.6.

Looking on google it says the D44 is 58'' wms to wms and the ZR2 is 63'' wms to wms.

This ZR2 has the same rodeo D44 in it with soft 8 rims which are a 17x9 which is 4.52'' backspacing, it looks pretty close to stock track width, but hard to tell with the custom bed on it. (correct me if I'm wrong, but since they are 9'' wide and 4.52'' backspace that should be equivalent to a 8'' wide rim with 3.52'' backspace?)

EDIT: Didn't see Sonoma's posts

Thanks for the confirmation!

and I decided I don't want the ZR2 flares, I'm going to sell my 3 decent flares. I think it'll look cleaner with the bulged fiberglass fenders and bedsides.
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^I've seen ZR2 flares put onto a 4-door blazer.

I've looked through Rabbits thread quite abit, I think his fiberglass was a 4'' bulge, I'm looking at the trailer products 2'' bulge kit.
I need to find where he did most of the blazer build lol, this truck will be a really similar setup.

and 96superflow, I have some rear S10 ZR2 flares I will sell.

Both are coated in faded truck liner and 1 is missing a chunk so they are worth very little.

The chunk missing is right about where you would need to cut them to fit on a 4-door though.

You can see the faded liner and missing chunk on the rear 1 in this picture.
I only have 1 front fender, that driver side front is destroyed.

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So I'm going back and forth on what leaf springs I should use upfront.

The truck will be mainly used on the street, including towing various things both highway and city and it goes off-road pretty frequently.

Off-road here is mainly steep inclines and declines and rocks.

I've read dodge dakota is the flex-iest but could hurt approach angle.

Well that solves that dilemma lol. Thanks!

I just got my order from 4wd factory with the ruffstuff dana 44 mounting hardware. No instructions but it looks pretty straight forward.

I knew I always wanted to stick with Bilstien shocks- but there are so many to choose from! I think the 5100 series will be the best for a truck that is meant to do it all. 6100 looks tempting though.

The 5125 is the universal model, which would mean I'd need to weld up a new shock tab for the frame mount. I didn't see 1 that would fit the stock mount.

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^ lol that's cool, for as common as these trucks are, finding people local also interested in them is few and far between.

What brands are those fenders? I've seen hannerman, glassworks and trailer products.

Trailer products is a 2'' bulge

Hannerman is a 3'' bulge but the bedsides don't match the front

Glassworks is a 4'' bulge

I was going for the trailer products because this truck will have roughly the same width as a ZR2 when done and ZR2 flares are a 2'' extension. I want the tires to stick past the fenders.

I think my build thread for the truck has more details

I'm trying to convince myself not to do a mini exo-cage.... Maybe just some bars between the cab and bed then over the roof and under the fibergass fenders and bedsides, along the rockers...
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I am not sure what brand it was, I could swing by and take a look if you want.
That's alright, it'll be awhile before I start buying the body work.

Ok I will run it by ya again LoL Get the Waggy pitman & run all the Waggy steering... Then for springs run the Waggy 7 leaf front & depending on your rear shackle angle you may get away with the 57" Waggy rears too :) Im goin to pull a set of Front & Rear Waggy springs since one of the mains is broke that I got with the Waggy front diff... I will run the fronts on the Blazer & rears on my truck... Then on the Blazer rears use the busted ones to make a bastard pack... I think itll work LoL
I also told ya Triple check to make sure the Rodeo rear is 60ish & not 58" LoL But you may be able to run rim sizes like Ive got to make it look more Even!!! Ive got 4 Gambler style rims that are 15x8.5" & the 2 I bought today are 15x10 Gambler style rims... ALL have 3.75" backspacing... So bolted on a diff without a tire they should be within .5" Soo 1/4" wider in the rear per side aint gonna be too noticable LoL Thats using 60.5 front & 58" rear... Hopefully the 10" wide rims wont make the tires a Lot shorter in the back on My Blazer... I can always put the 8.5" on all 4 corners :)
Rabbits Blazer build is around pg 29 give or take a few LoL
Bilsteins are a great choice for Any ride!!!
As far as buyin ALL 2, 3, or 4" bulge on the fiberglass fenders I would hold off & see where the stock ones fall so to speak & that way if you dont run wider rims or spacers you can do like 4" bulge fronts & 2" bulge rears to make things "look" right " :) Just My 2cents LoL

OHH the Zombie sticker idea made me think of the old White Zombie stickers on LaSexorcisto Lmao ]
Will there be any problems with the stock ZR2 rear leafs? I'm out of cash so if I need new leafs for the back I'd have to hold off on installing the rear axle. I'll have to check out my shackle (shackle is getting replaced no matter what leafs I use though) and measure the leaf and see. The problem I see right now is I doubt there will be enough room on the axle to mount the track bar, maybe moving the axle under the leaf will give it enough space or I can get creative. :haha:

They had a ton of rodeos at the junkyard, but when it came to the correct year and 4.30 gears there were only 2 rodeos that would work and both were the 58'' version :( I'm not afraid to run spacers to even out the track- that is what I was doing before lol. The other 1 is going to be the diff I use in the waggy axle lol.
A zombie decal would look good on the diff cover

just my opinion unless the waggy steering came with your axle or you can get it from the yard pretty reasonable and in good condition then do that but otherwise you might wanna considering going the same route as me. i bought ruffstuffs y-link steering kit which is pretty much identical to the factory stuff but it uses dom and 1 ton tre's
^ that sounds like a good upgrade, but I'm so broke now I'm checking the TREs that came from the junkyard with the axle to see if I can run them temporarily.

Does anyone know a way to determine the location to weld the shock tab to the axle without having the shocks??

I'd like to get the rodeo axle done and painted and move on to getting the front IFS out. Since next paycheck I'm buying the Rancho 44044 lift springs and ruffstuff spring perches so I can start getting the front mocked up.

And it is still snowing outside...
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^ that is what warrior customs suggested in a PM, I didn't even think about it.

I figured the shocks would be to short to use, but if I flip the axle under the spring that would actually shorten the distance of the shock, then when I fab a new shackle it'll probably put the shock mount right where it was stock.

My stock Bilstiens are in good shape, they'll work pretty well for awhile.

I broke 1 of the stock U bolts, it snapped while loosening it, but I grabbed a bunch of Rodeo u bolts when I grabbed the axle, I think I have more than 1 complete set lol.

The leafs usually have more flex while SOA- correct? So I'd do better with stock 7pack wagoneer springs. They are also cheaper

So... with the Y link ruffstuff steering will it affect turning radius? - Just read through Rabbits thread about high-steer reducing that.

OHH You should be able to skip the Exo as long as that Chic doesnt getta drive again Lmao Couldnt resist that jab LoL
You're on a roll :rotf:

I'm building new fender inner structure, I'm going to try and sell the passenger side fender so I don't want to cut it up to fit the fiberglass fenders. I'm going to use 1.5'' square tubing and 10 gauge and just fabricate a new inner structure (which will be much stronger than the stock fenders) So it'll be a good foundation to start mounting more exo cage off of it. (Also building an inner structure behind the fiberglass bedsides) but I doubt I will find a buyer for the complete bedside.
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I wonder how many cops could look at a heim or TRE and know the difference.
But this is Idaho, they don't care. Last winter I watched a guy ride his snow machine down main street stop at the gas station for gas and beer and then rode the snow machine back home.
Didn't know you were a cop, is there any kind of training you guys go through to spot modified vehicles such as Heim joints?

Today I tried some of this 'rust transformer' from summit racing because there are lots of small areas on the axles that would take forever to grind the surface rust out and I really don't want to shave a layer of metal from them.

It seemed to turn the rust black... I guess I wont know how well it did until I spray a new coat of paint on and put a few miles on it.

I'm not sure how to disassemble the axle shafts, I popped the c-clip but how does the wheel bearings come out? I assumed they slid off the top but they haven't budged yet.

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^ I don't think there is any thing like that here

Well according to Isuzu planet the axle shaft is pressed on pretty heavily... so... I'm going to clean it up as best as I can while still assembled, glob new wheel bearing grease on and put it back together. There were no signs of leaking before- hopefully it stays that way!

Any suggestions on diff fluid/viscosity to use?
^yep, sounds like I didn't need to buy wheel bearing grease, unless the front axle shafts are different?

I have 1 axle shaft all cleaned up and should be ready to go back in.

The rust transformer crap sat over night and the entire axle is a pretty deep black now, I should be able to get a scuff pad and go over everything then spray it with epoxy primer then the ceramic chassis satin black.
This is why I made a thread in the SFA section lol

I bought 2 bottles of the rust transformer, and only used about 1/4th of 1 bottle for the rear axle. I should have enough to do the whole frame.

The rear axle has both axle shafts back in, I'm getting ready to put the diff cover back on with some gasket maker.

I'd hate to make a goal, but having the rear axle mounted under the leaf springs by the end of monday would be great.
^ Do I need to do anything special to get gear oil in the tubes for the wheel bearings?

Any tips for positioning the axle into the frame?

and now a lot more questions

From what I read it's best to have the angle off the transfer case and the differential about the same, here it is tilted a little up in the front. I don't think the angle would be to severe putting the axle level.


and the holes on the top of the spring perch are not quite big enough for the bolt on the bottom of the leaf spring to fit through so it's sitting kind of crooked like this

The stock ZR2 U-bolts were not long enough to reach, so I used the ruffstuff U-bolts, the Rodeo U-bolts were to wide to fit into the ZR2 top plate.

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Actually if I can widen the spring perch hole and get it to sit flush with the leaf spring I should be able to use the ZR2 u-bolts, except I broke 1 of those, so I would still need to track down another 1. Or just order some more ruffstuff U-bolts.
^ Thanks for the information guys!

Looks like I will work on getting everything else ready and leave any permanent axle mounting until the end of the truck overhaul.


I need a 4.30 trac-lok differential out of a Rodeo! The junkyard here will not sell the carrier separate from the axle. ($300 for the complete axle) I also need the yoke or mounting plate for the u-joint that bolts to the rear axle- local junkyard will only sell that piece with the whole drive line for $60.

so if someone sees 1 at their local junkyard for cheaper let me know.
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