Home / Equipment / Isuzu Trooper front suspension part I / Part II
Trooper Articulation Report

Continued:

The Isuzu Trooper is a fantastic platform from which to build an expedition / Trail vehicle, providing a strong drivetrain, and excellent rear wheel travel. It is important to complement rear suspension travel with sufficient front end flex. A balanced suspension will keep the vehicle more level in crossed-axle terrain, and provide better traction, as a tire will more likely be in contact with and conform to the terrain.

In this article, I review the modifications performed in Part I and include complete measurements of wheel travel and additional photos.

Extension Travel (from part I) -
So how do you get better extension travel? It is actually quite easy with the proper tools, and not expensive.

I performed these modifications to increase the extension travel of my 1998 Trooper, and to correct the suspension camber.

1. Ball Joint flip
2. Low profile bump stop ( snubber )
3. Shock spacer

Beginning measurements with a 30 mm ( 1.18" ) torsion bar lift:
Distance from fender flare to wheel hub: 520 mm at static ride height
Distance from fender flare to wheel hub: 559 mm at full extension
Total extension travel 39 mm ( 1.54" )

Ending measurements with a 30 mm ( 1.18" ) torsion bar lift: :
Distance from fender flare to wheel hub: 520 mm at static ride height
Distance from fender flare to wheel hub: 582 mm at full extension
Total extension travel after modifications 62 mm ( 2.44" )

That is an improvement of 23 mm (.90") of extension travel

Many of these modifications can be performed on older Trooper II's, and Rodeo and Amigo products

Note: These modifications require mechanical skill and understanding of vehicle suspension systems. Perform these modifications at your own risk!

Articulation Travel (Part II) -

The increase in extension travel from part 1 does not necessarily improve traction/travel in crossed axle terrain as the sway bar was still attached. The anti-sway bar helps to control vehicle lean at high speeds, but greatly reduces independent wheel movement of the IFS suspension while off-highway.

These images and measurements were taken with a Yokohama Geolander AT/II 285/75 R16 Tire installed, which is the maximum tire that can be used with full travel (without lowering the bumpstops, or adding a body lift).

Modification for Part II:

1. Remove front anti-swaybar
2. I reduced my torsion bar (cranked in) lift by 20mm, which gave me an additional 20mm of extension travel, and a slightly lower ride height.

In this case, pictures do say a 1000 words...

NOTE: REMOVING THE FRONT SWAYBAR IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR HIGHWAY TRAVEL, AND EXTREME CAUTION SHOULD BE USED WHILE TRAVELing AT HIGH SPEEDS ON OR OFF HIGHWAY. PERFORM THIS MODIFICATION AT YOUR OWN RISK!

 
Articulation Modification

Step 1:

The front anti-swaybar was removed completely from the vehicle, as an effective disconnect is not possible with the shape of the bar.

Suspension Articulation Measurements

Front Suspension: The articulation improvement was impressive with the bar removed. OME Firm shocks are used. Total front travel is 8.25"

Extension Travel: 3.25" (82.5 mm) Compression Travel: 5" (127 mm)

Rear Suspension: Old Man Emu, OME 912 rear springs and OME Firm shocks. Swaybar connected, and not limiting factor to articulation (shocks are). VERY impressive rear wheel travel at 18.5".

Note: This measurement is not suspension travel, but wheel travel, which can be very different. As a solid axle configuration flexes in crossed axle terrain the wheel moves in several arc's which influence an accurate measurement.

Extension Travel: 10.75" (273mm) Compression Travel: 7.75" (197 mm)
Driving Impression The additional articulation is a major improvement off-highway, as the front suspension is constantly working to stay in contact with the terrain. The improved front end performance also allows the vehicle to stay more level through crossed axle terrain.