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#670229 - 11/25/05 12:44 PM Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
Anonymous
Unregistered

Hi, I am new to the forum and have some newbie questions that are gonna determine my next 4x4. I am looking at the 98 up isuzu amigo's with the 3.2 v6. I was wondering how they would fair offroad against a jeep wrangler? Like deep mud and snow and hillclimbing. My friends that own wranglers seem to think the amigo is pathetic and I have never had the experience to see a amigo in action and do not know what to expect. Also I was wondering how reliable the driveline in a 3.2 5spd equipped amigo would be? Can it withstand 31" tires without worrying about any failures in the driveline? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

THANKS
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#670230 - 11/25/05 03:17 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
TrailMystic Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 1067
Loc: Richmond, VA
With a few mods such as a 3" suspension lift, the Amigo is more capable than a stock Wrangler. The rear end is heavier in an Amigo (Dana 44 compared to Wrangler Dana 35). The Amigo is overall much better quality (Jeep - Junk Each & Every Part). The Amigo's weakness compared to a Wrangler is the IFS (Independent Front Suspension) compared to the solid axle on the the Wrangler (which makes the Amigo a better daily driver). I've broken my share of CV axles, but they are relatively inexpensive to replace. But, the rest of the Amigo drivetrain is heavier than a Wranger. A lot of Amigo owners use 265/75R16 tires, which fit well with a 3" suspension life (almost 32" tire). Many others have 33's and also a body lift. My Rodeo Sport (Isuzu changed name from Amigo to Rodeo Sport in '01) has held it's own with Wranglers and Rubicons. Last month I wheeled with about 100 Wranglers and Rubicons, which is my main reason for owning a Amigo. I was the only Amigo/RS there that day (Matt Brown was the only other Isuzu). I like being different and practically everyone wheels a Jeep. I don't do the lemming thing very well.

Pete
_________________________
'01 Rodeo Sport, 5 Speed Softie, Indy 4X rocker bars, OME 912's, Rancho 9000X's, Superwinch hubs, custom tube bumper with Warn 9000i , Flowmaster 50, TeraLow t-case gears, ARB front & rear lockers, TrXus MT's, Sway bar disconnects
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#670231 - 11/25/05 03:30 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
TrailMystic Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 1067
Loc: Richmond, VA
Any short wheelbase rig is going to have some challenges hillclimbing, Wrangler and Amigo alike. More weight shifts to the back with short wheelbase and the front tires lose their grip faster. A rear locker is my next mod and the dana 44 rear can more than handle it. The Wrangler and Amigo probably do equally well in snow, mud and hill climbing. I'm including a pic of my Amigo.

Pete

_________________________
'01 Rodeo Sport, 5 Speed Softie, Indy 4X rocker bars, OME 912's, Rancho 9000X's, Superwinch hubs, custom tube bumper with Warn 9000i , Flowmaster 50, TeraLow t-case gears, ARB front & rear lockers, TrXus MT's, Sway bar disconnects
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#670232 - 11/25/05 03:39 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler [Re: TrailMystic]
Smiley Offline
Trail Leader
Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 5911
Loc: Back in BFE, WV
Welcome to 4x4Wire!


I think you might find the answer to your question by comparing the following photo albums from DougH’s website (BentIdler.com), depicting two different 4-wheeling trips on the ‘Ma Bell’ trail in Massachusetts…

Photo Album #1
Photo Album #2

The second album shows a number of pictures of Jeremy (HCMP) and his (‘slightly modified’ <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> ) 1999 Amigo – it looks like he was managing to get around mighty-darn well. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


Cheers! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />
Smiley
_________________________
Six Isuzus, so far... still have three of them.
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#670233 - 11/25/05 03:43 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler [Re: TrailMystic]
COTrooper Offline
Mudrunner
Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 308
Loc: Englewood, CO
Consider the originality factor as well. Everyone and his mom drives a lifted Jeep, but how many lifted Isuzus do you see on a daily basis? Where I live in the Denver Metro area, I might see ten lifted Jeeps on the road in my daily travels. I only occasionally see lifted Isuzus, though. And my (purely anecdotal) research suggests that the Isuzus will be more reliable and are sturdier from the outset.

And if you plan on lifting, buy yourself a set of manual hubs to save some stress on the CV boots. The inital $125 - $150 might save you some time and effort in the long run.

If you're looking at an Amigo with the 3.2 in it, be aware of the oil consumption and intake gasket issues. Neither was a deal-breaker for me when I bought my Rodeo, but they are both things that potential buyers shoudl be aware of. However, having said that, this motor puts out over 200 hp and ft/lb of torque. How does the Jeep I6 compare? What will insurancce be like? How 'bout replacement parts? Remember to factor in the total cost of the vehicle ownership experience when considering the purchase...

Finally, remember that if you ever get really hardcore and want to start building a custom truck, you can start with just about anything (Jeep OR Isuzu) and build a pretty killer vehicle.
_________________________
'98 Rodeo, Ranchos, OME 912s, General Grabber AT2 265/70/16s on steelies, Superwinch hubs, G80 code, Pioneer HU... two car seats and cracker crumbs.
*
Illegitimus non carborundum.
Educatio est omnium efficacissima forma rebellionis.
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#670234 - 11/25/05 05:02 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
Anonymous
Unregistered

Wow, thanks for the quick reply guys. Sounds as if my jeep buddies are kinda full of $hit. It looks like to me that im gonna be picking up a amigo instead of a wrangler. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> So do suggest a certain lift kit? How big of a deal is the 3.2's oil consumption and intake manifold problems? I dont think i could stand the 4cyl version due to the possible lack of power. On the other hand I dont want to worry about a engine thats trying to destroy itself.
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#670235 - 11/25/05 05:26 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
strawmyers Offline

Isuzu Moderator
Registered: 10/01/01
Posts: 4016
Loc: Lafayette, IN
Quote:
Like deep mud and snow


Neither vehicle is really equiped for deep mud/snow in stock form. I guess it all depends what your perception of 'deep' is... but deep means at least 3' to me. Having a mud runner takes big ground clearance, big tires, high horsepower, and an extremely stout drivetrain. There is a reason 99% of the mud trucks you see are full-sizes with 1 ton axles, 205 tcases, and V8's. With that said, of the vehicles you have listed; one will not be any better than the other in deep mud... they should both be equally bad. In shallow surface mud (12" or less), the Amigo would have an advantage because of the IFS. There isn't a solid axle hanging down up front to act as a plow.

Quote:
My friends that own wranglers seem to think the amigo is pathetic


<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> Pretty typical, but far from true. I'm guessing your buddies have about as much experience with Amigos off-road as you do while making these 'well-informed' decisions. TV says only in a Jeep, it must be true <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif" alt="" /> I have had plenty of Jeepers talk trash to me before starting a trailride (usually a high-schooler with a completely stock Wrangler, Abercrombie pull-over, and that ultra-hip shark fin hairdo that people seem to think is a good idea right now)... then at the end of the day they are asking me all kinds of questions about my set-up. Lets get some facts here:

-3.2L V6 has 205hp and 215torque
-factory skid plates
-factory recovery points
-MUA5 manual tranny is very stout; 4L30E for an auto
-D44 rear axle, some with limited slip (G80 code)
-front drivetrain can easily handle 31's worry-free. The 1st gen Amigos came with 31's stock, and I'd say the 2nd gen Amigo front drivetrain is slightly more stout because the longer axles will absorb a shock load better
-full box and ladder frame
-4.10 or 4.30 differential gearing

The only negative point I see in a stock 2nd gen Amigo is the OEM low-range. At only a 2:1 reduction, its just kind of sad. Tera Mfg makes a 3.07:1 kit for it, though... which would more than double your low-range gear reduction.

If you are wanting to 'go huge', that is much easier with a Wrangler. You would still need to upgrade to stronger drivetrain components, but as far as the suspension is concerned moving up to 37" tires is a bolt-on (albeit extremely expensive) venture. That level of build on an Amigo is going to be a custom job that must be done by someone with good fab skills (welding included) to be done safely. But stock for stock I would put an Amigo up against a standard Wrangler any day and have no doubt it will hold its own <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Sean Strawmyer
Back and ready to rock...... crawl.

From Indiana or surrounding states and interested in wheelin'? Check out www.mwior.com

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#670236 - 11/25/05 05:29 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
4WDJOE Offline
Rock Warrior
Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 868
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Yeah the originality thing is a very good point, especialy since we're talking about comparable vehicles in their stock form. Something else too, even though the Jeep comes with a solid front axle it's a really wimpy one. To put a strong one in is about as much work as converting the Amigo IFS to a solid axle...Amigos are sweet and really well built too <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
97 Rodeo

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#670237 - 11/25/05 05:30 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler
strawmyers Offline

Isuzu Moderator
Registered: 10/01/01
Posts: 4016
Loc: Lafayette, IN
Aftermarket companies:

<a href="www.independent4x.com" target="_blank">Independent4x</a>
<a href="www.darlington-offroad.com" target="_blank">Darlington Off-Road</a>

Make use of that search button at the top of the page to find info on lifts and such. IIRC, most people go with OME 912's in the back and crank to torsion bars up front for around 3" of lift. If you call the first company, they will be able to help you with deciding on the proper components based on our needs.
_________________________
Sean Strawmyer
Back and ready to rock...... crawl.

From Indiana or surrounding states and interested in wheelin'? Check out www.mwior.com

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#670238 - 11/25/05 05:56 PM Re: Isuzu Amigo vs. Jeep Wrangler [Re: 4WDJOE]
strawmyers Offline

Isuzu Moderator
Registered: 10/01/01
Posts: 4016
Loc: Lafayette, IN
Quote:
even though the Jeep comes with a solid front axle it's a really wimpy one.


No wimpier than the Isuzu IFS, really. The D30 is stronger than most people give it credit for; stronger than the rear D35 anyway.

Quote:
To put a strong one in is about as much work as converting the Amigo IFS to a solid axle


What <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Swapping a D44 into the front of a Wrangler is nowhere near as involved as a SAS. You can completely revamp the suspension in the process; but it wouldn't be necessary.
_________________________
Sean Strawmyer
Back and ready to rock...... crawl.

From Indiana or surrounding states and interested in wheelin'? Check out www.mwior.com

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