Isuzu D'max lift kit advice

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 09:28
ThreadID: 137183 Views:17929 Replies:6 FollowUps:19
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Checking in with the Isuzu brains trust

Have decided a new D'max and have asked for a 2 inch lift from the dealer.

Was told by one dealer the car would need a Diff drop plus ball joint spacer to adjust the change in angle angles.

Another quote came back and said the diff drop and spacers were illegal and wouldn't supply it.

Any suggestion as to the correct procedure when installing a lift kit?
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Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 10:21

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 10:21
It is hard to tease out the truth of dealer comments as they vary with what the dealer perceives you will know of or understand. If asking this question, then there are other considerations worth taking into account.

The Current Dmax has no adjustment for camber at the top arm and so ALL adjustment is done via the lower arm eccentric cams on the inner pivot. Because there is not much adjustment possible, ie, enough for normal adjustments, you will quickly run out of adjustment as the lift amount creates excessive negative camber and uses all the possible amount of adjustment and can require more.
A 2" lift may exceed the abilty to correct the camber. Each vehicle is a little different as the limit is reached. Each side may possess slightly different amount of correction to the other side.

Ball joint spacers are illegal and void insurance and warranties, no question. These usually hold the arm higher and the ball joint outward slightly to assist in correcting the lost camber. Because of the offset design they are deemed to not comply, bolts hold the spacer to the arm and other fixings hold the balljoint to the spacer. Therefore there is no bolt through ALL associated components in that area, ie, loss of integrity.

If near the 2" amount the CV drive angle is increased during normal running, that works the CV and the boots through that greater angle all the time.
If used in 4wd the CV's can explode if high torque is going through them at a high steering angle, like a full lock situation.
A diff drop lessens the drive angle. It is legal as far as I know.

With a high amount of lift, the CV will always operate at a higher angle and since it is raised the CV's run their life at that increased angle, a cv forced to drive at high angle is operating at it's weakest point.
As the CV rotates normally the trunnion balls are running sideways, as the cv rotates with increased angle, the trunnion balls have to move through a wider path in their grooves during each rotation. This has to lessen cv and boot life. People seem to not consider this as an issue.

Fitting Free Wheel hubs means you lock them in ONLY when you may encounter the need for 4wd and therefore the two wheel drive shafts and all cv's and boots are stationary until the hubs are locked. Boots only flexed during steering and suspension movement.

Closely consider the quality and performance of the shock absorbers fitted with any kit. The OE ones are OK for road use, sort of, but if the vehicle is raised the shocks should provide suitable damping ability for the loads the vehicle may carry or tow. OE shocks will not do that. Damping before bottoming is best.
Good quality shocks will cost less in the long term and provide proper abilty for safety systems to operate properl and good mass control now the vehicle has a higher CG.

I have an earlier Dmax and the OE shocks would NOT allow/provide proper ABS braking ability at 5000km from new. Just because a shock looks good, doesn't leak and feels ok when cold means nothing much.
AnswerID: 620975

Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 12:23

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 12:23
Thanks RMD, this is an excellent post! :-)

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Follow Up By: Member - BE - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 13:41

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 13:41
Thanks for taking the time for such an informative post. Like the idea of the free wheeling hubs.

A reasonably priced insurance policy
FollowupID: 893448

Reply By: Kazza055 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:03

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:03
Not certain why you want a 2" lift but when I purchased mine back in 2014 I had the ARB GVM upgrade done and this also gave me a 40mm lift.

My reason the the upgrade was that my weights when towing the van was putting me very close to the allowable payload. The GVM upgrade gave me an additional 270kg that I could carry. Our van weighs in at 2500kg so I have enough wriggle room and there is no way O will ever exceed the GCM of 5950kg.

Having the GVM upgrade done pre registration means that the modification is recognised Australia wide, having it done post registration will only see it recognised with the state it is registered in. My upgrade was the very first thing that was done to the D-Max so all the engineering needed to do it is based on a stock standard car. Doing it later means that the engineering needs to be done taking into account any additions that have been put onto the car, hence it is not recognised nationally.

As far as the diff dropper, I can not see it mentioned on the ARB quote so I assume they don't do it. I do occasionally get a thud from the transmission which I assume would not be there if a dropper was installed.

Good luck with the new D-Max, mine is nearing 5 years old but still drives like a new car, I am extremely happy with my choice.

If you need more info I would suggest that you have a look at these 2 Isuzu forums
2. OZ Isuzu
AnswerID: 620976

Follow Up By: Member - BE - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 13:46

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 13:46
The GVM upgrade sounds like the simpilist way of gaining some clearance.

No need to complicated things if this gives the increase needed.

Thanks again for the input.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:01

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:01
No worries BE, it cost me a smidgen under $2000 back in 2014.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:18

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:18
The transmission thump you feel has nothing to do with a diff drop or not, if raised and you have that noise, I would be investigating the amount of tailshaft yoke engagement in the rear of the transfer case. Insufficient engagement can cause the tailshaft do it. Even new vehicles sometimes do it std. Worth a check of that yoke even so.
FollowupID: 893453

Reply By: Jackolux - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:21

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:21
Google Dmax broken CV's and Cracked inner guards , do the same with YouTube
See if you think it's worth the risk of buying a Dmax .
AnswerID: 620977

Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:28

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 11:28
Don't Toyota, Ford and a few others also have the problem with cracking inner guards.

Also the broken CV's seem to come from just a very few number of owners.

The number of very happy Isuzu owners far out-ways those that have had trouble
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Follow Up By: Member - BE - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 12:38

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 12:38
Thanks for the input. Picked the D'max based on our work statistics really.

Have about a dozen commercial vehicles and most have had issues. Really loved the Ranger but of 4 at work 1 has had motor replaced after approx 30,000 klms (only after several months of issues, gotta love those Dealers)

Other Ranger broke down twice after around 2000 klms on the clock. First time close to town with a failed gear box then second time about 3000 klms about 1000 klms North of Cairns.

Second time towed it back with an Isuzu with 504,000 klms on the clock .

No saying any of the Commercials are bad, including the Ranger, just decided on the D'Max via work life experiences.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:24

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 14:24
Interesting you mention the Ranger problems, my son in law works at a stock transport business and they have two BT50's, both now have new engines under warranty before 100,000km.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 09:53

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 09:53
Mates old man's Ranger has had a new short motor under warranty after it spun a main bearing, also had a new auto box under warranty also......not unheard of issues sadly.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 00:52

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 00:52
The Ranger 2.2L and 3.2L engines are a product of the joint venture between Ford and Peugeot S.A., known as the Ford-Peugeot S.A. DLD engine JV.

Originally referred to as the "Puma" engines, but later in development as the Duratorq engines, these engines don't utilise tangs on the bearing shells to stop the bearings from spinning inside their housings.

They rely only on the clamping force of the caps to hold the bearing shells in position.
As a result, any increase in bearing friction (usually caused by dirty oil, caused by infrequent oil changes) sees the bearings spin in the housings and the engine fails.

The South Africans had quite a number of Ranger engine failures due to this problem - and it is exacerbated when ambient temperature conditions are extreme, between day and night.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 893598

Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 21:08

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 21:08
I remember some incidents of Isuzu knocking back warranties on rear diffs because of 2" lifts. They reckon the increased tail shaft angle was causing the diff failure.
AnswerID: 620985

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 22:09

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 22:09
That’s probably fair enough, can’t expect to modify a vehicle & expect someone else to guarantee it!
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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 22:54

Saturday, Sep 01, 2018 at 22:54
Maybe the claim was refused because of differential failure, but a tailshaft attitude doesn't affect the axle housing, was it differential failure or axle housing failure?
The rear axle isn't a diff, just the bit which holds it.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 04:41

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 04:41
One user account:Click
AnswerID: 620986

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 10:56

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 10:56
I just read that article, yep been there done all that , what most ppl don't realise with the Isuzu's both Dmax and MUX is the diff is set back from the centre of the front wheels by about 30mm .
The CV is always at a angle even when driving straight .
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 11:40

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 11:40
Well, I lifted my MUX by c.45mm and have had no troubles.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 13:59

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 13:59
No vehicle runs their cv's in a straight line, like a universal joint, if run in a straight line they WILL fail because of lack of passing lubricant and pressure always in one spot.
Although the diff is rear set and it causes a drive angle, there is the drive angle from the uspension position too. Both of those equate to just ONE angle the cv is driving through, entirely normal for a CV.
In a turn the outermost wheel turn in, more toe in, than the inside wheel turn angle, this exacerbates the drive angle of the uni. That is why the diff is rear set in my view, to try and keep the drive angle to be reasonably even at the outer CV.

When a CV is driving at high torque and drive angle the trunnions,, 3 leg spider with effectively a uni cap on it, happens to be ball shaped, cause the trunnion to be screwed spirally and not radialy as designed, as it attempts to transmit that torque to the CV bell. If used near to lock is those circumstance the cv bell CAN be forced to crack and the trunnion carrier,3 leg bit driven by the shaft is squirmed so hard it breaks, Happens when the situation isn't favourable.

These are a relatively small mechanical device, my elbow, shoulder, knees and hips can only flex so much too. People think mechanicals are indestructable for some reason.
FollowupID: 893473

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 14:04

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 14:04
Further to that post.
In a drive system with a centre bearing in the tailshaft the centre bearing is positioned slightly sideways so even if the load cause the unis to run flat and no angle, the CB sideshift makes all three unis drive and move while rotating which is essential to their life.

In solid tailshafts the rear of the transfer and the diff pinion will be offset to some degree for same reason.
FollowupID: 893474

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 15:00

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 15:00
You only have to take a look under any other IFS 4WD , Hilux , Rangers , Triton any of them ,side by side with a Isuzu, turn the wheels lock to lock you will see a big difference in the angle of the outer CV ,
Interestingly the 2 Isuzu's, Dmax and MUX at the last show not only had a big Diff Drop because of the 7inch lift but the Diff had been moved forward inline withe the centre of the front wheels .
If you only ever Tow a caravan on bitumen and dirt roads it's probably never going to be a problem .
I no longer have a Dmax so I really don't care , I'm just saying with suspension lifts be very careful with Isuzu's ,
I talked to Graham Cahill he has and recommends a diff drop he has also broken many CV's
FollowupID: 893476

Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 17:50

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 17:50
7 inch lift. Lol. So where would this be legal.

Graham Cahill. Sorry but can’t possibly see how he would be any sort of expert on anything even remotely relevant to 4wds.

These sorts of threads bring out the expert comments from people who could write what they know about this sort of thing on the back of a match box with a six inch paint brush.

Let’s get back to what the op asked !!
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 18:48

Sunday, Sep 02, 2018 at 18:48
They were just a couple of one off Isuzu project cars don't think we will see any of them on the road anytime soon .

I'm on topic with what the op asked , I had a ARB GVM upgrade it was only a 30mm lift , I broke 2 CV's ,

We could not believe how easily they broke , it was after the second one I decided to find out what was happening.

I wasn't like I haven't had plenty of experience with other IFS 4wds .
If the op intends to do any 4wding , I strongly suggest he fits a Diff Drop .
FollowupID: 893478

Reply By: Charles C - Monday, Sep 03, 2018 at 20:25

Monday, Sep 03, 2018 at 20:25
I would personally run any car for at least six months to sort out any warranty claims before you start lifting anything. I'd be surprised if a dealer would do these types of mods for a ute, things alike a Toyota designed as a mining vehicle with large tyres they have a bit more leeway.
A two inch lift should actually be 45mm so hopefully the alignment should be OK.Their expensive but something like the adjustable Bilstein shocks is worth considering as you can adjust the height if the front sags back too much.
A diff drops not a bad idea , mines also had the clunk in the back from new so I guess the tailshaft spacer will happen soon.
AnswerID: 621003

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