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Thread: Project VXOverLand

  1. #1
    Member Since
    Jan 2015
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    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    Thanked: 11

    Project VXOverLand

    So, a few days ago I purchased my first ever VX! Ebony #0209!

    Here it is as it sits today: 11 NOV 2017 (this pic will be updated as things change)



    Down to business...

    The VX:
    Vehicle: 1999 Isuzu Vehicross
    Last Four: 0209
    Color: Ebony
    Engine: Factory 3.5L V6
    Transmission: Factory Auto
    Current Wheel Size: 16"
    Current Tire Size: 245/70R16 (Not all tires match at the moment)

    Plan for project: The plan is fairly simple. Prove that you can build a daily driver / Overland Vehicle without the need to drop $40,000+ on the base vehicle before you even get started, and look good doing it!

    Completed Repairs/Upgrades/Modifications:
    • Repair Bad Brakes (All of them) (Complete)
    • Remove Vinyle Wrap (Complete)
    • Get Transmission Working (Complete)
    • Replace Battery (Complete)
    • Passenger Door Exterior Window Seal Missing (Complete)
    • Drivers Door not opening from outside (Complete)
    • Recondition Yellowed Head Lights (Complete)
    • Get Replacement Keys Made (Complete)
    • Transfer Case Fluid Change (Complete)
    • Build/Buy Bracket for Battery Tray (Complete)
    • Install Sound System (Complete)
    • Recondition/Replace OEM Sterio Antenna (Complete)
    • Replace Front Half Shafts (Complete)
    • Fix EGR error code (P0405) (Complete)
    • Get A/C serviced (works but makes a lot of clicking noise) (Complete)
    • 1 or 2 Inch Lift (Complete)
    • Recondition Winshield Wiper Arms. (Complete)
    • 31 Inch Tires (Firestone Destination A/T @ 265/70/R16)(Complete)
    • Fix high idle issue(Complete)
    • CB Radio (Complete)


    Planned Repairs/Upgrades/Modifications:
    • Repair Drivers Front Fender (Changed to repair after closer inspection)
    • Full Engine Service
    • Change Diff Fluid (F/R)
    • Recondition Seats (new leather?)
    • Add Heated Seats
    • External Spare Tire Mount w/ Fuel Can Holder (Trooper Tire Carrier Purchased)
    • Winch (9000lb) (Purchased BadLands 12,000lb)
    • Rock Sliders
    • GMRS/FRS/MURS Radio
    • Trailer Hitch Install (Parts on Order)
    • Repair leaks in the windshield washer system.
    • Replace Rusted Crash Bumper w/ Winch Mount. (Winch Plate Purchased)
    • Repair door window motors (Both Sides) (Drivers Door in Progress)
    • (Will Add More As I think of things, but that is enough for today)


    Work Log:
    30 June 2017: Purchased the VX
    01 July 2017: Started to remove the faux carbon fiber vinyl wrap (Drivers Door, Drivers Rear Quater Panel, Rear Door complete)
    02 July 2017: Weather was wonkey, so I replaced the transmission filter, both pan gaskets, and new synthetic fluid. Also added 1 Quart of Lucas Oil "Transmission Fix".
    03 July 2017: Removed more of the faux vinyl wrap. Still have Roof, Metal part of the hood, and plastic grill surround to do.
    04 July 2017: Ordered Weather Strip for the exterior passenger door.
    04 July 2017: Removed vinyl wrap from hood.
    07 July 2017: Repaired driver door not opening from outside.
    08 July 2017: Got three replacement keys made.
    09 July 2017: Finished removing all the Vinyl Wrap
    10 July 2017: DIY Solution found for door weather strip
    10 July 2017: Got license plates and went for first test drive. Break issue discovered.
    11 July 2017: Unstuck dragging break caliper. New "groan" noise detected, attempting to diagnose.
    13 July 2017: Confirmed order for weather trip for exterior passenger door.
    13 July 2017: Ordered Blue Tooth OBD2 Reader
    13 July 2017: Diagnosed "groan", low transmission fluid, I didn't buy enough and it was lower than I thought.
    15 July 2017: Checked for error codes with OBD2 scanner. P0113 and P0405
    15 July 2017: Verified Transmission Fluid Levels
    17 July 2017: Conducted first shake down drive.
    19 July 2017: Cleaned and polished headlight after removing headlight pod.
    19 July 2017: Reinstalled headlight pods.
    21 July 2017: Cleared all OBD2 Error codes but P0405 (EGR).
    21 July 2017: Conducted General Maintenance around engine bay.
    22 July 2017: Tranfer case fluid change complete.
    22 July 2017: Discovered numerous leaks in the windshield washer system.
    23 July 2017: Discovered Rear Brakes not working
    24 July 2017: Purchased Rear Break Pads. Storms Preventing Install Today.
    24 July 2017: Purchased and installed battery bracket (Universal Fit)
    30 July 2017: First attempt at installing OEM window seal failed.
    31 July 2017: New front speakers on order.
    31 July 2017: New head unit on order & waiting to ship.
    31 July 2017: Clips for Window Strip on order, waiting to ship.
    31 July 2017: Devious Plans still in development.
    31 July 2017: Possible cause of 0405 error code found.
    01 August 2017: Tried last possible cause of code 0405, failed.
    04 August 2017: Replacement Head Unit finally ships. Finally!
    05 August 2017: Head Unit and speakers arrived today!
    07 August 2017: Head Unit Installed. Need to finalize mount.
    08 August 2017: Head Unit Install complete.
    11 August 2017: Started Rear Brake Work, issues discovered
    15 August 2017: Replaced one (1) rear lug stud
    15 August 2017: Finished Rear Brakes! Finally! (M:167357)
    16 August 2017: Replaced OEM radio antenna
    25 August 2017: Ordered replacement half axles for the front.
    01 September 2017: Installed new front brake pads.
    01 September 2017: Installed new front axle half shafts.
    01 September 2017: Inpected and repacked front wheel bearings.
    01 September 2017: Installed exterior window seal clips.
    04 September 2017: Installed EGR Valve (P0405 now clear)
    15 September 2017: Installed replacement air filter box
    15 September 2017: Installed replacement brake booster hose
    15 September 2017: Cleaned the MAF sensor
    23 September 2017: Installed New Air Filter
    23 September 2017: Installed New MAF Sensor
    23 September 2017: Installed New 130 Amp Alternator
    24 September 2017: Tightened up steering box, removed play from steering
    25 September 2017: A/C system seems to be working normal again.
    14 October 2017: Site was down, performing work log update.
    14 October 2017: Installed new throttle position sensor.
    14 October 2017: Installed new idle are control valve.
    14 October 2017: Purchased a number of engine parts to install this weekend.
    14 October 2017: Purchased Old Man EMU suspension (shocks and coils) to be installed this weekend.
    14 October 2017: Began cardboard modeling of winch mount/off-road bumper.
    14 October 2017: Removed/Replaced/Repaired more wiring.
    15 October 2017: Lift Kit Installed, driver window motor quit.
    21 October 2017: Replace Fuel Pressure Regulator on fuel rail.
    22 October 2017: Replaced intake and throttle body gasket.
    22 October 2017: Fixed driver window not going up all the way.
    24 October 2017: Ordered the OEM VX CrossBars today. Hopefully they will ship on the 26th.
    25 October 2017: New tires and alignment.
    29 October 2017: Installed new intake manifold gasket.
    30 October 2017: Fixed high idle issue! Yay!
    31 October 2017: OEM Yakima Roof Bars for the VX installed.
    10 November 2017: Installed a Reese Roof Basket, Phone Mount, and a 2nd new upper intake manifold gasket.
    15 November 2017: Ordered a Curt Hitch from e-trailer.com
    24 November 2017: Completed CB Radio Install.
    25 November 2017: Purchased Winch. Current Hitch Arrived.
    Last edited by Thelgord : 11/25/2017 at 11:36 AM Reason: Updates
    --------
    VX Status: Running Great! Build is coming along nicely...

  2. #2
    Member Since
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    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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  3. #3
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    peel the sliver stripes off the cowl cover. they're already peeling anyways.

  4. #4
    Member Since
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    Probably going to replace them actually

  5. #5
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    Jo and I would probably both recommend just getting WO seat covers. You can have the stock ones recovered, but you can WO's, which are waterproof, don't require nearly as much care, and come in virtually any color you want.



    OEM badges are non-existent. Reproductions are sometimes available, but they're not in relief. Pulling stock decals off another VX is virtually impossible. I plan to Line-X over my stock ones.

    Make sure you treat the headlights with some kind of UV coating after you get they bright/shiny. In my experience, they yellow even faster after you de-yellow them the 1st time, because all the UV protectant gets taken off. I've got covers on mine, which hides the yellow, protects the stock light, and looks a bit more menacing than the stock light shape.



    Also put in LED headlights. They're WAY brighter than stock, and (imho) largely eliminate the need for any secondary lighting.

    Last but not least, Curt hitch is the most widely available. Many have Tone's--and there's nothing wrong with it. However, Tone's is next to impossible to find, and not officially rated for capacity. Here's mine, with a Super-Bumper & spare receiver installed. Kat was the one who sold me on the idea of the Superbumper, and frankly--versus the idea of having my car totaled from a rear-end at 4mph (parts are impossible to find) , I'll take the Superbumper any day.


  6. #6
    Member Since
    Jan 2015
    Location
    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    I have been look at the WO seat covers. I really like them, but have never actually seen them. Any issues? DO they breath so you don't get covered in your own sweat?

    Good call on the LED Lights. AFter cleaning them up I was thinking of covering them in clear UV resistant plastic. I have seen it done before, but I don't how long that will last.

    For the trailer hitch, you are right about the Curt being the most popular. I was starting to think it may be the only one available. LOL!

    There are also quite a few other minor parts I am looking for. The faux carbon fiber door panel part on my drivers door has a massive crack running through it. Both door handles and door panels need to be reconditioned/fixed/replaced. I still need a copy of the one key I have. Should probably get the key fob (or two) as well. One of the front yellow reflectors is cracked. The list goes on LOL!

  7. #7
    Member Since
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    The WO's breathe much better than the stock leather, imho. Unless you're fitting an Aeron chair in your car, there's no such thing as "breathing" well; but WO's and cloth will breathe better than vinyl or leather--that's for sure. The logo I have on mine was not an offering on their storefront, so I sent them the JPG of the lettering & they had it put on. To me, this makes it seem much more "stock" than without. Here's pics on their store:





    https://www.amazon.com/Lizard-Skins-...stay+protector

    Rather than replace my door handles, (they come loose when the tabs break off) I used a pair of these. I think i got large, but medium should work and fit better. Cut them in half in the middle, and velcro them to each other so they're twice as wide--then wrap around the inside door handle.

    No close up pics, but you can see them on the passenger side here:



    Not perhaps the prettiest solution, but subtle, viable and eliminates the need to think about it. IMHO, good idea so you can focus on other, more pressing matters & re-attack it later if you so choose.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to ipd For This Useful Post:

    Thelgord (07/03/2017)

  9. #8
    Member Since
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    OEM 15" Snowflake wheels would be a great touch...be careful with your wheels...lots of wheels say they fit but they don't because of our calipers.
    Live, Love, Forgive and Never Give Up

  10. #9
    Member Since
    Jan 2015
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    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    What are snowflake wheels ... google doesn't seem to know that one.

    Never mind, found it.

  11. #10
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    he probably means 15" steelies, not snowflakes. ^

  12. #11
    Member Since
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    I was thinking of the classic black steelies that's were popular in the eighties.

  13. #12
    Member Since
    Sep 2010
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    1999,VX, 2477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thelgord View Post

    Plan for project: The plan is fairly simple. Prove that you can build a daily driver / Overland Vehicle without the need to drop $40,000+ on the base vehicle before you even get started, and look good doing it!
    Welcome to the community and good luck with the build. FWIW, I DD my VX and have done much of what is in your list and then some. I still smile every time I climb in.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to eternal21 For This Useful Post:

    Thelgord (07/03/2017)

  15. #13
    Member Since
    Jan 2015
    Location
    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    Thanked: 11
    Tonight I pulled off more of the faux carbon fiber vinyl wrap off the VX. Pulling wrap off of the plastic hood insert has probably been the worst do so far. Took me longer to do that one small piece than I have spent pulling it off the rest of the body. It was just so brittle that every single piece was smaller than a quarter before it would break off. Although, for the metal that is wrapped, I have discovered the wonders of a heat gun. All I have left is the metal part of the hood, the roof, and the grill surround. This has been a bigger PITA than working on the transmission! LOL! But work continues.

    I also tried to get the title transferred today, but forgot a document. With the holiday it will be later in the week before I can get it transferred and get plates.

  16. #14
    Member Since
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    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    Thanked: 11
    Ordered the lower window weather strip for my passenger door. I hope I got the right part anyway. Assuming I did, what type of glue/adhesive is used to secure it to the door body?

    Thanks eternal21
    Last edited by Thelgord : 07/03/2017 at 10:56 PM

  17. #15
    Member Since
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    1999 Ebony VX, 0209
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    I start working night shift tonight so I had to stay up all night anyway to get my sleep schedule adjusted. Since I was up anyway I decided to go ahead and take the vinyl off the rest of the hood. I can't believe just how bad this vinyl wrap is. Maybe it is just very old. I really don't know but it did not stand the test of time. After this experience I don't think I will ever wrap a vehicle. Well, not unless I know it is going to be a temporary wrap anyway.

    While working, I was thinking of what color to paint the VX. I should probably start a poll for this, but I only ever see a few people on here and not sure what kind of response I would get and the paint is probably a month out. Anyway, I was thinking desert tan/sand/something or other. The wrap was covering some minor dings that look like hail or maybe small stones on the hood. I have discovered that wrap can coverup a lot of errors in body work. I am hoping that the roof isn't covered in small dents as well, but I won't know until I get the wrap off.

    I also discovered that the damage to the drivers fender isn't as bad as I thought and I should be able to fix it with a little bondo work. What I thought was a crater turned out to be two small(ish) dents. Unfortunately each has a crease in the center of the dents, which means no way to fix the metal. So I either need a replacement, or some some minor body filler work. The body filler seems the cheaper route since I am going to be painting anyway. I'll try to get some pictures up when I can. Converting my covered parking into a paint booth should be fun, and it will also give my wife a chance to yell at me about making more of a mess! LOL!

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