17 – Project update

If you follow this blog then you know I have been working to build a low cost Overland Vehicle. My platform of choice? A 1999 Isuzu Vehicross. Isuzu’s are world renowned for their off-road capability, and the Vehicross is no exception. With it’s terrain sensing Torque On Demand (TOD), a true low range transfer case, full-time four wheel drive, remote reservoir suspension, and nearly eight inches of ground clearance, all considered standard from the factory, the Vehicross was made for adventure.

isuzu-vehicross

A rare sight in the United States, (less than five thousand sold in North America) the Vehicross makes an excellent platform for the solo or team adventurer. However, with limited interior space I cannot recommend it for families, unless you pull a small trailer that is.

There are, of course, issues with using a platform that is nearly twenty years old. Age, high milage, and poor maintenance from previous owners means putting more hours into the vehicle before you even start getting it ready for travel. The good news is that nearly all of the drive train components are readily available. The bad news is that not all parts are readily available.

While I have never failed to source a part, even small plastic clips that are unique to the Vehicross, I do have to wait several days for them to arrive by mail. This can slow progress to a crawl.

In less than a week I start a 19 day vacation that I would very much to use as a test for the Vehicross, and it’s off-road capabilities. Unfortunately I have had to order more parts at the last minute that may force me to use my current daily driver, a Toyota Tacoma. It won’t be much of a test for the Tacoma, as I have been very dillegent about maintaining it. Still, I would very much like to use the little Isuzu for it’s first adventure.

The first few days of my vacation will be spent finalizing the prep for the Vehicross. Engine service, differential oil, and installing new rear brake pads  are all that remain for the mechanical side. However, there is a piece of weather stripping that requires the specific plastic clips that I alluded to before.

While they are on order now, there is no guarantee they will arrive on time. They are also required to keep a weather strip in place. Without these little clips, rain could enter the interior of the passenger door; something I would very much like to avoid. Avoiding rain in Georgia is a little like avoiding pavement on your drive to work. You are going to encounter some.

As timelines converge with repair schedules which intersect travel dates everything is coming together very quickly. Should any one of these items cause a major delay, it can throw off the entire trip. I would very much like to put some pictures of the Vehicross in its natural element before the summer is over and now is the perfect time. That is, if, I can get everything to come together.

Until Next Time …

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