Isuzu Crew Cabs on the Boat

May 1, 2001
NEW ISUZU crew cabs are on the boat and headed to a dealer near you. The new N Series crew cab is being targeted for landscaping, utilities, specialty

NEW ISUZU crew cabs are on the boat and headed to a dealer near you.

The new N Series crew cab is being targeted for landscaping, utilities, specialty vehicles, and the towing industry.

“It is a take-off of two of our existing models, the NPR HD with a 14,500-pound GVWR and the NQR rated at 17,950 pounds GVW,” Isuzu's Dan Cutler said in a presentation at the NTEA convention in Baltimore.

Capable of transporting three people in the front seat and four in the back, the crew cabs will be powered by a 175-hp diesel engine, with an automatic overdrive transmission equipped for PTO operation.

Two wheelbases will be offered. The 150" wheelbase provides an effective CA of 84" — accommodating a 12-ft body. The 176" wheelbase offers an effective CA of 110", which Cutler said can handle standard bodies up to 16 feet long. Landscape bodies with a 14-ft platform plus beavertail can be up to 19 feet long.

The standard 30-gallon fuel tank will be mounted between the frame rails and will have through-the-frame fuel fill. A 33-gallon side-mounted fuel tank will be optional. Other options include power windows and door locks, engine shutdown system and hourmeter, air-conditioning, and rear cab heating and air. Convex mirrors will be offered, as will oilpan heaters, and an auxiliary automatic transmission cooler.

Crew cab specifications essentially are a carryover from the regular cab models. Frame rails will be standard C channels with 33½" spacing between the rails. The battery box is mounted on the left frame rail just behind the cab.

Electrical connections for truck bodies will be the same as on the N Series — a four-wire Packard connector on the left frame rail — identified with green tape — either behind the cab or at the end of the frame.

Body mounting requirements were contained in a pamphlet that was handed out at the end of the Isuzu presentation.

Cutler also provided brief updates on the changes scheduled for other Isuzu models. Perhaps the biggest news among them is that effective in August, Isuzu will offer the Allison 1000 Series automatic transmission on the FRR.

Guidance for Distributors

Cutler provided distributors with a series of guidelines for working on Isuzu chassis. Among them:

  • Don't modify the frames. “We know that there are times when you have to do it,” Cutler said. “If you have to modify a wheelbase, shorten it instead of lengthen it.

  • Never cut or modify an ABS harness. Doing so triggers an error code on the system. The result: you will have to buy a new harness anyway.

  • Do not lengthen a chassis with a 176" wheelbase. Isuzu does not offer a wheelbase any longer than 176" and does not offer an ABS harness to fit a longer wheelbase. “You can shorten it,” Cutler said, “but don't stretch it out.”

  • The only Isuzu chassis approved for 102" wide bodies is the F series, which includes the FRR, the FSR, and the FER. The FRR requires a rear-mounted stabilizer bar to handle 102" wide bodies. The stabilizer bar is available from the Isuzu parts system or aftermarket suppliers.

  • Isuzu will approve the installation of bodies with inside heights up to 97" for N Series chassis. However, such installations must be approved by Isuzu — either Dan Cutler (562) 229-5314 or Hank Needle (404) 257-3013.

  • A higher-output alternator should be available shortly.

  • Install a second battery when mounting liftgates on the NPR. The NPR is the only Isuzu chassis that does not come with a second battery, and additional capacity is necessary to meet the electrical requirements of liftgates, Cutler said.

  • Do not relocate fuel tanks outside the frame rails. “This came about with the problem General Motors had with side-mounted fuel tanks,” Cutler said. However, auxiliary tank installation kits for the N Series diesel are available through Isuzu dealers and aftermarket suppliers. “If the volume is high enough, we will consider offering it as a port-installed option,” he added.

  • LED turn signals can be used on the NPR and NQR diesel chassis. However, a new flasher will be required. LED turn signals should be avoided on other Isuzu models.

Cutler concluded by providing telephone numbers for additional information. To request body builders books, phone (800) 478-7808 or (714) 739-3200, extension 227. Those currently receiving body builders books will continue to do so.