Truck Product Conference 2019

Isuzu trucks bolster carrying capacity, improve efficiency

Dec. 9, 2019
NTEA Truck Product Conference 2019 coverage

Isuzu Commercial Trucks of America provided a product update for its N-Series and F-Series trucks, which are lighter and more fuel efficient, and provided tips and resources for body builders during the 2019 Truck Product Conference. 

N-Series gas trucks in the 2019 model-year received a vacuum pump and pulley change in October. The new offset pully with bearing enhancements extends an additional 25.35 millimeters into the front accessory drive space. 

For the 2020 model year, N-Series diesel trucks receive a new A465id automatic transmission intended to improve fuel economy, drivability and quality. The new transmission comes with relocated PTO connection points. 

The medium-duty F Series FTR truck received a compressor change for the 2020 model year that improves air output volume by approximately 33%, Isuzu said. Production began in January. At the same time, Isuzu added a purge valve silencer to the air dryer that reduces excess purge valve noise. 

Other 2020 FTR updates include a rear Dana axle change that offers an 86-pound weight reduction, a factory option for a 50-gallon aluminum fuel tank, and lower-profile tires that reduce frame height by approximately 2.4 inches.

N-Series gas trucks for model-year 2020 also boast new Yokohama tires that reduce rolling resistance to improve fuel economy, and a new switch added to the cab and indicator lamp on the instrument panel. Class 3 and 4 N-Series gas trucks receive a new 6.6-liter engine starting in May 2020, along with a higher-capacity fuel tank and improved steering angle.

Looking ahead to the 2021 model year, a new air suspension for the FTR enters production in May 2020. The Hendrickson HAS 230 air suspension features 23,000 pounds of capacity, with a 19,000-pound rear axle providing a 19,000-pound gross axle weight rating.

Starting in September 2019, N-Series diesel and gas and FTR trucks boast an added receptacle for engine block and oil pan heaters. Options include the Cold Weather Pack in the diesel and FTR trucks, and a block heater for N-Series gas trucks.

The N-Series diesel also is adding aluminum fuel tank options that enter production in January 2020, making available a left-side tank that replaces the in-rail tank. The new tank comes in a 35-gallon version for 150- and 176-inch wheelbases and a 55-gallon version for 176-inch wheelbases. Both are available with the Single and Crew Cabs.

In a reminder for upfitters, Isuzu said its VIN labels must not be covered because they contain important information about the vehicle, design and installation of bodies and/or special equipment, should allow for appropriate chassis component clearances (see body builder guide for recommended clearances by model), and access to items that require routine service (engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, etc) should not be obstructed. 

All Isuzu diesel trucks since model-year 2011 use engine coolant heat to meat DEF thaw guidelines. Auxiliary heaters may not draw heat from the engine coolant because energy used for auxiliary heating may decrease DEF thaw times beyond acceptable guidelines. No-modification zones involving diesel emissions devices include DEF tanks and lines, coolant lines and exhaust aftertreatment. Modifications in these areas may cause calibration issues and void emissions compliance. 

Special bolt placement in the N-Series includes a body mounting bracket on the right-hand chassis rail, reinforcement block with u-bolt on the left-hand chassis rail, and traditional u-bolt with wood reinforcement in other locations. Isuzu N-Series frames are not designed for j-hook mounting, which may cause frame deformation and will void the frame warranty.

Frame modifications are allowed but the body builder guide must be followed to ensure proper procedures. Incorrect procedures may lead to frame failure. 

Additional tips and guidelines relating to electrical systems, including wiring, batteries, body builder connector switches, alarms and harnesses, are available at Isuzu’s body builder guide also features an entire section on PTOs.