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California 'Zu - 1991 Isuzu Pickup

The Road-Ready Rebuild

Richard Cabeza
May 4, 2013
Photographers: Brian Goude
Photo 2/8   |   1991 Isuzu Pickup front Three Quarter
Buying a "completed" truck is never a sure bet, especially if you don't know much about the quality of craftsmanship that is lurking beneath the sheetmetal. Many people can vouch for the work, but the final judgment always belongs to a vehicle's new owner. Rickey Bellotti found himself in such a situation after he purchased what he believed to be a finished '91 Isuzu Pickup. The get-in-and-drive truck he thought he took ownership of turned out to need a fair amount of attention in order to rightfully claim its title as a reliable daily driver.
Seven months went into renovating the 'Zu's rear suspension along with even more hard earned cash. Rickey tells us that "a complete back half and triangulated four-link were fabricated, and to finish the truck off, a new set of wheels, body and paint work, and a few touches to the interior were made." Sure, dumping more time and money into a vehicle after taking it home is a major pain in the sphincter and having to tear the truck down to the frame must've felt like a cheap kick to the gonads.
With the support from his wife and friends, Rickey tried to make the whole rebuild process quick and as painless as possible-kind of like ripping off a bandage, but with a little more stinging. The 'Zu now lives life as a loyal seven-day-a-week mode of transportation, and with a fully redesigned frame and smashing good looks to match, you'd better believe this P'up has gained a confident pep in its step.
"...having to tear the truck down to the frame must've felt like a cheap kick to the gonads."
The Lowdown
1991 Isuzu P'up
Rickey Bellotti Santa Rosa, CA Forbidden Fantasy
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 18x8 Boss 328
Tires: 225/40/18 Kumho Ecsta
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): 14-inch hydro cylinders
Suspension (rear): 14-inch hydro cylinders
Control Arms: Stock arms flipped
Air/Hydro Accessories: Two Showtime pumps, four dumps, two batteries mounted under bed
Frame Mods: Back half with triangulated four-link all reinforced
Brakes: Stock power disc front, drums at rear
Performed By: Jeremy Aragon with Twilight Zone, owner
Body Modifications
Shaved: Tailgate and handle
Bodydrop: 2-inch traditional
Body Mods: Flared Rodeo front bumper
Bolt-ons: Amigo front fenders, Rodeo doors, Rodeo headlights, and grille
Misc.: Molded tailgate
Performed By: Dan Ackerman, Scott Turner, Dave Prater, owner
Brand & Colors: DuPont Hot Hues Chocolate Cinnamon Pearl
Misc.: Transtar clear
Performed By: Dave Prater, owner, at Sparky's Collision
Seats: Buckets recovered, chopped headrests
Dash: Painted to match exterior
Misc.: Rodeo door panels and power windows
Performed By: Victor Monge and Janelle Branagan rewrapped panels with black vinyl
Head Unit: Pioneer
Mids & Highs: Alpine
Subwoofers: Two 10-inch JL Audio W3
Amplifiers: Sony Xplod
Misc.: Detail on amp to match truck
Performed By: Previous owner, rewiring by owner
Engine: 2.3L
Header/Exhaust: Pace Setter header to Magnaflow exhaust
Transmission: Five-speed
Rearend Type: Stock Isuzu drilled to five-lug
Performed By: Exhaust by Johnny Franklins
Special Thanks From Owner
"Thanks to my wife for her hard work and for letting me spend hours on the truck while she took care of our 3-year-old son Chase, to Andrew Wixom for taking the trip with me to pick the truck up, Scott Turner, Dan Ackerman, and Dave Prater for helping make the truck what it is, Rich Felton, members of Forbidden Fantasy, and Greg's Tires and Wheels for making the wheel package work."