Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7

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Online olija

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Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« on: March 02, 2017, 09:50:07 PM »
Are there any differences between the 2nd gen Tracker/Vitara, the Grand Vitara, and the front half of the Grand Vitara XL7? I am mostly concerned with the mounting of the front bumper. Saw a beautiful bumper for a 2nd gen Tracker but not sure if it will work on my 03 XL7, and the bumper fabricator might not be able to answer my question, and I'm not local to him so I wouldn't be able to swing by for a quick measuring.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's

Online fordem

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 04:49:03 AM »
Would you mind sharing details - I'm looking for a bumper for my GV.

To answer your question - as far as I know the front end of the frames are identical, so the bumper should bolt up just fine - there are differences in other areas, but these are going to affect appearance rather than function - for example a bumper for a Tracker will have a recessed section in the middle of the top because the lower edge of the grille is not flat, the bottom of the GV grille is flat (at least mine is), so you may end up with an unsightly gap in that area.

When you bring the XL-7 into the picture you'll have to be more specific - the early (01~03) XL-7s were, from the front, visually indistinguishable from the GVs, but later models (04~06) had different lights & grille

'98 SQ420 Grand Vitara
'05 JB420 Grand Vitara

Online olija

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 09:22:24 PM »
The bumper in question is made by a small custom fab shop in Abbotsford, BC, called Balmer Fabrication. If you look through their photo album you get a good idea of what level of stuff they are capable of. I messaged the owner through facebook and his preferred method is to have the vehicle on hand so he can size everything up on the spot. I live about 12 hours from Abbotsford and am not down there that often so that is why I was asking if a Tracker front frame is the same as a GV is the same as an XL7. He has done a bumper for a Tracker in the past so if they are the same I am thinking he could just duplicate that bumper.



I like it because it's simple and does the job, and doesn't stick out a foot in front of the truck like ARB and Alter Ego's winch bumpers. I have no intention of running a winch, and if I change my mind, I could always compromise with one of those receiver-hitch plug-n-play winches.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's

Offline beagle..t

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 07:58:52 AM »
the front section is the same width ,length. before I did my motor swap I went to local wreckers and measured frame width and length from motor mounts, tranny crossmember .I wanted to make sure everything fit and I didn't have to fab stuff and the was on a 2nd gen 2002 tracker and 2001 XL-7. balmer fab does nice work but you might have to bring truck down I know they like it there to take measurements then they will need  it for 3-5 days
new rig aka "the mule" 2002 tracker
V6 swap auto  ,2 dr ,2" BL,2" jeffs kit 512 gears warn hubs and 30/9.5/15 BFG AT

Online olija

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 05:10:56 PM »
Also related facts:

I successfully installed the 3" Alter Ego GV lift in the front of my XL7, proving that the front-ends are identical. The rear coils are different cause the XL7 uses a bigger axle with bigger springs so I ran Aerostar coils instead.

I just received my Balmer bumper yesterday. I need to do a little bit of fab work with the mounts and such to get it set up just right, and then paint it, but other than that, it looks awesome.

So now that we've confirmed the front ends are the same, what about the rear frames, like where the bumper mounts up? I see ZOR is now offering a decent-looking rear bumper and would be interested in modifying one of those to work on my XL7 as my plastic rear bumper is cracked and floppy. I know the side pieces would have to be longer but what about the center section?
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's

Offline beagle..t

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 07:23:24 PM »
nice rear bumper that they make , I heard that they were starting to design one
new rig aka "the mule" 2002 tracker
V6 swap auto  ,2 dr ,2" BL,2" jeffs kit 512 gears warn hubs and 30/9.5/15 BFG AT

Online olija

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Re: Differences between 2nd gen frames: Vit vs GV vs XL7
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 06:35:08 PM »
It's available: http://www.zuksoffroad.com/ZOR-DOMINATOR-GRAND-rear-bumper-1999-2004-VitaraGrand-VitaraTracker_p_1621.html

I like the concept of having the side tails adjustable separate from the center section if you have a body lift. But when I asked if they would be able to make something for the XL7 (possibly using the GV center section with longer side tails), they said not for at least another year and half. It's really too bad the aftermarket has no love for these great little rigs.
97 Sidekick 4door 5 speed, 1.5 spacer lift, 2" body lift, CJ rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low <SOLD>
01 Vitara 2.0L 5 speed, 2.5" Calmini lift, 2" body lift, Sidekick rims, locked rear, 31's, 4:1 low, 5.13 diffs <SOLD>
03 XL7 2.7 5 speed, 3" AE lift, 2" AE body lift, 5.13 diffs, 235/80R17 BFG AT KO's