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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Meet “Metallica”, my 95 Trooper restoration project. In short, I purchased a 2nd Gen Trooper almost two years ago off of a Craig’s List ad. With other life priorities, it’s been a back burner project until recently.

Basics:

230K miles
5-speed manual
“S” model
Auto locking hubs
Clean body and solid suspension, all stock
failed Arizona emissions big time on HC,CO, and NOx

Here’s what I now know about the truck:

1. Blown Head Gasket verified with an endoscope picture while pressurizing the coolant system to 15 psi and seeing coolant drip into the #2 cylinder

2. Compression test results not too bad (170-195 psi range between cylinders).

3. Two out of six injectors failed leakage and flow testing parameters. I had them tested at a place in NY.

4. Major exhaust leak on drivers side between exhaust manifold and down pipe due to sheared stud/lack of sealing.

What have I done recently? This week I made a big decision to tear the engine down completely and on a stand not bending over the engine compartment. So, I pulled the transmission and engine out! There’s no turning back now!

My next steps include:

1. Flushing the coolant system with clean water while everything is intact. I forgot to mention that I discovered “stop leak” flakes in the coolant fluid before I confirmed the head gasket leak :(
2. Clean the exterior of engine thoroughly and inspect for any issues
3. Removing timing belt and water pump.
4. Removing heads.
5. Visual inspection of cylinders, heads, etc.
6. Possibly have the heads worked on depending on what I see.
7. Machine the flywheel if possible (found a small crack as shown in the photo) or replace


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I would like to get “Metallica” back in reliable condition so I can feel comfortable taking it anywhere without worrying.

Any other suggestions?
 

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A manual transmission, good find! Also good find on the head gasket leak.

There's a sequence for removing the head bolts, be sure to follow it. These engines are notorious for having seized head bolts and it's quite common to break them. Watch this video for some tips on removing the head bolts without breaking:


This is a good thread on 6VD1 head bolts:


That flywheel is Toast! All those cracks will never machine out. Rockauto.com still carries quite a few parts for ZuZu's so check it out:


BTW be sure to get a high-quality clutch kit. This is a pull-to-disengage style where the throwout bearing snaps into the pressure plate as the transmission is installed. Cheap throwout bearings are prone to popping out of the pressure plate, then you're pulling the trans again to replace.

LUK or Exedy are OE-quality and you shouldn't have any trouble with those.

Armed with part numbers from Rockauto, you can plug those into eBay or search other sources, and often find a cheaper price with shipping.

G'luck with the project!.............ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ed for the excellent references on head bolt removal and installation and the flywheel assessment. It will be a fun journey getting this Trooper back on the road! I hope to also document major lessons learned and practical tips gained along the way. Mark
 
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As I always tell everyone who is doing a clutch. I wanted a LUK clutch kit, and it was way cheaper on Amazon. When it showed up, it didn't look right. I found out that LUK has a few ways to tell if the product you get is authentic, and mine turned out to be a knock off. I sent it back and spent the extra money on a real LUK kit from my local NAPA. It's been over two years and multiple wheeling trips and teaching my daughter to drive a manual with no problems.
 

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1993 Trooper 5spd
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Looks like we are living parallel lives. I'm saving some time as I came across a deal on a rebuilt longblock (I once-over'd every bolt I could see). But I've got damn near everything on my 93 ripped out in the garage. My flywheel machined just fine, but I had no cracks. If you have a local machine shop, they should be able to tell you if yours is salvageable by just glancing at it. But it looks toasted to me. If you are going to throw in the 3:1 kit in your transfer case, now is the time. FYI I think your pics all posted about 10 times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Enemigo for the tips on the clutch. I was planning on putting a good quality clutch back in but that's an excellent point on watching out for scam parts. Interesting idea Scalla on the 3:1 transfer case change. I'll have to think about that option. I owned a 1st Gen Trooper (1991 V6/ 5 Speed) for over 6 years and found the stock 2:1 transfer gears in 4 Lo to be more than adequate for the wheeling I do in the desert but there have been a few instances where I was doing some serious climbing where 3:1 would have been nice. Do you find you miss the 2:1 transfer case gearing when you're in 4 low cruising in the back country?
 

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1993 Trooper 5spd
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Interesting idea Scalla on the 3:1 transfer case change. I'll have to think about that option. I owned a 1st Gen Trooper (1991 V6/ 5 Speed) for over 6 years and found the stock 2:1 transfer gears in 4 Lo to be more than adequate for the wheeling I do in the desert but there have been a few instances where I was doing some serious climbing where 3:1 would have been nice. Do you find you miss the 2:1 transfer case gearing when you're in 4 low cruising in the back country?
Actually I just got this thing and tore it apart. I have a build in mind and I am going for it. So I can't tell you about how 2:1 feels. Honestly this is my first 4x4. All my off roading experience is of the 2 wheel drive prerunner SoCal desert type. Now I'm in NorCal looking to explore the Sierras.
 

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3:1 isn't that low compared to what else is available in the market for other makes. For example, Toyota and Jeep guys low gears start at 4:1. That said, you'll definitely notice the difference. For rock crawling type of off-roading, it is one of the best mods I've done. When I had my Amigo with an automatic and the stock transfer case 2:1, even in L, and 4-Low, if I took my foot off the brake on a steep descent, it felt like it'd get up to 10-15 mph before any engine compression slowed the vehicle down. With the 3:1 in my Trooper with a manual, you take your foot off the brake in first while in Low, and you aren't going over maybe 3mph. Having the low gears is much easier on your clutch and you'll be able to tackle obstacles slower, and with more control, which means you aren't dropping your clutch and bashing into things desperately trying to keep up momentum.

On the other hand, if you're just cruising around in 4-low, where you might cruise in 2nd gear with the factory transfer case, you'll probably have to be in 4th gear with the 3:1 gears.

If you aren't really doing steep ascents/descents, then you could probably do without the gears. If you can find someone around who has low gears and have them let you drive it a bit, that would go a long way toward helping you figure it out.
 

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1993 Trooper 5spd
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I’m only suggesting you do it now if you plan to do it since everything is already apart. Don’t be crazy and try to take apart the transfer case later with the transmission installed. Then again if you keep adding to the project list you may never leave the garage. 🤦‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do want to take advantage of upgrades that can be done while the engine and transmission are out.

At the risk of the clock becoming a heavy handed task master, I’ve decided to start counting days on this restoration project beginning with “Day 0” when I pulled the transmission last week.

Day 5:

1. Components removed to get better access to clean and inspect the block
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2. Block cleaning using “Purple Power” and a long handled Scrub brush.
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3. Flushed the cooling system with water before removing all the cooling components and piping.
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Pleased with the progress. The block looks pretty good based on my initial visual inspection. I can even read the engine serial number, engine code (6vd1) and casting numbers.

Next Steps:

Timing belt and water pump disassembly and inspection, Remove Heads

Mark
 

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2000 Isuzu Trooper 4WD
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That on my priority list for my Trooper: water pump and t-stat, timing belt, accessory belts, tensioners. Just gotta wait for the weather to cooperate. Thankfully the engine is non-interference so I'm not as worried as 156K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Day 6: 1st speed bump on the engine teardown :(

I can’t say I wasn’t warned!
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My attempt to pull the first head (passenger side) has hit a brick wall! After removing the valve cover, I easily removed the three smaller 6 mm hex bolts on the left side of the head. I decided to go in reverse order of the recommended tightening torque sequence in the FSM:

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11,10,9, …1 My first two 10 mm bolts (8 and 7 on the far right side) came out following some serious hammer shocks followed by a breaker bar back and forth. I thought I was on a roll! Then I hit #6 (Upper left side. Nothing doing. It won’t budge using the same procedure. I broke out my 1/2 inch pneumatic impact wrench. Nothing! I had my neighbor bring his Milwaukee monster “fuel” impact wrench. Nothing but some damage to the internal hex

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Plan B: I’m considering drilling out the inside of the internal hex bolt heads using a 13/32 drill bit (0.406 in dia) which is slightly bigger than the bolt shank
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I want to get out of this business of fighting the head bolts and potentially doing more damage to the block threads. I don’t see any real downside of this approach other than getting steel drill bit shavings in the head that will need to be carefully cleaned out.

Thoughts?

Mark
 

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Yeah, it's probably easier at this point (and less damaging) to drill out the bolt heads. With the cyl head out of the way, you'll be able to apply heat directly at the root of the head bolt, where it'll expand the aluminum block and you should be able to get 'em busted loose. And apply penetrant directly to the threads.

BTW a 50/50 mixture of ATF and Acetone has been proven in informal testing to be more effective than even Kano Kroil penetrant, which is one of the best ones out there. Just watch out, this mixture is very flammable!! 🔥
 

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Oh yes I have ran into this several times on the 4z head. The head bolts corrode to the block where the head and block meet. You are going to have to drill the head off the bolt and then slide the head off. Wire wheel the area where the bolt meets the block and let it soak in some good penetrate. Tapping on the shaft w a brass hammer will also help to vibrate the gunk loose. Time, a pair of good vise grips or weld a new head on the bolt and it should come loose. If you need a replacement bolt let me know I have plenty and I will send you one for the cost of shipping
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I will try experimenting on one of the bolts I pulled out and give it a go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Day 7: The Stars all align!

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It pays to share your problems with others! My local automotive machine shop suggested I try something else before drilling the 10 mm head bolts off and it worked! They loaned me a large steel dowel which I used to smack each bolt in reverse installation direction and I was able to remove all the bolts with a 1/2 inch breaker bar using (I’m guessing) around 150-200 ft-lbs of torque. No impact wrench, no hammer driver, no drills. Just a 3 pound hammer and a steel pin and 4-5 good impacts.

Mark
 

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Yeah, it shocks the threads & helps bust things loose. The vid I posted shows the mechanic giving the bolt heads a good rap.

Congrats on gettin' 'er dun!
 

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That checks out with my experience. I couldn't get the body bolts loose when I did my body lift. I decided to try and cut them out with an oscillating saw and the vibration broke each one loose before I could finish the cut. I need to find a way to make a tool that will just vibrate a bolt head. I mean an impact kind of does, but an oscillating saw is a much higher frequency and you won't break anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Correct. I placed the steel dowel rod on top of the bolt head grabbed it firmly and whacked it with a 3 # hammer. You need to be careful to hit squarely on the rod to avoid personal injury or damage to the head. Not the most graceful thing in the world to be inflicting on an engine!
 
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