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Well I went and tested out the trooper last weekend for its off roadability. Had a blast but definately found alot of flaws, such as bad ball joints, tie rods and shocks. This is from the El Dorado National Forest. (and the picture of the trooper climbing is not tilted sideways, thats really how steep it was and required some speed but luckily wasnt too long)

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Well I was at an auto parts store last night getting a tool and after I came out the trooper didn't want to start. The store tested the battery and it was good. I could hear the starter click so I knew the relay was good. Only thing left was the starter itself. Tried bump starting and it worked so I got it home, pulled the starter out and had it tested. Turns out it went out and rightly so because the leaking valve cover had drowned it in oil. New starter and it's good to go.
 

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Looks sharp!
 

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Decided to start my winch bumper build finally. Bought some 1/8" plate for the bumper, 1/4" thick harbor freight winch plate, 1/2" shackle mounts. Here is some of today's progress, definitely not as far as I would have hoped but running out of cutting discs and welding wire put a delay with a need to run to the store. I used the factory bumper mount rail and ended up boxing it in to give it some strength. I am still planning to add a square tube between the rails which will also bolt to the frame directly. I know a lot of the concepts for welding and have beginners experience but I made sure to do multiple passes on the areas that need extra strength. My welder is a Lincoln Electric 140hd and I am using .035 Flux Core wire.

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Made some more progress this week with getting the overall shape of the bumper in place. The next step will be to box in the top section and start building the skid plate underneath. I decided to try and make it as slim as possible to allow for better approach angle.

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Well I was able to make alot of progress this week despite getting rained on one evening. Bumper is about 80% complete. Just need to weld on the section underneath the bumper, reinforce everything on the inside, make end plates and install the flush mounted led flood lights. Here is this weeks progress in pictures.

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Looking good! I'm ordering a set of 16x8 wheels and 285/75 tires very soon. Wondering what lift springs you went with for the rear and did you flip the front ball joint to the bottom side of the top A-arm after cranking the torsion bars?

Also that's s good looking home-made winch bumper
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
tom clark2 said:
Looking good! I'm ordering a set of 16x8 wheels and 285/75 tires very soon. Wondering what lift springs you went with for the rear and did you flip the front ball joint to the bottom side of the top A-arm after cranking the torsion bars?

Also that's s good looking home-made winch bumper
I went with the OME 929 springs for the 2" lift. I originally drove without the ball joint flip. Then I finally had to replace upper and lowers so I did it at that time. For me I didn't notice the difference with the flip but I'm sure it may have made a degree or two of difference.
 

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Great info & photos, e30dean. I just bought my second 1st Generation Trooper, this summer, and have been mulling over what to do with its half-missing black lower body trim, e.g. to paint with truck bed liner (or something similar) or just remove the existing trim and repaint for a solid-color look. Or leave its faded-to-hell, dirt-tan paint as-is. Mine currently has a definite dirt-colored "patina" which gives it a I Really Don't Give A Sh*t What You Think appearance. :wink:

Your truck bed liner before-and-after photos are a big help there, so thanks for posting. I never really liked the contrasting color (black) plastic body trim, till I got my second Trooper & started thinking about it. I'm surprised that I actually prefer the look of your Trooper WITH the bed-liner body trim, being more of a fan of solid color Troopers. After a few years of looking at lots of Trooper photos, the contrasting dark body panels have finally grown on me. Your truck bed liner lower panels look great with the black roof rack. :)
 

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Hi e30dean hope your still on here. I see you reused your standard bumper mounts to the body mounts. Didn't the bumper pull downwards with no backward support to the chassis. I have a large winch that I want to mount the same way as yourself but feel it would need more bracing to safely winch off it without bending the mount downwards:/ love your vehicle BTW!!
 
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