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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted a couple of pics using imageshack.us. Hopefully in the coming months I will be able to post updated pics as I make improvements.

This adventure all started in January 2013 when my Subaru Outback went to the big car lot in the sky and I was left without wheels. My son called me and told me to check out a listing on Craigslist of a 1988 Trooper II almost identical to his. I pulled up the listing and immediately called the seller. The asking price was $800.00. The truck belonged to his deceased sister and he was trying to liquidate her assets to settle the estate so he could get back to his life in Massachusetts. So as not to miss out on the deal of the century, I loaded up the kids and the mother-in-law and headed out at the beginning of what became the largest snow storm this winter. We drove and hour out into the country and I knew at first glance I had to have this vehicle. We made the deal and drove to the DMV 20 miles further to have the title transferred only to find that they had closed 30 minutes earlier due to the weather. So, we met the next day at a more central location and took care of the necessary paperwork.

When I left the initial DMV attempt, we were consumed in an all-out winter storm with heavy snow, freezing rain, sleet, and anything imaginable. I shifted into 4WD and proceeded down the highway passing semis like they were standing still, 2WD vehicles in the ditch, and all forms of jealous folks that didn't have the machine I had. I was in love with my new rig. Back in town, the storm raged and I proceeded to climb the mountain upon which I live. This was my first indication that there was something amiss with the 4WD. As my post about 4WD addresses, I discovered that the c-clips on both front cv axles had come off and determined that I never had the 4WD engaged. That was a butt puckering revelation. It has since been fixed and, true to form, the thing will climb a tree.

The first issue I had to address when I picked up the Trooper, was the fact that the heater blower would not function. I started her up and immediately looked under the dash to discover a toggle switch. Turned it on and voila! forced air heat. Had I not discovered this, there would have been no way to drive it considering the weather conditions. I also started a thread about that problem which came to a rather pleasant ending when I swapped the plugs on the back of the control unit and restored operation to its intended switch. The original problem, turns out, was a broken solder connection in the resistor pack which I repaired. The previous "technician" obviously didn't have access to this forum and gave up, resorting to the toggle switch and high only blower function.

The exhaust system was shot. So I took it to a guy I've used for many years and he put a whole new system under her (from the cat back) for $240.00.

I purchased a set of 31's from a friend and had them swapped to my rims. Mud flaps will round out the look and blend in nicely with the running boards.

To date, I have spent about $1500.00 and I have what appears to be a dependable daily driver. There are still some dents and surface rust with which to contend; but those can wait for warmer weather. My son and I beat, pulled, and cussed the tree dent in the rear door. Next step is to pull out the bumper and frame damage. Ordered some parts from thebigbread to fix the license plate light bar (a casualty of the tree or light pole) and the rear door pin switch. My son didn't even know he had a rear dome light until I started poking around on here and discovered mine.

The only thing that doesn't work right now is the rear defogger. I've cleaned the contacts and done all the cursory stuff. I have a feeling it may be related to the impact with a large object so I'll delve into that some more when the weather breaks. I can live without it for now.

Future plans include urethane bushing on the shackles and springs, a set of decent shocks, tune-up, and customizing the interior. I have already cut out red oak panels for the rear doors and cargo area. I wasn't happy enough with their outcome to use them on the front doors so I'm still mulling that over. I'll post pics as that project progresses. Every time I go poking around on here, I get more ideas. I'm not going for the rock climbing rig but it would be nice to turn a few appreciative heads now and then.

I'll keep ya'll posted. Thanks again to past and future input.

Tim
 

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Wow, far out! I was emailing back and forth with the seller on this Trooper for a couple weeks, it started a bit above my budget and I knew he had some time constraints, I was travelling for work when he dropped the price to $800 and by the time I touched base with him he said he had already sold it... to YOU as I find!! :)

Great story and happy to hear that it found a good home to someone here on the Planet, enjoy!!!

Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that was Kevin. He turned out to be one interesting dude. A bit of a flake but a real nice guy. His sister was an eccentric but she kept up the Trooper very well. I've got receipts dating back to the day she bought it. There are some wide gaps over the years but hey, I can tell it was never neglected. Heck, she wouldn't take it on the road for several days after a good snow to prevent the salt from getting to it. And it shows. Not a speck of rust to be seen on the frame. And the only rust on the vehicle is around dents where the paint was compromised. Even that is superficial and still at the point of reversing the damage and avoiding the cancer you see on similar models. Don't know if you remember that storm. It was the 25th of January and we got hit pretty hard up here. Especially in the mountains. But it was possibly the closest thing to a spiritual experience I've had in my life finding that thing, and the subsequent following events. My son and I now have a common interest that has brought us together after a lot of years of sparse contact. I often think about making a donation to a worthy charity in the previous owner's name to show my appreciation for what i consider a priceless gift. I'll look you up if I ever get down that way, man. Would be nice to meet a fellow Isuzu fool. Peace.
 

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That first pic is great, I love seeing 2 gen1's in the same shot ;) I know nothing of this rust you speak of on similar models :lol:
 

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OK, so I'm currently grinning like the Cheshire Cat. I do remember that storm, I was in Chicago that week and my return travel was delayed as a result... what has me grinning is the realization that this delay may have resulted in your opportunity to end up with this Trooper and some cherished time with your son... how amazing is that?! I truly hope it brings you and your son years of wonderful experiences, I can't think of a better outcome! :thumbup:

Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow. Just freaking Wow! I knew something was up. I could feel it the whole trip. Whizzing by everything on Rt. 460 in the left lane that had yet to be touched by plows "thinking" I was in 4WD the whole way. Wow! Not the religious type, I'm willing to submit that some things are divinely guided and that everything happens for a reason. Wow.
 

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I've had my trooper up here since Sept 2011 and the 4X4 hasn't worked since I bought it. It's pretty amazing how well these things operate in 2wd. I see other vehicles get stuck all the time out here, from the ice alone, lol.
 

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Yeah, it grinds here and there when put in 4wd, otherwise no sound, and the 4wd hasn't worked yet, lol. 4wd is very useful here, but I usually drive my mustang all year 'round. but then again, i also don't drive like an idiot when there's snow/ice on the ground, lol. I'm guessing that since it has some beat up Superwinch hubs on it that it used to have auto hubs and they probably chewed the axles up, so, when I get back from the slope I'll be looking into that.
 

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Yeah, I've recieved great help so far, and I've been working with Jerry to get what I need, very awesome guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mine would probably be parked or limping up and down the road with me pissed off behind the wheel if it weren't for my son's help and that of the guys on this site.
 

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Well to give credit where credit it due, this site has taught me more about our troopers than any generic repair manual ever could. It's funny I used to be a Subaru person until I dealt with your rusty red headed stepchild of an outback. I'm just glad you've got something we can actually work on and know what we're doing... mostly. One day you'll use those english skills and write a book so we can just sit back and collect the money. Maybe even build the ultimate trooper. Of course, if we don't become millionaires then we still have vehicles we can enjoy. On another note we may have some snow to play in this week... maybe if we yank those c-clips off it'll snow good this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Apparently they fall off when they want to. But now I can put one back on in about 10 minutes. Not sure I'd want to do that and contend with the weather.

Saw the forecast. Although I'm about done with winter, it sure would be nice to have a foot or so to go play in. Nice pic. Now, jazz up your signature like all the big kids. I'm pretty sure South Park pics are banned on this site though.

I'll be over to get the chainsaw in the morning. Have coffee ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got to spend some time outdoors today. Went over to the mom-in-law's and cleared the winter havoc from her driveway. Took a walk down to the nearby Little River. This is why I live in SW Virginia. 8) Found 2 roof racks from work vans that I can make 1 out of after a good blasting and paint job. Another bunch of money I won't have to spend. Now if a brush guard and some fog lights would jump out of the weeds and bite me in the butt, I'd be set. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Work is slow as usual for a carpenter this time of year and in this region. So, I got bored and took the grill off and cleaned it up some. I went to the country store up the road and found that they had sold their last can of black spray paint over the weekend. As I pulled out in the direction of the next country store, I almost turned around and ended up with a red grill.....or forest green grill. Anyway, I continued on to the next store and picked up a can of flat black and a can of gloss black. Figured if I didn't like the flat, it would serve as a good primer. Turns out I settled for the flat.

In the process of removing the grill I discovered signs of previous damage that was fixed by rtv holding the keepers to the body. Needless to say, the 2 screws are pretty much the only thing holding the grill on right now. Most, if not all of the plastic clips that penetrate the body are broken. I'll address that when the weather warms up. Guess I'll head on back out with a handful of black zip ties and see what I can do to prevent the thing from rattling while driving.

Also straightened out the bumper a bit. It was pointing up slightly. Loosened the mounting bolts and jumped up and down on it. Went ahead and sprayed it while I was at it. My front end looks like brand new!

I nominate my "hood ornament" as competition for foytix's. Let the voting begin! :lol:

Got a call from my son who has found an 87 Trooper in town for $250.00. Runs. Frame rust but otherwise straight. He want's the round headlight set-up and I'm going to get the rear door and some interior parts. After we get done scavenging, The rest will be up for bids. Put in your requests now so I know what to keep an eye out for.
 

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Awesome dude, gives me inspiration for another hood ornament shot :thumbup:
 
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