Isuzu SUV Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Introducing Trooper #6 for me ...

IMG_3266.jpg


In late April of this year, I was combing Craigslist for Troopers, parts, etc. and came across a 1990 4-door 4-cylinder manual with about 146k. The ad said:

1990 Isuzu Trooper II
2.6l 4cyl
Manual 5-speed (new clutch, flywheel, bearings and seals)
Very clean two owner rig.
Clean title.
Runs and drives excellent
Low miles for the year
New windshield and gasket
Full service history. $6,000 in receipts.
Timing belt and water pump done 20k miles ago.

For Sale Pic 1.jpg


I started asking a few more questions and getting some additional photos. A few bigger dings and dents I wasn't too fond of, one on the roof above the rear door, the left passenger door was bruised, and the driver door was not on straight (but because it had a new door hinge and wasn't hung properly). However it did have upgraded air conditioner to R-134, Aisin manual hubs, good tires, and minimal wear and tear in the interior.

For Sale Pic 3.jpg


For Sale Pic 5.jpg


For Sale Pic 4.jpg


I was intrigued enough to go take a look. First problem, this Trooper was in Idaho and a good 3.5 hour drive each way. So, like you do in Montana when you want to go somewhere fast, you fly! A buddy of mine flew me over but had to return with little delay, so I had to make the decision on the spot. I looked it over and there was very minimal rust for a rig in our area, but not worth the $3000 asking price. However, I grew attached to it immediately and wanted this rig. He dropped a few hundred bucks off and though it was still more than I wanted to spend, it was done! I was driving her home.

The next problem ... I already had 2 Troopers sitting in my driveway, and a 3rd I use for parts in my hangar, so buying another one was going to test the boundaries of my relationship with my wife and daughter. I can't remember if they knew I was going to look/buy that day, but it just happened. :D

... to be continued ...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
The drive home was great. I immediately liked the way it felt and handled. Brakes squeaked a bit and steering had a little play, but over all it was a good truck. AC pumped out cold air (although it was late April and not really much need for it, so I didn't use it except to test that it worked). There was a surging issue at idle where the RPM would bounce from 1000 up to 1800 rpm, but he had told me about this issue and I figured it was in the stepper for the AC, so no big deal at the moment. It ran great and that was the important part.

At home, my driveway was starting to look like a used Trooper Car Lot now crowded with 3 Troopers along with both my Toyota pickup and wife's car in the garage. My neighbors think I'm an absolute nut and they just look to see what this crazy Trooper Guy is up to next! :drunken:

But the time to play with my newest toy was short lived. About a week later, I was on a plane heading to Europe for work for the next 7 weeks. I took my RS to my hangar just to free up space in the driveway and keep the wife happy!

IMG_2154.jpg


... to be continued ...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Here are a few more pics in front of my hangar when I first got her home ...

I've had mostly RED Troopers up to this point and I am very excited to find a dark blue one. This is by far my favorite color for a car and I think it looks great on the first gen Troopers!

Home 1.jpg


Home 2.jpg


Home 3.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
The first and only thing I had to do before I went to work was give this rig a thorough cleaning. And when I clean, I go all out.

I removed the black pads the previous owner had placed over the carpet in the cargo area and saw that the carpet was a little dis-colored. There was a peculiar smell and a "goo" that must have been remnants of animal juices ... either from a dog who rode around in the back, or a carcass from a former hunting trip. Either way, the rear seat belts were brown behind the bench as were small patches on the carpet. It must get cleaned out! Fortunately, Troopers have easy interiors to remove, so I gutted the entire rig, opened the four drain plugs up front, sprayed everything with lemon scented Simple Green (my favorite cleaning product), and hosed down the metal interior. Then my true red-neck came out and I got out the leaf blower to dry it out as much as possible. My next door neighbor, and older retired vet just laughed his head off when he came out to see what I was doing. I wish I had a video to share, but here are some pics of the process ...

Cleaning rear cargo area.jpg


Cleaning front seat area.jpg


Cleaning looking backwards.jpg


I also cleaned every bit of interior plastic that I could ...

Cleaning - Interior Parts.jpeg


Cleaning - More interior parts.jpeg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,105 Posts
I really really like the dark blue as well. Loved your old 2dr 88, wish I could find one around here! Good luck, looks like you're off to a good start!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
The re-installation of the interior 2 days later (after carpets were dried completely) was pretty straight forward. I went to Lowe's and bought some scrap water resistant carpet pad that was left over from one of their home install projects. A 10' x 10' piece of padding cost me $10! I used the old pad to trace out the pattern and began to cut away. Fit perfectly!

Cleaning - New Carpet Pad.jpg


Next the carpet and all the seat belt and tie-down bolts and the back was done!

Cleaning - Carpet back in.jpg


The carpets turned out really nice. When I hosed them out, they ran brown with dirt. But the original grey color came back and looked far better. You always get a few stains that remain, but overall, it looked AND SMELLED a million times better!

Cleaning - Interior back in.jpg


Cleaning - One seat to go.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
paulevans76 said:
I really really like the dark blue as well. Loved your old 2dr 88, wish I could find one around here! Good luck, looks like you're off to a good start!
Thanks Paul! I will finish off the string on the '88 later. It now resides in Alaska! Lots to catch you guys up on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I got home from Europe the last day of June, and was home now for a while. Time to work on this rig! My goal was never to collect Troopers, but it certainly seemed like that's what I was doing. My wife had bitten off on the idea of having a summer rig and one for the winter (story of "Rusty Red", the '89 RS I acquired a few years ago to be posted later). But "Big Red" was my summer rig and was loaded with extras. The process of moving it all over had begun ...

(Side note: my daughter is the one who came up with the names for all my Troopers ... Big Red, Little Red aka Rusty Red, Dead Red (parts rig), and now Big Blue. She also calls it Super Trooper. The names have stuck even though I have never been one to name my cars before.)

The first thing, and easiest of them all, was to put my Thule MOAB roof basket on.

Big Red and Big Blue.jpg


Then a quick comparison of what I like on Big Red and what I don't like on Big Blue on a quick walk-around ...

Before the swap.jpg


Knowing that the ARB definitely had to be swapped over, I knew that the dark grayish black rear bumper on Big Red had to follow because the light gray bumpers just didn't fit with the dark blue paint.

Beginning with the back.jpg


The set of 5 matching Bighorn tires with black powder coated wheels would also be moved over. The puzzle was how to do this with only one Hi-lift jack. So, I took the spare off Big Blue, and started with one wheel off Big Red replacing it with the spare. Then that tire over to Big Blue, and back and forth I went until all 10 were swapped around. While the spares were removed, I took the opportunity to swap the bumpers.

And stupid me, I forgot to take a picture of the finished result, but you will get to see them together a little bit later.

With bigger tires and a roof basket, we were ready for our first outing, and friends were up for rafting trip down the Flathead River.

Rafting Trip 1.jpg


Rafting Trip 2.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
The next step was to get the windows tinted. I called to make an appointment with a local tint guy, but he was booked a week out. With summer's heat cranking up, the AC seemed to not keep up with all the clear glass heating up the inside. Tinting was a must!

Finally the day came and it was a welcomed upgrade for $250.

Windows Tinted.jpg


Since my wife was at work, I had to ride my bike home after dropping it off, and again down to pick it up. Used my older 3-bike spare tire mounted bike rack, but I think this will need to get replaced as it doesn't fit the Bighorn quite right.

Now the inside is protected from people looking in so easily and is so much cooler in the heat. All the glass behind the driver is as dark as is allowed, and the driver and front pax windows had to be a bit lighter tint. No tint on the front windshield, but it had an upper blue sun-tint band already. AC now has no problem keeping the inside cool and comfortable.

I also feel it gives the dark blue Trooper a much more bad-*** look! :mrgreen:

Oh yeah, and when I bought the Trooper I only got 2 keys ... one I used daily and the other was a spare. Since I didn't want to take my key ring apart, I left the tint guy my spare. Come to find out it unlocks the doors, but didn't turn the ignition. That afternoon, I went and had extra keys made from the 1 good key. Good find! It would have sucked to lose this key and find out the other key didn't work. All good now.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Here's a photo for a day trip up to a nearby lake for fun! Note the windows were not yet tinted.

IMG_2298.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I know, I know .... "So what about the ARB bull bar!?!"

This had to wait as I needed to make a trip to Oregon, and this was the perfect opportunity to test out my new toy on a long journey. So I packed it up, and my daughter and I were off for a father-daughter road trip, leaving mom at home for some time off. ;)

Not even a couple hours away from home, I noticed radiator fluid spitting up from the front left side of the engine hood. I pulled over to check it out and the coolant overflow was to the top. Knowing I was going for a long road trip, I had checked all the fluids before leaving home and had filled the overflow with a little extra coolant. I thought maybe I had filled it to the Max line while it was cold and now that extra was getting pushed out. Duh!!! We carried on keeping a watchful eye on it and it seemed to stop leaking out coolant.

The temps were soaring up to and over 100F outside. AC and tinted windows were keeping us cool on the inside, but the car's temperature was getting up there. My thought was, maybe with upgraded AC and the AC radiator being in front of the engine cooling radiator, it was just too much for the little 4-cylinder and it's radiator to handle. At gas fill-ups, I would check under the hood and all looked good. No more leaking radiator fluid. But I decided to limit the use of the AC, so up hills the AC was off, and downhills back on. Every once in a while I would see a little fluid spit from the corner of the hood, but only up hills and while really pushing the rig. Needless to say, this was not the ideal way of driving across the NW in summer. The temperature gauge never got hot, but sat about the upper 3/4 range. Not giving me the warm and fuzzy.

The next day in Central Oregon, I checked the cold radiator. Sure enough, it was low. I poured the extra coolant from the overflow container back in the radiator, and with it filled to the top, the overflow was still filled to the Min line. Ok, so I didn't lose any fluid, it was just left in the overflow. That day, we went 4-wheeling up to Paulina Lakes and the Newberry Crater. It was another hot day and the temp on the Trooper was climbing to the upper 3/4 of the gauge again. No AC and it was in the middle. Use AC and it would climb. Strange.

IMG_2422.jpg


The next day, I checked the coolant level in the radiator again. It was low and the overflow was high! Same routine of pouring the overflow supply back into the radiator and the fluid levels were correct again. So I went to the auto parts store and bought a new radiator cap. Logic says that the cap was weak and fluid was blowing out the radiator and into the overflow. Just because it didn't sit well with me, I made an appointment with a local radiator shop for the following day. They looked it all over and told me they didn't think the engine got hot and that it was a good call replacing the cap. Just to be safe, I asked them to put a new thermostat in. Done!

Since it was in the shop, I asked them to check the brakes as that squeak I noticed on my first drive home from Idaho was getting louder and I completely forgot to check them when I swapped the tires. Duh #2!!! Sure enough, the back brakes were worn down, but unevenly. The fronts were still 75% and good. I probably could have made it back to Montana, but I decided to have them do complete rear brakes, to include calipers, rotors, and pads. Peace of mind with my daughter in the car, even though it was more expensive than me doing it.

We were off and running again, checking out many other dirt roads and trails in the area ...

Elk Lake 1.jpg


IMG_2579.jpg


Since there is much more to offer on Craigslist in Oregon than there is in Montana, I found a Thule hitch mounted bike rack that would work far better than my tire mounted one. $75 for a used-once 3-bike rack! Sweet!!!!

IMG_2514.jpg


So 2 weeks later, home we went. Over all, great first trip!! But the drive home, I saw the temp climb a bit still and again decided to limit the AC use. WTF???

Once I got home, I opened the hoods to all 3 of my Troopers and started to compare. The first thing I noticed was this '90 Trooper had a larger diameter straw in the overflow than the other 2. Did they change this in 1990 models, because my '88 and '89 were thinner? I swapped out the straw on the RS and let that be step #1 in my troubleshooting. It has since run normally and I have never again had any other issues with temps or coolant leaks! Either the wider straw cannot suck the fluid back into the radiator, or there is a crack or hole in it that keeps this from happening. Now that the fluid was able to get back into the radiator, my cooling issue was solved. Victory! Oh, and that surging issue in idle RPM ... gone once this issue was solved. That was an unexpected bonus, but it sort of makes sense. :D

... to be continued ...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
We have a couple of Troopers in the local salvage yards and I go there when parts I need are not available on Dead Red (my parts rig). There is a blue V-6 LS with gray interior that I've been getting lots of little pieces from, especially interior bits. But the coolest thing was the rear cargo cover! I had never had a Trooper with this installed, not even my first one in Alaska, and don't think I had ever seen one before outside of photos. Anyway, I pulled the one out of the junk yard and it cleaned up beautifully!

Cargo Cover.jpg

I'm not sure if I really needed it at all because with the tinted windows, it's already really hard to see inside, but it's there now. :drunken:

I also put the rubber cargo mat in the back. I had this in Big Red, but not any more!!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Ok, it is time!

So the last thing I needed to move over from Big Red was the ARB bull bar. For some reason, I never got the Warn 8000 winch installed in it while it was on Big Red, but this was not going to happen twice. Off the bar came and back on with Big Reds old bumper. Oh, incidentally, I put the rear bumper from Dead Red on Big Red. It was the same color but has a small dent in it above the exhaust. I'll post pics of it in the other string.

I don't have an engine hoist, so I rig a come-along up to the I-beam at my hangar. It works.

ARB comes off 2.jpg


ARB comes off 3.jpg


Install the winch inside the bumper first ... then attach to Big Blue!

ARB goes on 1.jpg


May I present to you, my 6th Trooper ready to go!!!

ARB Installed.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Off-road trip to Hubbart Reservoir with a friend and his boy for some kayaking. (Girls were gone for the weekend!)

Hubbart Res Trip 1.jpg


Hubbart Res Trip 4.jpg


Hubbart Res Trip 2.png


Hubbart Res Trip 3.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Here's a picture of all 3 of my Troopers in my driveway. I have since sold the '88 to a couple who drove it to Alaska. Now the first and second Troopers I have owned are both in Alaska. Hahaha! #3 is Dead Red and will go to the junk yard next week. I've just about stripped it clean of usable parts. #4 had the ARB and I never did see it in person. #5 is the RS which I may sell next spring. I'll write a separate thread on this one at some time.

3 Troopers.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
After the ARB and winch went on, this obviously adds considerable weight to the front end. It was riding very low. Fortunately, there was room to tighten up the torsion bars to give it an extra 3" lift in the front!

ARB Installed.jpg


IMG_3266.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,976 Posts
If you don't like the ride after the T-Bar crank, you may want to look into the heavier duty T-Bars. They are getting harder to find tho. It was crazy that the suction tube for the antifreeze overflow caused so many issues. Glad you found that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hessmess said:
If you don't like the ride after the T-Bar crank, you may want to look into the heavier duty T-Bars. They are getting harder to find tho.
So far the ride is much nicer. Going out this weekend up into the mountains, so by next week I might be looking for some. Reading through the forum, it seems like OME are the way to go. Any other suggestions?

hessmess said:
It was crazy that the suction tube for the antifreeze overflow caused so many issues. Glad you found that.
Ya, that was crazy! I'm surprised as well, but so far, it's running smooth. I'm not sure I understand it fully, but I'm rolling with it.

Thanks for the post, hessmess.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BoiseTrooper

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
paulevans76 said:
I really really like the dark blue as well. Loved your old 2dr 88, wish I could find one around here! Good luck, looks like you're off to a good start!
same train of thought here....looks like a great start on a awesome find.......every Trooper I've ever owned has been either
WHITE or black. Love the black....when it's clean and waxed...but boy, does it show the dust-dirt. and does it reflect the
heat....I also had trouble keeping my Trooper cool....and once I tinted the windows, it helped cool it greatly.

anyhow, enjoyed the pics and story...best wishes to you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: GoneTroopin

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Skeletor said:
....when it's clean and waxed...but boy, does it show the dust-dirt. and does it reflect the
heat....I also had trouble keeping my Trooper cool....and once I tinted the windows, it helped cool it greatly.
All of the Troopers I've owned/driven have had tinted window, until this one. It was amazing how hot it was getting inside before the windows were tinted. Very easily cooled after tinting. Well worth the investment.

As for the dark color showing all the dirt ... kinda like bragging rights and showing off a little that I was out having fun! ;)

I appreciate the well wishes, Skeletor. Cheers!
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top