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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Trooper will never be a dedicated rock crawler, nor will I probably ever have the mad fabrication skills that most of the veterans here have. However, I want to contribute something to the community that might aid future "newbies".

This project will be ultra-basic to most, but hopefully helpful to people like me who need some of the basic jobs covered in detail.

DAYSTAR COIL SPACER INSTALL

I purchased the Daystar coil spacers (part number KC09103BK) from Amazon.com for $40. It was my Father's Day gift!

The spacers are just 2 plastic donuts that fit onto the top of the rear coil springs. According to the application, these provide 1 1/2" lift. However, this is for the Dodge 2WD pickup application that these are designed for. Probably close to the same for the Troop.

They also come with a cool sticker!



Before starting, I checked to make sure that my garage was level. This would help in leveling the truck via T-bar crank later.



I started by removing the rear wheels and jacking the rear of the vehicle as high as I could get it. I put jack stands under the link mounts (seemed like the best place?). I have smallish jackstands that had to be raised as far as they go. I didn't feel comfortable getting under the truck with these, so I put 2 more under the truck and always used the jack as a safety.



Removing the shocks took up about 80% of the total project. These bolts were TOUGH. I had soaked everything down with PB Blaster before starting, and probably should have done so a day earlier. I also soaked the T-bar bolts while I was at it.

I have an old broken torque wrench I use as a breaker. Using this, and all the strength I could muster, I finally got the bolts to move. I was VERY concerned that I might damage a shock mount or shear a bolt.

While removing the driver's side shock, I made a startling discovery: the rubber bump stop was completely gone!



I'll need to make a junkyard run to replace it.

I have read elsewhere that you don't have to remove the sway bar link to get the necessary clearance for the spring, but I felt it would probably help in the long run. I worked on the link for a while and couldn't budge it. I feft I might round the bolt so I gave up. I decided instead to remove the mounts where the sway bar connects to the frame. This was super-easy and took a minute.



Once the sway bar and shocks were off, I was ready to swap the coils. I made another interesting discovery. My old, antique shocks has "ISUZU" stamped on them. Could these be the original 1993 shocks? I could compress them in and out easily by hand with no resistance. These things were GONE.



I did not remove the center link or panhard rod. In order to create enough space for the coils to drop out, I had to use my foot and push down hard to create more room. I also noticed that if I jacked up the other side slightly, it created a little more room.



With pressure applied, the springs fell out. The Daystar spacers go on the top. The bottom mount for the coil spring has an indent, so it's impossible to get the top/bottom mixed up. With the spacers in place, the springs went back in. I had to bang them around a little to make sure they were seated correctly.

Once the coils were good, in went the new shocks. For budget reasons, I had to go with el cheapo replacements. Maybe fancy aftermarket equipement later :)

The job was nearly done!



I tightened everything up, replaced the sway bar mounts, and put the rear wheels back on. Down went the jack. Hard to see from this photo, but the Trooper has a definite "rake" like a '60s musclecar.



Now it was time to adjust the Torsion Bars. The large bolt is a 27 mm and a breaker bar was very much required.



You need to raise the front of the vehicle with the jack to take weight off of the suspension.

I did several rounds of cranking, taking great care to keep track of the total number of turns per side. After each round, I'd remove the jack, jump on the front a few time to settle in the change, and measure using the level. In all, I cranked the front 3.5 turns. I intend to drive it for a while and let both the front and back settle in, then remeasure and crank again.

Done! I just realized that I forgot to take my "before stance" picture! My tires are 265/75/16, which add about 1/2" of lift. All together, it's about 2 inches above stock. With this size tire, I think it's absolutely perfect.

Here's the final result:





Good luck and be safe! :D
 

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:D great pictures and write up :D looks cool 8) recon
 

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Looks good!!!! Thanks for taking the time to post this.... :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, here's the update.

After some road time, I checked the level while back in the garage and felt that it was off just a tiny bit. I put in 1/2 turn further for a total of 4 turns on each side.

I hope my camber isn't terribly whacked. I don't notice anything visually, but I don't want my new tires to wear on one side only.

Will a simple ball joint flip correct any potential camber issues with a T-bar crank? I'd love to hear the experience of others who have done a T-bar crank and correcting any suspension geometry / alignment problems.

As far as the BJF goes, ball joint separation and me don't do well together. Hammers have come out, and collateral damage has occurred. :twisted:

Thanks!
 

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Nicely done.

I happen to like the raked look of the muscle cars. I've had mine raked for years thanks to helper springs. May be replacing them with add-a-leaf springs soon and still keeping the raked look..

You can take the boy out of his beloved muscle car, but you can never take the muscle car out of the man...
 

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I'm about to do this on my kids 1998 Trooper. The writeup was great and it's a cheap way to give them a little lift without a lot of $$.

My question is did you buy longer shocks? I plan on using the Rancho RS5000's and they say for 0-1" lift. However, I've read that some people say they're shorter than stock shocks.

Last thing will be tires and I'm not sure if I'll go with the 235/85/16 or 265/75/16.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No prob!

I still want to upgrade to OME springs at some point, but the leveling done with the Daystar spacers and T-bar have been fine. It's enough of a "lift" to look lifted, but small enough to not affect road manners or front suspension geometry to any great extent.

With the oversize tires, I estimate total rise over stock height of 2 - 2.5 inches.
 

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Hi Sjriott,

I didn't get a chance to work on the suspension this past weekend. Worked on reapolstering my trooper storage and bed.

I shocks when I bought my trooper last summer were shot. I replaced them with Tokico GE3497 and GE 3498. I have found shocks to give a good balance in handling, off-road and comfort. A lot of guys with 4runners run them and had given great reviews, so I picked up a set on Amazon for a reasonable price. My frind is a test driver for Volkswagen group and liked them so much he picked a set for his Trooper. To aid in possible travel issues I picked up a set of front extensions so I don't lose and travel with the that lift. Got that got tip from expedition 4x4's trooper
 

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Tatohead, you mentioned the alignment camber issue way back when. Did you notice any difference in tire wear? Did you end up doing a ball joint flip? I know it's one of the easier mods to do when you're running a lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hecka said:
Tatohead, you mentioned the alignment camber issue way back when. Did you notice any difference in tire wear? Did you end up doing a ball joint flip? I know it's one of the easier mods to do when you're running a lift.
I tried the ball joint flip and found that it was immediately off. The angle looked like this: \-----/

I reversed it right away. I haven't noticed any uneven wear, but I've actually only put 2000 miles on since then. I use the Trooper exclusively for camping/outdoors trips only.

Good luck!
 

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The other question I had was about whether or not a spring compressor was needed. It doesn't look like it from the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
sjriott said:
The other question I had was about whether or not a spring compressor was needed. It doesn't look like it from the pictures.
Nope. Just push down on the axle and it falls out.
 

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Did this today with my son. Installed Rancho RS5000 shocks at the same time.

I also removed the sway bar on both sides. Then I used the jack to raise the rear axle to let the pressure off the shock bolts. Then used the jack to lower the rear axle and the springs fall right out. I removed the crappy stock thin spacers on top of the springs.

We put 265/75/R16 hankook dynapros on and they really filled the wheel wells before the lift. $550 at discount tire.

Amazon has the shocks for $50 each and Rancho has a $56 rebate on the rs5000 until the end of June.

It looks so much better and my boys are pretty happy with it. Between the tires and lift its nearly 4" taller than it was.

Trooper Before.JPG


Trooper After.JPG


Thanks a ton!!
 

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Looks great thanks to you!

We are going to black plasticdip the wheels and maybe add a roof basket. I just missed out on a front push bar so I might add one of those if I can find one cheap.

This is a budget 4x4 for my boys to wheel a little, ski, mountain bike, etc. and get back and forth to school/sports.

This was an awesome way to upgrade this so it looks a little more off road worthy and I can't beat the cost. This has 170k miles on it and it had a new long block at 70k. The shocks had 120k on them so they were beat along with the tires. It handles really well now and feels stable even with the higher ride height.
 

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OMG................your rear bump stops are intact!!!
 
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