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Bone stock 1989 Trooper S 2.8.
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Started work on the exhaust today. Rain slowed things down quite a bit, and I had to actually spend some time at my job.
First thing was to replace the “T” pipe they hacked through:
Hand Hand tool Automotive exhaust Wood Font

It test fits almost perfectly, so tomorrow I’ll weld it up and clean up any burrs I missed. It’s not a true “Y”, but it’s the best I could do with the materials I had and the room available.
 

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It'll still flow better than the OE wye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
At this point, I’m willing to sacrifice perfection for just getting my trooper back. I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. Today, I caught myself almost driving my Prius over curbs. 🤪
 

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At this point, I’m willing to sacrifice perfection for just getting my trooper back. I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. Today, I caught myself almost driving my Prius over curbs. 🤪
WHOA Nellie, careful there, don't get too mixed up! On the other hand, it sure would be nice to have a 60mpg Trooper!
 

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Bone stock 1989 Trooper S 2.8.
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Exhaust is done to the tailpipe. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I did my best to keep all the welds on the outside, and used my die grinder to clean up any burrs on the inside.
Wood Bicycle part Nickel Metal Fashion accessory

The new cat and my “muffler” fit in the space perfectly. This weekend, I’ll build out the tailpipe.

On a separate note, my alternator failed the bench test, so a new one is on the way.
 

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Looks good! You can weld an O2 sensor bung on the new pipe, if the new cat doesn't already have a bung built-in. Be sure to install with the O2 sensor sticking up. Don't ask me why I know this!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
I used the bung in the new cat. It was a little farther aft than original, but the wire reached.
 

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Sweet, it'll run Toastier being in the cat, rather than the pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Okay, new alt is in, and except for running like crud if the timing jumper is connected, the engine is back together. Now I just need to figure out that flashing CEL (another thread).

I also need to finish out the tailpipe.
 

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Maybe the base timing is off. It must be set with the ESC wire disconnected. When the wire is disconnected from itself, ESC is disabled and then you'll be able to read the timing scale with a light.

If you already did that, there may be a problem with the ESC or its wiring.
 

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Okay, new alt is in, and except for running like crud if the timing jumper is connected, the engine is back together. Now I just need to figure out that flashing CEL (another thread).

I also need to finish out the tailpipe.
OK, my brain cells just fired a couple of times and I wasn't keying-in on the CEL flashing. There are 2 sets of wires in the center console; one set is for diagnostics and shouldn't be connected except when you're doing that. The other set with a plastic connector is the ESC wire and that should be connected except when you're checking timing.

If you have the wrong set connnected the Check Engine lite is gonna flash and the engine may run doggy.

If you have the ESC wire disconnected, then and only then can you check timing, but it ain't gonna run quite right and with the ESC disabled, I would imagine you won't get proper spark advance underway.

Attached is a pic showing the 2 sets of wires in the console, and their proper configuration for normal operation.

Note that there are 2 ways to get into diagnostics, via a jumper across the correct pins in the ALDL plug, and plugging-together the ALDL wires, shown in the pic as disconnected.

Hope that helps!...........ed

Hand Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Gesture
 
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Bone stock 1989 Trooper S 2.8.
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I would like to express my deep appreciation for the time taken by the members of this forum - especially Ed Mc - to help me with the problems I’ve been having.

As it often happens, when you just can’t figure it out, it’s either a dumb thing that’s so obvious you don’t give it any thought, or it’s a perfect storm of little things adding up to a dead rig.
In this case it was the latter.

  1. The PO ALSO had the wrong connector plugged in, so I assumed that was the way to go.
  2. The fuel pump bypass jumper that’s been in the Trooper since I bought it worked fine - but not with the new alternator
  3. The alternator dying at the same time the battery was stolen led me down a rabbit hole.
  4. I’m 90% sure my oil pressure sending unit also seems to have died in there, and that made me think there was an underlying ground issue
My trooper is not only back on the road, but running far better than it has while I’ve had it. I was okay with the power it had before, but now it’s a little addictive. 😀

Thanks again!
 

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Hey, good news, we finally beat our heads against the wall enough, to get it figured out!! Glad to hear it's running super-duper. 👍

How's that new exhaust sound? I bet it opened that engine right up, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The exhaust SOUNDS great, but I don’t know how it compares to a normal Trooper, because mine has had the diagnostic jumper on since I got it. LOL

I truly can’t believe the difference in performance, though. No more shifting down for hills! Mind you, I’m not in the Cascades or West Virginia, but I used to have to drop down to 4th (or even 3rd) for anything.

One thing that has to be due to the new exhaust is the cute turbo sound when I let off the throttle. No clue what that’s about, but I kinda like it. 🤪

But in general, I couldn’t be happier. All the ongoing problems I’ve had seem to have gone away

Now, on to the front axle issues…
 

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Stock 2.8's are pretty sluggish, not really much better than the ITEC 4-cylinder. But the Little V6 That Could responds very well to Old-School hot-rod techniques. I had my old 2.8 pumped-up pretty good with 2" cat-back, Holley Big-Bore TBI with the intake holes bored to match, and a set of Comp Cams Magnum 1.6:1 roller-tipped rocker arms.

At least I thought it was pretty Hot until I did a 3.4 swap into the '90 LS 2.8 I picked up back in 2002. MAN, does that thing run hard, especially with the big exhaust.

I had the stock lousy exhaust on for the longest time before I did the swap. The muffler basically just rotted away, which forced me to get going with the mods. Once I found the dual-inlet cat, that sparked the project even more. Stock 2.8 exhaust is very quiet. The big exhaust with turbo muffler has much less restriction, sounds great, and drastically improves midrange-to-top-end performance.

You might be interested in reading this article, it's old but has all kinds of good tip for making more hp, and it also goes into engine swaps:


I expect that you'll like your rejuvenated Trooper so much that eventually you'll want to do a swap or just a rebuild to the hi-miles 2.8. Building the 2.8 into a "Stroker 3.2" is a great option and pretty close in displacement to a 3.4.

Anyway, enjoy your Trooper, they're great rigs. I've had the LS 19 years and have no plans on ever getting rid of it!

Cheers...........ed

p.s. Front axles are so much fun! Not! If you can find a set of Aisin manual hubs, they're the best. The auto hubs work OK for street use as long as the itty bitty circlips at the tip of the axle don't pop loose. Then the axle can pull out of the auto hub and wreak havoc.

If your axles have a bad circlip groove at the end of the shaft, never fear, the manual hubs use a groove farther inboard and even if the auto hub groove is toast, you should be able to use the axle with a manual hub (long as the axle splines are undamaged).
 

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Been following along as best I can getting used to our new forum. I was stumped with the flashing light, and thought it was somehow connected to the battery robbery. Good find Ed, don't you just love this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Without the people on this forum, my Trooper would have been a parts car for someone else. I was at the end of my rope.
 

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Glad to be of service. That's what this site is all about!
 
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