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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I figured it's about time I made a build thread. I am horrible about remembering to take pictures, and am no Dr. Suess so bare with.

As many of you know, I've got a 2000 Trooper. Bought it bone stock back in 2007 from a older couple with 80k on it, and I've had pretty big plans ever since. I always loved the rugged styling of the Troopers, but what really sold me on them is that you rarely see one modified and they're great bang for your buck.

First thing I did was throw on a Yakima roof rack so I could haul my mtn bike to the local trails. I also spent plenty of time roaming out in the nearby National Forest.





Next on the list was to replace my old tires. I found a hell of a deal on some BFG KMs when they were being phased out, so I picked up 5 in 255/85. I had no lift, and they rubbed some in the front on the top inside edge of the fender flares, but it wasn't too bad.







Shortly after that, I rear ended a BMW M Coupe :-| . The damage wasn't very bad, but it bent up my bumper support. I saw Endo selling his Independent4x bumper in the classifieds, so I snatched it up.





She was starting to come together quite nicely. I soon started trying to piece together a lift with the money I had on a college budget. Luckly, I found a set of used OME N85s for the rear for $40, so I was able to stay under $400 with those and new 929 and N65s for the front. The N85s offer a ton of flex out of the Troopers.



Now that I had a lift, it was time to do a little off roading. I kept it off the hardcore stuff since I didn't have sliders on yet.





Also went mudding enough to finally get stuck. 10ft farther and I would have been home free. She got a little dirty.







I wanted to add a set of sliders, but am too cheap to pay $400 for pre made ones. I found a local guy who was doing a big order from Trail Gear with free shipping, so I had him order me a set of 67" sliders. Only bad thing was the Trooper's frame hangs a nut hair lower than the rocker panels, so I installed a 1" body lift to solve that problem. I spent about $45 on the body lift by ordering the pucks from Performance Accessories and the bolts from Fastenal, not bad. Here's the final ride height she sits at today. I have a 1" spring spacer in the garage, but I don't think I want to go any higher right now.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sadly I haven't gotten around to welding the sliders on yet, but they are the perfect length for Troopers. We did need to cut the mounting legs to length to match the curvature of the frame rails. Hope to have them on in the next weekend or two, and at the same time move my front bumper up 1" to fill the body lift gap. The sliders kick out at about a 20" angle to keep the body from taking too much damage.



I heard ********** had a RS he was parting out, so I picked up his 4.77s. I also bought some goodies to put in them, an Aussie for the front and an ARB for the rear. I had the ARB installed locally for $100, and did the Aussie myself. Aussie was not hard at all, but I never could get the clearances between the cam gears to match the specs in the manual with the stock shims. It was a lot tighter than specified, but Matt at Indy4x said they set them up tight all the time and they've never had one break. I'm not as worried about the Aussie as my 4.77 Ring gear. Oh well, if it blows I will just chop off that IFS.






Around Christmas time, Amazon had M8000s for under $500 shipped, so I decided it was as good a time as ever to get one. I did not have room to mount the control box on top of the winch, so I chose to mount it under the hood (pics to come). Also got a 20" light bar, which is awesome. The way the Indy4x bumper is made, round aux lights would stick up too far and look funny, but the light bar looks tits.





I've got a ton of stuff I need to install, just have to get the beater running good so I can quit DDing the Trooper and start wrenching. The transmission started to slip between 1st and 2nd the other day, and it bummed me out for a while but then I had an idea. I found a nearby 99 5spd parts Trooper, and I am going to go pull everything I need off it and convert mine. I honestly can't wait to have a 5spd under her, the driving experience will be so much more fun. Plus with the 4.77s, 3:1 tcase, and 3.75 1st gear, I'll have a 55:1 crawl ratio. :mrgreen:

Right now here is what I have for the Trooper (not all installed yet):

OME N65 shocks front and N85 shocks rear with 929 coils
1" Body Lift
BFG KM Mud Terrains in 255/85r16
Trail Gear 67" Sliders
Independent 4x bumper
Warn M8000
20" Rigid knockoff lightbar
4.77s with Aussie Front and ARB Rear
3:1 Transfer Case nonTOD
Independent4x HD Tie Rods
Swaybar Disconnects
B&M Transmission Cooler (if you want it lmk, won't be installing)
Magnaflow muffler with 2.5" pipe from merger back

Now that I got a phone with a decent camera, I am going to try to remember to take pictures of the project. It always helps me to see pictures, and hopefully I can be a little help to others in the same boat.
 
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Man I had been waiting for a while for your build thread. The trooper is looking great with the winch and light bar, and front and rear lockers!? Dude that´s awesome :cheers: Keep the pics coming!
 

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sweet trooper love that color combo, How you liking the 255x85's? I'm thinking of that tire in a KM2.

_Chris..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys!

I really like the 255/85s. Sometimes they don't track as well as I'd like, but I've heard the same about every tall tire.
 

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That is one SWEET Trooper! :thumbright:
 

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so I'm a little puzzled by your 4.77 approach. Is the ARB for the 12-bolt modified or the regular good old 12-bolt? I know people install the old 12-bolt axle in the rear so they can install other gearings, but you never mentioned getting a 12-bolt so Im a little confused on how you're going to do this. I just dont want you to find this out later on. Though I suspect you've already done your research. Anywho, the trooper is coming along real nice! love that gray color! Really wanna see those rock sliders get on there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The ARB is for the regular 12 bolt. I already have the 4.77s installed on it, waiting to get a wide 95-97 12 bolt rear to put them in. Good call, don't want someone to read that and think the 4.77s will work in a 98+ modified 12 bolt.

The rock sliders will be on very soon. Might not be this weekend, but definitely within the next two.
 

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So first of all, sweet trooper! Looking really good...
But I'm a little confused...I was under the impression the newer troopers (98-02) had the wider track rear axles
I cant change the gearing until I swap the axles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Correct, 98-02 have modified 12 bolt rear axles, which are the same width as the 95-97 wide track "regular" 12 bolts. The only way to get lower gear ratios is to swap in a regular 12 bolt, unless you stumble upon Iceland gears (more rare than 4.77s).
 

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Yuck! That totally sucks. What the heck was the benefit of that, I wonder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Benefit of what, Isuzu switching to the modified 12 bolts? I guess they did it for extra strength since the 3.5L puts out so much power haha. I've never really heard of anyone breaking regular 12 bolts though, so I don't know. There was rumor of Troopers getting v8s before they pulled out of NA, so that might be why.

I doubt you are referring to regearing, but I am doing it to gain some mpg and power back after adding bigger tires. It also increases your crawl ratio, which is good for offroading. It isn't hard to swap rear axles, but the front is a different story.
 

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Yup. V8 was in the plans, hence why the 98+ troopers also got a new manual transmission as well. It was going to be a 4-4.5L v8. Something in that range. According to measurements the 12-bolt modified is as good as a Dana 60 while the regular 12 bolt is comparable to a Dana 44, but a bit stronger.

This is why I feel like 98+ troopers should be called 3rd gens. New trans, engine, facelift, rear axle. Now days all they do is do a facelift and call it a new geneneration . It would help with some confusion as well.

Anyways can't wait till you're done! :D
 

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Hatfield said:
Benefit of what, Isuzu switching to the modified 12 bolts? I guess they did it for extra strength since the 3.5L puts out so much power haha. I've never really heard of anyone breaking regular 12 bolts though, so I don't know. There was rumor of Troopers getting v8s before they pulled out of NA, so that might be why.

I doubt you are referring to regearing, but I am doing it to gain some mpg and power back after adding bigger tires. It also increases your crawl ratio, which is good for offroading. It isn't hard to swap rear axles, but the front is a different story.
Yeah I was referring to part I
That totally sucks that I have to switch axles though, I've been considering regearing when I move to 33's

Anyways, sorry to take you off track, I'm stoked you finally started a build thread! Love what you've done so far

I'm surprised you havent upgraded the t-bars after the weight of the bumper & winch! Unless you did and I missed it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No worries about keeping it on track. I don't really think any build thread on this site has stayed much on track.

I honestly think it rides pretty well with stock tbars. That makes it hard for me to justify spending $500 on HD tbars, but I might pick some up if I can find used ones for cheap. At some point I want to hack the IFS off and put it on FJZ80 axles with coilovers in the front :twisted:, so I'll probably just save the $$$ for that project.
 

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Same here, I'm pretty happy with my stock t-bars. I'm not sure if 2wd t-bars are different or not but mine are going great after adding the front diff, bumper, and winch.
 

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Hatfield said:
No worries about keeping it on track. I don't really think any build thread on this site has stayed much on track.

I honestly think it rides pretty well with stock tbars. That makes it hard for me to justify spending $500 on HD tbars, but I might pick some up if I can find used ones for cheap. At some point I want to hack the IFS off and put it on FJZ80 axles with coilovers in the front :twisted:, so I'll probably just save the $$$ for that project.
Good point, I keep forgetting about that! I do plan on SAS in the future, so it's good to know I can do a lot with what I have!
Yet another great thing about Isuzus- there's some damn stout hardware on these things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did a few little things today. I installed 3 "OH SH1T!!" handles, one on the DS A pillar, and two in the very back.



Also got around to wiring up my winch all the way. I still need to relocate a few brackets on the bumper before I winch on it hard. Here's how I mounted the box. Don't hate, it's holding up good so far.



Friday I had some time off, so I did a little wheeling at Stoney Lonesome, the local OHV park. It's a decent park, plenty of easy/moderate stuff, and a few advanced hill climbs. I was solo so I only got one poser pic.



I also received confirmation on starting a new job with Boeing April 27th, so Monday I am putting in 2 weeks notice. That should give me 3.5 weeks off to replace my trans, put gears/lockers in, and do a few little other things that need to be done. This thing will be a blast after that.
 

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AWSOME rig man!! i'd love to do a build like that to mine, it really looks perfect so far. love the dark grey color too!!
 

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Just wanted to comment on 2 things...

Your truck looks awesome and the color is just right 8)

Also, your profile icon is great.. my all time favorite movie is Office Space.. so win win in my book :wink:
 
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