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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, just picked up an 89 trooper this afternoon. It’s a 2.6 with a five speed, kind of a basic model. It’s an original Carolina truck and it is rust free and in really good condition. I was very excited to get it. It does appear that the timing belt has slipped and so it is currently not running. It’s been parked for a couple of years. I’ll have it back running in no time. I figure I’ll end up having the cylinder head off of it.
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Decent project and No Rust is a plus! A word on the "slipped" timing belt, this is an interference engine so if it has indeed lost the cam timing, very likely to have crunched some valves.

On the older 4-cylinders, the heads were very prone to cracking. If you find a problem with the valves, you might consider throwing a new aftermarket head on it, to ensure reliability. The newer ZuZu and aftermarket heads have an improved casting that's not crack-prone.

In that light, also go thru your cooling system, as a blown hose, bad clutch fan, malfunctioning thermostat, or clogged radiator could lead to overheating and that's bad for the head gasket and head.

Use the Search feature and you'll find many many threads on cylinder head replacements and engine rebuilds. Plus lots of support from the community.

Congrats on your "new" Trooper and Welcome to the Planet!..........ed
 
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BTW I espy a nice Twister Orange 2018+ Mustang GT in the garage. Very cool! Am also a Mustang fan, learned to drive on my folk's '67 289 Coupe back when it was only about 5 years old. My Mom decided back in '17 that she wanted another Mustang, so she went out and bought one! '17 V6 Ruby Red coupe, sweet-running rig for a V6. Plenty of power for Hot Rod Grandma.

Later she picked up an '04 GT convertible and I liked driving that New Edge much I bought a 2004 Mach 1 with only 19,000 miles on it, and am loving it. Back in '18 picked up a '67 coupe with 5.0 HO EFI swap. A work in progress, but it's a fun car to drive and gets lots of looks.

Cheers & have fun with the ZuZu!.........ed
 
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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Decent project and No Rust is a plus! A word on the "slipped" timing belt, this is an interference engine so if it has indeed lost the cam timing, very likely to have crunched some valves.

On the older 4-cylinders, the heads were very prone to cracking. If you find a problem with the valves, you might consider throwing a new aftermarket head on it, to ensure reliability. The newer ZuZu and aftermarket heads have an improved casting that's not crack-prone.

In that light, also go thru your cooling system, as a blown hose, bad clutch fan, malfunctioning thermostat, or clogged radiator could lead to overheating and that's bad for the head gasket and head.

Use the Search feature and you'll find many many threads on cylinder head replacements and engine rebuilds. Plus lots of support from the community.

Congrats on your "new" Trooper and Welcome to the Planet!..........ed
Yep, already very familiar with the the 4ZE1. This is a back burner project that I purchased just because the opportunity presented itself. Honestly, I will probably just pull the engine and overhaul it once I get ready to start on it.

BTW I espy a nice Twister Orange 2018+ Mustang GT in the garage. Very cool! Am also a Mustang fan, learned to drive on my folk's '67 289 Coupe back when it was only about 5 years old. My Mom decided back in '17 that she wanted another Mustang, so she went out and bought one! '17 V6 Ruby Red coupe, sweet-running rig for a V6. Plenty of power for Hot Rod Grandma.

Later she picked up an '04 GT convertible and I liked driving that New Edge much I bought a 2004 Mach 1 with only 19,000 miles on it, and am loving it. Back in '18 picked up a '67 coupe with 5.0 HO EFI swap. A work in progress, but it's a fun car to drive and gets lots of looks.

Cheers & have fun with the ZuZu!.........ed
Good deal! This car is kinda special - it's a base car. The only two options it has are the Twister Orange paint and performance pack 1. Basically just a plain jane factory race car. I love it! Edit: It's a 2020 model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welp a little bit of good news, it turns out that the timing belt has not slipped and the cam timing is correct. It has wet stinky fuel on the spark plugs. It may not turn out to be too much of a big deal to get this thing running. The people I got it from clearly lied to me about how long it has been parked. It’s OK though, I’m used to that.
 

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Yeah, that's definitely on the order of Good News! Might be something simpler. I guess the next question is, does it have spark?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, that's definitely on the order of Good News! Might be something simpler. I guess the next question is, does it have spark?
I suspect it does because it sounds like it wants to start but I have not messed with it enough yet. It’s a good sign that the fuel pump is running but I figure I’m going to drop the gas tank and see what’s going on in there. I am off tomorrow so I will probably do a compression test in the morning before I put the spark plugs back in it. I have a homemade Drop tank with a submerged electric fuel pump in it that I use to do troubleshooting when I’m resurrecting fuel injected vehicles. I’ll probably get it hooked up on there at some point this weekend and have it running. I do this sort of thing all the time. I recently resurrected a Toyota Corolla that was parked for 14 years and I’ve been driving it to work every day this past week.

when you remove the gas cap it definitely has that smell, the smell of bad news. I’m a little bit surprised that the fuel pump actually runs. It’s hard to know what has been done to it before I got it though. I’m pretty sure the guy that I got it from you just lied to me. People do that ya know.
 

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Ah, the aroma of old, varnished gasoline! Yummm!! That's a stinky, nasty job cleaning that stuff. Will definitely be easier with the tank dropped. Probably a good idea to take care of that before spraying more Gunk thru the injectors.

A short shot of starter fluid in the intake tube will tell you if she has any life left. Pull the fuel pump relay(s) and the injectors will be safe for the quick start/run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The compression readings were as follows, 1-4…

45, 50, 0, 0.

Lol. Also, here’s the view inside the fuel tank…

Brown Liquid Amber Fluid Wood


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Here’s what the pump assy looked like….

Road surface Wood Water Gas Asphalt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Clearly it has a badly blown head gasket. I actually did get it to run though, briefly. I figure I’ll just pull it out and go through it. Does the front axle have to drop down to make way for the engine removal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Btw, I’m planning to cut the tank in half just below the pinch weld, all the way around and sandblast the inside of it, then I’ll weld it back together. I can’t believe how heavy duty this tank is.
 

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Btw, I’m planning to cut the tank in half just below the pinch weld, all the way around and sandblast the inside of it, then I’ll weld it back together. I can’t believe how heavy duty this tank is.
I would put sand/gravel in in and find a way to move it before doing that. The usual way is tie the tank to a tractor wheel, but not everyone has acces to a tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would put sand/gravel in in and find a way to move it before doing that. The usual way is tie the tank to a tractor wheel, but not everyone has acces to a tractor.
I have a great deal of experience with this. I have done it just about every way imaginable. This is a very heavy tank and can be easily welded back together. Cutting it apart and sand blasting it on the inside is the very best way to renew it. That’s what I will do. It’s impossible to get this thing perfectly clean with the gravel method, it has a sump made into it for the fuel pump that would be nearly impossible to get clean that way.
 

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I had a fuel tank I wanted to clean and had the idea to cut and reweld. The internet talked me out of it because of the chance of it blowing up in my face because of the whatever trapped inside the metal. Since I don't have the experience, I found another method and actually got the fuel tank very clean in the end. I was only working with a one gallon tank though and wouldn't have been able to do it with a full size tank.

All that to say, I'm interested in watching your progress on this.
 

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Pretty low compression readings, time for this one to come apart! My bet on #3 and #4 is burnt exhaust valves but those low readings on #1 and #2 are odd. Could be valves, but might be piston/ring issues or even a blown head gasket. Will be interesting to see what you find.

On the tank, what a thing of beauty! I wonder if a local automotive shop would have a hot tank big enough for the job. You probably have no radiator shops in the area anymore, that used to be the way to go. Alas, they're virtually extinct nowadays.

I saw a good suggestion in another forum, if you have a hazardous materials transport facility in your area, they probably have a hot caustic tank wash setup. That'll strip that nasty stuff out of the tank and it'll be sparkly-clean.
 
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Or maybe blown head gasket on 3 and 4, that could explain the "zero" reading. For some reason, though, 3 and 4 run the hottest and when you find a burnt exhaust valve, it's almost always on those 2 cylinders.

They also seem to blow out head gaskets more on those 2. Just a quirk of this engine I suppose.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I figure the gasket is blown between the cylinders on three and four. Keep in mind this thing has been sitting for a very long time which is likely the reason the compression numbers are so low on the two cylinders that actually have compression. I have already cut the gas tank in half and have it cleaned up and tacked back together. I’ll take it to work Monday and tig it.
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