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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Probably time to get my build thread started as I have done a absolute ton of work. Reposting my introduction post here to preserve the first post of the build thread as the Trooper sat stock and all build posts to follow with pics. Enjoy the ride right along with me as I convert this thing to formidable offroad and overlanding vehicle that can be daily driven.

Below from Nov 12, 2016:

Hello all,

I have been looking at Troopers for months. Some were better than others, but I'm very picky and already have a few cars so there wasn't a rush.

I finally pulled the trigger on a 1999 Acura SLX with the cleanest interior I have seen on a car with 151K miles on it. I got a good deal on a 19 year old vehicle that most everything works The folding mirrors still work for crying out loud. I have many many projects planned for the vehicle but for now, it replaces my 2012 Fiat 500 as a somewhat daily driver that I can bring the kids in. I have a built 2011 STI hatchback that is very loud and fun, but is way too nice to beat up daily.

I bought it yesterday, and it was already on my lift today. Things fixed were the dreaded range sensor (just cleaned really well and regreased thanks to the forums. Now 100% on shifts without slamming noise.), replaced EGR valve, went to pick and pull and replaced the idle control valve and the power drive/winter button that was stuck on power drive (negated my overdrive highway mileage), adjusted the front wheel bearings, remounted the wiring harness as morons previously left it cooking on the exhaust next to the tranny, and just generally adjusted and became more familiar with the suspension and engine. She's purring like a kitten today, and now literally everything works. Every button, every motor, everything... in an almost 20 year old vehicle, AWESOME.

It was fairly obvious the tranny has been replaced, but it seems the engine is original. I'm blown away by how beefy the stock rear axle and suspension are. They just don't build them like that anymore. Pull up next to a new 4x4 Toyota Tacoma, absolutely fantastic truck by any standards, sometime and compare rear suspension. Trooper is awesome. Anyhow, I digress.

I'm into Troopers due to my best friends Mom owning one in high school that we used to steal and off road when they were at dinner or out of town. I've done a fair bit of off roading and I was always impressed with the Trooper even bone stock (which mine will not remain for long). Here are some pics for anyone still reading:













 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Winter/Power button and seat heater button replaced from pick and pull yard. Finally some overdrive on the highway (was stuck in power mode previously due to coke spilled on button from previous owner.



Auto transmission was shifting WAY WAY too hard and bucking. After research on the forums, the range sensor needed to be properly cleaned and regreased.



EGR valve cleaned thoroughly, idle control valve replaced and throttle cables needed to be adjusted, WAY too tight and idling really high because of it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While on the lift for the Transmission Range Sensor Cleaning, I had to try fitting a buddies tires and wheels to see what 33"s will look like.

Stock:



33"s and steel wheels:



It will look way more aggressive and obviously perform much better offroad. Issue is that I will need a lift and to crank the front quite a bit. I could fit 285/75 all terrains without lift from what the forums say, but really would rather go with the mud terrains due to the nature of offroading I want to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Checking flex and measuring gaps trying to decide on wheels and tires and what will actually fit in real life. Fitting charts are usually accurate when driving on the road, but in full flex, they usually lie to you. 33"s without lift sounds great but in reality likely won't fit without rubbing when I'm in flex offroad.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ordered and received the OME 919 rear springs and RS5000 shocks all around. Everything purchased for 4 wheel parts. Pic of oem springs vs new 919s.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Installed everything myself with the help of my friend, then borrowed his wheels and tires to test fitment and rubbing as we cranked the front.



Everything looks nice but still rubbing at 75% lock. Did a small trim with a dremel on the plastic around rear wheel arch. Still rubbing. Removed 1 bolt around arch, better and I love the look but I may go 1" narrower on tires. These are 11.5" wide and still getting rubbing under any flex at all.



Side note, these rims I borrowed from my friend were well used offroad and while they may look good, they are unbalance-able at this point from being dented on obstacles. The shop tried and tried to balance them with no luck. I wobble at 40mph so badly its close to unsafe. 35mph is fine. 45mph is fine, just can't drive 40. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kenda Klever MTs 285/75R16 ordered. 5 of them. I was a bit rushed with sizing and fitment testing due to the death wobble at 40mph of those borrowed rims. So I picked up the Kenda's due to price point and rating (filet mignon tires at burger pricing). I also went with the narrower tire to avoid rubbing. I know I won't like the look as much as those BFGs I borrowed but I would need to worry about price. Also for how affordable these tires are I'll just up the width on the next set if needed.

I bought cheapo 16x8 steelies as well in all black. If I bend one of the 5, 39 bucks buys a new one. Well rated, and I'm not sure I can go wrong. Obviously this will alleviate the death wobble from the used rims and these steelies aren't too heavy.



Coming along nicely I think.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Borrowed the idea of flipping my rear spare tire mount over from another member here. This allows me to mount a 33" spare without covering the rear door handle by offsetting to the left instead of the right. Was a pain to install and really had to push on it hard to get the holes to match but didn't have to do any cutting. The stupid bolts Isuzu used had to go and I replace them with more standard bolts I had laying around for easier removal next time.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not only is the stock 1999 stereo awful, it has no modern necessities like bluetooth for me to listen to music. It had to go. Issue was, I really wanted a nice touchscreen.

Due to the way the late model Trooper dash is designed, there really wasn't a good way for me to fit a single din flip up screen without it leaning forward. This wasn't going to work. And worse yet, there was no way to use a double din without customization.



I had my eyes on a chinese full blown Android double din head unit on Amazon. It's a Panelo 7 inch unit that you can read about in this link.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I51JV6E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It actually comes with android 5.1.1 not what it says. It also includes 1080p back up cam, gps antenna, wifi antenna, and has almost any features anyone could want.

To make it fit I went to youtube and found and Aussie kid. He shows how he custom cut the single din separator and shelf out of his Trooper(Jackaroo) dash to fit a double din. Appreciate your guide my man and linked here for reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's the wiring diagram I used:

Car Radio Battery Constant 12v+ Wire: Red/White
Car Radio Accessory Switched 12v+ Wire: Orange/Yellow
Car Radio Ground Wire: Black/Yellow
Car Radio Illumination Wire: Brown/Red
Car Stereo Dimmer Wire: N/A
Car Stereo Power Antenna Trigger Wire: Brown/Red
Car Stereo Amp Turn-On Trigger Wire: N/A
Car Stereo Amplifier Location: N/A
Car Audio Front Tweeter Size: N/A
Car Audio Front Tweeter Depth: N/A
Car Audio Front Tweeter Location: N/A
Car Audio Front Speakers Size: 6 1/2″ Speakers
Car Audio Front Speakers Depth: 2 1/4″
Car Audio Front Speakers Location: N/A
Left Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): White
Left Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Red/White
Right Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): Gray/White
Right Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Green/White
Car Audio Rear Speakers Size: 6 1/2″ Speakers
Car Audio Rear Speakers Depth: 2 1/4″
Car Audio Rear Speakers Location: N/A
Left Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Yellow
Left Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Blue/Yellow
Right Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Orange
Right Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Orange/Black
Car Subwoofer Speaker Size: N/A
Car Subwoofer Speaker Depth: N/A
Car Subwoofer Speaker Location: N/A
Car Subwoofer Speaker Positive Wire (+): N/A
Car Subwoofer Speaker Negative Wire (-): N/A

Credit: http://www.modifiedlife.com/1999-acura-slx-car-stereo-wiring-diagram/

Here's the wiring on the new harness I had to match up:



I had the battery negative lead off the entire time I was wiring and just used simple butt splices from Home Depot for the two wires. I did accidently reverse positive and negative on the left rear speaker so it was hissing bad at first but easily pulled it back out and redid it. No issues now.

There were only two wires in the original harness left, I assume for the tweeters in the windows as they now don't work. Not 100% sure. Also if they are the tweeters there isn't a positive and negative and why is there no crossover? I dunno, more research needed here.

The head unit is fully functional thought and sounds great even without the tweeters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I cut the internal shelf out with a sawzall. Just the plastic, no need to cut the metal cross brace out.

I then used a dremel to much more carefully cut the front single din divder from the dash molding. I took my sweet time and have quite a bit of detailed dremel experience (past hobbies with custom computer case modding).

I mounted the new unit with the stock mount rack mounts / ears. This put it at almost the perfect angle and I bent it only slightly upwards for viewing angle from drivers seat.

I think it turned out pretty nice but I'll let you be the judge.







I can't imagine you can beat this headunit for 200 bucks. This is the first headunit I've installed myself and wasn't bad. Do your research, go slow, no problem.

The Android operating system basically makes this thing a full computer in my dash with touchscreen. Lots of planned future mods will interact with this unit and make it the central computer system for trips and offroad excursions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
itsmehb said:
Just saw your post on getting stuck, and having your friend diagnose your crank sensor problem. Great friend, then saw this post and read through it. I knew your issue (getting stuck) was with a Gen. 2 vehicle, and this confirms it was a Trooper, not a Rodeo.
Absolutely. I paid him promptly for his time

itsmehb said:
I can't seem to get pictures of your build to open on my computer. Are they showing on yours? I get the pics in your first post showing your Trooper. Great looking rig.
Try now, I changed how they were posted. Was lots of work to fix, sorry about that but they should work now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At full flex, I was rubbing in the rear. I love this 3 link and its flexibility, but I need more lift to prevent this much rub on the trails.

I got the 1.5" Daystar Coil Spacers. I love Independent4x and Matt really knows his stuff from what I can tell and I read most posts he makes and try to sponge any knowledge I can. I want to support him but the Coil Spacers on that site are 100 bucks for the 1.5". I found them on Amazon for 30 dollars.... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GH1LWM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I cranked the IFS 6 times (4 turns per inch supposedly) and it's a bit too high. I'll need a little leveling down, but it drives great and looks amazing. Most importantly there is now 0 rubbing at full flex or anywhere in a turn while in flex.







More pics to come and maybe the biggest upgrade yet next week (we'll see how saucy I'm feeling). Little hint, power-train mod. Many other new parts already ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Little tip for all SLX owners, as I've heard others here mention this but it's more important than I thought. If you are checking on aftermarket parts anywhere, don't tell them it's an Acura SLX or their heads will explode and they will have no parts for you in their system. Just tell them it's the same year but Isuzu Trooper obviously and they magically have lots of parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Pretty in the way. Flipping the spare mount isn't hard and no cutting was required on mine after flipping it. Now it is not in the way at all. There is another great thread where I stole the idea from with more pictures. Again, he had to trim the mount to fit the rear wiper, I did not have to trim at all and have used the rear wiper many times since flipping the mount with no issues and full motion.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=94929

Do not let this be the reason you don't get 285's. This is literally the easiest mod I have done while upgrading wheels and tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Welp, my high idle cause from another thread has been located. http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=98025

The lower intake manifold gasket is shot. It all comes apart in the workshop tomorrow and get's replaced. This delayed my mod I was working on to post as all parts are in. However, it will likely get posted with pics tomorrow along with the gasket issue and solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Also this week, I went to look at (and buy) a 4jg2t. I love diesels and as I keep adding weight (lots more to come), my rig begs for it. I love the mileage, I love the smell, I love the torque, I absolutely love the sound of a tractor. I found 4jg2t for a good price locally and that's what I was going to buy this week for a swap. However, after seeing the real life numbers (hp/torque) I get from it, and figuring it will be hard to tune (electronic injection) and even harder to repair (parts overseas only), for the money I may just have to look further.

I have been researching the heck out of diesel swaps for this thing. Issue is, fitment without a diff drop. Finding a diff drop seems like work nowadays and I may just do SAS at the same time as the swap. The other issue is the 4jg2t which is pretty much a drop in swap (minus different mounts) just doesn't seem like a big enough upgrade. My gasser works great and has good numbers other than economy. A bunch of money for tractor noise and smell maker doesn't seem work it without the torque to back it up.

I really like the 5.2 npr motors and for a 4 banger they pump some serious numbers out. They likely will never fit without a full time hood removal in my trooper, which isn't happening. The 4bt is the next likely candidate. However 6 grand to make it work due to all the popularity is some serious cash.

A 4jb1t is somewhat attractive with common rail, but I'd need to find a lower mileage one and then swap the turbo to make decent numbers. I have a built subaru STI and so my original top mount intercooler is ready for whatever turbo diesel gets dropped in eventually. It's just a matter of finding the right fit.

I'm now taking all suggestions on diesels that may fit the bill. I want to go SAS and 37"s down the road, and I want to be able to drive it on the street. I fully realize I won't get 30mpg at that point, but at least I won't get 10mpg or less and I'll drive a tractor regularly :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Lot's to update after putting the Trooper under the knife most of the day yesterday.

Had a high idle issue that I needed to resolve and a check engine light throwing a cat code. Wondered if they were related. I had previously tried replacing lots of parts that were simple with no long term affect to the high idle. Cross thread for reference http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=98025

Last week I looked at the gaskets around the manifold and sprayed brake cleaner all around to test for vacuum leaks. I found a pretty large chunk of the lower manifold gasket was literally hanging out of the manifold. It was like whoever installed it did so with zero regard to lining the gasket up first. Huge leak, obviously at least a part of the high idle issue (probably also affecting mileage and power). I have no idea how I didn't see this prior.

Really guys? Job well done on this install. I hope you didn't get paid for this.



Intake manifold had to be removed. Least I get to wrench.
 
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