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In July of 2016, I found a Trooper RS in the next town north of me for sale by the second owner for $1500. It has lived it's entire life in NW Montana and the salt/chemical used on the roads here has taken its toll over the last 3 decades.

When I took if for a test drive, the brakes pulsed, the 4WD didn't engage, the clutch didn't grab until over half the way out, and it was as dirty as you could find a car. All that being said, it had a nice set of studded 31" tires on snowflake rims (including the spare with summer tire), another set of summer 31"s (no rims), and under all that dirt inside, the interior had no rips, tears, or significant scratches. Hmm ... ???

So I offered $1000 and drove it home! At the time I thought, "What the heck was I doing??? Why do I need 2 Troopers?"

My thought was, the snowflake rims are awesome and I could put them on my '88 2-door. I could surely use the tires, and who doesn't want the 4.77 diffs hiding underneath! Then I realized that the door sizes of the RS and the 2-door long body are identical and that the door panels and interior would look great in my '88. That alone is worth $1000.

A justified purchase!

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I started by giving her a very thorough bath and vacuuming. She cleaned up very nicely on the inside, but the outside rust looked scary. I swapped off the studded tires for the summer ones and took it in to have the brakes done, hubs cleaned and wheel bearings repacked, fluid checked on differentials, transmission, transfer, and engine. All good to go except for that clutch.

So the family and I took a road trip up to Canada in this rig to test it out and loved it. Very quiet and smooth ride, comfortable seats, and handled great! My girls were sold on keeping it. (Yes!!)

:lol:
 

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My concern was the rust. How bad was it? The frame looked good and nothing was bending or warping due to weakened metal.

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And now for the really scary photo ...

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have since had the valves adjusted, the head gasket and valve cover gaskets replaced, the front rotors turned and brake pads replaced, and replaced the clutch slave bleed system. Other than exterior cosmetics, it's a great running little rig. Oh, and it has 172,000 miles on it.

So, Rusty Red has become my winter rig. AC is inoperative, but the heater blows hot and the smaller cabin heats up quicker. Because it's an RS, it comes with cruise control which works fine, and wiper has an intermediate setting instead of just low and high speeds. The stereo is the original Isuzu tape deck which also functions perfectly, except for the clock and station identifier back-lighting is out.

I may drive it one more winter then post it here on the Planet for anyone who wants to do the black interior conversion. But I haven't made up my mind completely on that yet. We'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is winter now and I'm back to driving Rusty Red around town. I still love the way this rig drives and feels, and from the inside, you would never know you were driving a rust bucket. Those captain's chairs are the bomb! Yesterday, I put on a set of Cooper Discoverer 265/70R16 studs I had from my Toyota and it looks and rides nice. I guess I never mentioned that I had once swapped nearly all of the black interior out of this RS and into my 2-door '88, and then swapped it all back again before I sold the '88. So it is back to original with a thorough cleaning job under all the carpet and panels. It did look cool with a grey interior, but it is back to black again. Now that I have my '90 4-door, I am not going to swap the black over because it would take too much extra interior work to get it all black. I also haven't removed the 4.77's either like I had planned to because I decided on keeping a smaller sized tire on my '90. So, this little RS is all original with no stolen parts!

The reason I mention all of this is that I'm considering selling it to another Planet member who may want the parts for their rig. Send me a PM if you are interested and we can discuss. I will post updated photos soon. Here is the for sale post on the Classified forum. It's still a great little rig if you can see past the rusty outside. I would drive it across the US with no worries.
 

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Fun little trip on Saturday with my daughter to explore a cluster of nearby lakes. RS is a blast on the dirt roads with snow, although we only had a couple of inches to play in. 8)

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Check out the Craigslist Forum if you are interested in buying this vehicle. I am sad to see it go, but need to make space for another ... :headbang:
 

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