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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share my latest project with everyone here on the Planet! Story goes...

Bart/IsuzuGeek, owned this RS for a while and decided to sell it after he found another RS in much better shape. That story can be found at IsuzuGeek. The short of it... the RS had a few issues. :D


Bart ended selling the RS to a friend of mine and fellow VXer, Jerry/Arcobarco. Jerry wanted the 4.77s from the RS for his VX and would likely sell/scrap the rest of it off. I caught glimpse of the RS last Spring when my wife and I were on a roadtrip and stopped by Jerry's house. Needless to say, I planted a bug in Jerry's ear about possibly wanting the RS, however it was more of a "possible suggestion" than an actual idea. I live in Denver and was NOT going to drive 8 hrs to SL,UT for an old beat up RS.

Moving on, Jerry pulled the 4.77s from the RS and swapped in 4.30 gearing. We worked out a deal for VX parts and cash to make the poor old bastard RS mine.

Lastly, Jerry drove the RS to Moab for the annual ZUZOO meet and the exchange was official! ...And now I had realized the reality of my decision.

I found out almost immediately that I could barely fit in the RS. Being 6'6" tall, my legs could barley operate the clutch. The clutch was so worn out that the release on the pedal was almost all the way to the top and this created a problem when trying to release the clutch with long legs. So I went for a test drive around Moab and came back to the Stoop with the smell of ruined clutch plate. Additionally, there was so much oil leaking that it had formed a layer on the back window thick enough to write "wash me" on. Other problems included non functioning gas gauge, oil gauge, & temp gauge. The radio worked but wouldn't eject CDs unless you pounded on the bottom of it. The HVAC system constantly blew heat onto you even when the fan was "off". And there was a little problem with rust previously in the gas tank that may have ruined the fuel pump, this was suggested by Jerry after he had some bogging down on the way to Moab. Anyways, I was pretty freaked out for the 6 hr drive home. :shock:

First mod made on the Stoop in Moab! I could now fit in the RS. :)


Now I was ready for the drive home, well physically but not mentally. After the test drive in Moab and seeing all of the issues, I honestly thought this Isuzu was better fit for the junkyard. I had my wife drive the VX behind me in the RS. We jumped on the interstate and to my surprise we drove 70 MPH all the way to Fruita, Colorado. I filled up the gas tank and was pleasantly surprised to only need 4 gallons of gas (27.2 MPG). I was a little less happy about seeing the amount of oil splattered on the front grill of the VX (from following).

For the next two hrs and was feeling good, confident in my little bastard RS. That all ended when I was driving out of the Glenwood Canyon going about 50 MPH and went to pass a semi truck. I had elected my Wife to drive in front (avoid the oil trail) and she took off up to 75 MPH passing the semi. My turn, speeding up 50-55-60-65-68-67-65 (3 semi trucks now on right, 1 semi behind me to pass), 63-62-60 (downshift to 3rd), 55-52-48 (Semi now tail gating me), 45-41-38-38-38-38, (holding 38 MPH the semi passes me on right and I can now get over). I'm now driving 38 MPH in a 75 MPH limit and my wife is gone. Nothing I do will let the engine go above 2000 RPMs. Takes me forever to catch the VX and we pull off at a gas station. I turn the RS off, now more freaked out than ever! I Considered, it would be cheaper for me to abandon the RS at this gas station than tow it home. I check the engine (seems fine), try to turn over the engine and it sputters out. CRAP. again, Sputter sputter die. COME ON RS! again, sputter sputter, choke, bump, start, running. YES! Its running great and I jump on interstate back up to 65 MPH. Looking back, all I can assume was the fuel pump had a moment or it sucked some rust through the fuel system and bogged it down.

Final challenge, the rocky mountains! Would the RS clutch finally burn up over the passes? Or would the fuel system get clogged up again at 12,000 ft? NOPE! I drove it all the way through the mountains no problem and got to the house by 7PM. :D

My wife (still wearing her Moab formal hat) decided she wanted to RS to be her own Isuzu to take to Moab... that is if I fixed it up first. :roll:


Now the mechanical work began. I'll keep it short but in the end it got 9 new oil seals, new fuel pump, new timing belt , new Exedy clutch, new lower ball joint and all new fluids.

Here's all of the oil that was covering the trans... it took forever to clean up!



Next I moved onto the body work. The RS had been in at least one wreak before and the roof & doors really showed it. Furthermore, the clearcoat was peeling and the paint was faded.

The front grill was pushed in on the driver's side and the front grill was hanging on by zipties. I thought it was pretty clever to use the VX winch to pull out the grill.


Next I sanded down the imperfections and got to work on the dents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Moving forward... Vinyl wrap was an easy decision. My wife wanted the color to match the VX, so I wrapped the RS in Midnight Matte Sand Metallic.

I'm happy the RS still had the snowflakes but the finish was pretty messed up. I decided to plastidip the rims for now and I can easily revert them if I want.










Still have a little dent on the door. :?








Overall it's been an interesting project so far. I haven't decided on my future plans for the RS as it still needs a lot of detail work. It would be fun to lift it but might be too much for the bastard. We'll see but overall I'm pretty impressed. It drives great considering the neglect. I've been driving it daily for the last couple weeks and it's pretty fun little rig around town.

Also, want to thank Jerry for all the effort he put in to getting the RS to Moab. Thanks Buddy! :D

The whole point of buying another vehicle was to begin work on the VX. PROJECT REBUILD 2014 is about to commence. I'm going to start working on the VX today and I'll continue work on the RS after the VX Rebuild is complete.
 

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Bart's gonna want this one back! Nice job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I'm happy with the new look so far... although the 29" tires make it look a bit squatty. I would like to bump the tire size back up to the stock 31x10.50 size but am concerned I may notice the lower 4.30 axle gearing.

Stock: 31" tires with 4.77 gearing
Now: 29" tires with 4.30 gearing
Back to stock specs with 4.30 gearing: 27.94" tires :shock:
 

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Great story. Love the new color. Thinking of wrapping mine a different color. Might have to get a sample of that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Toccoa said:
Great story. Love the new color. Thinking of wrapping mine a different color. Might have to get a sample of that one.
Different color? Your Lagoon Blue wrap looks pretty good! :D
 

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Wow! :shock:

Can not believe that is the same RS. Great story and I am happy to hear it was rescued.

cheers
-Ian :blackeye:
 

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VXorado said:
Different color? Your Lagoon Blue wrap looks pretty good! :D
Thanks. I guess that's the downside to vinyl. Since I can change the color anytime I want, I'm always scoping out new colors. :mrgreen:
 

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Wow man, can't believe it! That RS was such a monstrous mess. Funny you were having issues with the fuel pump though. I'm sure Jerry told you that we installed a new one while he was here picking up the RS. Not sure what has happened between then and now, but I can tell you this:

When I bought that RS, not only was it leaking oil like a sieve it was also leaking fuel from the gas tank, due to a stripped out drain plug. Long story short, I just bought a brand new gas tank from Jerry Lemond to the tune of nearly $500. When I bought my current red RS from Tatohead, I decided there was NO WAY I was giving up that brand new $500 gas tank, so I swapped out the tank from the Idaho RS with the new one. Now, the RS I bought from Tatohead probably had sat for a long time, and it is possible there was crap in the tank that ultimately worked it's way into the pump and/or fuel filter. Wow, so crazy.

And yeah, the amount of bondo on that RS was terrible. I'm sure you have found it all when you did the wrap. Still, very nice quasi-restore there that saved this rare SWB Trooper! Too bad about the 4.77s though, the 4.30s probably contributed to your lack of speed on the highway!

Bart
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
IsuzuGeek said:
Wow man, can't believe it! That RS was such a monstrous mess. Funny you were having issues with the fuel pump though. I'm sure Jerry told you that we installed a new one while he was here picking up the RS. Not sure what has happened between then and now, but I can tell you this:

When I bought that RS, not only was it leaking oil like a sieve it was also leaking fuel from the gas tank, due to a stripped out drain plug. Long story short, I just bought a brand new gas tank from Jerry Lemond to the tune of nearly $500. When I bought my current red RS from Tatohead, I decided there was NO WAY I was giving up that brand new $500 gas tank, so I swapped out the tank from the Idaho RS with the new one. Now, the RS I bought from Tatohead probably had sat for a long time, and it is possible there was crap in the tank that ultimately worked it's way into the pump and/or fuel filter. Wow, so crazy.

And yeah, the amount of bondo on that RS was terrible. I'm sure you have found it all when you did the wrap. Still, very nice quasi-restore there that saved this rare SWB Trooper! Too bad about the 4.77s though, the 4.30s probably contributed to your lack of speed on the highway!

Bart
Yeah, the gas tank created this really unique red gasoline! :lol: Should be all cleaned out now and no longer an issue.

Let's not get started on all that bondo... I did find out that vinyl wrap doesn't stick to it very well.

The RS just passed emissions!!! Scored a 4.99 with a limit of 5.00 for the Nitrogen Oxides, SQUEAKKKKKED BY! The Scrapper is officially my interim DD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Toccoa said:
VXorado said:
Different color? Your Lagoon Blue wrap looks pretty good! :D
Thanks. I guess that's the downside to vinyl. Since I can change the color anytime I want, I'm always scoping out new colors. :mrgreen:
I suffer the same dilemma. :D

First this,



Then that.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just saw the SCRAPPER last week with new tags (it hit craigslist again only three months after I sold it).

I was tempted to follow and say hi but was tied up. Anyone here?
 
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