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Hey guys,

So here is my situation. I will keep it short and sweet. I have two troopers (an 88 and an 89). Neither is all good nor all bad.

I would like to trim down to only one trooper but not sure which one to keep.

89 Blue (purchased in Idaho):
the good: 167k miles, almost rust free, trans shifts smooth, straight body, m75 manual and factory air conditioning (non-working)
the bad: Has a rod knock in the engine. Knocks loudly at 3000 rpm. Towards the rear. Driver door has the classic hinge sag.

Blue1.jpg

BlueEngine.jpg

BlueUnder.jpg


88 Red (purchased in San Francisco):
the good: 127k miles, runs smooth. m75 trans. Straight body.
the bad: No air conditioning, rust underneath and on bottom of front fenders, drivetrain droning sound during normal driving seems awfully loud.
The only mods I have made to red one so far are installing sound deadener and a stereo.

Red1.jpg

RedEngine.jpg


Questions:
1. Which one to keep?
2. Do I swap the engine from the red one into the blue one in order to get a/c?
3. Is the A/C system even worth a crap when functioning? I have read threads about how they were flaky even when brand new. Is the effort of an engine swap worth it?
4. How much work am I looking at for an engine swap. I have a 2-post lift.
5. I have a ton of parts waiting to go on to one of these troopers, but don't know which one.

Any advice or wisdom to point me in one direction or the other would be appreciated.

Thanks guys.
 

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The pic of rust doesn't really show much. BAD undercarriage rust is when there is pitting that goes all the way or partly through structural parts (frame rails, spring hangers etc.). Surface rust is just a simple sand it, treat it, paint it thing. BODY rust (tin termites) is a whole 'nother deal. I'd rather swap a whole drive train than deal with paint or extensive body work. Sheet metal rust is VERY difficult to deal with. The body of the red on may not be all that bad (but it still lacks A/C).
If done PROPERLY, the A/C can work fine (and I'm in Florida). Done wrong, the A/C isn't going to work right.
From your description, the red one most likely had / has gear lube in the tranny (vs the motor oil that it is supposed to have). If it were my chioce, I'd pull the engine from the red one (engine pulling from these is a WHOLE 'nother topic), put it in the blue one and sell the red one as a project. BTW, check the crank end play in both before making a decision. Dennis
 

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Hi Curtis,
I actually thought you had sold the blue one some time ago. I am not seeing a problem with the rust with either one in the pictures, several places to check is around the windshield, drip rail above the small back door and then along the bottom of the door area and the rear fender openings. Look for bubbling paint. I know "red" has front fender rust, but fenders can be replaced. As for the AC, I agree with Dennis, it can work just fine. Both of my Isuzus are working just fine. The Trooper has a problem keeping up when it's awful hot and I know the Boise area can do this. But windows can be tinted for extra help. As far as the engine swap, it can be done, plan on pulling one and refreshing up some seals, maybe timing belt. You will have to drop the lower oil pan on both engines to do this, it won't clear the front diff. Then pull the knocker and drop in the refreshed engine. I would not go to the effort to install AC in Red, it is a ton of work with a bunch of swapping involved.
I will be passing thru the Boise area a couple of times in about a week, heading to Cascade. I am more than willing to drop by.
Dick
 

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Dick,

That would be fantastic. I would love to have you stop by. Always easier to make a decision over a cup of coffee while leaning on the fenders. Please keep me posted as to your schedule. My phone is the same.

Couple other things that might make which way to go easier to decide. I have a place to work on it out of the rain (please excuse the mess. Still getting the shop organized). I had a co-worker (I say had, because my job was dissolved during the quarantine. Oh well), who found out I was getting into Troopers. He gave me a cylinder head he said he had been keeping since it had a good casting number. He no longer had the trooper and just gave it to me. Gotta love Isuzu nerds like us.

Sooooo.....do I pep it up with this cylinder head? Jerry-cam? The deeper I go, the bigger the project is seeming to get. Lots of threads on moving to the 2.8/3.1/3.4 v6 as well. Though that seems to be more project-creep. Is the 2.6 4Z worth redoing?

As always, thanks in advance. I lean on the members here for wisdom and have never been disappointed.

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Curtis,
I will be passing thru about the 22nd and back thru on Friday. I may stay over at my brothers 1 night, (shower!) I will be in touch. That is a great number for the head. We can drill down on what to do either day as far as I am concerned. Or both.
As far as the V6 conversion, I would not do it, it is a big job, bell housing, wiring, computer, etc. You would need a donor in my opinion. Is the 4 banger worth rebuilding....in my opinion, yup. I am keeping a spare around to do just that someday, bored, good head, cam.
Looking forward to dropping by.
Dick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, finally have a plan.

Wanted to give a big thanks to Dick Hess (hessmess) for stopping by. We went over both Troopers carefully and his advice was invaluable.

So....we are going with.......Thunderbolt! Back to Project Blue. Apparently lightning does strike twice.

Been waffling back and forth on the rebuild vs. remanufactured route. Hiperformer has a long block at good price and would be the quickest and easiest. On the other hand, I have this other head and would like to put in one of Jerry's cams anyway. Would hate to buy a long block and start taking things off of it. Sort of defeats the purpose. Anyone have thoughts one way or the other?

I will start a new build thread in case anyone would like to follow along.
 
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