How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

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How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby NCEvets » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:34 am

[asking for a friend]

well, after a not so diligent search for a suitable Trooper over the past six years (!), I finally just bought a 1987 Trooper II off CL. Of course, it's not the exact one I was searching for, as I wanted a 1988-1991 2.6 in white or silver (this one is red), but what the heck. Some of you locals (I'm in central NC) probably saw it for sale on Greensboro CL. It was listed for $800 but I got it for $500. Not the cleanest vehicle I've ever smelled (the seller was/is a heavy smoker of cigarettes and other things), but I'm gutting it so that doesn't matter much.

It has:

Good body, with very little rust
A rebuilt engine with ~20k on it
Five speed tranny
starts immediately, runs, and even drives
The 4x4 was disconnected (parts were removed), but I got the parts at least
decent tires (which of course I'll swap anyway)
Kept in good mechanical condition pretty much since its purchase by the second owner in the 1990's or so
Original manual and etc. in the glovebox
Bone stock

So, I've finally officially joined the Order of First Gen Troopy Brethren instead of being an armchair enthusiast.

thanks for all your helpful posts over the years, they really helped me figure out what to get and what to avoid and what to modify. I'll probably be bugging this forum about sourcing some items over the next year, so you may want to run and hide before you become my personal Trooper advisor (I kid, I kid...well, somewhat)

I hope to perhaps make it to Uwharrie this year! Even if she's still stock at least I can come and have y'all make fun of my ride ;)

cheers!
Steve
Steve
NC, USA
1987 Trooper II ::: 2.3l ::: carbureted ::: 4-door ::: MSG 5-speed trans. ::: A/C ::: manual everything [HALLELUJAH!]
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby shaggydoink » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:17 pm

Hey Steve. Congratulations on your new Trooper, $500 for a running truck with 20K on the engine sounds like a great score! Not too many years ago my daughter and I took our then stock Troopers out to Uwharrie for the first time and I was blown away at how capable they were, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Good luck and post up if you have any questions!

Jonathan
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby NCEvets » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:02 pm

Thanks, shaggydoink!

I would like to see some if its capabilities before I do some (typical) upgrades...plus, if I mess her up I won't have spent a bunch of money on it yet!

Just pulled all the smog pump and etc. off today. (It sure opened up the engine bay!) My next upgrades will be a better radiator and (likely) a Weber 32/36 carb. But first I'm doing a tune-up (including hoses and belts) even though she runs great already. I like to have a base starting point when I buy a new (to me) vehicle.
Steve
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1987 Trooper II ::: 2.3l ::: carbureted ::: 4-door ::: MSG 5-speed trans. ::: A/C ::: manual everything [HALLELUJAH!]
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby NCEvets » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:11 pm

I'm still having fun while figuring out this new toy.

I avoided doing a compression check for a week or two as I was afraid of what I'd find out! There was some antifreeze leaking from somewhere, and I was worried the head gasket would need replacing (it's something I can do myself but I didn't wanna). But, after recalling a Johnny 5 video where he stated (I'm paraphrasing) "You have no business owning a Trooper if you don't also own a compression gauge," I decided to just grin and bear it. And I'm glad I did, as the compression was excellent, with 150psi on all four cylinders. I then figured out that the antifreeze was coming from the back of the thermostat housing/elbow gasket, as whoever replaced it used some kinda liquid or silicone gasket that didn't hold.

I also figured out that although the Trooper was/is running excellent, it really needed a tune up. The plug wires were dry rotting, the plugs were burnt, the fuel filter (and its hoses) looks like it had been submerged in the ocean for 50 years, and a few other things needed changing out. I also replaced the badly rusted and burnt out exhaust manifold gasket and the leaking valve cover gasket. The engine is a rebuild with about 19k miles on it, but I think they reused some of the old parts (like some gaskets) when they rebuilt it.

I've also gutted most of the interior and have been adding sound proofing/underlayment (or whatever it's called) before I install a new carpet. I "need" some new front seats so will hit some junkyards and see if there are any decent BMW seats or something similar to replace them with. Once I find them, I can proceed with finishing the interior.

My next steps will likely be a new radiator and maybe brakes.

Well, that's all for now me thinks!
Steve
NC, USA
1987 Trooper II ::: 2.3l ::: carbureted ::: 4-door ::: MSG 5-speed trans. ::: A/C ::: manual everything [HALLELUJAH!]
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby DSUZU » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:32 am

I can't speak for "how many beers" - I never liked the taste of the stuff. I'll say this: some time back, a "politician" wrote a book called "It takes a Village to Raise a Child" (or something to that effect - doesn't matter, I didn't like the "taste" of that either. On renovating a Trooper...It takes a Planet. We're here. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby NCEvets » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:37 am

that is an excellent way of looking at this forum: "It takes a village (forum?) to renovate a Trooper"

many thanks...to everyone on this forum. It took me several years to buy a Trooper and this forum greatly helped by advising me on what to buy and what not to buy, and what to look for when buying one.
Steve
NC, USA
1987 Trooper II ::: 2.3l ::: carbureted ::: 4-door ::: MSG 5-speed trans. ::: A/C ::: manual everything [HALLELUJAH!]
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby wmorrisiii » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:14 am

How many beers? Depends on how much whisky you back it up with :D
With my junk it seems to take 3 to 5 years from ground zero until I’m getting happy with things. That’s a weekend once or twice a month and a couple hours during the week. When they are set up properly and you’ve replaced the things you forgot to fix first time around, they tend to go forever with a good maintenance schedule. Of course that is the time you start wanting to do some mods and more pretty stuff. One thing for sure, there isn’t much out there that is more fun to drive than a tight first generation Trooper.

Have fun!
Willie's 1990 Trooper LS, 2.8L
The Duck Marsh Debutante

Willie's 1987 Trooper LS, 2.3L
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Re: How many beers does it take to renovate a Trooper?

Postby NCEvets » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:52 am

The hardest thing to do that I'm finding is to resist buying all the "sexy parts" (like round eye grille, roof rack/basket, sand ladders, solar system for camping, etc.) and focus on what NEEDS to be done!

Just got some 16" steel rims off a 2003 Toy. Tundra at the junkyard since it was their 40% off weekend. They came with two usable tires (Yokohama 245/70's) but the rest were/are trash. The summer is no time to be parts pickin' here in the South, though :angry4:

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Steve
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1987 Trooper II ::: 2.3l ::: carbureted ::: 4-door ::: MSG 5-speed trans. ::: A/C ::: manual everything [HALLELUJAH!]
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