1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

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1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 7:54 am

I never created a build thread for this Trooper as at the time I didn't think it was all that worthy in comparison to some of the amazing builds here on the Planet, but I figured I'd go ahead and get one established so if nothing else there's a place that records the time it spends in my family.

So this is a screen capture from a video lowzone took at URE this past spring, with the help of Joe D. littleredtrooper made it up Dutch John her first time out, which also happened to be her first time off pavement not including the 30 minutes we spent the day before in a dirt parking lot:

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But the story starts about 10 months earlier when after searching for weeks for an older Jeep Cherokee, this guy popped onto Craigslist:

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I knew very little about Isuzu Troopers then, but it was totally rad and within the budget so we popped on it immediately and brought it home:

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And so the project began...
Last edited by shaggydoink on Sat May 25, 2013 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.

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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 8:24 am

The Trooper was/is a 1991 V6 automatic, 264K miles when we bought it. The overall condition of the truck was good, the frame and body had very little rust and there were no major signs of abuse, it was mostly just in need of some maintenance and TLC. I hadn't worked on cars for years and wasn't even that good at it when I did, but that was part of the appeal and thankfully I came across a site called "Planetisuzoo" which I credit for a lot of what I've been able to accomplish to date.

The previous owner apparently bought the Trooper as a project but due to health issues never got into it so it had basically just been sitting outside his shop for a few months. The first repair for the rookie wrencher was the starter which went South basically the day we bought it. :roll: The repair was comical as I had no clue what I was doing, but I worked it out with lots of guidance and support! Old one out:

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New one in:

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Also swapped out the battery while I was at it:

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It was bloody hot so the other priority at that time was to get the AC working, although I quickly realized that it would be a little more extensive than simply doing a recharge... yeah, you're missing a few things Einstein. :roll:

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This was actually a blessing in disguise as it introduced me to the wonderful world of salvage yards! :thumbup: I was lucky to find one close that had a few first generation Troopers, they must have thought I was nuts because I was so jacked up and goofy at the whole experience. $65 bought me the AC parts I needed and a few other random "smalls", I was a happy camper that day!

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Last edited by shaggydoink on Sat May 25, 2013 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 8:32 am

The next few projects were fairly simple, I got the AC parts installed and while there was (and is) a leak in the system I was able to get it working (sort of):

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I attended to some of the missing parts like bumper caps, interior lights and such:

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Did lots and lots of waxing:

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And made it official! :thumbup:

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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 8:45 am

The maintenance continued, brake pads were next which led to one of my first "speciality tool" purchases - one of these gizmos which makes it *much* easier to get the piston back into the caliper than pliers by the way:

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There was a torrential rain storm right around that time which helped explain why the Trooper didn't have a headliner... yep, most of the rubber gaskets on the roof rack rails were shot so it was leaking like a sieve. :roll:

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I'm a total project nerd though, so had fun doing the overhaul which also allowed me to get the roof waxed:

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While I was in the painting mode I went ahead and got the wipers refurbuished which made a huge visual improvement! Before:

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After:

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The exterior was starting to look decent, so the sketchy interior was next!
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.

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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 11:40 am

The interior was in pretty sorry shape - all of the seats were ripped, the carpet had been replaced with some sort of really cheap fabric, the carpet in the back was original but completely sketched out due to the roof leaks, there was a thick layer of dust and grime all over most of the surfaces... good stuff! The overhaul involved pulling out all of the carpet:

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Followed by hours of vacuuming and a couple bottles of Simple Green and ArmorAll at which point things started to look decent!

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To satisfy my anal nature I replaced most of the screws and bolts with new ones, and also fixed a few miscellaneous issues such as the illumination on the gear box:

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With the truck a little less revolting on the inside, it was time to address the oil leak which got worse with each mile the Trooper was driven. :roll:
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby bsnafu1221 » Sat May 25, 2013 11:49 am

Wow you have a way with getting troopers back in good looking shape. Nice wax job, wanna make a vacation trip to Washington and do the Amigo? :wink:
-Justin

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31x10.5 r15 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on Snowflakes
Have a list of potential mods just have to collect parts and get it done

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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 11:51 am

Thanks! Most of the clear coat was gone on one side, I think it was literally about 5 coats all around to get it shiny! LOL!!

Jonathan
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby bsnafu1221 » Sat May 25, 2013 1:04 pm

Looks better than mine. I really need to wash it but not sure if I will wax it as I am thinking about putting the Plasti Dip on the whole thing 8) . I just finished the skids and posted the results on my thread.
-Justin

1992 Amigo, 4wd, 2.6l
31x10.5 r15 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on Snowflakes
Have a list of potential mods just have to collect parts and get it done

Thread viewtopic.php?f=15&t=61775
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 4:17 pm

bsnafu1221 wrote:Looks better than mine. I really need to wash it but not sure if I will wax it as I am thinking about putting the Plasti Dip on the whole thing 8) . I just finished the skids and posted the results on my thread.


Well I know where I'm headed!! :thumbup:
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

When I looked at the Trooper initially I didn't see a drop of oil after I took a test drive, although I'm assuming because it hadn't been driven in a while that the more I drove it, the more spots started to spring leaks to where it became more or less like the Exxon Valdez:

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The top side of the engine didn't look too bad, so I got suggestions on what spots might be leaking which ultimately included several and made me realize that the Haynes repair guide just wasn't going to cut it, so ordered the Isuzu Workshop Manual which cracked me up when I got it... yeah, just a little more comprehensive:

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The worst leak was probably the o-ring on the distributor which looked like this:

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The rocker arm covers ended up being pretty bad too:

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After poking around at a few other things I got things to the point where it still leaked a bit, but not gushing like it was before so decided to close out that project and move to some other odds and ends including an attempt to fix the wobbly speedometer (note the word "attempt"):

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I also got some slightly better tires swapped out and refurbished a brush guard I stumbled upon at the local salvage yard at which point it actually started to look reasonably legit:

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The last two projects I did for the year was refurbishing a set of Aisin manual hubs which I scored for free:

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And getting it dressed up for Christmas! :)

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My daughter (aka "littleredtrooper") was driving basically full time by that point so what was briefly a Trooper we shared became her full time daily driver. As for me? Yeah, you might say I was hooked... it took me all of two months before I popped on a poor beat up 1990 Trooper for myself and dragged it home... literally! :roll:

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Which leads us back to this:

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Still stock, but showing what it (and its driver!) was made of! That day was another turning point, my daughter was nearly as jacked up and goofy about the experience as I was, so before we even left URE for the day we had a list of the top upgrade priorities to get done! LOL!! Another big shout out to Joe D., I'm not sure the day would have ended up as good as it did without his generous help and care. :thumbup:

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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat May 25, 2013 7:36 pm

While the auto locking hubs did well the first time out, I found a set of Aisin manual hubs at a local yard for $20 so popped on them. Before:

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And after refurbishing them:

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And after swapping them out along side of my 1990:

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They did well on a short trip back to URE with a few other locals, as did it's driver again! :thumbup:

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Both "Lobster Todd" and my 1990 bottomed out several times, so a lift was next in line. I used my 1990 as the guinea pig for some self-made lift shackles, they seemed to work out well so about halfway done with a matching set for the 1991... pics coming along shortly!
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby zudorf » Sat May 25, 2013 8:58 pm

Great. Another thread I'll have to follow and be envious of. :lol:
Tim
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1988 Trooper II SE daily driver and hobby viewtopic.php?f=15&t=68526
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sun May 26, 2013 9:59 am

One of the things that was driving Zoe nuts was the radio... which was factory and worked for a short while, but slowly conked out and had a horrid squeaking sound that I was never able to get rid of. It got so bad she finally had me rip it out before we hit the trails on the last URE trip! :shock:

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So while I was at the LKQ in Greensboro I snagged a replacement, I had the choice between some newer, aftermarket ones but decided to stay authentic:

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I took the time to do some rewiring so it's grounded properly, works well and no squeaking!

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I'm going to dismantle the previous one in order to determine if there's a way I can add an iPod input as opposed to having to use a cassette insert gizmo.
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
Ride hard, tread lightly.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby zudorf » Sun May 26, 2013 10:10 am

Too bad we don't have audio. Every time I read one of your posts, I hear the opening theme to the OLD Star Trek. ......."Our 5 year mission to boldly take an Isuzu Trooper where no Trooper has gone before......cue music.....". :lol:

Going to look an an "adoption rig" today. Hope to be introducing another member to our obsession! I'll post pics if and when we go.
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1988 Trooper II SE daily driver and hobby viewtopic.php?f=15&t=68526
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sun May 26, 2013 11:33 am

zudorf wrote:Going to look an an "adoption rig" today. Hope to be introducing another member to our obsession! I'll post pics if and when we go.


Another member as in a Trooper? Or as in actual member? Or both?! The answer shouldn't affect the number of pictures you take by the way! LOL!!

Jonathan
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby bsnafu1221 » Sun May 26, 2013 1:13 pm

Nice. I like the look of the original stereo. There are days that I wish I lived over on the east coast but then remember how much I like Washington and its mild weather and lack of nasty critters and rust creating road salt.
-Justin

1992 Amigo, 4wd, 2.6l
31x10.5 r15 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on Snowflakes
Have a list of potential mods just have to collect parts and get it done

Thread viewtopic.php?f=15&t=61775
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby zudorf » Sun May 26, 2013 4:01 pm

shaggydoink wrote:
zudorf wrote:Going to look an an "adoption rig" today. Hope to be introducing another member to our obsession! I'll post pics if and when we go.


Another member as in a Trooper? Or as in actual member? Or both?! The answer shouldn't affect the number of pictures you take by the way! LOL!!

Jonathan


I'm taking him to his "first meeting". Now he just has to admit he's powerless over the Trooper and his life is unmanageable, pay the $600.00, and be on the road to Trooper rehab. :lol:

He hasn't called me yet; so it doesn't look like it'll happen this weekend. I'll keep y'all posted. :wink:
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Namaste.
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Sun May 26, 2013 5:10 pm

zudorf wrote:I'm taking him to his "first meeting". Now he just has to admit he's powerless over the Trooper and his life is unmanageable, pay the $600.00, and be on the road to Trooper rehab. :lol:


$600 is a good chunk of change, but for the fun he'll have it's a steal! :thumbup:

Today was a mix of small projects on both Troopers, for "LT" it was mostly making progress on the shackles which I got finished cutting, touched up a bit and drilled:

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Zoe decided on white so I got all the hardware painted:

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And a couple coats on the plates themselves (still outside drying). I'm hoping to get the last couple of coats on the plates tonight so things can dry overnight, then get them swapped out and the torsion bars cranked tomorrow... then measure and see how I did!
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby zudorf » Sun May 26, 2013 7:40 pm

Did you go longer this time?
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1988 Trooper II SE daily driver and hobby viewtopic.php?f=15&t=68526
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Mon May 27, 2013 8:12 am

zudorf wrote:Did you go longer this time?


I was going to, but then decided to do the same length as the ones for my 1990 (6-1/2" length, 5" on center for the holes) for a few reasons:

1. I didn't want to take a chance that the extra length might lead to bending and/or buckling (probably the biggest reason)
2. I'm still all out of whack on this, but I did some measurements on my 1990 and the 1991 and think I may have gotten more lift than I originally thought (will know later today when I get them installed on the 1991)
3. If I *do* end up wanting or needing more lift, the "add-a-leaf" sounds like it will give me this along with a slightly better overall ride so worth the extra bit of $$ over longer shackles (which would likely need to have additional reinforcement, etc.)

Heading out to shuffle the cars/trucks around and get "LT" into the garage to get started after one more cup of java, the outcome along with pics coming later!

Jonathan
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby zudorf » Mon May 27, 2013 8:40 am

It's good you still measure your caffeine intake by the cup. I measure mine by the pot. Just 1 pot and I'm out the door with part of the 2nd in my travel mug. I switch to Diet DP around lunch time most days.

Can't wait to see shackleX part deux! Be safe! You might want to take the brush guard off to make things easier. Oh, and set it out by the street to keep it out of the way. Oh, and leave it there overnight so the rig has time to settle on the new shackles.......(GPSing your house now). :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Mon May 27, 2013 11:15 am

zudorf wrote:Can't wait to see shackleX part deux! Be safe! You might want to take the brush guard off to make things easier. Oh, and set it out by the street to keep it out of the way. Oh, and leave it there overnight so the rig has time to settle on the new shackles.......(GPSing your house now). :lol: :lol: :lol:


LOL!!!!

Shackle swap and torsion cranking is complete, here are some pics - a few are reference for Bud4. :) Hyundai into overflow parking, "LT" into the street, 1990 Trooper into neighbor's driveway, "LT" into the garage, 1990 Trooper back into the driveway... stupid tiny townhouse! LOL!! All set and ready to roll:

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Stock shackles:

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This is where I placed the jack, not sure if it's the "correct" spot but worked well for me!

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With the bolts loosened, you can see how the L-shaped stock shackles fit together and into the leaf spring:

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Shackle removed, jacking the car up eases the tension on the leaf spring:

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Shot bushing:

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Both "ChrisBilt" shackles in!

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Cranked the torsion bars and it ended up spot on level:

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Mine still looks a little taller for some reason... hmmmmm:

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Overall I'm really happy with the results, I measured the distance from the ground to some of the lowest points on the frame/chassis and it lifted it almost precisely 1-1/2" so a little more than I originally thought. Whether or not I'll lift more I think will depend on how things go next time out on the trail, if we don't bottom out on the rain channel humps I'll likely keep things as is, if we do then I'll look to add a leaf spring. Off to see if any other locals can go for a URE day trip soon! :)
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby Bud4me0007 » Mon May 27, 2013 10:50 pm

Thanks for the pic. It looks awesome, how long did it take you to put it on? Going to order mine tomorrow. Sorry for jackin your page man..
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby shaggydoink » Tue May 28, 2013 7:40 am

Bud4me0007 wrote:Thanks for the pic. It looks awesome, how long did it take you to put it on? Going to order mine tomorrow. Sorry for jackin your page man..


Thanks, and no worries about hijacking, a) I never mind and b) the discussions on the forum are half the fun so I actually encourage it! :thumbup:

As for the shackles, the driver side gave me some trouble both in terms of getting the old shackle off and the new one on, so I think it took about an hour and a half for both. Cranking the torsion bars went way faster this time around as I had an assistant, my daughter held the tape measure and watched the height which saved me from having to keep stopping and checking, stopping and checking. :roll: End to end at a leisurely pace (and time for pics and explaining some things to my daughter) I was probably at about two hours.

Good luck!!

Jonathan
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1990 Trooper S - 2.6L, 5-speed (my truck)
1991 Trooper S - 2.8L V6, 4-speed auto (maintained for littleredtrooper)
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Re: 1991 Trooper Project (Lobster Todd)

Postby imamonstertruck » Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm

Nice Jonathon! You have been doing some really neat stuff, which motivates me to finish my projects.

How much was that 2 book manual you have? That looks like it would be fun to look through.

cheers
-Ian :blackeye:
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-91 Trooper, 3.4 V6, 5speed, 4.77 gears, 3:1 Revo T-Case Gears, HD tie rods, 3" body lift, 2" suspension lift, 1.5" diff drop, 33x10.5x15 BFG A/T,
Round Eye Swap (JDM marker lamps).


1989 Trooper RS http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=81642&p=722882#p722882

Previous Troopers and Build Thread->http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=63260

1988 ISUZU TROOPER WORKSHOP MANUAL



"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."~ Dalai Lama

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”Dr.Suess

Aaronmcvay84 wrote:I think with isuzus there is a more mature crowd that realizes the value of their hard work. They keep things.
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