My off-road and 4x4 roots....Isuzu Trooper - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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My off-road and 4x4 roots....Isuzu Trooper

Thought I would share a little story about what got me interested in offroading/4x4s...

I was a (cough, cough) a tuner...please don't judge, I was young and impressionable; the fast and furious movies were a big hit and I wanted to go FAST. Bought a '93 Honda Civic with a B16 VTEC swap. A year later I had a 322whp turbo monster. It lasted a little over 1,000 miles before I totaled it.

Found out I wasn't as invincible as I thought and decided to go slow. My cousins were into Isuzu's so I bought an '89 Isuzu Trooper LS 2.6L 5-speed, power windows and cruise control.



Even with a limited aftermarket presence, and coming in on the tail end of "Cash for clunkers" I was able to build an off-road beast with some hard to find/rare parts.









Geared 4.56 from the factory, the list of mods include:
Independent 4x HD torsion bars and lift shackles
ARB air locker (rear)
Aussie locker (front)
TerraLow 4:1 low range transfer case
Delta Cam upgrade
Custom front/rear bumpers and rock sliders (build by the late great Joe Darlington)
Roof rack with custom brackets (modified by my father)

I did every trail at Uwharrie with almost bald 235/45/15 when it was stock. I took it up to PA to Bald Eagle State Park, to the beach, and mountains of NC for school. I loved that rig and still have it. It has a little more rust than I would like and currently has an undiagnosed fuel issue. It's currently back at my dad's house in NC. I plan to restore it one day back to it's former glory; I've got wayyyy to much in it to ever sell. I'm still an Isuzu guy at heart, but I'm glad to be in the FSB community.
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1983 Bronco 302 paired with a C6; 3.55 gears limited slip front and rear
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 12:07 AM
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What's the symptom to the fuel problem? As a 'master auto tech' (my ASE accreditations ran out in 2015), I have experience with Japanese engine control systems.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mckenziedg View Post

I was a (cough, cough) a tuner...please don't judge
No judgement here. I'd trade my suburban straight up for a rust free/clear title Early-82 5 speed MA67... doesn't even need to run lol. Mine had way too much HP, looked bone stock, and I really never should have let her go. Friend drove it ONCE about 1/2 mile, came back, tossed the keys on the counter and said "I'm never driving that damn thing again! How are you still alive?".


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:40 AM
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I had an 89 Isuzu trooper that I got in 92, it was a great vehicle. When we moved to Lackland AFB from Beal AFB it towed a Toyota Paseo the entire way. I hope you are able to restore your original 4 x 4 to its original glory. Good luck

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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What's the symptom to the fuel problem? As a 'master auto tech' (my ASE accreditations ran out in 2015), I have experience with Japanese engine control systems.
It will start and idle just fine, but when you go to take off it will sputter and stall. Not every time but often. It would also do that sometimes when I drove it. Would run fine but then it felt like I was dragging an elephant, wouldn't accelerate, but wouldn't shut off unless you took the foot off the gas. I'd have to leave it for about 5 minutes before it would start back up.

Most likely the fuel system just needs to be cleaned out. There was some rust and debris in the tank when I replaced the fuel pump not too long ago. I'm religious about changing the fuel filter, but I'm sure some stuff got through. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator with a new one, but I could probably get a new one of those. I'd like to get the injectors cleaned and kinda start from there.

Until recently I haven't had a place to park it or work on it. My apartment complex was strict about that sort of thing. I've recently bought a house so I plan to try and get it running and back up here this fall.

1983 Bronco 302 paired with a C6; 3.55 gears limited slip front and rear
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:37 PM
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I owned a 92 Isuzu pickup for about 6 years and it sure gave me a lot less problems than my Bronco! The guy who bought it was really excited he found an Isuzu with only 110k miles which is apparently the break-in period for those engines. The only thing that was an issue on that truck was the junk emissions carburetor. but after a Weber swap I believe the old Isuzu engines and transmissions are almost unbreakable. There's also been stories of people driving them with no oil in the crankcase and they suffered no noticeable damage.

It's a shame GM bought Isuzu and basically buried it in a vault as they tend to do with anything that was reliable.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TheRazor375 View Post
I owned a 92 Isuzu pickup for about 6 years and it sure gave me a lot less problems than my Bronco! The guy who bought it was really excited he found an Isuzu with only 110k miles which is apparently the break-in period for those engines. The only thing that was an issue on that truck was the junk emissions carburetor. but after a Weber swap I believe the old Isuzu engines and transmissions are almost unbreakable. There's also been stories of people driving them with no oil in the crankcase and they suffered no noticeable damage.

It's a shame GM bought Isuzu and basically buried it in a vault as they tend to do with anything that was reliable.
Yea 110k is basically brand new for an Isuzu! I bought mine with 155k and its sitting just over 208,000.

1983 Bronco 302 paired with a C6; 3.55 gears limited slip front and rear
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 07:25 PM
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Cool rig. We had a later one. Auto tranny is junk but other than that they are solid overland rig.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 07:40 PM
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I had a 1988 Trooper.......red/white 4-door 5-speed. I REALLY liked that vehicle. Wish I still had it!

Like this one......


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 06:34 PM
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Cool rig. We had a later one. Auto tranny is junk but other than that they are solid overland rig.


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They come in automatic? The vast majority of them I've seen are 5 speed.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 09:31 PM
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Yup and it’s a car auto


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 01:28 PM
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I, like many other car guys my age I'm sure, wish I had MOST of my rides back. Truck wise I SERIOUSLY want a 68-72 K5 Blazer. I owned THREE of the damn things before I was 20. Now they are unobtanium. $40K+ for a restored version isn't uncommon. $15K for a fixer upper isn't out of the ball park - IF You can find one.

Wish I'd have kept my old Fj40. I bought it with a rod knock in the stock engine. Swapped in a built 383, a bit of lift...and made a good chunk of cash selling it and that was 20 years ago.

That rusty, but running and driving '70 GS 4 speed / 455 car? The bare bones 6 cylinder / 3 speed '67 Mustang FB?

I'm depressed and I'm not even getting started. What was this thread about again?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 08:41 PM
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I was a (cough, cough) a tuner...please don't judge,
Only judgment here is that you let PHOTOPHUCKET ruin your pics.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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They come in automatic? The vast majority of them I've seen are 5 speed.
Yep..starting in 1989. It was an Aisin Warner automatic; they were actually pretty good transmissions.

1983 Bronco 302 paired with a C6; 3.55 gears limited slip front and rear
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