My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

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My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:10 pm

Hi guys. New to here, just picked up a new project. I owned a 91 trooper a few years back, and have always wanted to get another. Found a 90 2.8l V6 today on craigslist for a good deal.

I'm hoping that, since I'm new, and also have a decent amount of work to do on this girl, that I can enlist some help from these forums.

I am no mechanic (though I am mechanically inclined), and definitely could use some expertise.

I literally just picked it up, but definitely already have a mental list of parts that I'll need started.

So far:

Tailpipe has rusted off and is just hanging. Looks like I'll need to get one and do some welding.

Windshield has a crack.

I have the trim that has fallen off, will need to clean and epoxy it back on both sides.

It has an oil leak -- seems to be from the valve cover gasket, but I really don't know much.

Drive belt is in need of replacing

A couple window seals need replaced (most noticeable the driver side wing window. This thing definitely is not waterproof).

There will be more. Any chance anyone can help get me started?






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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby DSUZU » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:38 am

Welcome. You'll get all the support you need here. There are 2 good sources for Isuzu parts - New OEM from our own user JLEMOND, and an exclusive Isuzu boneyard in Arkansas. 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 airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
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.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

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If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby wmorrisiii » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:17 pm

Nice Trooper! Valve cover leaks are not uncommon on the 2.8. Some of us have switched to Fiero valve covers for this reason. For now you can probably get by with a new gasket and some RTV. If the leak is in the back of the engine, it is a good idea to check the O-ring in the distributor, they often get replaced with the wrong O-ring and a leak there is not uncommon. These are reliable lttle engines with good parts availability and when set up correctly, they run great. I'd suggest replacing the old belt with a Goodyear Gatorback one, they last. The vent window rubber is available from JLEMOND on this site (as are a lot of OEM parts). There are also several threads here on everything I mentioned above that will guide you through each process. You can probably figure it out pretty easily on your own, but I would read the one on replacing the vent window rubber. It will make that job easier. Good luck and do post pictures of your progress.
Willie's 1990 Trooper LS, 2.8L
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Willie's 1987 Trooper LS, 2.3L
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Positron » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:42 pm

http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u52 ... io24lw.jpg

From the look of that picture, it looks like you have a Carburetor. Can that be?

The basic Trooper looks like it's worth building back up, keep us in the loop!
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby humming » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:48 am

I'd recommend 3M VHB tape instead of epoxy for the side trim.
amazon link
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:15 pm

Positron wrote:http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u527/anthonyouradaamaroq206/20160708_173017_zps3uio24lw.jpg

From the look of that picture, it looks like you have a Carburetor. Can that be?

The basic Trooper looks like it's worth building back up, keep us in the loop!



It is fuel injected. Just the positioning of the air filter above the throttle body assembly is what makes it look like a carburetor.


So far I have done a decent amount of diagnostics and work to it, considering my lack of experience working on vehicles.

This weekend I replaced both rear parking brake lines, though I did drop the trooper off my jack stands. One had a bullet hole from my .30-.06, dont ask... Needless to say, it buckled. Luckily I'd already put one wheel partially on, and the other side fell into my wheel sitting on it's side below it. I was not under the thing. No damage incurred, other than to my pride.

I also found a speedometer cable that had been recently replaced in the yard, with heat shields installed already. Works perfectly. I think this was the best find at the yards this weekend.

Found two headlights, but both were chipped... sad day.

Found a decent muffler and tailpipe with no rust, I'm thinking of going back with a hacksaw or blowtorche to grab it.
1990 Trooper 2.8l V6 -- work in progress.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:18 pm

I'd recommend 3M VHB tape instead of epoxy for the side trim.
amazon link


Yeah, makes much more sense. I've used that 3m tape before. I will probably do that, just in case I want to remove it at a later date.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby 4d55 performance » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:37 pm

I hope your Trooper treats you as well as my 1989 has treated me. These are great little vehicles.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:04 pm

4d55 performance wrote:I hope your Trooper treats you as well as my 1989 has treated me. These are great little vehicles.



I have already read your page, and your trooper is pretty fantastic. I hope to one day have mine set up as nice as yours.

Wish the Utah guys didn't require 89 and below. Would love to make the trip down (I'm in Idaho)
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:27 pm

So I have not done a ton to my trooper lately. Had to do some major suspension work and some engine work on my DD (1990 camry v6). Finally back to getting this thing running.

My issue right now I may already have the answer to, but was hoping for a second opinion. My temp meter does not work, so I pulled my sensor and it was heavily corroded. Got a new one in and the meter moves maybe 2mm at most. Other than the temp gauge right now, I'd be comfortable driving it, at least once I get my fluids all swapped out.

any ideas on what could cause this? Wiring looks fine. I have not opened the dash yet, for this issue... I'm thinking the gauge.
1990 Trooper 2.8l V6 -- work in progress.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Positron » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:45 pm

Do some more searching; there are a few threads w/ the three gauges out at one time and others where it's one or two only. I'd be more helpful with a linkor two but I'm posting from the road right now...
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:49 pm

Positron wrote:Do some more searching; there are a few threads w/ the three gauges out at one time and others where it's one or two only. I'd be more helpful with a linkor two but I'm posting from the road right now...



Thanks, I can open the gauge, but do not know how to test it without a new one... I may run to the yard and grab one this weekend.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby DSUZU » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:54 pm

Amaroq206 wrote:My issue right now I may already have the answer to, but was hoping for a second opinion. My temp meter does not work, so I pulled my sensor and it was heavily corroded. Got a new one in and the meter moves maybe 2mm at most. Other than the temp gauge right now, I'd be comfortable driving it, at least once I get my fluids all swapped out. any ideas on what could cause this? Wiring looks fine. I have not opened the dash yet, for this issue... I'm thinking the gauge.


Have you checked the thermostat? Had the same thing with my V6 Trooper and it was a faulty thermostat. Ran better after that too. 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 airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
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.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:25 pm

DSUZU wrote:
Have you checked the thermostat? Had the same thing with my V6 Trooper and it was a faulty thermostat. Ran better after that too. Dennis



I have not. My radiator heats up and the temp sensor on the engine doesnt seem to output, it the gauge doesnt show it anyway. How could that be a thermostat? If the thermostat doesnt engage does that not mean that the coolant in the engine is not making it to the radiator? Would that not still have output, and wouldnt that also mean the radiator wouldnt heat up?
1990 Trooper 2.8l V6 -- work in progress.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Ed Mc. » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:52 pm

Thermostats can fail "open" and that'll make the engine run cool. They can also go out-of-calibration or "stick" and cause screwy things. Mine was sticking, the temp would rise almost to the middle the first time, then drop way down and run in the normal place.

Which, BTW, is quite low on the '89-'91 V6 models. Mine runs maybe 1/4-scale in the summer with a 195 deg F Stant Super Stat. I have a new fan clutch so I know it's cooling well, the antifreeze is long-life and changed a few years ago. They just don't register real high on the gauge, I think due to a mis-calibration between the GM temp sending unit and the ZuZu temp gauge.

You can confirm what temp the engine's running at with an infrared thermometer. They're so cheap now, and embedded in things like my digital VOM that I picked up from Sears on sale for $20 or so. But you can get an inexpensive stand-alone unit that should give you a pretty good idea how hot it's getting.

BTW if the heater is cranking out a ton of heat at full blast, and the engine compt is quite hot, it's likely running OK. If you're not popping-off the radiator cap or losing coolant, should be fine.

Take 'er out for a drive and have some fun!

If you want to dig deeper, I've attached a temperature vs resistance chart for GM vehicles. As you can see on the chart, at 190 deg F, close to the normal operating temp for the GM 2.8 V6, the temperature sender has a resistance of 260 ohms.

If you go to Rad Shack or an electronics supply house, pick up a 260 ohm resistor (or a potentiometer that has the range you need). Disconnect the wire from the temp sender and connect the resistor in its place; ground the free end of the resistor. You've just told the temperature gauge to read 190 deg F so whatever deflection you get on your gauge, that's 190F engine coolant temp. If you use a potentiometer, you can adjust it to different resistances on the calibration curve, to see what you gauge does.

You can also check the calibration of the temperature sensor by suspending it in a boiling pot of water and checking its resistance. Or do it in place by shooting with an infrared thermometer and measuring resistance. With the 2nd method, it'll probably be a bit off, since you're taking surface temp of the sensor, not coolant temp. But it should match the calibration curve, within reason. If it's wayyyyyyyy off, it's got issues.

Cheers........ed
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Amaroq206 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:16 am

Thanks Ed. So if i disconnect my gauge and test the resistance with my voltage meter and the engine temp with an infared thermometer, and they match up on the heat/ohms i should be good on wiring? Do you think I'll need to replace the gauge if it is matched up?

I have ran the engine for about 20-25 minutes and drove it short distances to try to get a reading to no avail. Engine and radiator seem like they are hot. Have not tested the heater. Maybe I should just replace the thermostat just in case? I'm paranoid about overheating her as I did on my '91, which causes some major issues.
1990 Trooper 2.8l V6 -- work in progress.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Ed Mc. » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:34 am

Amaroq206 wrote:Thanks Ed. So if i disconnect my gauge and test the resistance with my voltage meter and the engine temp with an infared thermometer, and they match up on the heat/ohms i should be good on wiring? Do you think I'll need to replace the gauge if it is matched up?

I have ran the engine for about 20-25 minutes and drove it short distances to try to get a reading to no avail. Engine and radiator seem like they are hot. Have not tested the heater. Maybe I should just replace the thermostat just in case? I'm paranoid about overheating her as I did on my '91, which causes some major issues.


If it was having cooling issues it would likely have overheated in 5-10 minutes. Doesn't take long. As long as you ran it, and it didn't pop the radiator cap relieve & blow coolant into the overflow, it's probably OK. You definitely know when they're overheating! If you open the hood after a long drive, it's very hot in there. After all, it's running almost 200 degrees F. Hot enough to cook, what's for lunch? :twisted:

If the thermostat is an unknown, then maybe it's not a bad idea to replace. Don't forget that when you do, you'll want to point the rig uphill, drain down the coolant until it's below the level of the 'stat, then when you're done refill and you'll have to 'burp' the system of air.

If you get a general sense with the infrared thermometer that the engine isn't going thermonuclear, the gauge is probably reading where it should. The only way you'd absolutely know for sure where the gauge is supposed to read at 190 deg or wherever, would be to connect the resistance in place of the sensor and see what you get. The main thing is to establish that it's running at normal temperature, then you can figure out where the gauge is supposed to be.

The only time my 3.4 went much higher than 1/4 was when I was towing a 2000 lb ski boat up I-5 out of Portland, at around 75mph on the cruise control when it was 80+ outside. And even then it was only about 1/3-scale as I recall.

And then there was my old 2.8 that went all the way up to 1/2 when the heater hose blew! You really don't ever want it to go that high, believe me! :shock:

HTH......ed
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby DSUZU » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:21 pm

You should be able to ground the wire and have the temp gauge peg itself on or near hot. Bear in mind there are 2 a sensor (for the ECM) and a sender for the temp gauge. Sensor usually has 2 wires while sender usually has one. 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 airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
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.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Ed Mc. » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:29 pm

Yeah, the one for the gauge is located at the front of the driver's-side cyl head, whereas the ECT (or ECS) sticks straight up out of the intake manifold.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby MRA » Fri May 19, 2017 10:52 am

I replaced my 1990 v6 chevy sendng unit with one from a 2.6. about $5 rock auto. I used a double threaded brass bushing and it fit perfect as it is smaller than the chevy sensor. Mine now reads higher, probably closer to correct, when before it barely moved from C, now its about 1/4 from C. I Didn't have thermometer to check but will. I'm sure mine doesn't has thermostat in and will put one in when I change carb back to TBI in a couple of months.
1990 trooper 2.8 gas 5sp 4x4 wanting to go back to TBI from previous owner carb.
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby wmorrisiii » Fri May 19, 2017 11:44 pm

The 2.8 likes to run hot, hence the 195 degree thermostat. When it is at operating temp, with an Infrared thermometer you can check the temp when you hear it pop open, always around 190 on mine. It also never shows anywhere near halfway on the gauge either, as Ed said, always a quarter or under, although driving back from URE this year with the AC on in 90 degree weather it moved a touch over a quarter on the gauge. I've never run it with a 185 thermostat, but I have run it with a bad thermostat and the gauge had no issues scaling up past the halfway mark. This was before I had a radio In the Trooper and nothing that day sounded or felt quite right, and given I'm driving a 25 year old Trooper, I'm conditioned to thinking big problems when it sounds or feels funky, so pretty surprised when I finally looked over at the temp gauge and it was north of the halfway mark. I had just put a new thermostat in the week before and obviously got a faulty one, so always a good idea to open the hood and listen for it pop open at operating temp to confirm it is working. I was actually pretty happy that day that I had bad thermostat.
Willie's 1990 Trooper LS, 2.8L
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Willie's 1987 Trooper LS, 2.3L
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Re: My new nostalgic 1990 Trooper

Postby Ed Mc. » Fri May 19, 2017 11:57 pm

wmorrisiii wrote:I've never run it with a 185 thermostat, but I have run it with a bad thermostat and the gauge had no issues scaling up past the halfway mark.


Yeah, my old 2.8 "S" Trooper had no trouble getting over the halfway mark when a heater hose blew! Dang thing overheated like a mad dog but never blew a head gasket. Gotta luv it.

On an aside, just happened to pop the hood today and what do I spy, water on the intake, in the area of the thermostat. Dangit and I just replaced the 'stat and a new gasket! Gonna have to drain 'er down a foot or so and bust it open for a new gasket and some sealer. [email protected] gasket weeping or an imperfection in the new 'stat neck, I dunno. Tired of doing the same job over again!!! :evil:
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Yes, I am a Trooper-Holic!!!
Keep On Troopin' !
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