BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:34 am

I should be getting there Thursday afternoon and staying thru Sunday!
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
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2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby wmorrisiii » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:27 am

I bet we have the two heaviest Troopers there :D
Willie's 1990 Trooper LS, 2.8L
The Duck Marsh Debutante

Willie's 1987 Trooper LS, 2.3L
The Coonhound
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Fiero Valve Covers

Postby btw1549 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:45 pm

Made some good progress over the last several days. Started out by purchasing a sand blasting cabinet from Harbor Freight. I assembled it on Wednesday night and spent some time Friday making a few modifications to use my soda blaster inside and I have to say, it worked awesome. I'll write up more about that in the tools section at some point.

A little while ago as I was preparing to finally install the bored out intake manifold and 4.3l TBI unit I purchased a set of Fiero valve covers. When I received them someone had already cleaned them up and repainted them gold; however the coating wasn't applied well and it was flaking off. So time to do some work. Friday I soda blasted the remaining gold paint off of them and then ran them through the dishwasher to get any remaining oils and soda off of them. Then that night I applied some primer and a quick base coat of white.

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The next morning I woke up and began the tedious process of taping off the channels in the covers. I was thinking of doing the raised sections white or possibly sanding them down the bar aluminum after spraying them but decided I would do the gallies in white instead. Also I decided to get a little artistic and put an Isuzu logo on the blank spot on the left cover!

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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Fiero Valve Covers Continued

Postby btw1549 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:50 pm

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Once I got the taping done it was time for a coat of some color:

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Then to finish it all off add a coat of clear for protection and shine!

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Power Steering Pump and Radiator Brackets

Postby btw1549 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:57 pm

I'll come back later and update more on this weekend but before I go here are a few side items.

First the power steering pump. The old shaft seal was leaking, and not just like a drop or two. Whatever caused it to fail made it fail big time. It was leaking fluid just sitting still. So all resealed and repainted ready to be reinstalled.

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Second with this new radiator unfortunatly the core was about 1/2" to wide to be able to use the mounting areas with the original mount holes. Therefore I had to make a few brackets. What I ended up doing is taking a bending 90's around the edges of the opening for the air flow to keep the brackets from spinning and then bent the brackets just enough to allow the heads of the mounting bolts for the radiator to sit snug against the body, keeping them from spinning during installation. Turned out better then expected. I'll probably come back to these at some point and make them a little nicer as these were rough mock-ups that will end up being used for the time being.

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby itsmehb » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:03 pm

Valve covers look like new, Great job.
1990 Amigo, 2.3 5 speed (sold)
1991 Pick up (long gone)
2000 Amigo, 2.2 5 speed(sold)
1985 Trooper 1.9 4 speed (sent back to KS)
1989 Trooper RS 2.6 5 spd. Red

We get too soon old and too late smart!
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby paulevans76 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:16 am

Valve covers look nice! Slightly better than my OD green and grease/oil/dirt patina :D
91 SAS Trooper - Neverending tinkering
Semi-hopped-up 3.4 + MUA5 + 3.07:1 low
Waggy D44 Front - 5.38's + RCV's + OX
Rodeo D44 Rear - 5.38's + Detroit
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:51 am

paulevans76 wrote:Valve covers look nice! Slightly better than my OD green and grease/oil/dirt patina :D


Thanks guys, spent a lot of time to make them this way. I'm going to try and keep them clean, especially now that the truck gets parked inside when it's not used.
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby wmorrisiii » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:34 am

Damn, now I have to paint my fiero covers. Haven't done them because I don't want to go through the taping off process. They look great BT!
Willie's 1990 Trooper LS, 2.8L
The Duck Marsh Debutante

Willie's 1987 Trooper LS, 2.3L
The Coonhound
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:47 pm

wmorrisiii wrote:Damn, now I have to paint my fiero covers. Haven't done them because I don't want to go through the taping off process. They look great BT!


The other option over taping is paint them factory style. Just spray them with your primer and base coat and then sand down the high points to expose the aluminum. Once you have that done spray on your clear and done. No taping required. I thought about doing it this way but of course wanted to be different!

Not mine but this is what I am talking about:
Fiero_NOS_ValveCovers-001.jpg
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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Fiero Valve Covers Continued

Postby btw1549 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:30 pm

While I have a few minutes might as well add in some more updates!

Crunch time. Just two weekends left to button the truck back up in time to make it to Ure. Spent the majority of the two weekends ago getting the engine reassembled and finishing up the Radiator project.

Just for comparison purposes here is a shot of the Fiero Valve Cover installed with the factory cover on the PS:

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And here are some shots of the left and right both installed. You can also see that freshly painted intake mainfold as well!

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As you can see in the images above the Fiero valve covers move the PCV valve to the front of the engine of the left bank instead of in the rear. This requires a new line to be run to the TBI. Luckily I had a hose that fit perfectly, or so I thought... I bolted down the throttle body onto the intake mainfold and when I went to install the throttle cable mount I realized that the hose runs right where the mount goes. Fortunatly the hose I used has a protective sleeve on it so there should be no issues with the mount wearing through it.

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Here is a close up of how I affixed the throttle cable to the 4.3l TBI unit. I removed the extra mounting piece that is used for the 4.3l cable and what remained was this tab that sticks out about 1/2" from the main plate. I moved the throttle cable over into the top hole fartherst to the passengers side of the vehicle on the cable mount and then carefully bent the tab to the spot it needed to be to allow for the throttle body to be closed with the no pedal applied. I then removed the TBI and drilled a hole through the plate (which there was already a smaller hole started from the factory) and I ran a 1/4-20 stainless bolt through to secure the cable end. I used an acorn nut on the outside so the edge was smooth and I could lock it down without applying pressure to the cable end.

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby Ed Mc. » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:07 pm

Looks Purty! :thumbright:
'90 3.4 Troop LS;
'89 Troop RS (Exhaust Valve Challenged), now gone to a Good Home!
Yes, I am a Trooper-Holic!!!
Keep On Troopin' !

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Fiero Valve Covers Continued

Postby btw1549 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:08 pm

And just some pictures with it all back together minus the Radiator being complete:

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby hessmess » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:14 pm

Looking great. Love the valve covers! Hope the Ure goes great
86 Trooper (sold to brother) wrecked and recycled
88 Trooper (recycled)
91 Trooper, 3.1, bored .40, Cam, 4.3 TBI, roller rockers, Fiero valve covers, remote oil filter, LSD, 2.25 Cat back exhaust, BJ flip, 5 speed conversion, Round eye conversion-retired and parts donated to the new 91
91 LS Trooper, 5 speed, 3.4, bored intake, LSD, rebuilt using parts donated from the first 91
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89 Pup LS Space Cab, 4X4, AMC head, Delta 260 cam, 2.25 cat back exhaust system, LSD
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Radiator

Postby btw1549 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:27 pm

After I got the engine back together I moved on to completing the radiator install. Started out by making sure any items that may come in contact with the radiator where covered to protect from wear:

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I ended up having to slightly bend the power steering cooler lines to get them to sit against the frame rail almost to allow for the tank to sit as low as it could. Also the mount in the middle of the frame rail for the cooler lines has minimal clearance between it and the bottom of the tank. I placed a spacer between them when making the mounts to account for space but wanted to make sure if they did contact it wore the rubber before the tank.

Then it was onto the making the hoses. So the top outlet to the thermostat housing was an 1-1/2, which works perfect because the thermostat housing is an 1-1/2. The troopers hose went from an 1-1/4 from the radiator to the 1-1/2 at the housing. So when I first test fit the rad in the truck the alternator wasn't installed and it looked like an easy run with two 45* hoses would connect everything perfectly. Well after the alternator was installed I ran into my first problem. The outlet is approx 1-1/2 closer to the PS of the vehicle and with the two 45s installed the hose contacted the cooling fins on the alternator. To correct it I just made a bracket that the hoses now rest on and can not make contact with the alternator fins.

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I've order a clamp that I can use to secure the stainless steel connector to the bracket but it won't be here for a little while so secured with a hose clamp and wire ties for now.

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Unfortunately at this point I found out that I was short one piece of hose to take the 1-3/4 inlet to the rad down to the 1-1/4 outlet from the water pump and couldn't complete the job. I did at least get to start the truck quick to make sure it ran and it did, but the timing seemed to be off even though I marked the crap out of the distributor and cap before removing it and installed it exactly where it came from.
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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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Running into issues with driveability

Postby btw1549 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:51 pm

That's where my next issue came into play. Remaining parts came in for the rad hoses and I spent my weeknights finishing the mounts for the rad shroud and getting the hose hooked up. Once I had that all done I got my timing light out and started up the truck. Radiator installed, shroud work good with the modifications and all hoses are leak free. Now to get this thing timed and test drive through the weekend before Ure!

Yeah, that didn't happen :roll:

Issue #1. I can't get the truck to idle when cold to even get it up to operating temp. After fiddling with things for a while I tested the IAC by hooking the diagnostic connector up and listening to it click. I just happened to look down into the TBI and saw that it was closed, which it should be when it is on. But then when I disconnected the cable it wouldn't open back up. Took it out of the TBI and thankfully the one from the 2.8TBI is identical and I was able to swap that in to get the truck to at least idle.

Issue #2. Even with the IAC fixed I still seemed to have a terrible idle. I could get the truck to idle cold but only if I advanced the timing to like 24* BTDC :shock: With that in mind I started researching the TPS. I orginally removed it to see if the 2.8TBI TPS could be swapped on but when I found out it couldn't I just reinstalled it. I remembered the 2.8TBI TPS is adjustable, so I figured maybe I didn't have the one on the 4.3TBI adjusted correctly. Found one of Geoff's posts on the 4X4 site that stated the spec should be .54 volts with the throttle closed so I measured mine at a .42 volts closed and proceeded to adjust. Well the 4.3TBI TPS is not adjustable. The holes are not slotted like the 2.8TBI TPS but I removed it and filed the one hole to allow for adjustment to the .54 volts. At this point the truck was hot and it would at least run hot, granted it idled at about 1500RPM :shock: so after adjusting the TPS I restarted it and it seemed to be running good. Got the idle down with the timing connector disconnected and set the timing at 13* BTDC as it seemed to idle best here and pulled it outside for the night to let it cool down and try it again in the morning.

Issue #3. Saturday morning came and I needed to be at the gym to coach a class by 6:30am. Jumped in the truck and started it up and it would barely run. Said screw it and started driving it thinking once it got hot it would run ok. Well my new radiator set-up works amazing! I couldn't get the truck up to operating temp for the trip and it just never had power and ran like absolute crap. When I got to the gym I read some more posts and tried a few more items, like disconnecting the EGR soleniod but alas it still wouldn't idle and then I noticed it also wouldn't rev above 3500 RPM. After coaching I babied it home and pulled out my fuel pressure gauge. Started up the truck and the pressure built up super slow and when I would step on the gas it would drop to 7PSI before the hitting what felt like a rev limiter. Ok, fuel issue. But I've already replaced 2 crappy aftermarket fuel pumps in this with a factory one (remember I have the GM pump in this for the GM tank I made) so I was really hoping it wasn't the pump again. Unhooked the line before the fuel filter and test with the gauge again and wala, steady pressure the hole time! Dang fuel filter was plugged up :lol: Worst part was I had a replacement filter hanging in the garage that I had painted to be installed prior to the trip and just hadn't done it yet! So installed the new fuel filter and adjusted the timing again to 14* BTDC. Runs like a beast. I can't believe the power it has now! Like able to chirp the 31's power!

My only remaining issue now is a stalling issue when coming to a stop light. Happens more when it is cold. I ran the fuel tank just about empty and filled up with some Exxon Supreme 100% non ethanol fuel today and that seems to have helped so I am leaning towards the knock sensor adjusting timing on me. When I installed this motor I used the 2.8l knock sensor and doing some research tonight it looks like the 3.4l has a different part number so I ordered one to see if that helps. If not I will go back to fine tuning the timing some more but for now it will get me to Ure this weekend!

Back to the radiator. For anyone that is interested it is a 3 core all aluminum radiator from a 67 mustang. All in all I have about $300 in it with the metal for the mounts and the silicon hoses but the nice thing is if I ever need another it is available, unlike if I had a custom one made. And the capacity is much greater. Over the weekend when it was in the 60's here in NC I couldn't get it above 180* and even today I with it back in the 80's I sat in traffic due to some road closures and it never got hotter than 180ish. Used to get over 200* just sitting idling before! Real test will be this weekend I guess.

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Last edited by btw1549 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby hessmess » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:15 pm

Wow what a pain in the rear to get it going and it was a bad fuel filter, go figure. I have the stock radiator in mine (2 core) I had an auto once. I never see the temp gauge over 1/4, even when it is in the 90's. It works great and I have never had an issue when wheeling. In fact during the winter it runs too cold. I was under the impression that you had to run these engines with a 195 T stat in order for it to think everything is where it needs to be. I guess I am wondering if part of the idle is maybe it is running to cool? Interesting on the knock sensor, I think mine is still the 2.8 also. Hope this beast runs at Ure like you built it to. I don't remember if you really ever put it through its paces in 4WD?
86 Trooper (sold to brother) wrecked and recycled
88 Trooper (recycled)
91 Trooper, 3.1, bored .40, Cam, 4.3 TBI, roller rockers, Fiero valve covers, remote oil filter, LSD, 2.25 Cat back exhaust, BJ flip, 5 speed conversion, Round eye conversion-retired and parts donated to the new 91
91 LS Trooper, 5 speed, 3.4, bored intake, LSD, rebuilt using parts donated from the first 91
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=81567
89 Pup LS Space Cab, 4X4, AMC head, Delta 260 cam, 2.25 cat back exhaust system, LSD
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:30 pm

When I was out west with this, like California and Arizona climbing mountains in the heat was awful. It would never get cool. It was also an automatic then as well.

I actually have a 195 thermostat here that I am going to put back in to set the timing again. Then put the 180 back in and see if that helps at all.
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby paulevans76 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:51 am

Right on, glad you figured out the fuel issue. With these engines it always seem like you gotta run around your --- 10 times to find out it's some little piddly thing like a fuel filter. Crossin' fingers that I can get mine out running around and exorcise the demons before URE!
91 SAS Trooper - Neverending tinkering
Semi-hopped-up 3.4 + MUA5 + 3.07:1 low
Waggy D44 Front - 5.38's + RCV's + OX
Rodeo D44 Rear - 5.38's + Detroit
35" General Grabber X3's on Interco Birddogs

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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:42 pm

paulevans76 wrote:Right on, glad you figured out the fuel issue. With these engines it always seem like you gotta run around your --- 10 times to find out it's some little piddly thing like a fuel filter. Crossin' fingers that I can get mine out running around and exorcise the demons before URE!


Honestly it was my own fault. The poor truck has sat for the last several years while I have been moving around for work and trying to finish school. I kind of forgot how it was supposed to run so when I brought it to NC from PA I just thought the lack of power at the top end was the 2.8 injectors and intake manifold restricting airflow and fuel. I mean it idled fine and drove around town just fine. Even would run at 85mph without hesitation as long as there were no hills.

That was the sole purpose of putting the bored out intake an the 4.3l TBI on the 3.4. When it wouldn't run after the install I originally didn't think it was a preexisting condition. Had I been driving this regularly I would have probably noticed and fixed it without all the digging for an issue.

But with school ending in 2 weeks for good I can now play with the truck more and it will be driven regularly! I really enjoy driving this truck once again!
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:03 pm

Just realized I never posted after the Ure trip. Had a blast out on the trails and the truck ran great! Didn't beat on it too much since it was the first time out in a while and with the new radiator and all I wanted to really just make sure everything worked, which it did! The only issue I ran into was after a few hours of crawling around on the trails we went to head back to camp on saturday afternoon I had a lack of power whenever I would try to accelerate, almost like the fuel filter was clogged again. My thought is possibly the hose in the tank that connects to the pump may have fell off which causes a lack of fuel supply when accelerating as the fuel all splashes to the rear of the tank. This happened once before when I used the wrong type of securing items and I thought I had resolved it but may not have. I need to grab a bore scope and take a peak in the tank to see if this is the cause. Not in a huge rush though because as long as I keep the fuel level up in the tank this will not cause a problem.

Anyway if you didn't see the Ure thread and the pics here are a few from the trip...
20170429_214207_resized.jpg

20170429_183446_resized.jpg

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BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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btw1549
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby paulevans76 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Nice. Is that an indy4x bumper?
91 SAS Trooper - Neverending tinkering
Semi-hopped-up 3.4 + MUA5 + 3.07:1 low
Waggy D44 Front - 5.38's + RCV's + OX
Rodeo D44 Rear - 5.38's + Detroit
35" General Grabber X3's on Interco Birddogs
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby btw1549 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:27 pm

paulevans76 wrote:Nice. Is that an indy4x bumper?


I think so. I bought the bumper from a guy in VA along with a rear bumper, ladder rack, roof rack, and ended up buying the whole truck in the end for the 3" suspension set-up. I'm pretty sure everything came from Indy4x. I'll have the rack on for next weekends camping trip so pictures to come with that installed.
BtW - 1991 LS Trooper In Progress, Complete Restoration with 3.4L Swap! (The Tank)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72642

2002 Isuzu Axiom In Progress, Complete Drivetrain Rebuild with Suspension Refresh/Lift
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=74409
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btw1549
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby hessmess » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:09 pm

Good to see it out in the elements. I was wondering if you had made the trip.
86 Trooper (sold to brother) wrecked and recycled
88 Trooper (recycled)
91 Trooper, 3.1, bored .40, Cam, 4.3 TBI, roller rockers, Fiero valve covers, remote oil filter, LSD, 2.25 Cat back exhaust, BJ flip, 5 speed conversion, Round eye conversion-retired and parts donated to the new 91
91 LS Trooper, 5 speed, 3.4, bored intake, LSD, rebuilt using parts donated from the first 91
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89 Pup LS Space Cab, 4X4, AMC head, Delta 260 cam, 2.25 cat back exhaust system, LSD
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Re: BtW's 1991 Isuzu Trooper Restoration

Postby bradzuzu » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:56 pm

Lots of work dude , in glad it's finally coming together !!
91 amigo sas toy front leaf- traded off :(
2000 amigo sas d44 wagonear 4 link
custom built buggy ffor the dirty stuff

My build up page
Four link pics
Intake R&R - port and polish

Sometimes trying is all you can do, but when you succeed , that's something to be proud of...
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