I'd been scouring craigslist, ebay, and the planet since about October of last year for the right rig. Came close on a few, and go figure, all of them were out west. I just couldn't pull the trigger on shipping something across the country unless it was really justified. Then Jim's (RubyTrooper) 1991 trooper came on the market. I'd seen pics of it and read up on it previously and thought "that's the way I'd do an SAS if I had the time". So when it came on the market, although it was more than I'd ever paid for an Isuzu, the price barely covered the SAS and upgrade PARTS, not to mention time, nickel and dime stuff, and the rig itself. So coughing up another wad of dough to transport it from WA to NC would be just fine. I'm very busy with work these days, and I don't have the space for a full on build right now, either. I really just wanted to go wheeling again, and I needed something with room for the wife and kiddo. So not having to spend a year building something was worth the price on it's own.
I'm going to use this thread for documenting the changes, repairs, upgrades, and that sort of thing. I have a few things that need to get done ASAP, and a few ideas to really iron out the details on this already awesome trooper.
Enough chit chat, here's the pics:
Just outside Charlotte, where I finally got to see it in person (bought it without driving it, touching it, or even seeing it in person!)
Drove it about 200 miles home on Sunday. Hit 75mph and things felt OK! My driveway in Raleigh:
I actually have been driving it around a lot the past few days, but this morning it up and quit on me. I had starter and fuel, so I grabbed a new MSD blaster coil, replaced the old one, and was back in business before lunch. Glad it happened 2 houses down from mine, rather the 100 miles away.
The good stuff right there (D44 w/ 5.38's, OX locker)
Notched frame for steering clearance:
Rear D44 w/ detroit & boat anchor truss that I may remove most/part/all of:
Body lift, exhaust routing (both of which will probably change)
In the backyard getting prepped for rear spring swap:
The stock leaf packs are dead beat. With the detroit in the rear, It compresses the pass side suspension on acceleration. I'm going to try using the OME HD dakar leaf packs for 1st gen IFS 4runners. These are roughly the same dimensions as the stockers, but will be closer to the stock 'zu arch. I don't want any more lift than stock packs, and these are about +2" on toyotas which should put me in that range.
Other stuff I'll be doing over the next few weeks/months:
- Bumpstops all around
- Limit straps up front to keep the driveshaft from binding
- Potentially an anti-wrap bar in the back if the new springs don't control it well enough
- Work on a permanent fix for the fricking 2.8 exhaust leaks
- Round headlight grill swap
- Get the E brakes hooked up and working
Further down the road:
- Reduce body lift. IMO, it's wholly unnecessary to have a 3" BL with the SAS. It was on there pre-SAS. Reducing it will require extensive reworking of other stuff, e.g., sliders, exhaust routing, shifters, gas tank lift, etc. I really don't like excessive lift when it's not needed. I like to keep 'em as low as possible to fit the tires through the suspension cycle. The SAS is probably as low as it can be without sacrificing uptravel (and there's only 3-4" currenly). I'll probably reduce the BL to 1-1.5" in order to keep the gas tank tucked up a little bit, and also keep things a little easier to get to when doing maintenance/repairs.
- Bigger tires! The current 35's have nearly 100% tread, so I can't justify going bigger just yet. When I do, I'll probably switch to 10" wide wheels for a little extra track width, and also throw in some inner-tube style inner beadlocks.
- Complete the OBA system. there's a tank and plumbing already there, just need a compressor.
- 3.4!!!!!!!!!!! The 5.38's make a big difference, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm probably putting less than 100hp to the ground in a 7' tall, 4000+lb brick. Mild build plans, just the typical mid range cam, bigger TBI & bored intake, get the heads flowing as best I can, and really just try to keep it reliable. I'd rather it start and run trouble free every time and have 160 hp than be broken down half the time with 200.
- Chromo bits for the axles
- Rear bumper
- Armrests - lol, the one thing I hated about these things (the non-LS or RS models). I'll be trying to find LS/RS front and rear seats in the classifieds/boneyards
Anyway, hope to see a lot of yall out on the trails over the next few years! It's been too long