1999 AZ Trooper project

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1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Mon May 11, 2015 4:13 pm

Figured I would start a thread showing the ongoing project that will be my new trail rig.

I found myself in the need of a reliable off-roading SUV to get into areas most hunters would take their side-by-sides or ATVs. I loved my 2002 Tahoe, but wanted something a little narrower. It came down to the Trooper, Mistsubishi Montero, or a 4Runner. After doing my research, I quickly ruled out the 4Runner, and saw the advantages the Trooper had over the Montero. So, I went with the Trooper. I picked this frog up a little over a month ago. It has 215K miles, and only cost me $2200. It's super clean, and so far seems reliable.

Here is the BEFORE pic.
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After tinting the windows, new muffler, new brakes, new tires (255/85/16), powdercoating then painting the rims, ball joint flip, new locking hubs, KYB shocks all around, and Grand Cherokee coils in the rear (Moog cc782), I figure I may as well start documenting the transformation. So pics will continue to follow for my custom rock sliders, custom roof rack fab and install, front receiver hitch fab and install, grill mounted 22" LED light bar, aux radiator fan, dual battery install, stereo upgrade, and paint.

Here is where she sits after the first 5-6 weeks with her. More to come as I tear into her!
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby btw1549 » Tue May 12, 2015 10:38 am

I like that color a lot! Nice work so far, looking forward to see where you continue the journey!
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby wmorrisiii » Thu May 14, 2015 9:40 pm

Troopers are as close to the perfect hunting vehicle you are going to find. Good for dogs, guns, and dead birds. :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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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Tue May 19, 2015 7:10 pm

Today I added a jerry can holder. I'll be mounting my license plate and light to the outside of the holder.

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Added a 12" Aux fan and 22" LED Bar

Postby jc_in_az » Fri May 22, 2015 2:36 am

Next additions this week....

I picked up some power folding mirrors from a junk yard. I lucked out that they were the same green as my truck instead of the black ones I already had. The wiring was already in the truck, and once I added the switch, I now have some power folders in green!

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I added a 12" Auxiliary fan to help with creeping down hot AZ trails in the summer. I'm thinking about adding another one to the left to compensate for the lost grill opening from adding the LED bar seen below.

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I also mounted up a 22" CURVED LED bar. That upper opening was screaming to be filled and it was the perfect size. I'll be adding a mechanical temp gauge so I can closely monitor the engine temp. If this LED bar makes things heat up, I'll pull it out and find a new home for it.
HERE is the LED bar

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In the event I need to remove the LED bar out, I picked up a green grill from a 2000 Trooper at the junk yard. It's a bit different than mine, and I like it!

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That's it for now. I'm in the middle of a bunch of other mods right now. The interior of the Trooper is mostly disassembled for running wire everywhere. More to come...
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Hood Lights

Postby jc_in_az » Mon May 25, 2015 12:17 am

Needed some light under the hood. I originally bought a basic incandescent utility light (with switch), but then came across some 12 volt LEDs, so I tied them all together.

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After dark....

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby cptcljerjr » Sat May 30, 2015 9:44 pm

awesome work
how much louder is the trooper with the aftermarket air filter ?
any noticeable HP gains ?
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Sat May 30, 2015 10:09 pm

I haven't driven it yet. I'm doing a bunch of other things to it at the moment, so can't account for any gains. Honestly, I doubt there will be any noticeable improvement. I just cleared up room for the 2nd battery.
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Dual battery and dual fans

Postby jc_in_az » Sat May 30, 2015 10:27 pm

The next stage is just about complete. Added a 2nd aux fan and added dual batteries. Still need to wire the switch for the fans and selector switch for the batteries (Dual charge- Off - Self Jump).

Here's the battery holder. It was tricky fabbing this up. I wanted to use existing bolt holes, but they were all at different depths and goof angles.

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Battery in the tray
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All wired up with 200A fuses
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2nd Aux fan installed (1 10in and 1 12in).
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby matthew996 » Sun May 31, 2015 11:58 am

Looking good! I have two Troopers and love 'em. Never been stuck and have been the only truck on the road after a blizzard.

I'm debating a second battery for my diesel. I took my electric fan off since it was drawing too much juice and put the clutch fan on for now. I was thinking of putting an aux electric fan in the same spot you did. How did that go? How is the fit and wiring? Any problems? Do you have it on a manual switch or temp?

Thanks! - M
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Sun May 31, 2015 12:15 pm

I haven't put the fans through their paces yet since my truck is parked with ongoing projects.
I am wiring them to a manual switch for supplemental airflow when wheeling down hot AZ trails.
As for fitment, the fit is very tight with a 12" and 10". In hindsight, I should've got two 10" fans, but I had the 12" one first.
I wired them as pushers. It's really straightforward.

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:50 pm

Today I installed 1.5" coil spacers on the Moog springs and removed the rear sway bar. Here is how she stands. I turned up the t-bars a bit, but will put a few miles on it and then see how she sits. My goal is to have it rake down 1" lower in the front once all is settled.

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I also installed some flush mount LED lights in the rear bumper. I have them tied to the reverse lights and also to a separate switch in the dash. It came out pretty good, I think.

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jwood1016 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:56 pm

Automatic Trans?

How does it like the larger tires? Looks good!
John

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3 inch lift and 33's
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:06 pm

They are 33" x 9.50". Yes, it's an automatic. No problems so far with the tires, but I don't drive it much since it's still in "upgrade mode". ;-)
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:01 pm

Installed switches for the various lights around the Trooper. A ton of wiring and soooo many relays!!! I still need to build a set of crossover bars for my roof rack to sit on, then I can connect up the lights overhead.

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:03 pm

Some new wheels to change the look.

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby beto » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:16 am

Man I love all that you have done to your trooper. That light bar turned out great, and I´ve wondered for a long time how would a set of those flush leds would look on the rear bumper. At one time I was looking behind it and I was not sure if there was enough room to fit the flush leds behind it. Yours turned out great!. Wheel/tire and suspension mods look awesome too.

Keep the updates coming! :thumbright:
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Lifetime Led Headlights // RigidIndustries Dually D2´s // Aisin Hubs // 4 LED Roof Spot Lights // OEM Yakima Roof Racks // Airtec Snorkel // K&N Filter
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:36 am

Let there be LIGHT!!!
I installed four 12in LED light strips inside for added illumination. I'm more than happy with the results!

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:39 am

beto wrote:Man I love all that you have done to your trooper. That light bar turned out great, and I´ve wondered for a long time how would a set of those flush leds would look on the rear bumper. At one time I was looking behind it and I was not sure if there was enough room to fit the flush leds behind it. Yours turned out great!. Wheel/tire and suspension mods look awesome too.

Keep the updates coming! :thumbright:


There was exactly the right amount of space for those flush lights. The hardest part was getting my hand behind the bumper to hold the nuts on the bolts. Other than that, no metal cutting required; you only need to cut the plastic bumper.

Thanks for the compliments. Still several more mods to come!
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1999 Trooper Front Hitch

Postby jc_in_az » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:19 pm

I fabbed up a front hitch so I have a place to mount my front winch cradle, have more recovery points, and a place for the hi-lift to jack from. I used 1/4" steel when, as many gussets as possible, grade 8 bolts, and bolted to the frame ends and the factory tow hook mounting points. It took me 2 days to squeeze this in. I'm happy with the results!

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I also upgraded to a newer-model grill insert.

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New Seats

Postby jc_in_az » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:21 am

Pulled these out of a wrecked Trooper today just so I could get those coveted inner armrests. Only ran me $100 for the pair!

I called a couple places to get quotes on reupholstering to match the factory fabric seats, and was hit with $500-$700 prices! No Thanks! So, I ordered custom WetOkole seatcovers for them. They are power seats, and looks like my truck is wired to plug-n-play with them. Heading back to the auto yard tomorrow for the heated seat switches. I just hope the wiring is in place for that option!

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Trooper is off getting repainted this week, so lots more pictures to come once I start bolting everything back together!
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New Paint

Postby jc_in_az » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:07 am

So I got it repainted. Went with Toyota 6H9 color and Herculiner on the bottom.

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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby floatzilla » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:40 pm

All of this is so awesome! I envy your build. I just bought my trooper about 2 months ago and am getting a lot of inspiration from yours, just waiting on funds to start coming in. Have you started your roof rack yet? That's my first project I'll be working on after I get my front axle shafts back together.
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Re: 1999 AZ Trooper project

Postby jc_in_az » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:07 pm

floatzilla wrote:All of this is so awesome! I envy your build. I just bought my trooper about 2 months ago and am getting a lot of inspiration from yours, just waiting on funds to start coming in. Have you started your roof rack yet? That's my first project I'll be working on after I get my front axle shafts back together.



Yes, I got the brackets welded up. It's off getting powdercoated right now, and should be ready in a day or two. Will post pics once installed.
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new seatcovers on junk yard seats

Postby jc_in_az » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Latest modifications...

Here are the new seat covers on the seats I pulled out of the junk yard. They are Wet Okole. I love the color and feel of them.

Luckily, my truck already had the wiring for these new power seats. Unfortunately, they didn't have the wiring for the heated feature... but here in AZ, that's not a major issue.

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