Project: Stratotrooper

JLATBEACH

New member
I'm the original owner of a dark green 1994 Isuzu Trooper with about 150,000 miles on it located in Southern California. It has a manual transmission and pretty much no additional option. Tires are in decent shape, shocks and clutch have been redone. It has been sitting for a while though and the paint shows it. It has a salvage title due to someone cutting me off years ago. The insurance company didn't want to deaI with fixing the front and just cut me a check which I used to get the truck fixed as there was no damage to the frame. I just bought a Provan Tiger and I need to make room in the driveway. So, very sadly, i must now part with my beloved Trooper. Im debating whether to try selling it or donate it to a charity. Thoughts?
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I'm the original owner of a dark green 1994 Isuzu Trooper with about 150,000 miles on it located in Southern California. It has a manual transmission and pretty much no additional option. Tires are in decent shape, shocks and clutch have been redone. It has been sitting for a while though and the paint shows it. It has a salvage title due to someone cutting me off years ago. The insurance company didn't want to deaI with fixing the front and just cut me a check which I used to get the truck fixed as there was no damage to the frame. I just bought a Provan Tiger and I need to make room in the driveway. So, very sadly, i must now part with my beloved Trooper. Im debating whether to try selling it or donate it to a charity. Thoughts?
join https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421877591402618/ it'll sell. Sounds like exactly the kind of trooper I would love to get, except for the location.
 

SRN

Adventurer
Phase I:

Well, the machine shop has determined that it is not a lifter. They suspect that it is the cam chain tensioner. I'm a bit suspicious of that diagnosis for two reasons. First, this is one part that they did not replace because it wasn't in the rebuild kit. They had told me that they looked good to them, so I gave them the go ahead to use the OEM parts; thus making it easy for them to say, "Hey, it's not under warranty because you told us to use the original parts." I guess foolish on my part, but I trusted their judgment. Second, I would think that a broken tensioner would rattle rather than tick. And without pulling stuff apart, then how can they be sure.
Now, I can't tell if the tensioner is hydraulic. If it is, then I guess that it might suffer from a similar situation to the theory about the lifter; where I hit 5k, it over pressurizes and then loses tension. The ticking does seem to be less when the oil pressure is up and worse when it is low. I suppose that could also indicate that the tensioner has issues? But, if the tensioner is not hydraulic, then one would think that it would make noise constantly. And I'm really not having much luck finding information about the tensioner.

Here are some pictures that I found, of the tensioner if anyone is wants to offer an opinion.



 

SRN

Adventurer
Phase I:

I was able to get a new tensioner from a guy on Planet Isuzoo and with the holiday behind us, got to throw it in last night. The original tensioner was clearly jammed in one position. I pulled it apart and cleaned it up and now it seems to work; which to me indicates that it was probably gummed up with debris. But rather than use the old part, I threw the new one in.



In addition to chain tensioner, I checked all the cam cap bolts to ensure they were torqued properly, and four of them were not. One was only hand tight! I don't want to bad mouth the machine shop too much, because I've done business with them in the past and never had an issue and they've been nice and helpful with trying to diagnosis this issue; but I've kinda lost confidence and I doubt that I'd go back to them again sadly.

I also pulled off the passenger side valve cover to check those cams, they were good. I then got everything buttoned back up, hopefully took care of the leak I was experiencing as well, and fired it up. I tried to get it to tick again, but thus far nothing. I also adjusted the throttle a bit and the response is way better. With the new chain tensioner in I was willing to really get on it finally and WOW, I can definitely tell that I have way more power than I used to! Let's just say that triple digits was doable before with a good run. Now, I got there in a pretty short distance with pedal to spare in 5th.

I'm going to hold off saying that this issue is resolved until I've put a couple hundred miles on it; but I'm really looking forward to Phase I being done! This is the heavy lifting, very frustrating phase. Phase's II and III are the fun stuff!
 
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SRN

Adventurer
I'm the original owner of a dark green 1994 Isuzu Trooper with about 150,000 miles on it located in Southern California. It has a manual transmission and pretty much no additional option. Tires are in decent shape, shocks and clutch have been redone. It has been sitting for a while though and the paint shows it. It has a salvage title due to someone cutting me off years ago. The insurance company didn't want to deaI with fixing the front and just cut me a check which I used to get the truck fixed as there was no damage to the frame. I just bought a Provan Tiger and I need to make room in the driveway. So, very sadly, i must now part with my beloved Trooper. Im debating whether to try selling it or donate it to a charity. Thoughts?
Put it on Planet Isuzoo. You should definitely sell it.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I liked a shop until I pulled a motor they had replaced a valve cover on and saw that it wasn't seated correctly in the rear.

Trust until you have a reason not to.
 

SRN

Adventurer
Phase I:

I've put around 250 miles on the clock since replacing the cam chain tensioner and the ticking noise is gone! So happy about that. But, one issue is resolved, another crops up. I am now experiencing an issue with hard starting. Happens whether it is warm or cold; but it can really struggle to start, like its starved for fuel. I checked the pressure regulator, and it holds vacuum fine. I put a pressure tester on the fuel line and it gets to spec (41psi) and then slowly drops. This is consistent with a bad check valve; which of course is part of the pump assembly. Also explains why its really hard to start in the morning, but coming out of the store it only struggles for a moment.
I have found that if I prime the line by turning the key to get the pump going, but not starting three times and then cranking it seems to start OK. But that obviously is not a long term solution. I've got a few more tests to run on sensors and I'm going to replace the pressure regulator to make sure; but I have a sinking suspicion it's that check valve. Time to start lubing up those tank mount bolts... goodie!
 

SRN

Adventurer
Very impressive rebuild.
Thanks, its been a good experience. I've rebuilt a couple Samurai motors over the years, but nothing quite this extensive. I've been a shade mechanic my whole life, some of my earliest memories are handing my dad tools to work on his Renault 5; but this project has put every bit of knowledge to work and I've had to learn a ton as well!
 
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