August 25, 2011

Impulse Refresh - Stage 2

After I got the radiator out, I removed the A/C condenser, the turbo intercooler and the air filter box and associated pipes. This is what she looked like under the hood.

In Japan...he who dies with the most mods wins.

Somewhere there is a 2nd gen Trooper buried under all this stuff...

Big Red

Looking for pics online as usual, I found this weird (modified I assume) 1st gen Trooper turned roach coach (actually, it appears to be a mobile crêpe stand, very popular in Japan). Pretty crazy, as the front clip and hood are obviously from an early Trooper, but the slope of the front fenders and subsequently the bonnet are both completely non-Trooper-ish. So its really hard to say how this vehicle was Frankensteined together. Either way, it is definitely an oddity.

August 24, 2011

Cool Proton VehiCROSS RC Model

Random find on the Internet.

Impulse Refresh - Stage 1

After I took ownership of my Impulse in August of 2010, I drove it for a few months and then it became quite apparent that a full engine restore was in order. The radiator had been leaking coolant and the motor was leaking oil from somewhere (everywhere?). 

First step was to pull the radiator. The hole you see here is where the temperature sender sensor goes in.  You can see just how full of brown gunk it is.

August 22, 2011

Awesome link to one of my favorite blogs!

VehiCROSS Front Axle Rebuild

Here are photos from my recent from axle rebuild of the VehiCROSS.  After 100,000 miles, the outer CV boots finally cracked, and my inner axle seals were leaking.

August 19, 2011

August 17, 2011

Isuzu Trooper Magic II

I was cruising the web this afternoon and I ran across a Trooper referred to as the "Magic II". A quick search yielded some pics of what appears to be a special edition turbo diesel Trooper called the "Magic II", released in what seems to be most of Europe.  From the looks of it, these Troopers came with a special black paint job, a nice factory roof rack, factory flared fenders, Isuzu "snow flake" wheels, a "Trooper Magic" spare tire cover, and a brush guard.  And it also seems that they came in both LWB and SWB configurations. Again, another special Isuzu never sold in the United States.

Going topless...only in Europe?

Well, not quite. Isuzu America at least gave us an option with the Isuzu Amigo/Rodeo Sport. You had options for a removable hard-top shell or a fold up soft-top. This feature put the Amigo/Rodeo Sport into a niche that appealed to those who enjoy the outdoors and the fresh air. I personally would choose an Amigo over the full size Rodeo because of this feature entirely.


August 15, 2011

VehiCROSS Shoes...

I bought my VX with bald, original tires. So right away, new tires were a must.  Still living in Chicago, with not a gravel road for hours, I opted for whatever the tire shop had that would fit my stock 18" wheels.  I ended up with a set of 255 55/R18 BFG g-Force T/As that looked like this:

August 12, 2011

A rare look at the Isuzu Unicab

Its not even a dream- no, that would mean that it is attainable.  Its more of a fantasy: the Isuzu Unicab. Never sold in the US, and rare as hen's teeth everywhere else, this VW Thing-like answer to the Willys Jeep is Isuzu's militarische little buggy that was sold in the late 1960s/early 1970s (in Japan and I think only a few other Asian countries). These images were gathered by me from various sources on the Internet.

August 11, 2011

Racking it up with the VX

If you are lucky enough to have a VehiCROSS with a set of OEM Yakima crossbars (Wing Style Roof Rack), then you most likely want to put them to use.  Right after mounting the OEM roof rack, you realize that they look a little unfinished where they attach to the rails on top of the VX. So I decided to fix this and cut the roof rail caps so that they could still be used with the crossbars.  Here is how I did it.

1) So the first step to create these custom roof rack covers was to mock up a duplicate rail cover out of cardboard. I tried to find a piece of cardboard that was as close to the thickness of the original plastic covers as possible. I took the roof rack towers and traced around the edges to get a rough estimate of where I would have to cut out. I did this also with the metal bracket that holds the towers down.

Trooper Transformation, yesterday, today, and beyond...

Even before I bought my Trooper, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look.  I knew that once I got one, I would begin customizing it straight away. At the time, I really thought spray painting the entire thing would suffice.  And while the end result was more-or-less exactly what I was after, I realize now that the spray paint job was probably a big mistake.  Spray paint simply does not hold up to the elements.  Over the last couple years, the high desert sun has beaten the color down to a duller shade of what it was originally, leaving me with a splotchy and uneven finish. So don't spray paint your vehicle! (unless of course you don't mind redoing it every couple years)

Very soon, I will begin a complete remake of my Trooper, and one of the main things I plan to do is get a real paint job.  For now though, I will post these pictures of the original painting process and transformation.  These photos really illustrate how you can change the look and feel of your 1st gen Trooper with just a few simple things.

Here you have a normal looking white 1991 Isuzu Trooper. This is my Trooper still in the previous owner's driveway, the day I bought it. He had previously installed a Calmini 2" lift kit and also added the humongous (and completely discontinued) Con-Fer roof rack.  Both of these mods were a major selling points for me.  That, plus the fact that the Trooper was in otherwise immaculately clean condition.  You will also notice that the previous owner began what I will ultimately turn into a very nice custom winch bumper.

Isuzu Piazza (Impulse) Japanese Brochure

Check this out!  Original scans of the Japanese Piazza brochure.  I love the image of the retro-futuristic dash. (click the images to enlarge them)

August 10, 2011

VehiCROSS Cosmetics...

So I will start off with a post about some of the various small cosmetic changes I made to my VX early on. Some of these modifications might also be functional, but most of them were done strictly for looks.

May 2006: One of the very first things I did to my VX was to remove all the factory badging. This gives the VX a very clean look, and it also makes it that much more mysterious. Being debadged meant that I would get asked about the VX on a weekly basis going forward.  Five years on and it has never changed.  After all of the badges were painstakingly removed using a hair dryer and dental floss, I added a "VX" custom grill badge. This remains the only clue as to what the vehicle is.

Welcome to the Blog!

Greetings! At long last, I have completed the construction of my new site,  Here in the blog section I will be posting information about my Isuzu vehicles, along with history, trip reports, modification details, maintenance tips, how-tos, and additional photos.  To get started, I will be going back and updating this blog with summaries from my previous website as well as new discussions and information about all the mods and changes I have made to my Zus over the years.

Using a blog format to achieve this will make keeping my information updated much easier, because for me, constantly maintaining and updating websites has become a tiresome chore over the years.  Instead of sitting in front of the PC, I would much rather be in the garage working on my Zus or out driving and enjoying life!

This blog utilizes the already familiar and popular Google Blogger back-end, so fellow enthusiasts can subscribe and keep track of what’s going on here.  So, please subscribe and spread the word!  And by all means, feel free to post up and let me know if you see any problems, or if you have any suggestions.  Maintaining a fully customized blog is new to me, so let me know if you have any ideas!!