Project WomBAT Buying Advice

Wo/man's Basic All-Terrain Trooper

Nov. 01, 2005 By Dr. Sean Michael

Buying Advice

The decision to go with our V6 was probably a good one. The engine is less prone to the head problems that can plague other Isuzu 4-cylinders. The two drawbacks that are associated with the larger motor are fewer miles per gallon and poor performance parts availablility. The latter is becoming less of an issue thanks to CALMINI's steady commitment to items such as a header, cat-back exhaust, etc.

One significant error in our purchase was ignorance concerning the model type, tires/wheels, and differential gearing. A person would be very well advised to search long and hard for an LS model (even with their slightly higher price tag) that was equipped with a limited slip rear differential. This step would prevent the need to install one later, and would also help avoid the expensive temptation of installing an air locker.

The second, and I would suggest most important issue, is to find a Trooper that came stock with 31x10.5 tires. These vehicles often shipped with 15x7 honeycomb pattern aluminum wheels and, more critically, 4.77:1 differential gears. This setup allows two important advantages over the more common 235/75/15 tiring with 4.55:1 gears. First, you will already have a fine tire with the 31s (compared to the 29" diam of the 235s) that most folks will never upgrade. Upgrading to larger tires often requires re-gearing the differentials or resigning oneself to sluggish acceleration. Secondly, the 4.77s allow the very realistic option of increasing tire size to 32s or even 33s while still allowing acceptable power. Again, if you are at all considering using your future Trooper for what it is capable of off-road, please look hard for one with 4.77 gearing and, ideally, the limited slip diff.

Please mail Sean Michael if you want to discuss this truck or its modifications. Newsletter
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