I’m in need of lifting my 1994 isuzu trooper that I bought as a project car–214,000 miles and kinda rough around the edges, but runs strong and shifts great and all for $900! anyways, I need to lift the trooper as I’m planning on doing some light to moderate off roading and would like some suggestions on how to lift the vehicle. It has shocks and struts in both the fron and the rear, but no leaf springs, so I was wondering if you can just lift a car by replacing the stock shocks and struts with larger ones? (and relocating lines and everything) or is this overly simplified? any suggestions would be great!
I would be wary of that. The 2nd Gen Troopers aren’t known for their ability to stay right side up. Lifting one would only exacerbate the problem. Anyway the front suspension is a torsion bar setup and the rear has coil springs. A good lift kit will run around $1500-$2000. I’m guessing you’ll want to stuff some bigger tires under there as well. Plan on regearing the diffs, plan on spending about $600 per axle. This isn’t the easiest vehicle in the world to lift, and there’s a reason why you never see a lifted 2nd gen Trooper.
I think its obvious to say that any lifted vehicle has a tendancy to not "stay right side up" and is a risk I'm willing to take. It has a lot of clearance already and I can fit some beefy tires on it now so I'm not looking to go more than 3 inches, so would a body lift be a good option? Also, what is a torsion bar and is it necessary?--sounds expensive. Regardless, I plan on doing most of the work myself-I have acess to a car lift and basically all the tools i would need to do the job so any explanation on the complexity of installing a lift would be great as well. For any other posters, I forgot to add this in the original post but PLEASE don't tell me not to lift my car-I understand the risks and benefits and to me the benefits outway the drawbacks--afterall, it was a $900 dollar car so I won't die if it doesn't work out as planned.
Head over to www.planetisuzu.com for details, but doing a 1.5 - 3 inch lift is pretty easy on an Isusu. The front can basically be lifted for free by cranking up the torsion bars and lifting the back requires pretty inexpensive lift kits. https://www.independent4x.com/merchantmanager/index.php is one place that specializes in Isuzu stuff.
However, that said, depending on your definition of light-to-moderate, I’d say you might not even need a lift kit. You’ll want to check at the first site I linked to, but IIRC, you can put 32 or 33" tires on a completely stock Trooper-- that alone will give you a couple inches if you’re currently running the 225/75/15’s that are the stock tire.
Also, lifting these puts a lot of stress on the independent front suspension setup, so unless you spring for improved components (I believe Indy4x sells 'em), there’s a good chance of breaking tie rods, torsion bars and CV axles if you get overly ambitious off-road. Isuzus are pretty capable off-roaders for stock trucks, but I think they’re not necessarily the best platform for building a serious off-roader. Not really because they’re any worse than any other IFS truck out there, just that there’s really not a lot of folks making aftermarket stuff for them.
Read all about torsion bars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsion_bar_suspension
I have a lifted 1995 Bronco myself; I do know a thing or two about lifts. I was just stating that the 2nd Gen Troopers were prone to rollovers even at stock height; a lift will just raise the center or gravity even higher. I will say, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but if you’re not even sure what suspension your vehicle has, this probably isn’t the best project to cut your teeth on. To do a lift right, you’re going to have to spend around $2500, if not more. I would avoid the temptation to crank up the torsion bars to gain lift; this puts alot of stress on the front suspension. As I mentioned before, depending on the size of the tire you go with, you’ll likely have to regear, if you don’t the vehicle will be very lethargic. Additionally you may want to consider a locker for the rear axle, I have a Powertrax No-Slp on mine, I would recommend it to anyone, it’s very quiet and streetable.
Lift from your knees, to avoid damaging your back.