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R2.8 Isuzu Trooper

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  • R2.8 Isuzu Trooper

    I've been wanting to put an R2.8 in a mid sized SUV of some sort since I first heard about them. Kind of narrowed it down to a 90's Land Cruiser, late 90's Grand Cherokee, or late 90's/early 00's Trooper. Found a Trooper this morning with a really nice body and interior that I couldn't pass up on price. In truth, I think the Land Cruiser might be a little big and heavy for a 2.8 as I don't want it to be a dog (Land Cruisers frequently get 6B and 4B swaps) and I wasn't super excited about the Grand Cherokee, so it looks like I'm going down the Trooper road. Want to have something nice that can be a daily driver and a 30MPG road tripper, and be able to pull trailers. This Trooper is an Auto and I want a manual, six speed preferably. Whats everyone's favorite manual trans for the R2.8 requiring the least amount of expensive adapters? Not sure if I will keep Isuzu axles. Trans and T-case almost certainly not.. One thought was to find an older manual Cherokee for parts and use the whole trans, t-case, axles. Almost any option will require custom drivelines I reckon, that seems like a given.

    Thanks for any transmission etc ideas!

  • #2
    Some questions
    what speed do you want to cruise at?
    what gearing are you running in the trooper?
    what side drop is your transfer case front output yoke, drivers side or passenger side
    is your rear output yoke centered?
    30 mpg in a boxxy trooper is unlikely


    • #3
      The Trooper IFS front axle is a passenger side diff, rear is centered.
      Existing axles are 4.30
      Ability to go 75 would be nice, though most driving will be 65 or less. Probably 95% will be on Highway. Ideally 2000-2100 RPM at 65 I would think.
      I highly doubt I will retain the existing Isuzu trans and T-case. Their trans aren't rock solid as I recall and I don't have the time to build my own one-off adapter.
      My research yesterday seems to be confirming either the manual AX15 or an Auto 6L80E. Not sure what side the 6L80E t-case output is on, but it sounds like AX15 is going to be on the left, so I'd need to do some axle research and swap along with it. I'm leaning towards a manual, but a daily driver for the wife she'd lean towards an auto, so the jury is still out on that decision.


      • #4
        I went with an atlas 2 transfercase behind the 6l80 to work with a passanger side drop front axle. Dana 300 or Toyota are the other passenger side drop tcase options.


        • #5
          Anyone tried adapting to Toyota R150 gearbox and T-case? It would seem like that would be one Advanced Adapters and Axis would have on the shelf.


          • #6
            Not sure what your budget is but some thoughts.
            i run an NSG 370 six speed manual connected to an 241 OR transfer case, it has a 4:1 low, my drop is drivers side. I run 3:89 gears and 35” tires so with my setup i see 2250 rpm at 70 mph, my jeep weighs about 5300 lbs., final drive is .84
            so there are a lot of factors to play with.
            One combo is an Toyota H55 with split case transfer case
            another is and NSG 370 with 2spd atlas
            or AX 15 with atlal or dana 300
            all are manuals with overdrive
            the theme here is you need an overdrive
            autos can be 4 l60, 8l60, 8 spd mopar i think there are adapters for many of the transfer cases noted
            my ideal would be a double overdrive with an atlas, then you can run 37” tires and low gears while still being able to crusie at 70