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New Owner 2008 Trooper needs help

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I just bought a 2008 Trooper T2 not knowing much about them. On this one the owner said the horn doesn't work, the winch never did work and during inspection the rear brake lights didn't work. He said he replaced the rear light pods recently and the brake lights worked before. He said the fuse module is corroded so he bypassed it and rigged up his own switches for the fuel pump and radiator fan. I see in the wiring diagram the horn and rear brake lights are on the same circuit. Now I am worried the problem is in the wiring harness.

I have the wiring diagram from the online manual but I can't make any sense of it. I see lots of posts about wiring issues and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the issues I see with these machines and am regretting buying it.

For now my main concern is to get the brake lights working so I can drive it to some nearby trails. I would appreciate any advice on how to go about diagnosing the problem or workarounds. Also if there is a better wiring diagram out there that might help. I would consider hiring someone local to diagnose it so any recommendations are welcome.


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Difficult to troubloeshoot from a distance.  The problem now is even if you found someone knowledgeable on your machine, the wiring mods the previous owner did will make it difficult to troubleshoot.   And off-brand rides mean we have to be our own mechanics.  Local support is rare.  Sounds like the person you bought your ride from tried to bypasss the problem areas instead of fixing them.  Has this ride been in deep water?  Corrosion usually occurs at the connectors.  Go through the whole machine and try to look for corrosion at the connectgors.  Check the brake light switch on the brake pedal to see if it is out of adjustment or a broken wire.  The winch control switch just pops out of the dash with a small flat blade screwdriver.  See if the connector came undone.  Also check the winch control relay.  I'll presume the winch motor is okay.  You might not be able to get a new fuse module, but I would try to clean the fuse connector as best as I could.  I think that's where most of your issues will be.  The brake light and horn should be on different fuses.  I don't know where you got your wiring diagram, but Joyner-USA.com has manuals for your machine.  I saw a post where the first 50 Troopers had a different signal flasher than the following units.  I don't know if there were any mid-year changes that would make troubleshooting your machine difficult.

http://joyner-usa.com/  may have the manuals you could use (free to download - pdf format)


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Hi Dan,

Thank you for offering advice. I spoke to a friend who has RZRs and he recommended a local auto shop that he uses for electrical problems so I am taking it there tomorrow. If they can't figure it out I'll check on the things you suggest. The previous owner said he could get a new fuse box but you have to get a new wire harness too. I suspect it was expensive so he opted to do the bypasses. He only used it for hunting so maybe he didn't care about fixing it properly. Anyway will post the outcome.

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Well I am so thrilled to find out the brake lights were working all along. The problem was they weren't shutting off because the pedal wasn't fully returning to close the switch. All along I thought I was seeing the running lights. A little cleaning and lube fixed the problem. Also the winch is now working. The battery tie down was touching the solenoid which caused it to short. A small modification fixed that problem. I feel so much better now that I know it wasn't the wire harness. Next is to get a shim kit for the sloppy steering.

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We took it out for our first ride and quickly discovered a loud banging noise when we go over bumps. Today we were with a friend who was following and he said the right rear wheel is bouncing freely. Evidently our Yearben shock is bad. So I looked up the Yearben shocks on this forum and see this has been a problem with these shocks. It also appears they are not repairable. If so I just bought myself a white elephant. This has been a nightmare experience for me. Anyone want to buy a Trooper for cheap?

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  • 2 weeks later...

FYI, I took my shocks to "Shock Therapy" in Phoenix to have them rebuilt.  I was informed today that they cannot be rebuilt. One of the parts is welded and another issue is one of the seals/o-rings would get damaged if they tried to replace it. This confirms what was said by one of the regulars in this forum who tried to rebuild these shocks.

So with the shocks not being repairable I have been looking for replacements for the Yearbens. No one sells them individually. You have to buy a set of 4. Not happening. Some forum posters have had success with FOA shocks. Will be looking into this option. Their shocks are slightly longer than the stock Trooper shocks (24" vs. 23") but can be made to work with a limiter strap. FOA sells limiter straps.

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I can't get anyone to answer the phone at FOA and they don't reply to my messages. Also I've learned that the FOA shocks are 24.5" long (pin to pin) extended whereas the mounting brackets on the Joyner are 23" pin to pin when the swing arm is at it's lowest point (touching the axle). Thus I cannot install the FOA shocks unless I compress them first. Also I would have to install limiter straps which requires welding. I am not equipped to do these modifications. Another option is to weld on new shock mtg brackets to fit the FOA shocks but again I am not equipped to do that. It would be a big deal to have the modifications done by a shop. I don't believe it is financially justifiable to invest more money than necessary in this vehicle.  Thus it looks like the best option for me is to buy OEM shocks. I can get them locally. I'll run it with the OEM shocks for a year or so then sell it if it doesn't fall apart. I'll lose money on it but not as bad as if I were to buy better shocks.

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Now that I have the wheels and shocks removed I can see the oil filter is easily accessible. It looks like you would not be able to access it unless these parts are un-installed.  So I decided now is the time to change the oil and filter.  So I look to see where the oil drain plug is and there is no way to access it through the bash plate underneath. They did not provide a hole to change the oil! I am dumbfounded. There is not enough clearance between the drain plug and plate to do anything. How am I supposed to change the oil in this thing? Just let it dribble out onto the bash plate and let it find it's way out? What a pile.

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One more rant I have to make. The seller said the OEM seat belts would come loose when you are riding so he took them out and installed lap belts like in a car.  I wasn't thrilled about that but I didn't give it much thought. After riding in the machine a couple of times I now realize these lap belts are absolutely unsafe in a rollover. You need shoulder harnesses in these machines. I see in the forum this has been an issue with these machines.

A friend gave me a set of racing harnesses but they are too wide for the openings in  the seats. So yeah, now I need to spend more money because of the low quality of these machines.

PS, the owners manual says very clearly the roll cage on these machines are cosmetic. They are not designed to protect you if the machine rolls over.  They don't mention that in the sales brochures. Folks, if you buy Chinese you are literally risking your life!

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I have the the same problem with my bash/skid plate.  I think they installed the skid plate, then installed the engine.  They used nuts and bolts to install the skid plate.  I could loosen the bolts but then the nuts started to turn = couldn't remove the skid plate under normal procedures.  What I did is loosened the bolts, then inserted a thin pry bar between the skid plate and the chassis to bind the nut so that is couldn't turn.  I was able to remove all the bolts. I replaced the nuts with metric U-nuts.  They mount on ears attached to the chassis.  The U-nuts won't turn.

As for accessing the drain plug, I'm going to drill a large hole so as to access the drain plug.

Roll cages need diagonal supports.  There are other rides that have the same issue.

I can't speak of the Trooper, but my oil filter is easily accessible via raising the bed.  Your Trooper and my Renegade have the same engine now (as of 2014).  I have a concern about oil pressure at idle.  It's barely the limit of 10 psi at 1,000 RPM.  The common standard is 10 psi per 1,000 RPM.  I use 50 weigtht oil and that helps the idle oil pressure.  Above idle the oil pressure is fine.

I agree with the racing harness.  Can't easily access the storage compartment under the passenger seat.  Buckles too wide.  I bought my ride used off Craigslist.  The previous owner took out the 5-point harness and installed lap belts, too,  I reinstalled the harness and haven't had problems with them coming loose at the attach points or the buckle, not yet.

Working on the wiring is nearly impossible if I want to add electrical accessories.

My ride has an OBDII connector but is isn't a standard protocol.  My OBDII testers can't communicate with my machine.

I like my ride.  I don't have $20k, $30k, $40k for a fancy ride.  It's more of a utility/farm vehicle and not so much a sport vehicle.  It's just with Joyner, you may have to be your own mechanic as I've learned.  As with most advertising for almost anything, they put flowery words promoting the advantages of their products and not mention any negatives.

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Thanks for your feedback Dan. At least I know others have the same issues. Looks like I'll be dealing with the bash plate now too. I don't have a cutting torch so I'll have to drill a bunch of little holes to make a big one. That will require laying under it with drill oil and shavings falling on my face for an hour. I might consider pulling the plate if it isn't too big a deal. I wonder how the previous owner dealt with it. Maybe he never changed the oil. This machine has 4000 miles and the oil is pretty black. I would not be surprised. I can't ask him though because he knows that I know he cheated me by not telling me about the bad shock.

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Try to remove the skid plate the same way I did and replace the nuts with U-nuts.  Mark the location of the drain hole before removing, of course.  Drilled holes in my case seem to migrate from where I drilled them to stay.  When I remove my skid plate for my next oil change, I'm going to drill a BIG hole so that it can't migrate too far. (:<))

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  • 2 weeks later...

I drilled a 3.5" hole with a hole saw. I can get my hand through. I already had to use it after overfilling the oil. It is important to get your hand in because the drain plug is at an angle so not easy to thread it using a socket. I installed the clip nuts like you did but I couldn't use them on the 2 rear holes since they wouldn't align with the holes on the plate. At least I won't have to remove it any more.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: I have been experiencing a problem where the engine will suddenly start lagging like it is not getting fuel. It will sputter and stall when giving throttle and cannot be driven when it is doing this. At first it seemed to happen when it was hot.

I took it to a local auto repair shop and they ran several tests while it was acting up. They started looking at the ignition and thought it was bad spark wires or a coil.  Then they put a pressure gauge on the fuel line on the input to the fuel injector rail and found it was inconsistent, so they recommended I replace the fuel pump, filters and pressure regulator. The fuel pressure regulator gauge is constant at around 7 (=70 psi?).

I went ahead and installed a new fuel pump and it seemed to run well, so I figured it was fixed. However today the behavior happened again. I was not doing anything to stress the engine and it was not hot. I noticed the oil pressure warning light had come on when it happened. The oil pressure gauge is always at the very low end when it is running, ever since I got the machine. I originally assumed the sender unit was not working properly, but after running the machine a few times it seems to be giving consistent readings.

Now I am wondering if the engine has problems. The oil was very black when I got it and when I changed it there was a lot of metal on the drain plug. I don't know if there is some sort of safety mechanism that puts the engine in Limp Mode when the oil pressure is low.

At this point I am clueless as to how to solve this problem. It seems the auto shop doesn't know what to do either. There are too many unknowns. There are unknown issues with the wiring (previous owner says the fuse block is corroded). I don't know the history of the vehicle, i.e. how has it been maintained and what the default oil pressure should be. I don't know the intricacies of the electrical/mechanical system and I don't know the common defects. I am hoping there are others who have experienced this and have an answer.

One more thing to note: the previous owner installed an auxiliary fuel tank under the front cowling. It is connected to the the main fuel tank via a hose and T fitting on top. This T fitting is the one that originally connected the bypass fuel line from pressure regulator. He disconnected the bypass line and plugged it so as to use the T for the auxiliary tank connection. This may be the cause of the problem, but I doubt it since he would have experienced problems from the time he set it up and would have addressed it then.

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Problem solved. It turned out to be a failing toggle switch for the fuel pump (the previous owner installed a toggle due to a corroded fuse box). I had the behavior today and stopped as usual to let it reset. When I flipped the switch to start the pump, nothing happened. This is the first time it did this. Now I knew it was the switch. Put in a new one and everything is good. The reason the oil pressure light was coming on is the engine was starving for fuel which caused the idle speed to be too low to generate enough pressure to be at operating range. In hindsight this was not related to common problems with these machines so it probably won't help anyone, but fortunately it was not a serious issue.


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