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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have consistently checked craigslist for the past few years for good deals on Isuzus and have called about a few. I had the 95 trooper limited a few years back that was fun and I made some decent money flipping it, but nothing since then. There was/is a $500 first gen, but it has paperwork problems and has an issue with the starter, so I passed. Last week, I saw an ad for a 96 rodeo 4x4 for a decent price and he had a lot of the parts to fix it, so I went to look at it. The ad said it needed a rear window and front axles and tie rods (which he had, just not installed yet). When I got there, I could tell it was rough! I It was caked with mud and wouldn't start due to a dead battery. He had taken it to Aetna Mountain (northwest GA) about a year ago and then parked it. I brought a battery to see if it would start and the fuel pump seemed to be out. With starting fluid, it fired off for a second.

The guy said he was moving to Florida at the end of the month and needed to offload all of his projects/old vehicles. I gathered that the rodeo was his first vehicle and he has had it for about 10-15 years. His father was a mechanic and he is a motorcycle mechanic (went to MMI in Florida), so he said he took good care of it mechanically. I had my reservations because he also said he flipped it in his front yard after taking it over a jump :shock: I believed it!

I weighed through it and figured that I could get it running with not too much work, so I made an offer below his bottom. He said he was turning in his 2 weeks tomorrow and might be out of a job, so he didn't have time to wait for a better offer and he accepted. I loaded it up on a trailer the next night and brought it home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I towed it home on my moms parade float trailer with my frontier. When I unloaded it, it ripped part of the trailer off with the rodeos trailer hitch... Oops! Sorry mom!! I welded it all back and no one will ever know...

A quick couple tests let me believe the fuel pump was the no start issue, so I checked the local parts stores. $120+!?!? Uh no. Rock auto was $15, FTMFW!!!! I ordered tie rods and the center adjuster as well as a new strainer. Parts showed up in two days and I commenced to dropping the tank.

Removing the fuel tank was a PITA. those screws were impossible to get to and most were rusty/stuck. I then googled the POs area code and got Virginia...great! I got the tank dropped and out from under the vehicle. Then I realized that some dummy decided to use screws to hold the fuel pump in... That didn't work, so I used vice grips. 3 of the 8 broke...

The fuel pump went in last night and tank is reinstalled. It fired up around 1:15 this morning and I drove it to get gas! Next is getting it through emissions and registered before doing the front end work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Replaced the tie rod last night and took it to the emissions testing center today at lunch... no pass because it was "not ready." Ok.... so what do I do? "drive it." But it's not registered? "You have to put it through the drive cycle so it can check all of its sensors." Ok...how long should I drive it illegally? "I can't tell you that; I'm not a mechanic" GAHHHH!!!!! ok...

Anyone know how long I have to drive this thing before its officially mine and I can dump money into it?
 

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Run at least 3 drive cycles,see if that works. Thanks for saving another RODEO . Should be nice when done with repairs. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input, but I am a bit unclear on the duration of a "drive cycle." how long is that?
 

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Start ,run through the gears,stop,turn off. do this 3 X . May work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oh ok, I've drove it last night and to work this morning. Its running great and I went through the gears just fine. I've put over 30 miles on it since I failed, so I'm hoping it passes at lunch today!
 

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Hope that works, if not ck for cel codes. Good luck,Tony Clean the maf,egr valve,air filter,ck all sensors plugged in good.
 

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N law said:
I towed it home on my moms parade float trailer with my frontier. When I unloaded it, it ripped part of the trailer off with the rodeos trailer hitch... Oops! Sorry mom!! I welded it all back and no one will ever know...
Someone will know! :D

Seriously, this thing was a steal!! Makes me want another trooper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Passed emissions at lunch today after about 50 miles! He only had it plugged in to the OBII port for about 10 seconds, which was about the same as when it failed, so I assumed it failed but it didn't! Ran over to the courthouse and paid the fees and taxes to get it in my name. No sooner did I prop the plate in the back window, it wouldn't start... I need to replace those battery cables! Thank goodness that happened after the emissions testing or else they would have thought I disconnected it to clear codes and I would have failed again!

I'm glad that's behind me, now I can start working on it for real!

Chris, you need a project to be frustrated with again! Go to advanced search in the top right and search all posts by your name; read. Then go look at your new car and smile that you haven't had to do any transmission work to it!
 

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Glad she running now with paperwork! ECM had to learn I guess. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It was awesome and warm enough today to put the parts on the truck. I got out the CV axles from the box the PO gave me but quickly noticed that they were the same! Well, I hoped that the CV styles were the same, as I have read up on my VX that some after market CVs have a different design and require you to replace the green cup. Since both CVs were the short side, I decided to see if it would work by keeping the green cup attached. All new ball joints were also included! I removed the whole hub and got the driver side removed and reinstalled. Quickly followed was the passenger side. Since I had replaced the passenger side tie rods and center piece, the rodeo drove a little wonky, so I decided to let it out a bit to correct the pulling it was doing. It's better but not quite there yet. Since I have all of the front end pieces on now, I could possibly take it to the place by work that boasts a $25 alignment.

As an added bonus to this deal, I found the receipt from the POs O'Reillys parts order that I inherited. He had a $75/ axle core charge! I'm getting $150 back!!! I stopped by the nearest store today but they said they could either put it back on the card or I could come back when they had enough cash in the drawer to issue a refund. I'll go back tomorrow instead of putting it back on his card!

I also took it to the car wash and blasted the funk and mud off of it. It went from about a 3 to a 5 just in doing that alone. This evening, I pulled the front seats and the center console and vacuumed the carpet and scrubbed at the stains. It's better but not done yet.

Still left to do:
1) replace back quarter glass
2) replace radio, ashtray and ashtray surround.
3) replace front market lights.
4) find out why the brake, airbag and rear ABS lights are on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Photos added
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Last photos for the time being.
 

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Glad to see another one saved :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
RamAirZ said:
Glad to see another one saved :)
Just took a double take! Holy cow! Welcome back. Did you have a nice vacation?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Drove the rodeo to work a couple times this week. It's been a blast but I'll be glad when a few of the parts that I ordered come in. I have new mirrors coming so I can see on the drivers side and won't be seeing double in the broken passenger mirror! The radio is sorely missed and my little handy talkie radio has an fm receiver, but it doesn't do well inside a vehicle. An exhaust is in my future as well.

I had an impromptu meeting with a contractor we work with and he said he saw me driving a "jalopy" ther other day with a duct taped window... I admitted that I had, but I don't think he understood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Successful day at the pull-a-part! I got all the loose interior parts that I was missing, along with stock speakers (hope they are good... The PO took the speakers and head unit out...). I got front and rear bumpers as well as both from fenders! The kicker- the two rodeos I picked were the same color as mine! It was a blast but I could not get the rear side window glass out of the donor. I'm pumped!
 
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