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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, heres a brief history on my 98 rodeo.

About 3 years ago my buddy bought this 98 rodeo off his aunt, it was running great. He drove the **** out of it, and it started burning some oil. 2 years ago he wasnt paying attention to the oil level, and blew up the motor at 140,000 km. He paid P&G auto in north bay 3200$ to do a motor swap, including the motor. After doing the swap P&G must have noticed that the torque seal was leaking, so they put some paper towel in the bell housing where the inspection plate is so they didnt have to change it. Well, my buddys been driving the **** out of it and towing stuff all the time for the last 2 years. While towing the ice hut from the lake to where he was storing it, the tranny started slipping so we pulled over immediately and noticed there was brown tranny fluid all over the ground. He said he wasnt going to put another dime into it and offered to sell it to me, i bought it. From here we drove it to my cousins (about 10 km away) and it was doing allright as long as we didnt push it. A couple weeks pass by, and i decide i was going to try to drive it to my grandparents (40km awayish). It got about 4 kms and then i was slipping and wouldnt move. Let it cool down, and it would move a bit again, but i decided not to. I got my cousin to tow it from this point to my grandparents. I drained the fluid (dark brown) and refilled it with dextron III. I noticed that it seamed to be leaking from the torque seal, so i pulled off the inspection plate to see what i was dealing with, and this is where i found the paper towel and a lot of very thick tranny fluid (almost a gel form). So, after refilling it with fluid, i decided i was going to try taking it down the road and back, and see if the tranny is working now. I had first gear and reverse, and that was it. Drained the fluid again, again it was a dark colour, so i refilled it and took it for a spin again. Did this a few times, now i have reverse, 1st, and 2nd, but no third or 4th. 1st works while in "D", but it wont shift. If i manually shift it to "2" itll go into 2nd. When i manually shift it into "3", it wont shift into third. After going on a test ride i always check to see fi theres any fluid leaking from the torque seal, but it doesnt appear to be leaking at all. A few times there was a fluid leaking, but it was very clear, and watery, with a slight tinge of brown and dirt. I think this liquid is just some water that gets up in the bell housing and then drains down and brings a bit of the gunk thats in there with it. Also while going on these short runs, the "Checks trans" light starts flashing.

Anyone have any idea's? I got this thing for a good deal, but ill be damned if i pay someone to rebuild the tranny. Ive done a lot of searching, and ive seen that theres some problems with the 3rd gear drum, also a sensor thats on the drivers side of the tranny that often needs to be cleaned. Depending on the price of a rebuild kit i may attempt to do it on my own. To do the trans filter do you have to remove the cross member? i took a quick look while under there and it appears as you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haven't tried winter mode. Next time I'm at the vehicle ill give it a shot. What exactly does "winter mode" do?
 

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Winter Mode causes the PCM to reconfigure the transmission start off in third gear instead of First. BTW is the CEL on? A flashing trans lamp with and without the Cel on can be useful in troubleshooting. Most often it can indicate a transmission electrical problem.
 

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If the fluid is that brown/dirty, transmission's most likely toast.

If your friend didn't change the fluid at least every 25k or so, then a failed tranny's about right....if one is using these trucks for towing, the fluid needs to be refreshed every 15k miles at most, IMHO.

Has the paper towel, etc been removed and replaced with correct seal?....this brown fluid you're speaking of, are you sure it's not ATF leaking from somewhere?

Also, are you sure you refilled the ATF level correctly....it's a bit tricky to do correctly.

The range mode sensor won't cause this type of issue; not to this extent.....the longer and more frequent the truck is being driven while slipping will only further the damage/burning of clutch packs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ramblin Fever said:
If the fluid is that brown/dirty, transmission's most likely toast.

If your friend didn't change the fluid at least every 25k or so, then a failed tranny's about right....if one is using these trucks for towing, the fluid needs to be refreshed every 15k miles at most, IMHO.

Has the paper towel, etc been removed and replaced with correct seal?....this brown fluid you're speaking of, are you sure it's not ATF leaking from somewhere?

Also, are you sure you refilled the ATF level correctly....it's a bit tricky to do correctly.

The range mode sensor won't cause this type of issue; not to this extent.....the longer and more frequent the truck is being driven while slipping will only further the damage/burning of clutch packs.
It was used for towing only a few times a year, and it was lighty duty (his trailer with his artic cat 650 or the ice hut). So it was nothing too crazy.

The paper towel was at the bottom of the bell housing, but yes, i did remove it. Not i havent taken the transmission off to change the torque seal, as i dont believe its worth the work if the tranny is ****ed.

Yes im refilling the atf level correctly. Remove top bolt, remove bottom bolt, let it drain, put a bit of fluid in to flush the bottom of the pan, replace bottom bolt, fill pan until it dribbles out, let it warm up and dribble out a bit more, then replace the top bolt.

I hate automatic transmissions, especially ones made by GM. Their nothing but problems.
 

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98Issuzu said:
I hate automatic transmissions, especially ones made by GM. Their nothing but problems.
Not any more so then other makes/models, i.e. ford, dodge, etc.

I have a company ford ranger that's been through 3 transmissions, never towed a day in it's life. Truck only has 200k miles on it.

My 2 rodeo's have the same auto you do, one has 340k miles, the other has 200k miles....both trucks have towed a 4,000lb boat for over 60% of their lifespans, have been used for off-roading, touring the country, etc.....both still shift flawlessly.

But I am the original owner of both, and have changed the fluid every 10-15k miles without question.

Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw, but I see/hear many of these failures occuring after the fluid has been allowed to turn brown, meaning it was in too long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ramblin Fever said:
98Issuzu said:
I hate automatic transmissions, especially ones made by GM. Their nothing but problems.
Not any more so then other makes/models, i.e. ford, dodge, etc.

I have a company ford ranger that's been through 3 transmissions, never towed a day in it's life. Truck only has 200k miles on it.

My 2 rodeo's have the same auto you do, one has 340k miles, the other has 200k miles....both trucks have towed a 4,000lb boat for over 60% of their lifespans, have been used for off-roading, touring the country, etc.....both still shift flawlessly.

But I am the original owner of both, and have changed the fluid every 10-15k miles without question.

Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw, but I see/hear many of these failures occuring after the fluid has been allowed to turn brown, meaning it was in too long.
Ive owned plenty of honda's that got VERY abused (common, its a honda) and never had a fluid or filter change in their life and at 400,000km, still operated perfectly. My fords have also had no transmission problems. Ive personally owned over 30 vehicles and have had nothing but problems with gm transmissions. Gm also likes to change stuff every single year. I had a 03 impala with the 4t65e transmission. The tcc solenoid would get stuck on when breaking (read: stopping) and when you would go to take off from the light it would rev up then smash into gear. After awhile it obviouslly exploded. When i went to replace the transmission, it cost me 1000$ to do the job myself because i HAD to use a 03 transmission. anything older or newer had different electronics. I have a friend with a 01 impala, same tranny, same issue. My cousin went through FIVE 4t65eHD's in his monte carlo ss. My other cousin went through SIX 4t60e's in his grand am's. These 4l30e transmissions are obviouslly garbage. i know several people with 4l60e's that have issues so much that they sold their vehicles. Only one person i know that has had tranny issues with a ford. and it was his own fault, he would put it in neut, hammer the gas, then throw it into gear. I just really wish that gm would get their **** together and produce a transmission that works properly.
 

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I'm surprised you bothered to purchase it, if that's how you feel about GM transmissions.

Good luck....have never had an auto transmission issue in all of my GM trucks, dodge trucks, or Isuzu's and Toyota's.

Mind you however, I"m talking heavy duty trucks with the GM versions, i.e. 4L80.

I'm more then old enough to have owned over 30 vehicles, but we run all of ours out to 300k before parting with them, so I can honestly say we've only ever had 10-12 vehicles over the years.

I won't and never have owned a GM *car*...only trucks or SUV's, have no use for a car with where we live; that said, I've never owned any car with the exception of a 85 hyundai it was a 5-spd however and lasted for 400k miles.

In your situation, you hate the transmission, so I'd either part the truck out, make good profit or alter it for a 5-spd set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ramblin Fever said:
I'm surprised you bothered to purchase it, if that's how you feel about GM transmissions.

Good luck....have never had an auto transmission issue in all of my GM trucks, dodge trucks, or Isuzu's and Toyota's.

Mind you however, I"m talking heavy duty trucks with the GM versions, i.e. 4L80.

I'm more then old enough to have owned over 30 vehicles, but we run all of ours out to 300k before parting with them, so I can honestly say we've only ever had 10-12 vehicles over the years.

I won't and never have owned a GM *car*...only trucks or SUV's, have no use for a car with where we live; that said, I've never owned any car with the exception of a 85 hyundai it was a 5-spd however and lasted for 400k miles.

In your situation, you hate the transmission, so I'd either part the truck out, make good profit or alter it for a 5-spd set up.
The only reasons i got it was because it was so cheap, and i thought it may be easily repairable. There is a 5 speed rodeo in a local pick-n-pull that ive been thinking about grabbing the tranny/ect to do the swap, but being jobless makes that a difficult feat. Theres only 3-4 other rodeos/passports here in town, so it would be impossible to part it out. If i dont fix it, its going to the scrap yard, which is pretty sad, because its had over 9 grand in parts put it in in the last 3 years.
 

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Anymore....no vehicle is cheap to fix. Believe me I understand the jobless issue too; our household income went from decent down to only $25k a year....our vehicles don't even get drove, only the company truck leaves the house except every other weekend to run errands.

I remember a few years back taking my rodeo in to the dealer for the drivers window to be fixed, the head Isuzu mechanic there was talking about how, for some reason, the 98+ yrs of the troopers and rodeo's were a lot more problematic in regards to both the transmission and the engines.

The transmission's internals on the newer models are slightly different, i don't know what exactly, but perhaps that has something to do with why the tranny fail rate is so high on the newer Isuzu's versus the pre-98 models.

The 98-99 3.2L Rodeo engines were built with a defect from the start, hundreds of them failed from the issue, others are still runnin strong, IIRC it was a weakness in the number #1 cylinder.

I do feel bad for your situation, hopefully it's not your only vehicle. Rodeo's and Troopers here state side are still VERY very common to see on the road, although I don't see any where I live except my own....then again, I live in a town with only 130 people :lol:

Keep us posted on what you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well at the moment im driving no vehicles because i cant afford insurance, so it not a huge issue that it isnt driving properly, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put it in winter mode and it does not move. I tried putting it in 1st gear and winter mode turned off. The cel is on, but I don't have a scanner yet, so idk what code it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
allright, so, im looking on ebay for rebuild kits, and im fixing all kinds of different stuff.

this one seams best :

http://cgi.ebay.ca/4L30E-ISUZU-HONDA-RE ... 558wt_1139

then

http://cgi.ebay.ca/1998-present-4L30E-S ... 1089wt_905

Its a SUPER overhaul kit...which means its great, right? lol

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ISUZU-TROOPER-TRANSM ... _500wt_922

This seams pretty complete, but idk if its missing stuff i need?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/4L30E-ISUZU-HONDA-AC ... 949wt_1139

this also seams pretty complete, and if i recall correctly transtec is a good name brand.

im also thinking of getting this shift kit which has the accumulator seal (which i CANT find locally) as well as the rest of the shift kit stuff. It also says it will "prevent Bell-housing gasket blowout", which is what happened in the first place, so id like to prevent that if im going through all this work.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/GM-4L30E-4L30-E-Tran ... 105wt_1139
 

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Based the info provided so far it is possible you have a defective 1-2/3-4 shift solenoid. You need to find out what DTC is set. A check trans lamp with the CEL on is consistent with an electrical problem. The 1-2/3-4 shift solenoid has to energize to auto upshift from first to second and for third gear/winter mode operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Buster28 said:
Based the info provided so far it is possible you have a defective 1-2/3-4 shift solenoid. You need to find out what DTC is set. A check trans lamp with the CEL on is consistent with an electrical problem. The 1-2/3-4 shift solenoid has to energize to auto upshift from first to second and for third gear/winter mode operation.
Is there a way to check it without a code scanner? i read in a transtec PDF that if i unplug the TCM i can try driving it manually. Would an electrical problem happen from low fluid? because it was shifting just fine till it started puking tranny fluid.
 

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You can retrieve DTCs using the flash code method. This method requires placing a jumper across certain pins on the OBDII port and counting the number of flashes displayed on the IP. Then locate a cross reference chart to tell you what the DTC number means. I can't tell you how to do this procedure as I always use a scan tool, if you search the forum you should be able to find the procedure. The shift solenoid problem and low fluid level are probably not related and the shift solenoid may not be the cause of the the third gear problem as well but it certainly can cause a problem with the 1-2 upshift. That is something that can be fixed without removing the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Buster28 said:
You can retrieve DTCs using the flash code method. This method requires placing a jumper across certain pins on the OBDII port and counting the number of flashes displayed on the IP. Then locate a cross reference chart to tell you what the DTC number means. I can't tell you how to do this procedure as I always use a scan tool, if you search the forum you should be able to find the procedure. The shift solenoid problem and low fluid level are probably not related and the shift solenoid may not be the cause of the the third gear problem as well but it certainly can cause a problem with the 1-2 upshift. That is something that can be fixed without removing the transmission.
Well, i tried searching for the flash code method and could only come up with odb1 stuff, couldnt find anything for the odb2. I flushed the fluid out again today and now first and second gear work perfect (second was slipping a bit before). I can not get into 3rd though, so im thinking it is the 3-4 shift solenoid. I wish i had a tranny code scanner to make sure... The other method of checking if its the solenoids is by disconnecting the TCM. Unfortionately i couldnt find it. First gen rodeo's have it under the drivers side dash, was no where to be seen in mine.
 

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There is no 3-4 solenoid, it is the 1-2 and 3-4 solenoid (Shift A) and the 2-3 (Shift B). When Shift A energizes the transmission upshifts into second gear. To get into 3rd, Shift B de-energizes. If the transmission is now upshifting from 1st to 2nd properly, the 1-2/3-4 solenoid is now working. The TCM is combined with the ECM on 2nd gen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Buster28 said:
There is no 3-4 solenoid, it is the 1-2 and 3-4 solenoid (Shift A) and the 2-3 (Shift B). When Shift A energizes the transmission upshifts into second gear. To get into 3rd, Shift B de-energizes. If the transmission is now upshifting from 1st to 2nd properly, the 1-2/3-4 solenoid is now working. The TCM is combined with the ECM on 2nd gen.
I was reading through the workshop manual last night, and now im wonder if it is actually shifting into second. Im able to get it up to about 60 kmph (40 mph) before it attempts to shift and slips. when i have the gear selector in 2 and im going 40ish, and i gear down to L, you can feel it shift down, so thats why im thinking im in second, but i could be wrong. The workshop manual says to unplug the TCM as well. I found the location, im going to play around with it on the weekend. Perhaps i can unplug the TCM part and leave the ECM part plugged in. We will see i suppose. I also believe that its purely a electronically problem. Can you access the solenoids from just taking off the pan and the filter? or do you have to dig further in?

first and second(i think) also work in drive now. Ive been flushing a lot of fluid through this tranny and every time it comes out black.
 
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