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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im wanting to upgrade to a 3.5 direct injected engine. Will consider any that came with that engine. Just wondering what years and models are preferable for having the best mechanicals and such. I just read a thread stating the 04 axioms had an Asian trans versus older models having the 4l30. Wondering if this holds true for rodeos, troopers, and VX as well. Now, I dont have any problems with the 4l30,, so is the asian really that important? Any other detail changes that make certain years and models more preferable? Did the 3.5 have any improvements, or power increases in its production run?

Thanks!
 

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Well as i'm sure as you have read the 2004 Ax has 250hp vs 230hp in the 02/03 AX. The 2004 comes with more chrome, espicially on the rear hatch and front grill. It also has one of the newer radio antennas on the roof, you know the rubber ones as opposed to the metal wire atop the fender. I do not like these changes in the 04, it seems "cuter" IMO. Also for 2004 you lose the power button which changes gears so it revs a bit more for briskier acceleration. You also lose the cassette player in 2004's. This is very important to me. I bought one of the adapters so I could plug in my ipod. With the interface of the Ax's adding an aftermarket AUX plug may be a bit difficult. And the transmissions, I have 165k on the 430le. Expect the servo cover to break. EVERY AX owner I have met(yep, all 4 of them) have experienced trans problems. I assume that is the only new Isuzu you were looking at, or were you asking for info on the Trailblazer/Colorado? I would not want an 04.
 

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My personal opinion is that Aisin transmission in '04 Isuzus is the most important upgrade in the recent years. The difference between 4L30 and Aisin is really significant, and I'd consider '04 year over any other year.

VX and Trooper were produced till 2002. There were no Aisin-equipped Troopers or VXs, between 1991 and 2002. Only Rodeo and Axiom came with Aisin.

So, the choice is between Rodeo and Axiom. Both are very similar vehicles in terms of size, comfort, driveability, etc. I've owned both Rodeo and Axiom. There are several differences which you have to consider:

1) All 2004 Axioms were equipped with 3.5DI engine and Aisin transmission. But only some 2004 Rodeos had the same engine and transmission, some had older 3.2 engine and some may have other auto transmissions (but I am not sure about transmissions). So, buying a Rodeo, you have to check, personally, which engine/transmission combination is has.

2) Rodeo's body styling is better (my opinion). Visual lines are better. Front approach angle is better. Fitting larger tires is easier on Rodeo. The trunk is more "rectangular" on Rodeo.

3) Axiom's transfer case is better, period. There is TOD, that is very handy on slick winter roads. And the Axioms' transfer case has approximately 25% better ratio than Rodeo's (~2.5 vs ~2.0), and it is really important for slow 4-wheeling.

So, it comes to your preferences. If the vehicle is primarily intended to be used in Southern states and not much off-road trips is planned, then I'd take the 2004 Rodeo. In other cases, I'd take the 2004 Axiom.
 

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:idea:
Step 1: Purchase a Flux Capasitor at O'Reillys while they are still on sale today
Step 2: Find a Delorean for sale somewhere, or reskin your current ride with all stainless steel sheetmetal.
Step 3: Obtain a nuclear reactor. Can probly find one on E-Bay from Osama Bin Scrappin
Step 4: Install reactor, flux capasitor, and lots of blinking lights that do nothing.
Step 5: Set timer (Can borrow granny's old alarm clock) to read 1995
Step 6: Drive vehicle to precicely 88 MPH. When the Flux Capacitor turns solid white, you will beam back to 1995
Step 7: Purchase a 1995 Trooper, swap stanless steel sheetmetal, reactor, & FC over to Trooper
Step 8: Reset timer to 2011, repeat step 6, and VOLA! You now have a new awesome Isuzu!

* Special note: You will need aproximately 1 mile strech of flat road to get the 1995 Trooper up to 88 MPH. *

:geek:
 

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While I don't have the 3.5L engine...I do have experience with the aisian warner as well as the 4L30 transmission.

The aisian warner you're looking at is the same transmission that's in my 04 tacoma; while I don't have any actual *issues* with it, I will say that it tends to darken the ATF fluid faster even with just casual dd. This truck has yet to ever serve time offroad.

That said, I have 2 rodeo's with the 4L30 auto tranny; both have lived a life of heavy offroad, towing, etc. One has 350k miles, the other has 200k miles transmission has never been opened on either one. Their ATF fluid always stays clean; all 3 trucks use the same Castrol Import ATF fluid and get changed every 15k miles, without fail, the fluid out of the aisian will be much darker.

So as to the overall benefit of the aisian....that's left to be seen on my end anyways. My tacoma's Aisian transmission has a LONG ways to go in proving itself to be any better of a transmission then the 2 rodeo's.
 

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Ramblin Fever said:
So as to the overall benefit of the aisian....that's left to be seen on my end anyways. My tacoma's Aisian transmission has a LONG ways to go in proving itself to be any better of a transmission then the 2 rodeo's.
I have two friends with Isuzus. They broke 4 (four) 4L30 transmissions among them, in just few years. A dead transmission on an off-road trip is an exceptionally inconvenient thing, trust me. This is quite a record. While your vehicles may be an unusual wonderful exception, I'd still not rely on it.

I have a plenty of fellows and friends with Monteros (basically, the same Aisin transmission as 2004 Rodeo/Axiom have). They 'wheel hard, having up to 35" tires. Neither one had any transmission problem.

Aisins may last longer for a simpler reason: changing fluid in Aisin is about 17 times easier (according to other accounts, it may be 26 times easier) than in 4L30, and probably Aisins for that reason are not neglected by their owners. Drain the old fluid, put back the drain plug, and add the new fluid through the top tunnel - that's it. Nothing like dirty gymnastics (similar to the women mud wrestling sport) that accompanies the 4L30 fluid change.

Also, I believe that Aisin is simply much beefier.

JLEMOND as far as I remember was talking about Aisins here on forum and his opinion is very high about them.
 

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holger said:
Ramblin Fever said:
So as to the overall benefit of the aisian....that's left to be seen on my end anyways. My tacoma's Aisian transmission has a LONG ways to go in proving itself to be any better of a transmission then the 2 rodeo's.
I have two friends with Isuzus. They broke 4 (four) 4L30 transmissions among them, in just few years. A dead transmission on an off-road trip is an exceptionally inconvenient thing, trust me. This is quite a record. While your vehicles may be an unusual wonderful exception, I'd still not rely on it..
I know a dead transmission is an inconvenient thing, we've been there with friends who have owned toyota's, fords, etc.

I have been able to rely very greatly upon them (4L30 transmission) for 20yrs in one truck and 14yrs in the other truck...
But I am the exception, as I am the original owner of both and I'm not rough on my vehicles like I've seen a lot of owners.

I've seen a lot of people literally tear the crap out of a vehicle and beat the heck out of it..thus...if one's going to mostly get a truck for offroad use, yes...get the aisian warner or a 5-spd.

I"m not doubting that the aisian might be a stronger transmission, however, the original poster was asking for experiences with both transmissions....I have both transmissions in my driveway.

I can change the transmission fluid in my dipstick-less rodeo just as fast and clean as I can in my tacoma's aisian transmission....probably cause I've been doing it so long.

Don't get used to the dipsticks being around long....tons of the newer vehicles, including the 05 asian warners, in toyota's anyways, have gone with closed tranny units, i.e. no dipsticks.

I will never truly get to tell you how good the longetivity is of the asian warner, however, because the toyota will never leave the blacktop aside from our muddy driveway.

I don't honestly care at this point if the aisian is any stronger, as I've gotten well over 500k miles of use out of 2 4L30E transmissions...they've proved their reliability to me.

That said....while I like the aisian warner transmission, I don't care much for the newer Isuzu vehicles in general....the DI engine doesn't impress me much.
 

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IMO, the Axiom looks like a mini-van runt. I never really liked them. Certain newer years had "big nut" front ends on them, meaning, you can never convert to manual hubs and the CV's are always turning with the wheels. Not a big deal for some though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Allright, thanks for the opinions. I like the Axiom, just because i already have a 2000 rodeo, and though nothing against having 2 rodeos,, my wife might think thats a bit over the top. I might,, might be able to sneak an axiom in.

04 axiom are holding price and hard to find!
 
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