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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to this forum, and Rodeos/Passports.

I’m looking at replacing my trusty old Mitsubishi pick up (365,000 miles with virtually no repairs, still using the original clutch) with a Rodeo/ Passport. I’m hoping for opinions from this group.
I’ll use the Rodeo for pulling a light trailer (generally under 1000 pounds), family trips, minor off road, and my wife will probably use it in the winter some. Having a low tolerance for automatics I’ll find a 5 speed unit. Other then that I’m thinking a 95.5 to 97 model fits my needs best.

What are the pros and cons of the three generations (92-95.5, 95.5-97, 98 on)?
What should I look for in buying a used Rodeo / Passport?
On a 96-97 model what are the specific things to look for?
Thank you for your help, I look forward to users thoughts on this.

11,467 Posts
Hi and welcome to the planet (I just always wanted to say that :D )

I'm still learning all the things to watch out for in different years so those more knowlegable can probably help you there.

I bought my rodeo to replace my mitsu pickup as well (143k miles but had been totalled and repaired and I was just getting tired of it). One thing I can tell you is if you want the feeling of comparable power then I would go for the 96 and up range. Thats why I went for the '99 that I have. Had the most HP that I could afford. My mitsu was a '90 with the four banger and the rodeo has more oomph to it so I would think the '96 should feel about the same.

1992 140 HP 3.1L SOHC v-6
1993-95 175 HP 3.2 SOHC v-6
1996-97 190 Hp 3.2 SOHC v-6
1998-99 204 Hp 3.2 DOHC v-6

What sold me on the rodeo that I have is the guy I bought it from (buys repos and fixes then sells them on the side) had replaced the clutch, timing belt, and water pump so I knew I wouldnt have to worry about them. Little did I know the previous owners did very little maintenance so I have been doing alot to get it back to where it should be.

Premium Member
3,580 Posts

riverunner said:
...On a 96-97 model what are the specific things to look for?
Beyond the usual stuff…

--- Belts
--- Hoses
--- Split CV boots
--- maybe the Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing - etc.

…one not-so typical thing does come to mind:

Excessive engine noise... Specifically: listen for a valve tick on the passenger-side bank of the engine. --- The Isuzu 3.2 SOHC is practically notorious for it… in fact, you’ll probably have a hard time finding one that doesn’t have some degree of valve clatter â€" but that alone is not always indicative of a major problem, and shouldn’t necessarily be considered a deterrent to purchasing… it’s just the nature of the beast.

If it goes "Peck-peck-peck-peck-peck" the prospective vehicle might only require an oil change with the Isuzu Technical Service Bulletin-recommended Mobil 1 full-synthetic 5W30 to get rid of it...... But if it goes "PECK-PECK-PECK-PECK-PECK" or maybe even "PECK-PECK-PECK-PECK-PECK", to the point that you can't drown it out with the radio, you might want to look elsewhere.

Just so you know - My 1997 started exhibiting the infamous tick at about 57,000-miles, and it has sometimes gotten disturbingly loud (primarily upon first start-up on extremely cold mornings) â€" but at 106,000+ miles and counting, with regular oil changes every 3000-miles with nothing but Mobil 1 ZeroW40 (a personal choice in oil weight)… so far, so good.

Hope this helps!

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