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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have always been a landcruiser guy. But, necessity dictates a more affordable alternative for my offroad exploits. Enter the possibility of an isuzu trooper. My max budget would be $5000, and I can pick up a pretty nice trooper for that price. And I know that there are people on here that are going to tell me to 'do a search' or just post a link to another thread somewhere. I am going to be searching (trust me), and any links would be helpful.

Here are my two options (within easy driving distance)

1) 1999 114,000 miles, appears to be in very good shape, has ugly chrome nerf bars (would be a quick removal), $4850 (may be able to get it cheaper, it's on a dealer lot). Looked like in the picture that the ABS light may be on, but haven't checked it out personally (will hopefully be doing so on Saturday)

2) 1994, unknown miles, seems to have the standard package, sunroof, etc. $1500

From what I've read so far, the pre-97 seem to be preferred, but newer, and assumed lower miles sure are attractive. Looking for thoughts and opinions for the isuzu gurus on this forum.

If all goes well, I may be a trooper owner by the end of the weekend.
 

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Welcome to the zoo!!! And don't forget the 1st Generation Troopers!!! (I'm a bit biased!)
 

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I would go for a pre-97 but thats just me and my personal opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you tell me why pre-97? I have read that they are easier to lift, and may be less prone to engine failure due to something to do with oil flow in the engine (though this doesn't seem to be an issue if you just check your oil once in awhile) Am i missing anything else?
 

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The 92-97 V6s don't have any notable problems and are quite reliable. Get a 92-97 Trooper with a manual transmission and you have a sturdy, reliable rig. The 98+ engines can be reliable, but generally require some attention to do so.

95 and newer have a 2" wider track which is nice for stability and suspension travel.

96-97 are all 190 hp SOHC, and OBD II if you care. 92-95 are 175 hp SOHC or 190 hp DOHC versions of the same motor, and OBD I.

There is no difference in ability to lift any 92+ Trooper. Perhaps you were thinking of the axle lockers...98+ have a modified 12-bolt axle for which the only available locker is ARB. There is an Aussie locker available, in addition to ARB, for standard 12-bolts, such as 88-97 Troopers have. It is a bolt-up swap to put a standard 12-bolt from a 95-97 Trooper into a 98+ Trooper if desired.

Also, if you want crawler low range gears, they are not available for 98+ Trooper. 3.07:1 low range gears are available from Independent4x for the MUA5 transfer case found in all 92-97 Troopers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. That is very helpful. So ideally I would be looking for a 95-97 with a manual tranny. The fates have provided me with a choice between a 94 and a 98, both autos....

Wish me luck!
 

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I think the conventional wisdom is that you can get a HECK OF A LOT of Trooper for $5k. I would expect something in the 95 - 97 vintage to be extremely low mileage and in near showroom condition, or, to already have lots of spendy mods done to it.

I'm very surprised at how many clean, mid-90's Troopers I'm seeing in the $1500 - $2,000 range. 1st gens of similar good condition in $1000 - $1200 range.

Goodl luck. Be sure to show off here what you eventually find!
 

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So ideally I would be looking for a 95-97 with a manual tranny.
On average, that is your best bet. Of course, individual results may vary.

The auto trannys can be reliable if maintained well. Problem is you usually don't have that info when looking at used vehicles...
 

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Everything everyone above said is spot on. So I will only offer this advice: TAKE YOUR TIME and use some of that budget to travel if you need to, to acquire the right Trooper. If you are not in a hurry and you are willing to travel a bit to find the right rig, you will come out with a VERY nice Trooper for your budget.

Always remember, dealers will be more, private party will be more realistic. Manual tranny 2nd gens are a bit on the rare side from what I have seen, but they are out there.

Bart
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I never have been good at taking my time, and I have to say, other than a few cosmetic blemishes (and minor rust) the 1994 is in fair shape with only 137,000 miles on it. I'm going to see if I can make some arrangements and go pick it up tomorrow. Best part, it is well under budget, which allows some change for....other things. It has some minor rust starting behind the plastic cladding on the rockers, a small spot below the rear drivers side window, and a small spot on the passenger side A pillar. There is a twisted up hangar shoved in where the antenna should be, smells slightly like cigarrette smoke, O2 light is on, the passenger window switch needs replaced, and the seller reports that the sunroof can be tempremental and not want to close sometimes (usually right before it's going to rain), but she showed me where the manual crank is.

It is not perfect, but it is over 17 years old.

There is no rust through on the frame (some surface rust that could easily be addressed), tires will need to be replaced next year (which is perfect, because I would want something a little meatier, but hate to replace new tires)
 

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Well if you pick it up post up some pics. I had an interesting way to deal with rust on a budget. You can check out my build in my sig and ask me if you have questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have confirmation that the trooper is mine. Unfortunately, I won't be able to pick it up until sometime next week. I do have a pic on my cell phone if I can find the right cord to hook it up to my computer. Very excited. The speedometer is not working, any body got any ideas on that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's not that I can't. It's that the less I spend the more I have for other things. And I'm not talking lift and tires. I'm talking bills and such, so if I buy a 94 trooper for $1500 vs. a 94 Land Cruiser for $4995, I have a lot of money left over.
 

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I was looking at LC's and found them to be expensive along with expensive parts.
Came back to Troopers and got a great one for a third of an LC.
Troopers really are a great way to go.
 

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I also looked at a LandCruiser recently and with the typical wheel well rust for a 83 and more money than I can get for my Passport now, along with only 12 mpg compared to my 22mpg, and the final fact that a basic lift for the Landy would be our of the question an Isuzu is the way for me to go now as well. Good call on the Trooper
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Plus, I have owned three land cruisers, and they are very expensive to own, hoping a trooper will be a low cost replacement.
 

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This thread makes me sad, as I'd drop my Isuzu in a heartbeat for a Land Crusier; especially since I just bought a gas saving car today to daily drive.

What exactly makes an LC so expensive? Above the terrible gas mileage I mean. Are we talking 70's and 80's here?
 

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I was looking at 80's.
In my price range $3,500-ish they all had about 225,000 miles and had been beat.
In contrast that much money can get you a nice Trooper, that has been well cared for.

The LCs were a very expensive rig new. Around $50K. They have depreciated over the years but the parts have not. In my research on iluvmud.com 80's owners said to plan on about $2K/year on maintenance. I'll bet Isuzu's are less than half of that.

So, mostly: bad mpg, expensive purchase, and expensive parts.

That and if you are over about 6'2" your gonna find them cramped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can get extenders for the seat slides to fix that though. I have owned an FJ-62, FJ-60, and an FZJ-80. they ar wonderful vehicles. I would definately own another one. They don't break often, but when they do, the parts are expensive. (almost $800 for an OEM PS Pump). I'm ready to try something else, and see if there is something that I would be just as happy with, that isn't as expensive. I'm super excited about this 94 I'm going to go pick up next week (as long as nothing changes).
 
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