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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just passed 100K with my 98 Rodeo (V6, 3.2, 2x4) today. I have kept it in a good condition and it runs good (little bit of knocking when it is cold and some oil consumption - I assume both are now considered as "characteristic of the truck" for Rodeos :) I hope that I can see 200K with this truck!

Now, I would like to ask the guru here about the maintenance items that I have to do. The timing belt, tensioner and the water pump seem to be the major items at this milage. What is the concensus on the milage to change these items? 100K? little more??? What happens if I dont replace the timing belt now and it quits tomorrow (let's say when driving on the freeway at 65 mph)? Lastly, how much should I expect to pay for the above work? Unfortunately, I can't do the work myself (although I wish I could)... Could someone recommend a shop in Southern California (Long Beach, Orange County area) for the job? I am sure the dealer would ask A LOT for this.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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Look a few posts down for the timing belt post by bigpoppax2. Should answer most of your questions about that. I dont know what it would cost, always did my own on my other vehicles. Only had my rodeo about a month and the guy I bought it from just put in a new belt and water pump.

As for other things..

Check brakes if they havent been replaced yet.
Check/repack/replace front wheel bearings if it hasnt been done.
Change serpentine belt if its old
Check all suspension bushings
 

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volki said:
Just passed 100K with my 98 Rodeo (V6, 3.2, 2x4) today. I have kept it in a good condition and it runs good (little bit of knocking when it is cold and some oil consumption - I assume both are now considered as "characteristic of the truck" for Rodeos :) I hope that I can see 200K with this truck!

Now, I would like to ask the guru here about the maintenance items that I have to do. The timing belt, tensioner and the water pump seem to be the major items at this milage. What is the concensus on the milage to change these items? 100K? little more??? What happens if I dont replace the timing belt now and it quits tomorrow (let's say when driving on the freeway at 65 mph)? Lastly, how much should I expect to pay for the above work? Unfortunately, I can't do the work myself (although I wish I could)... Could someone recommend a shop in Southern California (Long Beach, Orange County area) for the job? I am sure the dealer would ask A LOT for this.

Thanks in advance for the help!
Here's what I would suggest if you're looking for a major PM (periodic maintenance) on your rodeo, considering you won't be doing the work:

- Replace timing belt, water pump, and tensioner (~$350)
- Replace spark plugs (~$120? Platinum plugs at a shop will be pricy)
- Replace PCV valve and grommet ($40)
- Replace serpentine belt and inspect fan clutch ($50)
- Flush transmission with a T-Tec or equivalent machine ($150-$250)
- Change oil and filter and lube chassis (U-joints and prop shaft) ($35)
- Drain and refill front and rear differentials, and transfer case ($60)
- Flush power steering fluid ($40)
- Flush brake fluid and inspect brakes ($50)
- Inspect front wheel bearings, repack if necessary ($40-$400)
- Replace fuel filter ($50)
- Flush cooling system ($90)
- Lube body hinges ($40)
- Inspect suspension (bolts, bushings, and components) and chassis ($40)
- Check and set wheel alignment ($70)

Clearly, if you've had any of the above done recently (like at a 90k major service -- most of the stuff above is called for every 30k), you can cross that off. Note that the 100k service only calls for an oil change, timing belt replacement, and spark plug replacement (under normal service conditions).

Things that I can think of that are frequent trouble areas on the 6VD1 3.2l V6 w/ 4L30E automatic:

- intermittent "hard" shifting 2 <-> 3, usually happens more when it's cold: A/T range selector switch contacts get corroded or coated with dirt. Replace or clean range selector switch.
- Oil consumption due to clogged oil rings: clean or replace PCV valve, EGR valve and pipe, and air cleaner element. Remove contaminates from oil rings with AutoRX or SeaFoam.
- High idle, hesitation, stalling, and poor fuel economy due to cracked / leaking intake manifold gasket(s). Replace intake manifold gaskets, being careful to torque intake manifold bolts to updated (13 ft-lbs) torque specification.

The dollar figures I've included above are my *guesses* at how much an independent shop would charge for parts and labor, based on the insanely high average labor rate of $90/hr out here in coastal Northern California. YMMV.

You should also budget for a few extra dollars (say, 25% more than the estimate) because it's likely the shop will find a few other problems that you wouldn't normally notice (worn brakes, leaking axle seal, cracked CV boot, leaking valve cover gasket, etc).

While you're at it, you might want to do a poor-man's "fuel injection service" -- go to a local auto parts store (one of the independent ones, not a Kragen / Checker / Shucks / etc) and get a bottle of "Red Line SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner". Dump the whole bottle in the tank before your next fill-up.

If you continue to drive it without replacing the timing belt, water pump, or tensioner, any of the three might fail. If the timing belt fails or the tensioner fails and causes the belt to fail, even at 65mph on the freeway, you'd lose engine power, but no damage to the engine would be caused. If the water pump fails, it may cause the motor to overheat, which can lead to major damage to the engine (cracked / warped cylinder heads, typically).

I may have forgotten something, too, so I'm sure that a more Rodeo-knowledgable person might have a few more comments.
 

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i would change your spark plugs, but only use oem equivalents. ive heard many rodeo's dont like platnums. also change the plug wires. most of the stuff on the list above can be done my yourself, i.e. checking stuff. if it aint looking too swell, change it out. then a nice wash and wax may be in order, followed by a pat on the back :D
 

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I think the OEM plug in '98 was actually a platinum. The 2000+ had special Ion-sensing plugs and for sure you want to go with OEM on those, but I think for the '98-'99 a good quality platinum plug would the the way to go, but you don't _have_ to go with the exact OEM plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for the replies. Very helpful information indeed!

I will start looking around and getting price quotas from number of shops.

One last question I have: How does a timing belt fail? Since I have never experienced it, I would like to know what happens. Will I lose power (stall?) wile driving? I dont want to put myself and my family into a risky situation while looking around for a better deal.... I know.... just because the truck just passed 100K does not mean that the timing belt will cease immediately, but it is just me being "paranoid".
Thanks again for the help and your time
 

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The mechanism of failure for a timing belt is that the belt either stretches or breaks. If it stretches, the car will start to run roughly (not as much power, etc, misfiring, possibly backfiring, rough idle, vibration, pre-ignition/knocking, etc) depending on how much it stretches. If it breaks, the engine will stop making power, and the vehicle will lose speed until it stops. If the tensioner fails, the belt could slip teeth, usually one one of the cam sprockets or the crank pully. If this happens, behavior will be much the same as a stretched belt.

A broken belt would leave you stranded, as once it breaks the engine will not run again until it's replaced.

If you replace the water pump at the same time as the timing belt (recommended, if this is your first timing belt service @ 100k), this will also require that the cooling system be drained and refilled, so for a few extra bucks you can get the flush done at the same time.

The timing belt in your '98 Rodeo is rated for 100k miles under normal service conditions, so if you go a little bit over you should still be within a safe operating margin. Up over say, 120k miles, and I'd say youd be pushing your luck.
 
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