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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cannot believe I am even saying this, but my old girl may have finally seen her last day. Just went to make a quick run, fired her up and billows of steam were seen coming out the back. Yes, it is steam (I have replaced the head twice, so I know what I am looking at!) and that sickening sweet smell of antifreeze that comes with it.

So, with 413,000+ miles, Christmas around the corner and now the possibility of having to replace a head or at the least a head gasket, it may be time to put her out to pasture. I just don't know if it is worth trying to fix it up or not. Friend with a roll-back is on his way to get her and take her to the mechanic, so I guess I will find out the damage soon enough.

I swear, I feel like I need to cry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, it does. Just unloaded the toolbox and other stuff out of her and watched her ride away to the mechanic. I hope it is just a head gasket, which will be expensive enough, but I think I can swing that even with Christmas coming up.

Weird thing is she was dripping coolant onto the bed of the roll back when he pulled up. I haven't seen that before, so it may have blown the gasket and not the head. Who knows?

Sad day for me, but even if she doesn't see the pavement again, she will be by far the best vehicle I have ever owned.

Oh, and I am already looking at several different Troopers just in case. I have my eye on a nice '95, but I don't know much about them. Anyone have any tips on what to look/look out for in the '94-'98 range?
 

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Blackie had a blown head gasket when I bought him. The gasket breach was on the outer endg and the coolant was coming out from between the head and the block. keep your fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I hope it isn't too bad, but with that many miles, I am just not sure I want to put more into it. If it is a gasket and won't be too much, I will likely just fix it and keep driving. If the head is shot, the ONLY thing that may save me is it may still be under warranty. I replaced the head less than 100,000 miles ago, so it is a long shot, but possible.

I am not going to worry about it too much either way. I have my eye on a nice '95 and my BIL and his cousin both work in used car sales and are all up and down the east coast, so I know I can find another Trooper for a good deal if I have to. And I am pretty sure I will buy another Trooper before I will buy anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it is official. She has a cracked head. Apparently it is a bad one, too.

So, it looks like my old girl has finally died, as I don't have the $1300 to fix it and with over 413,000 miles, she really isn't worth fixing either. I am *possibly* interested in parting some stuff out, so if anyone is interested in anything, I will have about 4-5 days to get everything off that I can before I have to haul it somewhere. I REALLY don't want to scrap it, but unless someone makes me an offer on her as she is, that may be my only choice.

I will try to list the things here I think are worth something in a little while, but I have to go make some calls to get her ready to be picked up from the mechanic's place.

Sad, sad day for me. I have driven this Trooper every day since 1997. My children have never seen my drive anything else. I brought my youngest home from the hospital in this Trooper. I can't believe this day finally came, but I guess I always knew it would eventually.
 

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Sorry to hear that. But DAMN :shock: 413,000 miles dude! You should be celebrating. You gave that old girl TWO lifetimes. Just out of curiosity, how many miles did it have when you got it?

I would be sad too though. I get really attached to my trucks. They're part of the family like a good old hound dog, always there for you. Oh well, find another trooper with like 200,000 miles on it. It'll be like a new car. :lol: You can pull all the interior bits and things and swap them into your new one. She can live on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My BIL sells used cars. OK, well, he DID before the "Cash for Clunkers" did pretty much every dealer in. Anyway, he was barely out of HS at the time, working for this car lot across from an electrical company that had bought Troopers for all of their managers to use. He bought it from them in the fall '97 and she had just over 120,000 on her when he got it. At the time I had been driving my wife's old Nissan Sentra back & forth to work when the motor blew up in it. I called him to see what he could find for me and he told me about the Trooper. I remembered a friend in HS had an old round eye Trooper and he absolutely abused that thing and it kept on going, so I figured if they could survive that beating surely it could survive my daily commute. That was in September of 97, I think. Anyway, I brought it home and loved it. In December of that year I was on my way to pick up a Christmas tree when the timing belt went out. I wasn't so sure she was going to be a good one since I had barely owned her 3 months. But, I fixed that and kept on driving.

Since that time I have replaced the head twice, the second time because it was under warranty and cracked after about 50,000 miles. I replaced the radiator once, clutch once (at around 350,000 miles and the mechanic couldn't believe it was the clutch that came from the factory), replaced the fuel pump twice, clutch MC once, brakes at least a half dozen times & fuel filter probably that many times. Replaced the starter once and she has had at least 3 sets of tires since I bought her. Aside from that, the only other thing was regular oil changes. Replaced many a vacuum line and one alternator, but that is it. And she lasted me 14 years and let me put almost 300,000 miles on her myself.

Yes, she has been a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The bottom end on these motors are strong as an ox, but the heads are the weak point and when your cooling system clogs up or isn't working properly, they warp and crack. Aluminum heads and design flaws are what I have always heard. I personally think it is a combination of the two.

In my case, I am not sure what the issue was because I have been keeping a pretty close eye on the cooling system since learning about the overheating issues. All I can figure is the head itself wasn't great and it just failed. Who knows?

Still, even with the issues with the head, keeping a vehicle that long, driving it almost every single day and it not having any other major issues for over 400,000 miles is pretty dang strong. I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it.

And I just found out the friend who is towing it is going to let me keep it at his house (he has about 10 acres with a shop, etc.) as long as I want to get the parts off that I want to sell off. So, if anyone has a part need from an '89 2.6L with the 5 speed, let me know. I won't leave it at his place long, but I will try to pull some stuff off before we move her.

Oh, and I JUST put two brand new Goodyear Wrangler Radial AT's on it. They still have the blue on the lettering they are that new. Literally bought 3 weeks before she died, so they don't even have 500 miles of wear on them yet. The other two tires are also Goodyear Wrangler Radial's, but are a little older and have about half their tread life left. 235/75/15's, IIRC. They will definitely come off and be sold!
 

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Sounds like a bittersweet end. That's an incredible amount of miles, let alone the driving! Makes me miss my 89 all over again. Good luck in your search for a new one.
 

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Littlejon said:
.....................................Oh, and I am already looking at several different Troopers just in case. I have my eye on a nice '95, but I don't know much about them. Anyone have any tips on what to look/look out for in the '94-'98 range?
If simplicity and reliability are important, I would personally highly recomend staying AWAY from 1996 & up models.
Now some might, no, some WILL disagree with me I am sure. But as to the 2nd Gen Troopers, the electrical system became greatly more problematic on the OBD II ('96 & up) Troopers. NO FAULT of Isuzu! STUPID EPA did that. They allready had a VERY fuel effecient 3.2L engine that is stove bolt tough and a simplified electrical system in the 1992-1995 models. But was that good enough for the EPA,,,,,Noooooooooooooooooooo! :evil:
ANYWHOOOOOO, I think, in spite of me owning a '94, that the 1995 Model Trooper is the absolute "Best of the best". Wider track, still simple electrics with only ONE O2 sensor (Compared to 4 O2 sensors on '96 & up models!)
But any Troop from '92-'95 that has been well maintained, has little to no frame rust, and has reasonably low miles should make a good 'Zu for you. OH!!! And get one with the 5-Speed! The 4L30 GM Auto trans SUCKS in these trucks.
Oh sure, when they work, they work good enough. But WHEN it goes out, hang on to your wallet!
And servicing the auto trans is just flat out a STUPID long process! (Search that, You'll see what I mean!)

Sorry to see the good 'ol 89 go.
Was the body & frame too far gone for just transplanting in a GM 2.8 or 3.4 v6?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a few '95's that I am looking at right now. I have always wanted a 2nd gen and I knew the ones after '95 were problematic. Didn't know about the tranny, though. Mine was a 5 speed, so it isn't like I am not used to driving one of those! Problem is most I am looking at are automatics. Just how bad are the auto trannies in the 95's?

Thanks for the heads-up! I will be talking to the BIL and wife's cousin this week about looking out for one. With all the car shows they put on up and down the east coast, surely they can find me something I want!
 
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