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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my wife won't stop stealing my Rodeo , and it's only 2 wheel drive, I've decided to get a Trooper 4x4. We'll give her car to her sister in law and give my wife my Green Rodeo.

I've seen too many 99+ Trooper 4 Wheel drives for $1k of less here in Austin or in Houston.
Most are really nice with a bad clutch or motor knock.

Was looking for any advice , suggestions , or things to look for when purchasing a used Trooper. Key note , this will most likely become my everyday driver and my off road toy.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Be weary of the knocks, the 3.5's were oil burners and a lot of them weren't cared for properly. I'd stick to one in need of a clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The one I was looking at is the 3.2 litter ( or so he says - Will look at it tonight ).
The knock he's referring to sounds alot like a timing belt tensioner.
If this is the case I would be anxious as this is an easy fix. It is a 5 speed with 4wheel drive.
99 Isuzu Trooper.
 

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fairchild
if you look either a few topics up or a few topics down in "general isuzu discussions", you will see one titled "3.2 SOHC 3.2 DOHC". read it. i've been enquiring about a trooper that i have my eye on. so i asked the members here for some advice on the engine differences.
from 1998 on, the troopers had a 3.5 DOHC. and, if you read other topics and posts, you'll read that a lot of guys mention that the 3.5 has oil burning issues. just something to think about.
we want you to be happy with your new trooper

cheers, john
 

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Pretty sure the 3.2 dohc had oil burning issues too. Piston rings get plugged up, and rather than letting that oil recirculate they can blow it out the exhaust. Does not happen all the time. Mostly on poorly maintained engines,, or when using really cheap oil. My 2000 rodeo has had that problem off and on. Sometimes really bad! Other times,, it dosent lose a drop between oil changes. Its intermittent. Best to closely monitor oil usage no matter what engine you buy into.
 

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The late models with the 3.5 are known to have oil burning issues, so that will be the likely reason for the rod knock. Those Troopers will most likely need a full engine rebuild. If you find one in good running order, they are fine I would think, just need to watch the oil consumption.

The next weak point is the trans. Its a good trans, but if not properly cared for, they can croak. I've known of at least 3 VXes with tranny failures. I'm sure its the same deal with the Troops.

Bart
 

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That could potentially be a good score !!! Do you know how to work on engines and stuff/routin maintenence ??? Lots of help and advise here regardless :).... My 00 amigo's 3.2 uses oil and I only have 52 thou on the clock... Sucks but it runs perfect !! I need an excuse to tear it down and drill the pistons and make the problem go away. Hope you find the pleasure and happiness most all of us have with our zoo's....!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So from what I've read so far,
1.) The guy apparently doesn't know what hes talking about or has performed a crazy 3.2 transplant
* If I understand correctly the 99 Trooper only comes with the 3.5 litter not the 3.2 correct?

I need to check out the motor as it burns oil and transmission fluid ( may have to do the safe flush of cleaning and reusing 1/2 the old fluid and adding lucas to get the seals brought back up )

Does this sound about rite?
 

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I think, and I may need correction here, but I think the transition year from 3.2 to 3.5 was 1998. So I am pretty sure all 99+ Troopers should have the 3.5. Now, if you do a search for 'burning oil' or 'oil consumption' you will find lots of threads on this issue. Personally, my VX has been burning oil for years and I have yet to find a solution that works.

Now, when you say burning transmission fluid, that sounds a little weird. Transmission fluid typically could only be disappearing if you have a leak. Usually what happens with these 4L30E closed transmissions is people neglect them and never change the fluid or filter. And the fluid will get '"burnt" up inside the tranny. If you look at fresh ATF comparted to "burnt" ATF, you will see what I mean. When it gets old and if it is run for too long, it will break down. Bunrt ATF looks like Hershey's syrup and smells "burnt" unlike fresh ATF.

The other issue is if there is a transmission leak like at the mode selector or pan, and it never gets detected or fixed, you can run low on fluid and then start breaking stuff.

Bart
 

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All Troopers '98 and up came with a 3.5.

Later model Troopers with manual transmissions are quite rare, so if you find a good-running Troop with only a bad clutch, snap it up!

BTW I wouldn't touch any 4L30E auto tranny that doesn't have new-looking oil and (if the vehicle is runnable) doesn't shift perfectly. A very complicated and expensive transmission to repair.

Knocks can come either from bad belt tensioner(s) or bad bearings. Usually a tensioner knock will go away at higher revs. Bearing problems typically get much worse as the oil warms & thins out, and you'll see oil pressure drop quite a bit from cold to warm. Wouldn't usually see the oil pressure problem if it's just a bad tensioner.

Oil burning problems may be treatable with a good dose of Seafoam carbon cleaner and Rotella diesel synthetic oil, but of course YMMV ! Later motors with the screw-in PCV valve had upgraded pistons, but I've heard of cases where they burn oil, too. Upkeep on the EGR system is very important on these, or they'll use even more oil.

HTH & Happy Hunting............ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok , so I read the posts that were pointed out , and thanks they were infact very informational.

So the 3.5 in this trooper has a bad bearing but it is a manual 4x4. After reading the posts I learned I can drop a Rodeo 3.2 in their ( which funny enough I'm about to have a spare motor ).

Still looking into the transmission though , just not sure it's a clutch. I went to shift it , with the motor off , and it didn't want to go into some gears. Starting to think they might have damaged the internals. Checked the Hydrolic fluid and it was low so I'm going to get some after work and try that.

Wish me luck guys. If all goes well , I will posting pictures of my soon to be new toy on here tomorrow night. ( oh yeah just bought a new camera too! )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok so this one ended up being alot more work then we wanted. Started it last night with $ in hand , oil was dumping out the rear main seal.
Transmission fluid was black and made me gag from the smell.
So we wrote this one off.

Going to look at a 94 this evening that needs a water pump. Hes only asking $600 for this one but it has car tires on it ....
Will let you guys know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok so no pictures yet.
We went and looked at 2 possibles.

1 X 99 Tropper 4x4 with the 3.5
Motor was dumping oil out the front main behind the harmonic balancer and tapping like hell.
sounds like it was drove with no oil. We told him we would call back after pricing some motors. Had some minor blemishes in the body and missing interior panels but not too bad.

1 X 94 Trooper 4x4 5speed with a 3.2 SoHC
Add said needed a water pump. We couldn't jump start it so I opted to pull start it. Got this truck to 45 mph and all it did when he popped the clutch was make flat spots on the tires.
Pulled the spark plugs and sprayed oil in and tried to turn the motor with a 4' break over bar.
We walked away when 3 of us almost flipped the truck sideways trying to free up the motor. Me thinks no good. Really sad that the interior and exterior were almost perfect...

I'm waiting on a mechanic buddy of mine to show up next weekend to look at the 99 again and get another perspective.
 

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Fairchild,
If at all possible, stay in the 1993 - 1995 range of Troopers with manual transmissions.
Pre OBD II (Less electronics to fail) and in my very humble opinion, just about the "best of the best" of the Isuzu truck line.
Yes, I own one, so there IS some partiality there! :lol:
But it's more to it than that, I gained this knowledge from the literally THOUSANDS of post's I have read here at PI over the last couple of years.
They are NOT perfect. And at some point in time, SOMETHING WILL break down. Just seem to have the best odds with these. (edit: '93-'95 model troopers)
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Now, I have NOTHING against the Rodeo's (I personally like their looks better) and to say I dislike a 1st gen troop would be BLASPHEMY! :lol:
But hte 1st gens are NOT to be overlooked! VERY rugged, reliable, and SIMPLE! Just STAY AWAY from the 4cyl gas engine models! The old GM 2.8L V-6, although underpowered, IS a VERY long life motor! I have seen MANY 2.8's go beyond 250k mi.! No joke! OH, and you can find lots of them still laying around if you were to need another block.
.
Whatever you decide on / find for a bargain, if it has weak links in it, I (and i am sure others here too) will do my/our best to help you out any way possible.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So things have not progressed as fast as I hoped:

I was working with seif10mes1 under his forum:
2000 trooper - donate or crusher?

The down side is , I am not finding decent quotes to rebuild this transmission...
I could always take it to an unknown but even their the quotes are over $1k...
So cost of vehicle + Freight + Transmission repair = $$$
I found one locally for $2400. I am still negotiating with him , but I don't think it will last.

Wife just got laid off from her job too so this might get postponed a bit longer.

Will say one thing, Driving that 2001 Trooper this weekend felt REALLY good ( minus the big gay shotgun rack he mounted over the sun visors - Was really tacky ). Still hoping and exploring options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok so cross you fingers for me. Going tomorrow to look at a 99 Rodeo 4 Wheel Drive 5 speed for $1k. If all works out well , I'll pick it up and give my wife my Rodeo ( Minus the stereo , tires , and tail lights ).

It's got giant 20" Chrome rims , that I can't wait to tear off that truck but it's funny. I'll have 2 99 Isuzu Rodeos that are green in my driveway , just 1 will be 4 wheel drive :mrgreen:

Will finally start working to get it set up for Rock Crawling!
 

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Lol It just sounds like it was meant to be...!! Be carefull of the wife noticing the missing goodies !! It might get a butt kickin reaction...:) :blackeye:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Na wife wouldn't kick my butt , she's just shoot me. I had to introduce her to firearms and the NRA and she took to it better than me. Does it make you less of a man if you wife has more guns than you and is a better shot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah! Got the new Rodeo though this weekend was incredibly rough.

Went to Dallas (3 1/2 hour drive their ) and purchased a 99 Rodeo 4 Wheel Drive automatic ( wanted a 5 speed but oh well )
Brought it home ( 6 hour drive :drunken: ) on 2 firing spark plugs and only 1 CV in the transmission ( the 2nd one was cut off to hold the fluid )
Got home checked the plugs , Valve cover seals were blown on 4/6 plugs and under 3" of oil. :bom:
Tried getting the valve covers off , but the 5.5 mm Allen bolts were stripped.... ( will come back to that )
Posted the gouty 20" rims on CL ( got their hideous on this truck ) :roll:
Stripped the entire interior. Put the carpet through the washing machine , used tough stuff on the seats , replaced the dash with a mint one I found in the salvage yard for $30. :mrgreen:
No offense to race but I believe their might have been a small family of Hispanics used this as a residence at one point.
Found everything from Crayons to years old food remnants... :cry:

Tonight I get to figure out how to get the CV axles out , find someone who can cut a new key ( owner broke the key off in the ignition ) , and locate a socket that will get these valve covers off. :lol:

Future plans include the lift kit ( unsure how high yet and was hoping for some advice on Body lifts - Pros / Cons and wanting to go big on lift just not sure how big ) , front and rear bumpers ( can't find the calmini bumper anywhere only the ARB ) , Cable Winch ( still researching how strong i need to go 4k lbs be ok? ) , Snorkel , and of course some new skid plates.
 
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