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this is the frame of the car btw. Does this look like it is pained over surface rust or the original from the factory?
Looks very much like paint sprayed over rust.
 

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Yep, 2nd gen Rodeo and Trooper are both high maintenance all around. That's why they are cheap. Most people can't or won't put up with the maintenance demands and idiosyncrasies. Its especially tough because there is zero Manufacturer support for parts and repairs in the US.

It takes dedication to own one and keep it running. Some of us relish the challenge. And enjoy the reward (?) of having a perfectly running weirdo 4x4.

I work in the trucking industry and I have 24 hr access to fully equipped private 5-bay shop and the knowledge of 3 full time mechanics with a combined experience of over 100 yrs. They also let me borrow any tool I need if it's something that I dont have. Which means I have the resources to keep the weird cars that I like running. I could not afford to pay someone to do maintenance and repairs on an Isuzu.
I’ve had one for 4 years and I wouldn’t say it’s high maintenance.
 
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