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None of mine have ever had a death wobble. Can you better describe the circumstance? My Amigo never wobbled, but my Trooper has a light shake at about 60-65 mph even with all new front end and new tires. Could be as simple as worn out suspension components.
 

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1993 Rodeo 2WD 4ZE1/T5 CA Spec - 2016 RAM1500 Pentastar (22mpg) - 1986 RockZuk on Toyota Axles
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Are you sure having never owned a car, you can keep the oil full but not overfilled? Every junkyard I go to has a ton of old Isuzu's, all with this engine. It's a huge pain in my *** when I need 4 cylinder parts. It also goes to show how much easier it is to destroy that engine and how much harder it is to repair, meaning really expensive to have fixed by a mechanic. You get a pinhole in a coolant line you can't even see to know it's there, that $2 piece of rubber just cost you $2500 in labor for not one but two head gaskets. You might make it a little over 200,000 before you need any major repairs, it's more likely you'll need a repair that costs what the car is worth in labor within the first few weeks after you buy it.
 

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'99 Trooper 3.5L
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Are you sure having never owned a car, you can keep the oil full but not overfilled? Every junkyard I go to has a ton of old Isuzu's, all with this engine. It's a huge pain in my *** when I need 4 cylinder parts. It also goes to show how much easier it is to destroy that engine and how much harder it is to repair, meaning really expensive to have fixed by a mechanic. You get a pinhole in a coolant line you can't even see to know it's there, that $2 piece of rubber just cost you $2500 in labor for not one but two head gaskets. You might make it a little over 200,000 before you need any major repairs, it's more likely you'll need a repair that costs what the car is worth in labor within the first few weeks after you buy it.
I've only had my trooper for a short time, but I've owned a lot of different types of cars in my day. So far my Isuzu experience is more like an old BMW ownership experience than like a Toyota or Honda experience. The engines are high strung and maintenance intensive, but when they are running good it's all worth it. Its definitely not a drive it and forget transportation appliance like a Toyota.
 

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Do these cars get speed wobbles?
I've run my 88 up to 85 mph (which is wayyyy to fast for it) and it vibrates at that point but if I don't exceed 75 then it is as smooth as silk. My 99 is pretty smooth until about 95 mph. I've never had a death wobble, but with worn front end parts or old tires it is possible.
 

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It shouldn't wobble (or vibrate). COULD BE: tire balance (have tires high speed spin balanced), driveshaft balance, worn steering components, slop in steering box. Dennis
 

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1993 Rodeo 2WD 4ZE1/T5 CA Spec - 2016 RAM1500 Pentastar (22mpg) - 1986 RockZuk on Toyota Axles
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I've only had my trooper for a short time, but I've owned a lot of different types of cars in my day. So far my Isuzu experience is more like an old BMW ownership experience than like a Toyota or Honda experience. The engines are high strung and maintenance intensive, but when they are running good it's all worth it. Its definitely not a drive it and forget transportation appliance like a Toyota.
Automotive parking light Vehicle Car Tire Wheel
 

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1993 Rodeo 2WD 4ZE1/T5 CA Spec - 2016 RAM1500 Pentastar (22mpg) - 1986 RockZuk on Toyota Axles
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BMW’s are the biggest pieces of **** on the road is it really fair to compare Isuzus to them lol?
Not the 4Z engines or diesels or the heavy/commercial trucks.

The V6 consumer vehicles, yes.

It could already need a new engine block, are you going to check the rod bearings? Would you know if it already needs new pistons? If there's a knocking sound would you assume it's that, because your timing belt tensioner could go and snap your timing belt and destroy that engine at any second.

It's not a good first car. I actually did throw myself into auto repair with my first car, a 1978 Mercury Zephyr. My stepdad built airplanes until a couple years ago and worked on his own cars until the early 2000s, I got the Chilton's guide like he said and he'd answer any questions about probable causes of problems and what tools I'd need as long as he didn't have to get off the couch and loan me tools as long as they were clean and back where they belonged by the same night. Replaced the carburetor, oil pump, fuel pump, a brake caliper, brake master cylinder, and EGR valve (that EGR would probably bolt right up to my Isuzu's throttle body). Watched it go from unable to idle having to turn the key again every green light after stomping the brake all the way to the floor to get it to stop when it was red, to a reliable daily driver. It started running hot and we thought the radiator was clogged. I'd opened the radiator lots of times, burned the **** out of my hand not knowing what a clogged one will do when you open it, filled it up with water which I'd been told worked in a pinch, and got back on the freeway to the AutoZone that had my radiator in stock. Threw a rod before I got there. Engine blocks were unavailable and too expensive if I'd found one, only paid $420 for the car. If I didn't have that experience, I might not have stopped and got a tow bringing this Isuzu home, and it might need a whole lot more work than it does. It was always going to need the head gasket done, the guy forgot an alignment dowel and used the same Omni5 head gasket from Rock Auto I posted on here about how ****ty it was when I received the full gasket set on closeout for spares of all the less crucial gaskets. He had to have dropped double my whole investment into the vehicle based on all the new parts I've found tearing into it. I have been over at least 20 Isuzu SUVs at junkyards so far... every single one was a V6, only one was the old GM carb V6. It's not a good first car. It can be a decent off-road rig for someone with a lot of experience and time and another vehicle as a daily driver. Some people on Planet Isuzu that really love their V6 Isuzu use it as their daily driver. But it's not their first Rodeo you know?


 

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1993 Rodeo 2WD 4ZE1/T5 CA Spec - 2016 RAM1500 Pentastar (22mpg) - 1986 RockZuk on Toyota Axles
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I'd argue that a car that needs work IS a good first car. If you have something that never needs anything, then you don't learn anything.
A car that needs a
I'd argue that a car that needs work IS a good first car. If you have something that never needs anything, then you don't learn anything.
A car that needs work is great for someone mechanically inclined with access to tools and life circumstances that don't urgently require it to be running. An Isuzu V6 with 150,000 miles and a 50-50 chance of being OBD-II is not a good first car for anyone. If it was a 1995.0 or earlier 4ZE1 Rodeo that's running for $1900 that'd be a great first car, the V6 at used dealer prices just isn't.
 

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This from an old, old car guy. You can get a car that will start every time, never check engine oil, or for that matter any fluids. All you have to do is go buy a new, or fairly new one. My take on that is if you want to always have car payments go ahead and do that. Car financing is the second highest cost you will have with housing being first. If you want to do away with that cost learn how to do your own maintenance. I never had a car payment my whole life and bought my first new one in 91 when I was 59 years old and it was for cash. Weather you pick a rodeo or trooper or some other make, learn how they function and you can save yourself a bunch of money. Our experience here on the forum with Gen. two Isuzu's is the biggest problems we see are not with the engines, but the auto transmissions. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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'99 Trooper 3.5L
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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
It’s a first gen, not a second gen. Most second gens I saw were a fraction of the price this one was. And also it is a manual so I don’t have to worry about the AT, and as far as a 27 year old car goes fairly low miles
 

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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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