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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello from Alaska folks,

From 2002 until 2010 I owned a flawless running 1988 Isuzu Trooper with the 2.6 liter 4 cylinder and the 5 speed manual. It was always a smoother tranny, and a more powerful motor than the old 22re powered toyotas in my opinion......especially with that nice 4:56 gearing in the front and rear end. It became my second vehicle in 2004 after I bought a (brand new then) toyota tacoma. In 2010 after paying off my truck, I decided to sell my second vehicle. It's still running to this day, and a young soldier in the Army owns it. That particular vehicle did many road trips, pulled out alot of vehicles, hauled moose and caribou meat and always started at 40 below zero when other vehicles wouldn't. I had installed 35 in. BFG all terrains/white spoke wheels, a 3 in. body lift, and a 3 in Calmini lift. I had also installed heavy duty sway bars front and rear because we aren't rock crawlers up here, but rather......great handling is a must on the winter roads so I thoroughly enjoyed those heavy sway bars. I had also installed a centerforce clutch (when the original went out), an ARB rear locker/ARB compressor, and a 3:1 Tera transfer case gear set. The gear set was nice, but it was a waste of money as I never found a use for it. I'll post a picture of that old Trooper as soon as I can figure out how to post pictures for the progress of this thread.

After spending a couple years without and Isuzu trooper, my fiance and I decided to purchase the second gen. Trooper when her FJ 62 landcruiser wouldn't pass emissions. She always liked boxy SUV's and had her fair share of issues with her past two Land Rovers too. Tired of mechanical issues with these prior vehicles, we decided to purchase a 1996 Isuzu Trooper (3.2 liter SOHC/4l30e) with a flawless body. I noticed the transmission shifted a bit hard occasionally and it seemed to stay stable. The vehicle now has 155,000 miles. I guess you can't escape mechanical issues with used vehicles ehh? The body and interior on this vehicle is flawless so I found it necessary to take further action until it's fixed. I took the Trooper to a trans shop to do some testing, and all the solenoids tested good. With a clean "electronic bill of health" we decided to keep running it for a bit. When I finally pulled the transmission pans (two pans), I had discovered some black sludge and small pieces of metal on the magnet. I also found a small piece of clutch material in there too. I found two leaks, one being from the small trans pan (the front one), and the other being from the shifter. The transfluid has also contaminated the Shift Mode Switch. It's a little aluminum housed mode switch. I decided to replace it since it was dirty as all git out in the inside! I also purchased a transmission rebuild kit, a shift kit and a re-manufactured torque converter. I have removed the transmission and will be posting pictures of the rebuild progress.

I had to remove the following:

1. The entire exhaust on both sides.
2. The drivlines
3. The transmission crossmember
4. The transmission cooler lines
5. The wiring harness

Some interesting observations so far:

After running a combination of three cans of transmission cooler cleaner and compressed air through the cooler.......it was quite dirty. Don't forget this vital step!

The u joints in the drive lines were quite worn so now will probably be a good time to replace those.

Some of the exaust bolts were badly rusted and had to be cut off.

The three bolts that hold the exhaust flanges onto the exhaust manifolds (both sides) needed some heat from a torch and some Sea Foam penetrating oil. My big Ingersol Rand impact wrench wouldn't take em off. Once heated and oiled, they came off like butter except THE LAST ONE! It always works that way doesn't it? A breaker bar and two extensions took care of it, but man......was it on there!

The Transmission was scrubbed clean with a nylon brush and a can of degreaser. A quick spray with the pressure washer, and it is is now sitting on my work bench. I'd love to post the pictures of my progress (if I can learn how to post pictures) if anybody would be interested. Wish me luck folks, if not......at least I'm only out $400 dollars instead of the $3000 the trans shop wants. I'm optimistic.....but nervous.
 

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Welcome.....please post LOTS of pics.

One word of advise though, since you're digging this far into a 16yr old truck, make SURE you replace the radiator prior to installing the newly rebuilt transmission. The original radiators are only good for 7-10yrs, even if they look good and clean, they are shot internally by around 12yrs of age.

Even all of the flushing you're doing won't rebuild the inside separating liner between the radiator and transmission cooler; this area rots out and mixes the 2 fluids causing major issues.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is our Trooper that I'm working on in the first picture. We are running 265/75 Toyo mud terrains and better looking Isuzu wheels with the original "Isuzu Chrome center caps. The second picture is the actual transmission that is relatively clean. I am in the process of removing the transfer case. All that is needed for this is a 14mm wrench. I was actually able to lift the tranny and toss it up on the table. It's a bit heavy, but not so heavy that you need a second set of hands to move it. Selador, thanks for helping me with the pictures. To the folks who posted encouraging advice, thanks for that too!



http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad251/AK_xplorer/88 troopah/P1010767-1.jpg



http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad251/AK_xplorer/88 troopah/P1010765.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The next thing done was to remove the transfer case from the trans. All that is needed is a 14mm wrench and the removal of three nuts and four bolts.

The second picture is the removal of the Rubber O ring on the turbine shaft which had multiple cracks all over the surface, it's worn out.

The third picture is the removal of the front pan which is nothing but a handful of 10 mm bolts and a gasket which was leaking





 

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This is awesome, keep up the detailed pics and explanation. Hope I never have to do this, but subscribing anyways...think I would convert to manual before I rebuilt it haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ian,
Thanks for the encouragement. I do believe that modifying a vehicle to accept a manual transmission in a vehicle with a computer controlled auto trans would be a difficult proposition, more so than just simply fixing what is broke. I like this particular transmission and have great admiration for an auto transmission that provided reliability all the way to 155,000 miles. Although some auto transmissions go a bit further in the mileage department, 155,000 miles of Alaskan use is acceptable in my opinion and needs little TLC just like any other part of a vehicle.

Scurrying away from the job because it's a bit advanced would be the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand trying to hide from life itself. I've always looked at mechanical work like life itself, there are challenges and it's entirely possible to make mistakes. I didn't approach this issue with a know-it-all attitude, nor will I ever approach such a venture with an ego backed by little experience. In fact........I could fail to properly achieve success during this rebuild; I would not hesitate to relay the occurrence to this forum community.

Theoretical internet literature can also be misleading. It's best to follow a manual and take your time recording each step. Every part needs to be carefully observed. When you do this, you map unknown territory and it becomes more familiar to your memory when you continue working on the vehicle the next day.......or even the next week if you don't have the time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In the first picture, I have completely loosened the seven 13 mm bolts and disconnected the wiring harness off the force motors. The valve body case is now prepared for removal. I apologize if my mechanical jargon isn't precise. There are many parts, and I will try my best to properly label them in general assemblies so as not to confuse anyone.

The second picture shows the valve body removed. All that is left is a thin metal spacer plate that has a thin black gasket on the top and bottom.

The third picture shows the spacer plate combined with the top and bottom gaskets removed. Please take note that these gaskets are really on there! It will take finesse and patience to remove gasket materials without marring the mating surfaces. In this third photo there was supposed to have been a "check ball" in one of the passages according to the manual. I simply don't see one. I will seek further advice about this issue, although the manual took note that the check ball may be elsewhere. I simply haven't found one in any location under this front pan.





 

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AKexplorer

Just wanted to thank you for doing the blow by blow on the rebuild of your 4L30E. I will follow along and try to absorb a little of the information. :)
 

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AKxplorer said:
Ian,
Thanks for the encouragement. I do believe that modifying a vehicle to accept a manual transmission in a vehicle with a computer controlled auto trans would be a difficult proposition, more so than just simply fixing what is broke. I like this particular transmission and have great admiration for an auto transmission that provided reliability all the way to 155,000 miles. Although some auto transmissions go a bit further in the mileage department, 155,000 miles of Alaskan use is acceptable in my opinion and needs little TLC just like any other part of a vehicle.

Scurrying away from the job because it's a bit advanced would be the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand trying to hide from life itself.
Its actually not too bad to convert to manual and I wish I had a manual rather than auto-tragic. But I am in just case I ever find myself with a bad trans and no money to swap. Thanks for the detailed info. What service manual are you using?
 

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Hats off to you for embarking on this endeavor.

Subscribed :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In the next picture I've removed the rear pan, and the filter so you can get an idea of what you're looking at.

The second picture involves the removal of the manual detent spring that controls the shifter and the servo cover and gasket (bottom left in the picture) You must disconnect the electrical connector, these steps prepare you for the removal of the valve case.

The third picture shows the valve case removed. Make sure to rotate the valve case body towards you taking care to hold onto the shifter linkage. You don't want that stuff falling out just yet! Observe EVERYTHING, there are two check balls that you MUST take note of. Take a picture of their location. If you forget, take a look at the third picture as the screwdrivers point to their location.





 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Next step was the fun part! Trying to compress the servo assembly without the $200 dollar specialty tool needed to compress the monster spring jusssssssst enough to remove the snap ring that captures it. I had to adapt a bfocc to compress the spring. Has anyone heard of this tool? I finally found out what was the matter with the transmission! It was two things:

1. It was designed by General Motors
2. It was made in France!

No, just kidding, it's a good transmission and I have yet to find any seriously worn parts, only a missing in action "check ball" which may or may not be an issue. I'll have to let the anticipation build even though I already have the pictures of the servo removal process because I have work to do! Pictures tomorow, good evening folks.
 

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Wonderful thread!!!

I commend you for your attention to detail. I am currently droping my 4l30e and having a retired trans mechanic rebuild it for me. This is great info for my own personal knowledge.

Thanks for taking the time to share!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The bfocc tool explained: "Big F_ _ _ _ _ _ Orange C-Clamp"

In the first picture, I was able to find a nice flat spot on the outside housing of the transmission that ran parall directly under the servo. Get the C clamp lined up as close to the adjuster nut on top of the servo and line it up perfectly vertical; you'll be able to compress the servo just enough to remove the snap ring with a set of needle nose pliers.

The second picture shows the Servo assembly.....it's one giant spring I tells yah.

The third picture shows the proper positioning for removal of the rear four wheel drive housing adaptor.





 

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Great pictures and explanations!

Your walk through on this adventure is much appreciated. :thumbup:

And a bump. :wink:
 

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Did your rebuild kit come with new solenoids and the force motor? If so where did you get it?
I'm thinking about replacing the force motor, gaskets, and filters in my 90 trooper (in the vehicle) to get a couple more thousand miles out of it before making some bigger changes. My first to second shift has a big shutter/slam off the line after it gets warmed up.
 
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