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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TROOPER FANATICS of AMERICA, I have come hear to ask for help.

WHAT YEAR IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED THE BEST OR MOST RELIABLE YEAR? And which ENGINE?

At one time I was the third owner of a very pristine 1990 blue LS with a 2.8 V6 and all was right in the world in most aspects of my life.

The engine was okay but burned a little oil at around 110K.
Then the clutch went out and was expensive to fix so I fixed it, sold it, then bought a small hatchback car which has been good to me but,... I never have gotten over the Trooper for years now.

I WANT IT BACK!!!

I've seen a few 4cyls availble. How do they compare?
I don't care about speed too much. I won't be going offroad every weekend, but there will be trips to Baja and the mountains, guaranteed.

Also the later body styles are cool too(92-on up) but how do they compare to the early models for reliability in engine and tranny.

I have this feeling the earlier mid 80's -91 are better, and the four banger might be mightier than I think. NEED HELP!

Any info would help. THANKS!
 

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1st gen Troops are just cool.

2.8 V6 is Chevy/GM

2.6 I4 is Isuzu.

Heh, they both have 120hp, the V6 has 5 ft-lbs torque more, but the 4cyl develops peak torque at a lower RPM.

Both are great engines tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Night Wolf, that was useful info. Yeah, I like the older boxy ones.

I didn't know both engines(2.6 vs 2.8) had the same power.

That 2.6 4cyl doesn't sound half bad afterall, compared to the 2.8 V6 and

just knowing that it actually compares.

Anyone have any more info on the four banger or anything else?

Things to look for when buying. Maybe some info on the post '92

models. I thought I heard there was something unreliable about the post

'92 Troopers, like bad engines, trannys, or recalls. Although I could be

wrong. And yeah, I do remember the whole rollover controversy.
 

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2.6L is a stout little motor, its almost, again almost, half of a GM 350. If you compair CU.In. 2.6L is a good fuel mileage motor. Likes to be shifted at about 4100 RPM as thats where the torque band is. I love my 2.6L its a great motor, I have about 6K miles on mine since I rebuilt it.

2.6L--> Aluminum head, watch your TEMP. One time into overheat and your asking for a new head. Mine did it 2 times to me before we noticed problems. The problems I had was too much timing, it RAN GREAT, but blew the head gasket. along with the #3 Cylinder Exhaust Valve. and cracks all over the head. Keep an eye on Vacuum lines, these have alot of them. If they even start to crack, install new ones. But the big one is the Thremostat locking closed and over heating, or lots of coolant loss.

2.8L--> Good motor, LOTS of aftermarket support. I had one in my 89 Beretta Good motor, very simple to trouble shoot, stout bottom end. Can be fuel friendly if they get set up and are kept up right. But they have no more power than the 2.6L. The one in my Beretta ran even better once I did and good exhaust, and a high flow filter and put better coils, Plugs and wires, and was also running on 130 octane Ethanol. ( Of course mine was Fuel Injected, the GM stuff your looking at wont be, it will be Throttle Body ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks alot 88SuperTrooper for that info.
Come to think of it I think I have seen two for sale that needed heads. I guess now I know why. I may not always do all my own mechanical work, but I do definitely pay attention to what guages show, oil changes/ levels, temp, power and whatevers going to keep me running. But it can be easy to forget sometimes too.

So the 2.8 is a little more thirsty, but there are more parts out there for it. I heard that! One thing I did notice after looking at a few sites online about crate engine prices and was surprised to see that a crate 2.6 cost a little more than a 2.8!

I'm kinda torn between the two now. I like the gas saving quality of a 4cyl but I do remember the exhast tone of the V6 and had a little growl to it. Guess I'll see what's the best one I can find around here.

Thanks again guys. Anyone else have info?
 

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I don't think there is such a thing as a bad Isuzu motor. Just different ones for different purposes. Some 3.2+3.5 have an oil burning issue but that 3.5 runs like a scalded cat. On the 1st gens both flavers are reliable. I'm partial to the 2.6 4 banger. That is one tough little motor. Treat it right don't skimp when you do fix something and it will last forever. That 1st trooper in my sig was bought new by me it had a head replaced at 93K and never opened again when I sold it at 300k and only burned about 1/2 qt between changes at that mileage. I think the mutiple head gaskets and heads you hear about have more to do with parts and work quality issues. 5 sp transmissions and 10 and 12 bolt axles same deal. Change the oil and drive it. Here is a pic of the 2.6 from the truck I'm building now. I had it out so I decided to open it up and check it out. Glad I did the head had been replaced and the valves were not ground so it needed a valve job and the deck was not cleaned well for the gasket when the head was replaced. It has 86k on it and no ridge in the cyl just a little soot ring. See the pretty cross hatches in the cylinders. That's the original hone marks this engine isn't even broken in yet!

add a cam and header and 2-1/4 inch exhaust and they wake right up

Just check any old trooper for frame rust. My .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Squatch. (Is that name short for Sa-squatch?) Good to hear that these babies run I thought so. Man i shoulda kept that '90 LS 2.8, that car was clean and mean. I like that header pic, I dunno if I'm gonna get away with that here in Cali (damn smog rules). But I'm sure something can be done to 2.6 to pump it up a little. Okay man thanks again Squatch for that post.

Anyone else wanna weigh in with their 2cents?
 

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88SuperTrooper said:
The one in my Beretta ran even better once I did and good exhaust, and a high flow filter and put better coils, Plugs and wires, and was also running on 130 octane Ethanol. ( Of course mine was Fuel Injected, the GM stuff your looking at wont be, it will be Throttle Body ).
TBI is fuel injection ;) It's just not multipoint or sequential. But it is about as simple as it gets.
 

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armyBob said:
88SuperTrooper said:
The one in my Beretta ran even better once I did and good exhaust, and a high flow filter and put better coils, Plugs and wires, and was also running on 130 octane Ethanol. ( Of course mine was Fuel Injected, the GM stuff your looking at wont be, it will be Throttle Body ).
TBI is fuel injection ;) It's just not multipoint or sequential. But it is about as simple as it gets.
You still know what I meant lol! Got me.....
 

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88SuperTrooper said:
armyBob said:
88SuperTrooper said:
The one in my Beretta ran even better once I did and good exhaust, and a high flow filter and put better coils, Plugs and wires, and was also running on 130 octane Ethanol. ( Of course mine was Fuel Injected, the GM stuff your looking at wont be, it will be Throttle Body ).
TBI is fuel injection ;) It's just not multipoint or sequential. But it is about as simple as it gets.
You still know what I meant lol! Got me.....
Heh heh...I know, just giving you a hard time. I was working on my truck the other day, and someone looked at the air cleaner and said, "Hey, you still have a carburetor?" I wanted to say, "Yeah, it's in the back seat, next to the spare radiator."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks armyBob. Yeah, I'm undecided on which one to buy right now. it might just come down to what I find, thats still in good shape.
I do remember the 2.8 LS I had, so maybe I need to drive the 2.6 and see what I notice that's different about it.
 

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datroopa said:
Thanks armyBob. Yeah, I'm undecided on which one to buy right now. it might just come down to what I find, thats still in good shape.
I do remember the 2.8 LS I had, so maybe I need to drive the 2.6 and see what I notice that's different about it.
The 2.8 offers more engine swap options, if that is a consideration.
 

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datroopa said:
Thanks Squatch. (Is that name short for Sa-squatch?) Good to hear that these babies run I thought so. Man i shoulda kept that '90 LS 2.8, that car was clean and mean. I like that header pic, I dunno if I'm gonna get away with that here in Cali (damn smog rules). But I'm sure something can be done to 2.6 to pump it up a little. Okay man thanks again Squatch for that post.

Anyone else wanna weigh in with their 2cents?
Yes sasquatch, it's a long story. If you don't have any previous preference I would just go with the best cleanest truck you can find. Second gens are nice too but my experience is limited to a couple of years in my 2000. I prefer the simplicity of the first gens. If you are an auto guy maybe a little better with the v6. 5 spd guy go 4 banger. The 2.6 does like regular maint and will let you know if you neglect it. The v6 may be a little more forgiving of late tune ups ect.
 

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squatch you do this tv ad?

LMAO just messin with you......
 

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squatch said:
datroopa said:
Thanks Squatch. (Is that name short for Sa-squatch?) Good to hear that these babies run I thought so. Man i shoulda kept that '90 LS 2.8, that car was clean and mean. I like that header pic, I dunno if I'm gonna get away with that here in Cali (damn smog rules). But I'm sure something can be done to 2.6 to pump it up a little. Okay man thanks again Squatch for that post.

Anyone else wanna weigh in with their 2cents?
Yes sasquatch, it's a long story. If you don't have any previous preference I would just go with the best cleanest truck you can find. Second gens are nice too but my experience is limited to a couple of years in my 2000. I prefer the simplicity of the first gens. If you are an auto guy maybe a little better with the v6. 5 spd guy go 4 banger. The 2.6 does like regular maint and will let you know if you neglect it. The v6 may be a little more forgiving of late tune ups ect.
My friend's 92 Rodeo 3.1L had about two quarts of oil in it when we changed it and still holds great oil pressure. It's a very forgiving engine. Not to mention the alternator is up high and can be swapped for any high-cap GM alternator, unlike the 2.6L.

However, I must disagree with you squatch, the 2.6L auto has a much tougher and more reliable transmission than the 2.8L V6 auto. The V6s use the GM 4L30E (look up failures and fluid changes here) while the 2.6L autos use the Toyota-esque Aisin 30-40LE. Much tougher and will withstand much more abuse. The 4L30 was designed for cars (older BMW 5-series), the 30-40LE (A340H) was designed for use in trucks (Tacoma, Sequoia, Tundra, 4Runner, etc)
 

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headauto, Nope that guys much to young and going bald.
John, Shows what I know about autos. I thought the trannys were the same back then. When they were new most folks that I knew that wanted autos bought the v6. That's what I was going by. I've only owned a couple of autos and hated every mile. If I had been neant to drive an auto I wouldn't have been born with 2 feet. That being said I realize that most people these days like them. That's cause they are lazy and too busy drinking coffee with one hand and talking on the cell with the other instead of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the tranny info JBH1989.
I'm learning all kinds of things thanks to you guys.
Anyone else wanna weigh in?
 

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Well I have driven and worked on both engines, and both have there pros and cons. As for the 2.6L the thing I liked the most about it was 20 miles per gallon average that i got with it and with gas prices going up all over the country ($3.64 up here in anchorage)I think that it is a pretty good commodity. The only cons that i have with that motor was the alternator tends to go bad faster due to its low placement in the engine compartment thus it collects dirt a lot faster, and its is a bit of a pain to replace. The only other problem with it was that it sucked up oil like there was no tomorrow(like 2 quarts every two to three weeks) but that may be a isolated instance of this after all I was the third or fourth owner and it had 260000 miles on it.

As for the 2.8, the thing I hate the most about it is that mine only gets about 14.5 mpg average, which I think that it is a testament to American engineering when two motors put out the same amount of power and the American motor gets 6 fewer miles per gallon than the Japanese. in fact im most likely going to be needing something that gets better mileage here pretty soon because it's just getting to expensive for me to drive this vehicle(its my current daily driver). But on the plus side as it has been said, Its much easy to do things like replacing the alternator because its up on top. Also this thing is basically a big hunk of Iron, actually in the Chevy world this engine is known as the Iron duke so you really don't have to worry about blowing head gaskets as much(believe me Iv ran this thing on basically a quart of radiator fluid and less that of oil for about a week one time and its still running strong today). then last this engine does have a lot more after market support and possibility of engine swaps.

My final verdict would be to get the 2.6, unless you don't mind paying the extra gas for the 2.8. But that is all just my personal opinion im just throwing in my .02 cents.
 
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