Might as well beat a dead horse here (and congrats on your purchase, datroopa!) -- technically, in the US, there wasn't a DOHC motor offered in the Trooper or Rodeo for '96-'97. The 3.2L SOHC motor was re-worked in '96 to produce the same amount of horsepower as the '92-'95 DOHC unit, so the DOHC was dropped.mtman said:I'm going to go a different direction here, go for a 92-97 DOHC if you can find it. If service has been kept up, they are incredibly reliable.
Personally, I think the best Trooper combos are:
'95.5 Trooper LS or Limited (reliable DOHC motor that doesn't seem to have a 'lifter tick' issue, dual airbags, newer dash design, simpler 4WD system)
'99 Trooper S Performance Package (the 3.5L DOHC motor has a reputation for failing, but once you know it's issues and how to work around them they're great, and no lifters to worry about!)
The later model (2000+) Troopers have a drive-by-wire throttle that has expensive sensors, and have a different and harder to source automatic transmission (technically, it's still the 4L30E, but it has a "duty cycle" torque converter).
Unfortunately, I don't think the DOHC motor was offered in '95.5 with the 5 speed manual, but it seems like that would be the ultimate combination for reliability. Just pop a set of Aisin manual hubs on and you'd be rock solid from stem to stern!