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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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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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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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Can you say "Chevette motor"?
 

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Correct Hybrids are a stop gap until somebody comes up with something better. Hydrogen fuel cells are NOT a viable technology. NOT NOW and NOT ANYTIME SOON. Maybe 30 years away at best. What fuel cells are is smoke and mirrors. Look what we are doing with this hand no not that hand this one.
Big American companies are not about innovation. Why because R+D costs money so the stock market hates it. That's why they let the little guys do the R+D and then buy their companies if it works out. Buying proven technology looks good to the folks on Wall Street. The most important points made in the movie "Who killed the electric car" are the oil companies are against anything that cuts into their profit margin and that the EV1 was very maintanece free. Read that as cutting into dealer profits and parts sales. Dealers make their money by fixing overly complicated cars not by selling them! This was presented to the politicians as lost jobs. The good thing about the high price of fuel is that it will force car companies to make fuel efficient cars because nothing else is selling.
 

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The power controller technology in the tesla is the same(newer version) as the GM EV1 in the movie above. It was developed by the same person I have been told. Here's what I'm waiting for to be my next commuter car
http://www.aptera.com/
Man this thread has really drifted. "88 is the best year trooper and 2.6 is the best motor My .02
 

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Actually when VW was talking about bringing back the "new beetle" they did a lot of customer surveys and magazine surveys. One of the questions was what engine would you like? Diesel-electric hybrid was on the check off list.
 

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armyBob said:
ArcticTrooper said:
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.
Fueleconomy.gov lists 15/17 for an 89 Trooper, 5 speed, 2.6L and 14/17 for the v6. I get about 15/18. Where do you see a 6 MPG difference? What do you other 2.6 owners (Troopers, not Amigos - they are heaver and more boxy) see in reality?

Again, the peak torque and HP are comparable, but I'm going to say the V6 has a wider powerband. Anyone have a dyno?

Our 89 Grand Marquis with a 5.0 EFI gets about 24 MPG highway. It's not very fast off the line, though.
I kept real good records on my 1st '88. 2.6 5sp in stock trim it would avg 19-22mpg all around. on long slow trips such as cruising "skyline drive" at 45 mph it would get 25+mpg, but only driven easy under 50mph. After a mild 1 1/2" lift and 32s with light alloy wheels and 3 bar thule roofrack and stock 4:56 gears(that was the way I drove it for years).
I averaged around 18 mpg day in day out at 70+mph commute. And that's corrected for larger tires. If I removed the roof rack or carried my canoe on top(aerodynamic aid it seems) it would increase to 19-20 corrected. This was for a bought new very well maintained truck and I have always tended to drive like the "hypermilers" long following distances, steady throttle, stay away from the brakes ect.
 
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