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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi folks :)

i am new here, and still fairly new to vehicles. i got my license 15 months ago, and purchased a '91 trooper about 16 months ago...i couldnt even test drive it! i bought it with a gut reaction that it was a good thing to do. i had done a fair amount of reading on them, found out that they will run forever if looked after well, so took a chance.

the truck has seen me to boston and alabama, and back home both times....i live in southwestern ontario. both journeys were made without a single problem with the truck. it starts every day, runs through anything, and has given me nothing but pleasure. i love my trooper! it has 290 000 km on it, and just keeps on going.

however...christmas i noticed some grinding under my foot on the drivers side. turns out that the body mount is rusted through, and the frame has some bad rust spots too. i have been told by three mechanics not to drive it anymore, and to just take it to the junk yard. i am not to go near a highway.

so i called up a welder today, and he said he can fix it. he has been welding vehicles for 30 years, and i heard from a couple of other people that he does real good work. the rust is all down the one side of the rail, and up under the floor. he bashed at it with a pointy hammer, and said its solvable. i am to call tomorrow for an estimate. i am hoping it will be around a 1000cad.

there is a problem with the gas tank too, maybe the uptake bit (losing some pressure and slow uptake response), and co2 sensor works sometimes (the check engine light is on half the time). the air conditioner died about two weeks ago, so is now permanently unplugged. and the belt was squeaking like a bird til this guy today greased it up with some soap.

so....i hope i am doing the right thing trying to get it fixed. i cant afford a new vehicle, and i love my old trooper. i was looking at vehicles today in my price range, and everything pretty well is uncertified/no emissions test. i did find a'90 trooper, great shape, safetied, etested, 183 000km, 2300cad all inclusive....but...it was standard, and i can only drive automatic. else i really would have gone and looked at it, and driven it home if it was ok. i am sure my squashed grape badly painted purple bushbar would have looked attractive against the red.... <grins>

if anyone has any words of advice, i will gladly listen to them and take them into consideration. i have been reading a bit, and i took a course for women on mechanics so i would understand what mechanics say to me when i go to the shop. i have been underneath it, and looked in the engine, so am familiar with the vehicle. i love my truck, and dont want to go bury it at the junk yard for a hundred bucks.

:)
lou
 

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this may be the tip of the iceberg as far as repairs, or it may be the only thing to go wrong for years to come - its a gamble.

either way you slice it - chances are that a 300,000km truck will be a "jobber" that will need countless little things to keep it going, and i assume you will get them fixed by mechanics - at 50 an hour

the other unfortunate fact is that being female (i assume by your post) and owning an old truck, there are mechanics who will overcharge you for things and fix things that aren't broken - everything looks like it needs to be replaced on an old truck.

i used to own a mustang, it was my first car and i loved it. it too drove me everywhere from halifax to winnipeg with no issues whatsoever, but at the end of its life it was rusted to hell, and the transmission was gone. i didn't want to do it, but i ended up putting it on a truck for 100 bucks and saying goodbye.

there is some wierd attachment to first vehicles...

my vote is to chalk it up as the vehicle that got you hooked on isuzus, and go get yourself a newer one that will take you further in. you'll be safer, your money invested can go to improvements rather than repairs and i figure in the end you'll be happier.

and learn how to drive a stick! its not like being left or right handed - its an afternoon of your time in a parking lot and you will be able to buy more vehicles, especially older trucks..

but thats just my 2 cents. its your truck and money. :D
 

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Here's my take.

Your air died, do you really need air up there?

The rust situation is the biggie that I'd worry most about. Rust is like cancer, you think you have it cured and then it comes back with a vengence. You can have the frame repaired, and then it will be something else.

I say you have a friend teach you how to drive a five speed and go look at the other Trooper. And talk them down from their price. Flashing cash offers really helps here.

Joe
 

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I had a similar experience. Had the frame repaired, scraped the rust off the rest and undercoated it. Then had a problem with a leak at the top of the fuel pump; the feeds had rusted through and were leaking. When I tried to put in the replacement pump, I found the tank was pitted and replaced that too. Truck now runs fine, but I definitely invested more time and money than I initially expected. Joe is right. You can get it fixed, but realize that you are taking on a project.

You might also want to take a look at this post http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic ... 2379#32379
 

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an isuzu just isn't an isuzu without an MUA 5spd!!! learning how to drive a stick is very rewarding- as others have already mentioned, it opens up a LOT of possabilities for vehicle selection...

it was mentioned above that on old trucks, EVERYTHING looks like it needs to be replaced- well, that's not far from the truth, over time, everything will get replaced or tuned up or fixed or welded to keep it working, from about 150,000 miles, to ~300,000 miles of a car, you can expect to replace thousands of dollars worth of parts.. the trick is keeping an eye on everything and knowing when to replace parts before they leave you stranded.
 

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mdocod said:
over time, everything will get replaced or tuned up or fixed or welded to keep it working, from about 150,000 miles, to ~300,000 miles of a car, you can expect to replace thousands of dollars worth of parts.. the trick is keeping an eye on everything and knowing when to replace parts before they leave you stranded.
Well said! That is why so many give up and just go out buy a new $30K hunk of plastic.
 

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Well said! That is why so many give up and just go out buy a new $30K hunk of plastic.
LOL

even if i could afford a new SUV, i wouldn't buy one- they are all so panzy now... my suzuki swift has more clearance than modern SUVs. (trailblazer/isuzu-clone comes to mind)
 

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No danger of those rusting out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you for replying to my post. i appreciate you guys taking the time to do so.

i went and looked at the 90 trooper yesterday. guy at the shop said its the first time hes had a woman crawl underneath a vehicle when she came in to look at it. i took a short pokey screwdriver in with me to bash on the frame. the truck was in far worse shape than my own is in. it looks like it was used as a beater, and the transmission was leaking underneath. it definately looked like it has far more troubles than what i am facing now.

i am still wavering on what to do. i only need this to last me another six months or so, and am hoping by then to be working full time so i can afford a newer vehicle. i found another local guy here who will do the welding for 6 or 800cad, which doesnt sound to bad of a price to me. i dont mind putting 1 or 2000 in this thing to keep it going a while longer. my own vehicle had a good prior owner, and has been used mostly for highway driving. i have kept on top of all the repairs as they have arrived, and made sure to maintain things as required. if it wasnt for the frame and deciding on that, the brakes and gas situation already would have been dealt with. the truck starts regular as clockwork, and has never broken down. only once it didnt start, and that was due to super low temperatures, and a low battery.

anyhow, i still havent come to any conclusions. i did look over the postings on the one frame that was redone, and it looks promising. if i had more money in the bank and a full time job, i would likely retire the old guy, and look for something a bit more recent.

as it stands now, having an old truck, i love learning new things, and am not afraid to stick my hands in the engine and get dirty, if that is what is required. i did my own bondo-ing this summer to clean up the rust over the wheel wells, sanded down any other rust, and repainted spots. now, mind you, i quickly discovered that i shouldnt have used a foamy brush and a can of black porch paint! but everything is holding up well, and i have hardly had any rust showing up since. and every speck of squashed grape paint has held tight to the bush bar, even though i was hoping it would rapidly flake off as it didnt quite turn out the way i wanted it to.

i hate making decisions. <grins>

thank you once again to everyone who took the time to post.

maybe i should go back to riding a bicycle. hahahahaha!

:)
lou
 

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Nah, forget the bike.

If the guy can weld the frame up, I'd go ahead and do it.

Thing is, if you like your truck, you might as well keep driving it.

I know as far as getting my investment back, I passed the point of no return a long time ago.

On the other hand, I'd rather dole out the cash once and awhile for the needed repair or "improvment", than be stuck with the monthly payment come rain or shine, running or not.

Jim

 

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Having no payments are nice. I pay $400 US every month for the note on my wife's Siennia. So even when I have to put a few $100 into the Troop, it really isn't so bad. Just recognize, that you will never get your money back in either buying new or maintaining old. Recognize also that driving an old truck takes commitment. You just can't expect to get away with oil and filter changes. As mdocod wrote "the trick is keeping an eye on everything and knowing when to replace parts before they leave you stranded."

The bottom line is do you like the truck or are you just looking for "cheap" transportation for a few months? If the answer is the latter, I would recommend against your plan. It is going to cost you more time and money than you think to keep this truck on the road; at least if you want dependable safe transportation. If you like the truck then go for it.

My wife prefers her Sienna with all its do-dads. She can't understand why I would want to drive the old Troop and thinks that it is a waste of money for me to keep it going. Of course, her idea of maintaining a vehicle is taking it to the shop for an oil change.

I like the rugged simplicity of the Troop. The smell of Bondo and Krylon don't bother me (although I don't like working with acid to stop the rust). And, I have an old Protege' to use when I am working on the Troop.

Good luck.
 
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