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Isuzu Trooper

1105106108110111582

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  • Well, I made it. Drove the 102 miles to Richmond, VA today and picked up the travel trailer (Trail Harbor by R-Vision) I bought a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, everything didn't go as planned (actually, almost nothing). Before I signed up for the trailer a couple weeks ago, I mentioned to the salesman that the Trooper ('01 2WD LS) is pre-wired. He said that the service dept knew all about it. I mentioned it again when I went in this AM. Guess what - they didn't use it. Spent a lot of time pulling wires up front to hook up. Then, the trailer brake lights didn't work after they hooked the truck up to the trailer. Seems the amber turn signals threw them. I asked if they had the right signals to the Trooper's electrical trailer jack and I got the old deer-in-the-headlights look. I crawled under the truck with a "technician" and showed it to him. He didn't have much to say... Unhook, back to the service bay, another 45 mins and they finally got it right.
    The weight distributing hitch and anti-sway are "Husky" brand. Not a name I recognized, but pretty sturdy. I had ordered a Sherline Loadmaster trailer tongue weight scale and measured the tongue weight at 650 lbs. When they dropped it on the truck, the rear dropped a bit but once the weight distributing spring arms were tensioned everything leveled out nicely. I want to take the trailer to a public scale and weigh it. Seeing as how the advertising literature says the tongue weight (dry) is 330 lbs, I'm really sceptical that their advertised unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) of 4,136 is anywhere near the true weight! Even the inside factory sticker that shows 4,420 lbs with options installed is probably off a bit. Guessing that the UVW is 4,500 lbs, the tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% (450 lbs and 675 lbs), which it was. It is advertised as a 24' trailer, but that's without the 3-1/2 or so feet of A frame and coupler.
    About the time we left Richmond, it started raining. There were reports of high winds and even a tornado. I thought that we might wind up spending the night at a rest stop along the way. At least, we had a bed;-)
    My big concern was trailer sway, particularly when passed by 18-wheelers. That turned out to not be a problem. I knew I was being passed, but always felt I had good control. Most of the truckers gave me a wide berth and a few of them even moved over to the #1 lane (I stayed in #3 until the road widened to 4 lanes, then I moved over to #4). The only time the trailer kicked around a little was when one semi was coming up on the left in #2 lane and another one blew by me at at least 75 mph in the #4 lane (I had just moved to #3 to get into the correct lane to cross the bridge from VA into MD). Things got a little squirrelly on that bridge because of winds and the open grating at the drawspan. Hit another bit of fairly strong wind that moved the trailer around on an overpass only a coupe of miles from home. Slowed to 40 mph and it behaved again. Most of the trip up I-95 I kept the cruise control set between 55 and 60. The trans would shift down at just about every grade, and none of them are really significant hills. I'd say that this load just about maxes out the Trooper. Both the salesman and mechanic told me it would tow fine and that "you won't even know it's back there". Well, they were wrong. I knew it was there but it wasn't too bad. The most noticeable thing wasn't sway (fishtailing) but "bucking" when I drove over any rough sections of road. The short wheelbase of the Trooper accentuates the effect.
    This would be an ideal tow vehicle for one of the tent-end trailers or a collapsible unit but it'll do us for now. We won't be making any long trips in it as we plan to park it at a nearby military recreation center during the summers and store it closer to home during winters. Before we start making long trips with it, I'm gonna trade my S-10 pickup for a 2500HD.
    I'll try to get some pictures of it in the next day or two (it was dark by the time we got home).
    Charlie
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    This is not easy to do, in my experience. Dealer service departments are very savvy and they generally do NOT want to document problems. Any problem they do document is always prefaced with "customer states" or "check for". They are very careful to admit that anything is actually wrong.

    I would not expect many dealer service departments to document a laundry list of problems or potential problems. This is a good idea on your part, though. I just don't think the dealer will play along.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    exactly where can these be found for any particular model vehicle? It sounds like a good idea to me, to know what has been identified as a problem or potential problems with a vehicle you own. More info please. Happy Trooping !! ;->
  • I read your account of towing your new camp trailer. Let me 1st congratulate you on your new purchase and the wisdom to consider a HD2500 as the final solution. I am impressed to hear the Trooper did so well especially considering not only the weight but the frontal area, WOW! I would offer the following you or anyone that tows anything... 1)Plan to change the tranny fluid early, especially after that big trip. 2)I always like to have an auxiliary tranny cooler on anything that tows, 4wheels or sits in traffic. They're a cheap fix that helps to ensure long and trouble free tranny operation. 3)Understand and work with the auto tranny to help it not destroy itself. The torque converter (automatic clutch) has the ability to lock and eliminate heat building, power robbing slip in 3rd and 4th gear. Your tranny is far better off running 60-65mph in 3rd gear with the converter locked than in 4th with the converter unlocked. The engine and cooling system is more than capable of sustaining itself at 3000-3500rpm. If you choose to tow in 4th make sure you're going fast enough to allow the converter to lock. When locked it feels as though your driving a standard shift car in high gear ie. no perceptible change in rpm with slight adjustments of the throttle position. A good rule of thumb is cruise in third and note the gas pedal position then shift to 4th(drive). If it takes more pedal to maintain speed in 4th than it did 3rd use 3rd, if not then 4th is probably OK. When driving through hilly terrain downshift to avoid constant shifting by the transmission.

    You may know all this but beleive it to be good advice that may be of help to you or someone else. Enjoy the Trooper and the Camp Trailer!
    Chris L.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yep what chris said is true. I find that when I towed the 5200lb car trailer, i was better off doing 75mph in 4th than 65mph. It cruised at the same RPMs that I normally cruise @ 75, so i knew the TC was locked.

    -mike
  • Chris and Mike:
    Thanks for the tips. I intended to install an additional trans cooler but the service writer I talked to at a local Isuzu dealer told me it wasn't necessary (nor did he think it a good idea). I'll reconsider doing so. It looks like it would be pretty easy to do as all that needs to be done is re-route one of the existing lines thru the aux unit prior to the radiator. As I said, I don't intend to tow this trailer very much with the Trooper, but I'll follow your advice on gear selection and fluid changes. I have almost 5,000 miles on it now, so will look to changing it at 10,000 or a bit sooner. I'll try it with the selector lever in "3" next time - but I dunno about 65 mph...I got over 60, near 65 mph, a couple of times and it just felt like things were starting to float around on me. Could be just my imagination, but 60 mph was the upper limit of my sphincter.
    BTW, I averaged just over 19 mpg going to Richmond and just over 10 coming home ;-)
    Thanks again,
    Charlie
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You do have a big wind footprint. I noticed that with my boat even though it's lighter than towing the car, It gets pushed by the wind more.

    -mike
  • My friend just mentioned the recall with the fuel line for Nov. 2000.....I have a 2001 Trooper S 2WD. Does anyone know if this recall is applicable to my vehicle?

    Bulletins for 2001 Isuzu Truck Trooper S 2WD V6-3.5L DOHC MFI

    Safety Recalls
    TSB Number Issue Date TSB Title SB00-02-S006 NOV 00 Recall - Fuel Hose Replacement
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    The "Severe Conditions" (which your towing falls under) maintenance schedule for tranny fluid replacement interval is 20,000 miles.

    This is as compared with the regular maintenance schedule which doesn't list a recommended tranny fluid swap at all...
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    when bragging on my ISUZU dealer's service department. Get a load of this. You'all have been hearing me "whine" about the rear diffy in my 97' "whining" or "singing", for some time now. I took it in a week or so back, to have the work done, after they called me saying the parts had arrived. I left it with them on Saturday afternoon and the "service writer" assured me they would get on it 1st thing Monday morning. I had to go out of town on business for the 1st half of the week, so I made arrangements for a ride back to the dealer to pick it up on my way home (about another 75 miles away). I had full confidence they would take care of things, so I didn't bother to call them until Wednesday afternoon late, as I'm on my way back home about to pass through Little Rock. I call the service department...ring ring... and ask if the 97' Trooper for Smart is ready to be picked up. "Uh sir, we don't have a 97' Trooper here for maintenance, when did you bring it in"? Last Saturday, I replied. "Last Saturday?, let me check". Silence for about 5 minutes....."Uh Mr. Smart, I'm sorry but the guy that was here and took your service ticket failed to tell us about it being here". What?? You haven't done anything to it yet? "No sir, I'm sorry, but I WILL get someone right on it and we'll have it ready for you tomorrow evening". Wait a minute, you told me it would take 2 maybe 3 days to do the work the 1st time we talked, now you say it can be done in 1 day? I don't want a RUSH job here, I want a QUALITY job done. I can wait another day or two if necessary, but I want it done right! "I understand Mr. Smart". "We won't rush through and sacrifice quality"."I'll have a couple guys stay over late tonight to get started on it, and we might have it ready for you late tomorrow". I got a phone call late the next afternoon, and sure enough it wasn't ready. Whew, I thought maybe they are taking time to do it right after all. I got another call late the next afternoon and they assured me it was ready to pick up. OK, that little maintenance job (rear end ring and pinion and 4 rotors machined) only took 7 days. Not bad for a dealer! When I got to the dealer (a little over an hour's drive away), I went to the service counter and asked to pick up my Trooper. "Huh, Trooper for who"? Smart, the name is Smart. "I don't see a ticket here for Smart". Let me check with the service writer. Gone for about 5 minutes... she returns; "I'm sorry Mr. Smart, they haven't finished typing up all the paperwork yet, it'll be a few minutes". OK, they close the service dept. in about 45 minutes, can't be too much longer. Shortly they come out with my ticket and a basket full of apologies. Yeah, yeah, whatever, am I free to go now? Yes sir! Just stop at the clerk's office and sign the papers. I looked at the BALANCE DUE and I can't believe my eyes! $00.00 Wow, imagine that, all this maintenance time and I don't have to pay a dime? "That's right sir, you're free to go". Maybe there is a silver lining around every cloud after all. I'll give you the rest of the story, later. Happy Trooping ;->
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Did they give you a freebie as a way of making things right for taking so long? Was it covered under warranty (extended, powertrain, etc.)? Did they make a mistake? Was it a TSB and the dealer decided to pick up the tab?
  • cobbocobbo Posts: 34
    Well, after 12k miles, I figured it's time for a quickie update...after all them miles, I've come to a conclusion on a number of things...one, I love my Troop....two, it doesn't matter what grade gasoline I put in, I still get 14/15 in the city and 15/17 on long distance trips (I blame my lead foot)...three, the Troop tops out at 110mph on flat roads if you fold the mirrors in (which is good enough the beat a mustang convertible by 1mph)...four, the 3k between oil changes passes quickly...five, even at high speeds the Troop is more quiet than my old JGC...six, women need a step stool to get in the back seat when wearing skirts...seven, I don't own such a stool. *grin*

    Hope ya'll are having a good week....-Cobbo
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's it? Daym. I've hit 115, and onlybacked off cause there was a curve coming up. I'll have to test again when I go to NC next week. Speaking of which check out http://isuzu-suvs.com/events for Planet Isuzu Camping and off-road trip next weekend.


    -mike

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    you crazy...unforntunately both NC trips have not been good timing for me. I hope to make one in the spring.
  • I plan on going to Uwharrie Dec8-Dec9. I will be camping with kids others with me might bring more 4x4s. If anyone from Edmunds Isuzu Club shows up that will be great.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    to answer the question about the cost being $0.00, all the work was covered under the powertrain warranty which extends to 60,000 miles on the 97' model. Somehow they covered the machining of the rotors under the powertrain warranty as well. I didn't ask questions, gladly accepted the gratuity.

    Now about the repair. As I got the Troop back, I immediately took it for a test drive to see what the results were. I told my wife I wasn't taking it home until it was fixed, no matter how long it takes. We hopped in and started backing out of the parking spot to head for the freeway. As I was backing up, I thought I heard a noise and felt a vibration coming from the rear of the vehicle. I didn't really focus on it, thought it might be gravel under the tires on the pavement or something like that. Anyway, we headed for the freeway just a couple blocks away, and quickly found ourselves cruising along at 75 mph. I asked my wife, "do you hear that"? Hear what, she replied. That, that...quiet, silence, just the wind blowing!! Wow, what a difference! No more "whine" from the rear diffy! It was GREAT to just hear a little tire noise and the wind blowing by the windshield. I accelerated on up to about 80-85 mph and it was smooth as silk. Aaaaah that is nice. Got back to the dealership, closed the paperwork just as the service department was closing, and prepared to head home. I went out to the service writer and told him to pass along to the mechanic my appreciation for a, "job well done". "Looks like you guys did it right, I said". "Please let the mechanic know I appreciate it". He grinned from ear to ear. He may not get too many pleased customers coming back to thank him. As we exited the parking lot, I thought I heard that sound again and felt some vibration?? Maybe gravel on the pavement again. We stopped and got a bite to eat and as we prepared to leave when exiting the parking spot, there it was again...that noise and vibration. Whoa, this can't be happening! I don't think I'm imagining this. We decide to take in a movie before going home and after the movie is over and I'm backing out of the parking spot, you guessed it, there it goes again! By now the dealers closed, so we head home (75 miles away). The drive home is bittersweet. I'm loving the quiet, smooth drive, but I've got a bad feeling something just ain't right in that diffy. The next day after backing out of the garage and turning on to the main street, there's that noise again. Turns out, every time I make a change in direction of travel and especially a sharp turn at a intersection, I get the same vibration and noise. I decided to call the dealer and let him know what is happening and get his opinion on it. In the mean time, I've decided they didn't put LSD oil in the thing and the plates are sticking together or something. I stopped by my parts jobber and picked up a tube of LSD treatment that goes with rear end lube. Called the dealer service dept., they say bring it back, we'll take a look at it. "Did they put LSD oil in it"?, I asked. 5 minutes of silence. Yeah, the mechanic said he put the correct lube in there. Oh great, I can easily do without my Troop another week, sure....hmmm maybe not. I told him I would have to schedule an appointment later in the week. I pulled the Trooper in the garage at home and proceeded to pull the rear diffy level check plug. Stuck my little finger in to check the level, and lo and behold its filled right up to the plug. I opened my LSD treatment and squirted it in and re-inserted the plug. Wait a minute, look at that! Right there by the plug is a label that says "USE ONLY LSD OIL". I didn't see that before, and it's obvious now it had been covered with dirt and grime, but now it's standing out there just like new. Hmmmm. Backed out of the garage, turned to get on the street, (*&%@#$ still vibrating. Drove a few miles, took a couple changes of direction, back and forth, sharp turns, still vibrating. But, it doesn't seem to be as evident. Over the course of a couple days the vibrations completely quit. Those jerks didn't put the proper oil in or left the LSD treatment out! End of mystery. Happy Trooping again!! ;-/
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll pass the word on uwharrie in Dec. In 2 weeks we are heading down again. http://isuzu-suvs.com/events


    -mike

  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    is a great example of why I have very little faith in the ability of the "professional" mechanics or shops to do a job right.
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