92 Rodeo 4wheel drive is junk!

xntriklytwztedxntriklytwzted Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Isuzu
Hello all,

Hope someone can help. I have a 1992 Isuzu Rodeo "S" 3.1, 5sp, manual locking hubs, with 265/75/15's. Last night was the 3rd time this thing has been stuck in light mud. Once even on a light grade in 3-4" of snow. ALL OF THIS IN 4H AND 4L. What gives?? When I would get it stuck, I'd either have someone watching, or open the door and look myself, but all i could see was one tire, alwasy on the back, spinning at once, again, in 4H and 4L, wheels locked. Am I doing something wrong here? Or is the 4wd in these things just crap?



p.s. any suggestions on how to LOCK all of the wheels, in 4h and 4l to turn together NO MATTER WHAT? Is that what a "locker" is for? I work on cars pretty well, but have no idea when it comes to trannies and transfer cases.

Thanks again!


  • mwolfemwolfe Member Posts: 7
    I'm not sure about the 92 drive line. I have a '97, and it doesn't have auto-lockers, but i suspect yours does. Typically when a normal 4WD is stuck, you will have at least 1 wheel spin up front, and in back. Most often, on opposite corners. I belive your vehicle has auto-locking hubs up front. Auto-lockers aren't real preferable for serious off-roading, because they tend to be problematic. It's a trade between reliability and convenience. I suspect one of your hubs isn't locking, and so the power going to the front wheels is getting wasted. The auto-hub connects the power from the front axle to the wheel when needed. A lot of them aren't used often enough though, some get stuck, and don't work right. If you are into 4 wheeling, I would convert to manual hubs, I picked up some superwinch hubs for my rodeo for about $125.
    In theory, if you were to jack the rear axle off the ground, and the rear tires weren't touching, if you were to put it in 4WD, the front axle should have traction. If you get into that situation again, have a spotter look at the front axles. I suspect one of them is turning, but the wheel isn't. That would be your stuck hub. Just be safe about it, and don't lay down in front of a vehicle trying to power out of a ditch. :surprise:
  • darth_venomdarth_venom Member Posts: 43
    It's the best most dependable 4wd I've ever owned. In fact if it weren't for the dependability & ruggedness of the 4x4 unit I would have been stranded for 3 months or so when my U joints on my rear driveshaft went out. I drove around in 4wd H for those 3 months up to 55 mph with my rear driveshaft assembly removed for repair. This was 3 years ago and still no problems with the 4wd.

    As to your problem I agree with post above that it sounds like one of your hubs isn't locking properly and you should go to manual locking hubs if you use the 4wd frequently. The other option is to diagnose which hub is giving you the trouble, disassemble inspect and replace any worn parts as necessary.
  • brynnespotbrynnespot Member Posts: 1
    Whats up- I also have a '92 Rodeo 3.1L V6 5 speed with manually locking front hubs and suprisingly the same sized tires. When I got her the 4x4 had never been used, but I took her out A LOT and the 4x4 works really well. I've never had a problem with the hubs either and I usually air my tires down a little for romping- just for better traction. The reason you only manually lock the front is because when it is not engaged in 4WD it is a RWD SUV. OG rigs have them... they're better for off roading too. I believe what you're experiencing is a combination of IFS and your 4 could be blown. I'm not too sure but you should research into that more. Do your tires have enough tread and sidewall on them? You might just need new tires.
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