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Isuzu Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • Which engine are you working on...there is a L4 and V6 for your year vehicle.
  • Thanks bahmed for the diagnosis and insight. I have been thinking about the possibility of some type of idle control sensor being out of wack. The flashing CEL remained active for about 15-20 minutes. When I got to the dealer I left it running so the tech could check codes. After he found none I then shut off the ignition. Immediately restarted the engine with no flashing CEL and perfect idle. I will discuss your comments with the service rep. Appreciate the info and will post the outcome. Thanks.
  • It's the 4 cyliner 2.6
  • I am not familiar with the 4 cyl., but in general, there may be a freeze plug on the back of the head. If not or if that is not the problem, you indicate that the coolant is coming from the transmission area. If you have checked above and around the heater hoses to be sure they are not leaking, and the head was installed and torqued properly (means you don't see any coolant around the gasket area, then you may have a freeze plug on the rear of the block that chose this time to leak. It seems like it would be a small leak that would gradually get worse over time though. If the coolant is gushing, I would look for something I (you) missed while reassembling the truck. Have you checked the engine oil for coolant as well? That might show an improperly installed gasket and the need to retorque the head bolts. Sorry I can't be more specific. Let us know what you find. good luck
  • There were a bunch of water coolant hoses around my 1984 1.9L L4 engine and on my 1995 V6 as well. I suggest looking at all the hoses. Maybe one end of a hose fell off, or the hose has failed. The hoses are difficult to reach and therefore are usually only changed if they fail.
    A positive note: At least you have a visible and verifiable and traceable non-intermittent consistent problem which can be solved without risk of damaging the engine.
  • Thanks for the info, I should have said it does not start leaking until I get to a certain point like filling a bowl with a leak, the freeze plugs would make sense, I plan on looking at them this week and will let you know thanks.
  • No problem, let us know what will be the final fix, another thing to check is the 'Transmission Mode Switch' also known as 'Range Switch' or the 'Mode Switch', it is a Electro-mechanical switch located on the side of the Auto transmission on the Driver Side, this Switch tells the ECM which gear the truck is in, the switch goes bad around 80K and the symptoms are rough shifting from 1st to 3rd and vice-versa, I did had the howering idling in the first start in the morning and it settled down after the engine warmed up, search for my other post on the transmission mode switch, I did not have the rough idling since I changed the Mode Switch, by the way the Mode Switch went did not produce any CEL or Check Transmission Light, but the Dealer did pull the codes about the switch, so not codes will bring the light on the dash. If you also have sluggish power, it sounds like the Timing belt issue.
  • Dealer called this morning. Said problem is with MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure. The service rep said the voltage was off causing it react much as if there was an intake manifold gasket leak. The MAP was replaced yesterday and codes checked. The Trooper was restarted this morning (outside temp around 58 degrees) with no abnormal idle or flashing CEL. Hope this takes care of the problem; I'll drive it myself for several days to see what happens. The dealer (Duncan Jeep/Isuzu in Blacksburg VA) had already changed the intake manifold gaskets based on the symptoms. I did not have to pay for the gasket change since that did not fix the problem; kudos to them! Appreciate the help and I am sure your input help put them on the trail to the problem. After your initial assessment I asked the service manager if they had checked to ensure the ECU and any related sensors were within specs. He was pretty insistent that it was the manifold gaskets since they have had problems with them in the past. Unfortunately, sometimes we zero in on the "usual" problem and same old solution when that is not always the case. I think you gave me some insight to make them think about it a bit more. Again, thanks and will keep you posted if the problem reoccurs. Cool site! :shades:
  • I have a similar problem with my 2001 trooper (2WD). I have determined that the sound is coming from my right rear wheel. From in the car, it sounds like a "waw, waw..." noise starting at about 10 mph, and the only thing that makes it quit is by stopping the car. From spinning the wheel, it sort of sounds like a grinding noise. I am not sure if it would be the wheel bearing, or an axle bearing.

    Anyway, what would be the best way to determine which it is, and how difficult is it to replace? I am fairly mechanically inclined, and have access to tons of tools (auto-hobby shop on base).

    Also, where can I find a maintenance manual for my 2001? I have looked and looked, and cannot find one anywhere.

  • Hi, Are you sure it is not some component of the brake system that is causing the noise? That would have the highest probability of causing a noise. You have an internal parking brake shoe system that can cause an intermittent noise. Removing the caliper and rotor may help you isolate, but if it is a bearing, the outer usually is the one that goes first. They are not too hard to do, and the seal will need replacement too. You could try an online manual at if you cannot find one locally. I am sure that a Chilton or other publisher can also be found, if you have the time. I bought mine on ebay, used. Hope this helps. /photo/v./photo.jpg
  • Well i had the chance to look at the hoses in the light of day and I lucked out, it was a hose on the back of the motor, totally blown out, well, a lot easier than any freeze plugs, thanks for the insight.
  • Atfdmike, thanks for the quick reply AND the drawing. I checked the brake and parking brake, and it still makes the noise even without these components on the axle. I am pretty sure it is the outer bearing as well.

    You said that I need to replace the seal? NAPA lists an inner and an outer seal. I am assuming that this is the outer seal I will need? Are these the only two parts I need to buy?

    Thanks again for the help.
  • My kid is at it again, your advise last time was of great Value... He reversed his leaf springs and you guys predicted damage and guess what you were right... Leaf springs are back now in the proper way.

    He cut his fenders at school today and but 34" tires on his 1996 trooper. he is parking it at the schools shop and is buying a Engine and drive train out of a 4cyl 2.4 lt 1986 Toyota pickup. He is under the idea that its going to cost about 100 bucks more for parts to get all this in. Im thinking is going to be way more but I need info from you guys.

    Right now he is running all stock execpt for these tires.

    I dont want him doing this if its going to cost allot because he does not have the money to do it.

    here is a photo of his rig...
  • He will need many new parts to mount the Toyota engine with proper wibration absorption and get the exhaust system to work, maybe need to change an expensive catalytic converter if he is subject to emissions testing. There is an engine computer in the 1986 Trooper, probably also an engine computer in the doner Toyota, he will need to research carefully all the inputs to the computer he chooses to use and se that all are the proper type. Some sensors might be on the Isuzu stuff he wants to keep that is not mounted on the engine directly.
    On the flip side, Isuzu makes a tough engine, it could be rebuilt if the need of a rebuild is his motivation for less expense than the Toyota swap in my opinion. Or he could look for another Isuzu engine in a junk yard that is known to fit.
    With a lot of carefull labor and design skill to make custom adapters from raw materials available free in the shop, he could make it work on the cheap, but how well will it work?
  • I'm with Boxtrooper on this one too! Just the electronics is going to be a nightmare, and even if it is an older, non computer engine, he is going to need to make provision in wiring for the starter, alternator, grounds, ignition and not even to mention the need to fabricate engine and trans mounts ( including possibly moving a cross member, accelerator linkage, trans shifter linkage, drive shaft length changes,etc: This project would test an experienced mechanic, but to do it at school, part time, with little technical support would be daunting. Maybe it is time to "remind" him of the spring rework and suggest a slightly less radical rebuild of his existing powerplant. He can do that in a high school shop, get lots of technical support, and if he wants more of a challenge, then rebuild the trans too! Just one guys opinion!
  • I found my 2000 trooper's Check Trans light on. It is 4x2 and has no problem before. At low speed, when I speed up slowly, I can feel the shake of the car. We love this car. Please help

  • Hi all. Recently my '98 3.5 V6 manual trooper (Jackaroo) with about 100,000 miles on clock had a major "seizure" - headgasket blew, water pump failed, and ended up requiring a new cam, new head (tiny crack). The engine had to be removed completely. Since getting the vehicle back from repair, after about 15 minutes driving the clutch gets stiff (seems okay when cold and when I accelerate (all gears)there is a delay in uptake (revs almost like a false neutral initially then power seems to come on). Mechanics claim they didn't touch the clutch so perhaps something else they did is causing this? At idle it chatters almost like a diesel (engine used to be quiet as a mouse). Finally there is a definite oily smell when the engine is hot - never previously apparent. It's going back but I'd appreciate any clues people muight have. Many thanks
  • the check trans light means a code has been set and that can be read by a Tech 2 or other diagnostic code reader. That is the only way the codes can be read. Most national auto supply stores will read them for free. Be sure to get and write down the specific language and code number(s) when you do this. good luck
  • Hi, sorry about your troubles. First off, if they only removed the engine, then they did touch the clutch, and it could be as simple as the clutch mechanism being installed wrong to as much as a damaged pressure plate or damaged or missing pilot bearing from removing the engine, or the clutch fork mechanism being knocked off the mechanism that holds it, or the clutch system may need to be bled. If they removed the engine and trans as a unit, then they can claim to not have touched the trans., but they would have had to unhook the clutch slave cylinder from the system to remove the engine and trans as an assembly.
    As to the rebuild, if the engine was not carefully cleaned before running, you can get some burned oil smell, but that should go away after some use. The chattering sounds like timing issues, could be the timing belt installation or something they did during cam installation and setting up during the valvetrain repairs. There are oil seals throughout the valve train that must be installed properly and the oil leaking out may not be apparent due to covers keeping the leak out of sight.
    I hope this info gives you a little insight. good luck, another Trupr owner.
  • atfdmike, Thanks for your help.

    Do you know what's the problem could be? Thanks.
  • I am trying to replace my rear passenger side wheel bearing. I remove the axle, and place the axle on a press to remove the bearing. This thing will not budge! We had 8000 lbs of pressure on it, and it would still not move. I followed the directions exactly from

    Here is a exploded view from atfdmike: /photo/v./photo.jpg

    After I pulled the axle, I removed the snap ring (10 in the diagram), and placed the axle in a press. It looks like the retainer (9) is holding everything on. According to everything I have read, it should just press right out. A guy at the machine shop said that you have to split the retainer and replace it, but this is also part of the sensor for the anti-lock brakes. I am pulling my hair out here!!! :mad:

    Anyone else ever experienced this? Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    They took the engine out and put a 100,000 miles old clutch back in it? That wasn't a wise decision...why don't you flush out the hydraulic fluid in the clutch slave and master cylinders. Maybe that'll help. As for the burning, there's probably an oil leak dripping onto hot engine parts I would guess. The chatter is lifter noise. Sounds like these boys need to re-examine their work.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I have 333K on my '90 trooper. There is a heater hose that goes around the back of the engine, two years ago mine ruptured. I was able to repair it by cutting it back and re-attaching it, and then refilling it with A/Freeze. I think that it also attaches to a metal tube too. (I repaired this in city-on the bad side of town I might add.) You will be able to find the leak due to the flow of fluid. One thing you need to do is re-torque that head, I'm thinking 500 miles but I may be wrong. Mabe 1500 miles. Someone else may know for sure. But these vechicles are notorius for blown head gaskets and cracked original heads. I've had it all. I'm driving this baby till 500k.... good luck with yours..
  • From all I can tell, the retainer should come off fairly easily. However, if the spline of the axle is distorted between the retainer and where it went in to the differential, that may be why it will not press off. You might be able to tell by looking at the axle splines and seeing if they are perfectly straight or they may have some small distortion. Otherwise, pressing it off is the only thing the manual says, and replacing same unless it is damaged on removal. Good luck. Let us know what you find.
  • Okay... I'm not automotive genius, but I have been able to fix a few things on cars or vehicles over the years. So, forgive me if I seem stupid or ask stupid questions.

    My girlfriend has a '96 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD that the starter has begun clicking when you try to start it. Usually if you keep clicking away (turning the ignition key) it will eventually start. I know it has something to do with the starter and please understand that both of us are very "financially challenged" at the moment, so a cheap fix would be the best one for now.

    I've read in this forum and in the general forum about similar symptoms and have read conflicting suggestions or answers. I've heard where one person said it was definitely the starter and then another said it was probably the starter solenoid. I've gathered some information from here to check the connections and do a little troubleshooting, but even some of that information has been sporadic and inconsistent. I've seen starters for this make and model of Isuzu that you can actually purchase the individual parts for the starter, so I could potentially narrow that price down to less than $20, if it truly IS the solenoid. A local friend of mine seemed convinced that the clicking starter symptom was generally a bad solenoid.

    The car will start, but not until you click it a few times.

    Any advice, suggestions, links, guides, or trouble-shooting tips to narrow down specifically what is wrong with the starter and/or the solenoid, would be greatly appreciated.

    Silly Little Boy
  • If you hear the clicking, then pretty much it is nothing but the Solenoid, the cost of the parts is like under $5 for the Solenoid contacts, that is all you need to change in the starter, you can do this yourself, take the Starter out and change the Solenoid copper contacts, if you are mechanically handy, it is 45 min job. Be aware that sometimes if the Transmission Mode Switch goes bad or if it is shifted, the Starter will not even get energized, for example even though you have the transmission in PARK, due to the problem in the Transmission Mode Switch (if there is problem), the ECM thinks the transmission is in REVERSE, hence it will prevent the engine from starting. One way of confirming it is the Solenoid contacts which have gone bad for sure is to hammer the starter with a Rubber hammer few times around the starter gently, this will help shed the dust or carbon build up on the Solenoid contacts and fixes the problem temporarily.
  • Thanks bahmed for a simple straight forward answer.

    I'll let you know how it goes. I'm mechanically and electrically skilled enough to handle all of that. While I don't have any automotive education, I did pick up an Elect. Tech. degree many years ago, though I long since left that career path behind for the world of business, but have kept onto the knowledge and the abilities.

  • I checked my sources, and have not found that there is any trick to removing the ABS axle retainer. It should remove fairly easily. As far as the bearing, a bearing remover is employed by the factory manual: if/photo/v./photo.jpg

    I think they use a remover because of the tight proximity of bearing to flanges. It does seem like a press should be able to remove it though. Hope this helps.
  • After a many many phone calls to local shops, I finally found one that knew what they were doing. I am not sure how they did it, but they were able to press it off and replace the bearing without destroying the retainer. I am not sure what I was doing wrong-I was not able to speak to the guy that actually did the work. Oh well, it did not cost that much to just have the machine shop do the work for me.

    Now it is so quiet in the Trooper that I can hear everything else that is making noise... :) Thanks again for all of the help.
  • Hi there,

    I am little old New Zealand, and my 1996 isuzu is having issues with the TOD check light. As far as I can tell everything is working properly, but the green rear wheel lights keep flashing and the check light comes on, only when it is in 2WD mode (on my trooper the TOD is engaged with a stick shift as opposed to a switch on the dash). If I switch off the ignition and run the car in TOD auto or in 4WD Low there is no error, as soon as you put it back into 2WD mode the lights start flashing. I have had a look around as you have suggested and have shorted out pin 8 on the connector to ground. The TOD error code is 33. I have no idea what this means. I hope someone can help

    Thanks. Isuzu Bighorn, ex japan 3.1 diesel. Auto + TOD
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