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Isuzu Owners Maintenance and Repair



  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Your cold start idle sounds normal to me. The surging when the IM gasket was bad was severe - from almost killing to 1000 rpm once every second or two.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Yes, I think that's normal on the cold start rpm and that is why I thought I'd post it.

    In terms of air filters, I had mine changed with the oil at valvoline--didn't even check the brand but I looked at the two side by side and the number of pleats etc looked the same. Guess maybe I should be more picky but I haven't had a problem before.

    I went with a Valvoline blend (not pure synthetic). I asked about mixing and/or changing over on here before. Most people thought that was not a problem, and that changing to synthetic was no problem on an engine with low miles. First time I've ever gone with a synthetic in any vehicle. I hope it wasn't a bad choice. Interesting someone might think a blend is not good. I'd like to hear why. It is supposed to help on fuel economy and high temp performance. We'll see how it does in terms of the burning a quart in 3000 miles. If pure Valvoline synthetic is even better I might go with that but it seemed a bit pricey if you change every 3000 miles.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    The owners manual does say to use an oil that indicates fuel saving, which the blend oil (at least for valvoline) does indicate. Other than that not a lot in the manual.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    but I change it every 5K miles. I have considered extending to 7.5K with an additional filter change midway inbetween, but decided 5K is fine. Parts/supplies for an oil change even with Mobil One is under $20, divided over 5K miles is less than 4 tenths of a cent per mile. Pretty cheap.

    And, since tonight it is supposed to get down to -13F, the cold flow capabilities of synthetic can drastically reduce cold start wear...
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Off the shelf blends do not state what percentage of the blend is synthetic. Some are as low as 10% synthetic which to me is misleading advertising. Thus, not recommended. You can make your own blend by mixing 50-50 synthetic with normal dino oil if you wish. I am biased, I have used 100% synthetic for past 9 years on every car I own, currenlty 5 and it is in the engines, transmissions and gear oils. My change intervals are:
    2 cars with 8,000-12,000 miles/year filter at 6 months oil once a year
    1 car 20,000 miles./year, filter at 6,000 oil change at 12,000 miles (total current mileage 61,000
    1 car 15,000 miles/year change oil and filter at 7,500, current mileage 131,000
    1 car a twin turbo oil and filter at 5,000 miles
    Oil (trend) analyis on all at least once a year, no problems noted.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    I noticed today that it jumped briefly to 1500 rpm twice and then it settled in at ~1000 rpm.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    I've recently purchased a 97' Trooper Limited with 51,000 miles on it. I made a 850 mile trip home in it, all the while, having to listen to an annoying whine (hum mm) coming from the rear of the vehicle. I didn't notice the whine until I got to about 60 mph. At that speed it overcomes any tire / highway noise and it just gets worse as you increase speed to about 75 mph. The only time the (hmmm) went away, was when on a downhill grade with basically no load on the drive train. When I got home I immediately crawled under the car to feel of the rear axle and differentials temperature. The outside air was about 32 I and the metal was quite warm to the touch, but not to hot to keep your hand on it. One other thing I've noticed, when getting between 75 and 80 mph a loud vibration coming from the rear of the vehicle. It remain until reaching about 85 mph and then it smooths out again. I thought this might be coming from the roof built-in rear window air deflector!?? Anyone else experienced this? This is very disappointing after paying what I did for the car. I've checked the level of gear oil in the differential and it was up to the fill hole (normal) and looked normal in color and texture. I did notice when removing the fill plug, a hissing sound like air escaping around the threads of the plug as I removed it. This surprised me a bit. I also own a 1988 Trooper which now has 120,000+ miles on it, and it has never had a noise (hmmm) like this. Is anyone else out there experiencing this kind of problem with their ewer Troopers?? Anyone got any ideas on a cheap fix? Has ISUZU issued any notices pertaining to this?? This is a beautiful car otherwise and I hate to get off on the wrong foot with it.
    By the way, I've been reading all the posts about lubrication and the best oil I've found is Purple Royal. Check out Royal Purple . om
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    While I'm at it I'll ask one more question. My 88' Trooper has been consuming about 1 pint of antifreeze mix a week. I've had it to the repair shop a couple times. They've either said they can find no problem or have no idea what could be happening. The last shop that had it, said it was the freeze plug, which they replaced. But, it still consumes coolant. Anyone got any ideas about this one?? The head gasket was replaced about 1 year ago if that might have anything to do with it.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Could this be tire noise? Those are high speeds if the tires aren't up to the task. What tires are on it at 51,0000 miles?
  • I have a 96 with the 3.2 engine. Never has rear end whine, but since day one there has been a middle drive train vibration starting exactly at 76 MPH and ending in the mid 80s. This was hard to duplicate at the dealer, but on a lift they did hear it. The transfer case shift knob really vibrates when it does this, proving that it is drive train. I gave up on fixing it and after 65K miles, everything still runs fine, and I ignore the vibration. 65K miles trouble-free do not mean my decision to ignore it is correct.

    The dealer said that some 95s and 96s had drive train vibration between 45 and 50 mph and that certain gears or bearings would be replaced in the transfer case if the customer complained. (Isuzu issued a service bulletin.) Of course, my car didn't vibrate at those speeds.

    Opposite of your problem: My wife's 89 4cyl trooper has had a rear-end whine since about 70K miles and is at 170K today.
  • It's my night to tell both trooper stories. The 96 story is above. The 89 story follows.

    We have owned since new an 89 4cyl automatic. 170,000 miles. At 130,000 it blew a heater hose and overheated After that, it began to use a little coolant, and a little more, and more...

    Dealer removed head and saw no cracks. Then it kept using coolant. When really bad, I took it to a specialty shop. There was a crack on the #3 exhaust valve seat.

    Had engine fully remanufactured (the works) at a major engine shop near Boston, and saw the crack that was about 1/2 inch long. 40,000 miles later, it still runs great and never skips a beat.

    The truck's only on its second set of tires and they're long from worn out. Never has needed front end alignment, either. The only real complaint is the cost of brake work. This thing eats a caliper every other year.
  • vivayovivayo Posts: 32
    Paisan, I read your note that 2WD models don't have TOD. I can understand that, but why does my '01
    Trooper LS (2WD) have a TOD sticker in the rear window? (That's a rhetorical question) Do they call
    the LSD "TOD" just because Isuzu makes the vehicle?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Perhaps your truck is mis-labeled? What guages do you have on the dash? On the left side there should be oil pressure and or volts if you don't have TOD. If you have TOD you'll have a TOD guage there. That is funny that the sticker is on the back door! :)

  • A few weeks back I posted a few maintenance issues with my 2000S 4WD, auto. Here's the latest update:

    Cracked windshield - turns out there was a tiny rock chip on the extreme edge of the windshield that started the crack that spread when the defroster was turned on on a cold day. Not Isuzu's fault, just my bad luck : ( Will replace in the spring when roads are clear.

    Hood protector - got tired of the tapping sound this weekend so I took the silly thing off. Don't have the right tool to trim off the ends (one end broken - one end still tapping the fender) Thinking of just replacing it with a Lund for around $60.00. Looks like a much better design, and it's guaranteed for life. I wonder if we could get Isuzu to recall / replace these stupid hood protectors that don't fit?

    Center console rattle. While driving this weekend my wife and I tried to isolate the location of the rattle. Seems to be coming from the transfer case - through the transfer case shifter. It rattles and vibrates like crazy under certain conditions - more so under acceleration, with and without OD engaged. It's pretty annoying. Will try to get into the dealer soon to see if they can fix this. Any advice from owners with similar experience would be appreciated.

    Also checked my mileage for the first time last weekend. Took a 100 mile road trip, mostly highway, a couple mountain passes, speeds 50 to 65, regular unleaded, 3300 miles on the odometer, sunny, air temperature 36 degrees, relative humidity 85%, winds calm, dry highway, TOD disengaged, 3 passengers, 250 pounds of gear, and the final mileage figure is drum roll please.......... 18.8 mpg. Pretty close to the advertised figure - hope it improves with time and engine break-in.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I had a similar vibe on my '97 rodeo and my '00 Trooper. After 5K breakin, the vibes went down a lot.

  • raydahsraydahs Posts: 449
    For those interested in reading a good article about Synthetic Oils, AMI Auto World Weekley dated 2/27 with the yellow Pontiac Vibe on the cover, has a very good overview on this subject. They talk to Engineers at Mobil and GM about the history and go in depth as to who should be using it, alot of your questions will be answered. I drove mine home from the dealer with 10 miles on it, and changed to Valvoline full Synthetic. I changed it at 3000, 6000 and 9000 miles, then I switched to 7500 mile intervals because 80% of my driving is HWY. I plan on keeping this thing for 10 years, I'm averaging @25K a year and have no doubts about this truck going 250K.

    I couldn't find the article on the site, but for those who don't know about this magazine here ya go

    Buy it, it's worth the 3 bucks!

    Also, in the next issue: AXIOM!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Could be something as simple as the radiator cap loosing its spring pressure over time and releasing small amounts of gas/steam over time.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    So from what I gather blends may be a manufacturer ploy if the % is not stated, but overall a blend is supposed to be good for your engine (i.e. decrease varnishing, decrease high temp burn off under high rpm, decrease wear, etc.) Maybe not as good as pure synthetic but if one changes a blend more frequently--every 3000-5000, this may be as good as changing a pure synthetic every 7500.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    You are probably correct but why not simply mix your own blend in lieu of using a product where you may know the synthetic percentage used? If you change your oil in the 3-5,000 mile range you will probably go as long as if you used a synthetic. I like the fewer drians due to the hassle of doing them which is a mina reason I use synthetics. Plus, some comfort factor in case of extreme heat or cold.
  • vivayovivayo Posts: 32
    > Perhaps your truck is mis-labeled? What guages do you have on the dash? On the left side there should be
    > oil pressure and or volts if you don't have TOD. If you have TOD you'll have a TOD guage there. That is
    > funny that the sticker is on the back door! :)
    I suspect you'e right. I have oil & Voltmeter - no TOD gage. They must've had an extra door laying around
    the factory floor that already had the TOD sticker on it. I noticed it when I picked the truck up, but I
    figured that Isuzu put the TOD label on both the LSD and 4WD. Well, at least they didn't charge me extra
    for it ;-)
    Thanks for the clarification.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's pretty cool. I'd offer to go check out the 2wd ones here and see if that is a widespread sticker, but here in the NE they don't order 2wd ones unless someone pays for it in advance ;)

  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Just another reminder that ordering Isuzu parts via phone from St. Charles Isuzu near St. Louis is fast, enjoyable, and cheap…

    Yesterday I ordered an air filter and 2 oil filters for my 1998 Trooper from St. Charles Isuzu (800.727.8066 or The parts guy gave me the oil filters for St. Charles’ sale price of $3.55 each, which is 30% off manufacturer list of $5.07. The air filter was only $15.51 - much cheaper than I expected. Last January I ordered one from St. Charles for $24.40. At 15% off mfr list, this means mfr list was $28.70. The mfr list on the one I bought yesterday was only $18.25. At $15.51, the Isuzu filter from St. Charles is cheaper than the Fram I've seen at Wal-Mart and Murray's ($16.97).

    Also, the guy mentioned that St. Charles frequently sells items on Ebay, which I was not aware of. I plan to check out Ebay and see what St. Charles is offering. The guy also mentioned that they sometimes auction off a coupon for 30% off list on any entire order. If anybody is thinking about genuine Isuzu upgrades such as running boards, fog lamps, etc. this would be a great way to save more money than St. Charles normally saves you, and way more than buying from your local dealer.

    For those who don’t already know, shipping from St. Charles is free.

    I’ve had excellent experiences every time I’ve ordered from them and recommend them highly.
  • I have a 2WD, no TOD sticker on mine. But then again, I don't need no steenkeen steeker.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Well from my reading of the manufacturers descriptions, they indicate that they blend "base oils" i.e. refined oil and synthetic oil. At that point I assume detergents or other additives go in. Potentially mixing two oils could lead to degradation in performance (by my way of thinking) particularly if let's say the detergents are not compatible. The oil may be compatible enough to add a quart of regular oil to synthetic if needed but may not be designed for a 50:50 mix on a regular basis. Just my thoughts.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    These are Goodyear Wranglers 240 70R 16's I believe. They are practically new and product very little road noise. They do not have a very aggressive tread pattern. I'm quite sure the noise I'm hearing is not coming from them. That axle vibration thing might just be it. What is the remedy though? Well, I've sent the 88' back to the shop today. We'll see what comes of it. I bet on the internal leak of some kind. Maybe a leaking head gasket or hairline crack. This engine has NEVER been over heated though, so I don't know why there would be any internal cracks.
    On this lubrication discussion... I've used Mobil 1 in a 96' GMC Van since day one and never had a complaint. Sure like the extended time between oil changes too. What grade oil are you late model Trooper owners using in your vehicles?? The alder one 88' I've always used 10W-30 but I know a lot of ewer vehicles are using "gas saving" 5W-30. Any recommendations here??
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    This is in response to some discussion of the topic in the Meet the Members forum...

    I will double-check the owners manual for my 1998 Trooper, but I thought it specified a 30,000 mile change interval for TOD system fluid. I know I wouldn't have changed it unless changing it was specified in the owners manual somewhere.

    Any moron can change it-- I did! The first time was an accident while trying to change the engine oil. I was nervous about what to do for a while-- couldn't figure out how to get fluid back up there since the fill plug faces downward. Finally a guy at an auto parts store sold me a $3 hose thingie that attaches to any quart-sized ATF or oil bottle. It takes a while with this method, but fortunately the capacity of the TOD system is only 2 quarts. And you probably won't get the full 2 quarts of old ATF to drain out, so you'll likely need only about 1.5 quarts of new stuff.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Well I must have been smoking something when I thought I read in my owners manual that the TOD system fluid should be replaced every 30,000 miles.

    The owners manual for my 98 Trooper says the TOD system fluid should be CHECKED every 30,000 miles. It says nothing about actually replacing the fluid. I wonder if the "check" means checking the fluid level or somehow checking the condition of the fluid. The former is easy enough - just unscrew the drain plug and feel in the hole with your finger for the fluid. The latter I have no idea how you would check without actually draining the fluid and looking at it. Once you've done that, you would basically need to replace it because it wouldn't seem smart to put used fluid back in there.
  • I recently changed all the fluids on mine. The only one that was really NASTY was the TOD. It was easy for me to justify. Put $2.50 every year into new Tod fluid or wait for this wonderfull thing to crap out and cost big $$$$$$$$$$ to fix. I do tend to stay off the beaten path so mine was possibly dirtier than others. The Euro spec Troopers do not have TOD. Mine is very unique here in Iceland. I think of it as a Land cruiser that cost me less than a Cherokee. Keep Troopin and GO Farther! Troopin.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I have never attempted to change fluids other than the engine oil on a few vehicles and the TOD fluid on my Trooper (drained by accident the first time, so changed it out of necessity!). Are some of the other things such as the auto trans fluid, front and rear axle fluid, and power steering fluid actually easier to change than the TOD fluid? There isn't much skill involved in changing the TOD fluid, but it is a time-consuming, tedious process.
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    bluedevils- what were you trying to change when you opened the TOD drain plug? I would probably be able to figure out the oil drain plug (near the front) but would likely be less effective at determining the TOD (transfer case) vs the transmission fluid drain plugs. Are there any other drain plugs down there? Also, did you just lay under the truck to do it?
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