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Isuzu Trooper Maintenance and Repair



  • tjkkftjkkf Posts: 1
    Newbie to Isuzu Trooper. Just got a used 1995 Dakar Limited Edition. 1 week so far. Love it. Except the fact, even purchase the car, I know there is a minor transmission leak. But to find out, there also is a power-steering leak. Got all that being fixed at a shop right now. However, the mechanics said there also is a (very) minor engine oil leak at the Intake Manifold. Is it something I can DIY? The Gasket is cheap, I can see. Do I need anything else besides that? Any advice would be tremendous. Thank you. -TJ
  • Hi, I searched through the previous posts, but didn't find exactly what I have going on. I did find out how to pull the diagnostic codes; which I will try ASAP. Anyway, I have a 91 Trooper with 2.8 V6 and 5 speed manual. I had the O2 sens. and Cat replaced to smog it. It has been sitting for about 9 months prior to this (however San Diego isn't exactly harsh weather to let a car sit in). I did the typical cap/rotor/plugs... It runs great for the most part, but the check engine light comes on and off randomly and along with it, the performance takes a dive. It seems to me that it's a broken wire that hasn't separated the insulation, or a sensor that is on it's way out. The biggest issue is that the check engine light only comes on when I'm driving, and by the time I park it has gone off again. all ideas welcome.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554

    I'm looking to answer a couple questions today while my parents' Trooper (a vehicle I owned for its first 7 years) is being evaluated at a local independent shop.

    1998 Trooper with TOD, approx 130k miles, good mechanical condition.

    1. Does the following sound like a transmission problem?

    2. If so, what if anything can be done to fix the problem?

    3. How much would YOU sink into trans work on a vehicle that is probably worth $3,000-4,000 tops? The body is in decent shape but there's a small dent above right rear taillight and some rust under the bottom of the rear window. Interior - everything still works including the 6 CD changer and the cloth upholstery is in really good shape for a 9 year old vehicle.

    Few weeks ago, Dad has Trooper transmission serviced. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the shop did a power flush blow out old fluid using a machine, etc.) against my recommendation. Only prior trans service was a drain adn fill around 70k miles.

    Past few days, Mom reports vehicle driving funny. I drove it briefly on Saturday, and there's definitely something wrong. Vehicle lurches accelerating from 20 to 40mph and at higher speeds, says Dad. Also notice a pretty loud whomping recurrent noise from rear axle/wheels. Not sure if this whole thing might be some sort of brake issue, or multiple issues (seems unlikely), or what.

    Thanks in advance for the help. I really love this truck even though it isn't mine any more, and I'm hoping it can be made right without breaking the bank.
  • I bought a 91 trooper 2.8V6 3 weeks ago and have been enjoying it until I drove it for about 30 miles straight and it started to overheat, looked under the hood and there was a brown foam-like substance coming out of the coolant reseviour, guess what, blown head gasket. Now I must make a decision, I only paid 1100 for it and I know this will cost big bucks to have it repaired, does anyone know how much this will cost and who can do it in southern california(san fernando valley), should I look at a new engine, any advice will be a appreciated. :mad:
  • richf1968richf1968 Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    thanks in advance for any replies...

    I have a 2001 Trooper with 101K miles on it. it's been running great and I just had a few 'routine' maintenance items taken care of.
    spark plugs
    air filter
    fuel filter
    pcv valve
    timing belt
    water pump
    serpentine belt
    egr valve

    so, I'm driving home today and everything is fine. I have a 20 miles commute that is a mix of highway and side road. I exit the highway and have approx 1 mile left to get home and the check transmission light comes on. Also, when I press the gas pedal I heard and clicking sound coming from underneath and could no accelerate past 30 mph.
    I made it home and parked it in the driveway.....

    And ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  • atfdmikeatfdmike Posts: 414
    I don't think you can read the codes on your vehicle without a code reader, but your local parts store may do it for you if you can get it there. Good place to start.
  • d_jrayd_jray Posts: 5
    I recently had transmission problem with my 2000 Isuzu trooper. It started with a feeling of slippage in and out of overdrive and ended with jerking.. They had to rebuild the whole thing for 2400.00 Ther eare some places that will do a free transmission check, it may be something simple that doesn't cost as much as mine did, But I would just call around and see if they do free estimates and free checks...
    GOOD LUCK!!!
  • I am the 2nd owner of a 2000 Trooper with 85,000 miles on it. My automatic transmission (4L30E) failed a month ago. I was experiencing neutral drops and severe slipping while driving. I took it to a reputable long established, privately owned ATRA approved transmission shop. I was advised to replace the bad transmission with a re-manufactured JASPER transmission. The shop had my Trooper for 5 days and returned it to me with the installed JASPER transmission. It ran beautifully for about a week then all the sudden the JASPER trans started slipping bad between 2nd - 3rd gear. I returned to the trans shop and the tech took it for a test drive and confirmed that there was a problem with the new trans. I left it there and they did pressure tests on the trans and found it to be defective. After a week I got the Trooper back again with the 2nd new JASPER transmission installed.
    The next day as I was driving the trans started making a loud "buzzing" sound in 3rd gear which at first was intermittent but became more frequent over the course of a couple days. I have called the shop again and was told to bring it in for another test drive. I am now concerned that all the transmission test drives which I've been told are hard on an engine because of necessary revving procedures done during those rides combined with the Trooper 3 series engines not have a great reputation is going to lead to other problems. Also, as a younger man I worked as a helper at an auto repair shop and learned that some shop owners are only so honest, occasionally when a vehicle became a liability the vehicle was abused to the point of developing an unrelated problem that would not be worth repairing. From what I understand a JASPER transmission is supposed to be the "Gold Standard" of re-manufactured transmissions, I guess there are exceptions to every rule.
  • Does anyone know WHY the company who built the Trooper recessed the spark plugs 10 inches into the engine ????
    That's about the most ignorant design I've seen.
    Now with that off my chest, the question I have is why do the rubber ends on the spark plug wires keep coming off, & remain stuck around the spark plug, in a manner that you have to "fish" them out with a clothes-hanger ? This is VERY aggrivating, when the plugs are so far into the motor, you can't reach them with your fingers, or any other tools for that matter. Could somebody explain to me why this happens ???
  • atfdmikeatfdmike Posts: 414
    Have you ever had occasion to work with Automotive Engineers? I do daily and it can be an interesting experience to say the least. I have seen some of them grab hot exhaust pipes and welded parts immediately after seeing them being red from heat....and burning their hands in the process.
    As to your question, even conventional spark plug boots stick to the plug after time. The trick is to use dielectric silicone grease on the inside of the boot BEFORE putting it on the plug. This insures it will not affect performance and the boot will detach from the plug more easily. the grease is available at auto parts stores. Sometimes a slow, twisting pulling motion will help break the hold of the boot on the plug. I believe the heat and proximity of the boot to the plug cause this bonding to occur. Most owners manuals suggest that the boot be twisted on the plug to free them before attempting to remove the boot from the plug. Hope this helps.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    Trick to remove the rubber ends from plugs when stuck.

    I went through the drill when I replaced mine a couple of years ago. Use compressed air from a source such an a little 12 volt inflater or a real compressor. I used one of those little tapered attachments you might use for inflating an air mattress. Insert in the center hole where the plug is at the bottom of the stuck boot...a little burst of air pressure and the rubber boot pops right off.

    I pulled and twisted and could not get the last one off...after 2 evenings of that and driving with 5 new and 1 old plug, I finally came up with that method. Don't want to break or tear one of the boots since I have been told you can only buy the complete coil over package that includes the boot.

  • That will work. I will try putting that grease on those plug ends. But there's still one question that remains unexplained. Who's bright idea was it to recess the plugs in the first place ?? All over types of vehicles that do not have recessed plugs, I've owned over the years, I never had this type of problem. It's easy, simple & anybody can change the wires. Who came up with the recessed spark plug idea, & why ??
  • atfdmikeatfdmike Posts: 414
    I will go out on a limb here and guess that the designer had to place the plug in a location that was dictated more by the valve train design (4 valve/cyl) than by practical concerns. The Valve cover area is huge for the size of the engine. The Hemi Engine had a center mounted plug design too, but no where near the depth of the Isuzu. Sound close?
  • rck13strrck13str Posts: 3
    I purchased my 2000 Isuzu Trooper used from a well-known auto dealership in Knoxville, TN, with 96,000 miles. Less than 2 months later the transmission went-out. (No wonder they wanted to get rid of it so quickly!) At 146k miles, almost 2 years later, and after $2,500 spent for new transmission, vehicle runs fine.
  • bill336bill336 Posts: 3
    I'm new,I do not know if I am posting in the right area.

    I have a 1999 Isuzu Trooper. I've had the starter replaced three times in the last year. Any suggestions to what is causing this?

  • salvessalves Posts: 7

    Have you had any problems with your engine, specifically with the rod bearings?
  • bill336bill336 Posts: 3
    No, other than using abiut three quarts of oil every 3,000
    miles it seems fine. I know it burns the oil, but it never smokes.
  • salvessalves Posts: 7
    Thanks. I guess you just have to check the oil religiously.
    Is your engine a 3.5?
  • bill336bill336 Posts: 3
    Yes, but other than this starter thing all I've ever done is tires, and regular oil changes.
  • one of my tires is shot, I have a 98 trooper. I have been told that I need 4 new ones, and can't just get one, or even two. They all need to be the same otherwise it screws up the 4-wheel drive... thoughts?
  • jukbxhrojukbxhro Posts: 5
    No you should not only purchase one tire. It will screw up the way your Trooper drives and how the other tire will wear. It's painful but break down and at least purchase two new tires and when you can afford it - like within the next 6 months, buy the other two. When you do make sure those news are put on the front wheels and the ones you bought six months ago get moved to the back. This way you will start to get full wear on all tires without tiring any of them out too soon. If you do this, your tires will last twice as long as they normally would even if you bought all 4 tires at once. I hope that helps. I've been doing that for years- since 99 when I bought my Trooper.
  • corigercoriger Posts: 1
    I just started searching this site for '99 Trooper starter issues and saw your email. My starter just died (at least I think it died) because it's not the battery. I know you can buy a starter for $125- $180, but what does it cost to have it replaced? How much labor?

    Chuck Origer
  • I bought my 01 trooper in novmember of last year and had to do major work already multiple times. i am sorry to say unless you bought yours brand new stay away from them. had to buy a brake job at $550 than tires than a cv axle rear differential some other stuff i can't think of right now, but the most aggrivating thing is the transmission. i took it to a shop here and they put in a use tranny and the damn thing went out on it in a week. they are now telling me that after i spent $4500 dollars its not under warranty how could that be when a bran new one from isuzu is only $3800 and i just dont understand how the transmission can be so bad when the original warranty was 120,000 miles. screw isuzu.
  • pcv1pcv1 Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 Trooper that had the same problem. It turned out to be the ignition switch. A mechanic pulled the main fuse and there was still a draw on the battery. Eventually, we took it to an automotive electrical repair facility who diagnosed the ignition problem. Good luck
  • pcv1pcv1 Posts: 3
    I too am having tranny problems with my 01 Trooper. I had a new one put in exactly 2 years ago at 110k miles. In May of this year (15k miles later) it failed again trailing balck fluid up the road. The repair garage fixed it again at no charge (don't know what they did but I doubt they replaced the whole transmission)and it has now failed again this week. They are refusing to fix it for free. Is there something going on with the Trooper that is making these tranny's fail or could it be the repair facility?
  • after having the transmission replaced again at another shop, three weeks ago, I now have my check 4wd light coming on. it will engage 4wd low but when i push the 4wd auto button it does not engage. any clue what could be causing the problem? it also has a light not grinding but kinda like that when you shift from 4h to 4l. it just started last night when i was using the 4wd on the wet roads. :confuse: :mad:
  • it actually does engage the 4wd auto, but not the way its suppose to. it locks it up like 4l so the 4h is like 4l any ideas what is causing this.
  • the aldl connector is right under the console next to the gas pedal i have a 92 & its clipped to to the rear of the heater / radio console
  • i have replace both 02 sensor on my 2001 trooper with the 3.5 engine, and reset
    the code, drove it about 100 miles but the check engine light still comes on,
    with the same code po141 which is the bank 2 sensor, and this is the only
    code that shows up-------- any advice would be helpful thanks
  • jlj1jlj1 Posts: 1
    My buddy bought a 1991 trooper v6 (against his better judgement), the trans. made some terrible grinding noises, 3 days later nothing worked but 4th gear. After it sat in my barn for 3 months I bought it cheaply. I'm going to pull the trans. this winter.
    Is this a common problem with the Isuzu transmission - losing all gears, grinding (will not engage) with clutch in or out? Synchros?

    Thanks, any information is appreciated.
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