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Isuzu Trooper



  • gao16gao16 Posts: 7
    I'm having a little problem with my Trooper and before I took it to the dealer I want to see if anyone has experienced the same problem.

    When the truck is started after sitting for a while(usually overnight or 8 hours at work)it will make a rattling noise like a loose heat shield. It only does this at certain RPM and the problem goes away after a few minutes. The engine also runs roughly while it rattles.

    Like I said, after a few minutes both problems go away and the truck drives great. In my opinion it is a bad catalytic converter. Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's a bad muffler most likely. Conway who used to post up here had that problem, and my buddy also had that problem on his. Dealer replaced the muffler and it's all good now.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The rough idle may or may not be related to the muffler. It could be the intake manifold gasket which has also cropped up as a problem.

  • gao16gao16 Posts: 7
    ...But both problems go away at the same time just a few minutes after the engine is started. Also it is not so much a rough idle as a slow acceleration accompanied by a jerkiness.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ok then the 2 are probably related to the muffler and/or cat. My guess is that the muffler is the culprit.

  • gao16gao16 Posts: 7
    ...because the Dodge van that I drive at work has a very bad rattle that the mechanic immediately diagnosed as a bad cat. I know the makes are totally different but I will generalize anyway.

    Oh well, time to bring it to the dealer. Too bad, I don't want to leave it there-it's a great truck.
  • boxtrooperboxtrooper Posts: 843
    My 1995.5 3.2L SOHC Trooper lifter ticking has once again stopped. But while it was ticking it was on my mind to swap for a tick proof newer Trooper.

    I really like a manual shift, it makes driving more fun. I really like the TOD function for slippery highways. So, it would be hard to choose between them. I think the TOD plus automatic downshifting would be my choice. Without the auto downshift I would again choose manual.

    Which years / models of Trooper TOD automatic transmissions have the automatically downshift going down hills? Does this feature only work with cruise control on? Can you get the autodownshift feature without leather seats?
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107

    I believe that 2000 and up models have the grade logic transmission software.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    My 99 does not have grade logic built into it. However, when 4wd is engaged, it does provide resistance when you come off the gas? Nothing in my documentation says grade logic, but I have read that this is a feature of TOD. So in wet weather in TOD, downhills the truck is applying gearing to all 4 wheels. It does this on flats too when you come off the gas.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    2000->2002 Have grade logic trannies. All ATs in 00->02 Have it. They also got drive-by-wire as well. What happens is if you are in a downslope and let off the gas completely it will shift down to 3rd gear to effectively apply engine braking w/o having to hit the brakes. It works best going from 4->3 and 3->2 definitely worth getting a 00->02 IMHO.

  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Yeah I have noticed on my 99 the tranny doesn't "freewheel" (coast without engine braking) when you let off the gas . Which is good, because freewheeling would be a bad thing for going down steep hills off-road ...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think pre-grade-logic trannys would un-lock the torque converter instead of downshifting. This will provide some resistence but not as much as a downshift.

  • thorjstthorjst Posts: 1
    I was recently told by a friend that his friend (a dealer) told him that there has been a history of engine problems in Isuzu Trooper engines, a problem with distribution of oil at mid mileage, that the engines should have been recalled. He was apparently fairly adamant about this going on to state that there have been engine failures due to this and a lot of lawsuits. Has anyone heard of this?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There have been some head problems in early 90s trucks but this causes sticking lifters. No engine failures to my knowledge. Maybe he had some customers who have had problems due to poor maintenance and they were adament about poor isuzu quality.

    Most engines goe for 200+K miles

  • dielectric7bbdielectric7bb Posts: 324
    It is known that the 3.2 leaks oil around the spark plugs/manifold seal (???). No known engine failures to my knowledge. I have a '95 3.2L A/T with 87k and burns/loses a quart every 5000 miles. No big whoop for me.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    First I've heard of that, and I have been hanging around here for about 2 years.

    The only consistent problem I have heard on the 3.5L is the intake manifold gaskets in cold weather, and that is a relatively easy repair.

    Some of the 3.2L have a problem with noisy hydraulic lifters, not sure if that affects longevity or is just annoying.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    I could use input on which model Trooper to purchase between 98-02 models. What are the pro's and con's for these models? It looks like they are going to Total my 97' so I'm looking to replace it. Did the engine change any from 98-02?? I know most of the other changes with TOD etc. I think. Any ideas and input is appreciated. I just got my Rancho's installed on the 97' 2 days before accident. That sucks!! I have a Hidden Hitch purchased ($99) from Whitney, I'll install that on my 01' Trooper. I also bought the poly sway bar bushings for the 97' but I'll put them on the 01' as well.
  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227

    IIRC, the 1998 Troopers were 3.2L engines, while the 1999-2002 are 3.5L engines. Additionally, the 2000 and later Troopers utilize "drive by wire" where the gas peddal is not mechanical - instead it is electronic. 2000 and later models have a 10 year warrantee that is transferrable only to members of your family. Also, 2001-2002 have better grade logic in the transmission. All of these feature are not deal killers - all are good trucks and go for the best deal.

    What I would consider most important are things you can easily overlook such as if you are in a hot climite, look for Troopers with tinted glass. Additionally, if you can obtain the oil consumption history, go for the one that uses least amount of oil as Trooper engines vary on oil burn from 1qt per 1,000 miles to almost no oil loss between oil changes.
  • dielectric7bbdielectric7bb Posts: 324
    not the 3.2 as I recall.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Edmunds says the 3.5L was standard in '98.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    98-99: No drive by wire, no grade logic
    00: Adds grade logic, drive by wire, auto temp controls, TOD on all ATs, no moonroof avail for S model
    01: Adds electric fan for AC condenser
    02: TOD optional on S model, Tinted windows std on all models, in-glass antenna std.
    All have 3.5l engines

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If it's getting totalled, why not remove the shocks from the old one?

  • mkayemkaye Posts: 184
    find out what body shop it is in, go to the shop, the shop doesn't care what you pull off and get the good stuff off of it!

    The insurance is just gonna junk it and likely it will be parted out, so a few missing parts won't matter.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554

    Only common one I'm aware of is the leaky valve seals or whatever (was kinda mentioned earlier)

    Intake manifold gasket is the only common problem I'm aware of.

    1991 and earlier Troopers had much less stellar engine reputations. The 2.8L V6 had many common problems from what I've heard, but most were not serious and were easy/cheap for an average mechanic to fix. The Isuzu 2.6L 4 cylinder was known for cracked head problems. I think the problem frequency lessened with each model year (this engine was available 1988-1991, IIRC).
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    If the little things really matter, you might want to do more research.

    E.g. in 1998 the S with Performance Package (equivalent to the LS from '99 and newer) did not come with fog lamps. To get fogs on a '98, you had to get the Luxury Package (equivalent to the Limited models from '99 & up).

    In '98 and '02, it's possible to have an auto trans Trooper that does NOT have TOD. From '99 to '01, TOD was standard on auto trans Troopers (excluding the 2WD ones).
  • boxtrooperboxtrooper Posts: 843
    This as far as I know is limited to 1995 3.2L SOHC engines. There are small clearances and not hard enough metal in a couple of parts in the valve train that when the oil gets dirty fill with crud. Once filled with crud, one or more lifters make an awful racket. Changing to a low viscosity oil and keeping the oil very very clean, will clear up the noise over a seemingly very long couple hundred miles. If the noise does not clear up in a couple hundred miles change the oil again or get one of those Bilstein Oil Flushes done, then drive it another couple hundred miles to clear it up. Clearing it up seems slow and painful, sort of like a human passing kidney stones. If allowed to make the noise for a very long time the parts involved with making the noise, operating without adaquate oil, will wear out. The replacement parts are somewhere around $1500 and installation is another $1500 to fully replace all the troubling parts on both heads.

    Has anyone replaced 1995 SOHC heads with heads from a later model that has the rockless cam over valve drive train that does not suffer from this lifter noise issue? It seems to me that if the fuel injectors are in the intake manifold and the spark plugs and wires are used from the 1995 SOHC, that leaves only the mechanical valve function to the head itself. If the timing belt can be made to work, the valve openning and closing ought to be taken care of correctly and with no other changes the "1995 DOHC cam over vlave" engine is born.

    Is anyone familiar with the heads of both the 1995 SOHC and a later cam over valve head to know if this might work? Would it help the engine to breath better (particularily if the new heads are from a 3.5L) too?

    Isuzu is getting out of the Trooper business, we will have to get into what parts with work with what engine sooner or later. So please think about this one for me.

    Thank You
  • boxtrooperboxtrooper Posts: 843
    The Corviar society of America or some Corvair enthusiasts made a list available for keeping the old Corvairs going. In the eighties I had a 1964 Corvair 8 door GreenBriar Deluxe van. I needed front ball joints. No new parts were available. The dealer parts counter guys would go in the back and have a good laugh with the other guys when I would ask for parts. So, I looked them up in the list. Sure enough, there was a compatible part, 1972 Corvette front ball joints are the same as for my 1964 Corvair 8 door GreenBriar Deluxe van. The dealers like to carry Corvette parts even beyond the minimum 10 years required. So I had a good supply of parts.

    Paison, maybe you could find room for such a list on and figure out a way to invite people to add to the list.

  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227
    1999 Troopers did not utilize the "Limited" badging for trucks that had the Performance and Luxury packages - those Troopers so equipped had a decal titled "Luxury" on the rear door.

    Wow -- I thought the 1998 was 3.2L but was corrected in that 1998 - 2002 have 3.5L engines. Might make a good web page detailing all the differences mentioned in this thread -- hey Paisan, want to put up this information along with commentary on tires??

    BTW, my 1999 Trooper has electric fold out mirrors - are these still offered on the 2002's?

    Also, I remember earlier model year Troopers having wipers on the headlamps like some European cars like the Mercedes. Anyone know what years those were offered? I find this Trooper tivia interesting.
  • boxtrooperboxtrooper Posts: 843
    On my oil filter adapter, the part between the oil filter and the engine block that has the cooling water atachment, has two plugs in it. The way the plugs are in the casting it looks to me like these plugs are into the oil in and oil out ports. They are about the size of a 1/2 inch pipe thread plug, but probably they are metric.

    Can I remove these plugs and attach oil hose leading to an additional oil filter such as an Amsoil bypass filter or full flow and bypass filter combination?

    I am asking because I want to improve the oil cleaning abiltiy for my 1995 SOHC so I can prevent the lifter tick. On top of the intake manifold there are a few large threaded holes and there is 8 or 9 inches of clearance below the closed hood, so that would be my choice of where to mount the remote oil filter(s) using a sturdy aluminum bracket with a catch pan to catch any oil drips while changing filters.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    boxtrooper, I could be wrong but I seem to recall from discussions that the lifter noise was pretty common on the 3.2L 6-cylinder Trooper engines, which were available from '92-'97. I know there were a few different variations of this motor, and I thought the problem was fairly common and not specific to one particular iteration.

    You seem to know more about the subject, so perhaps you're right about this.
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