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Isuzu Trooper



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  • pica1pica1 Posts: 23
    The salesman and me, parked on the side of the road trying to figure out why the TOD indicator was flashing its rear wheels at us.

    The Trooper (2001, 3.5L, automatic, 34,002 miles) seems like a nice truck. Lots of room, although whomever had it for the past year certainly used it hard (dirt here, plastic trim scuffed there, etc.) The cloth seats looked to be in good shape, though, and the white paint and silver trim looked nice.

    However, once I turned the key and began pulling out of the parking space, I saw the TOD indicator rear wheels flashing. Neither of us knew why, but the salesman suggested that perhaps the flashing was normal.

    A couple of minutes later, the word "check" flashed on in a little box below the rear axle. Hmmmm...

    So I pulled over onto a small dirt parking area. We spent 15 or so minutes flipping through the owner's manual trying to find out why the rear wheels were flashing.

    In fooling around with the 4WD transfer case lever, I also noted that the front wheels only lit up for 4Low when the lever was moved JUST SO. All the way forward, and the light wouldn't come on. Maybe it's a bad sensor. Maybe it's a bad switch. Maybe it's something I don't want to fool with.

    The salesman said that the truck was still under Isuzu warranty (less than 2,000 miles worth) and suggested that it could be looked at by Isusu. I'm wondering why if a vehicle isn't right they's try to sell it anyway (but that's just me)

    Aside from the TOD issue and the handling, it seems like a nice vehicle. I just don't know if I want to fool around with a powertrain issue from the get-go. Has this been a common problem? Is this a minor glitch or something that, as Ann Landers would say, run, don't walk, from?

    BTW, the Trooper is Bob Ferrando Ford World in Girard, Pa., on Route 20 (a bit west of Erie, Pa., just north of I-90).

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm willing to bet an oil-change that it's the speed sensors. I had mine go bad and they were covered under warranty. Just an FYI, the Isuzu warranty is 3/50K bumper to bumper and 5/60K on the power-train. So you have 16K miles left on the bumper to bumper warranty.

    I would definitely not rule out the truck. When you were putting it in 4-lo were you in neutral? You need to be in neutral and not moving to put it in 4-lo. Also if the TOD was flashing you probably couldn't put it into 4-lo easily.

  • pica1pica1 Posts: 23
    Speed sensors, you say? Any problems after they were replaced? Is the speed sensors failing a common problem? I ask because I don't know much about Isuzus.

    I'm sure a condition of sale would involve the dealer taking the truck to an Isuzu dealership and making sure the work was done before money changes hands.

    As for 4-lo, the truck was in neutral and my foot on the brake. When I moved the lever forward, there was a thunk/clank sound of *something* engaging. If I didn't move the lever quite all the way forward, the TOD's front tires would light up (all three segments green). If I moved it forward another 1/4 inch, the lights would go out.

    Also, in the lower left-hand corer there's an oval window where the warning lights come on when the key is turned. According to the manual a small icon of the two axles (similar to the TOD) is supposed to come on when the truck starts. Also, that I con is supposed to flash (I think) when 4-hi is active, and stay lit when 4-low is engaged.

    It never lit up -- not when the key was turned, not when 4-hi was activated, not when the truck was put into 4-low. What do you make of that?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Mine were replaced @ 10K miles I now have 40K on the truck, and use the TOD almost 24x7 when the truck is running. No problems yet.

    The manual with the smaller icon with the 2 axles is not present on TOD equipped vehicles. The TOD guage should light up the rear wheels solid and "auto" lit in the TOD light. Then over 5mph the first bar on the front axle will light indicating 15% power to the front. It will fluxuate as you drive. In 4-low the front axle will light up solid and "auto" will go off.

    Definitely sounds like the speed sensors are not allowing TOD to engage. This can cause 4-low not to engage properly. The TOD system is very robust and I rarely hear of any problems other than about 2 or 3 people who have had their sensors replaced.

  • bawbcatbawbcat Posts: 118
    After quite a bit of searching, I may have found the right Trooper for me. This will be my first one, and will replace an 89 Jeep Cherokee Ltd. I've placed a deposit on a 98 Troop with 47k miles, performance package, sunroof, and CD. It's selling for $11.5k from a "wholesale dealer" in the Dallas area. It's a one owner off-lease vehicle, and an Autocheck report shows a clean history. I would be buying it remotely and having it shipped. This makes me a bit nervous, but it's a much better price than I've found locally. I'm going to have it inspected at an Isuzu dealer before I commit.

    Does this sound like a good deal to you guys? Is there anything in particular I should have them look for during the inspection?

    Thanks for all the great info on this board!
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    That sounds like an excellent price. In fact, it depresses me-- our 98 Trooper with 65k miles has Perf. Pkg., TOD, and 6-disc in-dash CD, but no sunroof. I figured I could get about $12k for it now, though it's not for sale. Maybe that's overly optimistic.

    Do you know if the sun/moonroof is the factory one? You'd probably recognize it-- they are HUGE.

    Did you pay the 15 bucks for the detailed Carfax report, or just the free one? Especially if you're dealing with some sort of a 'wholesale dealer' I'd say the 15 bucks is worth it. Or you can pay 20 bucks and get unlimited Carfaxes for a period of time (60 days?).
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Why would a dealer sell a vehicle even though they know it has something wrong? I think this happens all the time. If a dealer can sell a vehicle without sinking money into repairing it, they will do it.

    In your case, it's easy to see why the dealer is trying to do this. They're a Ford dealer, so they wouldn't be able to fix the TOD problem on their own. And though it's not a major hassle for them to have it serviced at an Isuzu dealer, most dealers aren't willing to take the time to do that. Just my 2 cents.

    The Edmunds group is a small sample size of 98+ Trooper owners, but I haven't heard many issues wiht the speed sensors. paisan is the only one I can think of whose Trooper has had this problem. And he drives his truck harder than most of us, which may or may not have anything to do with it.
  • cobbocobbo Posts: 34
    Actually, I've got a 2001 Trooper LTD w/TOD & I've had the speed sensors replaced twice in the past 33k miles, but it's a quick replace & was only a minor annoyance one of the two times because it affected a long-distance trip back through a wicked the Troop & looking forward to racking up another 4 yrs or so before I look for a replacement...Hope ya'll are out havin' fun..-Cobbo
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well I picked up my buddy's K40 lip-mounted antenna today and just installed it on the spoiler in about 15 minutes. The sound clarity rocks! Distance has increased and now I don't have to worry about it coming off!

    Can't wait to test it on the highway, but I know it can recieve at least 3 miles cause I was hitting a few truckers on the highway 3 miles from my place!

    I'll snap some shots this week and put em up.

  • pica1pica1 Posts: 23
    The family took the Trooper out for a second test drive (Saturday). Gobs of room for car seats and the stuff two kids require away from home.

    The bad news: Aside from the check light blinking on the TOD in 2WD mode (curiously, it goes way when 4WD-hi is activated) we discovered that the cruise control doesn't work. Is this related to the speed sensor issue for the TOD?

    There's also a rattle somewhere in the rear seat area, and my wife detected a slight whistling noise from the windshield area. Also, the driver's window seems to have a bit too much power. When I put the window up, it pressed really hard into the frame, slightly distorting the door panel.

    During our test drive, we wondered why a one-year-old truck with "only" 34,000 miles would have these things wrong. I thoght maybe it had been driven pretty hard, then tossed away like a Bic razor when things started to go wrong. My wife thought perhaps it had been in an accident.

    Turns out it may have been a bit of both.

    On the way out of the dealership, I jotted down the VIN in order to do a CARFAX search. The result: The Trooper started life in a major car rental agency's fleet in Rochester, N.Y.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Probably related to the speed sensors in the TOD and/or the brake-light fuse.

    The window thing is common on all isuzus, not an issue.

    Whistling windshield? Does it have a bug deflector? If so I believe a few people on here had a similar problem and an easy fix for it. It's due to the shape of the windshield and gasket.

    Hearing it was a rental isn't a great sign, but these are all things that you could use to work the price down further. Another option is to look for another Trooper if it suites your needs.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I would pass. I am sure there are enough quality used cars, including Trooper's on the market. I wouldn't get an old rental. 34K rental miles is probably more like 150K in regular terms.
  • pica1pica1 Posts: 23
    about the Carfax report. It took all of 10 seconds to eliminate the Trooper from our short list. The possibility of further trouble down the road just seems a bit high, given its rental history.

    But I've got a bit of time to look for a replacement (I hope) and I might run across another good used Trooper.

    Thanks for all of the advice!
  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227
    Don't give up on Troopers - just try and find a good example. I have had two, 1989 and a 1999, and they are the best vehicles I have ever owned. I bought my 1999 new and it has not given me any trouble.
  • Pica my Trooper was an Avis rental. It however only had 6K on it when I bought it. It is now about to roll past 50,000 and I haven't had any problems.
  • pj4bamapj4bama Posts: 2
    Hi - Just got a new '02 Trooper and love it. Only problem is that while installing my Aiwa CD/MP3 radio, I found that I had 2 antenna leads from the Isuza glass-mounted (rear quarter window) diversity antennas and only the single standard antenna plug for my new radio.

    One of the Isuzu plugs (the larger standard size) fits my radio, but I get little or no reception. The other plug (mini-size) just has no where to go. The factory ISUZU cassette deck had plugs for both.

    Anybody run across this?? Solutions ?? Adapters ?? Manual wiring?? Anything.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Maybe crutchfield has an adapter for it? Just a thought.

  • bawbcatbawbcat Posts: 118
    Don't get too depressed. I'm pretty sure you could get $12k for your Trooper if you wanted. The one that I'm looking at appears to be a pretty good deal. We'll see if it's for real after I get the inspection report. :) I didn't pull a Carfax report on it, but I went with Autocheck instead which is a similar service. Carfax showed 4 records in the free check, and Autocheck showed 6, so I purchased the report from Autocheck. It didn't show anything unusual. On the other hand, it didn't show any lease history even though I'm pretty sure it was previously leased, so those reports aren't foolproof. I would have preferred a privately owned vehicle, but I'll settle for an off-lease if it's the right car at the right price. I'd never buy a previous rental vehicle.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    This is the best deal I've heard of! I am quite surprised at that pricing. If all the other data comes up clean, you've done really well!

    Question...I did some looking this weekend to replace my wrecked 97'. Saw a 99' Performance, an 00' S and an 01' S. Only looked at the S models because the dealer swore over the phone that they were LS models. Amazing what these non-ISUZU dealers DON"T know about vehicles. Anyway, I noticed the the 00' S Trooper had a fixed position drivers seat. Is this standard for the 00' model?? Sure it would move forward and back, but had no position height adjustment front or rear. I saw all the typical manual adjusters on the 01' driver seat. Just thought this was odd and was surprised by it.
    I'm settling on the 99' Performance Trooper. Working out the details with the dealer, who thankfully is an ISUZU dealer. It's got a few paint issues I want them to fix before driving it away. They did a complete service on it changing all fluids in the diffs, xfer case, xmission, and engine flush. Also turned rotors due to some vibration when braking.

    This rotor warping seems to be a common thing with Troopers. Others of you seen this with your vehicles??
    More later as the deal closes.
    Happy Trooping !!;-)
  • How come none of you are posting over there? Wagons.....please give me a break!
  • bawbcatbawbcat Posts: 118
    The 98 and 99 base S models that I've looked at did not have the seat adjustment knobs. I think you had to get the performance package in those years to get them. From your abservations, it looks like the S model in 2000 was the same way. You must have had to get the LS in order to get the extra seat adjustments. I think the arm rests typically go along with the extra seat adjustments too.

    In regards to pricing, check out the TMV values here on Edmunds. You might be surprised how inexpensive the 98-99 models are. In reality though, I haven't seen too many that were actually advertised near TMV.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The 00S did have manual adjustments for the driver. I'm pretty sure cause when I testdrove one when getting my LS I was suprised it had it.

  • pj4bamapj4bama Posts: 2
    Learned a few moments ago that there is an internal signal booster that must be powered in order to get a good FM signal. So it seems I have one more connection to make. I'll cross my fingers...
  • paisan --

    My 2000 S doesn't have the height adjustments -- just standard base and seatback "back and forth" adjustments.
  • savvas_esavvas_e Posts: 347
    Just thought that you Trooper afficionados would be interested to know that the Holden Rally Team Jackaroo has just won the Class 7/8 car division in the 2002 Finke Desert Race, the world's longest desert race at 460km long.

    Details are on -

    Total race time for the Jackaroo was 5h:16m:56s. So the AVERAGE speed was 87km/h or about 55mph, over desert sand tracks!

    Hopefully they'll get some photos of the 2002 event up soon.

  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227
    I bought my Trooper new and at 500 miles the rotors warped. The dealer turned them but have not had any problems at all since then - now have almost 40k miles.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Ah yes, the 99 Performance Package, the Prince of Troopers! ;-) (Guess which one I've got?)

    As others have indicated, the base S model in 99 at least did not have any seat adjustments, which is a large reason I ended up with a PP Trooper with the "eight-way" adjustable seat. I really disliked the position of the base S seat, and was about to give up on shopping for a Trooper when I discovered the PP models had more adjustability.

    Besides, I liked the monotone paint scheme anyway...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Monotone. That's why I love my LS :)

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Does anyone know how to get the ashtray out? I have tried and there doesn't seem to be a simple trick? I want to remove the entire unit so see if I can fit a CB in that spot.
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