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Isuzu Trooper



  • This is very strange. My fan blower motor has a problem. Sometimes when I get in it's not working. The only thing I've found that will get it going it to switch back and forth between fresh air and recirulated air. How can this be? I've done it enough to be sure.

    I don't have a problem replacing the motor if that's really the problem, but how can a stalled blower motor be related to the fresh/recirc flapper? I thought maybe the flapper pushed a little air through and that got it going, but yesterday when it happened I left it alone and rolled down the windows as I got on the highway. Nothing... until I moved the flapper. Any ideas?
  • Hell-o, I'm new here. Just a quick question. We have a '97 Trooper with 93k miles. Does this engine use a timing belt and if so when should it be changed? Thank you.
  • dnestrdnestr Posts: 188
    yes, it's time to do it.
  • I have been researching many SUV's and found that besides gas; the Trooper just plain rules. I just joined the Coast Guard recently and will be driving from indianapolis, IN to Laguna Beach, CA. I know that might not be my only long drive so the SUV has to be extremly comfortable, i hear the trooper takes the cake there too. In Cali i will get my chance to test the 4x4 on trails, until i get back home 4 months later in october to hopefully test my 4x4 in the chicago snows where i will then be stationed.
    A couple quick questions, used to own a piece of crap Geo Tracker (first car and budget was tight), so i definitly know all about the roll ratings, so i am well aware of how the trooper might fell while turning, is there anything i can do that could help make me feel like the trooper isn't leaning so much in turns for example without jeopardizing myself by ACTUALLY making the trooper more rollable? I have heard of shocks that are more stiff but know there are a heck of alot of options, know nothing about shocks, and to me sounds like stiff shocks would make for a better roll rate.
    The other question is basically . . . Anything else i should know about the trooper? Thanks for the help all!
  • dnestrdnestr Posts: 188
    "Anything else i should know about the trooper?"

    Keep an eye on its oil level. They are oil gluttons as a rule.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    In approximate order I would do them:

    - replace sway bar bushings. Cheap and easy and surprisingly effective. How-to on

    - better shocks. I recommend OME Nitrochargers or Rancho 9000s if you are going off-road, but almost any decent shock will be better than the stock ones.

    - stiffer Calmini sway bars.

    - stiffer OME rear coils will help body roll, and provide about 1.5" lift, and better load/towing handling in general.

    - stiffer Sway-Away front torsion bars.
  • What about the box like shape and it's effect on the highway? I would assume it does alot of swaying and takes alot of correction while on the highway?
  • In doing these things to help the anti-roll feel, does it make me more liable to roll in being that it isn't absorbing as much of the roll? and do you know the aproximate prices? Thanks for the advice thus far by the way
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    It is great on the highway and not as effected by wind as you would think. It is a little noisy at those speeds, not bad, but not a luxury sedan. It doesn't sway, rather it is quite smooth.

    The trooper has been know for some directional steering issues, it is a truck and most car shops cannot align it or service the tires properly. Since it is so heavy it tends to follow the curvature of the road more than a car. Myself as well as others on this board have had a pull to the left or right that took a "good" alignment shop to fix. Nothing major, but frustrating when you go to a firestone to get something resolved, it isn't, and then you have to research and pay a "good" place to do it. I recommend if you are in need of an alignment or have a pull, get on some tech forums first and find out good places before you bring it in.

    I added the OME shocks front a rear and they are great. I have a bullbar and with stock shocks the ride was degraded, when I added the OMEs, the ride with the bullbar was much better than stock. Try to start for shocks.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Well, I never rolled, even when the Exploder t-boned me at 50 mph. Consumer Reports not withstanding, the Trooper is only about average for SUV rollovers per 100,000 miles driven.

    Any lift (as with the OME springs) will make you somewhat more likely to roll, that's simple physics.

    But I don't think stiffer anti-roll upgrades will make you more likely to roll from a physical standpoint. The biggest danger is that psychologically you might drive faster than you should because you don't have the same amount of tippyness warning you before you actually go over.

    If you are a driver that pays attention to his vehicle's handling characteristics you probably will be fine.
  • Consumer Reports was convicted of deliberately falsifying data and rigging a publicity stunt. Isuzu took them to court and won the battle in principle, but Consumer Reports will tell you they won because the huge free media news coverage was a much bigger value than the lost court case.
    In my opinion the Trooper is very predictable in extreme maneuvers. I have been driving troopers exclusively since 1984. I have had them in all situations. I know for example that in a steep downhill turn across a narrow bridge the Trooper handles just fine at speeds that send a GM minivan of the older wedge design into a nose dive that feels like its might drag the corner of the front bumper on the ground. Troopers stop really weel too. Keep an eye out for tailgaters and give them some room because you can probably stop faster than they think you can.
    If you get hit by other cars, you will be protected and probably drive away since the Troopers stiff frame and solid build uses the crumple zones in the other vehicle very effectively.
    A big part of good handling is good tires. But the 4 tires for $100 deal and you will be very unhappy with the handling. Buy a good tire Bridgestone AT/ Revo or Michelin LTX/MS or other top of the line tire rated highly on and you will be very pleased with handling and experience much less tire noise at highway speeds. I also agree with the suspension upgrades mentioned by others, I like the OME set of shocks and springs and the sway away torsion bars.
    I shopped for a new Trooper last summer to replace a totalled one. It drove away just fine but since the air bags went off the insurance company totalled it, airbags are $6000!!!. I found that between several that I tested it was easy to tell the difference in which ones were cared for properly and driven like they owned it. I tested two rental fleed Troopers one was really beat up suspension wise and had an assortment of different tires on it. Make sure all the tires are good, and if the suspension seems like a mushy American made car then it is worn out. Troopers come with relatively tight handling you get a terrific sense of control. I ended up buyng a loved and well cared for 2001 Trooper which still handles like new even with as many miles as the rental units tested there was a world of difference in the ride and handling. I think some of the higher end Troopers or different years may have been set up with different suspension parts like softer springs and mushy shocks to sell to the "luxery" SUV people. If the Trooper you get is not as firmly in control of its handling as you would like do the suspension upgrades they do not cost all that much and you get a lot of improvement.
    Compared to a Suburban or Hummer the Trooper is very light and has excellent acceleration. You will leave them far behind at the lights.
  • There are several out there that consume oil. You should watch for yours to start consuming oil, but I think fewer than 1/5 of them use enough oil between changed to worry about it.
  • I am going for the LS, or the Limited model, and and most likely a 2001 unless I can get a good price on a 2002. What would be nice would be to get the 85th aniversy edition that they made in 2001 in pearl white!! What version do you own boxtrooper? And basically, up-grading suspension will give a better ride, and won't give as much of a tipsy feeling around turns, and i don't get a worse, or better roll rate. Like i said, i drove a tracker (HIGH ROLL RATE), so i am well aware of my vehicles limits. I am already sold on a trooper, i have to say the solid advice you have given me thus far folks helps tremendously, and that the only thing we are talking about is ways to give a less tipsy ride just helps to sell me more. I was originally worried about the highway noise, swaying and drifting on highway/windy days, and the alignment problems. But a good set of tires and an alignment at a good shop will do the trick.

    No one has really mentioned getting alignments at Isuzu dealers, bad idea? The other question was that, like i said, i will be doing some significant traveling, has anyone really been uncomfortable while driving long trips(indy to cali, 2,000 miles!)? What is this about oil consumption i am hearing here? Would this be a problem with the engine that i should be worried about, or just something else, like being the size engine, etc.
  • If you really push your Trooper, go with sway bar bushing, etc, but if you an average driver you don't need to replace springs & sway bars to get decent handling out of a Trooper.

    After much research on the web, first thing I did after purchasing my (used) 2002 Trooper 4x4 S was to replace the factory shocks with Tokico Trekmaster R/T's. These solved the lean/tipsy feeling and smoothed out the ride....I have a lot speed bumps going into my neighborhood. Trooper still leans in corners - it's not a sports car, but now it feels very controlled and stable.

    Trekmasters also work great for moderate off road use.

    Tire upgrade is next, waiting for my BFG A/T's to arrive.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    ALOT. :) Never tipsy. Of course I drive it like a truck and know not to push it through turns cause it will roll that way. But she is pretty stable up to about 110-115 with 275-70-16s, OME 912springs, Sway bar bushings, and a few other tidbits.


  • I have the Trooper-S 4x4. I like value over luxery. I have spent $11K (1984 new), $22K (1995 new) and $13K (2001 in 2003); ($46K total, or 2/3 of what my brother spent on just one luxery LandCruiser) for my three Troopers which will last me 750K miles over 30 years. It would have been less cost for more miles except that my 1995 Trooper was totalled early in life at only 145K miles. I was also looking hard to find a 5 speed manual transmission. I like the manual it makes driving more fun for me and my kids. I think the automatic is competant and the ones with grade logic and TOD are a great idea. My manual has the push button 4x4 engage and no wheel hubs to lock and unlock by changing direction, TOD is awseome for patchy ice on roads but only comes with the automatic.
    I found a HUGE variability in the feel of the Trooper suspension when test driving them last summer. The one I bought was well cared for and the suspension is tight enough that I have not bothered to update it at all. Some others were so sloppy that I would update the suspension immediately (after arguing the price down based on an unsafe suspension condition) and before any significant trips. I do not know if this is due to the sloppy ones being used badly or the fact that they were rental fleet units which are configured custom for the rental duty and rental companies may have specified mushy shocks or soft springs or just to drastically cut costs since they don't keep rental cars more than a year or two.
  • Your post raises a question - my 2001 LS 2WD has always been extremely sensitive to any amount of air movement. Ever since I bought the Trooper new, it has been an exhausting effort to keep it moving in a straight line and requires constant steering correction. The slightest breeze causes it to dart from side to side. I just accepted it as being characteristic of the Trooper. But from your post, I gather that's not necessarily so.

    The only suspension modification I've made is the poly sway bar bushings. That reduced its tendency to lean, but did nothing for directional stability. The OEM (not OME) shocks are not mushy at all, and the tires are the original Dueller 245/70/16's. I intend to replace them with 265/70/16's of some sort, which will probably eliminate some of the problem.

    The alignment may be off just a tad, because at 31,000 miles, the tires show a bit of wear on the outer edges (but nothing significant). Originally, it had a slight pull to the right, but a dealer re-alignment corrected that.

    If you think adjusting the wheel alignment again might correct the problem, which aspect of the alignment might be contributing to the problem? I'd like to be armed with as much info as possible when I take it to the shop.

  • 01 TOD LS has 46K and never had an alignment issue with this vehicle (work always done at my local tire shop) - Stock tires went 40K - with plenty of tread left - I just wanted a bigger tire - so put on 260-70-16's and these are wearing fine - had it aligned at the change. Also I upgraded my Trooper in stages - first the sway bar bushings at 3K - great help - then the Rancho 5000 gas shocks 7K - more help - and then the bigger tires - its wider track - and wider footprint really made a big difference. Sure, the vehicle will sway some in a cross wind - but every SUV I have had, including three 2-door Tahoes did the same thing. After learning to drive and dance with the wind in the orignal VW Beetle everything else is mild in comparison. We take our Trooper on many a long trip - and it is very comfortable.

    By the way, anybody done an XM radio upgrade yet? Some of the guys I work with are showing up with factory Satellite radios now and they sure are nice.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    The alignment can change its sensitivity to road and wind. If they crank up some setting (I cannot remember offhand, but I think it is toe angle) it will make it harder to turn off center, but also stay straighter. I had my truck re-aligned with my new tires a while ago, after that I have had similar "drift" issues, that weren't there before. On flat roads with no crazy conditions it is straight as an arrow. Both ways are probably "properly" aligned, but one changes the driving characteristics.

    One possible issue of cranking something up could be steering column wear. If for example, cranking up the toe angle makes it hold its line better, it may put more wear on steering components when trying to turn?
  • dnestrdnestr Posts: 188
    my 5MT has a peculiarity-sometimes it's difficult to shift from N to 1st. I noticed it mainly happened on warm engine/tranny, and never appears after long parking. I am not troubled by the care of this shifting difficulty. Anyway, is there something to care this without outside interference in the gear box? Do I have to regulate a clutch? Is this a common thing on manual troopers? Have you ever had something similar to this? Thanks in advance.

    BTW, I have checked the fluid and its level. Everything was OK.
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107
    Vehicles that have little or no toe-in, like the Honda and Toyota hybrids, will be slightly more efficient but will tend not to track straight. The more toe-in you add, the more stable the car becomes. At some point, however, this will have a negative result on tire wear and steering effort off-center.

  • I live near the foothills in Denver,Colorado, and as some of you might know, we can get very strong gusts of wind. Trooper handles it just fine, much better than my old Mazda PU. and about the same or better than our Mini Van.

    Agree with boxtrooper, I also "found a HUGE variability in the feel of the Trooper suspension"
    that I tested drove. Mostly noticed that the rental ones around here were pretty beat up. I don't think the shocks & spring ratios were any different than non-rentals, just that the shocks were trashed - along with interiors, body, exhaust system,etc. Some looked like they'd some serious off-pavement work already, w/o any maintenance. Took me a few months to find a good used one.

    I'm not sure why Isuzu sold the Trooper here in the USA with hydraulic shocks and not gas-charged. Guess they were trying to save a few bucks? Or maybe they wanted the Trooper to lean a lot, to scare folks into not driving so fast as to roll it? Very strange.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Yep, you just need a little more toe-in...but go to a specialty alignment shop, don't go to some place where alignments are just a sideline.

    I went to Hoover Alignment here in Minneapolis, they didn't even use a computer at all [gasp!] and got the first good alignment ever, after half a dozen tries at Sears.
  • I have a friend who owns a Hunter "Lite-a-Line" from the 1950's. He still does alignments in his shop with it! It still gives a good alignment too!
  • A cell phone in my shoe would be nice, but to have sunglasses with the video screen in them would be even better!
    What do you mean by that, are they sacrificing things like suspension in the luxery version? Or are you refering to the fact that it cost more for the luxery and you just like what you get for your money in the S version? I Definitly want the automatic, my tracker was an manual, i hated not being able to have a free-hand, and especially being that i will be in the city, can you imagine a manual in the heart of chicago???? I also really like the TOD idea, on roads that are mostly dry but still have patches of ice, or side roads with some snow, it's nice to know you dont have keep putting it in and out of 4x4,or risk ruining the 4x4 or something by leaving it in the whole time for those patches you might hit while you are driving on pavement.
    My problem is that i can only find one trooper for sale withing 30 miles of indy, so it is hard to test drive them and feel for suspenion differences. Going on i can find a good amount within 150 miles, i have learned now to ask for service records, so that i can see the work done (if any) and that could give an idication to the vehicles past and how it was driven (i.e. 4x4ing, hard driving etc.). That'll help some with figuring out if the trip to test drive it is worth my time and so that i know to really feel the drive out to look for bad shocks, or other problems. Also things like who drove it (old women, male, etc again) and if it was garaged. Any other things you guys would suggest me ask about to give me a good idea of the shape the vehicle might be in?
    I am also becoming increasingly aware that some had problems of loosing acceleration when you try to accelerate after long durations of driving, and how at stops, sometimes the engine would just rev up and take off if you don't have the foot on the brake, has anyone had these problems?? I can't seem to find much on it, just the original complaints. I would like to know if there is a fix for this, if it just happened at the beggining, if it happens for a little bit and that is it or what? All i find on it is the ocassional commment that they had a problem with it.
  • I don't plan on 4x4ing really, just like the 4x4 for up north in the crappy weather we get during the winter. Do you do 4x4ing or did you just upgrade for a more comfortable ride? I ask this b/c you mention the Trekmaster R/T's and said that solved the lean/tipsy feeling and smoothed out the ride. On the road or while 4x4ing?
  • Thanks to all who replied to my alignment questions . . . thanks a heap. You're a great bunch! I'm ready to get the re-align ASAP.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    One thing to be aware of is the less than great mileage of the trooper. Most of us are not getting 15/19 as advertised. I get around 12 on good days, I have larger than stock tires, bullbar and roof rack which probably contribute, but even new around town 14 MPG was the average with 17.6 being the best highway mpg logged. It isn't really worse than other SUVs, however with a 22 gallon tank you need to stop more often.
  • was 19.8 on a hot summer day while on vacation. The Trooper carried two people, was lightly loaded, and we had the AC running the whole time. Strange to say, I have obtained poorer mileage with the AC not running in other situations. The main factors affecting mileage appear to be air pressure, flat country, and a conservative driving style. The kind of gas may be important too but I don't know a thing about that.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How fast are you guys driving?

    I actually was able to attain 22mpg with stock tires at slightly elevated pressures, with 3 people and moderate gear. My driving was forced to be 60-65mph, not more, not less and this was with AC on with med hills, nothing major, but not plains flat.

    I achieved this 2 or 3 times before putting on my ARB, Larger tires, springs, etc.

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