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Isuzu Trooper



  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I like to use the low range in snow when I am going down steep downhills so the engine can act as a brake and keep me at a reasonable speed for conditions without having to use the brakes. This works real well on my 200 ft gravel driveway and the steep secondary road (always plowed after all the main roads are done) leading to the main road.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    We've owned both: previously a '96 S, currently a '98 S with Performance Package (equivalent to the current LS trim level). If you opted for a pre-98 Trooper, I don't necessarily think you would need/want more power.

    We loved our 96 but it was totaled so we upgraded to a 98. The 96 always seemed to have adequate power. That year all Troopers offered 190hp. From 92-95, some Troopers had 190hp and some had only 175hp. The 98 does have noticeably more power than the 96 but we don't really need the extra power for our purposes. We do not tow with the truck, nor do we off-road with it.

    The 98+ models do offer the chance to get a full-time, on-road 4WD system. That is probably the major difference.

    Note that in 98, Torque on Demand was part of the Performance Package. This means that a base Trooper S with automatic does NOT have TOD; it has the shift-on-the-fly system that was on earlier Troopers and that is on 98+ manual transmission Troopers. In later model years, TOD was standard with the automatic transmission.

    One other thing: our 96 Trooper was EPA-rated 1 mpg lower than our 98. However, the 96 got about 1 mpg better overall than our 98 does.
  • radman6radman6 Posts: 81
    When going off road I primarily use 4 Hi TOD. It works especially well when climbing loose steep slopes. I also really like TOD for maximum traction on snow and ice. There are a few specific situations where 4 Lo works better. These are:

    Difficult rocky creek crossings, large steep water bars, and going over large rocks where you need to go really slow with a lot of control. If the need for low end power and precise vehicle contol is greater than the need for traction - I use 4 Lo.

    I also use Lo range when going down steep slopes to take advantage of compression braking. The idea is to keep the vehicle from running away - and avoiding excessive use of your brakes. Maintaining a steady (slow) downhill speed without a lot a braking also prevents nose dive and keeps you from hanging your bumper on water bars, rocks, logs etc., on the way down.

    Be very careful backing down steep slopes. One shortcoming of my Trooper (2000 S Auto w/ TOD)is even in 4Lo the vehicle tries to run away from you when you back off of a steep slope. Reverse 4Lo gearing is way too high for this situation. Pretty scarey to back off from a failed hill climb attempt. It takes pretty precise braking to maintain a reasonable descent speed and vehicle control. Too much braking and your wheels can lock up. Locked brakes mean you are skidding backwards down the hill out of control. Not enough braking and your vehicle careens backwards down the slope out of control. The trick is to get as much braking power as you can without locking up the wheels - getting on and off the brakes as necessary to maintain a controlled descent. Never let speed / momentum build up to the point where you lose control - and believe me it can happen fast with a 4000 lb vehicle on a steep slope.

    4Lo is also a good choice for pulling out another heavy vehicle that's really stuck - especially if your vehicle is on solid ground. In this situation 4 Lo provides lots of low end power and great vehicle control. That said, I'm sure a lot of you have pulled out other vehicles with hi range / TOD.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    The current fourwheeler magazine has an article about 4 wheeling in the Himalaya's. All Isuzu's, There is at least 1 Trooper and a couple of Japan specific trucks. Not much is said about the Trooper, but it is impressive that it was one of the vehicles chosen for this trek, as well as only getting a few modifications, for the most part stock suspension. Check it out.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I don't think there are any Isuzu Japan specific trucks I know of. The Wizard is the Rodeo/Amigo.

  • Do you have a link to this article on the web?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    Never let speed / momentum build up to the point where you lose control - and believe me it can happen fast with a 4000 lb vehicle on a steep slope

    Excellent advice! I've been on some pretty steep terrain out here in the Rockies and, fortunatetly, never lost control. To say it would be a disaster would be a gross understatement.

  • Hey guys, thanks for the info in reply to my post. I can't wait to buy a Trooper! Still waiting to sell my Subie, though. I'm getting so impatient, I already dropped the asking price by $1000!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd say we've sold on here at least 10 Troopers this year (and that is just the ones who post) I'm sure there are countless others who read our posts on here! I heard once give someone a trooper for a week, and they'll buy one. I think it's totally true.
    Welcome to the crew!

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I am not a member of, so I don't know if it is online. I picked up the magazine at an airport the other day, it is the December issue.

    The "Japan Specific" trucks are made by another company that Isuzu owns, I can't remember the name off hand. I will check the article.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Thanks. That would be cool info.

    We are planning another Pine Barrens run in Dec. also.

  • Paisan et al...

    How easy is it to install shocks for the average do-it-yourselfer? I don't recall seeing any instructions on your site. Has anyone out there braved the task or know how to? Bilsteins are coming out with their new Touring shocks in November/December sometime specifically designed for Troopers 92-02.


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I hear it's not that hard, but I paid about $125 to have all 4 shocks and rear springs installed. The big problem is the front shocks usually need to be cut off.

  • breakorbreakor Posts: 398
    Basically you are simply removing a nut on the top of the shock, one on the bottom, sliding off the old shock, sliding on the new shock and tightening the nuts. The problem is that reaching the nuts is not real easy especially in the rear. Also, IIRC the top mounts on the rears have a removable bolt such that you have to have two wrenches (one to turn the nut off and one to keep the bolt from turning). Again this is not rocket science but I imagine it would be impossible if you don't have a reasonably good selection of wrenches and sockets to reach AND TURN/HOLD the nuts. Also, sometimes it can require a fair amount of strength to do this as well as slide the old shocks off and the new ones on.

    Bottom line, in theory it is a very simple job. However in practice it can be annoying if not a downright frustrating knuckle buster.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The problem with the fronts IIRC is that they badly corrode and you strip them causing them to rotate around and you can't get the nuts off.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Ippon. They may just be the Hombre I am not sure. But they are Isuzu Ippon, I think they are king/extended cabs.

    December would be cool. Even better would be after a foot of snow. The pine barrens don't always get a lot, being next to the shore, but a lot of snow would be fun.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Hey, I did it myself. If I can do it, you can too.

    I do remember I had to borrow another socket from a friend to remove/tighten the front shock lower mount (didn't have two sockets the same size).
  • vivayovivayo Posts: 32
    I'm looking at installing an active suspension system ( on my '01 LS to improve handling when towing a large trailer. Problem is, the application guide doesn't list any Trooper newer than 96. Does anyone know, or know where I can find out, if the '01 rear suspension is the same as the 96?
    Never mind the question. I found the answer. The above product is for leaf springs. The Trooper has 4 link coils ;-(
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The "Rodeo" in australia is basically a 4door 1st gen/2nd gen rodeo from the US with a bed instead of an SUV on the back end. Awsome trucks!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Its the same on the '01 as the '96.

  • I recently replaced my OEM shocks with Edelbrocks at 94k miles.

    I thought about doing it myself but Manny Moe and Jack offered to do it for $12 each. So
    $48 later my knuckles were good as new and my shocks installed.

    I did hang around and watch and it looked like a [non-permissible content removed]. But I am not real confident that the
    kid mechanic doing it had much experience in shock replacement....

    Don't really like letting guys like that touch my car but the price was right and so far
    everything looks good.

    As I said before the Edelbrocks are good so far, but were $$ at $69 each.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    Lots of talk about suspension lately. I've got a question for 96' and 97' model Trooper owners. When you put your vehicle in Power Drive, does it stay in after you turn the vehicle off? Does it revert back to Normal Drive? My 01' model stays in Power Drive, my 88' model stays in Power Drive, but my 97' does not if the power is off. What say ye?? Happy Trooping!!
  • Hi guys, I'm in the market for an utility vehicle. I'm trying to decide between the 4-Runner and the TrooperLS. I'm for the Trooper except for, I'm worried about the longevity of the TOD system and the effectiveness compared to the part-time systems (4HI-4LO.) Are the Electro-Magnetic-Clutches and the rest of the TOD system covered under the power train or Bumper to Bumper warranty. Any help is appreciated.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My '97 Rodeo had a power switch and it would revert every time I turned off the ignition. My '00 Trooper stays in power after turning off the ignition.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I wouldn't worry about the longevity of it. It *is* however covered under the powertrain warranty IIRC. Borg and Warner made it and they are well known for tough durable products. As for effectiveness, it's going to be 1000s of times more useful. 1) cause you probably don't off road on a daily basis, or even weekely, so the TOD will help with on-road stability 2) There is still 4wd Lo that is the traditional 50/50 split with low range gears. IMHO it's the best of both worlds. 4wd Lo for extra torque, TOD which will get you through mud, snow, and a multitude of other on and off-road situations with ease. I find the TOD to be better than 4wd Lo in most off-road situations.

  • Thanks Paisan for the quick response. If I do go with the Trooper (which seems more likely now with the peace of mine of the 10/120 warranty) I would be putting the Calmini 3" lift and would change to 15" rims with possible 32"-33" tires. How would that affect the TOD and would it cause any problems with my warranty on the TOD? I already know that a suspension lift will void my suspension warranty.
    Thanks again,
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well, they are very subjective. It's not a cut and dry type thing. Depending on your dealer changing tires, rims and a lift *can* void different parts of the warranty. Basically if a dealer can prove that your change contributed to the failure, then they can refuse to cover the warranty for that item. You might not even need a lift to put 32" tires on a trooper. Also I'd go with the OME rear springs for a 2" lift rather than Calmini (I'm not a big fan of anything Calmini, mostly due to their customer service)

  • Why would 15 inch rims be better than 16 inch rims? It seems to me that smaller rims would allow more slop in the suspension due to the tires sidewalls being taller. More slop = less control. How is less control good for a Trooper? Or what would 15 inch tires give the Trooper that would be worth puting up with the extra slop in suspension?
    Thank You
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Boxtrooper, when off roading you want to have more side-wall, that allows you to air down and have a bigger grip patch. He already said he'd be lifting it 3" so this means he's planning on taking it off-road often. Most off-roaders I know use 15" steel wheels and big 33 or 34" tires.

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