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Thread: Best year Trooper?

  1. #1
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    Default Best year Trooper?

    Just curious what yall think the best year for a Trooper is and why?

    My girlfriend has a company car but wants an SUV and after reading all of the buildups on Troopers, they seem to be simple, reliable and inexpensive. She likes the looks of them and I like the thought of having an SUV to be able to load up and go comfortably to the mountains

    I love the Expeditions West Trooper! Its just about right! That being said, what do I look for? Whats too many miles? Will the engines last for 150K? I literally know nothing about them. What price range do I look for in a stock Trooper?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I hope this helps but if not there is a wealth of other websites that are helpful such as carsurvey.org, planetisuzoo.com, independent4x.com (aftermarket), wikipedia and consumerguide.

    1984 - Isuzu introduces Trooper into U.S. 1.9l engine. 4 speed transmission. Automatic locking hubs. 10 gallon gas tank (identified by the gas filler in front of the rear axle). Round sealed beam headlights. Antennae on drivers side windshield pillar. Two doors. Rear seat has horizontal sliding windows. 15x6 rims with P225/75/15 tires
    1985 - Won the 4x4 of the year from Petersons 4wheel drive magazine.
    1986 - Isuzu Introduces Trooper II into U.S. (This was the same as a Trooper, but with no rear seat at the time of import, so it was imported at a lower tariff rate as a truck. Rear seat installed by dealer). 2.3l carbeurated engine, or a 2.2L turbo diesel bolth had a 5 speed MSG-5 transmission only made for 86-87 troopers and pup 4x4s. 10-bolt (Isuzu Corporate) rear differential. 8-bolt (Isuzu Corporate) front differential. Tachometer added to gauge cluster. New gauge cluster added between center vents with oil pressure, temperature and gas gauge. 4 door model offered. Two door model has same body as previous years. Rear spoiler (used to keep continuous air flow across rear doors to help prevent exhaust gases from entering) and roof rack offered as options. Air conditioning a non-Isuzu dealer option. 21.5 gallon fuel tank located behind the rear axle. Alloy wheels on LS model.
    1987 - Transition begins. Square headlights like later models. Same driveline as 86. Some report 12-bolt rear end and 10-bolt front end differential, though officially the 10/12 combination was not released until the 1988 model year. also last year for 2.2L T\D engine. first year for LT235/75/15 tires.
    1988 - 2.6L 4ZE1 (121hp / 146 lb-ft) fuel injected engine introduced. MUA-5 5 speed manual transmission standard with Aisin-Warner A340H 4 speed automatic as an option on the 2.6L. 12-bolt Isuzu rear differential introduced. The 10-bolt rear diff used in rear of '84-'87 Troopers moved to the front in the improved IFS. Antenna located on front passenger's fender. Rear step bumper on LS and higher models with tow package. A "Special Edition" Trooper featuring special badging and a split rear seat that converts to a bed was available this model year only. (Note: the split rear seat that reclines all the way down to the cargo area behind the seat was available in later years as well).
    1989 - Short wheelbase RS version with 4ZE1 2.6L is produced and available in the US only in this year. On long wheelbase models, the GM 2.8L V6 (LL2) is introduced as an option as well as the 4 speed GM 4L30E automatic transmission, available on the 2.8L V6 only as the 4ZE1 2.6L was paired with the A340H - an Aisin transmission. All 4L30E and MUA-5 manuals had gear driven transfer cases, while the A340H had a chain driven transfer case.
    (Taken from http://wiki.planetisuzoo.com/index.php/Troopers)
    1993 Isuzu Trooper: A 2-door RS wagon joined for 1993 on a wheelbase 17 inches shorter and measuring a foot shorter overall. Trim and equipment for the RS were similar to that of the 4-door LS.
    1994 Isuzu Trooper: Four-wheel antilock braking became available on S and RS models this year, and standard on the top-of-the-line LS. Rear-wheel ABS remained standard on the lower-priced models.
    1995 Isuzu Trooper: Trooper added dual airbags for 1995, as the 2-door wagon disappeared. All models now had four doors and Isuzu's unique 70/30 split rear doors. The new instrument panel featured stalk controls for headlights and wipers.
    1996 Isuzu Trooper: For 1996, Troopers finally got a new 4WD system for shifting in and out of 4WD High while on the move. All models now had a single-cam V6 engine, but rated at 190 horsepower instead of 175.
    1997 Isuzu Trooper: Four-wheel antilock braking was standard on all Troopers for '97.
    1998 Isuzu Trooper: Isuzu made two important changes to the Trooper for 1998. First, they added a bigger and more-powerful V6 engine. Displacing 3.5 liters, the new V6 made 25 more horsepower and 42 more pound-feet of torque than last year's 3.2-liter. Second, they made standard a new full-time 4WD system. Called Torque-On-Demand, the system normally operated in rear-wheel drive, but automatically sent power to the front wheels when wheel slip was detected.
    1999 Isuzu Trooper: Changes were few this year. A first-aid kit became standard and the Performance Package added fog lamps and available gold trim. This would be the last year for Acura's Trooper-clone, the SLX.
    2000 Isuzu Trooper: Rear-wheel-drive models became available, as part of an expanded lineup. Previously, Troopers had been 4WD only. S, LS, and Limited models replaced the lone S model of '99. Troopers gained a new grille and taillights, and automatic climate control became standard. Automatic transmissions were revised in an attempt to minimize gear changes on inclines. Isuzu stretched its powertrain warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles.
    2001 Isuzu Trooper: An Anniversary Edition was added in celebration of Isuzu's 85th year.
    2002 Isuzu Trooper: Trooper closed out its run unchanged, to be replaced for 2003 by the Chevrolet TrailBlazer-based Ascender.
    (Taken from http://consumerguideauto.howstuffwor...-trooper-7.htm)

    I also can say that the 98+ models have longer control arms for better flex. And in 2002 they revised a gas line that, in safety tests was found to be faulty and could result in a fuel leak in the event of a crash. They also revamped the 3.5 so it wouldn't burn so much oil. I personally dont have any first hand experience with the Trooper as I am forced to do my expeditioning in a suh-weet Expo white 1994 Oldsmobile 88 until I finish school (can't wait). I will also go on to add that one of my main draws other than off roadability is the studio apartment that resides behind the front seats. The cargo area on these pigs is cavernous and is able to house a sleep platform in addition to a mother in law suite, which is perfect because I dont want to pay for hotels when I travel and I am lazy, I love to just hop in bed when I'm tired. I hoped this has helped and if you have any more questions feel free to ask me, or any of the ridiculously helpful members on this board.
    "The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." ~ Alexander Supertramp

  3. #3
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    I had a 98. Great truck. I got rid of it with just shy of 200K miles and had no problems with it. It went through a bit of oil, but as long as you stay on top of it it won't be a problem.
    Aaron
    ExPo member #51

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  4. #4
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    My father is a long time Trooper fan. He bought an 86 Trooper II new back in the day. He sold it circa 1998/1999. during that time, he had 3 major engine issues. He did end up dropping in a new engine. But he loved the functionality of it, and at the end of the day, it was cheaper to fix/put in another engine over a new SUV. I learned to drive stick on it. That thing would go wherever it was pointed. A family friend had a 84 Toyota mini. On a hunting trip, the Toy got stuck, but the Trooper did not and was used to pull Toy out.

    He now drives a 94 Trooper. Again, he loves the functionality. It does burn some oil though. It seems like these gens all have oil burning issues once they get over 100K. I am not sure if or how Isuzu effective the fix was for the 98+. Perhaps some folks with 98+ with over 100K with chime in.
    2000 Diesel 4x4 Excursion
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  5. #5
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    definitely check out the "member's rides" section of planetisuzoo

  6. #6
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    I have a 2000 and can attest to the cavernous space that they have. I would recommend a manual if you can find one, as my father had an automatic which gave him the only problems he had in 486,000 miles. He also had the pre-98 3.2L engine though. I have about 92,000 on mine with few issues, two sensors and a starter. The manuals don't have the TOD either, which some found to be finicky, instead there is a push-button part time 4WD and lever for low-range.

    Also, I can tell you there were some other changes that took place that were not listed in the consumer guide quote. Limited slip in everyone of the 2000 and up 12 bolt rears that I've seen and there were some modifications (I think in '98) to make it stronger. I am told the torsion bars in the 2000's are longer than previous years as well though I have not compared them myself. Lastly, and this is for all '98 and up, there are apparently independent coils for each cylinder making things more efficient until something breaks. Every one of them I have seen, regardless of year consumes oil. Neither mine, nor my father's has had any problems due to it; however we stay on top of the preventative maintenance.

    I will say this for the Trooper, I have no regret buying this vehicle over its competition. Sure, I'd love a LandCruiser too but the difference is not worth the price. Another one to consider would be the Montero (not the Sport, but the normal Montero before they went to 4 corner independent) as Mitsubishi is still sold in the US where Isuzu is not. I have heard good things about them as well.

    Lastly, I would say look for something with 75k miles and around $5K with maintenance records. There is not as much of a demand for them as for other vehicles so you can often find a good deal.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
    2000 Isuzu Trooper S 5Spd/ ARB Bar & Fridge, Warn M8000, PIAAs, OME 2", 235/85R16 Wrangler Kevlars, FrontRunner WindCheetah rack

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntsonora View Post
    Just curious what yall think the best year for a Trooper is and why?

    what do I look for?
    Whats too many miles?
    Will the engines last for 150K?
    What price range do I look for in a stock Trooper?

    Thanks
    I like the First Generation (1G) Troopers from '85-'91 because of the shape and size. My preference is the '88-'91 with 2.6L EFI engine (4 cylinder, 4ZE1) with the manual 5-speed tranny because it's pretty zippy and efficient. I still get 20mpg highway with over 200k miles on the odometer.

    The axles on these trucks are geared 4.56:1, and the Isuzu 12-bolt rear axle (not to be confused with the GM Corporate 12-bolt axle) is tough. Plus these 1988-1991 trucks have 4-wheel disk brakes--much earlier than most other manufacturers put 4-wheel disks on their trucks/SUV.

    Some models came with a limited-slip rear end, too. Look for option code G80 on the data plate on the firewall under the hood, drivers side.

    A possible down-side to the 4ZE1 is the head gasket; Reputation is that the castings were poor early--and were corrected in later productions. You will find the casting number, 1 through 6 IIRC, on the head near the "4ZE1" casting.

    I replaced the head with an aftermarket unit about 4 years ago when the gasket blew. Probably could have simply replaced the gasket since I'm certain there was no over-heating involved.

    If I were looking to buy another 1G Trooper, I would be most concerned about rust or corrosion in two places: first in the bottom seal of the rear doors, then under the hood at the battery tray I'd recommend checking the side windows and windshield weatherstrip, too, but of less concern because those aren't "typical" spots. Of course you want to check the frame rails where suspension and body mounts are located.

    The 4ZE1 will last many many years with proper maintenance (oil, filters, timing belt change at intervals). I'm over 200k miles with mine and several on PlanetIsuzoo have exceeded 300k miles.

    Depending on location and vehicle condition, running 1G Troopers can be had for less than $2000. Most I see are in the $1000-$1500 range. One often sees "needs head gasket" classified ads for cheap, say $500. There are lots of budget-built Troopers out there. Very reliable and quite capable, too.

    Good luck!

    Trooper and Land Cruiser Enthusiast

  8. #8
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    As for looks, I like the GEN1 Troopers as well. They just have that cool old school 'box' look, and they have an amazing capacity.

    Now, my Trooper had the 2.8 GM motor, and that motor sucked giant donkey balls. I've got the Calmini lift and I'm rolling on 33"s with a huge roof rack so basically the hills out here were killing me. I can't comment on the 4 banger motor as I've never driven one. Anyway, I swapped my 2.8 out for a 95 Firebird's 3.4 and I am having a much better time driving now.

    The 2nd gen Troopers have the 3.2 SOHC motor, I think there might be some with a DOHC 3.2 as well. The 2nd gen ones don't really have that awesome old school look, but they have the more powerful motor and you can still get ARB bumpers for them (I think). You can make them look more rugged and less mall crawler with only a little work. I've seen some REALLY sweet 2nd gen Troopers.

    I would stay away from the late model Troopers with the 3.5 DOHC motor. It is know to have oil burning issues. I know because I have a VX with a 3.5 and burns a quart every 1000 miles, but it's a VX so it's worth the trouble.

    Bart

    PS - I've been on the hunt for a rust free 89 RS. I want one.
    2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS | 1991 Isuzu Trooper | 1989 Isuzu Trooper RS
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -----> http://www.isuzugeek.org | http://isuzugeek.blogspot.com/ <------

  9. #9
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    I owned 4 troopers, 86, 95, 2001 and 95. The 1995 is definitely the best model year available. You get the most reliable 3.x engine. You get the new interior. You get the wide track, longer arms & wider axle. You get 4.56 gears. You don't have to deal with ODB-II check engine lights. You don't have to deal with finicky front axle disconnects. Hand's down the best model year. Plus, they just look tough.





    BTW, there are2 door models available, just very rare.
    Last edited by Wareagle; 06-11-2010 at 11:34 PM.
    Mark - Knoxville, TN 2000 Land Cruiser
    ARB bull bar, Warn M8000, Hella 4000 HIDs w/ city light, IPFs, BIO sliders, skids & rear bumper, Ironman snorkel & t-bars, OME 866 coils & N100/N101 shocks, MAF 30mm coil spacers, 285/75/16s ATs, on-board CO2 & safari rack.

    SOLD>>>95Trooper,fr LockRight,rr LSD,5sp,TeraLow,Indy tierod& QD sway,CO2, RS9000,OME912&2.5"spacer,1"BL,ARB w/Warn M8000,OBT rear bumper&slider

  10. #10
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    My mom is still driving her 1996 Trooper, bought new.

    Bart
    2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS | 1991 Isuzu Trooper | 1989 Isuzu Trooper RS
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -----> http://www.isuzugeek.org | http://isuzugeek.blogspot.com/ <------

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