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Thread: Trooper question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Oakland, CA
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    Default Trooper question

    So I'm considering buying an Izuzu Trooper. They seem nicer than the XJs that I've been looking at. But I don't know much about them and I'm hoping someone here can clue me in.

    How good are they off-road? I'm not planning on doing any rock-crawling or the Rubicon trail. Mostly fireroads and such. Do they come stock with any kind of lockers and how big of tires can I fit on one?

    Is there anything specific to the models that I need to look for when I'm inspecting one? Finally, does this look like a decent deal: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/2995013693.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Utah
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    472
    I know there are certain model years you may want to avoid because they have a tendency to burn oil. The Trooper is a good little rig and it is over built. I have owned several Isuzus over the years and they were okay vehicles. I have been more pleased with my Montero's because they seem more reliable and versatile. The Montero also came with a rear locker from the factory and ARB makes both front and rear lockers for the Montero. ARB makes a rear locker for the Trooper, but it can be pricey. Gearing options for the Trooper are also limited. The Trooper is a great vehicle and offers a lot of bang for the buck, but I think the Monty is a better option. Give them both a try and see what you like.
    1985 Mitsubishi Pickup, 2.3L H.O. Turbo Diesel, Watercooled Turbo, $d56 Head, Custom '83 Injection pump, JK Rubicon axles w/elockers, 14" Fox Coilovers, Centerforce II, 5.0 Atlas II, ARB Bull Bar,

    1983 Mitsubishi Pickup 4x4, Brand New 2.5L Turbo Diesel, Fully restored to stock specs.

    2003 G-Class, Hutchison Beadlocks, BFG Rugged Terrain 235/85R/16, VTS spare wheel cover, CVT Mt. McKinley RTT (6 Man), CVT Awning, VTS Sliders, Baja Roof Rack, Baja Ladder, HiLift

    2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI

  3. #3
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    Jan 2012
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    Oakland, CA
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    I've been looking at Monteros, too. With both of these vehicles, I'm being challenged by finding information on upgrading and maintaining them. I can't even find a Haynes manual for a late-90s Trooper.

    It kinda sounds like at $5000 it's not so much about a make/model of vehicle as much as it is the condition of whatever I buy. A well-maintained Explorer is going to treat me better than a Land Cruiser with a transmission that's on it's last legs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Utah
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    472
    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet Joy View Post
    I've been looking at Monteros, too. With both of these vehicles, I'm being challenged by finding information on upgrading and maintaining them. I can't even find a Haynes manual for a late-90s Trooper.

    It kinda sounds like at $5000 it's not so much about a make/model of vehicle as much as it is the condition of whatever I buy. A well-maintained Explorer is going to treat me better than a Land Cruiser with a transmission that's on it's last legs.
    For $5K you should be able to find a really nice Montero. While I was looking I came across 3-4 in that price range that had a lot of life left in them. It's is not uncommon to see a 1997-2000 with over 300k miles and still on the original engine and tranny. I would not hesitate to buy a Montero with over 200K miles. My last Monty had 220k miles and was still going strong when I sold it. My 1985 Mitsubishi pickup has over 300k miles and it runs as good as new. I think you are on the right track by looking for a vehicle in good condition, but from my experience a my 10 year old FJ80 with 200k miles drove much better than my in-laws brand new Tahoe. With that being said, I am certain the Montero is a better and more durable off-road vehicle than both of my FJ80 were. I know the Toyota guys will disagree but that's because they have never owned a Monty.

    As far as upgrades for the Montero, a few companies like arb offer small lifts, but the wheel opening are large enough to fit 33" tires with out a lift. Other goodies are also available like front and rear lockers, snorkels, roof racks, sliders, winch bumpers, gearing solutions, crawler gears, doublers, atlas tcase, etc. The Montero is very cheap and easy to maintain. I am not an amazing mechanic, but I feel very comfortable fixing a Montero. If you asked me to change the train fluid my 2009 Jetta TDI I would just scratch my head. But with my 2000 Montero I would not hesitate to pull and rebuild the engine.

    Change the timing belt every 80K miles, change the fluids as recommended, perform routine maintenance and the vehicle will last forever.
    1985 Mitsubishi Pickup, 2.3L H.O. Turbo Diesel, Watercooled Turbo, $d56 Head, Custom '83 Injection pump, JK Rubicon axles w/elockers, 14" Fox Coilovers, Centerforce II, 5.0 Atlas II, ARB Bull Bar,

    1983 Mitsubishi Pickup 4x4, Brand New 2.5L Turbo Diesel, Fully restored to stock specs.

    2003 G-Class, Hutchison Beadlocks, BFG Rugged Terrain 235/85R/16, VTS spare wheel cover, CVT Mt. McKinley RTT (6 Man), CVT Awning, VTS Sliders, Baja Roof Rack, Baja Ladder, HiLift

    2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Pa.
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    180
    I once had a Trooper, dont remember what year (earlier "boxier" version than the one you linked) , but I put two head gaskets on it and one head. Miserable. I loved the layout, and the function, but YIKES, that engine SUCKED. Too bad they didt put an Isuzu diesel in it, that would have been GOOD.

    Jronwood

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Oakland, CA
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I greatly appreciate it. Rather than hijack the Trooper forums to talk about Mitsubishis, I've started another thread here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...these-Monteros

    Cheers!

    SJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    166
    I've owned two Troopers, a '92 S model and '92 LS model. Both were very capable for a stock 4x4. They can fit 265/75/16's with no lift. Great size and body - much superior to the vehicle that replaced our '92 S model, the 06 4-Runner. That being said, the engines and trannies were junk. I know some people had good luck with them - but we had lots of issues with engine tickings, oil burning, etc, culiminating with the S model one blowing a gasket at 120k miles. Both trucks had issues with the electronics in the trannies. Sometimes would throw check engine lights and then not shift into first, etc.

    In sum, excellent excellent body, but lousy, unreliable engine.
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Dcab

  8. #8
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    Maryland
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    I'm feeling lazy tonight so I'll shortcut my answer. Your question is asked in this section fairly often if you read in a few pages you'll probably find a few threads where most of your questions have already been answered. Troopers are a great vehicle for the use you describe. But like all brands and styles they have their quirks and issues. 1st gens -'91 are tough as nails. They are also very spartan basic rigs. The are also old and well used so expect to do some work to get them back in shape. The '92 on 2nd gens came with a few different engines and transmissions depending on year. All can be very good. Some of the later '98 on 3.2 dohc and 3.5 engines are known for oil usage. Biggest weak spot is the gm auto trans in some models that was too light duty for these trucks. These trucks have a very strong fully boxed frame. The problem is it can collect salt ect and rust from the inside out. Check them out and stick your finger in some frame holes and feel for problems. Otherwise very comfortable, capable rigs.

    Here is the place for all your questions to be answered.
    http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/index.php
    KISS Principle = Keep It Simple Stupid.
    Your best defense against Murphy's law!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
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    The manual trannys are very tough, as are the transfer cases. The mid-90s V6 are quite good, I have had two and no oil burning whatsoever. 98-2001 have potential for oil burning which can lead to trouble if you ignore it, but anyone who takes care of their rig should be fine.
    Steve Carlson
    1995 Isuzu Trooper LS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    N. Indiana
    Posts
    764
    I have had 2 troopers and 2 XJ jeeps. -a friend of mine had a Montero.

    My wife and I's first vehicle was a '94 trooper and we pretty ran it until it died ...we got rid of it at 210k miles. It went everywhere and never complained. After many road trips, and rather than it nickle and diming us, I just practically donated it to a guy for what I could have gotten for it at the scrap yard. He drove it for another year before he lost his license and it now just sits next to his house.

    Once the trooper was toast I bought her a Commander and myself a XJ Jeep. The commander is similar to the trooper in terms of interior space and she really likes that. (she loves driving my trooper though lol) My XJ needed (what I felt) a lot to be desired after owning a trooper. I kept the Jeep for a year before buying another Jeep 'project' ...which as soon as I bought it I just thought to myself...why? lol.

    -So I sold the XJ's and bought 1998 Trooper. This has that 'oil burning' motor (the 3.5ltr) which I have found to be just fine. It does drink a little but nothing extreme as some say theirs do. My trooper has 150k miles on it. The unfortunate part is I have not been able to drive it much as I have been riding my motorcycle most of the time the past few days. It is going on its maiden voyage in a few weeks as I am taking my family camping in it. My future plans are to pretty much copy Expeditions West's Trooper which can be found here: http://www.expeditionswest.com/vehic...per/index.html

    My good friend enjoyed his Montero. It proved itself many times when we would go out and about. I really like the Troopers on demand 4wd though...which is a great trade off for the locker. (though a locker would make it ultimate)

    I personally feel as though the Trooper is the best kept secret in terms of 'adventure vehicle'. Fully boxed frame, great power, nice 4wd system, roomy on the inside, nice ground clearance...what more could you want? It doesn't take a lot to make this vehicle totally awesome!

    To choose between a Montero and a Trooper...well, I really like my trooper but for the right Montero, I wouldn't hesitate to highly consider it, either.

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