View Full Version : Isuzu Trooper

Jim Bow
09-04-2014, 12:56 PM
Around here, we see a lot of folks spending big bucks for older Toyota Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, and VW Synchros. Lately, the younger, poorer folk have discovered the Isuzu Trooper. I base this on a rather small survey - a kid down the street has one plus a parts car in the garage, and a second kid, a beer truck driver, also has a nice one.

They seem like rugged beasts, and Isuzu engines seem to power half the world.

Any experience here?

09-04-2014, 01:22 PM
I had an '86 with four cylinder engine, liked it a lot except the rain gutters rusted out from salty kayaks and the engine gave up around 150,000. Guessing latter models were better.

09-04-2014, 02:33 PM
Engines good, bodies bad, and the drive train is fine for around town but the components are not "off-road".

Dan McCosh
09-04-2014, 03:09 PM
The mid-1990s models were notorious for rollovers--lawsuits, etc.

09-04-2014, 03:18 PM
The mid-1990s models were notorious for rollovers--lawsuits, etc.

Well they aren't sport sedans! I got my wake up driving on a pretty tree lined road in Berkeley when a car in the opposite lane veered into my lane to avoid a car backing out into the street, I was damn lucky no one was parked next to the curb so I had a 50' stretch between cars to avoid the car about to smash into me but had the unique experience of the right rear wheel wanting to change places with the front left wheel. I came down to Earth and drove home with wide eyes. Thereafter put an anti-sway bar on the rear axle. Driving like an old man helps.

09-04-2014, 04:06 PM
Ohh, how I lusted for one brand new as a high school senior when they were first introduced here. They were cheap, comparatively, but way underpowered. I got a 4 year old Bronco instead and that truck- on the beach, in the snow and in a thawing cornfield--blew the doors off my friend's Trooper on all counts.


John B
09-04-2014, 04:33 PM
We had one for years ,V6 of about 3.2L ? IIRC. I was always impressed at how well it drove and how quiet it was considering it was shaped like a brick. Ours had 'handling by lotus' so perhaps that was some sort of re engineering to combat a rollover reputation?
They have weak auto gearboxes as we found out after rupturing ours, so thats the only thing I'd say mechanically .Apparently a well known weakness in the automatic gearbox repair industry.
It became my boat truck for a few seasons but ultimately I sold it because rust was starting.

Nicholas Scheuer
09-04-2014, 05:20 PM
Typical Japanese merchandizing model; sell crap at the outset, then sell 10x more later because "they're such a good value".

09-04-2014, 05:52 PM
Typical Japanese merchandizing model; sell crap at the outset, then sell 10x more later because "they're such a good value".

Where did they learn that trick from?

I'd have one. The MIL has a mid 90s diesel version that I've driven a few times. Reasonable handling and acceptable performance. Have a look on NZ's Trademe site for a whole heap of them.......give you an idea of how long they last.

There's a 'not too bad' petrol model for $2500...........

Vince Brennan
09-04-2014, 05:53 PM
The mid-1990s models were notorious for rollovers--lawsuits, etc.I thought it was me! Three other band mates, two large speaker cabinets, a heavy (!) amp head , a sound board, mikes, stands, instruments (guitars) and assorted paraphenalia... I was absolutely convinced that the buggar was about to turn turtle on some of the unusually hilly back-roads we drove upon to and from our gigs in SE Pennsylvania (around London College into Wilmington to play at O'Friel's) that I had to have a couple of nips to steady meself.

Thank God that on the way home we were usually so sh**faced I didn't notice the fact the car body was at 45 degrees to the road surface most of the time (the owner drove like a Madman!) BUT: That said, it never failed to start, or to get us thru snow and ice (Don't even ASK about THOSE trips!!) up and down some 'interesting' hills.

Ah, youth and stupidity.

(Wait... I was bloody near 55!!!)

Well, stupidity, then...

Nicholas Scheuer
09-04-2014, 06:17 PM
I still remember the early Civics; like said, "junk".

Rich Jones
09-04-2014, 09:22 PM
We had one in the early 1990's. Loved the vehicle but got tired of getting out to lock the front wheel hubs to put it in 4WD. Plus, it went through brakes very quickly. Went with a Nissan Pathfinder next.

09-05-2014, 01:51 AM
The Isuzu engines are very good, the automatic transmissions? Not as good.

02-27-2015, 08:56 AM
I bought a 1993 Trooper new and had it for a few years. Overall, I liked it and thought it was solidly built. I still think they're great looking. Two kind of weird things, though, the latter of which eventually drove me to sell it: 1. Old fashioned 4WD system. You didn't have to get out and manually lock the hubs, but you did have to stop before shifting into 4WD. Shift-on-the-fly had been out for a number of years at that point, and the Trooper's system always struck me as strange; 2. Low oil pressure. It bugged me that the oil pressure gauge would drop (a lot) when the engine was at low RPMs. As I recall, it was pretty hard to get any good info about the issue from Isuzu; I remember something about the engineers having evaluated it and decided it was normal, etc., but I never quite bought it. And this was pre-internet, so it wasn't easy to get info from other owners, etc.


02-28-2015, 02:47 AM
I had one--I think a 1990 4 cyl. 5 speed. Very, very nice little truck for cheap, when I didn't have money and had to do things low budget. Few repairs and drove it from about 70k until about 200k.