1988 Isuzu Trooper LS 2.6 from North America


Tough, durable, if a little maintenance intensive


The head cracked at 85k miles. We later found out that these engines need to have the valves adjusted every 10-15k miles or else the head will crack. Later heads don't tend to crack, but they still need valves adjusted.

The vehicle is maintenance intensive with the valve adjustments.

General Comments:

It's very tough. It has never let me down off-road.

Doesn't have much power on freeway, but fine off road. Great low range power/gearing on transmission.

Takes an amazing amount of abuse and will still run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2005

1988 Isuzu Trooper II 2.6 from North America




CV shaft went out in the middle of off roading, Replaced timing belt, fixed some rust. Had to relace couple of sensors.

General Comments:

I love this car, has been treated bad, not maintained well and still runs like new, will keep this car forever!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2004

1988 Isuzu Trooper LX 2.6 4 cylinder from North America


For $900 it's a 4x4 Bargain that makes the family feel like the Wild Thornburry's


Exhaust gasket on head leaks.

There is an air leak under dash on drivers side, should be an easy fix though.

Engine idles rough and occasionally dies when cold.

Throttle cable sticky at first part of travel.

All should be easy fixes.

General Comments:

Its very roomy, surprisingly.

Everything is laid out nice and easy to see. I like the dual doors in the back and would like a third seat option.

It has very good visibility all around and came with factory tint on windows that matched paint color.

Compared to my old S-10 with a 2.8 V6 this has much more power.

I am curious to see what the mpg will be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2004

23rd Sep 2004, 12:26

I own a 1988 Trooper and got 21 mpg on a highway in Costa Rica.

3rd Aug 2009, 17:01

I agree to this.

1988 Isuzu Trooper 2.6L 4 cylinder from North America


2.6 L 4 cylinder engine is unreliable!


Head gasket blew after about 5,000 miles. New gasket was installed at 174,000 miles and was leaking by 179,000 miles (I estimate because the speedometer was not working.)

Left front hub would not disengage. The hub grease had become very thick and prevented the automatic hub from unlocking. This was quite time-consuming to repair.

Burns 1 Qt oil per 500 miles.

Left rear brake pad wore out and dug huge (but repairable) grooves in rotor. Previous owner probably had a lot to do with this!

A/C was inoperative when I bought it.

Speedometer was oily and inaccurate from transmission fluid that migrated up the cable. All had to be replaced.

General Comments:

We loved this 4 Wheel Drive box for it's high seating position and willingness to go anywhere coupled with it's roomy, utilitarian shape. It was excellent for work on the farm and to get through the snows of last winter.

Unfortunately, the engine seems to be flawed. It was delivered to us in November with a brand new head gasket. By late May the gasket was leaking. With stop-leak in the radiator, we have kept it running, but only as a farm vehicle.

I love the vehicle, but am reluctant to spend any more money on a an engine with such a reputation for head cracking and head gasket problems. I wish a different engine would slip readily in to replace this 2.6 L 4 cylinder, for other than the engine (!!) it is a super vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd July, 2003

15th Sep 2003, 10:03

I hear time and time again about the 2.6 ltr head gasket problems... FIX IT!!!

The problem is the motor puts out to much torque and heat and they (isuzu) expected an aluminum head to do the trick... It didn't.

I sent mine to a shop in Washington State that cross welded the cracked cylinder mating surfaces and also did a valve job and reground the cam to RV Cam specs... my trooper will now tow a car trailer with a car on it... And it is bullet proof!!!

Spend the 400 - 600 dollars it would cost to replace it used and get it made better!!!

Hot Rod Mechanics Creed..."Don't fix it... Make it Better"

Happy Motoring.