4th Feb 2003, 12:11

We bought an Isuzu Trooper new in '93 and, at present, we've got 225,343 miles on it and still going pretty strong...we'll try for 400K! I changed the oil from Castrol 5W-20 (which was always really burnt looking) to 10W-30 at about 100K, then to Shell Rotella 15W-40 at approx. 175K miles, and I'm sure contrary to all advice, it appears a good move (and I may eat those words tomorrow). We've had lots of lifter noise starting at around 60K miles, but it stays pretty quiet (sort of) as long as I change the oil every 3000 miles or so. Replaced the nasty auto locking hubs with manual ones, a new water pump or two, been wrecked and fixed 7 times, hauled a horse trailer, hay, and all were long trips... looks great and drives great, truly a wonderful vehicle... and every mile it makes since being paid for makes it even more wonderful. And the wheels aren't even near to falling off yet! Xmission is getting a bit sloppy and the clutch is about dead. Are there any reliable replacement heads/clutch/xmission's out there, or is everything still through Isuzu?

W.C. Whitaker.

3rd Apr 2003, 14:45

Have a 93' Trooper with 193K on it. Bought it 3 years ago.

Have replaced the Power Steering Master Cylinder ($600.00) Transmission ($2100.00) as well as a few minor repairs. The O2 sensor was replaced last year, and is bad again. Going to do this myself as it is a simple process. Other than that, it has been a great car, and I only paid 2K for it, so so far so good, should last another 50k at least. Body and interior are perfect.

I have the clicking lifter as well which I notice on all troopers I come across, I just make sure the engine is warm before driving. Recent diagnostic shows a strong motor.

17th Aug 2003, 20:11

We bought a 1995 Isuzu Trooper, It ran quiet for about 2 months, Then upon starting it would start this loud knocking sound from the engine, we took it to a couple of repair shops. The first told us that it was going to throw a rod. Then it just stopped, for a couple of weeks, Now it does it almost daily, Replaced a broken timing belt, Stopped for a while, Now the Oil pressure stays very low! pat.

11th Oct 2003, 05:04

I have a 1994 isuzu trooper with 158,000+ miles. It is in good condition. I changed the timing belt and it's running strong. All I need to do now is get a tune-up and it will almost like having a new car.

2nd Mar 2004, 14:21

I have a 95 3.2 that has a leaking water pump and 120K. I plan to replace the timing belt when I do the water pump, but can't find a good manual? Looking for advice.


19th Mar 2004, 14:10

I bought my trooper new in 1992. It now has 167,000 miles on the clock and I have never had any problems. Regular maintenance (10W-30 oil), new 02 sensor @ 120k, and 1 new starter @ 150k, new timing belt @120k, and the usual tapping noise at about 65k, other than that, I just add gas and go. Lots of hard driving and towing large loads and the trooper runs great. Interior and exterior are like new.

Even with all the miles, I never hesitate to jump in it and head off road or take a cross country trip. This has a very reliable vehicle and I couldn't be more happy with it.

When it dies, if ever, I'll be making a trip back to the Isuzu dealership to see what's new on the lot.

23rd Mar 2004, 13:25

I bought a 1994 trooper with 90K. about 2 months after I bought it, lifter noise (tapping, knocking sounds) was audible. the Isuzu dealer told me that the lifters were hydraulic and would cost $3000 to replace. well, forget that. I took it to a mechanic and he started doing synthetic oil changes. the lifter noise stopped. it still makes the noise in the winter, in the morning when its cold and 10 degrees out, but after a few minutes, the noise stops and it runs quiet.

J. Griffin

17th Sep 2004, 21:44

I've been reading up on the low oil pressure issue, and everyone who has it should check out the fix on the ITOG website. http://www.zitog.com/ (Isuzu Trooper Owners Guild). Are you going through a quart or so per tank of gas? If you are, then you probably have a leaking gasket.

On another note:

It's very unfortunate that they aren't making them anymore and are now selling GM's Ascender crap. Can't even buy Troopers in Canada anymore. I'm going to buy a Subaru or a Kia Sorento after this. Subarus are made by the same company - Fuji Heavy Industries... Any other Trooper replacements? As true offroader vehicles?

A Millbank.

22nd Mar 2005, 10:43

I had the same problem with the loud knocking from the timing belt cover. Turns out that it was the hydraulic tension adjuster for the timing belt that was the culprit. It seems that these tend to wear out around 100K miles. I took it to a shop and they replaced the t-belt, waterpump, and tension adjuster. Now the knocking is completely gone. I definitely consider myself lucky in this regard.

The only thing is, now I'm noticing a high-pitched sucking sound from under the hood, but haven't been able to isolate it. Does anyone out there know of this problem? Could it have something to do with my emissions system (EGR valve?)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Austin, TX.

21st Nov 2006, 08:06

I recently bought a 1994 isuzu trooper with 190000. I love it. the previous owner didn't leave any service records in the vehicle, but I would like to keep a great maintenance schedule to make it last forever. I don't know where to begin. any clues? I started by having the tranny rebuilt.

28th Jun 2007, 15:39

I am the proud owner of a 1995 Trooper with 175,000 miles. A light tapping lifters sound developed from about 25,000 miles. Took it back to the dealer and they thought I was crazy, "I don't hear anything, every thing sounds normal". Just recently, I was driving at 80mph and after getting off the freeway, my engine sounded like a machine gun going off, (sound coming from under the black right timing belt cover). Took it to the dealer and they replaced the Timing belt, Water pump, and Tensioner.

That solve the problem, but I also began to experience a loud noise from one lifter, (front right-first one). I was using 10W - 40W oil and I change to FULL synthetic and things appear to be back to normal.


Decatur, Georgia.

27th Nov 2007, 12:05

I, too, own a '95 Trooper SOHC. Mine started making lifter/rocker arm noise at about 100k. Since then I had a mechanic replace four exhaust rocker arms, which have a little hydraulic lash adjusters in each. Isuzu claims that the lash adjusters (some call these cam followers) become clogged over time. The TSB # SB00-01-S009 illustrates a procedure for cleaning the oil passages in said adjusters. My aforementioned exhaust rocker arms lasted about 25k until the sound returned. I believe the noise is from the opposite side (driver's) ; however, I'm not positive.

I opened up both heads without removing the cams (I draw the line here, as I'm an English teacher and not a mechanic.), followed the TSB advice and cleaned out all the noisy rocker arms and lash adjusters. Tedious, but free. My valves, cam, and rockers appeared pretty darn clean to begin with. No sediment or gunk. I've used Amsoil synthetic 5W30 since 60k. I have 145k presently.

I also replaced timing belt, tensioner puller, idler pulley.

Timing Belt --

To answer one of the above questions -- The timing belt is fairly specific and could be easily done incorrectly, even by a paid mechanic. I'd look there first for rough running. There are a series of marks, dots, slashes, and whatnot that must be lined up, rotated in correct sequence, et cetera... prior to startup. The Chilton manual has an okay description.

I found little difference in the rocker arm noise. I suspected this would be the case because when I put in the original "cleaned" rocker arms that were noisy, according to the TSB instructions, they were still a little loose when I jogged them up and down by hand. They should be tight.

My next step will be to replace the entire bank of six exhaust rocker arms and the shaft that supplies the oil to the rocker arms on the driver's side.

My questions are:

1) How long will these rocker arms stay tight?

2) What causes them to flatten out (loosen up and make noise) in the first place?

My oil has been changed and good filters used for the past 85k. Previous owner was a jet mechanic who traded the Trooper for a Jag.

Conventional thought seems to point to overly small oil passages, which seems the case, having looked at them myself. The suckers Are mostly as small or smaller than a paper clip.

I have also heard from an engineer in the Philippines that the cams may have been inferior.

Bottom line is that of all the "fixes" I have read about, none seem to be permanent and none seem to find the root cause. Perhaps a design engineer from Isuzu knows, but up until this point, Isuzu seems to politely pass responsibility on to the customer. Nearly every mid-nineties SOHC Trooper, Rodeo, Passport I have encountered knock.

Thanks and good luck.

Nigel of Bozeman, MT.