Thank You for your honest comments. We were considering a 1999 Trooper at 75K miles, it just seemed so well maintained, but now, we are thinking twice. Sorry for your nightmare experience, such a bummer. Darnit anyways!
I have a 1998 Trooper with no modifications thus far. My family and I have done some very, very serious off-roading so far, ie; Black Bear Pass, back way to Crown King, AZ, etc.
We purchased the vehicle in 2000 with 29K miles and now have 103K miles. I have not had anything break or fail on the vehicle except the CD changer. Other the regular service, ie; fluids, tires, alignments, brakes, etc., I have not had any repairs so far.
This is the second Trooper I have owned (first was an '85) and would probably buy the next model if they had one.
Lastly people need to know their mechanic, a car is a huge investment and that is why I do all my own work on my cars.
I have owned a 96 Trooper and still own a 2001. Both were bought new and both used/use oil. The '01 just a little bit the '96 used a qt every 1,000 like clock work. While I agree they shouldn't... Oil usage by itself will not tear up an engine. As a matter of fact I feel a little oil usage makes them last longer as it lubes the upper cylinder. As long as one doesn't let them get low on oil.
In my opinion premature engine failures on these trucks are cause by previous owners running them low enough on oil to lose oil pressure which causes a little bearing damage every time. Subsequent owners buy what seems to be a nice truck that has an engine that is quietly in the process of tearing itself apart.
I absolutely love my '01 Limited (it's the underrated one on the 2001 page) but I would never buy one used. I know that doesn't help you now, but I hope it sheds some light on the reason you had two engines fail catastrophically.
I purchased a 1999 Isuzu Trooper, I've always wanted a Trooper and having had two previous Isuzu's with minimal problems, this 3.5 Liter engine scratched out all the savings from the prior two vehicles. My Trooper uses 1 quart of oil every 500 miles since the purchase at about 70K and sometimes even more in the winter. I spent about $1K trying to get it fixed, and finally after reading some posts on the internet that it was a problem with the motor, I just decided to just keep putting oil in it. This approach would be much cheaper than buying a new engine. Lately at 110K the transfer case went out $2K, then at same time found that the rear axle was broke and for some time, and parking brake cable went bad. I am in need of new tires and am thinking the brakes are about to go, which 110K is not bad for breaks, it is just that this is all happening at once, and my credit card bill just keeps getting higher and higher. I did love the vehicle, but now I hate the expense.
Thanks, but the Isuzu problems don't appear to be so much engineering, but on the lack of service lack of a fair parts depot. Isuzu seems to have problems maintaining dealerships just about anywhere. I live in San Bernardino county, CA's largest county. Is there a Isuzu dealer nearby? Nope. Getting parts and service is such a nightmare because the parent company is distracted. Does Isuzu even care? Nope. Been this way for about a decade now. Bad people, only fair vehicles. Don't buy one.
Sorry to hear of you guys having the problems with the trooper, I have a 97 thankfully I reached almost 170k on the same motor. The local Isuzu dealership considers that a milestone, don't you know at 171k miles the notorious knock emits from the lower end.. Rod knock. After one of week of just ignoring the trooper I decided to source a "neused" motor, well after some research I found the 3.5L version was definitely the wrong way to go. I won't go into details, but to make a long story short buying a neused motor would run you roughly 3500 USD where as rebuilding your SOHC 3.2L would be less than 500 for parts and if you can turn a wrench or at least find side help you can bring life back for less than 1k.
As the owner of a 99 Trooper which I purchased new, I must disagree with some of the statements on this board. My vehicle has 142000 miles on the original 3.5 engine. No engine problems at all yet. Replaced belts at 100k. Replaced original brake pads at 116k, rotors were still good. Air conditioning was problem, had to replace condenser at 60k. Also had to get some transmission work (overdrive gear) at about 75k. Transmission was only expensive fix since 1999, cost about $1500 to overhaul mine. Much better to overhaul original trans. due too many different electronic chips put in various troopers, I was told. This vehicle is used for towing a 2500 lb boat and for ski trips, in addition to everyday use.
Now I'm really nervous... just purchased a used 1999 isuzu trooper... drove the car twice before I bought it, and while driving it home started hearing a sound like something is loose under the car...I'm thinking it sounds like something to do with the axle... and just spent the last bit of money I had on the car... I think I will turn around and sell it and buy something else after reading all this.
I purchased a 1999 Isuzu Amigo for my son to drive. The vehicle had 50,000 miles on it at the time of purchase. The Amigo now has close to 70,000 miles on it and yes it uses a bit of oil, maybe 1 quart per 1000 miles (not a real nuisance). Frankly, 1 quart per 1,000 miles for many vehicles including Isuzu is considered NORMAL. Read your owners manual people... it tells you to check your oil after every other tank of fuel. The problem nowadays is that most people want a maintenance free vehicle and that just does not exist.
Most of the comments made on this board surround used vehicles with more than 50,000 miles on them, what do you expect at higher miles?
Tell you what... look under your Isuzu and look around at the components... what do you see? Most of them are over built as a truck should be. Do you ever hear of Isuzu's having stabilizer link problems? Ball joint failures? Brake replacement every 15,000 miles? Go ask a Dodge or Chevy owner about those issues.
Go take a Suzuki or a KIA off road and let me know how that little adventure works out for you. Isuzu is a truck, built by people who build trucks. Does it have the cushioned ride of a Murano? Or the sleek lines of a Cayenne? No, but go plop those over-priced sleds in the backwoods and see who comes out... the new $100,000 Porsche or your faithful Trooper with 75,000 miles on it that requires you to add one quart of oil a month.
Really if adding one quart of oil every few weeks is that big of an issue for you... your new Saturn Vue is waiting for you with it's 16 cup holders and 72 months of payments.