Piston Slap: Weather The Storm, Trooper!

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Alexander writing :

Hi Sajeev,

I recently came into possession of a 1994 Isuzu Trooper (pictured above). 158k, One owner, with good service history up to 100k. After that the previous (wealthy) owner basically used it as a Home Depot hauler for over 7 years so other than oil changes and tires not much was done. That’s great to me because the truck was $1600 and it’s in great running condition.

However, I did notice a few things that may need attention or just bother me. Unfortunately the Isuzu forums are quite sparse due to the declining popularity of these trucks… if you can help me that would be wonderful.

1. Timing belt was done once at 60k and came to 98k. Did I hear somewhere that Isuzu timing belt maintenance has passed every 100,000? I think its an interference free engine, do you think it can get 120k off the timing belt?

2. I think the Trooper is on the stock clutch (previous owner stuff, may have changed it but can’t remember and no papers. Clutch feels good though.

3. Soldier has a screeching noise heard when driving slowly (heard near walls when sound bounces around). This squeal is heard even when the brakes are not applied. My step dad jacked the car up from the rear and it seems that when the rear wheels turn there is a rotating screech at every u-turn or so. It appears to be coming from the area where the driveshaft meets the rear differential, just past the universal joint. If I’m going over 10 mph you can’t hear it, but you can hear it when you’re driving slow. Maybe worn seals or something stuck in the mechanics? Does not affect driveability in any way.

4. Torn front driver’s side CV boot. Can I drive it until it starts to squeak or is it worth replacing with an Autozone Quick-Boot split hp starter?

Sajeev answers:

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Soldiers are far from my forte, but maybe You’ll trade it for a Crown Vic we can give such a cool and dark ride a group hug through this esteemed column.

let’s do it to this:

  1. A Planet Isuzoo thread suggests that your 6VD1 3.2 SOHC V6 (correct?) is not an interference engine. Most likely. But if there is any doubt, there is no doubt: in its mileage, the Trooper has had two timing belt changes and the next one is coming soon. Soon. Can you extend service intervals? Is it worth the risk? don’t be too tight: REPAIR per owner’s manual recommendations.**
  2. Clutches are not like timing chains: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, son!
  3. Squeaks are usually the domain of slip belts. It sounds like a “squeal” from a bad bearing. If that’s not an easy fix, get a replacement set from a junkyard with warranty. Â Changing axes is easier than diagnosing an internal problem. Especially if you’re not a rear axle expert, don’t learn this particular trade on your own journey.
  4. I have never used fast boots before, the big problem is that a CV joint with a broken boot already has grease contaminated with dirt. Â Perhaps kickstarting (when installed correctly) can drastically increase CV joint life. Or, if you bought it with a broken boot, maybe not. Only you can make an educated guess here, good luck with that.
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**Or sell it and buy the equivalent Ford/Chevy SUV and enjoy a rock-solid timing chain and easy repairs for the rest of your life.

Major! A nugget of wisdom from Piston Slap:

This is a good time to mention that owning such an obscure machine definitely means owning a set of factory shop manuals. Hell, I bought the FoMoCos for my British Ford Sierra even before it landed in the Lone Star State. Although it’s a bit like a Merkur XR4Ti, it’s different enough to justify the cost of buying the proper manual.

Send your questions to [email protected]com. Don’t skimp on the details and ask for a quick resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Source : thetruthaboutcars.com

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