Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

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Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Pizzahut92 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:27 am

Hey all, this is my first time posting here.

I'm looking to get a nice 4x4 SUV that I can use as a daily driver and for offroading before I head off for college.

Currently I'm looking at a '91 Trooper that meets my criteria (Manual and 4WD), and it's dirt cheap at $800. The only issue, the seller claims, is that it dies occasionally while idling. I should mention that this has the 2.8L V6 in it as well. They didn't write all that much but here's what they put:

Still runs and drives, there is an idle issue when it warms up that causes it to die occasionally. Believe its a timing issue, have the light but not the time.


I don't know a lot about these vehicles so I don't know if this is common or if there are multiple reasons that this could be happening. Hopefully it's just the timing, but it would be bad if I bought the rig and ended up having to spend a lot of money fixing it.

Thoughts?
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby DSUZU » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:35 pm

Really doubt "timing" is the issue here. It could be: vacuum leak (2.8s have fewer hoses than the 2.6, but a cracked hose could still cause problems), a bad / dirty EGR valve, a faulty / dirty idle air motor, other vacuum leaks (gaskets). The timing on these has to be set with an ECM wire unplugged. If that isn't done, timing won't be correct. Other things might have been tampered with as well. An 800.00, 26 year old vehicle might be a deal (or dream to many here), or it could become a money pit. Do you have the ability to do maintenance and repairs on it? Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Pizzahut92 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:47 pm

If I were to buy this, I would be doing just about all the work needed to bring it into good working order. I haven't ever worked with vacuum leaks or hoses before but I'm confident enough in my ability to learn that I'm sure I could figure it out. Even if I can't do it myself, I have a few good friends who would be more than happy to lend a hand and have a great deal more experience working on cars than I do.

I don't mind if it becomes a money pit, but I don't know how bad it can get. I've got a job lined up for the summer that pays pretty well and regardless of what I end up getting I'll probably be taking a bit out of each paycheck to do work on it. I'm OK with the idea of paying ~$2000 for a car right now, so buying something for $800 and putting in $1200 worth of work to get it up and running well seems about as good to me, if not better since I get experience working on it and get to learn more about the inner workings of cars.
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Ed Mc. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:33 pm

The GM TBI system is pretty reliable and relatively easy to troubleshoot. There are some idle speed and throttle position sensor adjustments that can help with a cranky idle, along with the issues previously mentioned. The 2.8 is a darn good engine, and although a bit gutless in stock form, it has great potential. I have a Camaro 3.4 (the 2.8's Big Brother) in my Trooper and the swap was little more than an engine R&R along with a few mods to enable fitment. It has over 180 hp and really hauls!

Best thing to do is to give 'er a drive and see what you think. It should run and shift smoothly; if it has a lot of miles be sure it steers well and doesn't drift all over the road, or pull badly to either side when braking. Check for any nasty noises while it's idling in neutral. The ZuZu 5-speed transmissions are quite durable unless someone has used gear oil instead of motor oil. Bearing noises and balky shifting indicate problems with the gearbox.

A good 2.8 will put out around 50+ psi oil pressure. If pressure drops way low when the engine is warmed, there may be a bearing clearance issue. My 3.4 never goes below 35 psi at a hot-idle, and goes right up over 50 when revved up.

Don't be alarmed about the extremely low reading you'll likely see on the temp gauge; all the ZuZu 2.8's have low readings and mine barely goes above the "C" in the winter. These engines have a 195-deg thermostat, so the heater should blow a good blast of hot air with the temp control all the way over.

Gen I Troopers are quite tough and very repairable, so unless it has terminal rust you should be able to bring 'er to a point where it's a reliable driver.

The 2.8 is very similar to what was used in an S-10, so it's a lot easier to find engine parts than Isuzu-built engines. Just walk into the local auto parts store and likely they'll have what you need in stock, or readily available.

Post your driving impressions and maybe a pic or two after you look at it.

HTH, G'luck & Welcome to the Planet!.........ed
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'89 Troop RS (Exhaust Valve Challenged), now gone to a Good Home!
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Keep On Troopin' !
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby DSUZU » Mon May 01, 2017 5:37 pm

If you have some experience, and friends with some experience, this could be a great deal. Agreed, the 2.8 (or upgrade replacement - 3.1, 3.4) is the "bulletproof combo when coupled with a manual tranny. While some report better, expect around 16MPG. These are prone to coolant leaks at intake manifold gaskets, oil leaks from valve cover gaskets and distributor o-ring, and broken exhaust manifold bolts (not as much fun to drill out and replace, but possible in vehicle with an angle drill - I did on mine)
If you get it, post a picture in our members rides section so we can all drool over it (you'll get a lot of coaching there too). Good luck. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Pizzahut92 » Mon May 01, 2017 7:26 pm

Thanks for the advice and tips.

I've been talking to a few different people I know about this car, and one of my teachers made some good points against buying an $800 on a limited budget. He suggested waiting until I make some money this summer and then buying a more expensive car that's less likely to break down on me. While I can't really argue with that logic, the allure of owning my own car now is pretty strong.

I think I'll wait a bit as I still need to get some more money before I can afford it, but graduation tends to bring in a good amount of cash. Maybe if it's still up by then I'll get it.

I have some other issues with getting a Trooper in general though, mainly that they have Independent Front Suspension, which isn't quite as good as a solid axle you'd find in an XJ Cherokee which is another model I'm considering buying. How big of a deal is it to lift these and should I even bother?

The other issue is that XJ's, from what I've seen and been told, have a much larger amount of aftermarket parts. There's also something to be said about their ease of repair and cheap parts, but I'm sure my Cherokee-loving friend could be embellishing a bit, and I also don't know a lot about Troopers in the first place.

Thanks again for the responses, if I do end up buying this thing I'll definitely be posting some pictures here.
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby DSUZU » Mon May 01, 2017 10:00 pm

Yes, the Cherokee will have better aftermarket support. My personal view is the Trooper is probably a better vehicle, but I don't have all the info. I do know a few people who had Cherokees and the door hinges broke off the body (welded on). We had a few issues here and there with Cherokees in our fleet (1989-say 2,000 model years). I don't remember specific issues, but some of the fix parts were costly.
I have to agree with the teacher: cheap older used vehicle + limited budget = potential trouble. Again, it's pushing 30 years old. We haven't even heard about mileage. FWIW, I have a small collection of older vehicles (my pickup, motorcycles, an ATV). I just parted with an awesome motorcycle because it was one too many "old things" and I only have so much time. Food for thought. We desire for peoples' Isuzu experiences to be good (mostly). Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby geoffinbc » Tue May 02, 2017 2:15 pm

I personally do not like the Cherokee platform because its a unibody. They twist and sag over time. Ones that are wheeled can have doors that do not open. If I was hell bent on owning one then welded in sub frame connectors would be my first mod along with heavy duty rocker rails that are welded into the body. A kid down the street where I just moved in has done this and has reported long term success. He wheels it quite hard and all the doors still open. Don't let anyone say "well jeeps have solid axles" yea that is true but the front and rear diffs back in the day are so small and flimsy and all the control arms on the coil sprung models and so wimpy it all needs to change. Start with a model like a Trooper that has a big rear diff and do a D44 SAS and you could do it for less than swapping 2 axles and suspension components on a Jeep.

Im not a Jeep hater or anything. I admire the I6 it can take serious punishment. I also like that they used an AX15 manual. The aftermarket support is amazing too.
1990 Trooper, 3.2L (3.1L .040 over) Pushrod V6, 5 speed manual. 33X10.50X15 BFG M/T KM2's. 3" OME Lift. Cowl Induction Intake. ARB Lockers front and rear. HD Tierods.
Off the road for an overhaul right now.

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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby gwana66 » Wed May 03, 2017 10:18 am

Just like Isuzu, the big problem is rust. I've seen so many Cherokee rustbuckets. No floors on most of them. And they still want 4 grand.
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby geoffinbc » Wed May 03, 2017 10:46 am

Yea the inflated prices are a problem. Its like Toyota. Half the truck has vanished and they want what the truck cost when brand new in 87
1990 Trooper, 3.2L (3.1L .040 over) Pushrod V6, 5 speed manual. 33X10.50X15 BFG M/T KM2's. 3" OME Lift. Cowl Induction Intake. ARB Lockers front and rear. HD Tierods.
Off the road for an overhaul right now.

Big Bore Intake Kits & Greasable Shackles Here
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Pizzahut92 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:00 am

I haven't seen the crazy high prices on Cherokees, at least on my local Craigslist. A lot of 'em are in good condition (Little to no rust) for sub-$2000. I've definitely seen it with Toyotas though, those things are crazy expensive 90% of the time.
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby DSUZU » Wed May 03, 2017 12:19 pm

Yeah, 'Yotas are stupid money. That's why we're on an Isuzu website :D. Honestly, after having my old '81 Yota 4x4 pickup, rather than an '89 Yota, I prefer my '89 Spacecab. So whatever happened with the Trooper? Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N airfilter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years.

http://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060

The American dream is getting farther and farther away from the American.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."
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Re: Possible '91 Trooper timing issue?

Postby Pizzahut92 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:23 pm

Trooper's on hold for now. It's been on a while so I don't think it'll disappear any time soon, if it does I think I'll wait until I've got enough to buy something in a bit better condition.

However, if I get the money to buy it, plus tax, registration, and whatever the parts will cost to fix the idle issue, I think I might do it. Three months is long enough to make that thing reliable, right? :P

I'm in love with the idea of a solid axle swap though, and if the diffs are as good as others are saying, then I think I might make my Jeep-loving friend jealous!
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