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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:38 pm 
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da LUV masta
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:03 pm
Posts: 416
Location: Everett, Washington
Hey Gang,
I'm nearing the end of my deployment soon and am beginning to look for a new rig for the girlfriend and I. I been looking into ZR2 Blazers, Jeep Grand Cherokees, Pathfinders, etc. But I recently rediscovered the Rodeo/Passport! I don't even know how it wasnt at the top of my list. I completely forgot all about them. So, I have some questions! Oh, BTW, I'm looking at the late 90's, as I heard the ones prior to 93 where much crappier with their GM parts, but I like that body style, so I'll be sticking with something from 93-98.

First off, any known issues I should look for when shopping for one besides the stuff I normally look for (blow-by, blown head gaskets, fluid leaks, smoke, etc.)

Secondly, I have heard that the GM 4L30 Auto trans is a piece of crap. I would prefer a five speed, but I'm dating a city girl from Philadelphia who has rarely even driven, let alone a stick shift, and this will be our primary set of wheels for awhile. Anybody have any major issues with the auto trans?

Last, does anyone know if there is enough of a difference between a Rodeo and a Passport to warrant getting one over the other. From the research I've done, the only difference appears to be the emblems and some slight body trim differences. They cost about the same amount on craigslist.

I know I could find all this info myself with some time, but unfortunately, I'm deployed on a ship in the middle of the Persian Gulf and our internet is absolute garbage. You guys would be helping me tremendously and saving me a ton of time with your help here. Also, I have been a member of this site for damned near a decade and I have come to trust your opinions and input. Thanks brothers and sisters! I appreciate it!

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No LUV anymore, but still in the GM truck family. Running a lifted 2002 Silverado Z-71!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 11:20 pm
Posts: 2827
Location: McMinnville, OR
I wouldn't knock the GM drivetrain of the early rodeos too badly. The 3.1L V6 has a lot of potential upgrade parts and stuff you can do. Bigger Holley throttle body, matched intake, even upgrade to a 3.4L. Once you get to the Isuzu V6 years the aftermarket dries up. Seems like those early models also had a GM 10 bolt axle though, C-clip design.

As far as things to look for, the Isuzu V6 is known for some valvetrain noise. Various fixes abound, flushes with Seafoam, AutoRX. Also changing to high detergent diesel oil will help. Generally it is caused by dirty oil gunk clogging the hydraulic valve lash adjusters. My 95 Trooper has this problem but I have not yet tried any of the fixes.

The timing belt tensioner is also known for going bad in a particular way. It will make a sound that mimics a loud rod knock, but the noise tends to disappear above 2500RPM. This could get you a cheap deal if you are willing to do the timing belt on it. I've seen youtube videos and the noise can be pretty horrible sounding, so good potential to scare a seller into letting it go cheap.

I have a healthy fear of that 4L30E trans myself. But, it seems that it is mostly neglect that kills them. They will go many many miles if serviced properly. Once they do go though it seems to be VERY hard to get one rebuilt to last, and very expensive. If it works great now and has fairly clean fluid it should be ok, but I am certainly no auto trans expert. I'd be wary of one that the seller says "Just had the trans flushed" because that seems to be a killer for these, and of course if the fluid is burnt smelling and nasty brown then its no good.

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95 Isuzu Trooper Daily Driver
86 Isuzu Trooper reliable backup
77 LUV 2wd stock beltway blaster (resting)
79 4x4 LUV project: 2.6L, 5spd, 31s (eventually)

MEPR: Man, my 4x4 makes all other LUVs look good :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:54 am
Posts: 1461
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to ElvisTown)
There's a wealth of Rodeo/Passport knowledge over at the PlanetIsuzoo.com forum.

Jack

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'83 Isuzu P'up Diesel LS - Original Owner
JoeIsuzu@IsuzuPup.com
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:50 am 
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da LUV masta
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:03 pm
Posts: 416
Location: Everett, Washington
Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it. I'm still planning on getting one. I've decided to go with a 98+ because I like the body style better and will eventually do a SAS and some drivetrain upgrades, like maybe a 4.3L. I should be getting one in October after I get home from deployment. I'll post some pics.

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No LUV anymore, but still in the GM truck family. Running a lifted 2002 Silverado Z-71!


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