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2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? #4112125 06/01/16 07:45 AM
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DriveHard Offline OP
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Anybody know any history on these? Trolled some Isuzu forums, but didn't find much all that useful. Seem to be robustly built. I do know to look for rust on the rear sub-frame (recall issue). Reliability? Other issues? Just looking for a knock-around car I can take our 80+ pound dog to the park, carry muddy [censored], drive in the salty Iowa winters instead of ruining my truck or my wife's BMW. There is one that appears to be in very nice shape with about 130,000 miles locally that they are asking just over $2000 for. Seems like a deal.


Smile, it increases your face value
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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112128 06/01/16 07:52 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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Junk! Run away.plus you can't get parts (easily) since Isuzu no longer sells in the usa


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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112134 06/01/16 08:03 AM
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JTK Offline
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I miss our 2002 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4x4. It was a great truck for us at the time. The 3.2l can use oil, so you have to keep an eye on it. Nice power, but thirsy. The GM 4L30E trans is dipstick-less with pan mounted drain and fill plugs. Kind of a pain, but serviceable. Very solid 4x4 systems on them.

Last edited by JTK; 06/01/16 08:04 AM.

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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112148 06/01/16 08:24 AM
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nwjones18 Offline
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I've never owned one personally but have know people that had both passports and rodeo's. They seemed to like them and they lasted a long time. Always seemed like good trucks to me. I cannot believe parts are actually hard to find.. They were sold as both Honda's and Isuzu's.


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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: Chris142] #4112171 06/01/16 08:42 AM
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cptbarkey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chris142
Junk! Run away.plus you can't get parts (easily) since Isuzu no longer sells in the usa


really? the boneyards are loaded with them.

Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112202 06/01/16 09:11 AM
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Miller88 Offline
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I have always wanted one of the first generation rodeos.


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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112208 06/01/16 09:14 AM
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madRiver Offline
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Reliability was never great but at 15 years old that idea gets thrown out the window. It's more about condition now and if you are okay taking on risk of purchase price and potential breakdown.

Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112308 06/01/16 10:55 AM
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Oro_O Offline
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If it is well-maintained, don't hesitate to get it.

I've had a 1998 Acura SLX for five years now - excellent vehicle overall. It is Acura badged but underneath it is the larger Isuzu Trooper. The Trooper and Rodeo share a tremendous amount of parts/design/engineering, and I've learned a lot about both and can share some points. The place for good info is planetisuzoo.com. All technical issues can get assistance there.

Overall quality/reliability: On mine, it's on par with our 10 year old Lexus and several other Toyotas I've had; much better than any German or US car I've owned or am familiar with. BUT: The Trooper/SLX are Japanese assembled, the Rodeo in Indiana. This may lead to some differences in overall quality as it does with the Land Cruiser/Sequoia pair where one is Japanese made and the other in, coincidentally, Indiana.

Engine: There was a 4 and 6. The 4 I am not intimately familiar with but think it's a non-issue. The Six had issues with oil control ring coking as did the 3.5 from 98 to very late 2001. This leads to oil consumption. The reason was inadequate drain-back holes in ring grooves and on skirts. Same as Saturns and Toyota 2.4s from 1995 to ~2005. How did so many engineers make the same mistake? It can be controlled with a piston soak, engine cleaning, and high quality synthetic HDEO or HM oil (I have done it, it works). The V6 is otherwise a very durable, reliable engine.

If it is a very late 2001 V6 with a screwed-in PCV valve, it could have the updated pistons/rings and be free of this issue. As would any 2002 or later.

Transmission: No issues I know of for the I4 manual. The V6 was mated to a GM 4L30E. It can be described as "adequate" - it represents the high point of GM design and French quality (they were made in Strasbourg, France). The real issue is that they are "sealed" with the drain/fill hole underneath, no dipstick. As such, no one ever services them and if they leak and get low, can ruin friction discs or other parts. If the transmission is good and has been serviced, you are fine. Just keep it up. I'm retrofitting a dipstick to mine this summer. Problems are more common in the heavier Troopers which saw more off-road abuse.

4WD system: Very robust, with a Dana rear and Borg Warner 44 series t-case. Electronic push button. For less front end wear and increased MPGs, you can remove the front "auto" (fixed) hubs and retro-fit older manual switching Aisin units. CV boots last forever now, and improved MPG and lighter steering.

Parts: Widely available at any store for most, plenty of body parts from yards. No issue whatsoever and as cheap as anything out there.

Overall: I have learned to really appreciate Toyotas, but I bought this SLX vs. a comparable era 4Runner and am really glad I did. I want to replace it with something larger (V8 Land Cruiser), but it's simply too nice to part with so I'll keep it until my step-son can drive and let him have it.

You could also consider a late model Trooper/SLX which give a lot of performance for the $, with better power and room, and Japanese assembly with excellent quality. Just watch the oil and service the transmission.

Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112398 06/01/16 12:33 PM
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DriveHard Offline OP
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Thanks to all for the input, especially Oro
I'm going to try to find the time to stop by for a look...its about 90 minutes away. I have lots of pictures, and they all look great. Concerns:
ABS light is on, resulting in no ABS, and no 4wd
Check engine light is on.

I will take my scanner and see what I can find out.


Smile, it increases your face value
2013 Fiat 500 Abarth mod heavy (my DD)
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio TI Sport (wife's)
2011 Silverado Crew Cab LT 6.2L/6spd (tow pig)
2007 Nissan Xterra (trail toy)
Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4112846 06/01/16 09:42 PM
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Anthony Offline
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Not a bad vehicle at all. My mom had a 96 Trooper that we put 185,000 miles on. The strangest thing happened. I don't think the drive shaft was properly balanced on it even from day one, but I was only in 6th grade when my parents got it. Fast forward a few years, and I ended up taking the shaft off, and having it balanced. It always had a vibe around 70 mph. Around the 185,000 mile mark the otherwise perfectly functioning transmission developed an internal crack which caused it to spit trans fluid all over the hwy. I think that was caused by the shaft being out of balance over time. Just a theory.

I ended up selling it as is on Craigslist.

It's a pain that there was no trans dipstick, but it's not hard to do a drain, and fill. Procedure is very similar to a manual trans.

Last edited by Anthony; 06/01/16 09:44 PM.

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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4113172 06/02/16 09:43 AM
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JTK Offline
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Just to add to my comments above, I used to participate heavily in a couple Isuzu Rodeo forums back in the early 2000s, when we had two rodeos and a trooper all 2001-2003 in the family.

The oil consumption thing was an issue with the 3.2/3.5 from it's 1998 debut, right up to 2004, when the Rodeo was discontinued. Like said, the 3.2 is kind of an odd engine being an 80deg V configuration. It's all aluminum, DOHC w/ a timing belt that's listed as an interference engine, but I've seen reports of people installing them wrong or having issues on the fly and the valvetrain did not crash. T-belt related issues were rare. The engines are tough, with big crank journals and a strong block design if you see one apart. Problem was, running one too low on oil would cook the #1 connecting rod bearing IIRC. The oil consumption thing was hit/miss just like the cases you hear of today. Only 1 of the 3 in my family was a heavy oil user and was my SIL's 2003 Rodeo LS 4x4 5spd.

Isuzu/GM did some cutting edge stuff with the Rodeo 3.2, having E-throttle on them starting in 2000 and "new" systems such as ion sensing technology, where the spark plugs were used to measure the gas composition in the cylinders on the off stroke. All new stuff that was kind of flying under the radar at the time.

2000 or maybe 2001 started with floating rotors and sealed bearing hubs on the front that made front brake jobs a lot easier.

The front electro-mechanical actuator for the front axle disconnect (for 4x4 mode) was a fairly common failure item if not exercised regularly. Simple and easy fix and often could be repaired by cleaning/lubing.

Read up on the 4L30E trans. Kind of an odd duck with it's two pans, but a decent trans with lots of info online.

Like I say, if it wasn't for the 16-20mpg, I'd LOVE to have one again!


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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4113259 06/02/16 11:29 AM
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Miller88 Offline
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What years of the Rodeo / Troopers used the Toyota A340 transmission? i didn't realize they used GM transmissions in those.


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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: Miller88] #4113362 06/02/16 01:13 PM
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JTK Offline
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Miller, I know on the last model year of the Isuzu Rodeo (in the US), which was 2004, they offered a direct injected version of the 3.5L V6. The DI 3.5L had the A340 AT in it, as opposed to the regular 3.2 or 3.5 that used the GM 4L30E. The 4L30E was used from ~1993-2004 in the Rodeo.

DI was basically unheard of in 2004. Another new technology item brought to you by lowly old Isuzu.

The Trooper was done by 2002. All 1998-2002 Troopers had the 3.5L and 4L30E trans.

The Isuzu Axiom and Vehicross should have sold like hotcakes, but they were kind of too break-through at the time, but it's amusing how many "SUVs" look like them today.

Last edited by JTK; 06/02/16 01:18 PM.

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Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: JTK] #4113470 06/02/16 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: JTK
Miller, I know on the last model year of the Isuzu Rodeo (in the US), which was 2004, they offered a direct injected version of the 3.5L V6...


Right. The A340 was only with the DI 3.5L that year.

It sounds like an interesting combo and an Axiom could make it appealing. I was interested in a late model Axiom when I heard about the A340. However, Jerry Lemond, who was the national technical/training director for Isuzu then, says avoid it. He is very active and helpful on planetisuzoo and a few other boards. It ended up being a one-year engine and never had all the bugs worked out, and DI-specific parts are unobtainable if needed.

Re: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo 4wd - info? [Re: DriveHard] #4113473 06/02/16 03:21 PM
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SatinSilver Offline
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Originally Posted By: DriveHard
Thanks to all for the input, especially Oro
I'm going to try to find the time to stop by for a look...its about 90 minutes away. I have lots of pictures, and they all look great. Concerns:
ABS light is on, resulting in no ABS, and no 4wd
Check engine light is on.


Have a link for it? You might be able to get it for $1500 since few pay the asking price.

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