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1986 Isuzu Trooper TURBO DIESEL with 3rd Generation Rods, & only 114K miles!!!

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Make: Isuzu
  • Model: Trooper
  • Type: SUV
  • Trim: DLX Sport Utility 2-Door
  • Year: 1986
  • Mileage: 114,059
  • VIN: JAACH15U7G5416073
  • Color: White
  • Engine size: 2.2L 2238CC l4 DIESEL OHV Turbocharged
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: Air Conditioning
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Interior color: Tan
  • Options: 4-Wheel Drive, Cassette Player
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Location: San Luis Obispo, California, United States


1986 Isuzu Turbo Diesel with the "necessary" 3rd Generation (3rd Gen) Connecting Rods (rods). 5 speed manual 4x4. A/C. About as nice of an example of an Isuzu Trooper as you will ever see.
These Turbo Diesel Troopers never die. Theygo anywhere, do anything, in the city or the country, on the beach, or off-road... With power steering, they are easy to manouver... and "creatively" park when necessary... All the while getting about 24 mpg (not 16) - because it's a diesel !!! (not a gasoline)
I own two of these... both with 3rd gen rods... I'm keeping the beat up one, and selling the nice one.
This one has only 114,000 miles and is in overall terrific shape. I bought it ("stole it" if you will) for $6,000 with only 110,000 miles on it - about 3 years ago on eBay. I've been too busy with other projects to drive it. I've only driven it 4,000 miles in 3 years,.. yet I still managed to put over $3,000 into into a new timing belt, rebuilding the fuel pump (it picked up about 3 mph and runs smoooth - and we advanced the timing to get a bit more speed out of it) new tires, rear hitch, rebuilt starter etc... I know it wont sell for what I have into it ($9,000+), but I think it's worth every bit of $7500 - given how solid, low miles, good condition it is in. It runs great and shifts like butter... really fun to drive. It's about 2-3 miles an hour faster than the beat up one I'm keeping... (the beat up one has ~280,000 miles).
Tires are ToYo Mud and Snow, rated 60,000 miles with about 3,000 miles on them. Battery is a NAPA Commercial grade - a beast. Has the original (and very cool) Isuzu fuel filter housing... new filter just installed. New anti freeze and oil change. Wheels are Center-Line mags. They look pretty sweet. It gets 23 to 26 MPG.
Interior is nearly mint condition with the exception of some wear on the left side of the drivers seat... structurally, it's completely solid... just a bit of wear. The heater core was leaking a bit so I took it out of the circuit recently. New and used heater cores are avail.. easy install. There is a guy on youtube who shows you how to do it yourself if you want. I did the recent (California) winter without it.
ORIGINAL paint is in good shape. Body is nearly 100% straight. Not perfect, but close.
And think about this: The gasoline version of this trooper (which folks are crazy about...) gets about 16 MPG, the turbo diesel version gets 24 MPG - That saves you money every day at the pump.
  • For example: If gas and diesel cost about $2.50 a gallon, then the fuel savings EVERY YEAR is about $800 - that's EVERY year... In less than ten years the car completely pays for itself! (i.e. $7500 / $800 = 9.4 years payback period) The diesel engine pays for the entire purchase. (and that my friend is why I own 5 diesels, and ZERO gassers ).

Hey Math Geeks!: 24/16 is equal to 3/2...i.e. 50% better fuel mileage... Now flip 3/2 to get 2/3... i.e. your fuel bill will only be 2/3 of what it was... i.e. a 33% reduction in your fuel cost... very single day. That's what a 50% increase in efficiency - 16 to 24 MPG - gets you. That adds up to $800 per year...
If you don't know about the "3rd Gen Rod" issue, the bottom line is:
  • Troopers with diesel engines had a bit problem with connecting rods breaking. The 1st Gen and 2nd Gen connecting rods break after about 20,000 to 120,000 miles... they just do. They simply aren't strong enough.
  • 3rd Gen rods (designed specifically to replace the 1st and 2nd Gen rods) were built strong enough - so that they do not break.

Diesel Troopers with 3rd Gen Rods will run "forever." A famous quote is: After the nuclear holocaust, there will be only cockroaches, and Isuzu Diesels.
This rig can be thought of as an easy 300,000 to 400,000 mile vehicle - For a few reasons:
  • The suspension and transmission are built stout. Think Toyota Landcruiser FJ-40 stout... but without the price tag! (I own an FJ55 Landcruiser - and the trooper is just as stout). Because of that they basically take forever to wear out... i.e. they go 300,000 to 500,000 miles if you change the oil reasonably often.
  • The base motor is a 2.223 liter 4 cylinder diesel. It's overbuilt too! This is the same legendary motor that powers thousands of mid size (50-100 HP) "Gen Sets" (i.e. industrial genarators) throughout Alaska. These motors are right there in terms of longevity with the Cummins B-Series diesels (think UPS Trucks)... There is a good reason why there are so many big white delivery trucks everywhere... Isuzu industrial engines (as in the trooper) are overbuilt - for longevity.
  • The connecting rod issue is solved... via using 3rd Gen Rods.
  • And when I say 300,000 miles... I mean an additional 300,000 miles, because it only has 114,000 miles on it now!
  • Bottom line: The chassis is stout. The driveline is stout... especially the diesel engine. And with only 114k miles, it's barely broken in.
Finding a diesel trooper for sale with 3rd Gen rods is far from being easy. They are rare birds. They only made them in 1986 and 1987, but 99% of them are 1986's. Most Troopers that were sold had gasoline motors not turbo diesels. Maybe 1 in 20 was sold as a turbo diesel. And then - 90% of those failed due to the Connecting Rod issue and most were never fixed (because they outside of the 36,000 mile warranty).
For all of that,a 1986 3rd Gen Turbo Diesel Trooper is really the pinacle of Isuzu engineering... It's as good as it gets. and this might be the nicest one in the country. AND IT WILL HOLD IT'S VALUE!!! I bought my beat up trooper for $5000 about 12 years ago... and it's still worth every bit of $5000. that's as low as the prices go for troopers with 3rd Gen Rods. In another 10 years, my trooper will still be worth $5000.
I'd venture that there are a less than 100 Turbo Diesel Troopers with 3rd Gen rods in the US... not very many.
I'm on the central coast of California (zip 93449) - i.e. Pismo Beach / San Luis Obispo area. You can pick up, or use something like uship.comto have them deliver. I can be there to help load. I've used uship successfully in the past.
I take paypal or any other form of reasonable payment, but I will not release title and vehicle until payment has cleared - typically a few business days. You are welcome to come test drive it if you are local to me.