Saturday, February 13, 2010

History of Trooper

Maybe not all the Trooper fans or lovers know that the Isuzu Trooper, or in Indonesia better known as the Chevrolet Trooper, was the first Japanese mid size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) exported to worldwide since it was produced during 1981 to 2003, and beared some names such as: ISUZU Trooper, ISUZU Bighorn, Honda Horizon, Acura Siz, while in Indonesia and several other American states labeled as CHEVROLET Trooper, in Australia was called as Holden Jackaroo, Vauxhall in England and in Germany was called as OPEL Monterey. For mid size SUV segment, this SUV received an outstanding response in the market.

There were 2 generations of Trooper known worldwide, the first generation which was produced between 1981 to 1992, and the second generation which was produced between 1992 to 2002. After 2002, Isuzu stopped the production for this base model. This SUV was initially put into production with the primitive 4-cylinder standard diesel engine and rely on the 4 speed manual transmission with a part time 4-wheel drive system. Since the market response was outstanding, this first generation was later on developed into a more luxurious model and offered other interesting features like a V6 engine with a larger capacity, and with a better model and refined with an option of rear wheel drive (2WD) with longer axle.

FIRST GENERATION (1981 - 1991)

The first generation was launched with a choice of 3/5 doors with a rear solid axle suspension system and a front independent suspension system. Initial production was equipped with 2.0L and 2.2L diesel engines which later one showed under power to handle the weight of the vehicle which was about 3,700 lbs or 1.7 tons. Four wheel drive system (4WD) can be activated by shifting the position of the front wheel drive lever to the position of non-active or active, along with the activation of the gear lever.

1986. Isuzu introduced a 2.3L engine variant with capability of producing 112 HP or equal to 102 kW.

1987. Isuzu introduce the 2.6L 4-cylinder inline fuel injection engine (4ZE1) with the choice of maual transmission and transfer case with low range gear ratio  2.28: 1, or with automatic transmission system and transfer case with ratio 2.66 : 1. The round shaped headlights were replaced with rectangular-shaped headlights.

As the new commer in United States and to reach a better market shares and to adjust the selling price, during its promotion ISUZU presented the Trooper II and put additional back seats.

Later on the next generation Trooper had the option of 4 speed automatic transmission where the V6 engine were produced by the General Motors (2.8L pushrod V6 engine) and combined with the differential gear ration 4.77 : 1.

1989. The Short-wheelbase was released in the United States with the 2.6L 4-cylinder fuel injection engine and with a differential gear 4.77 : 1 which was offered with a choice of automatic and manual transmission.

In 1989 the first generation of ISUZU Trooper was introduced in Central America with a smaller version and produced with a roof that can be opened (rag top), and with the higher ground clearance. The most popular ISUZU was the 2.8L Turbo Diesel version.


 1988 - 1991 model has standard differential gear ratio of 4.555 : 1 which was equipped with 10-bolt 17-splines front IFS differentials, and ISUZU 12-bolt live rear axle with 4 wheel disc brakes. For this version there were also 2 options for the lockers, the AISIN Manual Free Locker or the ISUZU Auto Hub Locker, and with the option of Limited Slip Differential (LSD) clutch, code 'G80'.



The foreign versions which were not released in the United States includes the ISUZU 4JB1 engine and the 4JB1-T Diesel 2.8L inline 4-cyclinder. T indicates the Turbo Charger.

During 1988 - 1991, Trooper with 2.6L engine (4ZE-1) had been fitted with Automatic Transmission Manual Locking Hubs.



1991. ISUZU redesigned the body shape and introduced in Japan with a larger size than the first generation. With weight 4.510 lbs, this second generation was equipped with the option of 3.2L Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) and 172 HP, or the 3.2L Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) and 190 HP engine.
1992. Australia released a version of Trooper known as HOLDEN Jackaroo. Equipped with 3.1L Turbo Diesel Intercooled with pushrod overhead valve (OHV) and 203 HP at 3,600 RPM and 260 Nm of torque at 2,000 RPM (4JG2-T engine). In addition to the diesel version, there were also other options with 3.2L gasoline engine. Diesel engines used in the Jackaroo owere provided only with the 5 speed manual transmission with AISIN Manual Lock Hub. The same engine was also available in UK and other countries by using the belt-driven OHC, which was developed to get the better engine power.

1994 - 1999. During this period, ISUZU and HONDA had a joint venture agreement and work together to complement each area of production. HONDA also sold Trooper in Japan under the name of HONDA Horizon, and in United States between period of 1996 - 1999 were sold under the name of Accura SLX.

 1995 version

1996. In this year the SE Limited model was released with the 3.2L SOHC engine 190 HP, replaced the previous engine version released in 1991. And for all models released during this year and thereafter, all model had used the Shift On The Fly Engagement.  Almost all model except the 1996 model and later still used the Part Time 4WD driving system which requires the driver to stop the car before or after activate the front axle.

1996 version

 1997 version

1998. Trooper in United States had been equipped with a powerful 3.5L DOHC engine with 215 HP. Whereas for the European and Asian versions, there were option with 4.0L and 3.2L (4JG2) diesel engine. Later on the 4JG2 was replaced with the more problematic engine, the 3.0L 4JX1)

1998 version

1999 version

2000. Borg-Warner Torque on Demand system which was introduced in this year could provide the 'All Wheel Drive' setting.

2001 version

2002. In this year, ISUZU 3.5L engine design was available for trucks because of the complaints about the burning and the reduced oil causing fears of engine damage. Significant oil leaking through the piston rings during the engine normal working when the operating interval reached 5,000 miles/8,000 km, resulting an improvement on the 2002 model.

2002 version

This model was equipped with the 5 speed manual transmission and Electronically Controlled 4-Speed Automatic. The new automatic system powered when the shift points working on the more RPM to have more power engine capability. This transmission type had also 'WINTER' mode which made the transmission to start off on the 3rd gear to increase stability on the slippery road to avoid car slip. 4 speed automatic transmission was known as 4L30E and manufactured by General Motors Powertrain in Strasbourg, France. the 2000 and 2002 Trooper model were also known as 'Grade Logic' which made the transmission system automatically lower the gear on the steep areas to reduce vehicle speed.

The suspension system had used 'Fully Independent Front Suspension' system and with the 'Multi-Link Rear Suspension' system for the rear wheel axle.

In Europe and UK the 7 seats and 3 doors versions were offered, but in the United States only 5 seats and 5 doors version offered. The 7 seats passenger model were also offered by the Vauxhall and Monterey.

Other option available was the additional 'Limited Slip Differential' (LSD) and the 'skid plates' to protect the fuel tank, transfer case and also Automatic Locking Front Hub as the standard equipment (up to the Shift On the Fly was introduced). The new Point Hub Flanges was introduced in this version.

In 2003, they stop the production of Trooper.

- Yudhi -


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