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Old 02-14-2007, 09:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1997 Trooper 4x4 Problems

I have a 1997 Trooper with shift-on-the-fly 4x4. I don't think my 4x4 is working because even though I shift into 4x4 the 4x4 light does not go on and I don't seem to get any better traction in the snow.

Being very green on all things 4x4 I don't know where to start to troubleshoot this problem. I have looked through the fourm here with the assumption that the hubs were not locking but have learned that, in a sense, the hubs are allways locked on the 97 Trooper (the so called autohub) and that the 4x4 is engaged at the transfer case (???).

So, could someone help me to determine where the problem lies and then how to fix it?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not completely familiar with the trooper set up...do you push a button for 4 wheel drive or do you ingage a shifter from 2-4 wheel? if you push a button there is a good chance that you have a problem with the vacuum-driven shift mechanism which is a realatively inexpensive fix. Checkout this Article on 4x4wire: http://www.4x4wire.com/isuzu/tech/fwd_lockout/ . Usually the 4 wheel drive engage light will blink as though it is trying to engage but the shift mechanism isn't doing its job...Had the same issue with a 2001 rodeo, but I broke mine by trying to shift to 4x4 while spining on a slick incline. Hope this helps

Last edited by Gansettx; 02-14-2007 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a shifer that I push up to go into 4x4 and then left and down to go into low range 4x4. Normally when I shift into 4x4 a dashboard light lights up. Its not doing that now. It could be just the light, but the back end is slipping and the truck is not moving in the snow so i don't think the front wheels are getting power.

Thanks, though, for your reply!
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The problem is likely either the hubs themself, a dislodged c-clip on the end of the axle inside the hub, or a broken axle (least likely cause unless you've just been beating the piss out of it). The hubs are not "always locked" if you have auto hubs; you're mistaking auto hubs with hub flanges. I don't know which one you actually have, though. Are the front driveshaft and at least one of the front axle shafts turning when you put it in 4WD? That piece of info would go a long way towards diagnosing your problem.
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Last edited by Indyguy; 04-27-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I too have the EXACT same issue with my Trooper. Same year, same problem. 162,000 miles and running strong. I just bought mine 2 weeks ago without checking the 4x4 drive, stupid me. There was no snow for me to try it. Anyway recently being bombarded with snow and ice in the midwest I have tried to engage the system and without any luck. I believe J.I. has the same tranny shifter like I do. No dashboard button, but I understand the shifter is actually vacuum operated. The link G. provided does provide some useful information but the vacuum switching valves I believe to be part of the problem can be seen at: http://www.planetisuzoo.com/articles.htm/65

I will start with my vac. switches testing them with my ohmeter and then remove my vacuum shifter to check for corrosion. I will try cleaning the vac. shifter with brake cleaner if there is nothing obvious. I know my 4x4 dashboard light works because when I start the vehicle it appears at the top above the speedometer. I believe the dashboard light does not light up during engagement because it is not sensing the connection in this area of my Trooper. I hope I can fix this. I have some mechnical know-how and the tools to try.

I love my "new" Trooper and hope to keep it for a long time. I know the hubs are probably not part of the problem, but I will be installing my new manual locking hubs (Superwinch 400533 Premium Hubs) when they arrive. I mainly purchased them for the fuel economy and the reduced wear 'n' tear factor. I believe these will help. If ANYONE knows anything else I can try to fix my 4x4 unengagement, I am listening. Thanks!

Last edited by damnrook; 02-18-2007 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Troubleshooting follow-up. Maybe not the fix...but something. After removing the vacuum lines from the switching valves I did notice some corrosion on one of the "nipples". After checking the ohm resistance of the two vacuum switching valves (40 +/-) I bypassed the two switches and connected the vacuum lines directly to the vacuum actuator/shifter, just for gits and shiggles. Immediately the 4x4 dashboard light lit up! I am guessing, that the blue & white valves are independent for high & low 4x4. I drove my Trooper around for a few minutes noticing a definite difference in torque. Probably now I had 4x4 engagement. I returned the vacuum lines to the original configuration and the dashboard lights are off again. My next process of elimination: NEW VACUUM SWITCHING VALVES. May be a dealer only item, but I will exhaust all resources and report back.

Last edited by damnrook; 02-19-2007 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More information from another SOTF owner:

http://isuzufaq.ibctech.ca/#faq68

Vacuum switching valve part number:
ISUZU 8-97101858-1

Still looking for the part online without much luck. I may have to try and clean mine too. Auto parts store & dealer are closed. I will try tomorrow.

Last edited by damnrook; 02-19-2007 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Send an email to Jerry jlemond@bellsouth.net he can get many Isuzu parts. Otherwise talk to Merlin at St. Charles Isuzu, they offer a web discount and free shipping.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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HURRAY!!!! I AM HAPPY TO REPORT BACK TO J.I. AND ANYONE ELSE INTERESTED THAT MY S.O.T.F. 4x4 IS FUNCTIONING PERFECTLY. I TROUBLESHOT THE SYSTEM TO IDENTIFY THE VACUUM SWITCHING VALVES ON THE FRONT AXLE AS THE PROBLEM AND REPLACED THE UNIT. I WAS ABLE TO FIND THIS PART AT WWW.ISUZUPARTS.COM. FINAL PRICE AFTER SHIPPING WAS $149.39. PART NUMBER AS MENTIONED BEFORE: 8-97101858-1 SMALL COST FOR A HUGE FIX. ALL YOU NEED IS 10mm AND 14mm SOCKET AND YOU'RE DONE.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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the problem your having is very comman on them troopers it is the vac switch on the front axle there is a gery plug and a blue plug and 3 vac tubes going to each switch i have changed many of them very easy to replace just remove the small skid plate which is got two 14mm bolts holding the skid and then two 10mm nuts holding the switchs on the axle very easy
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