97 Trooper w/ seized engine worthwhile?

Desert Cyclist

New member
I have a chance to pick up a 97 Isuzu Trooper with a seized engine for $200. Straight body, interior looks decent. No obvious modifications. Current owner let the oil get too low and now the engine is toast.

Any ideas what it would cost to get either a replacement engine or the current one rebuilt? I don't have the time or place to do the work myself.

3.2 V6 and an automatic, is this worth pursuing, or will it just become a money pit?


To me, it would depend on rust and where I was in the world.

You said you can’t or won’t do the work yourself, that could be a problem if you don’t sleep in a shoveled up pile of cash every night, but if you have a shadetree mechanic dude and a punch of pick-n-pulls nearby, I would go for it.

As a fall-back strategy I always try to have 1 or 2 “Decoy Cars” around that I can begrudgingly get rid of when my wife becomes upset about how many cars we have, and a $200 anything fits that description nicely.


Expedition Leader
The automatic transmissions are crazy expensive to repair too.
My 2000 in 2001 took 3.5 months to repair after being hit. Minor frame damage. Parts were hard to get back then.


Kapitis Indagatoris
Parts rig.

As others have said, if you can't do the rebuild yourself it isn't worth it. Generally speaking and depending of parts and labor your looking at anywhere from $2000-$5000 for the engine rebuild and about the same for the trans rebuild so, you if you purchase it for $200 and then drop $4000-$10000 on rebuilds you haven't even put $$ into wheels, tires, suspension, base lining the interior, etc........Not sure any NA Trooper is worth that. Good luck.


Troopers are fantastic. And I did rebuild the engine in mine two years ago, it cost me about $3,000 bucks. I did it because I loved the platform, and because I really wanted to. Looking back, it was a fun, interesting project; but I'm not sure I'd do it again.


Active member
The two main things I read is,, a) don't have time,
b) no place to work on it..

That is a NO GO RED FLAG!
Sorry,, and the expenses are going to destroy your plans also. Good luck .

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