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How much should an auto-tranny rebuild cost?

Specifically, I want to buy an older Isuzu Trooper with an auto. From what I’ve seen in the ads on craigslist, the auto transmissions seem to give out in the neighborhood of 200,000 miles. I’d like to know how much a reputable shop should reasonably charge for a rebuild on a mid-90’s Trooper transmission here in Sacramento, CA.

Dig out your phonebook and call around.

Be sure to call a dealer to check the price of a factory reman when you call around. I would also check on a specialist Trooper board; someone is bound to know.

I have to guess around $3,500 in Sacramento, maybe more.

Hey, the Google groups . . . that’s a good idear, Beads&beads. Wunner why I didn’t think of that.

I’m kinda familiar with the secret trick of calling around. What I was kinda lookin’ for, fellas, was advice like, “Well, the parts for that particular tranny are really cheap/expensive, and removing/reinstalling the tranny is extrordinarily easy/difficult, and the rebuild itself is quite a breeze/pain-in-the-posterior, so an auto-tranny rebuild on that particular vehicle is unusually cheap/expensive – in the neighborhood of $X,XXX.xx.”

Transman . . . are you there?

I am piggy backing another question for Transman on your post. With a vehicle with this high a mileage, would you rebuild the transmission before it failed? Early rebuild might save on replacement hard parts that would be unuseable after a complete failure.

That’s about what it cost to rebuild our transmission about 2 years ago. It’s a good thing the manufacturer paid for it!

Unfortunately, finding an Isuzu dealer at this point may be very difficult!

Hopefully transman weighs in. However I believe the tranny used is also shared with BMW 5 series and some GM products. So it is not specific just to Isuzu.

Wow. $3500? Ouch! That’s more than the vehicle’s worth . . . which makes it economically unviable.

Hey, VDCdriver, what’d I miss? Is Isuzu pulling out of the U.S. or something? Or just scaling back their dealership network?

And Researcher, that’s a good question, 'cause when a failing part is forced to continue service, it almost invariably causes damage to other parts.

Ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time that you saw an Isuzu commercial on TV?
When was the last time that you saw a NEW Isuzu vehicle on the road?

The only two products left for Isuzu dealers in the US to sell are:
*The Ascender, which is just a re-badged Chevy Trailblazer/GMC Envoy
*The I-series pickup truck, which is just a re-badged Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon
Both of these vehicles are made on Chevy/GMC assembly lines, so Isuzu does not actually manufacture anything for sale in the US.

Isuzu dealers have always tended to be multi-line dealerships, with several other brands in addition to the chronically poor-selling Isuzu line. Otherwise, those dealerships could not have remained in business with the very low volume of Isuzu sales. Now that there are only two “Isuzus” available for sale in the US, it appears that most of their dealer network has thrown in the towel.

The bottom line, as per Consumer Reports, “Isuzu will leave the US market in early 2009”.

Herb,

 What do you know about the vehicle's maintenance record??  This thing could already have a new/rebuilt trans in it already.  I would just service it when you first get it and on a regular basis of every 25-30k.  The troopers use a GM 4L30E transmission.  Not one of my favorites to build but nevertheless, I can do a basic bench job on the 30E for about $1600 depending on all that is wrong with it.  In CA, I wouldnt venture to guess.

transman

Here are two dealers to check out:
Lasher Isuzu
5830 Florin Rd
Sacramento, CA , 95823
PH: (916) 421-9260 | FX: (916) 290-8450

Auburn Isuzu
536 Grass Valley Hwy
Auburn, CA , 95603
PH: (530) 823-8800 | FX: (530) 823-8879

Hey, VDCdriver, the answer to your two questions is . . . um . . . well, there’s a problem. Ya see, I don’t really watch that much TV, and don’t pay attention to commercials in general (unless there’s some hot babe (preferably B-cup with a 22-inch waist and blonde)) and I avoid car commercials like the plague because I find most of them either insulting or annoying. For a coupla decades I’ve had the ability to COMPLETELY tune out car commercial mentally, and nowadays I use my DVR to FF through all commercials. So I’m not the person to ask about car commercials.

But I’ll take the implication of your question for granted. It’s obvious you know what you’re talking about.

And talk about a coincidence . . . just yesterday, for the first time ever, I just happened to notice an Ascender on the road and did a double-take and realized that the Isuzu I was looking at was actually a re-badged GM. It looks like Isuzu is a victim of the hyper-competitive Amercian car market. Too bad.

Thanks for your input, also, transman. I think I’ll take your advice and do it exactly. What’s funny is I regularly read Pop. Mech. and Truck Trends but I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE 30E tranny. The whole world knows about the 60 and 80 duty-rating trannies, so I’m surprised that I somehow missed the existence of the 30. I must not have been paying attention.

And it’s a small world, jayhawkroy: I’m originally from Wichita. Now I live in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia. Lookin’ at leavin’.

Hey, everybody, thanks for chiming in with all of your input. Really do appreciate it.