1989 Chevrolet C1500 Wrangler 4.3L from North America
For light duty and transportation I lust over no other vehicle
1. Head warped and needed to be reground. This was due to a defective thermostat and an undersized rad.
2. New alternator at 250,000km
3. New fuel sender housing installed, but fuel pump still original
4. reconditioned steering pump installed
5. New driver side tie rod end installed
6. New idler arm installed
7. new O2 sensor at 250,000km
8. new rear axle seals due to leak
9. standard replacement of brakes, battery, front wheel bearings etc.
10. Gone through two header crossover pipes, but rest of of exhaust is stainless.
11. Catalytic pellets blew out at 255,000km and performance improved roughly 15%.
12. bench seat replaced at 200,000km after severe wear and sag.
13. Chronic problem of paint flaking off the original primer. The truck has now had two paint jobs.
14. Parking brake cable rotted and was replaced.
15. Both door locks lost their key flaps and had to be dismantled and fixed.
16. Starter became weak in deep winter and was replaced by a larger rebuild at 240,000km
17. passenger side front quarter panel developed some rust and was replaced this year.
18. Throttle position sensor wore out, causing engine to die, and was replaced at 180,000km.
I have had this truck 11 years and the total capital cost so far has been under $16000CDN, which is well under my $2000/year rule. The problems it has had were distributed such that they were never an overbearing imposition, and even now, it is mechanically perfect and reliable. Two classes of problems were preventable. If I had mindlessly installed a high quality thermostat and a larger rad, I would have save a major repair expense ($2000). If I had been even more thorough with my twice yearly oil spray regimen, the parking brake, fuel delivery housing ($900), and quarter panel would not have rotted.
Especially with the excessive catalytic back pressure gone, my truck accelerates, and floats down the highway like a rolling couch on a cushion of gas. I'll put in a rebuilt engine and trans when the time comes, as long it continues to cost under $2000/year to run.
It has worse mileage than a car, but every time I travel and sleep in the cap, I save $100, so it all works out. It carries my canoe, hauls my motorcycle, and can accommodate a 4x8 sheet. The 3 speed transmission is particularly reliable, as long as you keep its filter clean.
When I open the hood there is plenty of air and I can get at anything I want and work on it. Also, unlike cars, it still has a frame.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th June, 2004