1986 Mazda B2000 SE5 2.0 liter gas from North America
Old faithful and works like a horse
I had the transmission rebuilt at a little over 100,000 - the rebuilder said factory defective and weak parts were fixed/upgraded in the rebuild kit. Haven't had another problem in over 150,000 miles. Replaced clutch, pressure plate, and throwout bearing at that time also.
Replaced clutch slave cylinder 3-4 times, and the alternator died a couple of years ago after only 240,000 miles (was thinking about writing Mazda to complain, but...).
Replaced front brake pads 4-5 times and rear drums brake shoes only once.
Replaced radiator at 150,000 miles.
Other than that, normal maintenance and replacement of wear items like wiper blades, tires, belts, oil, filters, coolant flush, etc.
Most hoses are original, as is the water pump, and all other components.
Never had the head off, never had the carburetor off or worked on.
Repainted the dash that faded in the sun (used boot leather dye, and Cordovan Brown came out matching the factory burgundy interior almost exactly!) and reupholstered the holey seat at 150,000 miles too.
Glad to have a forum to brag on this great little truck. We bought this truck because when we were looking for a good used little pickup back in 1990, this was a good looking truck with the SE-5 package, white paint with black and gray stripes & graphics, plus white spoke wheels, and an overall nice look. What sealed the deal was the fact that the seller had a brand new 1990 B2200 parked right beside it, which he bought right after paying off the 1996 I bought from him, proving how satisfied he was with the truck. It had 88,000 freeway commuter miles, a single young man owner, and was almost defect free.
My family has driven this truck 265,000 miles now, and despite the fact it's underpowered with 80 horses, it is an absolute workhorse, and the 5-speed lets me cruise at 75-80 on the freeway all day long (25-28 MPG freeway, 22-23 overall). We live in a semi-rural area of northern California and this truck has hauled about everything you can imagine, from orchards of firewood (8-10 loads a day, stacked as high as possible - about a 1/2 cord each, year after year, for us and many friends), to TONS of rock, gravel, and sand, to vehicle drivetrains, motorcycles, ATVs, and every other usual thing like major appliances, furniture, etc. I've towed tent trailers, jet boats, V-drives and other small watercraft, and small trailers of various types and cargo.
When I was younger and much more foolish about 20 years ago, I hauled a 2,600 lb load of concrete landscaping blocks about 25 miles to my home (10 miles on the freeway). It's a shortbed (rated to haul slightly more than the longbed), but we had to stack the blocks 18" shy of the tailgate in order to center the weight over the rear axle as much as possible, extending up over the cab about 3 feet. The suspension was fully compressed and there was not 1/4" of travel, just sitting right on the rubber snubbers. Even with two men in the cab, whenever I tried to turn at any speed above 30 MPH, the front end was so light the wheels would slightly "skip" across the pavement and not really turn - I discovered the only way to make the front wheels "bite" in a turn at speeds above 30 MPH was to tap the brake repeatedly, causing the weight to shift forward and the front wheels to "bite" and turn intermittently, tires chirping again and again as I went round the curve!
This truck has also been to over 100 Raider Games for tailgating too! My boy learned to drive in this truck, drove it about 5 years as his only transportation, and today it sits in the corner of the yard, forgotten, gathering dust and cobwebs until it's suddenly needed to haul somebody's furniture or a load of landscape rock, or when another vehicle is down for repairs. Then we just wash Old Faithful off, gas it up, charge the battery if needed, and drive it till it's not needed again. Passes California smog every two years no problem.
As luck would have it, I've currently been driving it daily about 30 miles to and from work as my 2004 Infiniti G35 is down for repairs, having eaten a catalytic converter at only 122,000 miles. Yet the Mazda B-2000 SE-5 still looks good (albeit the tailgate is slightly bowed and dented from so many loads), runs good, and hauls loads the big trucks can too! If I saw a one owner 1986 Mazda B-2000 SE-5 with less than 150,000 miles for sale today, I would pay a premium, knowing I would have a little truck that will do everything I ask of it for the rest of my life, with normal maintenance and very low cost. BRAVO MAZDA!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th May, 2015