1988 Mazda B2200 ext-cab pick up 2.2 litre from North America

Summary:

This Mazda pick-up is the ultimate vehicle for me

Faults:

Well I payed $500 for my truck and the paint still shines, has no rust, good tires, with nice interior, rebuilt motor, new clutch. The guy I bought it from said the head was cracked, I found out after buying it that it was a little piece of hose down by the rear of the engine, near the heater core. So I got an awesome deal.

General Comments:

It's just a practical little truck, that is cheap on gas, easier than a Chevy S10 to work on, get a lot better gas mileage than an S10. I had a couple fullsize Chevys that I liked to work on, very nice to work on, but then gas is too expensive to afford a fullsize anything these days. So I bought a Chevy blazer S10, then a Chevy S10 pickup, then another Chevy blazer S10, and to be honest they rate it at 17 MPG, but its closer to 11 MPG. One of my S10 blazers had a total rebuilt motor and was still only 11 MPG. My Mazda has the same amount of power, except smoother, and it gets at least 20 MPG. I am a Chevy guy converted to Mazda guy. It wasn't until I had a friend that bought his second Mazda pick-up that I realized these things don't die and they are great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2003

1988 Mazda B2200 SE-5 longbed 2.2 liter carbureted from North America

Summary:

It is an excellent, dependable, economical, sturdily built truck

Faults:

New clutch at normal (50,000 miles.) intervals.

Front brake pads at 50,000 miles. intervals.

Entire exhaust system behind catalytic converter at 152,000 miles! Phenomenal!

New master cylinder at 126,000 miles.

At 152,000 miles needed major engine work: ring job, all new valve dampers, replaced 2 valves and ground other 6 valves, did all work without pulling block. (the hard way!) Replaced rod bearings even though they had no discernible wear!

Fabric seats are starting to rip and sag at 162,000 miles.

Rear wheel bearing and 2 universal joints at 145,000 miles.

General Comments:

This is the best vehicle I have ever had. It is supremely dependable and economical. Although I was a little disappointed that it started to smoke on start up and proved to have uneven compression at 152,000 miles, when I tore it down I discovered that it is extremely well made. The rings had started to give out, but the cylinders showed almost no wear. I have never believed in just doing ring jobs, but this convinced me that it may sometimes be possible -- it was in this case! This engine is actually made with a block stiffening plate between the oil pan and block, something I had never seen or heard of except in some racing engines. Like a Mercedes, it requires no pan gasket, just a little sealant. I could measure no discernible wear on the rod bearings and my machinist told me the same about the wrist pins. The weak links in this motor are all in the head and they are easily remedied. These are the valve dampers. They started giving out, one at a time, at about 80,000 miles and would sometimes really clatter when the engine was very warm and traveling at highway speed. After I rebuilt the engine the remaining ones gave out one day on my way out of town so I went back, ordered the whole set (about $18 - $20 each) and replaced them. I was able then to see the problem. They have an "O" ring seal around the outside on the bottom that seems to disintegrate when they get old. When that happens, they don't hold pressure and rattle in their receptacles. When they do this long enough it "mushrooms" the top of the valve stem and eventually the damper striking surface begins to disintegrate.

A few months after the rebuild I got a mysterious slow coolant leak into the engine interior. (into the oil) After many frustrating attempts to find it including removing the head and replacing the head gasket, a mechanic found it for me. It seems that the tower bolts that hold the camshaft and rocker arm shafts run clear through the outer shell of the head into the water jacket. They must be put back using a special sealer/lubricant to prevent coolant from leaking up the threads.

The radiator has very narrow channels that clog very easily. Every time the head has come off I have ended up needing to have the radiator core rodded out.

I run a good gas system cleaner through it once a year and the carburetor still works well. It gets about 27 miles per gallon on the highway and I expect to keep driving it till at least 300,000 miles. It's power is very adequate. How fast do you need to go, anyway? It is the largest of the small trucks of it's time and I find it very roomy. I am 6'4". It still has almost no rust and I live on Puget Sound.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2003

3rd Sep 2003, 10:38

Mazda B2200; I bought my 1990 B2200 in 2/91, sold it in 8/2000,I just bought it back from the gentleman that I sold it to, and I'm happier than the first time around.

Man, what a great truck, it now has 127,000 miles and other than a bad fuel pump and a head gasket, The Maz-dog is back where she belongs, I never thought sellers remorse would hurt so bad.

30th Nov 2003, 23:26

I just bought my 1990 B2200 a few months ago for $350, and was a very abused, neglected company truck. First thing, oil change, tranny and rear-end lube, and dang!!! just turned over to 200,000 two weeks ago! She's a strong one, and man what a steal. Just for kicks, thinking of dropping a 350 in her. Wow, the thought alone puts a smile on my face!