1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max 2.0 from North America


Great workhorse that never dies


I bought it from a garage that was selling it for the work they had done on it. It had previously been owned by a cabinet company that used it for deliveries. It is a five speed manual transmission, and had 220,000 miles when I bought it.

At about 265,000 miles I dropped a used Japanese engine in it because it always kept getting an oil leak at the rear engine seal. I keep watching the odometer and can't believe how well it keeps on running.

At 330,000 miles I was still getting 28 MPG and decided to give it a pat on the shoulders and change out all the old rotting vacuum hoses, thinking a professional garage would ensure everything routed correctly. Now it runs perfectly fine, but now gets 2 MPG. What to do and what is wrong?

It has needed a bench seat ever since I first bought it, and is so much worse now, but I'm not giving up on it. Anybody know where I can find a seat?

Other than that, the only expense I've ever had with it is I replaced the water pump at about 290,000 miles and the radiator at about 320,000 miles.

It never wants to die. I see so many on the road, and never find 'em in the salvage yard.

General Comments:

Can anyone advise me on the mileage problem or locating a bench seat?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2013

1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Bare bones basic model 2.0L from North America


A reliable, easy keeper, that will work hard for you if you keep it up


At about 200,000 I started having trouble with a loss of power and fuel economy, that got progressively worse. Right now it barely makes it off the property on its own. I had to have it towed home to make it up the hill. I am really not OK with this, because this little old truck means a lot to me.

The trouble seems to be in the fuel system. I've replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump. I took out the EGR valve and cleaned it out. None of these things helped. I now have the carb out of the truck, and am having a friend of mine, who's a wrench, have a look. I've bought another carb out of an old junked 1988. I hope we can put together a good unit using parts from two bad ones. I have the Haynes manual and am currently taking the thing apart cleaning it as I go. I want to get down to the needle and ball valve, and clean them up. The thing blows blue smoke and stumbles on acceleration.

General Comments:

A great little work horse of a truck. I've hung onto it for so long because of its economy to operate and compact size. Its low deck is perfect for loading heavy or otherwise hard to load cargo.

It has been lovingly maintained, and am willing to put at least another thousand into getting it running well again. I'm willing to assist fixing it too, as I want to know more about its mechanical operation.

Under ideal circumstances, mileage in the high 20s was the norm, and on highway only driving, it would sometimes see 32 or 33.

I've also had problems with mice trying to move in and chewing the wires. I've declared a war on those little effers, and won't stop until the last one is run into the ground. I want my little blue truck back.

It's fun to drive, and does so much for me. I want at least another 230,000 miles out of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2010

1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max SWB 2.0L I4 from North America


Very simple, very economical, very reliable


Battery replaced after a few years of very intermittent use.

Seat back has a broken spring that stabs my lower back.

Horn shorted out and blew continuously until I yanked it's wire off.

Speedo failed at 239,000 miles.

Very expensive electronic carburetor replaced at 239,000 miles.

Very few mechanical issues with this truck.

General Comments:

I've had this little truck for over ten years, and although it's gutless as can be, its interior is cramped and it didn't come with power steering, it never fails to start right up and do what I ask it to do... even after sitting for over a year.

With the exception of its hybrid carburetor ($400.00), what replacement parts it has ever needed were really cheap. Gas mileage is pretty good too, in the high 20s. Its 14" tires were only $30.00 each. Basic insurance is also cheap. I've only had to have its AC charged once in ten years. It costs very little to run this little truck.

I'm pleased with the durability of this very simple vehicle. I don't ask much of it, but when I do use it, it ALWAYS works as it should. In fact, for the last few years, it seems its main job has been to drive me to the parts store to get parts for my beautiful but disappointingly unreliable Ford Explorer.

I always trust that when my Explorer fails me, my little Mitsu will not.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th May, 2010