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1989 B2600i 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My B-Series ownership began in 2009 with a red $500 1989 B2200. It was my daily driver for almost 3 years and logged quite a few miles traveling from Wilkes-Barre, PA to Ft. Dix, NJ and to West Point, NY on a regular basis. It had roughly 125K when I bought it, and was burning quite a bit of oil at first start up. It was so bad that the West Point Fire Department was called to the barracks to find the source of the smoke being my truck and not a building on fire.
Despite a total lack of maintenance the majority of it's life, it ran decent and drove fine. I made a few modifications, like lowering it a few inches by loosening the torsion bars and removing some of the rear leaves while installing lowering blocks, giving the truck more "go-cart like" handling. I also replaced the antiquated mess of emissions hoses and check valves with a Weber 32/36, which really woke up the 85 HP powerhouse.
Unfortunately, life in the North East with an almost constant bombardment of salt and brine eroded the frame. The truck sat in a storage lot for years seeing a couple of hare brained ideas of it's resurrection, including the sacrifice of two 1st Gen KIA Sportages. That level of dedication wasn't enough to bring it back, so the project was abandoned and most of the parts were sold.
Unfortunately my Facebook account was locked and deactivated so I don't have any pictures, but please observe a moment of silence for the B2200 that was parted out so that others could live on.
 

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1989 B2600i 4x4
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The introduction ran a bit a long, but I wanted to lay the ground work for what parts of my first B-Series eventually went on to. About two years I found an all original B2600i 4x4 that spent most of it's life in sunny California for sale in Cleveland, OH in my price range. I figured since at the time I still had most of my own Mazda junkyard/graveyard at my disposal, I would be able to fix whatever was wrong with the B2600i for next to nothing.
That wasn't how it worked out, since admittedly I thought the only difference between the B2600i and the B2200 was the engine and fuel injection. Turns out the G6 engine uses different motor mounts, and the fact my truck is 4WD further prevented me from the infamous FE3 swap I thought I could pull off. I know it has been done, but there is very little documentation and I needed the truck to be running sooner than later. Complicated story, but mostly because of Pennsylvania's annual inspection and rust was threatening to take my 2006 GMC Canyon off of the road.
I bought the truck knowing it probably had a blown head gasket, possibly a cracked head, but I was buying it on condition. That being it was an actual rust-free truck. Something I hadn't seen since I moved to the Great White North several years ago. Here are some pictures as evidence.
Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle
Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire
Gas Vehicle Machine Composite material Auto part

Again, the condition is what I was buying. Knowing I wouldn't have to spend hours repairing structural damage caused by rust was worth the cost of admission. At least that's what I told my wife, who loves my automotive ass-grabbery. By that, I mean she would like to see my Kingdom of Dirt recycled into something more useful, like spoons or shovels, or something, whatever.
 

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1989 B2600i 4x4
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After getting it to my buddy's shop and doing some troubleshooting, I realized the engine was in worse shape than I initially thought and did the right thing, abandoned the truck behind his garage for almost a year. Fast forward to the not so distant past and the mention of PA's annual inspection was coming up for my GMC Canyon.
While the Canyon was on borrowed time, I used it to tow the current abandoned project, a 1994 Toyota truck that I solid axle swapped but couldn't get ahead of the rust, from my house to my buddy's shop and exchange it for the B2600i. The idea was it would be easier for me to work on it at my house instead having to make an nearly a 4 hour round trip to his shop.
My plan was to pull the Mazda's engine and rebuild it since I work in a machine shop. Tear down revealed a horror show. The head was cracked in cylinders 2 and 3, allowing coolant to leak and rust the rings to the cylinder walls. Patience and square words got it apart. Cylinder 3 was badly scored and I don't think boring .040" over to the biggest available piston is going to clean up the cylinders.
Automotive tire Gas Auto part Pipe Automotive wheel system
Idiophone Musical instrument Wood Bell Automotive wheel system

For whatever reason, I can't find the most gruesome imagine of the coagulated corrosion in the combustion chambers. Side note, I've heard jokes about Android phones downloading files into unknown locations, but this is ridiculous. A couple of phones ago I used to be able to take pictures, put them in an album, and find them easily whenever I needed to upload them or whatever. Now it's a Random Event Generator (Patent Pending) and the files go whenever the [email protected] Android thinks they should go, regardless if I put them in an album or not. The pictures I've been fortunate enough to find so far have came from a file labeled Facebook. The pictures of the truck were downloaded from the Bookface since I posted them on a B-Series I used to be an admin of, but the block and pistons were not downloaded. I digress...
With time not being on my side, I choose to find a used motor while shelving this disaster. I was surprised at the scarcity of these engines. U-Pull It yards are common here, but I am not in the best physical condition after having surgeries on my left ankle and hip, and my lower back. Plus the yards don't keep old cars and trucks around. So off to the interwebs. The closest engine I could find was in Ware, MA over 400 miles away.
My wife loves weekend get aways and car rides, especially when it's to buy junk cars parts. By that, I mean she would rather not have her time wasted over something so meaningless. But I am the Press Your Luck Champion.
Short story long, go to Massachusetts, buy engine which had the valve cover powder coated, so how could I not? Replace timing assembly and oil pump with parts meant for original engine, install in truck and believe it or not, the engine fired right up. The lifters were rattly, but otherwise it ran great. In my 20 something years of amateur hour hangulations, I've never had an unknown condition engine run without a hassle.
Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design

Granted, I cleaned the original parts including the intake manifold, alternator, and starter by running them through a high temperature parts cleaner. Turns out most sensors, alternators, and starters aren't dishwasher safe. Who knew?
Anyway, that's pretty much it. I put a set of Chevy Colorado wheels (blasphemy) on it because it needed tires and they had Cooper AT³'s on them with plenty of tread left.
Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Car Automotive side marker light

They look pretty good and are much better than what was on it before. I still have the original wheels and have a set of Mud King 30's that will go on them when the time is right.
Stay tuned for the third half.
 

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Cool story! I have had a Mazda B-Truck (or more!) in my fleet since around 1992 or 1993.....I have some non-digital pics of my first one......somewhere around here. It was a 1986 B2000 regular cab, that I bought for $900.00.......drove it for about 5 years, then sold it to a buddy.

Do you have a fan shroud for the 1989 4x4? These G6 engines do not like to get hot......and the fan shroud definitely helps in the cooling department!

Yeah.....if you ever have a head gasket blow......make sure to completely drain the coolant from the engine, then remove the spark plugs, crank the engine over for a minute or two......then spray or squirt oil into the cylinders, and re-install the plugs. That way it can sit for a spell, until you can dismantle the head and repair the engine.
 

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1989 B2600i 4x4
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool story! I have had a Mazda B-Truck (or more!) in my fleet since around 1992 or 1993.....I have some non-digital pics of my first one......somewhere around here. It was a 1986 B2000 regular cab, that I bought for $900.00.......drove it for about 5 years, then sold it to a buddy.

Do you have a fan shroud for the 1989 4x4? These G6 engines do not like to get hot......and the fan shroud definitely helps in the cooling department!

Yeah.....if you ever have a head gasket blow......make sure to completely drain the coolant from the engine, then remove the spark plugs, crank the engine over for a minute or two......then spray or squirt oil into the cylinders, and re-install the plugs. That way it can sit for a spell, until you can dismantle the head and repair the engine.
They are decent trucks that were usually cheap compared to Toyotas. I liked the simplicity of my B2200, it was fun to drive despite the lack of power. Parts and pieces of it have gone on to keep other Mazdas on the road. I have the reclining bench seat, the tinted windows, and other pieces of hardware in the B2600i now.
You know, I remember when "non-digital" photos were the norm. Before moving to the Great White North in the early days of the new milenia, I remember the insurance company taking pictures of my raggity heaps with a Polaroid camera. Do you remember when they tried to bring the Polaroid back a few years ago?
To answer your question about the fan shroud, it was missing when I bought the truck. It runs pretty cool without it. I don't know the actual temperature, but it's pretty low on the temp gauge. But I've read these engines were right on the edge of cooling capabilities when new and don't handle overheating well.
Speaking of which, I'll take your advice if and when the next head gasket failure is. The truck actually ran decent when I bought it, although it was air cooled since the was no coolant in the system. In my infinite wisdom I replaced the radiator and put coolant in a known to be compromised system, then abandoned it in place when it was pumping coolant from the filler neck while cranking.
 

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1992 B2600i 4x4
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25 Posts
Just started my fun journey down the B2600i 4x4 road. Got a $500 blown head gasket truck in Southern VA... No real rust, cuz the bottom of the truck is covered in a mix of mud and cow "stuff." LOL
Rebuilding the motor now to learn and teach my son and it will be his first car. So he can stop "borrowing" my F350.....
Cool little trucks!
 

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1992 B2600i 4x4
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I
You just might want to get one for YOU......once you drive your Son's truck around! They're addicting!
Im just going to end up "buying" this truck back from my kid. Or let him buy something else with the money he's saved and throw him some extra dollars. I haven't even finished the motor build and Im in love with this little thing. Sad news is , my cam is shot and 5 of my cam followers are also no good. So I'll be looking for replacements if anyone has them. Adding that to my build thread now.
 
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