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June 29, 2013

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Will

Mazda had a diesel pickup in the early 80's. (model B2200, gas was B2000) I think '84 was the last year they bothered to import it here. My '83 (longbed, they didn't bother putting it into the shortbed until '84) got 36mpg commuting, and 42mpg on the freeway @60mph. It dropped to 28mpg @80+mph. That freeway mileage was driving from the San Jose area to Willow Springs raceway next door to Edwards AF Base, so included some mountain driving at both ends, mostly the southern end.

It was a 2.2L 4cyl. Rated at 57hp. Mazda put a five speed stick behind it. Ford put the same engine in the Ranger those years, but normally only a 4 speed, which killed the mileage somewhat, plus it weighed more. I had both. Ford switched to the Turbo diesel from Mitsubishi, which made much more power, but was also much more delicate. Ford should have had Mazda put a turbo on their diesel, as that was an industrial engine design, unlike the Mits engine. Ford gave up on the little diesel engine interest by '87, IIRC. Wish I had kept one of them.

Ragin' Dave

The Ragin' Mrs. and I are going to get a diesel vehicle on our next purchase. Actually, we'll get me the diesel and her a gas-engine run-around, but I've convinced her that we need at least one diesel vehicle, if only for the mileage we can get when we're towing our gear.

Gerry N.

Twenty some years ago a friend of mine had me help him install an Isuzu diesel engine from a generator set into an Isuzu pickup sans engine he had bought for peanuts at an auction. Took us all of a weekend. It's now twenty years later and he's still driving it. No idea how many miles as the odometer bought the farm long before he acquired the pickup. It gets 45 MPG or better light or loaded. At the time we figured from the time it took us and the price of needful parts a conversion in a professional shop would have cost around $2000 not including an engine. I don't know the price or availability of an Isuzu industrial engine, but I can't imagine a diesel conversion of a good used small pickup or SUV would cost over $6k inclusive. That sure beats a $26K price tag hands down.

Thinking about it, I should have had a diesel installed in Da Missus' '85 S-10 Blazer instead of trading it in on five years of payments the way we did. We would have had it paid off long since. And thing of the fuel we wouldn't have burned.

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