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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What would you do with a Mazda b series 2600i 4x4? Keep in mind I have a very small budget. yes, I know this is a hot rod form but I know there are many off-road enthusiasts out there.
 

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It is a good truck that is easy to work on.
The 2.6 is a good engine. Not a powerhouse but will move you down the road.

Parts are fairly cheap and most of the engine work can be done with the engine in the truck.
If it has a stick(I would not run a auto) and a good frame drive it until the frame goes or you hit something. The thing drives like a truck and if you treat it like a 1/4 ton just keep up service then it will last you a long time.

If I found a high mileage one right now. I would do a headgasket, timing chain, exhaust gaskets (inspecting the manifold/fixing) and inspect the front suspension arms for rust. Then just do a refresh with new coils, plugs, and clean all the sensors/throttlebody.
All the above should be able to be done with the engine installed for less then $350, a bit of tech watching videos, and renting/borrowing tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It is a good truck that is easy to work on.
The 2.6 is a good engine. Not a powerhouse but will move you down the road.

Parts are fairly cheap and most of the engine work can be done with the engine in the truck.
If it has a stick(I would not run a auto) and a good frame drive it until the frame goes or you hit something. The thing drives like a truck and if you treat it like a 1/4 ton just keep up service then it will last you a long time.

If I found a high mileage one right now. I would do a headgasket, timing chain, exhaust gaskets (inspecting the manifold/fixing) and inspect the front suspension arms for rust. Then just do a refresh with new coils, plugs, and clean all the sensors/throttlebody.
All the above should be able to be done with the engine installed for less then $350, a bit of tech watching videos, and renting/borrowing tools.
The 93 currently has a broken driveshaft and it has been broken for a few thousand miles now, A/C does not work(I can roll windows down), fixed a split bypass hose, and the tires are more like racing slicks, my father got it for $1,000 for my birthday. We already have everything to fix it except tires and other small things. It does have a manual, I personally hate automatics. I will always go stick. It actually did a good job moving a couple of 1ish ton loads of wood in the front yard to the back in the granny gear, however, the rear axle and frame were getting too friendly. Any more power and I would fry what's left of its tires that are showing bands. I am debating if I should put 30-inch offroad tires on and cut the fenders back a little and put a roll bar, bucket seats, and 5 point harness in.
 

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1964 Thunderbird, 390 FE
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Sounds like a fun project. I wouldn't go too big on the tires, but I'm not familiar with how well those trucks will take bigger rubber. My uncle has a 1998 Jeep with the 2.5 four cylinder (not the same Jeep I showed in the other thread) that he's had since new. Around 2000 he got wider offset wheels and fit 29.5's with no lift and off-roaded the heck out of it for years. I've driven it a little myself. A couple years ago he got a 2 inch lift and some 31 x 10.50's and that made the thing absolutely gutless in high range putting around the farm, checking traps, etc. It struggles pulling fairly mild hills above 60 mph. My uncle has since bought an 04 Tacoma that he dailys now (it's got the 4 cyl and 30's) and the Jeep only occasionally moves. I think there's something about having a smaller truck/Jeep that feels like a small/nimble vehicle. Putting too big of tires on it can kind of take the fun out of it, at least for me.

Definitely look at rubbing on the frame when you turn, and note that when the suspension articulates it probably will bring the tire closer to the frame, so measuring with it sitting in the driveway might not give you the real clearance for when you get in a tight spot out in the middle of nowhere and really need to turn sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If the tires are rubbing we cut the fenders, I will not be putting on really wide tires. the 30-inch tires are not all that big, My father has a 92 Suzuki sidekick that has 30-inch tires and a bent frame from all the offroading and jumps at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes It has held up really well. From what I understand the tires will fit I may have to shave the front fenders a little.
 

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Well then fix the driveshaft run a street tire with deep tread. Winter tires are a good option if you don't do alot of miles.

Lets say $80 a tire and they are often a soft compound meant for cleaning out fast. Both good on rocks, woods, and in the mud. Drop a few psi and they can be good in the sand.

A roll bar is always a good idea. But the buckets and 5 point can wait.
I would get some safe rubber and a good driveshaft under the truck before doing anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well then fix the driveshaft run a street tire with deep tread. Winter tires are a good option if you don't do alot of miles.

Lets say $80 a tire and they are often a soft compound meant for cleaning out fast. Both good on rocks, woods, and in the mud. Drop a few psi and they can be good in the sand.

A roll bar is always a good idea. But the buckets and 5 point can wait.
I would get some safe rubber and a good driveshaft under the truck before doing anything else.
Sounds good, thank you.
 
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