The Truth About Cars » Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com TTAC Forum Crapwagon ReCrap: Scouting for Interesting Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ttac-forum-crapwagon-recrap-scouting-interesting-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ttac-forum-crapwagon-recrap-scouting-interesting-cars/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154873 Last week, we began our occasional look back at the interesting cars I’ve been posting daily in our Classic and Collector Car forum. Maybe these cars aren’t quite worthy of the full Crapwagon treatment, so we call this the Forum ReCrap. (To the 2 percent of our readers that are female, please recall that nearly […]

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Scout

Last week, we began our occasional look back at the interesting cars I’ve been posting daily in our Classic and Collector Car forum. Maybe these cars aren’t quite worthy of the full Crapwagon treatment, so we call this the Forum ReCrap.

(To the 2 percent of our readers that are female, please recall that nearly all males — especially those who happen to love cars — are perpetually twelve years old, and thus still find toilet humor titillating.)

This week, the forum featured: an SUV from a tractor company; a modern shooting brake; a legendary FWD sports car that will likely be stolen; a Japanese-built, Italian-styled derivative of a Chevette; and a hatchback that was born from jets.

Monday, I looked at an attractive International Harvester Scout. The pea soup green paint looks marvelous, especially with the gunmetal steelies. It looks like the seller ended the auction early, perhaps after a sale outside eBay. Someone probably picked up a fun ride.

Pulsar

Tuesday, I featured another car with a removable rear body panel. This one, however, is a bit less compelling to the general public. The Nissan Pulsar Sportbak is one of those answers to a question that, if asked, probably shouldn’t have been. Nonetheless, it’s kinda cool, and could be a fun, quick ride with something a bit more beefy under the bonnet. It’s still only $2,000 and for sale very close to Myrtle Beach. Fly in, hit a seafood buffet or a golf course, and drive home in glorious Eighties style.

Integra

Wednesday, I found a unicorn: an Integra Type-R that might not yet have been stolen. The seller needs to learn how to get photos off the phone, however, rather than screenshotting everything. I love reading ads for hot Hondas — invariably, the words “Adult Owned” will appear on anything that doesn’t have dozens of decals littering the clearcoat. As of this writing, the bid is around $10,000 with five days left, so my guesstimate of a $15k sell price might not be far off.

Impulse

Thursday brought a favorite sleeper of the Eighties. Isuzu’s Impulse, penned by Giugiaro, is a stunning sportscar built on pedestrian GM underpinnings. Sadly not a turbo, the performance might be a bit blunted, but this looks like a cheap, fun classic.

Viggen

Today, I happened across a Saab 9-3 Viggen. The last hurrah of the hot hatch from Trollhättan, the Viggen was a torque-steering monster of a family sedan. I wonder how good the parts support is now that Saab has left this realm. That would be a significant factor in whether I’d consider one for myself.

I know I’m not the only one out here in internetland that trolls the web for interesting cars. Head over to the forum, and post the cool stuff you find!

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QOTD: What Brand/Model Existed Before Its Time? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/qotd-what-brandmodel-existed-before-its-time/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/qotd-what-brandmodel-existed-before-its-time/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128761 Way at the bottom of the comments on yesterday’s Hyundai Santa Cruz article was a reference to a vehicle that I think, if it was built today, would probably sell better today than it ever did when it was new. The Isuzu VehiCROSS, for all its faults, is (almost) exactly what people are craving today in a […]

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2000-isuzu-vehicross

Way at the bottom of the comments on yesterday’s Hyundai Santa Cruz article was a reference to a vehicle that I think, if it was built today, would probably sell better today than it ever did when it was new.

The Isuzu VehiCROSS, for all its faults, is (almost) exactly what people are craving today in a crossover-fueled market: go-anywhere utility, a tall sitting position, and full wrap-around plastic body cladding. Oh, and you either love it or hate it, just like every other new, successful crossover hitting the market in America at the rate of 2.5 new models per second.

Think about it. The sales of non-crossover, non-SUV and non-truck models in America is rather stagnant at the moment. This is pretty evident at Hyundai. The South Korean automaker’s car-heavy lineup is experiencing growth, but it’s a far cry from the industry average mostly due to a lack of crossovers and utilities in its lineup (the other big part being the Tucson getting pretty long in the tooth and uncompetitive against more established rivals).

Now, what if you could build a brand that was the complete inverse of Hyundai? Lots of SUVs. Little to no cars. Unlike Jeep, this brand could tout “Japanese build quality” and not be saddled with traditionalist design cues. That sounds a lot like Isuzu.

The VehiCROSS is just what America is craving, too. No, I don’t mean a two-door, body-on-frame SUV powered by a pair of V-6 engines. The most successful new entrants in the crossover and SUV space in the last few years have been styled in a way that leaves nobody wondering whether they love it or hate it — Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Ford Edge, etc. The VehiCROSS certainly fits that bill.

What do you think, Best & Brightest? What brand or model from yesteryear was sold and killed off before its time?

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Confirmed: Isuzu N-Series Will Be Sold by Chevrolet in U.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:18:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092825 As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties. Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on […]

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As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties.

Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on the Isuzu N-Series.

According to a release from GM, two cabs (regular and crew), three engines (GM 6.0L V8 gas, Isuzu 3.0L turbodiesel and 5.2L turbodiesel) and varying chassis lengths from 109 to 212 inches will be available. The two companies will “explore the use of GM commercial vehicle components” for the trucks and GM will continue its supply of 6.0L V8 gasoline engines and six-speed automatic transmissions to Isuzu. Chevrolet-badged V8 gas models will be assembled in Charlotte, Michigan.

GM has sourced trucks from Isuzu in the past but exited the medium-duty segment in 2009. Isuzu previously sold passenger vehicles in the U.S. but abandoned the market in January 2009 after trimming its lineup down to GM-sourced SUVs and midsize pickups.

The new trucks will go on sale at participating dealers next year.

345538_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-002345541_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-001 345544_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-004

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General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092625 General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu. Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as […]

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Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/junkyard-find-1986-chevrolet-spectrum/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/junkyard-find-1986-chevrolet-spectrum/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1042738 Even as GM was selling Suzuki Cultuses badged as Chevrolets and Daewoo LeManses badged as Pontiacs, your friendly Chevy showroom offered Isuzu Geminis with Chevrolet badges (a decade later, you could get an Opel Omega with Cadillac badges, but that’s another story). A few years back, we saw this 1989 Spectrum, which came with both […]

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10 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinEven as GM was selling Suzuki Cultuses badged as Chevrolets and Daewoo LeManses badged as Pontiacs, your friendly Chevy showroom offered Isuzu Geminis with Chevrolet badges (a decade later, you could get an Opel Omega with Cadillac badges, but that’s another story). A few years back, we saw this 1989 Spectrum, which came with both Chevrolet and Geo branding, but today’s Junkyard Find came from the era prior to GM’s creation of the soon-to-be-defunct Geo brand.
05 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were more or less invisible back in the 1980s, and they remain invisible today. This doesn’t stop Craigslist sellers from claiming to have Geo “barn finds,” of course.
04 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one sat outdoors for a long time before its final tow-truck ride.
16 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinJust 76,000 miles. If you’re the president of the Chevrolet Spectrum Owner’s Club and you’re reading this in 2057, understand that we early-21st-century Americans just didn’t understand how rare and valuable these cars really were. Sorry about that!
02 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinPower by Isuzu.

I was 20 years old when this ad came out. I don’t remember it, but I’m sure I would have been horrified by the idea of “Spectrumality.”

I’ll bet the media launch for this car was what press-car-killin’ car writer Jay Lamm refers to as a “tents and corn dogs affair.”

01 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1986 Chevrolet Spectrum Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Crapwagon Outtake: Spare Parts Plz http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/crapwagon-outtake-spare-parts-plz/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/crapwagon-outtake-spare-parts-plz/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:56:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988874   Paging Jim Yu. Jim Yu to the courtesy telephone. You now have a second chance at the Isuzu Impulse. The folks at Bring A Trailer have found this mint Isuzu Impulse Turbo. The angular coupe is in excellent condition, but I can’t help but think that getting spare parts must be an absolute nightmare.

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1987-Isuzu-Impulse-RS

 

Paging Jim Yu. Jim Yu to the courtesy telephone. You now have a second chance at the Isuzu Impulse.

The folks at Bring A Trailer have found this mint Isuzu Impulse Turbo. The angular coupe is in excellent condition, but I can’t help but think that getting spare parts must be an absolute nightmare.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1979-chevrolet-luv-mikado/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1979-chevrolet-luv-mikado/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=940441 Once Toyota Stouts and Datsun 520s began selling in sufficient numbers (in spite of the Chicken Tax) to attract Detroit’s attention, the idea of selling small pickups— without actually tooling up to build them— seemed appealing to the Big Three. Chrysler had the Mitsubishi-built Plymouth Arrow pickup, Ford had the Mazda-built Courier, and GM had […]

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02 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOnce Toyota Stouts and Datsun 520s began selling in sufficient numbers (in spite of the Chicken Tax) to attract Detroit’s attention, the idea of selling small pickups— without actually tooling up to build them— seemed appealing to the Big Three. Chrysler had the Mitsubishi-built Plymouth Arrow pickup, Ford had the Mazda-built Courier, and GM had the Isuzu Faster-based Chevy LUV. Each type rusted with great eagerness and were near-disposable cheap, so they’re all very rare today. I see maybe one LUV per three years of junkyard visits, so this ’79 LUV Mikado grabbed my attention right away.
07 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Mikado option package, if we are to believe online sources, gave the buyer striped seats and a three-spoke steering wheel (plus the cool-looking Japanophilic fender badges).
03 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe three-spoke wheel is there, but I don’t see any seat stripes. Perhaps the owner of this truck swapped in a later Isuzu P’Up bench.
06 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe G18 engine, making 80 horses. 21st-century Americans require at least that much power for their lawn tractors, not to mention a crew-cab in their “small” pickups. The G18 was also found in the “Buick Opel” (an Isuzu-ized Opel Kadett sold in North America during the darkest days of the Malaise Era).

Now there’s even more to LUV, for everybody!

Did anyone buy the 4WD LUV?

This Thai-market Isuzu Faster Spacecab ad is for a second-generation truck, but I had to include it due to the little spaceman.

01 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 Chevrolet LUV Mikado Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1994 Isuzu Amigo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1994-isuzu-amigo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1994-isuzu-amigo/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937594 Remember the Isuzu Amigo? A descendant of the platform that gave us the Chevy Luv pickup, the Amigo was the cuddly three-door version of the much more popular Isuzu Rodeo. Rodeos are still fairly easy to find here in Colorado, but the Amigo is another story. Here’s a last-year-of sales ’94 I found in a […]

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09 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRemember the Isuzu Amigo? A descendant of the platform that gave us the Chevy Luv pickup, the Amigo was the cuddly three-door version of the much more popular Isuzu Rodeo. Rodeos are still fairly easy to find here in Colorado, but the Amigo is another story. Here’s a last-year-of sales ’94 I found in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks ago.
03 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis spare has been used up real good!
05 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis vehicle shows all the signs of having been beaten to death by wastoid snowboarders, a common fate for small all-wheel-drive machinery in these parts.
06 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin2.6 liters of screaming Isuzu power.
08 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNote the shiny paint and outside rear-view mirror held on by duct tape, indicators that this truck went downhill fast once it got into the hands of its final owners.


Like most members of the Isuzu/Vauxhall/Opel Co-Prosperity Sphere, the first-generation Opel MU was available with a bewildering variety of marques and badges. This truck could be purchased as a Chevrolet, a Holden, a Vauxhall, or a Honda, as well as numerous flavors of Isuzu. Here’s a German ad for the ’94 Opel Frontera.

01 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1994 Isuzu Amigo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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GM, Isuzu Back In LUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/gm-isuzu-back-in-luv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/gm-isuzu-back-in-luv/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:40:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=920154 Isuzu and GM agreed to develop a next-generation mid-size pickup for world markets, though Canada and the United States will get their own distinct model under the terms of the agreement. Although GM has held as much of 49 percent of Isuzu’s equity, the tie-up was wound down in 2006. The two companies have a […]

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Isuzu and GM agreed to develop a next-generation mid-size pickup for world markets, though Canada and the United States will get their own distinct model under the terms of the agreement.

Although GM has held as much of 49 percent of Isuzu’s equity, the tie-up was wound down in 2006. The two companies have a long history of collaboration on trucks, starting with the Chevrolet LUV and continuing through the current Isuzu D-Max, which shares a significant amount of technology with the current GM mid-size trucks.

The next-generation truck will be important for markets like Thailand and Australia, where mid-size pickups play a role akin to America’s full-size trucks.

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Piston Slap: The Last Afghani Trail to Blaze http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-the-last-afghani-trail-to-blaze/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-the-last-afghani-trail-to-blaze/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:26:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=860353 M.D.K. writes: UNCLASSIFIED I am currently at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where I will often find myself motoring around the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in one of the last generation Chevy Trailblazers. It is the straight six variety and it has undoubtedly led a difficult life. My requirements are few however…pretty much I need something […]

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M.D.K. writes:

UNCLASSIFIED

I am currently at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where I will often find myself motoring around the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in one of the last generation Chevy Trailblazers. It is the straight six variety and it has undoubtedly led a difficult life. My requirements are few however…pretty much I need something that can do 25 miles an hour or so and not strand me on the other side of the airfield. As a bonus, the Trailblazer has a working AC and radio. What it doesn’t have is the ability to do 25 or so miles an hour regularly and get me back from the other side of the airfield.

Pressing the gas pedal beyond a few millimeters will get me stalling and/or backfiring. In general it sounds like it is running on 4 cylinders. It will surge and run normally for a second and then not. It seems to get worse the hotter it is (which is bad this time of year.) I took the damn thing to the motorpool and they told me I can turn it in and walk back if I don’t like it (the drawdown is a mother). I had to jump out and push it up the little ramp into our compound as it lacked the power to accomplish this feat on its own. As a Ford guy, I get some amusement out of this and taunting the Chevy fans but the fact is we could really use this thing. A bunch of us IT types have stared under the hood for some time and haven’t figured anything out. I am mechanically inclined (I’ve changed motors and stuff before) so I think I am the truck’s last hope.

This thing would be the nicest vehicle in our fleet by virtue of the AC if it would run. No, I can’t pull the damn codes as the PX is short on OBDII readers (and toilet paper) and there isn’t an Autozone within 7000 miles or so. If this may be something simple like a fuel filter or something I’m willing to get some parts sent over and crawl under myself. Just need to know if there are any common issues with these things. I don’t see any major mechanical issues like overheating or oil in the coolant. I appreciate your input.

UNCLASSIFIED

Sajeev answers:

So…no professional diagnostic tools, no basic Autozone diagnostic tools, and you’re the truck’s last hope? And an LS1-FTW swap is totally out of the question?

Checking the forums, it’s possible that a cam position actuator solenoid is the problem…and it will not throw a code.  Or maybe a dirty throttle body, a clogged fuel filter or a dirty air filter.  If the fuel you receive out there isn’t the highest quality, the filter is a major concern.  And maybe your IT folks have electronic contact cleaner to clean the throttle body AND the mass air flow meter. But I’m all over the map: here’s my plan of action, given limited resources:

  1. Replace fuel filter, if other vehicles need regular filter changes out in the field.
  2. Shake out the air filter, bumping it on a large surface. Don’t bang it against a wall hard enough to damage it. I find large plastic garbage cans work well here.
  3. Clean the mass air flow meter and throttle body with electronic contact cleaner.
  4. Pull the spark plugs, clean and gap them.
  5. Replace the Cam Position Actuator Solenoid: even Amazon stocks them, maybe one of their drone prototypes can deliver it.

I will keep my fingers crossed that bad gas and dusty air are your only problems.

But no matter what, thank you for writing to us and thank you for your service.  

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Geo Storm GSi http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1991-geo-storm-gsi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1991-geo-storm-gsi/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=852577 The Storm, a rebadged second-gen Isuzu Impulse sold by GM’s short-lived Geo division, was with us for just the 1990 through 1993 model years and didn’t leave much of an impression. I see the occasional Storm in wrecking yards these days, but it takes a factory-hot-rod GSi version to get me to reach for my […]

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03 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Storm, a rebadged second-gen Isuzu Impulse sold by GM’s short-lived Geo division, was with us for just the 1990 through 1993 model years and didn’t leave much of an impression. I see the occasional Storm in wrecking yards these days, but it takes a factory-hot-rod GSi version to get me to reach for my camera. We saw this ’90 Storm GSi in a Colorado yard a couple years back, and now I’ve found another in Northern California.

Let’s watch some Storm ads!

The 16-valve performance force from Geo.

The GSi was quite a bit quicker than the ’87 CRX, but depreciation of cars bearing the doomed Geo marque probably meant that this ambitious young paralegal would have been better off sticking with the Honda.

In Canada, you could buy this car as an Asüna Sunfire.
15 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith 130 horsepower, the Storm GSi offered one of the best bang-for-buck deals of its time. I think I’d still have bought the Sentra SE-R, though I was driving something a little more hooptie at the time.
01 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPresented without comment.
17 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinToday’s Junkyard Find looks just like my super-rare diecast (actually all-plastic) Geo Storm GSi, which was given to me by a LeMons racer who claimed it was a dealer-promo item.

01 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1991 Geo Storm GSi Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Piston Slap: Weather The Storm, Trooper! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/piston-slap-weather-the-storm-trooper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/piston-slap-weather-the-storm-trooper/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 12:03:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=814746 Alex writes: Hi Sajeev, I have recently come into possession of a 1994 Isuzu Trooper (pictured above). 158k, One owner, with good service history until 100k. After that the (affluent) previous owner basically used it as a Home Depot Hauler for 7+ years so besides oil changes and tires, not much was done. That’s fine […]

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Alex writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I have recently come into possession of a 1994 Isuzu Trooper (pictured above). 158k, One owner, with good service history until 100k. After that the (affluent) previous owner basically used it as a Home Depot Hauler for 7+ years so besides oil changes and tires, not much was done. That’s fine by me as the truck cost $1600 and it is pretty great running shape.

However, I have noticed a few things that may need attention, or are just plain bothering me. Unfortunately Isuzu forums are pretty sparse due to the waning popularity of these trucks…if you can help me out that would be wonderful.

1. The timing belt was done once at 60k and its gone 98k on it. I heard somewhere the Isuzu timing belt maintenance was switched to every 100k? I think this is a non interference engine, do you think I can squeeze 120k out of the timing belt?

2. I think the Trooper is on the original clutch (Previous owner things he may have changed it but doesn’t remember and doesn’t have documentation. The clutch feels fine however.

3. The trooper has a squeal that is heard when driving slowly (heard when near walls since the sound bounces.) This squeal is heard even when brakes are not pressed. My father in law jacked up the car from the rear and it seems that when the rear wheels turn, there is a rotational squeal every half turn or so. It seems to be coming from the area where the drive shaft meets the rear differential, right after the U-joint. If I go faster than 10 mph you cant hear it, but you can hear it when driving slowly. Maybe some tired seals or something caught in mechanical? Doesn’t affect drive-ability at all.

4. Ripped CV boot in the front driver side. Can i drive it till it starts to creak or is it worth replacing with a Quick-Boot split CV boot from autozone?

Sajeev answers:

Troopers are far from my forte, but perhaps you’ll trade it in for a Crown Vic we can give such a cool and obscure ride a group hug via this esteemed column.

So let’s do it, to it:

  1. A thread from Planet Isuzoo suggests your 6VD1 3.2 SOHC V6 (correct?) is not an interference motor. Probably. But if there’s any doubt, there is no doubt: at your mileage, the Trooper’s had two timing belt changes and the next one is coming up soon. Soon-ish. Can you extend the service intervals?  Is it worth the risk? Don’t be a tight wad: FIX IT as per owner’s manual recommendation.**
  2. Clutches aren’t like timing chains: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, son!
  3. Squeals are usually the realm of slipping belts. This sounds like a “squeak” from a bad bearing. If it isn’t an easy fix, get a replacement assembly from a junkyard with a warranty.  It’s easier to swap axles than diagnose an internal problem. Especially if you aren’t rear axle savvy, don’t learn this particular trade on your own ride.
  4. I’ve never used quick boots before, the big concern is that a CV joint with a ripped boot already has grease contaminated with dirt.  Perhaps the quick boot (when installed correctly) can dramatically increase the life of the CV joint.  Or, if you bought it with a ripped boot, perhaps not. Only you can make an educated guess here, best of luck with that.

**Or sell it and buy the Ford/Chevy SUV equivalent and enjoy a bulletproof timing chain and easy repairs for the rest of your life.

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom: 

This is a good time to mention that owning such an obscure machine means one must, absolutely must, own a set of factory shop manuals.  Hell, I bought the FoMoCo ones for my British Ford Sierra before it even landed in the Lone Star State. Even though it’s kinda like a Merkur XR4Ti, it’s different enough to justify the cost of buying the proper manual.

 

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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Piston Slap: If Only We Knew Ye, Trooper! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/piston-slap-if-only-we-knew-ye-trooper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/piston-slap-if-only-we-knew-ye-trooper/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:58:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=773721 TTAC Commentator Dave M writes: Hey Sajeev! A question for you and B/B. Especially during cold weather my Trooper gets a ’clunk’ shifting from 1-2 (it’s a 4 speed automatic) and then back down. This coincides with a CEL. It doesn’t happen all the time. There are other times (even during cold) where the truck runs […]

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Well that looks cool... (photo courtesy: http://www.sodahead.com/)

TTAC Commentator Dave M writes:

Hey Sajeev!

A question for you and B/B. Especially during cold weather my Trooper gets a ’clunk’ shifting from 1-2 (it’s a 4 speed automatic) and then back down. This coincides with a CEL. It doesn’t happen all the time. There are other times (even during cold) where the truck runs normally – no clunk, no CEL. Checking the CEL code and it indicates all four oxygen sensors (replaced last year); when no CEL no code to read.

My first thoughts were it might be time for ANOTHER transmission. But my brother says no, it has to be electrical since it’s intermittent. Any ideas where to start?

Sajeev answers:

Welllllllll…for starters you could write us with more info: stuff like the year/mileage/service history/CEL code totally wouldn’t hurt.

Perhaps it is time for “another” transmission, if we knew why you said it like that.  Like maybe knowing the condition (look and smell) and age of the transmission fluid. Or perhaps the CEL isn’t fixed because Oxygen Sensors aren’t usually the problem: they are the messenger of a problem upstream. Maybe $10 in new vacuum line fixes the CEL, eliminate a leak that’s messing up both the engine and transmission’s parameters.

Or maybe you need a whole new transmission.

It’s kinda impossible to tell.

Come on son, us armchair analysts can’t judge a problem this complex with such half-baked  info! That said, have at it, Best and Brightest.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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GM, Isuzu Put Another $60 Million Into Moraine, Ohio Diesel Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/gm-isuzu-put-another-60-million-into-moraine-ohio-diesel-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/gm-isuzu-put-another-60-million-into-moraine-ohio-diesel-plant/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=734673 General Motors and Isuzu announced that they will be investing $60 million in their joint venture DMAX Ltd., which makes diesel engines for heavy duty trucks. Reuters reports that thw investment in technologies at the Moraine, Ohio plant will make design changes to meet future emission regulations easier. GM says that 500 jobs will be retained […]

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1M6600-02

General Motors and Isuzu announced that they will be investing $60 million in their joint venture DMAX Ltd., which makes diesel engines for heavy duty trucks. Reuters reports that thw investment in technologies at the Moraine, Ohio plant will make design changes to meet future emission regulations easier. GM says that 500 jobs will be retained due to the expenditure. DMAX has produced almost 1.6 million diesel engines since it started operations in 2000. Isuzu owns 40% of DMAX and GM owns the remaining 60% controlling interest.

The investment brings the total amount the two companies have put into the plant to $760 million. The Moraine facility currently builds the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel engine used in the heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks as well as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size commercial vans.

GM has announced that starting in the 2016 model year, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups will offer the 2nd generation Duramax four cylinder diesel in a 2.8 liter turbocharged version and the company is considering offering a diesel option on the the regular duty versions of the Silverado and Sierra. It’s not clear if either of those engines will be assembled in Moraine. A 2.5 liter version of GMs new diesel is currently assembled in Thailand.

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Piston Slap: Such a Trooper! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/piston-slap-such-a-trooper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/piston-slap-such-a-trooper/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:21:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=501157 Keith writes: Sajeev, I am facing a problem with little real consequence, just more looking for advice.  We have a third vehicle, one that isn’t really used much and was purchased for $1400 a couple years ago to serve as a backup when/if one of our primary vehicles was out of service (A 2005 Pahtfinder […]

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Keith writes:

Sajeev,

I am facing a problem with little real consequence, just more looking for advice.  We have a third vehicle, one that isn’t really used much and was purchased for $1400 a couple years ago to serve as a backup when/if one of our primary vehicles was out of service (A 2005 Pahtfinder with 130k miles and a 1998 Rodeo 4×4 with 235k miles).  It’s a 1999 Isuzu Trooper 4×4 with about 190k miles on the clock.  Other than burning oil there really wasn’t anything wrong with it.  Everything worked and to be honest my wife liked driving it much more than her everyday car. 

That being said, after changing some dry rotted belts and hoses I decided to take a look at the timing belt to make sure it looked ok.  After pulling off the cover it was badly deteriorated.  I employed my father in law to try to change the timing belt.  Long story short, we were off on the timing and think the heads are now ruined.

I am considering replacing the heads (about $350 a piece online) but I have also seen longblocks on ebay for $1200 to $1400 as well with less miles than mine.  What is the better way to go with this?  A junk yard engine or just put some remanfuactured heads on the existing?

I know the heads are the easier fix, and this vehicle really isn’t anything we depend on, but it is nice having a third car.  I also am weary of buying a junkyard motor as there’s no telling how long it’s been sitting.  There is always the option of getting another craigslist car but I spent a lot of time finding a decent one and I don’t feel like scouring the dregs of Houston craigslist to find another decent deal.  If I replace the heads I may consider doing an in-car rebuild to replace the piston rings as well.  It’s basically just a weekend project car right now and my kids can learn a little while I work on it.

Sajeev answers:

I wonder what people outside of Houston think about a three car truck household. Such is the joy of living in the flyover states, in a gigantic cow town more diverse than New York City.  A land where all people enjoy the Body-on-Frame lifestyle!

Or not…but I digress.

I think you are on the right track, replacing the heads is the cheapest fix.  There’s (probably) nothing wrong with the short block after a timing belt fiasco: take a borescope (make sure it fits thru a spark plug hole, some cheaper models will not) and check the piston for cracks/holes.  I suspect the valves are messed up and nothing more.

Once the replacement heads are in your garage, get a complete gasket set too. This is ensures everything is freshened from the head gaskets all the way up to the fuel injectors and throttle body! Why not make the motor 100% sorted if you’re going to all this trouble?

You seem to like this rig;  it is a Trooper, after all. Go ahead and do it right this time.

 

As I mentioned on Monday, I am running low on reader-submitted questions. So start thinking of something fun and clever about your car, send it over…keeping in mind the information in the next paragraph.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1986-isuzu-i-mark-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1986-isuzu-i-mark-hatchback/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474845 In the late 1980s, if you didn’t want to buy your Isuzu Gemini as a Geo/Chevrolet Spectrum, you could get it as a genuine Isuzu. I-Marks are (and were) very rare, though we have seen an ’87 in this series), and so this one with gigantic ISUZU badging has some historical interest for the true […]

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In the late 1980s, if you didn’t want to buy your Isuzu Gemini as a Geo/Chevrolet Spectrum, you could get it as a genuine Isuzu. I-Marks are (and were) very rare, though we have seen an ’87 in this series), and so this one with gigantic ISUZU badging has some historical interest for the true connoisseur of cheapo 80s hatchbacks.

The only I-Mark I’ve ever driven was the needs-some-TLC ’81 diesel in the clip above, and it was a fine car. However, that was the earlier Chevette-sibling rear-wheel-drive version. Today’s I-Mark Junkyard Find is the front-wheel-drive sibling of the Holden Gemini (among many others).
That’s the 70-horse 1.5 liter 4XC1 engine right there, close cousin to the engine in the early-90s Lotus Elan.
It was cheaper than the Civic, Corolla, and Sentra, and… it was cheaper.
This one almost made it to 100,000 miles during its 27 years on the planet.
It probably still ran when towed away, but expired tags spelled its doom.
When a car owner knows that the junkyard is the likely next stop, the Cotton Candy Little Tree usually gets replaced by a New Car Scent tree. That’s the law.
You want luxury? An I-Mark with factory sunroof in 1986— that’s luxury!

02 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 29 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 30 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 31 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 32 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 33 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 34 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 35 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 36 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 37 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 38 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 39 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 40 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 41 - 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Isuzu P’up http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1984-isuzu-pup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1984-isuzu-pup/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469021 All right, we saw one of the rarest examples of Detroito-Japanese badge-engineering of the 1980s in Sunday’s Junkyard Find— a Chrysler/Mitsubishi truck— and today we’re going to look at GM/Isuzu truck that’s a bit less uncommon (but still not something you see every day): a Chevy LUV wearing its original Isuzu badging. Chevrolet stopped selling […]

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All right, we saw one of the rarest examples of Detroito-Japanese badge-engineering of the 1980s in Sunday’s Junkyard Find— a Chrysler/Mitsubishi truck— and today we’re going to look at GM/Isuzu truck that’s a bit less uncommon (but still not something you see every day): a Chevy LUV wearing its original Isuzu badging.
Chevrolet stopped selling the LUV in the early 1980s, but you could still get the second-gen Isuzu Faster in North America for the 1983-88 model years, now badged with an equally cute name: P’up!
I drove a Diesel P’up when I had a job delivering tropical fish in the early 1990s, and the thing— which had about 400,000 miles on the clock— was miserably slow but got absurdly stingy fuel economy. This P’up burned gasoline and didn’t even make it to 150,000 miles.

The P’up was cheap, and it had Joe Isuzu as pitchman.

15 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1984 Isuzu P'up Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Isuzu I-Mark http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-isuzu-i-mark/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-isuzu-i-mark/#comments Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=461840 North Americans bought the post-Chevette Isuzu Gemini under several marques. There was the Spectrum, sold as a Chevrolet, a Geo, and a confusing Chevrolet/Geo. In Canada, you could get a Gemini badged as a Pontiac Sunburst. And, of course, there was the Isuzu I-Mark, a destined-for-China’s-steel-industry example of which I’ve found in a San Francisco […]

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North Americans bought the post-Chevette Isuzu Gemini under several marques. There was the Spectrum, sold as a Chevrolet, a Geo, and a confusing Chevrolet/Geo. In Canada, you could get a Gemini badged as a Pontiac Sunburst. And, of course, there was the Isuzu I-Mark, a destined-for-China’s-steel-industry example of which I’ve found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
These things were cheaper than a Corolla, had front-wheel-drive, and… they were cheaper than a Corolla.
The 1.5 liter four delivered 90 horsepower, which wasn’t so bad in 1987, and the I-Mark proved more reliable than, uh, the Hyundai Excel?
All in all, a forgotten commuter appliance that now serves as a reminder of The General’s musical-marques efforts of the 1980s and 1990s.


Who can forget the “Joe Isuzu” ads of the 1980s? Let’s watch a few for the I-Mark.

11 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Geo Spectrum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1989-geo-spectrum/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1989-geo-spectrum/#comments Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=460978 The Mitsubishi Sigma I found a couple weeks ago was one rare Junkyard Find, having been sold in the United States for just two model years. Today, though, we’ve got something even more obscure: an Isuzu Gemini badged with both Chevrolet and Geo emblems, available for just one year. The General never seemed quite sure […]

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The Mitsubishi Sigma I found a couple weeks ago was one rare Junkyard Find, having been sold in the United States for just two model years. Today, though, we’ve got something even more obscure: an Isuzu Gemini badged with both Chevrolet and Geo emblems, available for just one year.
The General never seemed quite sure what to do with the Geo brand; the Chevrolet-ized Isuzu Gemini aka I-Mark was available for a few years, but then became a Geo in 1989.
But wait! What’s that Chevy bowtie doing on the grille? I’m sure it all made sense after a 21-hour marketing meeting in an airless Motor City conference room.
These things were reasonably competent commuters, but didn’t exactly fly off the showroom floors.

It’s too bad Geo didn’t use this Japanese-market Gemini ad to sell the Spectrum.

12 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 01 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 02 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 03 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 04 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 05 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 06 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 07 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 08 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 09 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 10 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard 11 - 1989 Geo Spectrum Down On The Junkyard

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Even Isuzu Wants Out Of Opel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/even-isuzu-wants-out-of-opel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/even-isuzu-wants-out-of-opel/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 17:05:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=455640 Opel, the sick man of Europe, just can’t catch a break. Even Isuzu wants out of its current arrangements with the ailing German automaker. Just-Auto and the Nikkei are reporting that Isuzu will halt engine building activities for Opel (including the Meriva, above), and will end a joint-venture with General Motors. It was unclear how Isuzu […]

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Opel, the sick man of Europe, just can’t catch a break. Even Isuzu wants out of its current arrangements with the ailing German automaker.

Just-Auto and the Nikkei are reporting that Isuzu will halt engine building activities for Opel (including the Meriva, above), and will end a joint-venture with General Motors. It was unclear how Isuzu would get rid of its 40 percent stake in the Poland-based diesel engine operation. Isuzu denied that it would pull out of the venture, or cut its workforce in Europe.

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Say “As-Salamu Alaykum” To Yusuf al-Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/say-as-salamu-alaykum-to-yusuf-al-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/say-as-salamu-alaykum-to-yusuf-al-isuzu/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 17:34:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453597 Isuzu is joining the “let’s flee Japan and the rising yen” bandwagon, and their latest venture involves assembling export-bound trucks in Saudi Arabia. Just-Auto outlines Isuzu’s strategy, which has nothing to do with the VehiCross Isuzu can minimize the effects of the strong yen and better compete for what is expected to be a growing […]

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Isuzu is joining the “let’s flee Japan and the rising yen” bandwagon, and their latest venture involves assembling export-bound trucks in Saudi Arabia.

Just-Auto outlines Isuzu’s strategy, which has nothing to do with the VehiCross

Isuzu can minimize the effects of the strong yen and better compete for what is expected to be a growing market for commercial trucks as Gulf nations step up infrastructure investment.

Small and large commercial trucks will eventually be added in, with production reaching a total capacity of 25,000 units. As much as Isuzu is made out to be the butt of jokes in North America, their Middle East distributor network looks fairly robust – or at least more robust than the Lebanese parliamentary democracy.

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Number One In Pickup Sales Per Capita? It’s Not Who You Think http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/number-1-in-pickup-sales-per-capita-its-not-who-you-think/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/number-1-in-pickup-sales-per-capita-its-not-who-you-think/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:03:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=451587 Well America may be the overall volume leader for pickup truck sales, the per-capita title belongs to Thailand, and they prefer a different flavor of truck as well. Research for the Chrysler unibody truck story led to a Ward’s Auto report discussing the Thai pickup market. Buyers in the Asian country prefer double-cab midsize pickups, […]

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Well America may be the overall volume leader for pickup truck sales, the per-capita title belongs to Thailand, and they prefer a different flavor of truck as well.

Research for the Chrysler unibody truck story led to a Ward’s Auto report discussing the Thai pickup market. Buyers in the Asian country prefer double-cab midsize pickups, since they offer a good mix of both passenger and cargo space for families that must make do with one vehicle that must be versatile.

Chevrolet’s Colorado was developed in Thailand, and is built domestically, while Ford, Mazda, Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota all have their own truck nameplates. Patima Jeerapaet, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute, told Ward’s that double cab pickups alone account for 37 percent of Thai vehicle production.

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Geo Storm EV Mule, The Chevrolet Volt’s Baby Daddy? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/geo-storm-ev-mule-the-chevrolet-volts-baby-daddy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/geo-storm-ev-mule-the-chevrolet-volts-baby-daddy/#comments Thu, 31 May 2012 15:23:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=447010 While on the Infiniti JX launch event, I met a gentleman who now works with Nissan. He had a number of interesting stories about his tenure at GM, and what it was like to work on the EV1 program, as well as the technology that he swears was the forerunner to the Chevrolet Volt. According […]

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While on the Infiniti JX launch event, I met a gentleman who now works with Nissan. He had a number of interesting stories about his tenure at GM, and what it was like to work on the EV1 program, as well as the technology that he swears was the forerunner to the Chevrolet Volt.

According to him, GM engineers in 1991 needed a way to keep the batteries in their GM Storm EV mules charged. A crude range extender was fashioned out of a Honda generator, which would kick in when the batteries dropped below a certain point.

The Storm mules were gutted and filled with batteries and a generator and driven around during development. He swears that, with the number of EV1 and Impact (the original GM EV) people left kicking around for the Volt’s development, the range extender idea must have lived on in someone’s mind for a very long time, until it came time to put it in operation.

I begged him to grant me an interview, or at least let me quote him, but he wouldn’t indulge me. I was left wondering about the early days of the program, until I stumbled upon this article in the January 1992 edition of Motor Trend. The big difference here is that GM has ditched the range extender and worked out a proper 220V charging system (apparently that was an obstacle in the early days).  Note that the EV1 charging paddle is absent here, and it seems to use a very-1990s flashing LED charge port, similar to the L.A. Gear running shoes that were found to have mercury in them.

Since there seems to be a fair amount of Storm love on TTAC these days, it’s worth recognizing the irony of a largely forgotten car paving the way for perhaps the biggest automotive lightning rod since the Edsel.

You can see the full-size scan in the gallery below

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Because No Toy Car Collection Is Complete Without a Geo Storm GSi! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/because-no-toy-car-collection-is-complete-without-a-geo-storm-gsi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/because-no-toy-car-collection-is-complete-without-a-geo-storm-gsi/#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=444765 Giving gifts to 24 Hours of LeMons judges in order to ensure smooth turning of the gears of justice has been a tradition for several many years now. While jugs of quality booze remain the most common judicial bribe, keeping my liver at least semi-functional mandates that most of that stuff get passed on to […]

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Giving gifts to 24 Hours of LeMons judges in order to ensure smooth turning of the gears of justice has been a tradition for several many years now. While jugs of quality booze remain the most common judicial bribe, keeping my liver at least semi-functional mandates that most of that stuff get passed on to track workers. Not so with bribes involving weird toy cars, however; I’ve got quite a collection of such gifts on my office bookshelves now. While I prize my Leyland P76, Nissan Prairie, and Impala Hell Project diorama, the car that now sits in the place of honor on my desk is one that I received from a Denver racer who couldn’t wait for the B.F.E. GP next month and came by Chez Murilee with this lovely Detroito-Tokyo icon of the early 1990s.
Yes, the Geo Storm GSi, a fine example of which I spotted in a Denver self-serve junkyard not long ago. Remember this badge-engineered Isuzu? Quicker than a Civic Si, and (after all the rebates) cheaper as well. Apparently, GM had AMT make up a bunch of plastic promo models of the GSi back in the day… and now I’ve got one, thanks to Cadillac Bob of twin-supercharged AMC Marlin race car fame. Thanks, Bob!
Which isn’t to say that I’m not overjoyed by all the diecast Soviet cars I’ve been receiving from generous racers who understand my obsession with Warsaw Pact drivers. Inspired by this piece about an UAZ-452 I spotted in Vietnam, two racers gave me 1:43-scale Bukhankas at the Michigan race last month.

Toy Geo Storm GSi - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 2- Toy Geo Storm GSi - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Diecast UAZ-452 - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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GM And Isuzu Want To Rekindle Old Tie-Up http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gm-and-isuzu-want-to-rekindle-old-tie-up/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/gm-and-isuzu-want-to-rekindle-old-tie-up/#comments Sun, 29 Apr 2012 21:39:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442077 Here some background on the GM/Isuzu tie-up. Japanese wire services such as The Nikkei [sub] and Jiji report that GM approached  Isuzu and “informally proposed acquiring a stake” in the Japanese truck maker. The source is an unnamed executive of Isuzu. According to The Nikkei [sub], GM and Isuzu will start negotiations in early May […]

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Here some background on the GM/Isuzu tie-up. Japanese wire services such as The Nikkei [sub] and Jiji report that GM approached  Isuzu and “informally proposed acquiring a stake” in the Japanese truck maker. The source is an unnamed executive of Isuzu.

According to The Nikkei [sub], GM and Isuzu will start negotiations in early May for a roughly 10 percent share. If the negotiations are successful, Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi and GM CEO Dan Akerson could meet this summer to sign the agreement.

Holding a 9.2 percent share, Japanese trading house Mitsubishi is the largest shareholder of Isuzu. If the talks are successful, that title will pass to GM.

Isuzu and GM go a long way back. In 1971, General Motors purchased a 34.2 percent share of Isuzu. Isuzu’s KB pickup truck was sold through GM dealerships in the United States beginning in 1972. More light trucks were added.  Isuzu also produced the luckless  Chevrolet LUV  from 1972  through 1982.

In 1974, Isuzu built the Opel Kadett under the Isuzu nameplate as the Bellett Gemini. In 1976 GM imported the Gemini into the United States as the Buick Opel. Few knew that the German car, sold through GM dealerships, was actually manufactured in Japan.

In 1999, GM had 49 percent of the company, effectively gaining control of the company. One of GM’s strategic planners, Donald T. Sullivan, was installed as executive vice-president of operations. No Japanese manufacturer had ever involved a non-Japanese speaking manager in such a high position before.

Shortly thereafter, the romance began to sour. In 2002, Isuzu started to buy back its shares from an increasingly cash-strapped GM, reducing GM’s 49 percent share to 12 percent.

Then, things get a little murky. The official history timelines are mum in regards to GM’s final disengagement. “Due to financial difficulties, the United States’ GM sold its 7.9 percent stake in Isuzu in 2006,” says the Yomiuri Shimbun. Shortly thereafter, Toyota bought a 5.9 percent share in Isuzu.

Isuzu will have to evaluate GM’s advances carefully, because a lot is at risk, and there is more than one knot that needs to be untied. “A reforging of ties between the two could trigger a response from Toyota,” says the Nikkei. Translation: Toyota will most likely dump the stock. Isuzu will also end capital tie-up talks with Volkswagen . According to Japanese media, Isuzu still hopes to supply pickup trucks to Volkswagen in Thailand, where they will be sold as VWs.

Judging from the high-level leaks to sympathetic Japanese business wires, some executives at Isuzu might not be too excited about the rekindling of the romance. As part of its default, GM has stiffed Isuzu with bills of $1.7 billion, some people say. As it turns out, the on-line sources confused  1.7 billion dollars with 1.65 billion Japanese yen ($20 million.)

 

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