Looking for advice

The place to discuss problems and routine maintenance questions and tips. This is for topics that are specifically diesel-related.
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M37
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Looking for advice

Post by M37 »

I searched the forum but here it is again, how is parts availability for the diesel engine? Has this become kind of a collector vehicle where parts are a needle in the haystack?
It seems most of you that have diesel have stockpiled parts, as a newbie it might not be possible this late in the game.

Did all the Isuzu diesel have timing belts and none with timing gears?

Are transmissions (5spd) common or unique to diesel trucks?

Thanks in advance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I am thinking about getting a compact diesel like Pup, LUV, Ranger or VW and doing research on parts and reliability.
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JoeIsuzu
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by JoeIsuzu »

I hope others will weigh in on this. Not everybody has had the same experiences when trying to find parts.
M37 wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 9:32 pm
Has this become kind of a collector vehicle where parts are a needle in the haystack?
It really depends on the parts. Some are still available from Isuzu, and some are available from aftermarket sources like AutoZone and RockAuto. Some parts are only available used (rear differential gears, rocker arms, pushrods, for example). Basic maintenance parts like oil filters, timing belts, hoses, clutches, seem to still be available. I think windshields are available, but side windows are reportedly hard to find or unavailable.
M37 wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 9:32 pm
Did all the Isuzu diesel have timing belts and none with timing gears?
All US Isuzu diesel engines that I'm aware of had belts. Timing gears were used in some other countries, as well as in some industrial applications.
M37 wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 9:32 pm
Are transmissions (5spd) common or unique to diesel trucks?
I'd say most 2wd models had 5-speeds, but probably not by a huge margin. As for 4wd trucks, the 5-speed didn't come along until 1986, so there seem to be quite a few 4-speed 4wds out there. The front case half ("bell housing") is unique to the diesels, but quite a few of us have "upgraded" to a later gas transmission by swapping out the bell housing.
I
M37 wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 9:32 pm
I am thinking about getting a compact diesel like Pup, LUV, Ranger or VW and doing research on parts and reliability.
I personally can't make any hands-on comparisons, since I got rid of my VW back in the 1980s and haven't had one since. I can tell you that the performance (particularly the power curve) of the VW is very different from the P'up.

Jack
M37
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by M37 »

" I can tell you that the performance (particularly the power curve) of the VW is very different from the P'up."

Could you please elaborate on this? I had a Jetta, it was decent on the road, but could barely climb a seep part of my driveway.
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JoeIsuzu
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by JoeIsuzu »

M37 wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 7:22 pm
" I can tell you that the performance (particularly the power curve) of the VW is very different from the P'up."

Could you please elaborate on this? I had a Jetta, it was decent on the road, but could barely climb a seep part of my driveway.
In my 1980 Rabbit, I had to turn the A/C off or slip the clutch for a few seconds on takeoffs in the summertime. It ran best above (probably) 3,000 RPM to its redline. The Isuzu C223 happily takes off from a stop, even in 2nd gear. But winding it much beyond 3,500 RPM is not rewarding--it seems to run out of breath.

I had a friend with an '84 VW, and it had better low-end torque than mine. But it was still happiest at high RPMs.

Jack
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spideypop
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by spideypop »

To add to the conversation:

NA diesel vw's of the 1980's vintage are getting harder and harder to come by. As a vw enthusiast, I personally would stay away from them. As the engines are very very long in the tooth and as the rings/cylinders wear, they will readily suck oil from the crankcase and cause a runaway condition with lots of black smoke, out of control throttle and inside parts ending up on the outside. I have lots of fun stories about that. I've owned many of these.

97 to early 99 Jetta's are the MK3 with the TDI (1Z/AHU) motor. I have a 98 with lots of "go fast" goodies and it is really fun to drive. With almost 300k on the clock I can still get 50+ mpg when I keep my foot out of the throttle. Although you can still find these, they are getting harder to come by in decent condition. Parts availability is still pretty good.

99 ½ to 2003 Jettas and golfs are the MK4 with the TDI (ALH) motor. I had a 2002 Jetta. Many consider the ALH motor to be the best of the TDI motors in the US market (personally I think the older AHU motor is just as reliable). It is relatively easy to work on, and very reliable. Stay away from the automatic transmissions in this generation. They did not hold up very well with the amount of torque these motors produce.

2003-2005 had the (PD) TDI motor. I don't know much about them.

2006 and newer I think all came with some form of common rail TDI motor. Again I don't know much about these either, other than there was some issue with the common rail system that caused lots of headaches.



I recently became the proud owner of a 1984 diesel pup. Parts availability was not too much of a negative for me. So far the only part I need that seems a little hard to find is the heater core...which I need, waiting for Jerry to get another shipment.

There seem to be a few enthusiasts on this site that can get hard to find parts, and the guys/gals here are very helpful, with good advice. So far it's been a fun little truck and super simple to work on.

Good luck with your quest.
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JoeIsuzu
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Thanks, spideypop. You have way more experience with VWs that I do. ;)

I'd add this: Based on what spideypop said, there are still some good VW options out there, if you need a sedan. But if you need a real truck (the VW "caddy" pickup isn't a real truck ;) ), the Isuzu is probably the best option around. From what I've read on the web, other small diesel trucks from the same era (Dodge/Mitsubishi, Mazda, Toyota, Datsun/Nissan) are more scarce and some were less dependable.

Jack
M37
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by M37 »

What ever I get, I want it to be electronic free, so I believe that limits the VW issue to the Caddy. I have a 98 Dodge cummins, so the mini truck is just to run around to get light weight stuff and save on the fuel budget.
I just wish the parts support was better. Considering the bad news about parts (and people asking $5000+ for Pups), I may limit my search to a low mileage (if that is even possible) VW Caddy, or a local reasonable priced Isuzu, mitz, or ranger. Actually starting to look for 4BT cummins repowered 1/2 ton trucks.
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spideypop
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by spideypop »

M37 wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 1:05 pm
What ever I get, I want it to be electronic free, so I believe that limits the VW issue to the Caddy. I have a 98 Dodge cummins, so the mini truck is just to run around to get light weight stuff and save on the fuel budget.
I just wish the parts support was better. Considering the bad news about parts (and people asking $5000+ for Pups), I may limit my search to a low mileage (if that is even possible) VW Caddy, or a local reasonable priced Isuzu, mitz, or ranger. Actually starting to look for 4BT cummins repowered 1/2 ton trucks.
If you have your mind set on the vw caddy and you find on that you think you want, pull the air box and filter out. If the filter is oil soaked or there is any oil in the housing, walk away. The motor has seen better days. The last year for the US caddy market was 1983. If you find something worth buying, you’ll pay dearly for it.
M37
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by M37 »

Thanks, will keep the air filter test in mind. The VW is last on the list but they seem to have the best parts availability. Would rather have a full frame, conventional orientated engine. I want to drive it and not worry about dwindling parts sources.
Isuzutrooper1989
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by Isuzutrooper1989 »

Hello All,
I recently joined the group, iam from the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and I own 1989 model LS trooper with 4jb1 engine fitted. Presently I am overhauling my engine in one of the garage. I bought 4ja1 liner with piston set as the latter one was not available in the store, so I was told the parts are compatible with 4jb1but after replacing the liner the liner was little bit shorter we checked the stroke of piston it was OK, is it ok if I go ahead with arrangement. Pl advise me.
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bellavesus
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by bellavesus »

Isuzutrooper1989 wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:41 pm
Hello All,
I recently joined the group, iam from the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and I own 1989 model LS trooper with 4jb1 engine fitted. Presently I am overhauling my engine in one of the garage. I bought 4ja1 liner with piston set as the latter one was not available in the store, so I was told the parts are compatible with 4jb1but after replacing the liner the liner was little bit shorter we checked the stroke of piston it was OK, is it ok if I go ahead with arrangement. Pl advise me.
Best to start your own thread so more people can address your question! That being said, there are not many 4jb1 motors here in the states, i would suggest you try the forum over in the UK as they have a bit more diesel experience:
http://www.itocuk.co.uk/forums/viewforu ... 53d847338a
Good luck!
86 Trooper, now with 4JB1TC!
89 Trooper, 2.223t swap
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JoeIsuzu
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Isuzutrooper1989 wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:41 pm
Hello All,
I recently joined the group, iam from the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and I own 1989 model LS trooper with 4jb1 engine fitted.
We're glad you're here, but please take a minute to post an intro in the "My P'up" section -- even if you don't actually have a P'up.

Jack
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