Found a Clean 1989 Mazda B2200 for $250… What to do with it?


I found this little Mazda on Facebook. Its been living on a farm, working way to hard. He gave up his heart to that farm. I believe he has always really wanted to be a Minitruck.

Got the little Mazda home after a stop at the car wash.

Well… I thought it would be best to really inspect his heart and decided if it could be saved. Turns out that was a waste of time for this little guy. He worked so hard he lost the number 3 piston. Wasn’t anything left of it. The connecting rod was found behind the exhaust manifold outside the engine block.

connecting rod

Strangely this little guy wan’t ready to retire. This one actually ran. Had a terrible shudder that you might call a miss but if you do,  it would have been the most intense miss I have ever seen.  Happens when they are out of balance.

My plan is to get a V8 in him and get him a lot closer to the ground. At first, I had a hard time deciding what engine to go with. I thought about a 4.3 V6, 4.8 Ford V8, GM 5.0 and Gm 5.7. After researching what would fit… “research” yea right, not on a B2200. It seems these were gone before the internet came about. Because of the lack of information out there, I decided to go with what I know. Small Block Chevy.

I originally bought a 350 but when I got it apart the block was full of water.

just a little rust

Decided that engine wasn’t any good. I gave it back to my friend and got a 327 for him. Personally I am not a fan of the 327. Never have been. The price was ok and it was in town and I wanted to get this truck going.

Whats it take to bolt a Small Block Chevy into a Mazda B2200?

Well actually.. it isn’t that hard. Cut out all the Mazda stuff and install Chevy stuff.

SBC Motor Mount

For a radiator, I went with one from a 1973 Nova. Why? Cause I have a 1973 Nova in pieces and it just happened to fit perfectly.

1973 Nova Radiator

I don’t have any good pictures of the transmission mount. It was so easy is wasn’t worth taking pictures of. I took out the factory Mazda one and drilled the bolt holes out so they are now oval shaped. About a 1/4 inch on each one. This allowed a stock TH350 transmission mount to be used. Thats it… everything fell into place perfectly. I then used that crossmember to place the engine. I had to beat the trans tunnel a little, nothing a big hammer couldn’t handle.

At his point I have a blocked picked out. I have the radiator mounted, the tranny in and the motor mounts in place. I think thats enough for this post. Stay tuned for the next post.

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Gordon French

Gordon French was born in Wyoming in 1978. He is married to Tiffany French. He has two children Halie and Zac. His first passion of course family with cars coming in a very close second.