Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chandler, AZ
suitcasejefferson is offline
Re: How Reliable are the S10s, Convincing Parents
I think a lot of the reason the 2.5 is so reliable is because it is a simple, old tech engine. I am not into new technology when it comes to vehicles, which is why I am removing all the FI and electronics off my '93 4.3.
I am into vintage cars and trucks, I own a '64 Ford (yes, Ford) Fairlane which is now 48 years old, with probably close to a million miles on it, and the original 200 c.i. straight 6 has never been apart. It is getting a little worn, and is burning a little oil, but I expect it to outlast me. I did have to rebuild the 2 speed automatic transmission a few years ago, because the seals dried out in it, and would not hold pressure, and it wouldn't shift. But when that first started, a cup of lacquer thinner in the trans fluid softened up the seals and got another 8 months out of it.
The first generation body/frame/ suspension/steering/brakes are as good as it gets. The body is built like a tank. Most of the engines are also bulletproof, and most of the problems you will run into with an engine in good mechanical shape are going to be electronic. Electronics are by far the weakest link on any newer car/truck.
I am not familiar with the 2.2, the 2.5 and 4.3 will last forever (though anything can be destroyed IF you try hard enough), the 2.8 is a decent engine with good power for it's size, it's good in traffic, and will keep up on the freeway, but it has some design flaws. First one is the timing cover. They sandwiched it in between the block and water pump, and put coolant passages in it. It is aluminum, and if it corrodes through, you will get coolant in the oil. Replacing the water pump, no matter how careful you are, CAN also damage the seal between the timing cover and block, creating a leak. A number of Mopar engines back in the '60s/'70s had the same design, and were well known for broken timing chains and stripped teeth on cam sprockets. Another problem is the water jackets are very thin, and the stock core plugs seem to corrode through and leak fairly early in the engines life.