"I bought this truck new off the dealer's lot.
The 4 cylinder engine was very reliable and easy on gas. Coupled with the 5 speed manual, it ran within the 26 to 30 mpg range. 1989 was the first model year for the dual ignition system with two plugs per cylinder, so you really had to watch some of the tune up places to make certain that they didn't skip the back four plugs on you--demand that they show you all eight old plugs to ensure that they do the job properly. The truck had a strange starting problem the first month I owned it, but the dealer found out a couple of others had the same problem and found a TSB with a fix that worked. Other than that, it never had a single repair--just ordinary items like oil changes, scheduled belt replacements, headlights, and tires. Good enough for hills and such without any bogging, even loaded, but a strong side wind could really slow it down some times.
Handled well, empty or loaded. However, in winter, 200 pounds of sand tubes were a very necessary accessory in the bed over the rear axle if you wanted to get anywhere in ice and snow. Still ran strong at 137,000 miles, but a winter accident with seven other vehicles and a concrete bridge railing led to the insurance company totaling it. The engine was still fine and running, but the body and frame were toast, and I walked away without a scratch.
Good truck which I recommend heartily. Parents bought a new 1991 XLT longbed after being impressed with my 1989, and their 1991 is still running strong with 430,000 miles on the odometer."
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