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 Post subject: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:00 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
Hi, I'm new to this site, but not to classic cars. But here's one I can't place. I have a 1991 Isuzu Impulse RS . My wife is pressing me to dump it!

Known facts about car:

-Only made one year; 1991. Leftovers were sold in 1992 as well.

-Less than 800 left-hand quad-headlight US models were ever produced. Because of the valve shim adjustment requirement, and the performance, most were, abused and trashed. Very few remain. Even fewer are original. I believe Jay Leno may have owned one.

-AWD, intercooled, KYB/Lotus Suspension, 4 wheel discs, ABS, 16V DOHC 1.6L 7750rpm, dual intake runners with VSV's, water & oil cooled IHI turbo, engine oil cooler, factory seats look exactly like Recaros, NACA style hood duct, factory rear LSD with 4:10 final drive, factory forged & nitrided crank and rods w/supplemental under-piston skirt squirters, under 1.8 second 60-ft times stock.

-This car is disassembled, all original, with factory window sticker, is 100% parts complete, and has glovebox and factory technician's manuals. Needs restored and assembled.

-This was the highest performing Isuzu in history, and it's downfall coincided with GM/Isuzu's Japanese vs. American CEO clash.

-Any lead in the right direction is appreciated guys as I face getting rid of it. Is this a piece of Japanese automotive history, or garbage?

Thanks, Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:59 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Arizona
this is a head scratcher...
it sounds like it is a true engineer built vehicle but they hired the wrong people to design the body...
MOST of the time if a real classic car is highly sought after or valued it has to be sexy as well.
the rarity of the car makes it pretty sweet, but i bet parts are incredibly difficult to find.
If you have storage or garage space for it, i would sit on it for a few more years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:56 am 
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It's not garbage. You obviously care about it. Your wife probably views cars as appliances and would want you to get rid of it even if it was in mint condition. Keep it. :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:08 am 
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jetmechanic2004 wrote:
-This car is disassembled, all original, with factory window sticker, is 100% parts complete, and has glovebox and factory technician's manuals. Needs restored and assembled.


Why was it disassembled?

Quote:
Is this a piece of Japanese automotive history, or garbage?


Together and running/driving? It's probably something really special.

Disassembled and needing restoration? It's probably junk. :|


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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:47 am
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datsunfreak wrote:
Together and running/driving? It's probably something really special.

Disassembled and needing restoration? It's probably junk. :|


:tu: :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:31 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
Posts: 393
Location: Midwest, USA
jetmechanic2004 wrote:
Known facts about car:

-Only made one year; 1991. Leftovers were sold in 1992 as well.

Not accurate. Manufacturing began in June of 1990 and continued past January of 1993. Your misconception is based on the car only being offered as a 1991 model year car.
Quote:
-Less than 800 left-hand quad-headlight US models were ever produced.

4,500-5,000 Impulse RS AWD Turbo cars sold in North America. Misconception based on rice boy editing of Wikipedia.
Quote:
Because of the valve shim adjustment requirement, and the performance, most were, abused and trashed. Very few remain. Even fewer are original.

Valve adjustment increment is 80,000 miles and no damage will be done to the valvetrain if driven past 200,000 miles without adjustment, though a loss of engine power will be quite noticeable. Thermometer failure at 120,000+ miles is the primary cause of engine failure in these vehicles (and their non-turbo counterparts). These vehicles require regular maintenance and the demographic of buyers/owners do not do maintenance. They put in gas and drive until something falls off, which is usually after major damage has occurred. Most of these cars come in one of two forms: blown engine or wrapped around a tree.
Quote:
I believe Jay Leno may have owned one.

Someone posted their Impulse in the "Reader's Rides" portion of the Jay Leno's Garage website. Jay did not ever own one.
Quote:
-AWD, intercooled, KYB/Lotus Suspension,

Lotus Suspension provides close to neutral handling, much more so than the moderate to severe understeer of the other suspensions offered, but excessive body roll, resulting in higher lap times than the other sport model suspension options for this chassis.
Quote:
4 wheel discs, ABS, 16V DOHC 1.6L 7750rpm, dual intake runners with VSV's, water & oil cooled IHI turbo, engine oil cooler,

Engine oil cooler was added as a band aid because the radiator is too small.
Quote:
factory seats look exactly like Recaros,

Seats are likely licensed by Recaro, genuine Recaro LSB and SR seats available in other trim levels outside the US.
Quote:
NACA style hood duct, factory rear LSD with 4:10 final drive,

Factory front and rear viscous coupling differentials and gear type center differential. Unfortunately, the viscous coupling units leak and require replacement every two or so years or they effectively become open differentials.
Quote:
factory forged & nitrided crank and rods w/supplemental under-piston skirt squirters, under 1.8 second 60-ft times stock.

Replacement pistons and rods have been discontinued.
Probably also worth noting that rear bearings have been discontinued, and in most cases should have been changed every four years. By this time, there may be more cars parked for lack of rear wheel bearings than warped heads due to failed thermostats.
Rust prone areas: left, right and rear floor pan seams, rear wheel arches, left, right and rear along the base of the trunk walls. No relacement panels available.
Quote:
-This car is disassembled, all original, with factory window sticker, is 100% parts complete, and has glovebox and factory technician's manuals. Needs restored and assembled.

-This was the highest performing Isuzu in history

No. Close but slower than the four door flagship model sold in Japan.


Collect ability will not be established for another 10+ years. Right now, plenty of these are being killed off by rice boys.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The previous Impulse was an Italian design, inside and out, matched the performance of the AE86 Corolla, but lacked a highly developed chassis or brute power to match the looks and handling. The second generation carries some of the Italian design over to a newly developed chassis built for handling and power efficiency that allows the car to perform as good or better than larger displacement and higher power competition. In the Best Car video magazine review, the Japanese four door flagship model was .11 second slower in lap time behind the Civic SiR, and beat the 180SX Type II, Famalia GT-X, and Mirage Cyborg Turbo. While the first generation was designed to be a rolling work of art, the second generation was designed for class beating performance. The Impreza and Lancer have been depending on performance rather than beauty for the last several generations. The second generation Impulse is quite the same, and certainly not as aesthetically challenged as the Integra Type R, fourth generation Civic, bug eye Impreza GD, or the 323/Protege BF and BG.

Marketability of your vehicle?
The minimum requirement for selling a car is that it be a working vehicle that moves under its own power. An unmolested (not screwed up with a bunch of rice boy garbage) car in decent 20 year old shape would be worth several thousand dollars. A fully assembled, unmolested, not running car might get up into that range if in rust free condition. A riced out car that has been run into the ground has a zero dollar value, because finding the original parts and fixing all the problems would cost $5,000-10,000.
A car with a blown engine that has been disassembled and half the parts lost is a parts car. This is the one described as "bring a trailer, the head is in the trunk".
A car that is described as "bring a trailer for the chassis and a commercial truck to carry the boxes and bushel baskets of parts", would be valued equal to the value of the larger decent condition used parts on top of the pile.

These are very impressive, well built, and dependable cars, if maintained correctly. They received poor media reviews in the US. The buyer demographic was people buying a transportation appliance to be discarded upon failure.
Current owner demographic is unemployed/underemployed rice boys with the mechanical sense and ability of an orangutan and the taste of an eastern European mobster. They are thankfully moving on to Kias when they blow up and junk their fifth or sixth Isuzu car. A couple more years and they may all be gone.
Those of us who are real fans of the vehicles already have several. We won't be affected by the number of cars the rice boys trash.
These cars are much less about investing to sell for a profit, and much more about finding a gem that no one else has ever seen, then going out on the track and pounding Loti and BMWs into dust.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
datsunfreak wrote:
jetmechanic2004 wrote:
-This car is disassembled, all original, with factory window sticker, is 100% parts complete, and has glovebox and factory technician's manuals. Needs restored and assembled.


Why was it disassembled?

Quote:
Is this a piece of Japanese automotive history, or garbage?


Together and running/driving? It's probably something really special.

Disassembled and needing restoration? It's probably junk. :|


That would be my fault. I was planning on restoring it several years ago. Now I'm not sure if it's worth it other than just the fact that I like the car....

I actually have another "parts" car just like it.......


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 Post subject: Answer to questions so far, and more of my own:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
I take the blame for dissasembly-. Intentions to rebuild it all never materialized.

And WOW. I came to the right place for expert opinion. Questions and comments to follow:

-LOL at "rice boy Wikipedia edit"; I could believe that! But where did you find the 4-4,500 count? I've only known of 3 (RS's) in Hawaii, 2 were imported by service members from the States, and one has been sold to HK for scrap iron. I have the other 2 :D

-U were right on with wheel bearings; I've simply been lucky there.
-U are spot on with radiator LOL. Even the intercooler was too small.
-Comment about the Irmschir as #1 was sharp. Didn't think of it, but makes sense. The hatchback was hatch-heavy and probably has a higher CG, less rigidity, and worse balance than the 4 door.....
-The other problem on these is the CAS. Bought two of em....

You're comments are SO appreciated. Your role(s) are been therapists as well as educators. I love my car, and putting it down is like saying goodbye to an old friend.

Next question: WHO WANTS THIS CAR? If someone loves it enough to actually ship it, then they deserve it for FREE. I've got brand news parts for a OEM re-build, even new tires! I just can't stand to see it die....


:wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:25 pm 
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jetmechanic2004 wrote:
That would be my fault. I was planning on restoring it several years ago. Now I'm not sure if it's worth it other than just the fact that I like the car....


Don't feel too bad. You're not the first to make this mistake, and you surely won't be the last. :P

The number of people out there in this world that have the constitution and drive to finish a ground-up restoration on an old Japanese car is a shockingly low number. At best, maybe 1/3 of the number of folks who actually attempt it. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
datsunfreak wrote:
jetmechanic2004 wrote:
That would be my fault. I was planning on restoring it several years ago. Now I'm not sure if it's worth it other than just the fact that I like the car....


Don't feel too bad. You're not the first to make this mistake, and you surely won't be the last. :P

The number of people out there in this world that have the constitution and drive to finish a ground-up restoration on an old Japanese car is a shockingly low number. At best, maybe 1/3 of the number of folks who actually attempt it. :wink:


Thank you Mr. Rogue Moderator! Full time work, full time college, kids, and part time reserve duty is just too much, and my Wife'll never let me plop $10k to hire someone to finish my car nicely. Instead I am forced to purchase a turn key car instead (Y2K T/A WS6). A future classic and powerhouse, the T/A isn't a bad buy. BUT it will NEVER invoke the wide-eyed response of those who have seen my "what is that man, a Suzuki???" Isuzu Impulse RS spanking yet another 5.0. Man I could put that car in a rice burner car show, and 95% of those kids weren't born in '91 and let alone knew Isuzu even made cars! Bummers....

Again, if anyone wants this car plus parts for FREE, please spread the word.... :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Rare collector's car, or trash???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:02 pm
Posts: 44
Location: denver
jetmechanic2004 wrote:
just the fact that I like the car....

That right there should be the reason to keep it, tell your wife to go pound sand. My ex gf pressured me to get rid of my 70 mustang fastback years ago when it needed some minor repairs, and I regret it ever since.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:12 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:51 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Dominica
Keep it and take your time with it. Hawaii is just too far away for me to have it.


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 Post subject: Likeness of mind, and understanding
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
I appreciate all you comments, likeness of mind, and understanding. What would be really great is if I could find someone willing to adopt it. As with a child, a good home counts too!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:10 am 
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Just call it a "bonding experience" with the kids! :mrgreen: But seriously if there's any way you can plug away at this and slowly get it rebuilt, go for it.

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 Post subject: This car has been adopted!!!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:39 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
I found the best man to take this rare car. I can sleep easy. This is a guy who works in my jet shop, and is converting a 97 Celica to a 4wd turbo using Japan parts. He loves this Isuzu Impulse RS, and recognizes it's true potential. He's already putting it back together and developing a solid build plan for the motor.

The world shall go one without the death of one more rare JNC, at least for now!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Glad to hear it found a home. :tu:

So what JNC will you buy to replace it? :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:02 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:57 am
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T/A is full of so much fail!! For shame!!

LOL... glad it found a home.

-Robert

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 Post subject: Re: This car has been adopted!!!!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:16 am 
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jetmechanic2004 wrote:
I found the best man to take this rare car. I can sleep easy. This is a guy who works in my jet shop, and is converting a 97 Celica to a 4wd turbo using Japan parts. He loves this Isuzu Impulse RS, and recognizes it's true potential. He's already putting it back together and developing a solid build plan for the motor.

The world shall go one without the death of one more rare JNC, at least for now!


a little late, but moved to the proper section :wink:

spotted a preserved and mostly intact rs in the boneyard last week
i don't know about the drivetrain, but the exterior just needed some sprucing up to look minty


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
datsunfreak wrote:
Glad to hear it found a home. :tu:

So what JNC will you buy to replace it? :P


LoL the "JNC" to replace it will be a Pontiac T/A WS6. I'm a softy for American Muscle too *burns rubber*

The guy who's adopting the Impulse RS is also giving me a running 91 Supra....not quite A JNC yet, but cool A-B transportation! :D


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 Post subject: Re: This car has been adopted!!!!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:29 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hawaii
matt wrote:
jetmechanic2004 wrote:
I found the best man to take this rare car. I can sleep easy. This is a guy who works in my jet shop, and is converting a 97 Celica to a 4wd turbo using Japan parts. He loves this Isuzu Impulse RS, and recognizes it's true potential. He's already putting it back together and developing a solid build plan for the motor.

The world shall go one without the death of one more rare JNC, at least for now!


a little late, but moved to the proper section :wink:

spotted a preserved and mostly intact rs in the boneyard last week
i don't know about the drivetrain, but the exterior just needed some sprucing up to look minty


Get it! The guy will have spare parts from my donor RS when he's done with the main entree RS LoL


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