Need advice - To Fix or cut my losses? 88 Isuzu Impulse w blown Tranny and major drama

So like many bad Oppo decisions, this started in Craigslist a month ago. In a town 200 miles away, I found a 1988 Impulse 5MT non Turbo in running condition, 177K miles, clean title, straight body. And like a dumbass, I paid $2000 for it.

It drove ‘tolerable’ for about 100 miles, and then the Tranny immolated itself after all the fluid leaked out. All the gears were blown to bits I learned much later. At least it had the grace of not leaving me in the middle of nowhere, it blew up in the middle of a town 90 miles away from me.

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Cost $100 for a tow to a local place

Then I left the car at a local mechanic, bought $350 in ebay parts to rebuild the tranny and also other things. But tranny couldn’t be rebuilt. All gears were broken.

So, I find a used manual tranny online, all inclusive with shipping I paid $475. It is installed but doesn’t work either (only 4th and 5th gears work) The main mechanic recommends to rebuild with a local guy.

The Tranny rebuilding guy in town wants the precious sum of $1400 for a rebuild (wut!) to remove current tranny from car and try to build one from two and all the other parts I bought and re-install and pray. This seems insane to me.

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So, now, should I spend $400 in towing the car home to me and plan the next move? (likely a fire sale, dont have tools for such a job) or should I try to buy another tranny around $500 and add another $375 in labor for try # 2? I feel a rebuild is too expensive.

I already have put $2000 in. I doubt I will get $2000 back if placed running on ebay or anywhere. I dont have space to keep it long.

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Thoughts? Does anyone around the bay area have a car trailer I can borrow?

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