Any Hiace 4x4 Van owners out there?

b. rock

Active member
The market seems pretty rife with them at the moment...surely there's a forum of users somewhere, or if not - there will be.

I had thought long and hard about one of those but went a different route. Congrats and enjoy! 4x4 turbo diesel van checks a lot of boxes.
 

Andywear

Post
I am looking into buying one myself, did a quick google search for Hiace forums and was pretty lame.
I was wanting to do more research before purchase. Well, you may be my best research tool, lol.
whats your first impressions?
 

nocorider

New member
First impressions are good. Fun vehicle to drive and that 3.0 turbo diesel has more more power than that van needs around town. It’s geared really low so I don’t see it passing cars on I 25 but so far so good.

Support is thin out there and that engine combo in the 1993 Hiace was only just or at least non English speaking countries so the owners manual situation is interesting. I have found an engine service manual from AU and I’m slowly starting to put the info together. It only has 85k miles and the timing belt has been replaced so maintenance should be minimal for a while.

Do we need a Hiace or JDM van tap on Expedition Portal?


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Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
First impressions are good. Fun vehicle to drive and that 3.0 turbo diesel has more more power than that van needs around town. It’s geared really low so I don’t see it passing cars on I 25 but so far so good.

Support is thin out there and that engine combo in the 1993 Hiace was only just or at least non English speaking countries so the owners manual situation is interesting. I have found an engine service manual from AU and I’m slowly starting to put the info together. It only has 85k miles and the timing belt has been replaced so maintenance should be minimal for a while.

Do we need a Hiace or JDM van tap on Expedition Portal?


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ha I was just responding. I think we should have one. Let me check what makes sense.
 

Andywear

Post
Yes please more info.
The research I have found is from Wiki and looks like lots of sub models. I think I have found my favorite Liteace and the Townace which are basically the same.
Who did you buys yours from?
I have only found them on the east coast from importers. and its hard to trust buying something from the web that far away, being in Oklahoma.
 

nocorider

New member
I purchased mine through Unusual Auto. He basically functions as a broker and I had mine shipped to Long Beach from Japan. I the had it shipped to Colorado. He provided all the import paperwork, EPA stuff, etc.

I'm in the process of licensing it now, which has beeen entertaining and requires a great deal of patience and acceptance of fees, forms and all thing government. It's moving along though.

If you decide to import one, feel free to hit me up with questions. I've learned a lot so far and I'm happy to share. I've had good and bad experiences with this process but the one thing to keep in mind is that if you go through a broker you are going to have to do quite a bit of work yourself. The other way to go is with one of the "dealers" that import them and title them. You will pay double but they are doing all the leg work and paperwork for you so that may be worth it. They also generally do a mechanical overview and sometimes timing belt, etc.

I wanted to learn the process so I went the cheap route. Ask me again in a month if that was a good decision.
 

Deshet

Adventurer
I have driven the 2wd version overseas and they drive very well.
Is this more of a AWD van.
Do you think it is more capable then the 4x4 Van toyota made in 1986
Are the axles similar in size to a Rav4 or more like a Tacoma
I assume the Syncro guys would have as much or more capability and fewer break downs in one of these
Most of these that I have seen were setup more for luxury.

When "you say you made an impulse buy" did the broker you used allow you to directly place bids in the Japanese auction or did they bid for you?

Buyer Beware of Japan Partner...They tried to keep my $2000 deposit when a vehicle went for much more than they estimated at auction. (4x4 Fuso) They kept suggesting that I buy a skyline or nissan 300z from inventory and refused my calls and emails when I wanted my deposit back. They required 20% to bid on my behalf, and I never agreed to buy something from them if the one bid did work out. I had to get PayPal involved to get my money back and it took almost 6 months. When doing business overseas you don't have all of the protections that we are accustom to.
 

Fugly

Adventurer
I have seen a couple of these HiAce vans as Poptop Campers
Also some 22 seat Coaster Bus that are Factory 4x4
Here in Oz
Have driven the 12 seat HiAce vans from one site to another on several occasions ( 5 hr drive each way ) and they go ok
 

nocorider

New member
Deshet,

It’s full time 4wd. Rear axle looks beefy and is a traditional solid axle on coil springs. Don’t know what the front end is but it’s an IFS setup. This is most definitely not a rue off road rock crawling rig, I mean, it’s a van. I can say that so far it rocks in the snow.

I don’t have any synchro experience but these seem of higher quality to me and more affordable. The VW thing isn’t my thing but for synchro folks I’m guessing there’s just no substitute. Everyone has their coolaid.

My purchase was made through a us broker in US dollars at a fixed price. No surprises.


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