Any Hiace 4x4 Van owners out there?

Roverchef

Adventurer
Hi Rovercchef (and anyone else out there with direct importing experience)! Hitting you up on importing guidance for a Hiace from Japan. Would prefer shipping to Long Beach, CA. then drive to New Mexico.

Recommendations welcome on who to work with (broker/ dealer/ importer).
Besides concerns about the $ transaction, how do you assure getting a mechanically very good vehicle? I'd consider paying more for that a worthwhile investment. Seems like it might be better to have some repairs/replacements done prior to shipping...(timing belt, CV boots, alternator, starter, other "hard to find" parts) ?
PM me and I'll get info
 

4realdrive

New member
I love them. I live off and on in Latin America and Toyota diesels are kings. I actually just bought two (!!) from japan; they’ll be arriving to LA in a couple of weeks, and I’ll keep one and sell the other. One is a full on camper (loft, kitchen, solar panels, she’s so beautiful) and one is standard but if I keep it and sell the other I’ll convert it for sure. Hopefully I’ll be importing more to sell; I also love the delicas but they’re too small for my comfort (I live most the year in a camper van).
Cheers!
I'm trying to figure out how best to import a hiace or delica myself. Who'd you buy through ?
 

Fishenough

Creeper
I'm trying to figure out how best to import a hiace or delica myself. Who'd you buy through ?
Watching.

Why? I 1st imported a vehicle from Japan in 1990. Imported a 89 Mitsubishi Delica into Canada in 99, when vehicles were still to be 15 years old. Before computers took over this was possible. Have imported a vehicle, or 2, every year since for fun. During covid was selling my second Nissan Figaro, and the best offers were coming from south of the border. Well in the past a vehicle fully inspected and insured in BC Canada was far easier, and quicker, to import into America than one temp permitted and freshly landed. I do know the process after years doing so. And never as a business, but a hobby of owning interesting vehicles. But do to covid all importing hit a road block!

In the last few years I have imported a couple of camper vans, including 2 Dodge Pleasureway camper cans - crazyly its a 3rd the price to buy one that's been shipped to Japan only to ship it back to North America.

And in my experience, baring rust, Hiace jdm vans are fantastic 4x4 campers


Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

4realdrive

New member
Found a guy in Taos, NM who imports several toyota/mitsubishi vans a year and has a few on hand to see/drive/buy. Put a deposit down on a 96 hiace that's arriving mid-May or so. Can't wait.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
It is a shame that they are a bit hard to find in good condition in Europe, because we got them sold here in the market which means: Left hand drive.
But the Japanese models have all the gadgets. However not always low range gearing etc. While the European models up to 96, if 4x4 then alwsys eith low range etc.

Of which I have one.
 

4realdrive

New member
I think the automatic transmission w fulltime 4wd (w/o low range) will be satisfactory for my use. I did consider holding out for one w low range but that was not a deal breaker for me.
It should be in the U.S. in a couple of weeks now. I'll send pics !
 

TacticalAnt

New member
I think the automatic transmission w fulltime 4wd (w/o low range) will be satisfactory for my use. I did consider holding out for one w low range but that was not a deal breaker for me.
It should be in the U.S. in a couple of weeks now. I'll send pics !
Hey, did you get your Hiace yet? I also bought mine from James in Taos. He is a super awesome and intelligent guy To deal with. We picked ours up first of April, put the deposit down before it shipped from Japan.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
Found a guy in Taos, NM who imports several toyota/mitsubishi vans a year and has a few on hand to see/drive/buy. Put a deposit down on a 96 hiace that's arriving mid-May or so. Can't wait.
Is the guy in toas posting vans for sale on craigslist? I just came across these today and I'm definitely interested in learning more about them
 

SeekingNothing

New member
Ha bingo, I know too much about Hiaces, I should get out more.

Yes it is the super long wheel base, which is not common, or at least not in a lot of markets.
So you get like 30 or 40cm extra
Thanks! That extra length allowed me to fit a full queen size bed into the build out. The build is now complete!!!!

Here are some pics:

3973C6FE-9FA9-40A9-BBCF-649D674DC930.jpegA84F9D86-951D-4CA5-A230-364A96FB42AB.jpeg5F7DC838-3769-49EA-8220-32FBE4FA7F05.jpeg
 

SeekingNothing

New member
Hi all. Now that the build is (mostly) done on my 1994, HiAce LWB. I need some advice on engine power. The Van is fantastic, and I’ve already driven it from Sun Valley Idaho to Colorado - it performed well on flats, drives great. However, when she needs to get uphill - I don’t have the power that I’d like. It’s a normally aspirated engine.

Any recommends on what I’d need to do to get more power? Anyone have experience adding a turbo to this engine on these? Simple tuning of air/fuel?

Thanks in advance!
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
The conversion looks great. I think our bed is just as big, but there is very little space to stand left because we got the LWB.

Well first of all, weight is very important.
What you can do with the engine is turbo charge it. There are kits available or you can do it with used Toyota parts.
I thought about it too, but didn't do it.

I think the best way is too add the turbo charger (used or kit) without changing the fuel pump. Normally the fuel pump is changed to add more fuel with the turbo pressure increasing. That will get you the most power but for thede engines not the highest reliability. The engine will get heavily loaded that way when you are making long climbs in hot weather.
Without changing the fuel pump, it will still run better than without the turbo, but it will not get that much burdened. In fact there is a chance that the engine head actually runs cooler than before.

I would add an EGR meter on the dashboard, with an alarm beeping function. That will warn you for running the engine head hot.

Keep in mind that the 2.4 2L engine (which is the same as the 2.8 3L and 3.0 5L) was sold with a turbo and different fuel pump. But none of the turbocharged versions of this engine are as reliable as the naturally aspirated version, which can do really high mileage like 500.000 miles. Turbo versions of this engine do not make that.
That is why adding a turbo without changing the fuel pump is the best way, in my opinion.
 

SeekingNothing

New member
The conversion looks great. I think our bed is just as big, but there is very little space to stand left because we got the LWB.

Well first of all, weight is very important.
What you can do with the engine is turbo charge it. There are kits available or you can do it with used Toyota parts.
I thought about it too, but didn't do it.

I think the best way is too add the turbo charger (used or kit) without changing the fuel pump. Normally the fuel pump is changed to add more fuel with the turbo pressure increasing. That will get you the most power but for thede engines not the highest reliability. The engine will get heavily loaded that way when you are making long climbs in hot weather.
Without changing the fuel pump, it will still run better than without the turbo, but it will not get that much burdened. In fact there is a chance that the engine head actually runs cooler than before.

I would add an EGR meter on the dashboard, with an alarm beeping function. That will warn you for running the engine head hot.

Keep in mind that the 2.4 2L engine (which is the same as the 2.8 3L and 3.0 5L) was sold with a turbo and different fuel pump. But none of the turbocharged versions of this engine are as reliable as the naturally aspirated version, which can do really high mileage like 500.000 miles. Turbo versions of this engine do not make that.
That is why adding a turbo without changing the fuel pump is the best way, in my opinion.
Awesome - and thanks for the response. I'm back from a 6-day tour of the rockies and definitely need to add some power to the motor. I have the 3L engine - do you have some idea where I should get a turbo kit? A link would be great, I've lined up a local mechanic who can do the install. Thanks!
 
Top