Delica Pros /Cons

jgallo1

Adventurer
My wife and I are seriously considering a Delica and seeking some guidance. We were about the trigger on a sprinter. We came across a Delica in a parking lot. My wife was like what is that I would rather drive that any day. Total surprise! Music to my ears. I love sprinters, but they are a dime a dozen and $$$$.

Now I am doing Delica research.

I had a friend you owned one. They loved it but their main complaints was the RHD and waiting for parts. I have seen a few LHD ones.I did talk with a guy at Delicausa and he said if I am willing to wait a few months he can find one.
I am a long time Toyota guy and have owned lots of older Toyotas, this has made me pretty resourceful when it comes to parts and knowing the right mechanics all over the west.

I would love to hear some pros and cons of the vehicles.
The vehicle will be daily driven and then used for us/mexico expo trips. I would like to get a diesel over the gasser, unless the gasser has numerous benefits over the diesel. 4x4 is a must. I think some have an LSD correct?
Thanks.
 

4x4BNB

Adventurer
I, too have just begun my search. We have decided on the Delica L400 diesel, long body, as our platform and now just waiting to make a decision on how we are going to purchase it. I don’t think we are going to buy one that is already here. We are considering going through Nomadic Vans in Sun Valley, Idaho or Pacific Coast Imports out of Japan.
Nomadic Vans is appealing because you tell them what you want in a van and they try to find the one you want, through their contacts in Japan, with the options you want. Then they import it, do a predelivery inspection, and do some necessary work (charge you for the extra work and/or modifications if you want).
Pacific Coast Import is different. You peruse the auctions in Japan, find the van you want, they will bid (up to your budget) for you, delivery to the port to be shipped, and ship it to you. They handle the paperwork and you hire a broker stateside to get it into the country (they refer you to a broker if you want). They send you all the necessary paper work so that you have it when the van arrives. They do some hand holding like, interpreting the auction description sheet and advising you on how much you should bid on the van. I’ve heard that you cannot hire someone to inspect the van prior to purchase 😢. They offer a service (for a fee) if you select to do it. They will move your van to their facility (after purchase), inspect it, take videos and pictures of it, send that to you, and detail it’s condition (for you to see, make a determination if you want work done, and in case of damage by the shippers). They can take it to a Japanese mechanic (who they recommend) that can do any and all maintenance or work that you want to be performed and then collect the van and transport it to the port to be shipped (I really like this option because you’ll have knowledgeable Japanese mechanics who have been working on these cars for 25 years AND they can get their hands on parts more easily and probably cheaper, too.
With Nomadic you are obviously paying a premium but, they go over the van and you SHOULD have ready to go van.
With Pacific Coast Imports you should save some money and maybe have a better shot at getting the options you want.
🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
I’ll be watching this thread to learn more about what other have to say. Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide?
😁
 

tgates

New member
Join delicaforum.com and also checkout crankshaftcilture. Both have some good info on the ups and downs of Delica ownership.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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jgallo1

Adventurer
I, too have just begun my search. We have decided on the Delica L400 diesel, long body, as our platform and now just waiting to make a decision on how we are going to purchase it. I don’t think we are going to buy one that is already here. We are considering going through Nomadic Vans in Sun Valley, Idaho or Pacific Coast Imports out of Japan.
Nomadic Vans is appealing because you tell them what you want in a van and they try to find the one you want, through their contacts in Japan, with the options you want. Then they import it, do a predelivery inspection, and do some necessary work (charge you for the extra work and/or modifications if you want).
Pacific Coast Import is different. You peruse the auctions in Japan, find the van you want, they will bid (up to your budget) for you, delivery to the port to be shipped, and ship it to you. They handle the paperwork and you hire a broker stateside to get it into the country (they refer you to a broker if you want). They send you all the necessary paper work so that you have it when the van arrives. They do some hand holding like, interpreting the auction description sheet and advising you on how much you should bid on the van. I’ve heard that you cannot hire someone to inspect the van prior to purchase 😢. They offer a service (for a fee) if you select to do it. They will move your van to their facility (after purchase), inspect it, take videos and pictures of it, send that to you, and detail it’s condition (for you to see, make a determination if you want work done, and in case of damage by the shippers). They can take it to a Japanese mechanic (who they recommend) that can do any and all maintenance or work that you want to be performed and then collect the van and transport it to the port to be shipped (I really like this option because you’ll have knowledgeable Japanese mechanics who have been working on these cars for 25 years AND they can get their hands on parts more easily and probably cheaper, too.
With Nomadic you are obviously paying a premium but, they go over the van and you SHOULD have ready to go van.
With Pacific Coast Imports you should save some money and maybe have a better shot at getting the options you want.
🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
I’ll be watching this thread to learn more about what other have to say. Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide?
😁
Thanks for the info on the dealers. Our friends went through https://www.delicausa.com/ and had a great experience. I spoke with them a few weeks back.
I have started the research on the vans and the different specs. I am still unsure of which direction to go. I know we want diesel, my wife is ok with manual but would prefer automatic, of coarse 4x4 is a must. High and Low range would be ideal with LSD in the rear. That's about where we are.
 
Last edited:

plh

Explorer
I'd prefer a LHD diesel (4M40) L400. I do like the looks very much of the L300, but from what I have read the 4D56t is underpowered for a Delica. Perhaps its just because they are old and a fresh one would preform just fine. Either way a RHD would be a NOGO for me in a LHD world.
 

jgallo1

Adventurer
I'd prefer a LHD diesel (4M40) L400. I do like the looks very much of the L300, but from what I have read the 4D56t is underpowered for a Delica. Perhaps its just because they are old and a fresh one would preform just fine. Either way a RHD would be a NOGO for me in a LHD world.
from what I am gathering the L400 is the way to go. I agree that the L300 wins the style points. I guess LHD is very obtainable, it just might take a few months
 

free_heel_skier

New member
I have a L300, it's my second one. It is easy to work on and most maintenance parts are easy to find. Parts are available at Napa and Amazon. The engine is underpowered, and is prone to overheating if cooling system is not maintained. I have the L300 due to its simplicity. Crankshaft Culture had a cool L300, with a winch. I think he just recently sold it though. Good luck on your search.
Pete
 

AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
California and PNW Craigslists suddenly have a wild over abundance of these vans listed this weekend. Priciest one I saw
last night was $31k. (PNW prices doncha kno).

Lots to choose from up there right now.
 

Ozjourney

Member
I’ve had a L-400 LWB for the last 13 years, driven it across Russia, Europe and the middle east, as well as over 200,000 km’s across Australia and think they make one of the best touring vehicles available. They are very reliable and easy to repair, their off-road ability of much better than you would think, especially in sand and mud. They are very light and have equal weight distribution on the front and back which makes a big differance. My Delica is about 2700kg fully loaded with 110l of fuel and 50 water.

The main problems are rust especially in the front where the engine is mounted. There is heaps of information available on how to fix them and most of the parts are from the Pajero.



This is my video channel of my expeditions


Regards

Steve
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
Hi, I am more a Hiace person than a Delica, but they are very similar. Except Mitsubishi kept.making them with low gearing etc, whereas the Hiace stopped.
I have an old Hiace with proper 4x4, and Hiaces are usually a tiny bit bigger on the inside and come in more options.

I just wanted to point out that for both the l300 and l400 Mitsubishi there is also a Hyundai version of it. Which shares quite some parts. That is useful when overlanding through Asia. For example suspension parts can be interchanged.

I think the Delica l400 and the Hyundai Starex are one of the latest of vans to still get proper 4x4 but not having to sit on the engine anymore. Because with Toyota vans, you want proper 4x4? You have to sit on the engine! Which has drawbacks, because they are usually quite noisy too, because of the old engines.
 

bikerjosh

Explorer
Slippery slope, don’t drink the koolaid. Also if you live in California getting it legal can be expensive or not. End of DV trip in early November1606196192925.jpeg1606196243940.jpeg
 

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4x4BNB

Adventurer
I’ve had a L-400 LWB for the last 13 years, driven it across Russia, Europe and the middle east, as well as over 200,000 km’s across Australia and think they make one of the best touring vehicles available. They are very reliable and easy to repair, their off-road ability of much better than you would think, especially in sand and mud. They are very light and have equal weight distribution on the front and back which makes a big differance. My Delica is about 2700kg fully loaded with 110l of fuel and 50 water.

The main problems are rust especially in the front where the engine is mounted. There is heaps of information available on how to fix them and most of the parts are from the Pajero.



This is my video channel of my expeditions


Regards

Steve
i think you van may weigh juuuust a little more than 2700kg...😂. My old Syncro was at 6k lbs, too and was a very heavy beast. Looks awesome though!
 

4x4BNB

Adventurer
Well...we ended up buying a ‘95 L400, SWB, Chamonix (winter package?) with LSD, in diesel. We went through Nomadic Vans in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Since it was manufactured in October ‘95 we had to wait for it to turn 25.
Hopefully it’ll be stateside before the new year 🤞54E51F1E-69B4-4FEF-821E-A02C82B5BB63.jpeg
 

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