Newbie Delica Shopper

New to Delica Canada? Please introduce yourself and your van!
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TrickyNicky
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 pm
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Vehicle: Delica Window Shopping
Location: Vancouver, BC

Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by TrickyNicky » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:58 pm

Hi folks, I'm pretty excited to be apart of this forum, lots of good information here that I have been gathering over the last few weeks. So, I just put my current car up for sale (bought only 2 months ago) and am now on the hunt for a delica.

Short Version:
1-Looking for a reliable/trustworthy/proven delica, dealer or private?
2-What dealer do you recommend around Vancouver? I know a couple but many of the threads are old
3-LWB or SWB?

Thanks ahead of time
Nick




Here's the long winded version:

Usage:
I am new to the west coast as of 6 months ago (from Ontario) and the more time I spend here the more I am in need of a vehicle that I can cram a bunch of people in for ferries, sleep in when I'm too cheap for a hotel and get off the beaten path any chance I get. So bring on the delica. I will be using the Deli as my daily driver, 30k round-trip. On weekends I will likely have 4-6 people in it going on surf trips to tofino, or venturing down logging roads on camping trips. From time to time we will be sleeping 2-4 people in it just for a night (we're not picky about space, seriously, 2 ppl in an old forester). I'm not officially an off-roader but I do like to push the limits from time to time, the vehicle I've spent most time in the dirt with is an LR3 with all-season tires. I would like to take on some challenging forest roads but I don't think i'll be looking for off-road specific roads.

Desires:
I am leaning towards an L400 despite preferring the look of the l300. If possible I would like one with airbag/s, and a limited slip diff. I am unsure of high roof or low roof (concerned with ferry height with big tires/ maybe a roof rack). My biggest question is LWB or SWB? After looking long and hard for my current car and driving it 40hrs back from the states I'm hoping to make this one easy. I'm thinking I want the "cheapest" delica that is already proven (preventative maintenance etc) in good but not great condition (lets call it no tears in the seats, excessive dents scratches etc.) So when I say cheapest, lets say "best value". My budget is more than I need for a GREAT delica but I would rather spend less and not have to worry about it always being clean or getting scratched etc. I want to use this vehicle and not feel bad about it everytime my boots hit the floor. Regardless I will still take care of it like many of you. The most important thing for me is a vehicle that I can trust mechanically. A vehicle that will take me into the abyss and back without the worry of it breaking down.

Dealer or private?
So that being said I am wondering if I am better off going with one of the reputable dealers with a recent import or a reputable private sale from someone who has already worked out all the kinks, rattles and hick-ups? If I go the dealer route, who would you guys say is the most reputable trustworthy dealer? I have heard of a few reading this forum but many of the "dealer topics" are dated. Also if I am buying from a dealer, I want that trust and service from the start through every service while I own the vehicle. Normally I do my own vehicle work (within reason) but since moving across country my tool box can be carried in a glove box.


WVO:
In the future (or maybe right away but doubtful), I am considering running it on WVO. Feel free to add any comments on if it makes more sense to do this now or if a dealer can have it done or if I should let this effect the options I am looking for.


Thats all for now, I'm curious about all of your opinions and excited to slowly join this forum and the delica community. Thanks ahead of time.

Tricky

grolly6
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by grolly6 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:42 pm

I think you should start test driving the different versions and get some hands on experience before you narrow your scope(ie. L300 vs L400, LWB vs SWB). When I was looking for my Delica, I spent a few months and test drove about 5 or 6 before finding my current ride. Personally, I preferred the added power of the L400 over the L300(but still want more power for towing). A LWB delica would be easier for sleeping in and packing more gear for your weekends, but realistically I'm sure you could get by with a SWB(I've camped with my fiance in my SWB L400, kudos to you if you are comfortable sleeping with 4 people in the same space).

Finding a Delica with an LSD might take some hunting, but I've read that the Royal Exceed versions come with the LSD, 9.5" rear diff like the Gen2 L400's(not 100% sure about that), LWB, and other niceties...

Oh, and you may be interested to know that the Gen2 L400's(no bush bar) have a little more stock power/torque than the Gen1 models('94~'96) but they are more difficult to modify for added power beyond stock.

Good luck...

TrickyNicky
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 pm
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Vehicle: Delica Window Shopping
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Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by TrickyNicky » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:03 am

Thanks Grolly,

Do all gen 2's have the LSD or just the 9.5" rear diff, (some LSD, most not). Also can you get a gen 2 with a bull bar, or add one, seems like a possible paint saver when the road gets tough. Anyone have experience with and without the LSD, how much do you appreciate it if you use your delica off-road but don't consider yourself an "offroader"

As far as sleeping goes, can you fit two ppl along one side with all the seats flat, maybe intertwined feet only? Thats how I assumed a 4 person sleep could work (feet to feet)

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Firesong
Posts: 1363
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Vehicle: 1998 L400 Delica Chamonix
Location: Saskatoon
Location: Saskatoon, SK. Canada

Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by Firesong » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:10 am

Hi. I have a S2 L400, used to own a L300. I too liked the looks of the L300 but my L400 feels more reliable, more power and I dont feel like I need to baby it. My l300 always left me feeling like my old VW in that I was listening for failure. It was always being pushed in the hills and such but I had nothing big happen except rebuilding the ip.

As for the LSD. You won't find one. Rare. Very rare. I was wanting one but couldn't find one. I was told that the traction and suspension really make a difference from l400 to l300 and it has. I've had mine through a lot of snow (ice fishing fanatic). Trail driving and sand. I no longer feel I need LSD.

As for power the series 2 has more than the series one. 20 hp or so. And can be modified like any other l400.

Only drawback to the series 2 is the front bumper is lower so the approach angle is a bit worse. I've accepted that and change the angle I approach obstacles at.

4 sleeping in a van is tough unless 2 are 3 year olds. Or you are very friendly with your friends.

I got my van from rising sun imports in van. 1 year anniversary and no problems. Exactly as advertised.

I'm sure you will get a vender in here pushing his wares. ;) welcome to DeliLand!

TrickyNicky
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 pm
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Vehicle: Delica Window Shopping
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by TrickyNicky » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Any comments on whether it would be wiser to buy private or from a dealer. Obviously it depends on the private seller but I'm thinking if I buy a Deli from someone who bought it from one of the trusted importers and I save 4-5k, it seems I'm way better off than buying from the dealer in the first place. In my mind this van would have been imported, converted and preventative maintenance done and than driven for a couple years and had all the upfront bugs worked out. I'd still have it checked out by the dealer that imported it in the first place.

grolly6
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by grolly6 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:30 pm

Q) Do all gen 2's have the LSD or just the 9.5" rear diff
A) All have 9.5" rear diff, rare to find LSD unless on Royal Exceed

Q) Also can you get a gen 2 with a bull bar, or add one, seems like a possible paint saver when the road gets tough.
A) I think I've seen some aftermarket bull bars. But, even with those you'd still end up with the side scratches like the ones I picked up going down overgrown, narrow trails.

Q) Anyone have experience with and without the LSD, how much do you appreciate it if you use your delica off-road but don't consider yourself an "offroader"
A) I've driven through a few deactivated forest service roads with my Delica with no problems, but I've never done any of the more challenging trails. The only time I wished for better traction was last summer when I drove the Douglas Road/Lillooet Trail. My Gen1 L400 was totally fine on the main trail, but I had some trouble on one of the abandoned side trails leading down to the lake side of Harrison Lake. I parked as close as I could to the water, got out and explored, then jumped back in for the drive up to the main road. Unfortunately the area I parked in was a steep and rocky section and even in 4Lo with the center diff locked I was spinning tires(one in the front, one in the back). It took me a number of tries before I got enough traction to get moving again. Had it been wet, I may have regretted that trip. I'm confident it would have been a cake walk with a locker and probably an LSD.

Q) As far as sleeping goes, can you fit two ppl along one side with all the seats flat, maybe intertwined feet only? Thats how I assumed a 4 person sleep could work (feet to feet)[/quote]
A) Can't really visualize what you are describing. But, if this helps you: On my SWB L400 when I put all the back seats flat I can inflate a queen size air mattress on top of those seats and that mattress is snuggly wedged up against the sides of the van interior and the rear lift gate door with about one or two feet of empty space behind the front seats and the front edge of the mattress.


Given that you are looking for a good deal/value: If I hadn't already spent a lot of money getting a tow hitch installed, air bags, 2.5" stainless mandrel exhaust, 120amp alt, and all the other mods/upgrades I've done in preparation for towing my camper trailer, I'd be looking to buy the "Royal Exceed" that is listed in the Delica Trader section. It belongs to a prolific member of delica.ca and he spent a lot of money buying it and adding his mods to it. But, from reading his old posts, it seems like he's soured on it due to a number of problems he had(and mostly fixed). I felt bad for the guy after reading all the problems he reported having with it, but given he's listing it for $7,500 I think it's a bargain for someone and as mentioned if I hadn't already poured so much cash into my Delica, I'd buy his. But, he's still reporting electrical gremlins in some of his posts, so if you aren't comfortable dealing with some features not working then I'd suggest you get a different one. Maybe I sell you mine, I turn around and buy his, I spend some time wrestling his electrical gremlins, then add a trailer hitch/air bags, etc and call it even??? I've got a lot less mileage(~125,000km) and everything works fine on mine;-)

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CREGAN
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Vehicle: 94 L400 SpaceGear Super Exceed
Location: Leduc, Alberta

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by CREGAN » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:43 pm

I totally agree with the above post. Psilosin has put alot into that van and is quite knowledgeable with his fixes. I can tell you that if I had found that van for that price before I bought mine, I'd be driving a royal around. If that is not totally your fancy then keep an eye on the other private sales on the trader. Alot of them are members who have benefited a lot from the knowledge on this forum- so many of the bugs are worked out.

Craig

EricE
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Vehicle: 1995 l400 swb
Location: Victoria

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by EricE » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:26 pm

L400 for power and reliability , low roof if you want to get in garages, I heard the gen 2 is more difficult to repair. Get one from an owner that has worked out all the issues , even the ones from reputable dealers need the bugs worked out which can be expensive.

grolly6
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am
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Vehicle: L400
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by grolly6 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:43 pm

Firesong wrote: And can be modified like any other l400.
I'd definitely prefer a series 2 over a series 1 if the prices aren't too different. But as a small point of clarification regarding the ability to mod a Gen1 vs Gen2: I believe the series 2 uses an electronically controlled diesel pump vs the mechanical pump in the series 1. The added electronic fuel delivery/timing features help the series 2 make more power, but if you try upping your boost or adding more fuel you are likely to hit ECU impediments. I don't know of any off-the-shelf computer reprogramming options for the series 2, but if you are brave you can take the analog approach to getting more power out of a series 1 by jacking up the boost, adding a lot more fueling, and add a lot more cooling capacity as you aim for ~150hp like some of the Brits, Ozzies and one crazy Malaysian guy I've read about.

All of this is pretty much meaningless to most sane people as even a stock L400 Gen1 with a healthy engine(121hp/217 lb·ft)) can accelerate up a steep hill with little problems. On the Squamish Highway with my stock L400 last summer I readily accelerated up the steepest hills and passed slower cars with ease while carrying 3 passengers. It would be that much easier with a stock Gen2. But, if you want to be dragging a 3,500 trailer up hills at the posted speed limits like I plan on doing, then you either start looking at engine mods, learn to accept slow hill climbing, or else move on to another vehicle. For comparison purposes: I could barely hold 70km/h going up the south entrance section of the not-too-steep Golden Ears bridge while pulling my 3,500lb trailer:-(

psilosin
Posts: 1045
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Vehicle: L400
Location: BC

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by psilosin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:48 pm

Just noticed someone mention my L400 :-D

Only issues left on my L400 are the valve cover gasket leak (common issue...talk to CREGAN about that!!) and the Air Conditioning condenser fan needs repair/replace. Both issues are pretty minor. Oh and sliding door only opens from inside.

Main reason I have been trying to sell is I want to consolidate down to 1 vehicle (from 4) due to lack of time to wrench and that fact that wrenching is now literally a pain after developing RA.

HOWEVER I have been shopping around vehicles from Subaru Wagons to Nissan Titans and I honestly cannot find a vehicle that gets as many feature checks on the list as a L400. The L400 is pretty much the best vehicle on the planet when you score it up from cargo room to power to fuel economy to capability so I am kind of loosing interest in spending more money for a different vehicle that offers less.

If mine doesn't sell in the next couple weeks I'm likely going to go all in, keep it and start the party all over again. Considering 0 people have come to look at it in over 1 year of being for sale even when I had the $5000 blowout special odds are that is what will be happening.

grolly6
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am
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Vehicle: L400
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by grolly6 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:33 pm

psilosin wrote:Just noticed someone mention my L400 :-D

Considering 0 people have come to look at it in over 1 year of being for sale even when I had the $5000 blowout special odds are that is what will be happening.
$5k blowout special??? Crap, that's an awesome price for a van with all your mods and features. Really surprised it didn't sell at that price, but not surprised you raised your price back to $7,500.

To the OP, you'll be hard pressed to find a better value than Psilosin's van.

deWinterhaus
Posts: 7
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Vehicle: L400
Location: Chilliwack, BC

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by deWinterhaus » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:24 am

That's what I was thinking, but I am a newbie too. Looking to get into an L400, but joined so I am not going in blind. A good friend has an L300 but my boss (aka wife) hates the ugly awesomeness of them. What about importing directly? I see ads for that. Too much hassle? I'm in same boat as newbie shopper...
_______________
On my tombstone: "I knew this would happen..."
Still looking for something I have never seen... Now to get there.
XD

- Xander -

grolly6
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: L400
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by grolly6 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:38 am

deWinterhaus wrote:That's what I was thinking, but I am a newbie too. Looking to get into an L400, but joined so I am not going in blind. A good friend has an L300 but my boss (aka wife) hates the ugly awesomeness of them. What about importing directly? I see ads for that. Too much hassle? I'm in same boat as newbie shopper...
I prefer the performance and handling of the L400's, but others disagree. I personally think you're better off buying a good vehicle from a private owner who has decided to move onto other vehicles, hobbies, etc after they put in their time/effort/money fixing up their Delica. Of course, get an inspection of any private vehicle done by one of the experienced delica shops to make sure the seller is dumping their headaches on you(rusted unibody, damaged 4x4 mechanism, leaking head gasket, worn timing chain, broken air-con, etc)

If you are just starting to think about importing one directly:
I always assumed that importing directly wasn't as too difficult for someone that is comfortable dealing with paperwork, logistics and taking on risk(unseen vehicle may be crap, etc). My assumption was based on my experience importing a motorbike from the USA and also importing a number of cargo containers full of equipment(server cabinets, etc) from Shanghai for my data centre. If it's your first time importing, I'm fairly certain that you'll end up having to pay a little extra for a "destuff" by CBSA while they check your shipment. My buddy got hit with a destuff on his first container import and so did I. That can cost you more in storage fees with your broker due to the associated delays(Hundreds of dollars, but not over a grand in my situation). If you do import a Delica, it will have to be inspected by Canadian Tire(they have the exclusive contract to do the inspections on behalf of the pertinent gov agency) to ensure it meets our local rules. If you don't feel like doing the work to update your Delica to comply with BC/CAN rules, I think you could give it to Butch at CVI or some of the repair shops to have them rig up daytime running lights, change the headlight lens to left hand drive standards, etc. Anyway, others on this forum could give you more feedback based on their direct experience with importing vehicles from Japan; for Japanese imports all I know is what I've read in forums and what I've been told by my buddies who play with JDM cars. I considered it for a while since I see some L400's selling for ~$2k and up in Japan, but all the import headaches and added shipping costs and Canadian compliance costs led me to buy local.

TrickyNicky
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 pm
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Vehicle: Delica Window Shopping
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Newbie Delica Shopper

Post by TrickyNicky » Wed May 28, 2014 10:42 am

Psilon, At this point I've sent you 3 emails and 1 forum message with only a single reply to the first one? Are you really that interested in selling it or is your junk mail catching everything?

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