Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontario?

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betelgeuse
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Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontario?

Post by betelgeuse »

My wife and I have been interested in Delica's for a few years and just this past weekend we went to test drive an L300 and L400 at Bonsai Rides in London (Thanks Craig!). We only need to own one vehicle so we are considering selling the one we have and purchasing an L400 Spacegear. We live in Southern Ontario and frequently drive the 401 (we live west of Toronto, family lives east). We have two young kids.

I'm not very handy around the car which is my biggest reservation to getting one. My biggest fear is that our only mode of transportation breaking down and be limited for some time while waiting for parts and/or repairs. I am very willing to learn and since the discussion of test driving a Delica I have been learning as much as I can about car engines/parts/etc. I am willing to work on the Delica once I know enough.

I would like to know what current Delica owners (you guys) think about it and/or if you have any suggestions/tips for me to think about regarding the purchase.

Thanks in advance,
Ryan.
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Mr. Flibble
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by Mr. Flibble »

I think it is great. All vehicles will require maintenance, older vehicles more than new.

Be aware, that your choice of Delica will be at least 15 years old.

So, find a good diesel mechanic in your area to look after it. Also, make sure you get a good-condition one when you buy.

The good news is that Diesel engines usually last a long time if you treat them well. Do not skimp on oil changes or standard maintenance and your van should be a great family vehicle.

The L400 is more than capable of getting speeding tickets on the 401 or the T-Can.
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macro
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by macro »

betelgeuse wrote:My wife and I have been interested in Delica's for a few years and just this past weekend we went to test drive an L300 and L400 at Bonsai Rides in London (Thanks Craig!). We only need to own one vehicle so we are considering selling the one we have and purchasing an L400 Spacegear. We live in Southern Ontario and frequently drive the 401 (we live west of Toronto, family lives east). We have two young kids.

I'm not very handy around the car which is my biggest reservation to getting one. My biggest fear is that our only mode of transportation breaking down and be limited for some time while waiting for parts and/or repairs. I am very willing to learn and since the discussion of test driving a Delica I have been learning as much as I can about car engines/parts/etc. I am willing to work on the Delica once I know enough.

I would like to know what current Delica owners (you guys) think about it and/or if you have any suggestions/tips for me to think about regarding the purchase.

Thanks in advance,
Ryan.
I drive mine all over Ontario and I've never had a problem. Craig is great and he's the only one that could help me with insurance when I moved out here. There's also RightDrive in Vaughan for parts and service. Like Mr.Flibble said, as long as you stay on top the oil changes you'll be fine. If you're buying through a reputable dealer any problems should be rectified before you take it home. Injector pump for instance. The only thing I would say is that if you have people in the third row very often there's not much space behind that seat for anything. I ended up taking my third row out completely, but, I don't have kids.

If you have any more questions or if you're in the Toronto area and want to have another poke around a Delica, PM or email me!
betelgeuse
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by betelgeuse »

Thanks for responding macro and MrFlibble.
macro wrote:The only thing I would say is that if you have people in the third row very often there's not much space behind that seat for anything.
Thanks. It didn't look like much but I don't think you would get much from any other van on the market (but honestly, I haven't looked very hard). We are interested in the 8-seater so we couldn't even save space from getting buckets.
macro wrote:If you have any more questions or if you're in the Toronto area and want to have another poke around a Delica, PM or email me!
Thanks! I may take up your offer sometime because we regularly find our way there.

Ryan.
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macro
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by macro »

There's always a long wheelbase version though! More room behind the rear seats, about a foot more I think?
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by Mr. Flibble »

macro wrote:There's always a long wheelbase version though! More room behind the rear seats, about a foot more I think?
Yes, I can attest to this. The extra room in a LWB makes a HUGE difference.
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by psilosin »

Mr. Flibble wrote:
macro wrote:There's always a long wheelbase version though! More room behind the rear seats, about a foot more I think?
Yes, I can attest to this. The extra room in a LWB makes a HUGE difference.
+1
Give me LWB or give me Death!
betelgeuse
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by betelgeuse »

Mr. Flibble wrote:Yes, I can attest to this. The extra room in a LWB makes a HUGE difference.
Awesome. I will look into this one. Thanks for all your replies.
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by Feds »

Feds has a long wheelbase. Bonsai Customer as well. He's way down in Niagara though. It is the ultimate family vehicle.

If you are considering it as an only vehicle, build a little stockpile of the things that could strand you: a refurb fuel pump, alternator, coolant tank, maybe glowplugs, turbo. That way, even if you have to pay someone to put it in for you, you're not waiting 3-15 days for parts to be shipped to you.
betelgeuse
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by betelgeuse »

Feds wrote:If you are considering it as an only vehicle, build a little stockpile of the things that could strand you: a refurb fuel pump, alternator, coolant tank, maybe glowplugs, turbo. That way, even if you have to pay someone to put it in for you, you're not waiting 3-15 days for parts to be shipped to you.
Great suggestion. I will certainly do this if we decide to take the plunge.

Do any of you know how long the Delica Long Wheel Base is (from bumper to bumper)? If at all possible, I would like to keep it in our garage. I REALLY dislike cleaning snow off my car and getting into a cold car. I know that height may also be an issue.
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by Feds »

~5.1 meters long. Height will be your deciding factor if you have any mods/lift/big tires. My stock-height high roof with 31" tires JUST squeaks into my garage.
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by glenn »

Don't get the 8 seater if you have two kids.

The middle bench only has one shoulder belt, and one spine snapping, paraplegic creating, lap belt in the middle. The jump seat is not a comfortable seat, even though it has a shoulder belt.

The seven seaters, on the other hand, have two beautiful captains chairs with shoulder belts and armrests.

If you are considering safety and crash worthiness, don't even look at L300s.
Glenn
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macro
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by macro »

Feds wrote:~5.1 meters long. Height will be your deciding factor if you have any mods/lift/big tires. My stock-height high roof with 31" tires JUST squeaks into my garage.
Hey Feds, what colour is yours? I'm wondering if I've seen you driving around before...
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Re: Is an L400 suitable for a single-vehicle family in Ontar

Post by Feds »

Green over Grey, with a snorkel.
betelgeuse
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Post by betelgeuse »

We're considering the 8-seater so that we can have a full bed when the seats go flat. We are interested in the Delica so we can travel as a family. I know we can modify it to be a camper but we also need it to be an everyday vehicle too so I've been thinking to modifying it to a happy medium-a van with storage compartments.

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