Are Delica's Crap?

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impalator
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Are Delica's Crap?

Post by impalator » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:30 pm

Hello everybody,

I am posting a message now that probably will have every Delica Enthusiast hate me... but I need to vent... so bare with me....

Are Delica's really that great, fun, awesome, cool, special and however else we like to refer to them?

When I visit the Delica Forum - some nice photos of camping trips aside - the only thing I always ever notice is people breaking down in their vans, all kinds of stuff go wrong (Van won't shift up, can't be started, leaks oil, ECU clicking erradically, can't open sliding door, electrical wiring shutdown, batteries dead, overheating, loss of power, lots and lots of black smoke coming out the tailpipe... etc.) and then there is always the same crew of Deli-Defenders that write back and point out that this should have been done or that.... or that better maintenance would have prevented it etc. etc....)

Are we really being honest? Or are our Delica Vans - aside from being cool looking and a fun concept - just utter pieces of junk?

I am in the process of giving up on my Delica ...

We bought our Van in September and the following has happended to us so far:

- 1 day after I bought it, the batteries were dead (needed to replace both batteries)

- 4 days after we bought it, it overheated with terminal engine failure on the Coquihalla (needed new cylinder head, water pump, radiator, thermostat, timing belts and all kinds of gaskets) and a full month and a half until we got the parts from the dealer who had to have this done under warranty.

- Along the process the switch for the rear wiper was found to be broken

- Furthermore the Alternator was found to be delivering insufficient charge and needed to be replaced

- Once the thing was rolling again, I noticed massive water leaking into the footwells

- I had that repaired according to the instructions on the Forum just to find that there is still a leak (this time I being told that it probably wasn't the cracks under the front panels - but rather the windshield molding....)

- Then - about a week later - my glow plugs went dead - all four of them

- So I had the glow plugs replaced - to find that a week later they were dead again

- Turns out the ECU is clicking in and out erradically even when driving and engine warm - which leads to premature burn-out of the plugs

- So I had a new button mounted on the dashboard to engage the glowplugs manually - bypassing the ECU altogether

- Next thing I had to find out that - if the headlights are turned on, the engine can't be switched off...

- A new DLR regulator took care of this problem

- A few days later I couldn't remove the key from the ignition anymore - even when in park - starting it, shifting up and down, helped that problem

- Today now I find that I can't shift from Park - even if engine is running... with key obviously in...

- Also found out today that the sliding door won't open... not because it's frozen shut... no, the powerlock mechanism doesn't push the little button up far enough.....

I have not had one single successful road trip in that Van (whatever a successful roadtrip means - I guess for me it means getting there and coming back with everything on the darn thing still working)....

When reading the technical and troubleshooting section it appears that I am not the only one who encounters the exact same problems. It appears that they are not just common - but actually just too common...

Now since there are many more symptoms and problems (clunks, noises, failures etc.) that people are describing in the forum that haven't happened to me yet, I wonder if I have to go through all of those as well.

And please don't come tell me that this is to be expected because Delica's are already 15 years old and all that....

I have a 1983 Dodge Ram Van with a 225 cuin slant six. This Van has well over 230'000kms and never - I repeat - N E V E R - let me down once. And aside from new brakes and the odd oil-change I never do anything to that Van...

And in addition I have a 1969 Ford Cortina - so this vehicle will be fourty years old as of January 1st 2009 - and I never had any issues come anywhere near those of the Delica....

I am not in the race league and leadfooting my Delica or mistreating it in any way. The contrary, I am so careful (as I am worried about breaking the next thing) with this van that it's already ridiculous.... I let it warm up, when started (like I never did any other vehicle I ever owned), I never went beyond 110km/h's out of worries about speeding tickets and about breaking something....

So I don't expect anybody to give me tips on what I should or should not have done.... I just needed to voice my frustration about the worst vehicle I ever spent money for....

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by konadog » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:42 pm

impalator wrote: the only thing I always ever notice is people breaking down in their vans, all kinds of stuff go wrong
People have a tendency to post when they have an issue - lots of people only post when they have an issue. As to being junk, well, I'd suggest they are 15 year old used vehicles with largely unknown histories. If you get one that has been carefully serviced after arrival chances are good you'll be OK for a good long while. Not that you won't have issues, but they should be minimal. So far so good for us, after 10 months and 17,000km we've had no serious or unreasonable trouble. We did take our new purchase straight to ccautos for the refit and try to anticipate and deal with things before they become problems. Sorry that your experience has been so negative. For me, so far, the deli is the best vehicle I ever spent money on and am hoping to swing getting second in the next year or so... :M
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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by loki » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:08 pm

well I'm one of MANY people that pretty much only post when I have a problem, or to help with someone else's problem. I will state for the record that I have had no real issues with my van. I have gotten over the honeymoon phase and have reevaluated my stance on these vans and I still love them.

I'm sorry your having so many issues with your van, I'm also sorry to say that most of your issues would likely have been prevented if a proper service was done to it when arriving in Canada, and I mean proper, not the deli tune, I mean new rad, rad cap, hoses and more, sure it sounds like a lot, but these things are run with hard water in the cooling systems and get tons or calcium build up, that and I would hazard a guess that most of them that end up having multiple issues sat on a lot of in a field for an extended period of time before being sold to us. My van when I bought it seemed to be just fine, the temp gauge read low but it seemed that most peoples did this so I thought nothing of it. Then I got a major service done at ccautos and basically the whole cooling system was replaced as the rad was totally clogged and the rad cap was not sealing so the coolant could get up to temp and was likely not flowing well and defiantly not cooling well but not reading on the gauge. After the service my gauge would run up to just under have like all the other vehicles I had had before that and stayed there all the time. The cooling system get overlooked far too often. anyways, my rant is over.

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by marsgal42 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:55 pm

Are Delicas crap?
No. A forum like this is a badness amplifier, making Delica ownership sound like it's worse than it really is. People only ever post "My Delica is broken!". They do not post "My Delica is working fine and I love it!".

Japanoid did a full service on Gumdrop before she left Japan, and it shows. I've had a couple of issues (bad alternator, glow plug controller), and have done some preventative maintenance (new batteries). I don't view these as out of line for a 15 year old used car. First thing in the new year she's due for an oil change, and I will ask Japanoid to have a look at her recent tendency to start then immediately stall if she's been sitting for more than a couple of hours. Fuel filter? Fuel line?

I love Gumdrop and when the time comes will be getting another Delica (possibly an L400 by then, though it won't be for a while), that same unique combination of comfort, agility and off-road capability.

...laura

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by White Mule » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:14 pm

If there was a forum dedicated to any one paticular vehicle that was 19-20 years old regardless of its origin, what would it sound like :?:
Thanks,

White Mule

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by MardyDelica » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:50 pm

hi, i fell sad about this . i do really fell the frustration. i own a delica more than 41/2 yrs one of the first people who own this type of delica. never have any problem with delica, some issue but minor,
all i can say is that i guess when you buy your car is from a dealer or private sale that dont service this delica or are not familiar with delica.
how or which one need to fix rightaway before they give it to you. its frustrating.
its just a buyer beware when buying this delica its a used car but if other people sell it in a cheaper price & dont do any service then the problem will start. thats why i service all my delica. not selling it even it say they change timing belt in japan or they do this in japan.
i agree some do service but mostly 90 % they dont. so when i got all my delica from japan i do service , change the timing belt radiator & other parts for customer peace of mind.
but in your case its diff. fell bad about this happen to you.
any help i can offer pls let me know.
Cheers;
Mardy
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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by kb&2dogs » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:12 pm

impalator wrote:Hello everybody,

I am posting a message now that probably will have every Delica Enthusiast hate me... but I need to vent... so bare with me....

Are Delica's really that great, fun, awesome, cool, special and however else we like to refer to them?

When I visit the Delica Forum - some nice photos of camping trips aside - the only thing I always ever notice is people breaking down in their vans, all kinds of stuff go wrong (Van won't shift up, can't be started, leaks oil, ECU clicking erradically, can't open sliding door, electrical wiring shutdown, batteries dead, overheating, loss of power, lots and lots of black smoke coming out the tailpipe... etc.) and then there is always the same crew of Deli-Defenders that write back and point out that this should have been done or that.... or that better maintenance would have prevented it etc. etc....)

Are we really being honest? Or are our Delica Vans - aside from being cool looking and a fun concept - just utter pieces of junk?

I am in the process of giving up on my Delica ...

We bought our Van in September and the following has happended to us so far:

- 1 day after I bought it, the batteries were dead (needed to replace both batteries)

- 4 days after we bought it, it overheated with terminal engine failure on the Coquihalla (needed new cylinder head, water pump, radiator, thermostat, timing belts and all kinds of gaskets) and a full month and a half until we got the parts from the dealer who had to have this done under warranty.

- Along the process the switch for the rear wiper was found to be broken

- Furthermore the Alternator was found to be delivering insufficient charge and needed to be replaced

- Once the thing was rolling again, I noticed massive water leaking into the footwells

- I had that repaired according to the instructions on the Forum just to find that there is still a leak (this time I being told that it probably wasn't the cracks under the front panels - but rather the windshield molding....)

- Then - about a week later - my glow plugs went dead - all four of them

- So I had the glow plugs replaced - to find that a week later they were dead again

- Turns out the ECU is clicking in and out erradically even when driving and engine warm - which leads to premature burn-out of the plugs

- So I had a new button mounted on the dashboard to engage the glowplugs manually - bypassing the ECU altogether

- Next thing I had to find out that - if the headlights are turned on, the engine can't be switched off...

- A new DLR regulator took care of this problem

- A few days later I couldn't remove the key from the ignition anymore - even when in park - starting it, shifting up and down, helped that problem

- Today now I find that I can't shift from Park - even if engine is running... with key obviously in...

- Also found out today that the sliding door won't open... not because it's frozen shut... no, the powerlock mechanism doesn't push the little button up far enough.....

I have not had one single successful road trip in that Van (whatever a successful roadtrip means - I guess for me it means getting there and coming back with everything on the darn thing still working)....

When reading the technical and troubleshooting section it appears that I am not the only one who encounters the exact same problems. It appears that they are not just common - but actually just too common...

Now since there are many more symptoms and problems (clunks, noises, failures etc.) that people are describing in the forum that haven't happened to me yet, I wonder if I have to go through all of those as well.

And please don't come tell me that this is to be expected because Delica's are already 15 years old and all that....

I have a 1983 Dodge Ram Van with a 225 cuin slant six. This Van has well over 230'000kms and never - I repeat - N E V E R - let me down once. And aside from new brakes and the odd oil-change I never do anything to that Van...

And in addition I have a 1969 Ford Cortina - so this vehicle will be fourty years old as of January 1st 2009 - and I never had any issues come anywhere near those of the Delica....

I am not in the race league and leadfooting my Delica or mistreating it in any way. The contrary, I am so careful (as I am worried about breaking the next thing) with this van that it's already ridiculous.... I let it warm up, when started (like I never did any other vehicle I ever owned), I never went beyond 110km/h's out of worries about speeding tickets and about breaking something....

So I don't expect anybody to give me tips on what I should or should not have done.... I just needed to voice my frustration about the worst vehicle I ever spent money for....
Seems pretty clear to me that you already have given up on your Deli, so you should just go ahead and get rid of it!

I love my Deli and yes, I've had more than my fair share of problems with it, but all caused by incompetent mechanics and others working on it. Since we had the new engine put in we haven't had a lick of trouble. We pay attention to the important stuff like fluid changes and good once-overs on a regular basis, check out any strange noises (including the mysterious clunk coming from the back end that turned out to be a 2 liter bottle of pop that didn't get brought in with the groceries). We look forward to many trips and many miles in the deli. I hope whoever you sell yours to learns to love it for what it is, just a really cool vehicle that needs a little love now and then.
kb&2dogs (one here and one in doggy heaven)
(formerly Kathy Brian Seiko & Tundra)

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by oceaneer77 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:43 pm

THE delica is way more reliable than my porsche, so far at least.

Sounds like the next owner of yours will be getting a good vehicle seeing that you have done all the leg work.

oceaneer77

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by Fanny Bay Delica » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:59 pm

Ive had my Delica now for two years and this vehicle is King Kong!!!!!!! Feel free to search my posts and see how many times I've had any issues (I'll save you the trouble -- none) and this is on a 17 year old vehicle (this includes many trips around VI and around BC). If GM or Chrysler produced products like this they wouldn't be trying to steal my tax money.

Over the last few days alone the Deli has done things (driving through 2 ft of snow) that no other vehicle I've ever owned has been able to do!! I don't use it as my primary daily driver but save it as the fun weekend vehicle and when I want the family to feel safe and secure in bad weather!!

Maybe you should have been more careful when you purchased!!!!!!!!
Cheers!!

Andy

'91 Delica Super Exceed (Jade over Silver) - SOLD!! - SOLD!! SOLD!!


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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by lisairwin2001 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:08 am

I must say..I am so missing my deli..(shes parked away for winter!!) I cant wait til spring to get her out...We only bought it the end of august..but we spent every weekend out in the bush after that!!We also own a tracker but have three dogs so not enough room for camping equipment..So we (my husband) saw one in nelson and fell in love!!!Me i was skeptical, you know a mini - van!!! My daughters 20!! lol..but then i started checking them out on internet..wow..THOSE ARE COOL!!! and considering they have the same wheelbase as our tracker..we can still sneak into some narrow roads..but have enough space for EVERYTHING...just pull off unload and wammo..your ready for the night!! What other vehicle can you do that in!!! We went on some rough terrain..and our deli never once let us down!! Granted we only drove it for three months, but living in the kootenays we put her to the test..but always with love!! Maybe down the road I might have some problems but it is worth it..In my opinion..Being out on those backroads from backroads book..were some of the best times my husband and I have had!!
Everything enjoyable costs money!!! You cant judge them all from one!!!

LUV my "deli"

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by FalcoColumbarius » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:36 am

Hey Impalator, How are you?

Just before I had bought my van I spent $200 to have her checked out. It was a good move as although the timing belt had been replaced the seals had dried out (I presume because of age & sitting on some dock for a while without running) and consequently was leaking oil on the timing belt, which is not good. Because I spent the $200 I was able to negotiate a price reduction based on how much it would cost to repair said issue. Had I not done this the oil would eventually compromise the timing belt, which could break and that could mean a new engine. Being a painter by trade and not knowing the ins & outs of diesel mechanics I resorted to reading people to see who I thought could do it as well as reading up on these vehicles, which is how I discovered this site. The mechanic that I originally took the van to had told me that they were extremely top heavy and liable to flip if I turned the key in the ignition too fast, which told me that he didn't really like them. He advised me that I could get a vehicle from the Budget Rent-A-Car auctions for as little as $20,000 and might even find one that had 4WD. I thought about this. I also did some research on the top-heaviness issue and discovered that for a vehicle to be street legal in Japan it had to be stable at a 35 degree lateral angle and as these vehicles were very popular in Japan I figured that this mechanic didn't know very much about this van. In fact there is a guy in the UK who is a member of this club (Mystery Machine), who demonstrated with a photograph of his inclinometer that these vehicles are stable at a 45 degree angle.

I have learned a great deal about this van on this site and one of the first places I went to was the "Delica Wiki", which you will find on the Forum page of this site. In there you will find a list ( http://wikrad.com/delica/index.cgi?to_d ... red_delica ) which makes for preventative medicine.

The way I figure it, I treat my van (the Miss Lil' Bitchi) as I would a ship (my father was in the RN and taught me a lot about ships) ~ which means preventative maintenance (son, there is no such thing as an idle moment on board a ship). We live in a world of erosion and deterioration. Anything that is created is doomed if we don't replace/repair &c.. I expect this so I do my best to prepare for these things.

Since owning this van I have put 26,000+ kilometres on her. Much of that has been deep in the bush and not just on maintained logging roads but off the road, too. When I go deep into the bush I want to be able to come back out as well, so I make sure that my van is "ship shape & Bristol fashion", as it were.

One other thing this van has brought me is the community of this club. I have made a number of new friends here, people who seem to understand me or at least tolerate me. Through these friends I have learned much from the exchange of ideas, which is why I go to a lot of the meets. Some meets I will travel far to get to because of the quality of people that attend them. We all have our issues and ultimately they work out to be the same in the long run so I am happy to hear your's or anyone else's issues but I also like to hear about the good times, which is one of the reasons why we post pictures & stories of sorties. By the way on the last one I landed on something and took out my cabin blower fan which I now need to replace, such is life :| .

I am truly sorry to hear your woes and I hope you can resolve them in a positive way. I hope that this post will be of assistance to you, after all... we all want to be happy campers :-) . If there is anything I can do to help you please feel free to ask... you know what they say... the cost of advice is free and you don't have to use it.

Peace, Falco.
Sent from my smart pad, using a pen.

Seek Beauty... Image Good Ship Miss Lil' Bitchi

...... Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. ~ Japanese Proverb

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by Youbou » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:07 am

:M
Last edited by Youbou on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by docsavage » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:27 am

As with any vehicle manufactured there are lemons and roses. Some of these van seem to be lemons, perhaps due to maintenance regimes of previous owners and unknown histories. My first Delica was a diesel which I owned for almost two years and put 60,000 km on. Only issues were the alternator and glow plugs. Even when the alternator went, I limped home 1200 kms on batteries alone. One great thing about diesels - no spark needed. After being written off the engine is still going strong in someone elses Delica although they had to replace the turbo.

However, most of the Delica's here are diesels. They are small underpowered diesels working hard to push these heavy bricks up and down our highways at high speeds, winds, extreme temperatures, and thing that I don't know if Japan experiences. Diesels though great in many ways are always expensive to fix, period. They run at higher compressiona and have heavier more precisely manufactured parts (injection pump) that cost more. I had a 1986 Toyota Landcruiser HJ60 that popped its head. The head alone was $4000, at the same time it cracked all six pistons nad many other things, and the overheating cooked the auto box as well. It cost me over $12,000 and six months waiting for parts to fix. (I didn't know the tranny went until the engine was fixed and by then I was already in too deep). So even the much ballyhooed Toyota diesels have issues (just look at the issues with Prados).

All that being said, I bought another Delica, this time it is gas. I just drove the 600 km to Williams Lake from Houston in -30 weather with no issues at 110 km/hr. I think I am going to enjoy my gas Delica much more as I feel that when something goes wrong (it will, all vehicles fail eventually), the repairs will always be cheaper ( a whole new engine is available from Chrysler cheap), I don't have to worry so much about heat buildup (deadly with diesels), gas is cheaper and more easily available, and the parts are all easily available for the motor. My main reason for getting another Delica was the space inside. I thought long and hard about what to get and almost went back to Nisaan (Pathfinder or Xterra) but in the end I had enough experiance and stuff built for the Delica it made sense. I would always consider another Delica in the future, but I will not go back to one with a diesel.

So I hear the pain of the people out there and feel bad reading about all the issues. But as mentioned, we mostly ask questions when things go wrong. If you are tired of your Delica, unload and try a gas one first before giving up on them. The remainder of my trip will take me out to Alberta for next week and then back to Houston. In total I wll be putting over 3000 km on and according to the weather it is going to be cold. If anyone in Edmonton or Red Deer next week want to try a gasser PM me and I'll try to fit it in. I hope to bring a shipment of parts to Vancouver in January sometime, so maybe I will try to come down for a meet and others can try it out as well.

That all assumes I have no troubles on the rest of my journey (knock on wood).

James
James

1989 Delica P24W Exceed
Panasonic CQ-TX5500W

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39Ronin
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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by 39Ronin » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:15 am

The problem vehicles that you see on here with electrical gremlins ect.. have most likely sat in humid Japan for a number of years prior to landing here and being sold. Typically the Japanese take care of their stuff, so when we see 15 year old vans that look in this condition we are amazed. Think of what happens to a vehicle if sits here for a couple of years, you probably wouldn't buy it. I think it is uneducated buyers that end up with a vehicle with a higher chance of problems. I have owned a few JDMs and the only ones I ever had issue were the ones I bought that weren't still under "SHAKEN" in other words they weren't registered and being used at the time I purchased them. I have preached here before about buying only vehicles that were still under or recently came off "Shaken" but it makes laugh at the amount of people that seem to argue with me on that point. A "Shaken" vehicle will fetch about 4 times the amount that a "non-shaken" vehicle will, so you pay up front but in the long run you will have way less chance of problems. I also wouldn't suggest to buy from an exporters stock unless they can offer you the auction sheet or all the service records to help confirm mileage.

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Re: Are Delica's Crap?

Post by ccautos » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:04 am

It is sad to see someone lose faith in their vehicle due to mechanical issues like these . There are a lot of dealers selling these vehicles for high prices with nothing done to them and causing the owners stress and unnecessary expense when it could have been prepared properly at not much more initial cost . All of these vans need a certain amount of servicing/repairs when entering the country whether it has 20k or 200k on the clock it still needs the work carrying out to ensure reliability and enjoyment .
We seem to have an increasing amount of vehicles coming into the shop for stupid things like DRL re-installs because the dealership that sold it got their 16 year old lot boy to hack it in rather than pay a shop to do it properly or having to strip out the front of the engine to change timing belt tensioners and thermostat because the dealership thought that those were too expensive on the bill for replacing the timing belt !!!
Moral of the story is that if the van is being sold for what seems "cheap" their is a reason . If it is being sold at an average price don`t believe the car dealerships story of what has been done . GET A SECOND OPINION take it to a shop that knows these vans and have a thorough inspection done before you part with any money . A $60 per purchase inspection could prevent this ever increasing dislike of Delicas .
I have had one cutomer on my lot begging me to buy his van because he was so sick of on going small repairs and maintenance that when the engine blew (due to leaking water pump even though he had just had the belts changed) he said thats it and went and bought a new Dodge Caravan !!!
This forum is an excellent source of information and it is not hard to find out which shops know the vehicles and which dealers sell good quality vehicles . Use that information and do your due diligence before purchase and you should never lose your warm fluffy feeling for your Delica !!!!!
Now I will get off my soapbox and go have a coffee !!!

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