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 Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.

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The Stig
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PostSubject: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:02 pm

Hello All,

Thought I may as well join here. First off, I'm not Japanese. I live in Japan with my family and we have a 1993 Hiace 4WD (LH119) 2.8 Diesel Camper which we use for getting away with. I believe it's the only model that was actually built as a camper new - by Toyota. It's a beautifully completed conversion.

I have to say, vans aren't usually my thing at all but a family with 2 small kids does tend to bend the perspective. I've actually grown to really like it as it's so good at what it does (except it's so bloody slow.. but more on that later...). It's got 2 double beds, sink, stove, fridge, front & rear air conditioning and good storage spaces too. Downstairs turns into either an 8 seater van (With seatbelts for each occupant), or a 4 person dining room, or a bedroom with full curtains, etc.

I have to admit, I am addicted to modifying stuff (mostly bikes, cars & the house!) but the Hiace isn't going to escape my attention. Neee...hehe.

It's in need of a bit of a makeover as there's a few bits of rust, etc. so I've been collecting bits ready to have it re-sprayed later on this year.
I've been doing stuff like fitting a fan with 3-speed vent on the roof, replacing the (rusted & dented) rear door and back lights with those from a later model (Not shown in the pictures below as this was only recent).  I also bought a new complete set of moldings & trims from Toyota & found a few accessories for the exterior incl. a wider sliding door hinge, which I already fitted - so I can fit some nice wide over fenders and some deep dish (zero offset) 15 x 8 wheels after the paintjob is done.

I've also already bought a tow bar and a motorbike carrier, which I plan to fit to the back.... See, it's really frustrating having a van with the home inside when we come to beautiful Japanese mountain roads...  Crying or Very sad  To have a nice lightweight Motard bike on the back would be the perfect answer when we need to have someone whizz off to buy groceries....  Razz 

Inside it's already got a Parrot 2 DIN head unit, but the standard speakers the van came with new disintegrated years before we became it's custodian. The foam on the rear speakers had turned to powder. So I'm awaiting two amplifiers and have something like 12 speakers and one compact subwoofer to fit behind the driver's seat (Which is a Recaro now - as I hated the original torture pedestal on there!). That'll make long distance trips a little less wearing, I hope. The sound system won't be for pumping bass as such, more about having good sound quality that doesn't need full volume, but gives plenty of clarity. Acoustics in a vehicle are never very good, but may as well maximize the quality so we actually enjoy listening to music.

What really gets to me is how slow this thing is though. Overtaking requires good timing & planning. We've recently completed a 700km trip and I can't say it was a fun drive, although the benefit I guess - is that my wife could drive whilst I slept in the back with the kids, until it was my turn.

But every cloud has a silver lining. In my search for what Turbos (2-LT's manifolds fit quite easily, apparently - but then I may need a CT20 Turbo?) would fit my 3L (2.8 N/A Diesel) engine, I came across this site which I didn't know existed....

Anyways, I could go on, but I'd best stop here.

I have a few questions, but felt it was rude to just jump in asking for help without an introduction first.

So - Yoroshiku!

[EDIT] - Seems I can't post images for the first 7 days, so I guess I'll have to wait.


Last edited by The Stig on Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:17 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Tried to post pictures, but forum rules says I cannot for 7 days. Ah, well...)
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:17 pm

Just got back from a 2 week camping trip with the Hiace. It did pretty well over around 2,500km with a family of 4. A few pics below.

I've pretty much decided in the not too distant future I'll do a turbo (2.8 Diesel) conversion, as I can buy a cheap EFI Turbo Diesel, switch parts then re-sell the donor van here in Japan as a non-turbo.
Easiest that way.

Now I just have to wait for our paint guy to respray it. I think it'll be a 2-tone shade of grey & silver, with wide black over-arches and deep dish 15 x 8J + 0 sized wheels from Watanabe. Will update with more pics once more work is done in case anybody is interested.

I also know of a Pristine (2WD) example like mine, as an original Toyota built camper for sale...













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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:10 am

Another few pics from our recent trip with the Hiace Camper.







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Clive
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:05 am

Off the top of my head you may need to change cylinder heads also, along with exhaust manifolds and down pipes, fit oil and water feeds (should all be there just blanked off) and the ECU which if you are lucky has the wiring all in place.

Best of luck hope it all goes ok.

Pics brill after getting soaked on a UK national holiday weekend!
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funbus
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Model and year : 1993, Toyota Hiace, 2.8 diesel,
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:29 pm

hello and welcome, nice hiace you've got there, you're in the right place if you're into modifying as you can get so much stuff for the hiace in Japan, i've got a Japanese import, it's one of the vanning hiaces that have the big bodykits and huge wings on the roof but the last owner removed most of the kit, so i'm on the lookout for the parts so i can put it back to it's former glory Smile
mine was customized by a company called Second House, i don't know where abouts in Japan they are.
also the AutoBacs stores are huge in Japan.
do you have any links to the vanning clubs in Japan? i've searched for them and can't find anything, i know there must be out there as they have lots of meets with loads of vans.
enjoy your stay here and happy vanning Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:54 pm

Thanks guys.

I'm usually into modifying sports cars rather than vans, but the Hiace will get a bit more attention  over time. I've been speaking with our paint guy and it should go for it's intended respray around mid to end of October, once I've used it as accomodation for the Moto GP Weekend. Once it's done with the new over arches & wider wheels I'll post pictures again.

About 4 years ago I came across a large gathering of vans one night. Not really my sort of thing, but I did take a lot of pictures of these crazy vehicles and sent them to a friend who shoots & writes for an online publication. Here's the link: http://www.speedhunters.com/2010/11/gallery_gt_gt_japanese_vanning_madness/

I'm afraid I don't have any connections I can give you for vanning companies in Japan. Most now deal with 200 series Hiace models as the 100 are too old for most Japanese to contemplate modifying nowadays. With difficulties in passing Japanese shaken, few are on the road here these days.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with Hiace Camper in Japan.   Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:05 pm

thanks, i've seen that link a while ago, lots of awesome vans, there still seem to be lots of the modified 100 series in Japan, i subscribe to a few channels on youtube that are to do with vanning in Japan and there's lots that go to the car show.
look forward to seeing the pics of your hiace after the respray Smile
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