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 Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?

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adnz
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PostSubject: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:58 pm

Hey guys,

I'm looking at getting a Super Custom to use as a camper for ski and rock climbing trips in NZ.

What I'm wondering is how a Super Custom will handle 4WD mountain roads especially to the smaller club fields.

My understanding is that part time 4WD is better than full time 4WD for real off-roading but for 4WD mountain roads would it make any difference? And would the ~175cm clearance on a SC be enough?

I see that 1992-1995 SCs on trademe are listed for about $10-15k. And there are 2007 Mitsi Delicas on there for $13-15k. I'm wondering if a Delica would be a better option - any thoughts on using a Delica for the same purpose?


Cheers,
Adam
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GPW
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:43 pm

I'd also have a look at buying one direct from Japan as the shipping would be quite cheap to NZ I think, and they have a HUGE selection of what you'd want.

E.g: https://carfromjapan.com/en/car/5785dd8fa0d475a0474312e9-used-toyota-hiace-2000
and https://carfromjapan.com/en/car/55927de79dacc4603d5c62b6-used-toyota-hiace-2005

Get an accurate assessment of import taxation before you do though, the UK is around 32% of the gross spendage (including shipping costs) - not sure how NZ works.

As long as you get 4WD I'd think they'd be fine, have a check how easy parts are to get though.

As for Delica vs Hiace vs Nissan Caravan vs Bongo vs Doblo vs VW I think you have to see them and have a wander around to see how the shape etc matches your purpose.
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:51 pm

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Hiace4wd
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:32 pm

The 4wd is indeed part-time 4wd with low-gearing if you have a manual. If you check for a competative van, please check if it has low-gearing or automatic option to go low. It will allow you to climb up the mountain at a slow pace, which is nice when you 're climbing a rocky surface.

I have a manual one with the 2.4 litre diesel, and used it as such (I owned a Landcruiser before) and it does the job really well. Even though you would not expect it.

The ground clearance is in fact the only issue. That's why I raised it.

What kind of 4x4 usage are you talking about? Because if you're not experienced with offroad driving, I think you would already be surprised what this van can do.
It also works quite nice in the sand with low pressure on the tyres. Just be careful not to hit the sand with the middle of the body, as you'll get stuck due to the lack of clearance.



When it comes to driving in snow on a tarmac surface, you just want to take it easy, and tyre choice becomes very important.

Please note that you can fit difflocks and/or LSD's in both front and rear axles.
With a lot of snow driving I would suggest to choose LSD's. Difflocks are very nice, but a locked rear axle will make you go all over the place when you're driving on snow.
LSD's work much nicer in snow.

In the rear axle you might get lucky and find a factory LSD (I got lucky).
But you can buy Detroit Truetrac LSD's for around $450 dollar each and have them fitted.
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Hiace4wd
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:36 pm

I'm not sure what you mean with "club fields" by the way.

Anyway, some pics what I did before raising it.



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WGWarburton
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:24 pm

Club fields are small ski areas (often just a couple of lifts)  operated by a ski club. Often (usually?) accessed by a track rather than a tarmac road.
A 4x4 Hiace would be ideal for the job.

The older Hiace is essentially a van bodyshell on HiLux running gear, so has the transmission and engine from a pickup truck. The autos of this generation also have a "proper" 4WD setup with a transfer case, low ratio and no centre diff. The later "full time awd" ones have a central viscous coupling and no low-ratio. Better for greasy tarmac but not as effective on gnarly ground.
Neither has the ground clearance of a real offroader but otherwise they are up for anything.
 I haven't driven a Mitsu Delica but from what I've read they are more capable off road at the cost of a significantly worse on-road experience. Small inside, too- more a 7 seater 4x4 than an off road van.
Note that later "all wheel drive" Hiaces have Turbocharged engines with Electronic Fuel Injection. They have a lot more power (130bhp compared to around 90) but the engine is more highly stressed and you are relying on a 30 year old black box made with discrete electronics to manage your engine. Just something to think about ...

I had a VW combi in NZ. Was fine for 3 of us. The Hiace I have is bigger and more comfortable (though the suspension is more agricultural). I don't know the Nissan Caravan but the Bongo is pretty small. Works as a dayvan but (IMHO) is cramped as a standalone campervan if you need to carry gear...

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
             W.
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:41 am

Thanks for the answers guys.

WGWarburton that's right, by club fields I mean club owned ski fields which are accessed by unsealed tracks which will be snowy in winter. I don't plan on doing any real off-roading, so it sounds like either part-time or full-time 4WD would be fine.

Delicas do look smaller inside so I think the Hiace would be way better as a camper. The main attraction of a Delica though is that I can get a <10 year old one for not much more than a >20 year old Hiace. Good point also about the 30 year old computer in the FT 4WD Hiaces.

Hiace4wd, great pics! I think you're right that without much 4WD experience and given the tracks I need it for, the Hiace should be fine. It does really sound like the older part-time 4WD Hiaces are better for proper off-roading but tbh I don't really need that.

GPW, nice tip! Looks like it would be cheaper to import directly but I'm not sure I can be bothered with the faff.
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:25 pm

Ok thanks for the description, although I'm still not sure how those roads look.
It sounds like it might be easy most of the time, but when an unpaved road is not in good condition and is covered with snow, I think it can get hard.

But anyway, if it is not too bad, a permanent 4wd with automatic is easier to drive and will also allow you to do stuff. Perhaps throw in an LSD in the rear axle but then just go.
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PostSubject: Re: Super Custom for skiing/climbing in NZ?   Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:48 pm

Hiace4wd, here's an example of a club field access road:

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