My Van

Link to the V8 version of my van here:

This is actually my second delica van. The first was a L300 2L Petrol, it served me well enough but eventually died of old age and excessive mileage.
The new one is a S1 2.8 SWB and I’ve since spent more on accessories than it cost to actually buy it :eek:
Bog stock and boring…

A few months after buying it…

Ok so this is a list of mods I’ve done, mostly in chronological order..
After much googling and looking at photos of peoples efforts to get the spare mounted somewhere more accessible, this..
I decided to use a Terrano wheel gate (because a mate had one lying around) and it swings to the right side so that you don’t have to walk around it when going from side door to rear hatch.So here’s some pics and descriptions, for those who may want to do something similar.

Terrano spare wheel carrier with about 100mm cut out of the hinge side so the the pivots are closer together. This to allow less obstruction of the tail lights

Mig weld the new hinge pole onto the towbar and add gusset for strength

Original Terrano cast hinge blocks are cut and welded to the new upright. They are cast iron so need appropriate welding rods and skills to weld onto the mild steel post.

A lick of paint

Trial Fitting

Shorten left side loop by 100mm and discard old latch mechanism

New support and latch mechanism going on

Ramp and cup latch waiting on lock pin

Support cup and latch
Painted and fitted – rego plate moved

Does my ass look fat?Next project, new springs and shocks you saggy old whale….It has an Xrox bar on the front – I had that imported from Australia. It was hideously expensive, but it is a very nicely made piece.
Inside that I have a Runva 12000lb winch with dyneema rope.

I fitted a snorkel, not because I intend to drive through extra deep water, more of an insurance policy should I miss-judge the depth of a creek or river. The original air intake on these is under the right front gaurd and not very high up..The roof tray came off my old L300. All I had to do was make new mounting brackets to get it onto the L400
The rod racks on top are actually snowboard racks. Both the tray and the racks were sourced second hand from trademe.I ripped all the rear seats and carpets out and had a simple wooden platform made with storage cavities underneath, and enough room for an airbed on top.
I don’t want to go the full-on camper route because I still use it as a van occasionally to cart junk around.
I bought some 31x8x15 wheels and tyres via Trademe and put them on. They are -22 offset ROH and the increase in track meant I had to get mudguard extensions in order to be legal.I have a 3m x 3m awning made by an upholsterer mate, and it attaches via a rope channel bolted to the roof tray mounts. I’m not overly happy with the look of that and will probably re-address this at some stage.

I have a 600w inverter bolted in and a 120w portable solar panel which I can chuck on the roof if needed.
Will be buying a 750cca Optima Yellow battery when the bank account recovers a little..Things still to do:
It needs a longer sliding door hinge made because the door rubs on the rear wheel now due to the wider track.
It needs new heavy duty springs and shocks, because its a whale..
And a stereo! AM wireless just doesn’t do it…
I want to toss out the stupid wobbly ball compass thing (because its seized solid) and replace it with a boost gauge.More as I think of it…Edit: 05-05-16
So this happened today…
Started by making a cardboard template – then made it from MDF

Cup/Can holders and inverter

glue and floor matting

Might do a lid yet

Edit: 15-06-16
Rod holders for that quick trip further up the beach.
Not having to put them back on top will be great..
The U-Bolts supplied with it were 50mm but my bar is 60mm and there was no room in the mount plate to drill new holes for wider U-Bolts.
So got a bit of 50mm tube and welded two mount bolts into it. Attached the original U-Bolts to that.

Edit: 11-08-16
Yes! Much goodies have arrived. Dobinsons 50mm lift kit and Airlift overload bags.

Will post before and after side-on pics when all this is installed :)

Edit: 14-08-16
It was a bit of a mission. Took me and my brother nearly 5 hours to get this installed, but this included making the 40×40 sway bar and brake bias spacers, as well as machining two 100×20 teflon discs to protect the top of the airbags from the 3 bolts that mount the spring cups to the chassis.

Adjustable panhard will help to re-centre the diff come wheel alignment day.
The Airlift bags are actually mounted upside down with the pipes connected at the bottom. The pipes go into the trailing arms and up through a small hole and are zip-tied onto the swaybar and brake lines, eventually ending at two separate valves in the lower rear panel.
The pipe is protected by that spiral wrap stuff normally used for protecting wiring looms.

Edit 24-08-16
So today I removed the original AM wireless

And the front door speakers, which had definitely seen better days…

Replaced the head unit with a Sony DSX-A400BT and the door speakers with Sony 5.5inch 2way jobs and removed the silly little dashboard tweeters.

It sounded much nicer but still kinda weak so this took up some space in one of the storage cavities..

Which is connected to this just behind the passenger seat.

It now sounds plenty good enough for an old codger playing old codger music :grin:

So after all of the above I decided I had better get some security installed in the form of an AVS-A5
I now have a pretty blue blinky light and some stickers..

Edit: Sept/16
Got a UHF radio to take up the space of that rough looking junk tray. Then realised (read in forums) that unlike Aussie, where UHF is the preferred radio, Kiwis still mostly use the old CB’s.
At the moment it seems I’ve got all 80 UHF channels to myself :-/

Then I attacked the binnacle on top of the dash and tossed out the useless wobbly ball compass thing and volt meter. I replaced them with a Saas boost gauge and oil pressure gauge. The gauges are 52mm ones and fit snugly into the standard holes. The middle hole is considerably larger at 66mm which means I need to get a 2 and 5/8th inch water temp gauge to fit. I can’t seem to find a matching black-face 2-5/8th Saas gauge in NZ. They do make them, I just cant find anyone selling them..

Sender unit for the oil pressure gauge is tee’d into the standard switch position so I can still retain the dashboard oil light.

Edit: 08-11-16
I finally got around to purchasing a new Optima yellow battery. This should have a lot more grunt for such things as cold starting and using the winch.
Optima Yellow

What then to do with the old (but still good) battery?
I’ve fitted it just inside the side door as a ‘house battery’ – the inverter, sub amp, and any other accessory items are powered from this battery. It is separated from the Optima starting battery via a Dual Battery Isolator kit so the accessories being used while camping will never flatten the starting battery.
Battery IsolatorI still have to find or make a proper battery tray and clamps yet.

Edit: 12-11-16

Finally managed to purchase a 2 5/8th size black-face SAAS temperature gauge via ebay Aussie. They wouldn’t ship internationally so I had to get it shipped to an Aussie address then forwarded to me from there. Not impressed that it has a different colour ring and needle but I’ll take what I can get I guess.
The sender unit and adaptor fittings that came with it will not fit the Mitsubishi thread so off to the parts shop tomorrow to find a suitable adaptor.

EDIT 14-02-17 Even though I have an inverter in the van already I decided to get this USB panel to charge phones and such.

The other side of the sliding door cavity now holds a fire extinguisher – probably a good idea considering gas cooking and stuff happens around this area.

EDIT 12-04-17  – I decided to get new tyres as the second hand Maxxis Mudders were nearing the end of their usefulness. I got a set of 5, Chinese made “free passer” muddies ( yeah I know, who the hell in China thinks up their names!)
I was going to get my existing wheels stripped and re-painted but in the end I just purchased 4 new ROH 15×8 wheels. Piece of mind having 5 new wheels and tyres on the beast.

Edit: 5-5-17
Shiny bits have arrived from the UK – An alloy radiator expansion tank to replace the fragile plastic original tank. This has always been a problem with the deli’s – they crack the original expansion tank and overheat, which leads to head gasket problems etc.
I thought I best replace it before it craps itself.


EDIT: June 2017
Good intentions don’t always pay off….
Fitting the new expansion tank was designed to stop me having engine trouble due to the plastic one cracking…
After fitting it, the cooling system had pressure (as it should have) which it didn’t have with the cracked plastic tank. That pressure showed up a problem which wasn’t apparent when the was no pressure in the cooling system. The engine began to emit lots of steam from the exhaust (never a good sign) when hot.
Diagnosis was coolant finding its way into the combustion. Strip down revealed a cracked cylinder head.
This engine has never been overheated in the 30,000km that I’ve owned it and has been running perfectly with zero cooling system pressure and a cracked head…..
Fixing the cooling system was more than the cracked head could stand, so $3.5k later I have a new ‘made in spain’ cylinder head and we are back on the road…. :-/

Edit: November 2017
Dragging a high-lift jack out from under the floor is a pain in the ass, so I decided it need to be outside the vehicle. Too heavy to put on the top, the only logical place was on the spare wheel swing.

We started with two pins that would fit through the holes in the jack ladder, then a clamp lever with a rubber bump-stop on it which would clamp against the jack and hold considerable pressure on it.

A simple padlock holds the lever in the locked position for easy access,

Edit: Jan 2018
Ok so I’ve been experiencing issues with the cooling system AGAIN… :-/
The other day it puked a lot of coolant out of the overflow tank for no apparent reason. I took it to the garage to get tested for combustion gasses in the coolant and it came up positive. Shit!
After spending over $3000 8 months ago on a no-expense-spared fix (new cylinder head, complete overhaul of cooling system, everything done) Its done it again..
To get home I put in a bottle of K-Seal which is supposed to stop leaks etc. Surprisingly it worked. Coolant has stabilised, no more puking. But for how long?
Anyway, I decided to upgrade the radiator, even though the original is in mint condition inside and out. I purchased a 42mm all alloy replacement for the standard plastic/alloy 25mm unit.

Its a very nice unit and even in ambient summer temps of over 30 degrees it runs a good 5 degrees cooler than the standard radiator.

I’m planning a bit trip to the far north in March – lets hope the gunk keeps the head sealed and the big-core radiator can handle the heat.

Edit: March 2017
Well the gunk didn’t hold and the beast now has another new head gasket, I have just returned from an epic fishing trip to the far north and all seems well at this stage,
Prior to going I fitted a 400w light bar to the roof tray. Its hooked up to its own switch and circuit with 50amp relay and heavy cabling. Its triggered off the high-beam (if its switched on)
Let there be light..