Who woulda guessed that a vehicle can cause so many smiles and thumbs-ups. The best part of ownership is how happy it makes people.

Enjoy this van tour video

You may have noticed that it’s pretty easy to find a Delica between $7k and $19k. I bought one of those, from one of those sketchy dealerships in Canada, after it’d been imported from Japan. It had 79000 miles as verified by the Japanese import paperwork shared with me. Immediately, everything went wrong. My $15k Delica turned into a $34k+ project over the course of 15 months. And I like projects.

Please learn from my mistake.

I spared no expense in turning that very stock, boring Delica into what you see today. I am a project person, and this has been a consuming project one. Where an OEM or aftermarket product didn’t exist, I had one fabricated. I poured myself into creating an ideal off-road, 4x4, overland, camper van. The thing is, I’m not into off-roading, overlanding, or really even vehicles in general. I just like projects. And I’m proud to say that this project is done and ready for someone to enjoy.

It currently sits at 90000 miles. It doesn’t blow black smoke from the exhaust like many imported vans do. It can reach 80mph on flat highway but prefers to cruise at 65mph. Big hills can bog it down, so taking them slowly while checking the gauges is the best way to ensure longevity. I have never run the EGT over 1200* and the water temp has never gone over 2/3.

It is a right-hand drive turbo diesel off-road capable camper van. Driving on the right side of the van takes about 30 seconds to get used to.

The best owner of this vehicle will be an enthusiast with a desire to join the forums, participate in the facebook groups, meet a good diesel mechanic, and is friendly to strangers. Owning this van will likely take a little more time, effort, and money than a traditional car. But maybe not, given I’ve done pretty much all of that work for you. Regardless, it is very worth it.

This is a highroof Chamonix model. It has two batteries, 7” more headroom than the low roof model, some insulation in the panels, and apparently a limited slip differential. The front hubs lock automatically when using the easy 4H or 4L 4WD options. This van is far from stock and is one of a kind. The engine has been worked on only by JDM, diesel, and Delica specialists. I did none of the engine work myself. I spared no expense in turning this into what it is.
It would cost you much more if you wanted to replicate this. I got deals and discounts on many of the products and services. I don’t even want to think how much I’d have into this thing otherwise. And that isn’t even accounting for the endless time and energy researching parts, driving to various shops, and going literally months at a time without my van.
I am including prices below simply to give you an idea what you’re getting.

AUDIO has been upgraded with a Pioneer headunit that ties into the factory radio antenna, dims with the headlights, has Apple CarPlay, and connects to your phone either via USB or bluetooth, offering a microphone by the driver’s face for hands-free calling. I literally paid extra for the model that doesn’t include a CD player. If you haven’t used CarPlay, it’s awesome, and it’s set up with Google Maps showing the satellite view of the terrain over which you’re driving. The front speakers have been replaced with Pioneer’s high-end model that fit in the small existing mounts. ($375)
WHEELS AND SUSPENSION have been upgraded not only for an aftermarket lift, but for preventative maintenance. Five brand new, matte black, lightweight alloy rims wrapped in BFG KO2 replaced the stock wheels. The lift kit is from Canada and was installed at an offroad speciality shop here in Utah. They also trimmed and painted the fenders and wheel wells and removed the front mudflaps to allow the larger tires, before mounting and balancing the tires and installing the new wheels. New front and rear shocks in addition to OEM inner and outer tie rods were also installed at this time. When this was all finished, an alignment was done by an alignment shop specializing in 4x4. ($4127)
BREATHING has been increased through a snorkel with a custom-fabricated air filter welded and installed by a diesel tuning shop in Utah. A custom 2.5” side exit flex-pipe-back exhaust and muffler with a black 3” tip finishes the breathing. ($889)
EXTERIOR has been modernized by sandblasting and powder coating the front bull bar, changing it from chrome to matte black. The sideview mirrors were painted to match. The middle and rear windows were tinted 5% and the front windows 50% with the highest quality, Suntek Ceramic CR. New smoked OEM wind deflectors were ordered from Japan and replaced the previous cracked deflectors. A cheap but awesome 23” LED lightbar is mounted to the front bullbar and wired with its own fuse. A discrete factory-looking switch is installed in the dash to illuminate the lights. There is a two-piece bash guard/skid plate. An aluminum ladder from Japan is securely on the rear hatch. ($672)
BOOST was improved by installing a new t04-09b OEM turbo and gasket from Japan. A manual boost controller was installed and tuned to 13PSI. ($1046)
BED AND INTERIOR is an entirely custom designed and fabricated system by an overland upfitter in SLC. The floating bed frame is made of extruded aluminum and vented birch ply. To avoid support legs, it is mounted to and supported entirely by black L-track mounted on the interior walls and trimmed with existing panels. The bed can be removed with just a few bolts and replaced with the factory middle and rear rows of seats and seatbelts, all in excellent condition. A custom 4” foam mattress was locally-made and wrapped in a custom-sewn waterproof Sunbrella cushion cover fits perfectly. Twin XL sheets fit it, but it’s bigger than that. Two people and a dog slept on it without issue. When the L-track was installed, the walls were insulated with wool, deadening both sound and temperature swings. ($3010)
REAR BUMPER is designed and fabricated entirely by a local automotive fabricator. It is a one-off design that I came up with after realizing I wanted a lightweight rear bumper that 1) could be used as a surface to jack from in order to change my rear tires if necessary, 2) needed to hold my oversized spare tire securely, but swing out of the way in order for me to open the rear hatch, 3) allowed a 1-UP USA bike rack to be mountable to a secure 2” receiver that swings out of the way with the spare tire when accessing the rear hatch, 4) has reinforced D-rings to be used for recovery. The rear bumper is powder coated to match the front bull bar. It is my favorite part of the van. It has a gas strut to help the tire swing out of the way with minimal effort, a rubber bushing to stop it from opening into a neighboring car, and the standard 4x4 aftermarket latch system. ($3107)
OVERLAND from the roof! It has a full length FrontRunner roof rack, camp table (mounted between roof and roof rack), side-mount ski racks, MaxTrax mounts. There is a Road Shower 4 that was used once (a $400 rinse after a California bike ride just doesn’t quite seem worth the investment). There are 2 Rotopax water containers on the roof with a custom mount that Rotopax HQ put together for me. There are 2 FrontRunner Wolf Pack waterproof boxes on the roof for holding firewood, tools, etc. These containers are held down with FrontRunner Stratchits. There is a solar panel and fridge and FrontRunner awning. ($3750)
FRIDGE AND SOLAR is the slickest system. In order to prevent taxing the alternator and batteries, it’s an easy Goal Zero system. A 100-watt Boulder 100 solar panel is mounted to the roof rack. I was able to run the cable into the cabin without being visible or drilling any holes. It goes directly to a Yeti 1400 Lithium battery, which it easily charges. A Dometic CFX 40 fridge is plugged into it, using either 110v or 12v. It is quiet, easy, simple, and lightweight. This is by FAR the best solar and fridge solution. The fridge is mounted to a Dometic sliding drawer that comes out the side door to open the fridge (which is adjustable with wifi and can also be a freezer). It stashes neatly out of the way under the bed, leaving significant storage space. ($3520)
OTHER STUFF includes all new Bosch windshield wipers, new lug nuts, multiple new spare keys, HiLift cover and handle holder and mounts. The EGR has been deleted and the blanking plate has been tapped with an EGT probe run to an illuminated pyrometer on the dash. This is the best way to monitor exhaust gas temperatures and essential to owning a Delica in North America. The disastrous but necessary “wet floor” fix was done by a team effort of local off-road, body, and glass shops. It was a disaster to fix the leaking “cheeks” that almost ALL Delicas of this age seem to suffer from. It ended with a new windshield and gasket. Rubber floor mats were purchased and trimmed to fit perfectly. The rear hatch interior handle and locking mechanism were imported from Japan and replaced. The reverse lights were replaced with bright LED bulbs. The WOT switch was removed, the temp gauge was fixed. ($1420)
RECENTLY it’s had a valve clearance adjustment, compression test (400PSI, perfect). Timing belt, water pump, transfer case rear output shaft seal, rear differential pinion seal, cam shaft seal, hot side gaskets, valve cover gasket have all been replaced. A coolant flush and oil change and tire rotation were just replaced along with fuel filter, air filter, and all 4 belts (A/C, alternator x2, power steering). When the turbo was replaced, so was the exhaust manifold and gasket with stainless hardware. The water temp sensor was replaced along with the thermostat. Front rotors were turned, front brake pads were replaced. New inner and outer wheel bearings and seals. ($3300)
MAYBE YOU’D CARE ABOUTThe front tires can still rub the wheel well when the wheel is turned at just the right angle and the suspension flexes just enough. It has only happened to me maybe 5 times in the past 18 months of ownership, and it doesn’t cause notable damage to either the tires nor the body. I’m sure a slight cut could fix this, but odds are you’ll never even experience it. The painted black tip on the exhaust pipe is starting to flake from the heat. The passenger seat has a 5” tear along the back seam. It hasn’t gotten worse over the course of the last 6 months of use. The driver’s seat had the exact same tear, and I got it professionally fixed for $90. If you care enough, you could do this for the passenger seat. The paint isn’t perfect. The speedometer and tachometer are a little low since I pulled the needles to replace the temp gauge. The rubber on the steering wheel is peeling a bit. One out of 50 drives, the cluster won’t work right away. A single, hilarious tap on top of the dash fixes it every time this happens. My non-shedding, hypoallergenic, adorable dog has spent time in the van.

I will include all of the Delica pieces and parts I have. Floor mats, bumper, jack, seat belts, seats, fluids, oil, filters, etc. I’ll even give you the sheets and comforter for this bed. For asking price, I’ll include a lightly used Trasharoo and brand new MaxTrax. I have all paperwork along with a detailed spreadsheet of the history of the van since I got it in Canada. The van has never failed to start easily, even on cold mornings. I regularly use injector cleaner and diesel additive. I keep the interior clean. There is no noteworthy rust, which is incredible. The modern xenon headlights are bright, the yellow OEM fogs are even brighter, and the LED lightbar is the brightest. All electronics work, from hazard lights to power windows and locks. The carpet is clean. The van is adult driven by non-smokers. I do not go off-roading. I have never bottomed-out or gotten stuck. Nothing on the interior is broken. I’ve only used 4WD twice, and only because I was scared, not because I was stuck. Of the 11000 miles I’ve put on the van, 4000 of those were in 2 trips—driving the van from Canada after purchase (no problems), and a California road trip (no problems). I would drive the van cross-country tomorrow without hesitation. The A/C is cold, the heat is warm. There is rear A/C and heat though I do not use it since there aren't currently rear seats.

The van is clean, running the best its ever run, and ready for your adventures, whether you live vanlife or houselife.

contact Brody @ 440.725.7928