JDM Truck and Van Resources (Hiace, Liteace, Townace, Toyoace, etc)

There seems to be a lot of these JDM vehicles entering North American markets is the last few years, but it seems like their is a severe lack of information on them.

I'm hoping those of us who own or are interested in owning one of these capable looking little diesels can pool our energy and our knowledge and get a good list of resources going. I'm not sure if it makes more sense to have one general thread or to break it up by make/model, for now lets keep it in 1 thread and just make sure to clearly identify the make/model/generation you are referring to. I will try to update and organize the original post with resources as they are provided.

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To start things off here are some basics:

General Vehicle Information (wikipedia)
Toyota Hiace Van (1967-present, light duty van, minibus, etc)
Toyota Hiace Truck (1985-1995, light to medium duty truck based on the larger Toyoace body, 1-2.5 ton, single and crew cab)
Toyota Liteace/Townace (1970/1976-present, light duty commercial and passenger van, light duty cabover truck)
Toyota Toyoace / Dyna (1954-present, light to medium duty cabover truck, 1-4 ton depending on generation+submodel)

Toyota L-Series Diesel Engine info:
Toyota L series diesel engine (overview)
2L Specs (4 cyl, 2.4L -- 75-88 hp, 114-121 ft/lb torque @ 2400 rpm)
2L-T Specs (4 cyl, 2.4L, Turbo -- 85-90 hp, 139 ft/lb torque @ 2200 rpm)
2L-TE Specs (4 cyl, 2.4L, Turbo, EFI, -- 96 hp, 163 ft/lb torque @ 2400 rpm)
3L Specs (4 cyl, 2.4L, -- 90 hp, 139 ft/lb torque @ 2400 rpm)
Short writeup on the 3L engine
 
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Lovetheworld

Active member
Hiaces come in a lot of varieties. You can see a lot from body/model codes:

LH118 for example.
L means L family type engine. Could be RZ for petrol (2RZ for example) or KZ for 1KZ-TE 3.0 turbodiesel
H1 = Hiace (super custom or regular) from 1990 to 2005
H2 = 2005+ with blocky/square nose
XH1/2 or CH1/2 = 1996 to 2012 Hiace with engine in the front with bonnet

100 = SWB, 110 = LWB, 120 = SuperLWB (rare)
112 = 2.4 L 2L rear wheel drive
113 = 2.8 L 3L rear wheel drive
118 = 2.4 L 2L four wheel drive
119 = 2.8 L 3L four wheel drive

Japanese Domestic market only got permanent 4wd regardless of engine type.
European and other markets got (for some models) low-gearing and parttime 4x4.
 

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Hiaces come in a lot of varieties. You can see a lot from body/model codes
Thanks that all is super useful info. It's nice to be able to make sense of the manufacturer codes like that.

Japanese Domestic market only got permanent 4wd regardless of engine type.
European and other markets got (for some models) low-gearing and parttime 4x4.
Wait are you saying all the 4x4 hiaces are fulltime 4wd? Not selectable?
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
No, read it again. That pretty much all Hiaces coming from the Japanese market come with fulltime 4wd. And that European version or for other continents can have selectable 4x4 with low-gearing. Like I have.
But the average Hiace Super Custom or other version from Japan has fulltime 4wd only.
 
That pretty much all Hiaces coming from the Japanese market come with fulltime 4wd.
Interesting, do you have any idea why that is? Personally I would much prefer selectable 4wd and 4-low, for the fuel economy and for the additional control. I wonder what it is about the Japanese market that made them choose fulltime 4wd.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
I don't know. But they don't really need selectable 4wd in Japan, you can barely go offroad there.
However, the Mitsubishi vans up to the previous generation were sold with selectable 4wd. (current generation doesn't have selectable 4wd, but comes with automatic with some helpful buttons for offroading, so pretty capable I think)
 

SuperHiace

New member
No, read it again. That pretty much all Hiaces coming from the Japanese market come with fulltime 4wd. And that European version or for other continents can have selectable 4x4 with low-gearing. Like I have.
But the average Hiace Super Custom or other version from Japan has fulltime 4wd only.
There are a lot of the JDM version with selectable 4x4, I have a 1993 Super Custom Limited imported from Japan that has it and I guy I got it from had several others with selectable, all from Japan. It's the LH107 version with the 2.8 liter engine.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
There are a lot of the JDM version with selectable 4x4, I have a 1993 Super Custom Limited imported from Japan that has it and I guy I got it from had several others with selectable, all from Japan. It's the LH107 version with the 2.8 liter engine.
You can't say there are a lot. It is ONLY the version 2.8 diesel, the LH107 or LH117 (lwb) chassis, that got the selectable 4x4 in Japan.
Any other engine choice did not get it. So no petrol versions, nor the ones with 2L or more modern 2L-TE. None of the Super customs with the 3 liter turbodiesel. And those are quite popular in the export market.

To put it into perspective. I did some searches on some sites, and I found only one 2.8 diesel with 4x4. All the rest is full time 4wd.

So yes, it is not impossible to get them with selectable 4x4 from Japan, but the buyer should know what he is looking for and that it is more rare.
I'm guessing that the few I know from the Uk with selectable 4x4 are also coming from Japan. With the big truck mirrors typically.

All the Mitsubishis just have selectable 4x4 standard, except for the very recent generation. (but that has electric gizmo's to help)
But they are smaller.
 

SuperHiace

New member
You can't say there are a lot. It is ONLY the version 2.8 diesel, the LH107 or LH117 (lwb) chassis, that got the selectable 4x4 in Japan.
Any other engine choice did not get it. So no petrol versions, nor the ones with 2L or more modern 2L-TE. None of the Super customs with the 3 liter turbodiesel. And those are quite popular in the export market.

To put it into perspective. I did some searches on some sites, and I found only one 2.8 diesel with 4x4. All the rest is full time 4wd.

So yes, it is not impossible to get them with selectable 4x4 from Japan, but the buyer should know what he is looking for and that it is more rare.
I'm guessing that the few I know from the Uk with selectable 4x4 are also coming from Japan. With the big truck mirrors typically.

All the Mitsubishis just have selectable 4x4 standard, except for the very recent generation. (but that has electric gizmo's to help)
But they are smaller.
Good to know I didn't realize it was the exception. I believe the LH109 GL and LH119 Super GL from Japan also has selectable 4x4, with the 3L engine, which were some of the other versions I was looking at before settling on the Super Custom Limited.
 

Doug mac

New member
I am hoping to get a Toyota Dyna imported from Japan. The ones I have seen that appeal to me are solid axle. Leaf spring. DRW 5 speed. 2/4x4 hi/lo. These I can find. What I have not found is the wide cab. When I first started thinking about this truck I thought I found vin decoder that specified wide or standard cab. Now I can not find it.

Also does anyone know when they went from 5 bolt to 6 bolt wheels and is the pattern the same as Fuso or npr?
Thanks
Any help would be great.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
@Doug mac
I think you mean www.toyodiy.com ?

I would think that a Dyna truck, so with a chassis, and 4x4 will always be the standard 6 bolt pattern.
5 bolts is usually for 2wd vans, but is used on some 4wd Hiaces (Hiaces with proper 4x4 however, come with 6 bolts)
 

Deshet

Adventurer
This post had me worried about the full-time 4x4 statement. I need the better fuel mileage in my Hiace RV then the fulltime 4x4s usually gets.
My 1994 LH85 4x4 Camper will be here in a few days from Japan and it has selectable 4x4.
2wd 4hi and 4low.

Does the 6 lug bolt pattern used in 1994 match to any of the 6 Lug Toyota patterns used over here? A set of TRD wheels would look nice.
 

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wileybyrd

New member
My wife and I've been looking for a 1994-95 Hiace. We are expecting another kiddo this fall which will make three. She wants a van but hates the current domestic options, which is why the Hiace is so appealing. She likes the 4WD and the seating options. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of info out there. Seems like the 3.0 1KZ-TE is good enough for daily use and commuting. What 4WD options does this engine show up in? What else should I be looking for in a Hiace? I'm not looking to convert to a camper but we'd still plan on taking it camping. We just use a ground tent, so a roof rack would be helpful.

I've been perusing these:

They all have or had good options. There shows one available from Japanese Vans that would fit the bill but we are local to Portland so Vanlife NW and Yota Imports are much closer.
 

Rhygaar

Oddral
My wife and I've been looking for a 1994-95 Hiace. We are expecting another kiddo this fall which will make three. She wants a van but hates the current domestic options, which is why the Hiace is so appealing. She likes the 4WD and the seating options. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of info out there. Seems like the 3.0 1KZ-TE is good enough for daily use and commuting. What 4WD options does this engine show up in? What else should I be looking for in a Hiace? I'm not looking to convert to a camper but we'd still plan on taking it camping. We just use a ground tent, so a roof rack would be helpful.

I've been perusing these:

They all have or had good options. There shows one available from Japanese Vans that would fit the bill but we are local to Portland so Vanlife NW and Yota Imports are much closer.
Hey man, I drive a 94 Super Custom. Mine is the 3L, full time 4x4 and it’s perfect for daily driving. My wife and I have had 5 Subarus over the years, and the Hiace (with K02’s) is still the best car I’ve ever driven in the snow. I’ve never seen anything but full time 4x4 in the 3L, but I’ve only casually keep my eyes on them since buying mine from Lars at Japanesevans.com (he’s my neighbor).

Lars is super knowledgeable, I’d highly recommend reaching out to him, he can help you find the van you want (he’s selling his Super Custom Limited right now). Has an AC leak, but other than that, it’s super solid, I know he’s had some suspension work done because we coordinated on buying parts and used the same outfitter to do the work. Roamer NW is also great, I bought my coil springs from them and they were amazing to work with.

Have not heard anything good about Yota Imports. I once asked them if they sell parts for Hiace vans and they told me they won’t sell to anyone who isn’t buying a van. Aside from that, I’ve heard through others to avoid them at all costs, ymmv.

While I wish I had the Joyful Talk feature, because it’s just cool, I’m happy with the Super Custom trim. I’m glad I don’t have the digital dash, as cool as it looks, I don’t need the trouble of that giving me trouble. One more thing to be mindful of is glass. I replaced the windshield in my wife’s Subaru Ascent, and asked the glass guy about the potential for glass needs for the Hiace. He told me I’d need to import glass if I ever found myself needing it. Eek!

I'd take an offer on mine as well, 73K miles or so, I'm always swapping vehicles!

372F8F22-BB4A-4BD5-904D-677C6C94646E.jpeg
 
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