Mitsubishi Delica L400


That thing is just cool looking. I like the Ford but yours just has a different look that catches my eye.
Now how do I sneak one over the border :wings:


Hey 96Delica

She looks pretty good! I don't see why you should be shy to post here instead of the Mitsu sub-forum, it's a camper van, 4x4 and to top it off it's diesel :)
I've taken many friends with their Delica on some decent trails, these can be surprising!

Mr. D


I guess you don't spend much time on the forum with a couple ambulances and a Patrol to keep you busy eh?? I haven't done any major offroading with it, it always seems like it needs something. Callipers are being rebuilt right now and there's a weird thump coming from the front end sometimes which I think I've narrowed down to....subframe bolts. Not looking forward to that.


Moving the thread!

Well, I've decided to move my build thread over here to it's rightful home!

With summer coming up, I've got a bit of work to do, and hopefully get some trips in this summer amidst planning a wedding in August.

-please stand by-

So, first some info about these vans for those that don't get to see them around (south of the border).

It's a 1996 L400 Delica SpaceGear Exceed. Yes, that's a lot of titles, the L400 is the body style, Delica is the model, SpaceGear I think means that it's the 4x4 and Exceed is the trim level. The next levels are Super Exceed and Royal Exceed. The royal comes with a karaoke machine!! Both the super and royal have what's called 'crystal lite' roof which is twin sunroofs down the side of the van with power shades. I don't have that unfortunately but the van was in such good shape I couldn't pass it up.

A quick note about the 4x4 system in these. It has 'super-select' which is a locking centre diff. So I can put it in 4hi, 4hiLc or 4LoLc. The 4Hi is pretty much AWD, which is great on the highway when its snotty out, I don't have to lock the centre diff if it's not necessary, saves some wear and tear.

I bought it two years ago with 80,000km on it, since then I've driven across the country a few times, I just rolled over to 180,000km.... It's had an IP rebuild, NEW: injectors and glow plugs, battery, alternator, trans mounts, water pump, brakes, sway bar bushings and links all around, fuel filter housing, procomp shocks, tie rods, upper ball joints, cv boots a couple times, valve cover gasket, hmmmm... I think there's more. That's what happens when you put 100,000km on a 15 year old vehicle in a short period of time!

It has a 2.8L intercooled turbo diesel. I've deleted the EGR valve, it has full 2.5" stainless exhaust from the header through a small Magnaflow baffle. 2" lift with 31"x10.5" Duratracs on 15" Ultra Wheels, I also have Airlift air bags in the rear springs. I should have gone with 30" tires. I've trimmed as much as I think I can but it still will rub on compression in a turn. That being said, the 31s look awesome!! I've got a Uniden CB inside as well. The door speakers have been upgraded to some Alpine type E speakers. They're bottom of the line but the difference is amazing!!

On the To Do list: Bed line the roof (paint is turning crap), Bed line the grey part of the body (shredded from gravel), fender flares, upgrade all stereo, build drawers for the back, aux battery system, upgrade alternator, upgrade torsion bars, new roof rack fabbed, full underneath armour fabbed, re-tint windows, alarm and auto-start.

Here's a thread of our trip to Lab/Nfld a month ago via the Trans-Labrador highway - ... rador-Loop

IMG_0233 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr
This it what it looked like when I first got it, before the suspension was totally gone!

IMG_4559 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr
After the lift! 2" of lift via torsion crank and spacers in the front and stiffer springs with Airlift airbags in the back. Procomp shocks all around.

IMG_4435 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr
Here's what used to be in the back, a third row bench seat. It was always up though because I need space for tools and material and whatnot, so I removed them and built..

IMG_4562 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr
This!! Bolted some Unistrut where the old seats were and voila, platform. When we go camping I'll fold the seats flat and I have a platform extension that bolts on. Next summer I'll build drawers and a cabinet for the back. Something to keep it organized.

I'll try and keep this thread updated, I'll look through my pictures and see what else I've done to it and with it. It's a slow work in progress because I live in an apartment, so any major work I have to drive 1.5hrs to my folks and use their shop, hope you enjoy it!

P8261736 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr

IMG_2120 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr

Here's some info on what I've done on the inside.

The third row of seats was always up and out of the way to make room for my tools, but you could still peer into the window and see what was back there so I wanted to build a platform to keep things hidden underneath and to load material on top of, or just to have a lunch table!

I built the side brackets out of Unistrut and bolted them where the seats were. With the strut, if I ever want to make the shelf higher, to fit a fridge underneath maybe? All I have to do is cut longer legs.

It was tight fit... The shelf is just 3/4" ply with outdoor carpet glued and stapled on. I like it, makes it look pro I think!

3/8" Carriage bolts drilled through

Wingnut on the bottom


Here you can kind of see our camping set up, I'll see if I have a better picture somewhere.

This was a pull out off the Trans-Lab just after Happy Valley/Goose Bay. It's only been there a couple years but there was already garbage everywhere as you can see by the A&W. There were a couple squirrels around that cleaned those fries up in short order though.


Well, it was finally nice out today and got myself off my *** and got some work done! The AirLift bags I had in the rear coils gave up the ghost sometime over the winter and I was sick of having to use them for a lift so I went to my local metal supermarket and got some spacers made up! 6" bar stock and then to the machine shop to get them drilled out.

(My hand is under there somewhere.)

So here's the Before

You can see how much sag there is. Wasn't planning on going for that trophy truck look, but, if the shoe fits!

Beginning of the fun process.

You can see how well the rubber held up over the winter, just lovely.
So springs are out, now to get the bags out. I can attest that they are extremely tough and durable, what failed was not these beasts. I had to get them out of the coil by prying them up with a screwdriver space by space.

Spacers installed!

Compress the new springs to re install.

-Now, I didn't take pictures of the whole process because it was pretty dangerous and not something I want to be responsible for others doing. Needless to say that my coil compression tools weren't enough to make them as small as they needed to be in one go. It was a very precarious slightly frightening!


Repeat for other side!

The condition of the AirLift bags after one year.

After! (Not the best pic, but you can kind of see the difference.)

For anyone considering the AirLift system, I can say that make sure you have routed the lines in a place that they definitely will not be pinched. On the left side the hose ended up getting pinched between the rubber spacer and the bag. On the right side the hose pulled right off the bag. After one winter the metal spring clips that hold the tubing onto the bags rusted and fell apart. If I put them back in one day I will use some sort of pinch clamp. The rubber degrading like that is pretty sad though. I'm wondering if the airbags let go so the rubber just bounced around but you can clearly see where the bolts made a deep impression and certainly didn't help things.

Now that it's finally sitting almost as it should, my headlights will point in the right direction! I wish I had've got my spacers a little bigger though, oh well, next time!

Also, my horn stopped working. After checking the fuse and seeing that it was fine I decided to have a look at the horns themselves.
This one is in better shape than the other, which doesn't have any wiring connected to it at all anymore. Excuse to upgrade I think!!


SCORED on Kijiji!!!!
IMG_7554 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr

Grabbed this stuff from a guy who builds custom off-road trailers in his spare time. Picked up the fridge, slider, and both stoves for less than half what it would be new. Fridge is slightly used, everything else is brand new!!! Woohoo!!!


My van didn't come with that gauge pod but all the wiring was there so I tapped into the harness on the pod so I could use the factory connector still. Kept it nice and clean and easy!

A couple weeks ago we went to upper NY camping for a couple nights. I'm ashamed to say that it was the only time we got out this year! I was down there on my motorcycle for the first time about a month ago and loved it. I've spent most of my free time riding instead of camping this year.

Coming up on the list before winter, new glow plugs, a $1000 rust repair around the windshield and possibly new CV joints. Yay!

I also took the roof rack off and got some new legs fabled up for it. I need to get them welded still but I'll try and snap some pics of that stuff this week, my design will allow me to install removable cross bars to haul a canoe!
Got some sweet stickers from the man Vinyl Monkey!!

IMG_7624 by TheMacrobius, on Flickr
Figured out today that yes, I do need new CV's. Added to the list! Also have some fender flares and a timing chain on the way. Along with some new glow plugs it'll be some good pre-winter PM.

Got some camping done in NY state a month ago for a couple nights, was nice to get out. The van didn't get much action this summer unfortunately.

Winter to do list:
12v LED mini lights for the hatch
LED strips for the front foot well
Windshield rust
Raise platform to fit the fridge underneath
Replace CV's
Wire a 12v USB charge port into the gauge pod


The springs I installed with the lift and spacers have sagged right out. Yesterday I got some new ones in that should give me all the lift I need without spacers OR airbags. Hooray!

Just before Christmas I had to replace one outer CV joint. Somehow a piece had broken off and a ball bearing was lost. Luckily no further damage was done and that's all that had to be replaced. No idea how that happened.

I'll be mounting the fridge soon, I don't want to bolt the slider to the floor though, I'm looking to keep total height as low as possible. Anyone have some thought as to how to mount the slider?

The fender flares I ordered before Christmas didn't work out unfortunately. I've trimmed my front fenders too much to fit the tires. Damn my vanity! Oh well, sold the tires for what I paid and I have some Pacer flexy flares on the way, should be perfect!

Stay tuned for a DIY sliding door extension!


Expedition Leader
That is a lot of great information.
Back when I was researching vans, the Delica was high on my list. Ended up choosing the Chevy for specific reasons, but still like to see the Delicas out there. Have fun.