1984 Toyota Van LE 2.0 liter from North America

Summary:

I look for excuses to drive this car

Faults:

Had a bad alternator when I bought it - not unusual for these.

I was told the transmission had been rebuilt or replaced by a former owner.

Power door lock switch broken.

Little too much play in the steering.

General Comments:

My wife calls it the "terrorist van" due to its appearance in Back to the Future. I call it the Golden Turtle and love it beyond reason.

I haven't owned it long and paid $650 for it when I bought it. It's in amazing condition for being 23 years old - everything works and there are only small dings and scrapes on the outside, and slight fading inside. I spent another few hundred on it, new tires and a new alternator, will probably engineer a fix for the power door lock switch, but beyond that I don't plan to do much except keep it running and drive it for the next 200k miles.

I've owned lots of quirky vehicles and I don't know what attracts me to them, but it's hard at work here. There's just something about the van's moon-buggy-like appearance and ride, it's wonderful layout and design that just makes me giddy.

It IS severely underpowered as far as off the line acceleration goes, this is no hotrod, but it has more than enough power for normal driving and for sustained speeds of 70mph on the highway.

I originally bought it as a dump runner, to haul trash or pick up yard supplies with, but now I find I can't bear the thought of taking the seats out of it or messing up the interior. As a result I am buying a small 4' x 4' utility trailer to haul behind it, for those times when I wish I had bought a pick up.. it has a tow hitch and trailer harness, though I think it would be ill advised to tow anything very heavy with this particular vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2007

8th Dec 2010, 09:48

Looking for an excuse to drive my 1984 Toyota Van. That is so true. Also, I bought mine to do work with it also, but can't get used to the idea of getting the inside dirty. Love this Van. Just amazing vehicles.

1984 Toyota Van LE from North America

Summary:

Mixed feelings, but overall, satisfied

Faults:

Hello all, I owned one of these Toyota vans that you described, (1984-1989), and I had mixed feelings about. It ran fine, made some loud muffler noise, handled well and dangerously, but I had bought cheap and resold it cheap. The carped smelled, I felt every bump in the road and my back did not appreciate it. But I liked the gas mileage and the sense of reliability.

General Comments:

What I m looking for is information on converting these vans to use as campers and especially the possibility to cut one up and extend it length wise and even chancing making wider, as dodge did with one of their vans. I also considered adding a fiber glass top to give myself more head room. If someone has done similar things, please call (818) 832-9486 or e-mail MoroccaLA@earthlink.net.

Thank you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2007

1984 Toyota Van LX 2.1 from North America

Summary:

For the money it's a mystery van

Faults:

The alternator failed twice; once at 195K miles, and the second time due to my ignorance. Take care in washing the interior. Two alternators, totaling >$200 are 65% of repairs, yet. The hydraulic clutch line failed -replaced. Water pump failed at 209K -replaced. Thermostat failed (then removed), but the prior failure caused a small coolant-hose on the backside of the block to fail. It's been a work vehicle, and when I could'nt get my hands on the hose, I sawzalled a hole in the firewall to get access. Genius, I think? The carpet and ac ducts cover the blemish.

It has some rust along the wheel wells. The rear wiper, defrost, ac/heat and fan, lighters, hatch lock are kaput. In the driver's cabin: the icebox, ac, radio, cruise, are also no longer working. One front wiper's linkage is broken and will spring out if it gets any dry resistance. I paid $750 for it, and I used to pay $400/mo.on a Hilux Yota truck plus tangibles.

General Comments:

The Mystery Machine came to me in my moment of need. It was packed in the rear compartments with spare hoses and other extras. I have thought about trying to move onto something else, but I'm a purist at heart and its 19-23 mpg is decent considering the alternative. I have chains for it. I have slept on the benches once. And the list goes on about my attachments to her. It has a full power package with dual pop-up and power sunroofs, good handling and potential for being more reliable. But I have been more than satisfied with it for the money spent. Stellar deal, and respect from lots of jealous bystanders. After seeing so many episodes of Pimp my Ride I am seriously considering refurbishing the entire thing, but only to its deluxe, original design. I echo the thoughts of many of the other positive reviews for this worthy auto. It's my van, man!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2004