1984 Toyota Van LX 2.1 from North America


For the money it's a mystery van


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

1984 Toyota Van LX 2.0 from North America


Great deal for the money


Replaced sliding glass window.

Rear door lock sticks due to dirt build up on the action. Easy fix though.

Replaced ball joints.

Ran hot. Replaced thermostat.

Speedometer cable broke. $10 fix.

Power steering pump leaks bad. Easy to get to, and the rebuild kit is only $12 bucks.

Beware of the latch that holds the seat up when you access the engine. They have a tendency to break.

Front blower motor will not turn on. If you know why. Please e-mail me at 2fast@cableone.net Thanks.

General Comments:

My wife really loves this van. I was not feeling the same way when I bought it for her, but now I really love it too.

I bought this van for $500 bucks and began working on it right away. Now that everything is fixed, I wouldn't sell it. The only thing that I am still having trouble with is the front blower for the air conditioning and heater.

Thanks for reading my review.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2003

18th Feb 2008, 22:40

Look on the Toyota van site. The address is: www.yotavans.org

26th Mar 2012, 17:44

Hi, thanks for your great review! I don't know if you'll see this or not, but how is the van now? I'm thinking of buying a 1984 manual cargo van (195,000 miles) for $1,200, and was wondering how yours has treated you since you posted this! Getting it checked out tomorrow, but would be great to hear from you, or anyone familiar with these who are reading the posts!

1984 Toyota Van DX 2.0 Litre 4 Cylinder from North America


The ultimate van that has yet to be out-done!


I bought this van for $1400 from a man who abused it by hauling tires in it. This caused awful stains on the carpet along with a bad odor. Replaced the carpet.

The speedometer/odometer was broken when I bought it. This was due to the cable socket being worn out. Fixed by inserting the cut off end of a small zip tie in with the cable. The mileage is probably at least 15,000 mile off.

The previous owner had replaced the engine with a used one of unknown mileage.

The gas quantity indicator never worked when I got it due to the sending unit being broken. Replaced it.

The fuel pump went out. Replaced it.

The engine is under the front seats and it would get hot due to the air coming in through the cable holes which didn't have grommets installed. Sealed with high temp silicone RTV.

Only the high beams worked when I bought it. Found broken solder joint on turn signal wire terminal.

The front air conditioner never got cool. Found the temp control panel to have all of the plastic levers broken behind the dash so the heat was always on. Replaced.

The front brakes and rotors had to be replaced.

The steering wheel had excessive play in it. Found the steering arm had a worn out ball joint. Replaced. Also had to adjust the steering gear box adjustment screw. This made it turn on a dime.

Although the drivers seat is torn in the center, the upholstery is holding up well for it being almost 20 years old.

The power steering pump had oil seeping into the alternator which caused me to replace the alternator. Since it didn't even leak enough from the "MAX" to the "MIN" on the dipstick in 3 months, I just fabricated a catch for the oil which diverts it away from the alternator.

There is some body corrosion around the right rear window frame.

There are other smaller things that have gone wrong, but were easy to fix. These are too numerous to list.

General Comments:

I never wanted a min van until we had our first baby. I bought this van and when I brought it home, my wife wanted to cry because it looked so awful. I worked very hard on scrubbing it up and cleaning it while I also fixed the broken items. Once I got all these things fixed up the van looked almost like new and my wife has been well pleased with it.

This van seems to have more cargo room than any of the new ones and it gets great gas mileage! I look at vans every where I go and I can't understand why they don't make these vans any more. In my opinion, this is the best vehicle I've ever owned. It's totally reliable! When I don't use it a van I use it like a truck. I've loaded it up with my heavy 1,000 lb toolbox plus tools, helped people move their furniture, loaded up more people than it's supposed to carry, used the rear seats which fold into a bed to sleep on, used it as a nursery with our baby (just remove the rear seats and close the doors-but don't go leaving the baby), and the list goes on.

Every time I see one of these vehicles for sale, I'm tempted to buy another one. I've thought of selling my Tercel and just have two of these awesome vans.

When other people who own newer mini vans ride in it, they always remark how nice it looks and especially how roomy it is. It's also very nice that when you sit in it, you sit about the level of these SUV's that you see all over the place.

I hope to keep this thing running for the rest of my life if I can. It has no equal (not even the Nissan or Mitsubishi look-a-likes). I remember seeing these all over the place back when I lived in Germany for 3 years, but I didn't remember until I bought one. I sure wish I would have bought a new one back then.

If you are looking for vehicle that is a good people mover, a good hauler, and is very economical, this is it.

I don't have anything negative to say about this van. It's one of the first one's made of this model and is 20 years old (it was built in 1983 and sold as an 84' model), it was abused by other owners, but despite this it does everything and more that these newer gas guzzling, overpriced vans do, but without the payments!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2003

15th Nov 2003, 22:38

I couldn't have written it better myself.

The review was like hearing myself talk.

I love my 1986 van, I have used it for all the same reasons including driving my 2 children in it. We still take it on trips even though my wife has a newer vehicle

(a nissan wagon).