Buying an Imported 2002 Toyota Hiace Full Time 4WD

I’ve just had an RACQ test done on a 2002 Toyota HiAce full time 4wd Diesel automatic and just had a few questions about the vehicle and if anyone had any good/bad opinions on this type of van.

The test came back pretty positive, the only part of what the inspector found was damaged was the windscreen and bushings which are being replaced. However he told me the van had an underbody/engine wash and the chassis had been recently painted. He also noticed the bell housing area and next to the timing cover seal area were a bit wet with oil which he didn’t seem too fussed about.

Might be a bit too paranoid but is this anything to be concerned about? And just wondering what you guys think about imports and if I’ll have any troubles with replacing parts or anything like that?

Cheers!

Comments

  •  

    How many kms?

    •  

      It’s got 200,000km on the odo

      •  

        Good kms. Why 4wd specifically?

        My brother had an AWD Tarago, simile afe and said it went pretty well for what it was.

        •  

          I couldn’t find many 2wd hiaces out there for some reason. I specifically wanted the high roof LWB commuter type hiaces so I could do a fit out on this inside. just so happened to stumble across a 4wd one which I thought would be a good buy but didn’t know much about imports

          •  

            @Daron2000: My brothers was an import. Just remembered I knew someone that had an import hiace for ages too. Only 2wd, but turbo diesel and went pretty well for a long time.

      • -1 vote

        Yeah right🙄

  •  

    ppsr report?

    • +1 vote

      It's an import. Will it show?

      • +1 vote

        Good point. I assumed it had been in the country for a bit already given it's a 2002 model.

  • +1 vote

    Is it a recent import?
    The underbody and chassis is usually cleaned thoroughly to pass biosecurity and this can lead to chassis paint flaking off which then requires painting.

    •  

      If the car came in via Port Kembla then there's no way they're sooooo diligent with their job to the point that they've blasted underside sealer off. No way.

      Actually, if the sealer flakes off with a high pressure washer then there's more questions to be asked about the car…

      •  

        The ones I saw were back in the day when everyone was importing surfs, they were supposedly cleaned and painted in Japan. Mind you this info was from the guy who was importing them…

        •  

          Wouldn't surprised me if they're rust affected and a lovely cooked up story to explain the fresh paint underneath. Not every part of Japan salt their roads but when they do, they can rust like cars from the UK.

          •  

            @mini2: Are you telling me a grey-market car importer likely lied? I am shocked…

            Seriously though, I wish I had the finances to get in on that back in the day. The guy was also doing half cuts and supposedly tripling his money.

    •  

      Yeah I don’t think he’s had it long, he told me he’s only put a couple thousand kms on it.

      • -1 vote

        Yeah right again 🙄

  •  

    Japanese de-reg and auction report would come in handy to ascertain km's and condition when it was last verified/known.

  •  

    Imported as second hand from which country?

    •  

      I’m not quite sure to be honest but I’d say from Japan

      •  

        Doubt it would be from Japan because the cost and effort of the bi-annual Shaken test really does rule out keeping a vehicle for too long from new.
        Regardless, it is likely to have been imported from Asia somewhere and bear in mind because their traffic is very heavy, the engine will have done a lot more work than the odometer reading would indicate. That is a lot of time idling.

        •  

          I’ve done a pretty purchase inspection though and I was told the engine was in pretty good condition for it’s age. But yeah it’s hard to know sometimes

  •  

    I reckon 4WD vans are bloody cool and I'd love one. I'm assuming it suits what you want to do or you wouldn't be asking.

    I think the driveline will be similar to a Prado or Hilux so built well and reliable. Your biggest ongoing concern will be cosmetic parts, eg mirrors, doors, interior trim where there will be no local replacements.

    IF it's rust free and kms aren't too high id probably buy it. Maybe it was painted for a legitimate reason, but often people repaint the underside to cover up serious problems. I'd get a torch and a screwdriver and take a more serious look.

    •  

      Yeah me and partner want to do the lap around Australia and a 4wd van would be perfect, looks so sick too!

      It’s got around 200,000kms on it which I thought wasn’t too bad considering it’s age, and there was only a few spots here and there on the underside that had some surface rust on it which I didn’t think was too much of an issue. But yeah that’s what I’m worried about is that he might be covering something up.

      • +1 vote

        If that's the case it might be worth spending a bit more for piece of mind

        edit: forgot it was 4wd and that'll make it rarer

        •  

          You mean buying a different vehicle? Or spending more to get it fixed?

          I’ve seen a lot of the full time 4wd around I just wasn’t sure if they’d be hard to get parts for considering they’re an import.

        • +2 votes

          piece of mind

          Cerebellum?

  • +1 vote

    The imported 4wd hiace vans are used in snowy areas of japan and from my understanding they salt the roads in these areas. While the salt does not cause a huge amount of rust, the paint may be hiding what rust was there.

  •  

    Key piece of information missing - the price.

    For a round Australia trip I wouldn't be taking a bet on an 19 year old import.

    • +1 vote

      There’s thousands of backpacker lapping Aus with much older and more worn out hiace vans. They just keep going, and aren’t hard to fix generally.

      https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/yorklea/cars-vans-utes/2002-...

      Here’s one for 17,990.

      •  

        Yeah I’ve heard about so many people travelling around Australia in much older hiaces and they never had any problems. One of the main reasons I want a hiace because of there reliability.

    •  

      It's got the drivetrain of a Prado/Hilux. There's a Toyota dealer in basically every large town and every mechanic is familiar. I'd take that over anything European or American…

  •  

    Wonder if it includes and tests for head gasket issues, 1kz's are known for it around that age.

    Coolant loss, water dripping from the exhaust while warmed up and air bubbles from the radiator when running. They also run a timing belt so factor in the cost. (every 100 thou)

  •  

    The main stumbling block with these imports is often you cannot get the parts available in oz to fit them.

    Many Japanese versions have different brake pads and calipers for left side and right side etc Mitsubishi sigmas were notorious for it as were nissan bluebirds ( I speak from experience)

    Best to ring a spare parts place and ask if they have a left front brake caliper and pad to suit xxx model and test the parts availability, like going around oz if your brake pads wear out or uni joints, centre diff etc on the 4wd and you can't get parts except from overseas …
    Just sayin

  • -1 vote

    Nobody here can tell you any more than you know
    Its the inspector you should be talking to. Not us

    These inspections always pick on every bit of nitty gritty whether its a potential problem or not
    After all they must justify the exorbitant fees they charge

    Just remember that 200,000km means lots of wear and tear possibly that cannot be picked up by a visual inspection. That's not such a problem only that you can expect to spend a fair bit of money on it going forward re;pacing worn parts…..yes that could include the engne because its using excessive oil - unable to be detected by any inspection

  • -1 vote

    If the sub-frame has undergone any sort of "painting"… it could indicate the vehicle has been in a major accident.

    A competent inspector may notice side panels had been taken off, resprayed, etc.

    Remember, you are considering a 20 year old vehicle… these vehicles have a hard life… 20 years of hard life.

    Are you sure you want to go down that "road"?

    •  

      If its only done 200000km, that’s less than average for Aussie vehicles and way less for a commercial. If it’s had a hard life, it’ll be evident in the interior and body panels.

      Imports get a thorough pressure clean underneath prior to landing in Aussie roads so in this case it’s less likely to be a recent repair job and more likely to be cleaning related.