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New Subaru Domingo (to me)

Discussion in 'Microvans' started by olddatsunfan, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Well, I finally picked up my new to me Subaru Domingo. It's a 1996 model so it's just allowed in this month. I purchased this from a local dealer called "Japanoid" (www.japanoid.com) over in New Westminster. I had expressed interest in one in July when my first Suzuki Carry Van was totaled in a rear ender by a Ford SUV and Shogo found me one in November.

    It had 66,800km on it when it came and the Shogo changed the timing belt and waterpump for me (they have an in house shop with 3 mechanics) and changed the front brake pads as well as all the compliance items for BC. They also did a full tune up at the same time including the air filter. They mounted up 4 new Goodyear Nordic Track snow tires for me on the stock rims had it aligned and then had it inspected and passed it through vehicle inspection. All I had to do was to have it registered and insured in my name when I went to pick it up! Great service! The last thing they did before I got picked up the van was to install a new Pioneer stereo! Gotta love dealing with a top notch dealership! Oh, and they gave me smoking deal too!

    It's a 5 speed, full time AWD with a 1189cc port injected, 3 cylinder engine. Seats up to 7 people (you'd be be small!) and rolls stock on 155/80/13 tires on 13"x5" steel rims, I have 175/70/13's on the stock rims right now. I haven't managed to run off a full tank yet, however, I've put 300km's on it since Friday night, it drives great and does 120km per hour on the highway easily, it's still got some left, but ... Being a 7 seater, I can now move all the family around at the same time in one car. It's great! So now I have to sell the Turbo Suzuki Van I picked up last July to tide me over until I got this one... Too bad, it's a pretty good little Kei van ...

    I guess you guys want some pics, this is with 5 days of road grime on her, it's been raining here for 6 days straight!

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  2. fupabox

    fupabox Well-Known Member

    Wow looks damn clean...neat van....I never noticed the rear nudge bar on the Domingos before...looks like an awful nasty winter you're having on the West coast with all that snow and ice;):D
     
  3. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Thanks Fupa! It is pretty clean, I'm impressed! Yah, it's been a pretty bad winter so far, we've had 3 days of snow out here on the coast, well, maybe 4:D ...
     
  4. anthill

    anthill Member

    Nice, super clean van plus you get a tiny rear spoiler and it's a GV-R... or rather, someone put a "TYPE R" sticker on it?

    Also, that engine compartment looks SUPER clean... is that just silver spray paint, or are the exhaust manifold and hangers really rust-free?

    Welcome to the Domingo club - glad to have a mechanic-minded person contributing advice. If you can figure out which cabin cable harness has the tachometer signal wire, you will be my hero.
     
  5. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Thanks Anthill, well, lets see I think I've got to find a wiring diagram now. The engine room is really clean, but, I think they fixed the exhaust, I haven't looked at it really close yet. The rest of the van is pretty similiar in condition!
     
  6. franck2cv

    franck2cv Member

    It looks superb!!! woooaaaa.... Now we all looking forward to having your feed back. Thanks for the pictures Jason.
    Franck.

    PS: My Libero is now 14 years old..... one more year!! :frustration:
     
  7. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    You know, I'm not sure what the "GV-R" stands for Anthill???? Frank, you've a '97 right? Well, Shogo had this fellow on the way in December already, got here middle of January. Get the shipping sorted out!

    She's a good driver, more oomph than the Turbo Suzuki even and with the lower gears, well, going a constant 90-100 on the highway is easy! It's only about 3700-4100rpm at that speed ... Suspension is softer than the Suzuki though, but, lots of travel. Have to say it doesn't handle as well as the Suzuki either ... Could be the 60 series tires I was running on the Suzuki though .... Gotta work out my fuel milage though, it's got a tiny tank and my fuel gauge is off, no biggie, just have to remember that I have to fill at "E" and I'll still have about 6L left in the tank.
     
    Pappa Chaos likes this.
  8. anthill

    anthill Member

    Not surprised that the Domingo drives like a bus... it is one, sorta. The one tendancy that really un-nerves me is that the steering gives a lot of push-back when taking corners at speed, especially while braking. Probably a good thing to stop oversteer and spin-outs, but takes some confidence and muscle.

    Hey, your super clean upholstery seems to be missing the flip-up fronts on the driver/passenger seats. Can they spin around to face backwards?

    Speaking of oomph, the Justy got 73hp out of the same E12 engine. I wonder if there's any way to retrofit the 3-valve head to a Domingo? Probably not, with the cylinder block mounted in reverse, but still... +20 naturally aspirated hp would help the van even more.

    Oh, and Fupa, that nudge bar must be a GV-R special, cause I don't have one!
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  9. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Active Member Staff Member

    very nice find!!!
     
  10. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Anthill my seats don't seem to have the flip up fronts ... I have to check if the front seats rotate or not yet. Yah, the handling isn't the best, have to slow down quite a bit for the big turns and such, it's all good, I can accelerate in the turn! Steering effort is very light too.

    I'd be suprised if you couldn't fit the 3 valve head somehow, the bottom end torque through the 6.166 rear end seems to do a respectable job getting things done though!
     
  11. franck2cv

    franck2cv Member

    Yeah, well it's a year model 97, first time on public road December 1996. Being in Quebec, I prefer to have it shipped for the following Spring.

    Thanks for the feed back - It confirm yet again how clever those little vehicles are!

    F.
     
  12. Meesho

    Meesho Member

    Wow, they went hardcore and painted everything in the engine compartment silver. Covered up all the rust, no wonder it looks mint.

    Also, what happened to your headlights, they look weird.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  13. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Importers solution to compliance for the headlights meesho, they modified some covers and inserted E code lights from some other product. I'm watching for the Libero E codes to replace these. They do work though.

    The engine compartment stuff doesn't seem to be repainted either, weird!
     
  14. Meesho

    Meesho Member

    Engine has definitly been blasted and painted. Those brackets on the engine/manifold should be black and the exhaust covers should be bare metal (galvinized) not brite silver. Not to mention the bolts and studs. I will try to get a photo of my friends domingo sometime this week to show. Spent many hours toying around with it.
     
  15. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Active Member Staff Member

    maybe it was rebuilt?
     
  16. Elbrad

    Elbrad New Member

    Shogo's got another Domingo on the lot. I've been holding out for a crystal lite, but no luck so far. There's two Sambars for $4700 just up the highway in Parksville...and if my Nissan 4x4 doesn't sell soon I'm going to be hard pressed to find the extra cash for Domingo. I like the idea of the 1200cc engine though...
     
  17. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    That'd be the Silver over green one in automatic. It's not a bad looking van, I had a good look at her last time I was in picking up parts. I'd hold out for the Domingo personally, the Domingo I purchased is my third JDM van and I liked the Kei Vans, I needed the extra seating capacity and ability to run on the highway at decent speeds for a longer period of time climbing hills!
     
  18. Elbrad

    Elbrad New Member

    Those are my thoughts exactly! Running courier up and down the Island highway, sometimes up to Port Alberni or as far as Tofino would be tricky in the 660cc Sambar.

    Though I'm wondering if there's that much difference between the hp when the weight difference is taken into account...?
     
  19. Elbrad

    Elbrad New Member

    I hadn't seen the silver over green, just the 2-tone grey one on his site...
     
  20. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    The silver/green one is the one on the website. I was holding out for the double sunroof version, but, I gave in and bought the regular roof version that I currently have.

    My first Kei van was a 660cc N/A Suzuki, 5 speed with 4wd and a Combi kit. Great milage, got about 37mpg around town, but, a dog on hills. It got done in by Ford pickup truck. My second Kei van is a 660cc Turbo Suzuki, 5 speed, rwd with the Aero Tune body kit. Pretty good around town, decent up hills when you get her on boost, but, only gets about 33mpg in town. Better than the N/A version on the highway because of the 6.4 gears ... My Kei pickup was a Sambar with a 5 speed and 4wd, not bad, but, it only weighed 1500lbs compared to the 1800lbs of the Kei Vans.

    The current Van is the 5 speed AWD Domingo. Good on the hills, (the extra torque of the 550cc's extra really helps here!) and not bad on the highway as both 4th and 5th gears are overdrive. I'm getting about 31mpg around town with it right now. I've tried out the automatic Domingo around New West where Japanoid is located and it's a bit of a struggle for the automatic to haul itself up the hills from a standing start, pretty good on the flats though.
     
  21. Elbrad

    Elbrad New Member

    I hate to admit it, but I'm uncoordinated as all hell. I learned how to drive standard in case of an emergency, but I'm next to useless at it. Unfortunately, it has to be automatic for me.

    I test drove one of the Sambars from Five Star Auto in Parksville, 93 Supercharged model. Seemed pretty responsive, but the ECVT took a little getting used to at first. I didn't have a chance to check it out on a hill, it's pretty flat in that neck of the woods. I did spin it up to 110kmh on the highway though, and she seemed to be revving really high...settled down nicely in the 90-100kmh area though.

    the nice thing about being on the Island is there aren't too many hills, and right now the courier job only takes me from North Nanaimo to Bowser, with the occasional trip up the Hump to Alberni. Speed limit is 110 from mid-Parksville to the Alberni/Qualicum exit though...so it'd be nice to have something that'll keep up.
     
  22. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Let's see, my 4wd Suzuki turned about 5200rpm in 5th gear at 90km/hr on the highway, my rwd turbo turned about 4800rpm in 5th gear on the highway and the Domingo turns about 3750rpm in 5th gear on the highway. The redline on the Suzuki motors is about 6800rpm? Don't know what it is on the Domingo, but, the lower the better for me!

    I've a friend with a Subaru Sambar supercharged Kei van with the autotragic ... He says that it's great around town, but, it's scary on the highway, he's got over 170000k on it now and he's put on over 100000k himself ...
     
  23. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Active Member Staff Member

    hmm why is the supercharged auto scary on the highway? just that good or that bad?
     
  24. MichaelPublic

    MichaelPublic New Member

    Hi folks,

    I've got the 1995 Domingo GV-R, from Japanoid as well.

    The GV-R decal is the trim level --(corrected thanks to Kei King)" GV-R is an appearance package, chrome bumper bars front and addition of rear bar,fog lights (yellow lense), chrome mirrors, rear roof spoiler, aluminum wheels, side rocker decal package, etc."

    Mines the automatic, seems to be full time AWD (no shift out of 2WD button or lever) and I've driven it up to Parksville, did the Malahat fine and will run up to 120kph but is "happy" at about 85 or 90. I would love some kind of overdrive comparable to 6th gear for the flat to drop the rpm's. I don't have a tach it just revs high and runs hot.

    Japanoid did the same headlight compliance fit on mine, I've emailed around and watch European auctions for factory lights from LHD vehicles, but so far nothing under $650 CDN once shipped here (nothing used either).
    I'd love to be in on a group buy if there ever is one.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  25. anthill

    anthill Member

    Nice, you get chromed side mirrors with your GV-R package!

    The headlights are out there, you just have to search in German for sheinwerfer! I found mine on ebay for reasonably cheap - $100 shipped to me.

    This front-left headlight is a good deal - too bad it's not part of a set! You will need a French shipping address though... :(
     
  26. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Seems to think the Sambar is unstable at speed and howls like a banshee past 80km/hr. Bear in mind he upgraded to 13" mags and tires too. I don't know if the autotragic has a overdrive or not though!
     
  27. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Hi Michael, I agree that the headlamp conversion is kinda "iffy" in my mind. Let's all keep an eye out for these things and see if we can get a better deal on a group buy then, count me in!

    I've got to get around to installing my tach into the Domingo, I've been working on my Suzuki lately and now my Datsun again so that'll have to wait a bit. I calculated out my rpm using a spreadsheet matched to my tire size and gearing so you could give that a try, let me try attaching it here ...
     

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  28. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Well, it's spring time here so it's time to try out summer tires and rims. I found a set of VW mags in 13"x5.5", 4x100mm bolt pattern with a 70mm centre bore. Fortunately, Canadian Tire had a sale this week on their Motomaster "AW" series of tires, that's one of the few available to me in 185/70/13, the size I wanted to try. These are supposedly made by Hankook out of a factory in China, but, since my other choice was also a Hankook, I cheaped out .... After 3 ½ hours in Canadian Tire, they had tested the mag and tire combo for interference and found it was close, but, cleared all four corners and the fronts from lock to lock. Funny thing is they figured out that I was mounting a different sized rim and wheel so they would only mount and balance the tires for me, not mount them on the van ...

    They fit alright, with a bit of poke to the sides. The rims are a +45mm offset so everything just cleared fine. I'll get a bit of road grit thrown up the sides past the mud guards, but, even with the 175/70/13's I got that so I guess I'll just have to wash the van a bit more ...

    Overall, the 185/70/13 is about ½% off in RPM compared to the stock 155/80/13 and is a bit taller. The 5.5" width of the rim and the 185mm tread make for a much more stable and smooth ride around town though, I've put 50km's on them so far and I haven't noticed any real loss of power with these on. All in all, I'm happy!

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  29. Kei King

    Kei King Member

    The motomaster SE 175/70 was on sale this week for a few bucks more than the AW. I picked up a set today for a domingo I am getting ready for sale. The SE is made in USA by Goodyear. The sidewall is slightly stronger.
     
  30. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    I've run the Motomaster "SE" also Jason, but, they only had the 175/70/13 in that size and I wanted to try the 185/70/13. It'll work out I think, the suspension is pretty plush on these things and I don't think I'll be cornering too hard! I do need to find a set of centre caps though, anyone have any ideas?
     

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