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New Subaru Domingo (to me)

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

  1. Vitnzjp

    Vitnzjp Member

    looks tidy. but engine... ummm too bright. well, if it's running well without smoke and "bad noises" than just enjoy
  2. Fitzpatrick

    Fitzpatrick New Member

    Subaru Domingo

    I was wondering your thoughts on the following. I am test driving a Subaru Domingo 1994 ectv tran in a couple weeks from japanoid in new west.

    Any thoughts on the tran or vAn in general?

  3. Meesho

    Meesho Member

    That dealer is known for mostly importing "lower spectrum" vehicles. Yes they get some nice ones once in a while but for the most part they are junk. I know someone that lives in Victoria that bought a Baby Blue Sambar Van for their service related business with E-CVT and glass roof from that particular dealer and the tranny blew. The dealer is not covering it but charging him $1200 (not incl labour) to bring a replacement tranny from Japan. Either stay away from that tranny or get a written guarantee/ warranty.

    The Subaru E-CVT transmission is one of the most unreliable transmissions in the mini truck world. Many people on the website will tell you that. If it's not the brushes, its the clutches. It is also gutless up hills and the top speed is not as high as the manual 5 speed.

    Also, I personally wouldn't touch anything that just came from Japan since the nuclear melt down a few monthes ago. At the very least make sure it didn't come from Fukushima area or nearby. I have seen nice vehicles being imported that came only 50 km away from the nuclear disaster in Japan. The vehicles are selling for dirt cheap in that region for a reason, nobody that has the knowledge about the situation wants them.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  4. Fitzpatrick

    Fitzpatrick New Member

    The dealer does have a warranty available for it. As for dealers he is the only one I could find in Vancouver.

    I'm not interested in brokers.
  5. anthill

    anthill Member

    Read through the Subaru Justy forums on E-CVT transmissions. If that doesn't scare you, go for it...
  6. Fitzpatrick

    Fitzpatrick New Member

    Test drive

    I am test driving a*Mitsubishi Bravo 4wd Turbo Micro Van

    *AWD and has the Turbo 660 CC DOHC 20V motor.

    Any thoughts on this type?
  7. Sambarmon92

    Sambarmon92 Member

    I don't know about you, but if it's the same van I'm thinking of, I couldn't live with the CREEPY headlights. :eek:
  8. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Wow, it's been awhile since I've signed on! I've been pretty happy with the 5 speed domingo that I got from Japanoid. I'd stay away from the automatic though, it's just plain old gutless on the hills when I test drove one, the 5 speed is fine. The subarus ECVT supposedly has a pretty bad reputation for reliability too ...
  9. Glasstech

    Glasstech New Member

    Good Day All

    I've been lurking for a while but sure wish I'd discovered this site before I purchased my Domingo. Nothing wrong with it just lots of info here that would have influenced my choice.
    I picked up the Domingo from Japanoid on the 15th of April and drove it back to Whitehorse. Shogu was great and the service guys fantastic but after ordering some parts when I got back to Whitehorse they quite comunicating with me. Very disappointing.
    The trip back was 2812 Km in beautiful spring weather. Only 2 misadventures. A transport truch in Fort St John tossed a rock at me and took out a headlight. Then in Chetwyn one of the brand new winter tires went flat and I changed a tire in the only rainstorm of the trip. I was not pleased by the time I was done. It was late, I was cold, muddy (very) and not in a good mood. I spent the night there. A good dinner and a nights sleep improved my outlook on life.
    My only complaint about Japanoid was even though the mechanics should me where all the parts for the tires were, they didn't show me where the jack points were. The reason I was muddy is I have very bad knees, they are getting replaced starting in September, and I had to crawl onder the van to find the jack points. Not a biggie.
    Of course, once back in Whitehorse, some pickup throws another rock at me and put a dent in the front. At least it missed the windsheild!
    I may regret the CV transmission but I fint it one of the strong points of the van. The van has great pickup off the line and it takes hills, even from a slow start, very quickly. I limit top speen to around 90Km because she seems very light footed above that.
    Anthill, thanks for starting and moderating this forum. As I said before, it's very informative and a lot of fun.
    Olddatsunfan, too bad I did know about you before I left Vancouver. Next time I'm there I'll call and we can get together and swap some stories.
    Cheers all.
  10. anthill

    anthill Member

    Glad it's been useful, Glasstech! I owe enough to "the internet" for keeping my '84 VW GTI running, I was shocked when I couldn't find a Domingo resource.

    I just gave away a pair of Domingo headlights (the RHD version), sorry to hear your van is getting so beat up! But you probably had a sealed beam conversion from Japanoid, right?

    Jack points on the Domingo are very counter intuitive (especially the rear ones). My van had bent and chipped rear swingarm hinge points from being mis-jacked on them. I'm tempted to break out the orange paint and put some "jack here" bullseyes on the rear crossbar.

    Keep us in touch and post photos!
  11. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Hi Glasstech, glad you got her back OK! Yah, should have dropped me a line when you where down! Shogo and service are pretty good still, Kevin in parts, well, he isn't as good as the fellow he replaced. Took almost a month to get the correct parts in to repair my Suzuki Kei van which is being worked on now finally ... Mind you, Shogo did drop off the parts at my house on his way home from work so that has to count for something! Glad you like your truck, I love the Domingo, except for the cargo area ... My Suzuki is better in that respect, but, the 7 passenger part is hard to beat ...
  12. fupabox

    fupabox Well-Known Member

  13. Kix

    Kix New Member

    Ohh man I wished I'd stumbled across this forum sooner, as I would have probably done more research before buying my Domingo. I too bought a sweet looking 1996 Sambar Domingo off of Japanoid. When I saw the thing, I fell in love. And the lead up service to walking me through everything and having it shipped and even them putting in a new deck and tires etc was really good. Then once I paid for it and drove it off the lot, that was pretty much it. I drove it back to Alberta, put about 1000kms on it and the water pump was done, transmission was done, and upon closer inspection there is a rod going ;(
    I familiar with it being a used van, so I'm not too upset that things do go wrong. However I’m super unimpressed that I called there and Shogo wouldn’t take my call, so I left two messages about if he had any suggestions about service or diagnosis as this would be there area of expertise not my local mechanic. And no return call, previous to the sale he'd call me back within the hour. So I wrote and email to him and nothing. So then I waited a couple of months and wrote him anther emails, explaining how unimpressed I was, though I doubt it would get a call.
    Hell I would have even ordered the parts through them if they'd given some advise on what to get.
    As for now, I’m looking for a new tranny for the 1996 Sambar 1200cc AWD 3cy or any advise on part swapping with another model or if there interchangeable with the Subaru Justy. If got some info, though not enough to make an educated decision.
    Any advice would be grand, and I saw some poor follow up service comments about Japanoid posted here other then me, so buyer beware.
    Thnx a million!
  14. anthill

    anthill Member

    Kix, sorry to hear that, that sucks big time. The water pump is known by Subaru Justy owners as a weak point on the EF12 engine, and the auto transmission is notoriously fragile as well. Hope this doesn't turn you off all kei vehicles.

    I don't know if the transmission is interchangeable with the Justy! Good question.

    I've always told myself that if something really goes wrong in my van's powertrain, that I'd gut it and put in an Electric Vehicle conversion (with "all that spare money" I have floating around). Seriously though, the Domingo is a perfect candidate - you could build battery boxes where the spare tire, gas tank, and radiator sit, bolted to the frame rails, and there's plenty of room in the engine compartment for a all-in-one motor/power controller/transmission unit...

    Sorry I don't have any more practical advice. If you learn anything please share it and I'll update this thread:

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  15. Kix

    Kix New Member

    Baha! From a cheap way to interchange the guts to a full blowin electric van! Might be a long shot in this weeks free time & budget!
    Anywhoo thnx for the info, I'm not turned off the van just the after sale service i got, the vans super Kool and it's all decked out in advertising for my company so I'd like to hang onto it for a while.
    I'm sure somthing will turn up in the near future!
    Thnx a million
  16. _meat_

    _meat_ New Member

    Hey Folks!

    I'm new here but thought I'd come direct to the source - I'm searching for a Kei Van myself, and deciding between a few options that have been online/at Japanoid in the last little while. Between Subaru Sambars, Domingos and Suzuki Every's, I think my real question is how people are finding the vans for occasional highway use. I'm a woodworker, run around town mostly (Vancouver) and would like to do the occasional camping trip out to Idaho. Should I avoid 660cc Turbos because driving that far would be terrible? Or is a 1200cc a "gas guzzler" for most of my in-city?

    Anthill - I appreciate the Fuelly account you have set up! It really clears up some of my questions! I suppose the handling is still the big one!

    Hoping to find a balance between in-city and out!

    Is it wholly inappropriate to post an craigslist listing on here and see what you guys think of it?

  17. firejonny89

    firejonny89 Member

    post ur craigslist post ur not the first i have done it many times to see what others think but as far as the vans i dont know a thing about them i have a kei truck sorry
  18. _meat_

    _meat_ New Member

  19. anthill

    anthill Member

    The 1200cc will do fine on the Lower Mainland's pokey highways. On the eighteen lane 401 here in Toronto my van feels a little... exposed, but I've been driving it around for 2 years now and still feel OK.

    High crosswinds is still the only thing that gets me nervous.

    Took the Domingo for our first overnight trip a few months ago, managed to rig up a magnetized stick-on mosquito netting and crammed a Double air mattress in there. Snug, but worked just fine!

  20. _meat_

    _meat_ New Member

    It's been a while since I wrote in last - we picked up the Domingo in August and have done some pretty substantial trips since then. From Vancouver to Yellowstone National Park, and return of course, with some detouring into Oregon from Cour d'Lane. We only slept in the van one night, the windows are so huge, felt like all the wilderness was lurking! I like the magnetic mosquito curtain idea as applied to a privacy curtain.

    Here's a shot of the little guy out in Montana, and loaded with bikes ready to roll to Seattle for some cyclocross racing.





    Sidewinds were for sure a challenge, as was doing 120 all through Montana... but it seemed to like it.

    I'm also keeping track of my gas milage on Fuelly, which is a neat little web-app.

  21. marinemech

    marinemech New Member

    I am looking at buying a Domingo (from maxoverdrive.ca). I was wondering if anyone has tried to tow with this little van. I have little cargo trailer I take camping, I tow it with my car. The trailer only weighs 700lbs total when loaded with gear. Think the Domingo could handle that? I live in Victoria, need to get over the malahat then its all 80km/h and mostly flat.
  22. franck2cv

    franck2cv Member

  23. marinemech

    marinemech New Member

    Sweet, I am 99% sold.....just doing my normal overthinking everything...where to buy parts...cost of parts...etc,lol

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