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Reliability questions

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by Dmscar, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Ive only owned a couple cars up to this point, one being a 1996 Toyota Avalon and a 1998 Cadillac Seville. Both of them had their quirks and were about 20 years old when I got them. I no longer own the Toyota due to hitting two deer and then selling the car for a grand. The Cadillac I gave away due to moving to Colorado and it wouldn’t pass emissions due to constant issues with that car. Both of these cars were “old” in their own respect and I even took the Cadillac half way across the country and on my way back overheated but still got home.

    So the questions I have are:

    1. Are Mini trucks in general reliable for being they are 25 years old to the point where you can depend on them. I ask because I buy one to haul my dirt bike to more remote areas and would prefer something with a good track record.

    2. Which brands/models are the best and most reliable ones.

    3. With the problems they may have what are the common problems with the more reliable models.

    4. At what mileage due they tend to die, I saw a post the other day about 100k kilometers being an average maybe for a Subaru or a Suzuki I honestly can’t remember.

    5. If something does go wrong how hard is it finding online help to fix it and getting parts.

    Sorry for the long post just trying to get every bit of information before buying a mini.
     
  2. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Well-Known Member

    1. Are Mini trucks in general reliable for being they are 25 years old to the point where you can depend on them. I ask because I buy one to haul my dirt bike to more remote areas and would prefer something with a good track record.

    Like all used cars, a lot depends on how good of care the previous owner(s) took. If they maintained it well, and didn’t thrash it it will last for years. If they never changed the oil until the warning light came on. It will have serious issues.

    Not sure what year Japan changed their standards but some of the older ones only had five digit odometers, and one with 13,000-km on the odometer could have been turned over, and actually have 113,000-km on it. If you look at the paint on the drivers wheel well edge, and the pedals, you can usually pick up on the ones which have turned over. If the paint is worn, and the pedals are worn or newly replaced, it has a lot of use. One of the disadvantages of buying one directly and not through a dealer, is that you can’t look it over before it gets to you.

    2. Which brands/models are the best and most reliable ones? I run a Daihatsu, S110P, with a scissors dump bed. And it reminds me a bunch of the 77 Toyota Hilux pickup I used to own. Daihatsu is Toyota’s sister company and the design philosophy seems to be pretty much the same. My Hilux went over 300,000 miles with nothing but routine maintenance and repairs. One water pump, one alternator rebuild, one clutch and throw out bearing, four sets of front brake pads, and one change out of the rotors. I did replace the seats with a pair from a Volvo at about 160,000-miles.

    3. With the problems they may have what are the common problems with the more reliable models. My Hijet is running rich, and I can't source a rebuild kit of the stock carb. Replacements out of Japan are around $300. I replaced the struts when I bought it, and they are bad again. I’m planning to Weldon some mounts and install shocks from an F100, or other half ton domestic truck, so the struts will only be acting as guides in the suspension.

    4. At what mileage due they tend to die, I saw a post the other day about 100k kilometers being an average maybe for a Subaru or a Suzuki I honestly can’t remember? In the US, or Canada, I’d guess that most that die is because sourcing parts from Japan, is expensive, and folks decide that they don’t want to spend the money for the repair parts. Mine will probably go 150,000-km. But I’m a little more mechanically adept then most folks, and am willing to fabricate and modify things, because I think that is part of the fun.

    5. If something does go wrong how hard is it finding online help to fix it and getting parts? Some tings aren’t too bad, spark plugs, etc. can be found at NAPA if you do some research, or walk in with our old part when they aren’t busy, and have time to open boxes to look at things. The air filter doesn’t have a listing, but knowing how long it is, and the inside and outside diameters let the guys at NAPA find one that would work. Others parts are available only out of Japan but expensive. I read that the Hijets were produced under license in Europe as Piaggio Porters. And quite a few of the Porter parts can cross over, and cost less. If you know how to get to RockAuto in Britains website, you and look up parts on it, and then hunt for the part number on the US site, and frequently find it. But, there is no way to search the US site, by make model and year.

    In conclusion, if your mechanically adept, understand what your doing as a wrench, and are willing to put in some leg work, you can overcome most of the obstacles.
     
  3. fmartin_gila

    fmartin_gila Active Member

    As info only, my 2002 Suzuki CarryVan has 255472 Kilometers on it and is still going. I bought it used so don't know any history. I replaced the clutch a couple thousand Kilometers ago and it does burn a small amount of oil (mostly at startup so I suspect worn valve guides along with worn piston rings) so I am starting to think I may have to take care of that issue in the near future. I have replaced normal consumables (tires, battery, hoses, & etc) and change oil at 5000 Kilometer intervals. Note that I live in the Philippines and this vehicle has never been in winter weather as far as I know.

    Fred
     
  4. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Thank you for all the responses. I’d like to think I’m handy enough to fix a lot of issues just minus fabrication due to living an a apartment and now having enough tools yet being the fact I’m only 23 and on a semi limit budget.

    Which mini trucks would you say are the better ones to buy?
     
  5. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Well-Known Member

    I would buy another Hijet. Haven’t worked on the others, so I don’t have any real knowledge on them. Carrys are fairly popular.
     
  6. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    i have almost a 100k on my hijet dump and i worked it like a dog for 2 years. i order parts from japan and prices are not bad.
     
  7. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Awesome, yeah I’m currently considering really anyone of the main ones, Hijet, Carry, ACTY, and the Sambar. My only real complaint with the ACTY is it’s more of a AWD system.

    That’s good to hear about the 100k and cheap parts!
     
  8. morry

    morry New Member

    Biggest problem will be finding parts to keep them going. So far I have been lucky in finding some parts and reusing others. I a day will come when it will be a cheap piece of junk. But I love my Suzuki Every van.
     
  9. allochris

    allochris New Member

    Use Megazip.net for your parts!
     
  10. Tripthyme

    Tripthyme Member Supporting Member

    I always have a tool box with me in mine, a main bus fuse and a spare belt. I enjoy working on mine and it hasn't left me stranded anywhere but has had a few hiccups that delayed me a hr at most. I am what one would call a B level mechanic tho. An A level would of been delayed maybe 30-45 minutes. I drove mine every day for over 3 months 60 miles each day some days 200. I love the thing, it turns heads and I have towed 3 jeeps out of stuck positions that other vehicles couldn't get to. Do it and if you hate it I will buy it from you as long as its a hijet!
     

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