My Next Van ( The Delexus)

I’d been tossing around the idea of repowering the diesel Delica with something more reliable and powerful. A few guys had used the Toyota V8 (1uzfe) with success as it bolts straight on to the Mitsi’s transmission.
The reason it can do that, is that both the Toyota and Mitsi (and some other brands I believe) have their transmissions supplied by Aisin Warner. The 4 speed auto in the Delica S1 van, is the AW4 and it’s exactly the same as Toyota’s A340.
The Lexus/Soarer 1uzfe V8 uses this transmission.
So all you have to do is swap the Mitsi’s Bell-housing and converter for the V8’s one and everything bolts up apparently.

Doing this conversion to the Delica van is no small job. Its a squeeze getting the V8 in there width wise and requires cutting part of the front panel out of the van to get enough room to slide the lump in there. Also, once you have done the conversion, the vehicle will need to be re-certified (engineering certificate) in order to be legal for road use.
Not to mention you also have to wire in the Toyota’s ECU etc into the Mitsi’s system.

As fate would have it, I was saved the pain of doing all of this when a van came up for sale with everything already done.. I bought it.
Its got the later model vvti version of the 1uz motor fitted. Its all certified and running so most of the hard/expensive work has been done.

The conversion, while being functional, is a bit scruffy in my eyes and I will be tidying things up as I go.

Some photos below:

So before I could even begin to tidy this creation up, a problem arose..
It stopped and will no longer start.
I suspect it has much to do with the somewhat hacked up standard ECU and immobiliser-defeat box that the previous owner had fitted. I’m no electronics expert, so I will get a local shop I know of to ditch all that garbage on top of the engine and fit a link ECU.
Expensive? Yes, but I want this thing to be reliable and I just don’t trust hacked and bypassed electronics.

Edit: May 2018:
So I’ve had a Link ECU fitted to the van and the electronics box monstrosity above the engine is gone.. To be honest, the original wiring job was a bloody mess not to mention a fire hazard and death trap. I have moved the electronic fuel pump from the engine bay down to beside the fuel tank as they don’t like having to ‘suck’ fuel up. They are designed to be gravity fed and PUSH fuel up to the engine.
The large diesel fuel filter and prime pump that had been re-purposed for petrol is now gone in favor of a simple steel inline filter.
There’s still plenty of work to do around the engine bay. The space vacated by the fuel filter and pump, behind the battery,  will be used to house the wiring loom patch blocks and fuses inside a suitable box of some sort.
I still have to sort out the radiator, thermo fans. air intake etc. That needs to have its air-temp sensor fitted. I still need to get an o2 sensor fitted in the exhaust.
Once that is all done the van will be road tuned to get the best out of the ECU mapping.

An in other news…….
This cool gadjet is a tiptronic controller for the Delica’s old 4speed Auto. Its made in Aussie by http://www.headley2009.com especially for the Aw4 transmission. It has its own micro computer which interfaces with the standard Mitsi TCU and allows manual gear changing via a toggle switch on the replacement 4wd selector knob. It also allows manual torque converter lockup – nice!!!

Edit: 17-05-18
I have not yet fitted the tiptronic gadget above as there is still much to do in the engine bay.
I have decided to relocate the battery to inside the van and use the vacant space to house an ‘electronics box’ containing all the relays/fuses/etc that were just in-the-way…

I still need to do plenty of engine bay work as yet. The air intake pipe will be replaced, and possibly the entire airbox. It will eventually have a snorkel but I’m thinking the commercially available plastic ones will be too restrictive as it will be narrowing down the intake from 90mm to 77mm. I’ll probably get a snorkel made out of 90mm stainless tube.
The standard plastic radiator will be replaced with a 42mm all alloy  unit and the plastic expansion tank will be replaced with an alloy one as well. Both of those items will be donated by my other van.

Edit: June 18
Plastic radiator and expansion tank have been replaced with heavy duty alloy items.
No room now for the original bonnet latch 🙁

Bonnet latch problem solved…

While fitting the new radiator I decided to fit an external trans cooler and not run any trans fluid through the radiator.. Thats a Davies-Craig unit below.

Finally got around to replacing that awful air intake pipe with 89mm alloy.

Right… A HUGE amount of work has been done over the last few weeks.
All of the Dobinsons suspension has been removed from the old van and installed in this one. Also the Towbar/Wheel carrier and the Bullbar and winch.
The roof tray and light bar is all on and professionally wired up.
I’ve had the wiring mess in the engine bay professionally done and its now contained in a semi-waterproof box positioned where the battery would normally be.
There are two batteries in the back. One Optima yellow for starting and winch duties and a normal lead-acid for accessories (house battery).
The van has been panelled and painted.
I have also fitted a 9′ rear diff out of a series 2 V6 van.


Plastic box contains all the electronics to run the engine.


Nine inch diff from a Series two V6 van.