LJ78 2L-TE vs Delica L400 4M40 (1 Viewer)

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Hey there;
I'm new to the forum. I'm looking forward to getting my first vehicle and making it a 4x4 overlanding rig!
I'm going to be moving from BC to AB soon, where I'll need a vehicle for driving around in the snow during the winter and offroading/camping during the summer, but I also plan on making occasional trips to SK/MB and back, so it needs to cruise acceptably fast on the highway and get acceptable fuel mileage. These trips to SK will also involve transporting 4-5 of my colleagues for work, so the roomy interior is a plus.
I've wanted a Delica ever since I first moved to the West Coast, but I'm aware that their top speed is quite low, which is a bit of a downside for the long highway trips. I recently stumbled across a good deal on a 1994 LJ78 with the infamous 2L-TE engine. The seller also has a scrapped Hilux Surf with another engine, so I can always take the second engine to fix the 2L-TE as problems arise. The body/frame seems great, but the interior is pretty scraped up. That said, the LJ78 seems like it could be really comfy with a little work on the interior. I drove it a bit and, while the acceleration is pretty slow, it seems like it does better at high speeds than the Delica. The seller is a mechanic, and he also said I could use his garage/tools to work on it for a week to do the repairs it needs (new exhaust (from the Hilux), replace a window, clean out the interior) so I could also use that time to install an intercooler/snorkel, which I've read helps a lot.
It seems pretty attractive and I've always wanted to drive a cruiser, but I'm trying to decide if it's really practical. The Delica may be more practical for some of my applications (camping, transporting my colleagues), it's still a little cheaper, and it requires less work.
Can anyone here say how the 2L-TE LJ78 and a 4M40 L400 should compare?
 

AussieHJCruza

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Personally, LJ78 and have a good thorough read of @GTSSportCoupe thread on keeping the 2LTE happy. My suggestion is skip the second 2LTE, buy a set of gauges including EGT, boost and coolant temp, get a new cylinder head, radiator, tridon high flow thermostat, new water pump, belts, hoses etc. and then help her breathe better with snork and turbo back exhaust, up the boost a bit, intercooler and drive away.

4M40 is also an IDI turbo engine so would not be exempt from cylinder head problems.
 
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I have owned 2 Delica vans, both with 4D56 turbo diesels. I had 31X10.50's on both of them. My first delica was a early 90's model where the driver sits almost directly over the front tires. Later on they got longer like my second delica.
The delica has plenty of power to cruise at freeway speed limits. There are alot of cool things you can do with the seats in back laying them all out to make the equivalent of a queen size bed, even better if you put a air mattress on top. Comfortable, quiet, good ride, unique etc...........
My had one common problem. The belt pulleys are aluminum and wear out. So people tend to tighten the belts to the extreme which causes all your accessory bearings to wear out quickly. If you have squealing belts that are not easily fixed with normal tightening you need new pulleys.

The delica is a minivan with 4wd to take you to the ski slope or up and down roads that have gotten muddy. It is not a "off road vehicle" or "4wheeling machine". I wouldn't consider modifying one to to rockclimbing or any type of serious off roading. I also am not impressed with mitsubishi quality/durability. I don't think it's in the same league as Toyota.

The landcruiser is far more off road capable and more durable, but nowhere close in comfort or camping capability.
 
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On the mileage and highway. Delica was decent on fuel, but there is alot of wind resistance. If you are OK with driving the speed limit(not more than 70) the Delica will be fine. If you want to drive 80-90 on the interstate then it is unlikely you will find any older diesel van/SUV that will do that comfortably. A landcruiser HDJ80 might, but that's a completely different power level than a LJ.
 
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On the mileage and highway. Delica was decent on fuel, but there is alot of wind resistance. If you are OK with driving the speed limit(not more than 70) the Delica will be fine. If you want to drive 80-90 on the interstate then it is unlikely you will find any older diesel van/SUV that will do that comfortably. A landcruiser HDJ80 might, but that's a completely different power level than a LJ.
so I'm fine with 70. I just don't want to be stuck at 60.
 

GTSSportCoupe

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The early diesel Delica and 70 series Prado are both getting pretty old and will be ongoing 'projects'. They will require significant investment to keep them going reliably. Both engines are small and old indirect injection turbo diesel technology. This technology is very prone to overheating and cylinder head issues. You will spend way more money than you think you will, and I bet there will be some heart ache. I think these vehicles should only be secondary vehicles for most people.

So, if you need something reliable that will do lots of miles without problems, I'd recommend looking at a modern SUV or minivan to be honest. They would be a much smarter investment.

I have seen some Delicas with a v6 gas motor. These might actually be a great option if you want the RHD experience and something that is reliable. They are the rounder generation of Delica; not sure the years.

Want diesel? Look at the Mercedes GL320 CDI or the ML320 CDI. Or even the 2007 or so Jeep Cherokee with the same diesel. All those vehicles have the OM642 that gets amazing fuel economy and has huge power. They are still not without their share of problems (oil leaks for example).

Honestly a 100 series landcruiser, Lexus GX470 or Sequoia would be a better choice if you want something tough, capable, comfortable and 4x4. If you buy the 2006 plus versions of these they have a VVTI V8 with an excellent 5 speed auto that gets decent highway fuel economy. Lots of power to tow a trailer too if you ever wanted.
 

GTSSportCoupe

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Couple more thoughts in addition to what I wrote above.

Comparing a 2LTE to a 4M40 is a bit apples to oranges. A more fair comparison is the 2LTE to 4D56, or 1KZTE to 4M40. 2LTE is the early 70 series Prado, 1KZTE is the late 70 series Prado. Likewise the 4D56 is the early Delica, 4M40 is the next generation Delica.

The 1KZTE and 4M40 are totally superior motors. Lots more power, and better reliability. If you can find your 70 Prado or Delica with those motors in well maintained condition, you will be off to a better start for sure. Both motors still won't compare to modern direction injection turbo diesels though. Direct injection doesn't have the heat issues of indirection injection.

And further to the gas Delica question. There are a bunch for sale near me right now. Here is one example: $8,888 · Delica 4x4 8 passenger
 
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I have a LJ77 with the 2LT and a 5 speed. I have no trouble running 100 to 120 kph on the highways in the east. But that is with just the driver and 1 passenger.

Acceleration is acceptable. It will not win any trophies at the drag strip.

A 2.5 inch lift will do well for your off road needs.

There is a lot of info on the 2LT and 2LTE engines to help manage your concerns.

I bought mine in St Louis MO and drove it home to CT in some of the worst rain storms I ever drove in. I drive it a lot and enjoy it immensely.
 
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The thing is, if the consensus is that the 2LTE is more comparable to the 4D56, it seems like I'd be better off getting a Delica with a 4M40 than an LJ78 especially considering the Delica is $1.5k less expensive and doesn't require nearly as much work. Not even mentioning the exhaust and the intercooler and all the mods AussiHJCruza mentioned, the LJ78 needs new carpeting, one new window, AC fixed, and speakers. That said, the guy who's selling said I could use his garage and tools to work on it as much as I want before I leave the province. I don't know if such a 'project' is really what my life needs right now, but it does sound kind of fun.

The early diesel Delica and 70 series Prado are both getting pretty old and will be ongoing 'projects'. They will require significant investment to keep them going reliably. Both engines are small and old indirect injection turbo diesel technology. This technology is very prone to overheating and cylinder head issues. You will spend way more money than you think you will, and I bet there will be some heart ache. I think these vehicles should only be secondary vehicles for most people.

So, if you need something reliable that will do lots of miles without problems, I'd recommend looking at a modern SUV or minivan to be honest. They would be a much smarter investment.

I am aware that these vehicles are projects. I am new to Land Cruisers, but I have read extensively about Delica maintenance. I don't want to become a mechanic or anything, but I like the idea of getting an older, more mechanical car and learning to do what is necessary to keep it running happily. I definitely don't want something so old it's not going to be running half the time, but I've seen enough Delicas on the road to believe that they are decently practical. Also, I can't really afford a modern SUV. I am looking at cars that are closer to $5k then $10k.

I have seen some Delicas with a v6 gas motor. These might actually be a great option if you want the RHD experience and something that is reliable. They are the rounder generation of Delica; not sure the years.
I have been looking for a v6 delica, but they are awfully expensive. I usually see them for $10k+. If I ever saw one for $7k I would get one right away. When I see one come up at under $10k, I will visit and try to negociate.

At the price of a v6 delica, however, some GL320 CDIs start to come up.

The 1KZTE and 4M40 are totally superior motors. Lots more power, and better reliability. If you can find your 70 Prado or Delica with those motors in well maintained condition, you will be off to a better start for sure. Both motors still won't compare to modern direction injection turbo diesels though. Direct injection doesn't have the

This is why I figure it kind of doesn't make sense to pay more for an LJ78 with a 2LTE when I could get a Delica with a 4M40 for significantly less.
 
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GTSSportCoupe

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The thing is, if the consensus is that the 2LTE is more comparable to the 4D56, it seems like I'd be better off getting a Delica with a 4M40 than an LJ78 especially considering the Delica is $1.5k less expensive and doesn't require nearly as much work. Not even mentioning the exhaust and the intercooler and all the mods AussiHJCruza mentioned, the LJ78 needs new carpeting, one new window, AC fixed, and speakers. That said, the guy who's selling said I could use his garage and tools to work on it as much as I want before I leave the province. I don't know if such a 'project' is really what my life needs right now, but it does sound kind of fun.


I have been looking for a v6 delica, but they are awfully expensive. I usually see them for $10k+. If I ever saw one for $7k I would get one right away. When I see one come up at under $10k, I will visit and try to negociate.

At the price of a v6 delica, however, some GL320 CDIs start to come up.



This is why I figure it kind of doesn't make sense to pay more for an LJ78 with a 2LTE when I could get a Delica with a 4M40 for significantly less.

Yeah, I'd say of the two vehicles you're looking at, the Delica would be the smarter choice for sure.

I see the gas ones come up for a good price pretty regularily. I took a 30s look on craigslist and found this for example: New import, 2000 delica 4WD - cars & trucks - by owner
 
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Yeah, I'd say of the two vehicles you're looking at, the Delica would be the smarter choice for sure.

I see the gas ones come up for a good price pretty regularily. I took a 30s look on craigslist and found this for example: New import, 2000 delica 4WD - cars & trucks - by owner

ah, I saw that one too, but ya gotta have the crystal lite roof. No point in getting a Delica if you're not going to have the space age features. Considering the LJ78 will end up costing me $7k (including the parts it needs), though, that one seems like a better choice. I am still tempted by the offer to use the LJ78 guy's garage though. Maybe I am a masochist.
 
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Personally, LJ78 and have a good thorough read of @GTSSportCoupe thread on keeping the 2LTE happy. My suggestion is skip the second 2LTE, buy a set of gauges including EGT, boost and coolant temp, get a new cylinder head, radiator, tridon high flow thermostat, new water pump, belts, hoses etc. and then help her breathe better with snork and turbo back exhaust, up the boost a bit, intercooler and drive away.

I believe this one already has some of those gauges installed.
I guess I could take the cylinder head off the second 2LTE.
Definitely need the snorkel and turbo back exhaust too. The thing is currently a straight pipe exhaust and it is LOUD.
As I mentioned, the seller said I could use his garage/tools to do all this work. I it could be really fun, but I've also got exams to study for...

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GTSSportCoupe

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I believe this one already has some of those gauges installed.
I guess I could take the cylinder head off the second 2LTE.
Definitely need the snorkel and turbo back exhaust too. The thing is currently a straight pipe exhaust and it is LOUD.
As I mentioned, the seller said I could use his garage/tools to do all this work. I it could be really fun, but I've also got exams to study for...

You could buy the landcruiser and a cheap second car like a 1ZZFE Corolla (the early ones get fantastic economy and go forever). Drive the Corolla while you're working on the cruiser. :lol: I do love my LJ78. But buying it was the cheapest investment. The real cost comes in ongoing maintenance and upgrades, LOL.
 
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You could buy the landcruiser and a cheap second car like a 1ZZFE Corolla (the early ones get fantastic economy and go forever). Drive the Corolla while you're working on the cruiser. :lol: I do love my LJ78. But buying it was the cheapest investment. The real cost comes in ongoing maintenance and upgrades, LOL.

Definitely not going to get 2 vehicles. I am a grad student and I usually live in apartments and bike everywhere. Even getting 1 vehicle is a big change for me! Also, I read your LJ78 was $3.5k before all the upgrades, so $6k for one that definitely needs upgrades seems like less of a good deal than I thought.
 
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The LJ78 will absolutely whup the Delica in offroad ability, but if you don't need that then the van may be the better pick. One issue with the LJ78 is that you can fit a lot of people & stuff in it, really more than the lil 2.4 motor can deal with long term, especially if you throw in a few hills & highway speeds. A full load of people is a job for a KZJ78 at least.

Cheers
Clint
 
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Just how durable are the KZJ's? There are ton of "Prado series" landcruisers that can be imported from Japan and many with low miles. Is the KZTE a good durable engine? How is it compared to the B series?
I've read that the LJ's and KZJ's ride on Hilux running gear vs. the larger Landcruiser gear, but I'm not sure that would be a problem for anyone not running really large tires/gears and or swapping in a V8.

IN my memory the Delica has some underbody weakness in front of the front tires on the underbody. Oil or tranny cooler I think.

My only story of a Delica surviving some serious abuse and it actually was not me: a friend was van camping with his girlfriend on the beach outside of a military base he was stationed at. A terrible storm came in and the girl wanted to go back with my friend to the barracks. For a variety of reasons they couldn't drive through the MP checkpoint/gate to get back on post to his room. The boundary of the base went down to the ocean. The fence went out into the ocean about 50M and then there were big concrete barrier blocks another 50M underwater. The surface underwater was hard coral reef. My buddy with headlights off drove out on the reef and around the barrier blocks to get on post and back to his room. Ocean was 3-4feet deep. He made it and continued to drive the Delica for a few more years.
 

GTSSportCoupe

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Just how durable are the KZJ's? There are ton of "Prado series" landcruisers that can be imported from Japan and many with low miles. Is the KZTE a good durable engine? How is it compared to the B series?

I think it would be sufficient to say that a 1KZTE or 1KZ-T is a tougher more reliable engine than a 3B WITH A TURBO would be.

A 3B without a turbo would be tougher though; and a direct injection 13BT, 14BT etc. are tougher than a 1KZTE. It's the turbos that kill IDI engines; TDI engines take them fine though.

Also note that the 70 series Prados are a totally different beast than the later Prados (which are closer to a 4Runner).

I've read that the LJ's and KZJ's ride on Hilux running gear vs. the larger Landcruiser gear

It drives me nuts when people say this. The motor is the only thing that is exclusively from a Hilux (on the 1990-1996 70 series Prado models anyhow). All the other parts are shared with various heavy duty landcruisers, or are unique to the Prado.
 
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I've read that the LJ's and KZJ's ride on Hilux running gear vs. the larger Landcruiser gear, but I'm not sure that would be a problem for anyone not running really large tires/gears and or swapping in a V8.

Correct, and the smaller sized diffs and gearboxes have proved more than adequate for the lighter vehicle. Having a full size landcruiser drivetrain on a light duty landcruiser is just carrying dead weight around that you dont need.
 
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I think it would be sufficient to say that a 1KZTE or 1KZ-T is a tougher more reliable engine than a 3B WITH A TURBO would be.

A 3B without a turbo would be tougher though; and a direct injection 13BT, 14BT etc. are tougher than a 1KZTE. It's the turbos that kill IDI engines; TDI engines take them fine though.

Also note that the 70 series Prados are a totally different beast than the later Prados (which are closer to a 4Runner).



It drives me nuts when people say this. The motor is the only thing that is exclusively from a Hilux (on the 1990-1996 70 series Prado models anyhow). All the other parts are shared with various heavy duty landcruisers, or are unique to the Prado.
So are you saying that 90-96 prado mod/KZj70''s, LJ70's have the same axles and diffs as the HZ70's or PZ70's? Learning here and would like to know.
 

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