Steve Devine's Mit­subishi L400 van

n school Wellingto is a Steve Devine diver, is a keen LNI teacher who Mit­subishi His and hunter. fish­er­man typ­i­cal 4WD but not be the L400 might An­drew Gee per­fectly. it suits Steve ex­plains why.

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Q) OK An­drew, tell us a bit about Steve, and why he chose to build his ‘ideal’ 4WD around am L400 van?

Sure. Steve has been a mem­ber of our Cross Coun­try Ve­hi­cle Club for 10 years and pre­vi­ously owned a Pa­jero and Jeep. He dis­cov­ered years ago he was miss­ing many op­por­tu­ni­ties to get away due to the lo­cal con­di­tions. If he could do away with tents, then a num­ber of prob­lems were solved. His so­lu­tion is a unique way to ex­plore the coast in a mo­bile tent. His 4WD van has the flex­i­bil­ity to sleep at least two adults plus kids, there is framed bed, toi­let and elec­tric shower. The cab­i­nets are ei­ther fixed or held in place by re­mov­able brack­ets.

Q) Sounds great. But do you reckon it is for ev­ery­one?

Def­i­nitely. Any­one with a fam­ily wagon can do a sim­i­lar fit out like this. Keep the cab­i­nets filled with cook­ing gear, food, bed­ding and clothes slid into the back of the fam­ily wagon and you are ready to head to a nearby DOC camp­site for the week­end.

Q) And tell us about the YouTube chan­nel he has de­vel­oped to chron­i­cle where he takes the L400?

That’s right, Steve has a You Tube chan­nel https:// watch? v= lmKZtWE35nU& t= 3s show­ing coastal ac­cess, con­di­tions and driv­ing hints and is work­ing on videos to in­tro­duce fam­i­lies to the out­doors with camp set ups, food ideas, gen­eral ad­vice and fish­ing hints.

Q) Now how about some spe­cific de­tails about the van and build please.

No probs. It’s a 2003 Mit­subishi Del­ica L400, which has a 3 litre V6 petrol en­gine and au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with full low/ high 4x4 trans­fer case. It rolls on 32” x 11.5” mud tyres fit­ted to 15” x 8” steel rims. Steve did most of the ba­sic me­chan­i­cal work in­clud­ing wind­ing up the tor­sion bars, bash plate fab­ri­ca­tion and other items like the roof rack mod­i­fi­ca­tions. The run­ning gear is based on a Tri­ton/ Pa­jero and quite bul­let­proof. The van has plenty of power from low down and the seam­less gear change of the auto makes it ideal for the coastal en­vi­ron­ment and beach work.

Q) I bet that’s not the fi­nal spec ei­ther?

Ha! You’re right there. The van is con­stantly be­ing im­proved and fu­ture mod­i­fi­ca­tions Steve will un­der­take in­clude more sus­pen­sion travel from 50 mm raised rear springs, ball joint spac­ers in the front, all to al­low 33” t yres to be fit ted. Other planned mod­i­fi­ca­tions will be fit ting a light bar, so­lar panel, snorkel and graph­ics.

Q) Cheers An­drew, thanks for shar­ing this with us.

Happy to Ross. Speak­ing with Steve you feel his en­thu­si­asm for get­ting out to the coast for a quick trip and his van is the per­fect ve­hi­cle, mod­i­fied quite cheaply and eas­ily. Have a look at some of his videos for in­spi­ra­tion to get out there. If you have an in­ter­est­ing new, old or just plain dif­fer­ent 4WD and think it war­rants a spot on our 4 Work or Play page email Ed­i­tor Ross Mackay on ed­i­tor@ nz

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