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.
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:// www.youtube.com/ 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@ nz4wd.co. nz