Japanese Mini-Truck?

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Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Domino » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:35 pm

I did a search and couldn't find anything about them on this board so I was hoping to start some constructive discussion with anyone with thoughts or experiences.





http://www.bulldogoffroad.com/mini_trucks.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

These cool little trucks (properly modified) seem to be a great concept for a compact BOV. Not only do they do pretty well in offroad environments but they can pack a fairly large amount of people/gear. From everything I have read they are very affordable/reliable 4x4's, get 40 MPG, can go 55 MPH, haul up to 900 lbs, and come in Pickup and Van configurations. I think the Van version with 5 speed manual with a 3" lift, offroad tires/lights, role cage, winch, and roof cargo rack would be about perfect for getting a few people and some gear out of dodge either through the city or through rugged trails. Any thoughts?

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by mk_ultra » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:25 pm

I have a friend who has one it is badass .

He uses it as a farm truck mostly .

One major downside to them is that they are often not street legal in a lot of municipalities .

He has been fighting with the local DMV who won't let him plate or register it as it apparently does not meet all the right criteria.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Braxton » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:26 pm

Are they street legal?
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Domino » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:30 pm

Braxton wrote:Are they street legal?
General concensus in most of the USA is no. But in a true scenerio where you might need a Bug Out Vehicle, does it really matter all that much?

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Lex1785 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:34 pm

In wyoming they can be licences as a farm truck or as a MPV Multipurpose vehicle just like a 4 wheeler. becareful when you purchase one of these. I have three I use at work, one is a van, and two are "trucks" a lot of companies in the US sell them for decent prices but they are not four wheel drive unless you specifically request them to be. Extremely full efficient in most cases but tires leave something to desire, and they dont handle nasty weather to well.

Also be aware that a Japanese truck isnt the same as a "bongo/tiger" truck in most regards so if going to purchase one again double check what your getting before you get it.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by LowKey » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:42 pm

If you could figure out how to get one to the US you might also consider the Toyota Landcruiser Pickup-
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Domino » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:43 pm

Lex1785 wrote:Also be aware that a Japanese truck isnt the same as a "bongo/tiger" truck in most regards so if going to purchase one again double check what your getting before you get it.
Yeah, we have had a couple of those "Tiger" trucks on base and they have not impressed me too much. Cheap chinese junk from the best I can tell. The Japanese 4X4's on the other hand have got a pretty good reputation.

Although the new DFM 4X4 UTV's look pretty cool. I just don't know if I would trust one just yet until I heard postive report back...


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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by hatchtrikk » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:17 pm

We worked on one of these before. Fun as hell to drive. They aren't street legal likely due to the lack of 5-mile-an-hour-bumpers and random safety crap.

That's why it's difficult to register a JDM vehicle as well. You have to bring them up to US safety specs.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by 88sport » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:35 pm

I feel like with all of the modifications and all, you might be better off spending your money on getting a Kubota 4x4 diesel with an AC cab on it. sure, you might need to do a little lift for it to be exactly like the trucks shown in the vids, but you'd be far closer to getting something you want buying a 'bota than buying one of these new and modding it yourself from there.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by WOLF308 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:34 am

meh, for the 5-10 grand or more you'd spend on one your better off buying an old compact 4x4 pickup or suv of whatever make/model your fond of.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Rugger » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:09 am

I've drove one of these about 4 years ago. It's weird shifting with your left hand, and I seem to remember the pedals being switched around as well, but not positive. Either way, it was a trip.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by airgun13 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:30 am

its like an izuzu van truck boned a ranger
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Tacolife » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:44 am

Those things look fun and all, but for the money I think your best bet is getting an old Toyata FJ40 or something along those lines. I have one and it is bullet proof, can be used as a daily driver and is street legal. The only down side is gas millage, I get around 13 city and 16 freeway, but one the plus side, there carbureted and have a points type distributor so in the event of an EMP all you have to do is roll it down a hill and pop in second and she'll turn right over.

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by run faster » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:22 pm

Theyre legal here :) so are quads and side by sides muhahahaha

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:36 pm

IB4 a used Nissan 4 cyl pick up truck.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by velojym » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:05 am

We had something like that as a "greeter" wagon when I worked at an airport. It was a van without 4wd, but did the job ok. Unfortunately, for the price, we could have gotten a far more robust
pickup or minivan with better parts availability.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by emclean » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:14 am

what is the advantage of a mini-truck over a UTV?

it looks to me like a gator, of bobcat would do the same and more, for around the same price. what am I missing?

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by teotwaki » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:49 pm

emclean wrote:what is the advantage of a mini-truck over a UTV?

it looks to me like a gator, of bobcat would do the same and more, for around the same price. what am I missing?

It looks as if Bulldog Offroad no longer sells them.

This vendor is now calling them "ATV Mini-trucks" http://www.offroaders.com/atv/ATV-Mini-Trucks.htm

I think the UTVs are more modern, better suited to offroad pursuits and have a large following of aftermarket parts vendors to help accessorize and customize the UTVs.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by Blasphemous » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:06 am

teotwaki wrote:
emclean wrote:what is the advantage of a mini-truck over a UTV?

it looks to me like a gator, of bobcat would do the same and more, for around the same price. what am I missing?

It looks as if Bulldog Offroad no longer sells them.

This vendor is now calling them "ATV Mini-trucks" http://www.offroaders.com/atv/ATV-Mini-Trucks.htm

I think the UTVs are more modern, better suited to offroad pursuits and have a large following of aftermarket parts vendors to help accessorize and customize the UTVs.
With UTV's (sidexside's) being much more popular now, they are definitely a better way to go. UTV's are much easier to make street legal as well. I know a few guy who have added the kits and drive theirs on the street occasionally (mostly from the offroad park to make runs to town).
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by NT2C » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:39 am

Under 25 years old, not legal (as far as the Feds are concerned) for on-road use anywhere in the USA because they don't meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or emission standards. There are companies that do conversions so that they meet the standards, but it's an expensive process. Now, even if you decide you don't really need all that "safety crap", as one person put it, and manage to somehow get it quasi-legally registered and on the road, please be aware that because it's a right-hand drive vehicle the headlights are going to be aimed incorrectly and you'll be blinding other drivers at night unless you re-aim them. And there are states that allow them on some public roads, but it varies from state to state, and the laws are constantly changing, so checking with your state DMV is always a good idea.

Over 25 year old vehicles don't have to meet the Federal standards and can be legally registered and used with far less problems.

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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by teotwaki » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:55 am

I would not want the headaches of relying on a 25 year old vehicle, especially without a dealer parts network. It is one thing to have one as a toy where repeated breakdowns are not a threat to your survival but I'd not desire and old mini truck for the ZPAW
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by NT2C » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:15 pm

teotwaki wrote:I would not want the headaches of relying on a 25 year old vehicle, especially without a dealer parts network. It is one thing to have one as a toy where repeated breakdowns are not a threat to your survival but I'd not desire and old mini truck for the ZPAW
Agreed. You could probably get a newer model Jeep for almost the same as you'd spend importing a Japanese mini truck, and have a much more reliable vehicle with a large source of parts.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:40 pm

I also vote side-by-side. You get a crazy suspension and good power that can come standard with lockers and others. Plus they are brand new and don't have to worry about import laws all for under 10 grand.

If you're really handy, I'd much rather have an old Jeep YJ or TJ or a Suzuki Samurai or Sidekick.
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Re: Japanese Mini-Truck?

Post by flybynight » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:22 pm

found this site... pretty cool
http://www.americasminitruckcenter.com/index.php
. I don't really see a reason to own a side by side or mini truck.
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