fatbikerjoe

Japanese Mini-truck Kei Truck as a beach buggy?

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Curious if anyone has used a Japanese mini-truck on the beach.  They are tiny, spartan but cute as a button and burly little machines.  Parts are CHEAP and they run forever.  Just have to get used to left hand drive.  In some states NY and CT these are road legal and can be registered and insured.

1990-suzuki-carry-4x4-mini-truck-japanes

 

Edited by fatbikerjoe

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Why not. If the ground clearance is good and it's real 4 whl drive and not fwd. with awd , it would be great. Is it a 4 banger or a 6 cyl.

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1 hour ago, hunter123 said:

Why not. If the ground clearance is good and it's real 4 whl drive and not fwd. with awd , it would be great. Is it a 4 banger or a 6 cyl.

Most are 3 cylinder and some are a small 4.  It's basically a motorcycle engine.  About 45 horse.  Ground clearance is not great, about 4"

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1 hour ago, hunter123 said:

That makes a big difference . I wouldn't want one for the beach.

I agree, not sure how well it would do on the beach, for comparison though, a Jeep Grand Cherokee stock has about 6" of ground clearance.

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Yeah the Jeeps aren't what they use to be since the Ities got hold of them. Wrangler is the only one with 7.5' or 8.5' of ground clearance. I have a 2012 Jeep Liberty and she has 7.5' gc. I really don't like a 4 banger for the beach let alone a 3 banger. 

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3 hours ago, hunter123 said:

Yeah the Jeeps aren't what they use to be since the Ities got hold of them. Wrangler is the only one with 7.5' or 8.5' of ground clearance. I have a 2012 Jeep Liberty and she has 7.5' gc. I really don't like a 4 banger for the beach let alone a 3 banger. 

The mini truck weighs 1500 lbs.  They can do 75 mph, must be exciting.

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Quick glance at a site that said trucks 25 years or older may be imported into the US. Max displacement is 660 CC. Lots of them for $2500 and under.

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I wonder how the axles and gearing are.

Can they be lifted, and take larger tires, and not break stuff, and still have some highway use.

If they can, that would cure the ground clearance issues for the beach, and general off road.

Looks like a great small farm truck.

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Those things are so light they should just float over the sand.  Ground clearances should matter too much. It’s almost like a UTV. I would use one on the beach if I had one. I wouldn’t want to drive it on the highway to get to the beach though. 

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On 2/16/2019 at 9:25 AM, dena said:

I wonder how the axles and gearing are.

Can they be lifted, and take larger tires, and not break stuff, and still have some highway use.

If they can, that would cure the ground clearance issues for the beach, and general off road.

Looks like a great small farm truck.

Yes, can easily be lifted 2" without mods and 23" tires will fit on most of them.  Beyond that and you are into custom fabrication.  These things are pretty burly.  Keep in mind they've been in service for 25 years.  Show me a domestic car or anything else that has survived that long.  True testament to the durability of Japanese made products.

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19 hours ago, fatbikerjoe said:

Yes, can easily be lifted 2" without mods and 23" tires will fit on most of them.  Beyond that and you are into custom fabrication.  These things are pretty burly.  Keep in mind they've been in service for 25 years.  Show me a domestic car or anything else that has survived that long.  True testament to the durability of Japanese made products.

I wouldn't want to get caught in a rut with that thing, but on the open sand, aired down, it should float along.

In a deep rut, you'll be dragging bottom pretty bad, and in some places, you can't help but follow the tracks..

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People underestimate how amazing these little rigs are offroad :cool:

 

They're just like a side by side ATV, but with the comfort of being enclosed

 

I've taken my Mitsubishi Minicab places where I wouldn't dare take my Land Cruiser

 

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With real 4WD and a low range T-Case, it's pretty much unstoppable anywhere you go

 

It's been to Daytona and New Smyrna countless times and even used it to recover full sized SUV's that were stuck in the sand.

 

I had picked up a handful of these things over the years and this one was only $501 at a local auction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That being said, although it makes a perfect fishing vehicle, it's actually overkill for simple beach cruising IMHO

 

I prefer loading up my golf cart with friends and beer instead

 

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