Today, we share the 5 problems we faced when buying our SPY VAN.
If you watched our previous video on our You Tube Channel released last Saturday (Part 1 of HOW WE BUILT MAMA BEAR), you know that we bought a Toyota Hiace SBV & named it Mama Bear.
WHEN LOOKING FOR A VAN – Our requirements were:
- Japanese van with an engine located up front (not under front seats).
- Price point below RM20K
- Low Mileage
- Diesel Engine
- Long Wheel Base
After months of looking, we got lucky and found this Toyota Hiace SBV 2.5 Diesel year 2000 with a mileage of 9000 miles. An ex Military Spy Van.
PROBLEM NUMBER 1 – VAN COULD NOT START
We went to view this van with Joe (our mechanic & owner of Blueprint Garage) Joe brought a spare car battery to jump start the van but when we got there, we found out there was no key. So instead, he had to hot wire the van but after several tries, the engine failed to start. Lucky for us, Joe could somehow tell fuel wasn’t getting through and it was probably due to a blockage in the diesel fuel pump. This is common for vehicles that have been left idle for a long time. (Later, we found an immobiliser attached to its diesel fuel pump) Everything else about the engine was perfect.
PROBLEM NUMBER 2 – WINDOW INSTALLATION
As Mama Bear was a panel van, the seller would have windows installed for us in order to pass a Puspakom inspection. This is usually a straight forward task but because this van was so heavily insulated, it was extremely difficult to install windows. In the end, we had to pay additional for the window installation.
PROBLEM NUMBER 3 – MAJOR DELAY IN THE DELIVERY PROCESS
It took almost six months to complete the sale process. If we wanted to own this van, it was clear from the start that we had to be flexible. If we were rigid – problems would never get solved. This entire process from date of purchase to finally receiving our van took a stressful six months. DEC 2018 to JUNE 2019. I remember feeling at one point, we were never going to get Mama Bear home. Thankfully, the seller delivered his promise and we were able to move forward.
BLUEPRINT GARAGE SUBANG JAYA
PROBLEM NUMBER 4 – TIME & LABOUR INTENSIVE
Removing all the insulation and electrical cables was probably the most difficult part of this entire project. There was a great deal of work involved in getting Mama Bear back to factory setting.
It took us 2 months to gut the interior and get it ready for a new paint job.
It took Rene (under supervision of Joe) 2 months to service the engine.
RMS MULTI TRADING & SERVICES KAJANG
PROBLEM NUMBER 5 – KEEPING WITHIN BUDGET
You can see by the photos the shape that Mama Bear was in, it was quite difficult to find the right people to do her makeover with passion. We got several quotations in and prices ranged between RM5000 to RM8000. Just the paint work. We needed a roof rack, ladder, fuel holder and a back bumper step. Although some quotes came in within our budget, we didn’t seem to hit it off with them.
When we went to visit RMS Multi Trading and Services, they were super keen to collaborate with us and they quoted us with a discount in exchange for shout outs to their company in our videos. In all, we are very satisfied with the work they did for us even though it did take longer than intended. There are good kind people working there.
The estimated timeframe was originally one month and eventually it turned into three. We didn’t rush them as we understand sometimes, it can’t be helped. Everything in this project took longer than expected. We did our best not to rush the people we engaged, instead we asked what their problems were and tried to be understanding and flexible. Within reason, we find it is always better to maintain good relations with the people who are doing their best to help us.
THANK YOU TO –
Joe Blueprint Garage
King & Nash RMS Multi Trading and Services
Alex YH Diesel Fuel Pump Services Selayang
STAY TUNED AS WE WILL COVER ELECTRICAL POWER SYSTEMS FOR CAMPERVANS, TRUCKS, & MOTORHOMES
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