Isuzu NPR Diesel cube-van


I might have a chance to get a 1986 Isuzu NPR cube van with a turbo diesel engine for basically the cost of getting it going and driving it off (it has an electrical issue with the starting system I’m sure I can figure out). I’m thinking it might make a nice camper-type vehicle-- I see a lot of campers based on Japanese cube-vans driving near Yellowstone with European license plates on them.

Does anyone here have any experiance with these? I’m specifically wondering what kind of fuel mileage they typically get and how service friendly it would be.


Does it matter? It’s free!

The only caution I would make is to be sure that once you get it started you won’t have to pour a ton of money into it to get it roadworthy.


Those aren’t campers, they are Perrier couriers that drove over from Europe.


How many miles on it?? Worn out is worn out, gas or diesel, they ALL wear out…


I googled this truck last night and was surprised to see that even a late 1980’s NPR can garner at least $5000 in good condition. It might be worth a shot.


Well, yeah, that’s kind of the issue-- whether I want to mess with it or just turn around and sell it. Another major issue is that I have no place to park it at the moment, and would have to part with some of my other “projects” that are lying around.

I did find this site, which might be interesting to all the Dieselphiles on this board:

He put a 3.9L Isuzu Turbo Diesel motor into a new full-size Chevy truck and apparently gets 32MPG.


“I’m specifically wondering what kind of fuel mileage they typically get and how service friendly it would be.”

Your URL answered those questions. You can reasonable expect up to 32 MPG and the drivetrain can be serviced at any GMC dealer. You might also look for a GM-based RV with a tired engine, and plop your new diesel into it.


Well, I’d imagine having the same engine in a huge cube van is probably going to be a lot less efficient than having it shoehorned into a pickup. That’s not a bad thought with the RV, though!


I would do some research on the availability of engine parts. From what I’ve read these a good little engines, used in industrial applications like forklifts, buy the parts are getting difficult to find (typical ricer lack of parts support). If you think you can soure parts, go for it.