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Wholly cow Batman, There's too much info in there for me to digest :hystery: :hystery: :hystery:

I'm gonna take this little automatic thing for a run down to Carcar on Monday, so i'll report back then.

As with all things mechanical for me, whether it's a car, a tractor, a truck or whatever, either it will do the job i want it to do or not and the only way to find that out is to actually drive it where you want it to go.Fortunately i have that opportunity :thumbsup:

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Last one for today ...... and I including some links to builders here in Cebu .......




Have not heard any recommendations about these



Use at your own risk ..... did read about one guy that got screwed royal ..... but who knows ....


Some Suzukis, most notoriously turbo models, come with other than Suzuki components. Some come with Diahatsu engines, and as such use Diahatsu parts, which are MUCH more difficult to find. Also, some Suzuki engines used a Mitsubishi distributor, once again, MUCH more difficult to find. You first need to identify exactly who made the distributor, then then ask for a cap for that.

The problem is you say Suzuki, and the parts guys are looking only in boxes for Suzuki. They need to broaden their horizons and think outside the box!

HVL and/or DAPCI are your best choices for anything unusual.

They cut the dashboard in pieces, switch everything around, then epoxy it back together. One thing that differentiates the good from the bad is in how they do the underdash wiring. Some are VERY shoddy, while some do a half assed job of it.

Several years ago a friend brought me his multicab complaining when he turned on the wipers, if the headlights were on they would flash on and off. My investigation showed that when they changed the wiring to left hand drive, they neatly snipped the wires to the fuse block, extended them by spicing (twisting) them together using a much smaller wire. They needed a way to hold the wires up, so they wrapped them around the wiper pivot! That vehicle was from AJL Surplus in Cebu, and I have seen others from AJL that had absolute ignorance displayed in their practices. They must employ 7 year olds to put their units together.

Get yourself over to Mandaue next to Cebu City, close to the SM mall, and visit Nitos. They have a large selection of makes and models to choose from including 4x4, rough terrain vehicles. You can get one off their lot or have it custom built. BTW, my multi-cab took 5 weeks to build.

A new one can be had for around P700,000, it's called the Suzuki APV. Used ones are slightly less. Surplus units can be had for much less, and are only as good as the Filipino who put it back together. Surplus units come from the wrecking yards of Japan, and are shipped in as parts and put back togather by the various shops here. They can be very good, or very bad, depending on the craftsman and how much time and effort he put forth to refurbish it. Generally, if running correctly they will get about 13 KM per liter of fuel.

There are some reputable dealers in Cebu, who put out a good product and stand behind it. Atlas, Pasajero, and Reliance seem to put out well put together units. There are many other places that only worry about how the vehicle looks, to make it sellable. Some of these units are sold with the same engine oil and filter that it had sitting in the wrecking yard in Japan. I work on these units on a regular basis, so have gotten a lot of experiecne with different place's vehicles. There is an account of one man's experience with Shem here;

My advice, check it out well, or have someone check it out well. they can be a great rig, OR, a disaster.

yesterday I visited Atlas and Pasajero in Cebu. The two Atlas places I visited have VERY extensive security around their places, which might not say much for customer satisfaction, although I know a foreigner who bought one from them and is happy. Atlas weld them back together, tops cut off to put them into containers. Very little to nothing is done to the engine, so its a lottery about getting a good one, probably hence the fences. Pasajero overhaul their units. Not sure how safe they are, you certainly would not want a minor accident (head on) as I think you would loose you legs.

I disagree. There is no power difference at all, in fact the specs are the same as far as HP goes. The only difference is the 12 valve developes the power at a lower RPM.

The 12 valve is also four times as difficult to work on when anything regarding the head is concerned, and twice as likely to develop valve train problems.

I bought and have owned my multi-cab van for almost 2.5 years. I bought my van at Nitos in Mandaue which is very near the SM Mall, just up the main road a bit. At Nitos, they will build your vehicle to your specs. It took 5 weeks for them to build it. I advise getting a 4x2, with air-con, automatic tranny. 4x4 is almost never needed and it is extra weight and it is just another thing that can breakdown. Air-con is a must, but expect gas mileage to decrease by 33%. I get 17+ kpl without air-con running and around 11 kpl with it on.

Don't buy a multi-cab by yourself from anyone unless you have some knowledge of motor mechanics. Nitos rebuilt my van as ordered, but several things were amiss like the paint job was half-ass, missing nuts and bolts here and there, the door locks were not keyed alike or at all. The driver's door could be opened with any key before I noticed it. The engine runs well with lots of power. Ask for the SCRUM engine. It is the stronger one of the mix. 660cc, 12 valve, EFI, and turbo charged.

The biggest single mistake many make when buying a multicab is buying the wrong configuration for their use. To tell someone to buy only an automatic with AC is bound to cause someone grief if they follow that advice. There are numerous configurations, and one should buy the configuration that best suits THEIR needs, not someone else's needs. Someone buying a 2X4 van with an automatic is going to be highly disappointed if their main use is for a farm in the mountains!

Three of the most reputable dealers in Cebu are Atlas, Pasajero, and Hilton.

Multicab is a term coined by the original builder importer, Norkis in Cebu, the name stuck. Multivans and easyrides are variants. all are based on a Suzuiki chassis engine, 600-660cc three cylinder water cooled. they come in many forms, 6 valve and 12 valve versions, 4 speed, 5 speed manual trans. two wheel drive or 4x4. Etc. they are like tinker toys extremely light, and cheap to maintain, you can replace anengine for 18,000 Pesos.

I have had a 4WD, 12 valve multicab pickup with a 5 speed at my house in Leyte since 2005 and it has been great value for the money! Not very comfortable for larger people (I have to drive it without shoes!), but a workhorse indeed. It is often overloaded with sacks of rice, farm implements or way too many passengers on bad roads and it has held up very well. There have been repairs needed but usually related to the abuse it takes. I bought mine at Pasajero, which I believe is one of the top multicab assemblers in Cebu. I visited their factory in Talisay before I bought it and was impressed. Many of the surplus car dealers assemble in a dirt lot under a shade tree. All things considered, I would gladly buy another one.

Edited by Mike S
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Having now driven around a bit in an automatic minivan, i can say this much...........If your driving around the city only or otherwise on nice paved and FLAT roads, they are fine, but if like me you need to go up hills, (any kind of hills) in your daily drive, then forget it. these things don't have enough power to pull the skin off a rice custard! :hystery: :hystery: :hystery:

Four people in the van any ANY kind of uphill is defiinitely out of the question. Will try a manual version next time.The only reason i looked at the auto was so the missus could also drive it.

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Our family got a new clown car van a few months ago. I'll dig around and post some info they learned before they chose it.

Jake! M60? Dude that's so old school. What you need today is a M249 SAW. Did you ever let lose that stupid M60 spring? I remember my first day in the unit "Oh he's over six feet tall... off to the heavy weapons platoon".

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