Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

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Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:30 pm

I remember always admiring the little van the greengrocers used where I grew up (lewes, east sussex), I saw it every morning on my paper round. Was probably the Bedford Rascal. (oddly one morning, I guess around 1993, at ten past seven in the morning on the back streets, I was passed by a fully kitted out 80's American police car.. very surreal!)

Anyway, now it is time for me to have one, and as an emerging unprofitable eccentric handyman business takes shape, a hijet seems the perfect solution. I do want the option of back seats though, and a few trips to india bouncing around in these (or other branded equivalents) showed me how versatile they are. I took a photo I should dig out of a family moving home in one, with a pile of crap tied to the top that was at least the same size as the van with people sitting on top of it. From what I've read here you run into trouble with the mot people if you convert the panel van into an mpv due to chassis seat fixture points, which is a shame as I don't mind diying some windows into a van. And also irritating as it seems quite hard to find ones with windows at the back, particularly ones that haven't been driven to within an inch of death.

Finally, my mechanical/car fixing knowledge is close to zero, however I can weld well enough to probably fix that kind of issue, and am enough of a designer/maker that I can fabricate other van related things I might need, so hoping to find something where the engine and gearbox are sound and the bottom hasn't rusted away. I test drove one that some chancer is selling in Barnstaple, it was kangarooing all over the place and the gear stick seemed to be trying to fall out through the bottom.

So, to end this drivel, if anyone has any advice or a direction I could look in to find a serviceable windowed hijet I'll work off that debt any way I can.

And much respect to all who are trying to keep the flame burning on these classic cars. Now living in London never being able to park a friend's Volvo, I keep seeing spots outside where I live that would fit my imaginary Hijet perfectly.

I'd also be interested in trying to install some kind of bodge power steering if anyone's done that...

Happy new year~
daniel
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by Raggy on Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:13 am

Welcome to the forum, new owner myself and found the advice on here  very helpful. As for powersteering you shouldnt need it, properly maintained and correct tyres and pressure its fine, had much worse cars.
You sold be able to find a decent van, HighlyJetted on here is selling his (a expert on them) but you would need to travel to Cheshire, train fare would be worth it, and Penny PP has hers up for grabs last time I looked, again you would need to travel. There are some heaps about as I found but if you are prepared to travel there are some good ones.

As for putting seats in back I think the bodies are all the same but someone will be along to correct me if I am wrong and not sure about the MOT status of a conversion but do know that if passengers are enabled to be carried the side sliding doors must be operable from in and out for safety. Someones probably done that before so sure they will be along to coment.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by Raggy on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:44 am

Just an update, from a 'very good source' sorry, seats in back of van a no go as far as fixings or legality MOT wise etc so its an MPV you are looking for to solve your requirements.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by sputnik on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:13 pm

Hello and welcome. Good luck with the hunt. There are some good(ish) ones out there - just take your time and don't be rushed into buying a dud. If you haven't already read it (and printed out a copy to take with you) I heartily recommend HighlyJetted's Hijet Buyer's Guide which is a sticky topic on the General Discussion page. It has some top advice for finding your way through the good, the bad and the ugly examples you may find particularly with regard to avoiding the very common overheating problems.

I agree with Raggy re the power steering. Mine is anything but well maintained (and creaks like an old ship when turned at a standstill!) but as soon as you are on the move the steering is a breeze.

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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:27 pm

thanks guys, interesting.. was just thinking to head to Cheshire to buy another one. Only an hour and half on the train from London which surprised me. Will look at Highly Hijetted's van, is it listed here?
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:40 pm

ah ok that one. Yes was going to buy that earlier, got him down a bit on the price, Penny's looks a great deal too. I'm very tempted by this one as it suits more my needs:
oh it won't let me post a link. There's a blue mpv also in Cheshire, looks lovely but who knows. It's on gumtree with a beer can in the ad listing's main photo.

However, I could get a van and just build in windows and sunroof etc with some dt1 glue and polycarbonate and a few rivets, and just sacrifice the people carrying ability. (who am I kidding, I barely have any friends, but seemed healthy to give myself the option).

I can quite imagine some people really hammer these things since they're cheap/corporate, so the trick I'm sure is to find a loved one. Very encouraging to see HighlyHijetted is the owner of that van, ergo it comes with some legit back story, wasn't sure if his ad was all a good bit of salesmanship..!

If anyone around London needs help making anything I'm happy to help.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by Raggy on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:08 pm

If you search on here for Highlyjetted you'll find he knows what hes talking about and you coukd be sure anything that needed doing has been done.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by sputnik on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:04 pm

You are no doubt aware but the MPV effectively has 3 rear seats units. Two separate ones in the forward position and a wide rear bench seat at the back which all just bolt on with 4 bolts apiece (actually 8 for the rear one) so you have the option of removing just the very rear one, or any variant of front and rears with relatively little effort.

I am doing a rudimentary camper conversion so have removed all the seats and put down a tiled ply floor in two sections but it is not secured down by anything more than gravity so I still have the option of putting any or all of the seats back in (albeit without any carpet) should the need arise just by lifting the front or back floor section out. I'd need to also bolt on the seatbelt mounts but again this is a straight bolt on job. This might give you the flexibility you want between load and people carrying whilst saving the ball-ache of fitting windows yourself?  You'd just need a bit of garage space to stash the seats when not in use.

That said, I'd agree with Raggy's comment above re HJ's van.

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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by Logi on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:37 pm

I have a legal rear seat in mine.. Smile

Good vans are worth the extra, a shit van will be a nightmare, read others nightmares on here then decide?
I don't post up problems, cos I have a good van, makes a world of difference.
And power steering on a Jet? Even girlies manage.... Razz
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:57 pm

I go on holiday in about a week and a half.

I would love to get my van sold.

Tax runs out at the end of january, so before then it could be driven home.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:42 pm

thanks everyone, all very interesting, very interesting!

Sputnik- yes that's my ideal situation and I'm a little bit dying of jealousy, your camper conversion sounds great. If you decide to get rid of it let me know..!

Logi- Is it the van or the mpv you have a rear seat in..? And if it is a van, I'm all ears... people build mad cars that get certified road legal so it seems strange that there's no way to put back seats in a van..

HighlyJetted- Hello again, I pestered you through ebay last week.. I'd have bought your van were it not more adaptable but if there's ways round that I'd still be keen. I think if I put windows in it those smart car seats would reduce a lot of the visibility- and I'm all about looking out the window. The other thing is the option of putting seats in the back.. Penelope the piaggio porter 2007 with 30k on the clock does look to be a more sensible purchase perhaps, at £1500, but it would be very reassuring to buy a hijet from someone who's loved it and knows what they're doing.

The other Hijet I'm looking at is also in Cheshire and for sale by forum member Chinfuk. (?). It's a gorgeous blue 1996 mpv 995cc. (which engine wise seems to makes more sense, the 1.3 I drove seemed over powered, while I loved my old 995cc 1986 Nissan micra..)

the issues with it are a big dent in the driver's side slide door and rear panel, a leaking fuel tank that needs replacing (no idea what that might cost), and inevitably some aging since it's 20 years old. I don't mind investing a bit extra in either work to semi-rebuild and time proof it, as it seems newer mpvs are almost non-existent.

A mad old guy I know got his golf gti pick up fitted with roll bars and had the entire bottom of it encased in stainless steel to make it invincible, the upshot of being a retired (76 at the time) self made millionaire with a metalworking facility round the corner staffed by your former employees.. Not against trying to do something similar if it meant my prospective hijet might last more than 5 years. Anyone on this forum done stuff like that?

Anyway apologies for wittering on.
Thanks lots for the tips
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:34 pm

If I were you, I would buy:-

Penelope the piaggio porter 2007 with 30k on the clock

Even if it does take a bit of work.

I bet its quite a nice van.
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by PFM on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:17 pm

Welcome, hope you find one soon and look forward to hearing about your exploits.
danielfrisbee wrote: the 1.3 I drove seemed over powered
I think you're the first person to say that! Try it uphill fully loaded first!

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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:54 pm

Got my Hijet yesterday, 1999 1.3 sparkly blue mpv, great condition all through, with all the seats, 74,000 but well maintained, drives really well. Bit of a struggle on all of London's speed bumps though-!
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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by PFM on Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:28 pm

Great news! Was it one from someone on here? The Hijet is sometimes narrow enough to go between speed bumps, just be careful not to get the edge of your tyres on them - it's best to have one tyre flat on top of the bump rather than wear the sidewalls.

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Hi there....help with problem, my lovely hijet cuts out, restarts after calm down of about 5 mins...why?! help!

Post by heybird on Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:20 am

Hey there, I bought my lovely Hijet last January and I love her....trouble is for the last few months, she get a little bit hot if waiting in traffic and will cut out and not start for 5 mins or so.  She's okish on long runs if not stopping and starting, but it's quite stressful as she's been conking out in really awkward places! Rolling Eyes

I'm in Hastings, East Sussex and not sure where to take her to get it sorted.....someone thought it was fuel pipe, but not sure....she's only done about 45k miles and has had a new cambelt which I did after buying her

Thanks for any help, and what a brilliant forum

Very Happy

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Re: Howdy. Really glad to discover this place..! Thought it was just me that loves these little buckets

Post by danielfrisbee on Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:53 am

I've got no idea but if you post in the workshop or general section I'm sure someone will have some good tips-
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