Japanese Technological Genius

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desertrefugee
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Japanese Technological Genius

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Post by desertrefugee »

It's no secret that Honda (and other Japanese manufacturers) have engineered some incredible machines; cars, motorcycles, boat motors, generators and more. Some of these designs have been real gems. Of course, we are all familiar with the GL and its evolution. Some may have followed my CBX thread and we all know what a technological statement that thing was in 1978.

Well, folks here have probably figured out that I am prone to bringing home orphaned machines that are occasionally special. I did just that on Saturday. I have my old '73 C10 ranch truck now, but my wife doesn't like the M20 4-speed and stiff clutch. She's also trashing her car carrying potted plants, mulch, manure and rocks (yes rocks) around. She needed something.

My son and I visited an estate sale on Saturday. He bought a BMW E39. I bought a Toyota Previa. Remember them? Quirky looking but an engineering marvel. Marvel you say? Built from 1990-1997, the last of them were supercharged with available AWD. ALL OF THEM WERE MID-ENGINE! The motor lays over 75 degrees and rides under the two front seats well behind the front wheels.
chassis.jpg
Sounds like the description for a supercar: mid engine, supercharged, all wheel drive...

I did some reading and find that lots of Toyota mechanics consider it the finest vehicle Toyota ever produced. Lots of half million mile (plus) specimens on the road. This immaculate one owner van has 120k miles:
IMG_0750.JPG
Open the hood and you find the alternator, power steering pump, AC compressor, brake, windshield, water and oil reservoirs - but no motor! The cool thing is how these guys are driven. A secondary, forward driven shaft!
SADS.jpg
I am amazed this thing didn't set the world on fire. For a 27 year old minivan, I'm enjoying the heck out of it. (My son refuses to be seen in it, however). Best $400 I've spent in a long time.
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Last edited by desertrefugee on Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Sugs
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

#2

Post by Sugs »

I always loved the sit on the front axel stub/no nose American full sized vans and Japanese minivans. Great deal for 400 bucks! Once they started putting the engines way out front with a nose, forget it!
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wingrider
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

#3

Post by wingrider »

Wow! That is a blast from the past! How do you work on the engine if needed?
2002 1800 Wing
2001 Valkyrie Interstate
1978 1200 EFI Wing with Motorvation Coupe Royale sidecar
1977 1200 Wing cafe/bobber project
1974 Suzuki GT550
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desertrefugee
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

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Post by desertrefugee »

Front driver seat flips up in 10 seconds to access oil and transmission dipsticks and oil fill.
9271EA0A-4B69-4BD8-B3B1-D4EB0BA1232B.jpeg
Pulling the spark plugs a little more trouble, the passenger seat has to come out and a bolted in panel needs to be removed.

Anything else I don’t want to know. I’m guessing that a rack would be just the ticket. The good news is that the drive trains are essentially bombproof.
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5speed
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

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Post by 5speed »

darn you Arizonians and your rust free vehicles. :mrgreen:
1982 1100 standard.
1976 GoldWing. running but not on the road
1978 Goldwing. future cafe project.
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delling3
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

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Post by delling3 »

Have a friend that had one here in Michigan. He swears it is the best vehicle he ever owned. He bought it used, and ultimately it was scrapped with more than 220K miles on the clock. The engine was fine - unfortunately years of Michigan winters took their toal. He is a builder, and used that thing hard.

The thread title is a little misleading though - it is a TOYOTA van?
delling3

1979 Yamaha XS750SF

Previous:
1978 GL1000 - JUNE 2017 BOTM: Sold
2006 Kawasaki Concours: Sold
1995 Kawasaki Concours: Crashed/totalled.
1976 GL1000: LAST RESTORATION, sold
1981 Honda CB900F Supersport: 3rd restoration, sold.
1979 Yamaha XS-750F: 2nd restoration, sold.
1982 Honda FT-500 Ascot: First (only) new bike. Family forces sale.
1973 CB500 Four: First restoration, long gone.
1972 Suzuki TS-100: First bike, sold.

Only dead fish go with the flow . . .
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desertrefugee
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Re: Honda Technological Genius

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Post by desertrefugee »

Holy smokes! I don't know what I was thinking... Of course it is a Toyota van.

Guess the Japanese in general come up with some pretty good ideas.

I blame it on the red wine.
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