1996 Hilux Surf 2.7l
Who says you can't have all the benefits of Toyota's 3rd generation Hilux Surf with the fun factor of a real deal 5 speed manual gearbox? This 1996 RZN185 is a special unit, chock full of options and equipment to make this rig a true standout against lowly commuter traffic. The color, Toyota's Azure Blue Pearl (8L6), is not commonly seen in this condition, and is set off by a sleek graphite two-tone and bold factory graphics package. Accented by OEM rainguards, a trick optional rear window applique, and a head turning set of refinished factory alloys this Surf has plenty of panache, and shows well save for some typical age related fading on the paint and graphics. We also wanted to note a prior replacement of the right front fender in Japan. With only 142k verified/documented miles on the clock, this petrol-four is barely broken in, and has the looks and reliability to carry this one well into the future. Rugged, reliable, and undeniably cool, this RZN185 is one of our favorite Japanese Classics for a reason.
As drawn as we are to the exteriors of these fabulous Surfs, the interior is one of the main reasons why these rigs make such fantastic daily drivers. Trimmed in a durable patterned cloth with corduroy accents, this cockpit has not only held up well over the years, it packs a hefty helping of amenities as well. The upholstery is in great shape, showing no major defects outside of some minor bolster wear and age related staining on the driver's bucket. The dash is trimmed in a complementary grey vinyl and is in equally good nick, although the material has fallen victim to some notorious peeling around the passenger glovebox area. Nestled in the center stack is Pioneer audio and a fully functional automatic climate control system, ripe with hot heat and ice cold A/C! Safety conscious passengers fret not, the third generation Surf was outfitted with dual front SRS airbags, and the driver benefits from a tilt adjustable steering column and additional lumbar support to make those long drives a bit more comfortable. Aiding in the accessibility of the cabin is a full slate of power amenities. Power windows work at the push of a button, and for some added natural ventilation, a power moonroof unfurls as well as the rear glass! The power folding mirrors work without hesitation, and power locks work at the twist of a key to seal up your belongings. The rear bench is versatile, folding fully forward to accommodate some extra cargo space, while also having the ability to recline if your passengers need to catch some Z's on a road trip. All in all, the cabin is a real treat for all occupants, and if you can see past some staining on the headliner, and some wear on the steering wheel and center console lid, this one is ready to be cared for in its new stateside life!
Under the bonnet, the 3RZ-FE is as easy to service as any 4Runner offered to the US market. Parts availability is abundant, and this one has undergone a recent service by our trained technicians to be ready for the road ahead. She turns over swiftly, care of a new 12v battery, and idling is smooth and confident. A new distributor aids ignition, and we've even replaced the water pump, radiator, and thermostat to ensure this unit stays well cooled. This 25 year old mill has been fully protected against any unwanted leaks, while a replacement of the valve cover gasket and a new oil pump ensures you won't lose a drop of lubrication as you putt down the road. Of course a fresh oil and filter service was performed and this one runs right as rain! Acceleration out of this little gas four banger is quite surprising, and with a manual gearbox handy you can really maximize this Surf's powerband on or off the pavement! Shifts are smooth, with no grinds or pop outs to be found, and a standard selective transfer case allows you to cycle between 2 and 4 wheel drive with ease. 4 Low is also on hand should you become mired in the muck. The suspension is soft and plenty compliant over road imperfections large and small, and we've even replaced the front struts, sway bar links, and a right front inner tie rod to improve handling. Even the steering rack bushings were replaced to keep the power steering light and direct. Lastly, we've mounted and balanced new Falken rubber at all four corners, sure to deliver plenty of grip in sand, snow, or wherever you may go!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.