1996 Surf KZN185 SSR-X
Available for: $19,995
For those looking for the ultimate Surf, look no further. Powered by a legendary turbodiesel engine, this 4x4 is equipped with the prized manual gearbox and surefooted selective 4WD. This enthusiast special is finished in a stately Stellar Blue (8L7) and set off by an OEM spare tire swing arm, factory brushguard, OEM rear spoiler, privacy tint, OEM rainguards, and oversized Bosch fog lamps. Aside from a few light dings, chips, and scuffs the paint is in good nick and this recently serviced rig boasts a mere 137k verified and documented miles on the clock. As a practical daily driver, cool weekend cruiser, or dedicated overlanding beast, this SSR-X would be ideal. Collectible, determined, and most of all fun, this lovely KZN185 is a Japanese Classic through and through!
The cabin is in above-average shape and was clearly cared for overseas. The original owner even included the manuals and maintenance booklet which have been stowed in the sizable glovebox. The view of the road ahead is clear and unencumbered and the dashboard lacks any cracking or distortion. Dual front SRS airbags are standard and add some peace of mind for those who may be safety conscious. The driver can find the ideal driving position thanks to an adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support. The switchgear is at hand and the gauges are well illuminated and easy to read. Power windows, door locks, and mirrors all function and make daily use enjoyable. Automatic climate control is perfect for those living in mixed climates and the A/C and heat work like a charm. Also functional is the OEM audio below. The seats are upholstered in a durable Moon Mist cloth. They lack any major rips, stains, or tears and are durable. The middle row can tumble forward to fold flat and create a large cargo area. If a few 2x4s are coming back with you from Home Depot, just let them hang out the back after you power down the rear glass. Aside from a few light carpet stains, it's hard to complain about the cabin. On the positive side, the headliner, and door cards are in good shape and future spills and stains can be avoided by the OEM front carpet mats that are included with the purchase of the Surf.
Built on the same platform as our US spec 4Runners, this rig is easy to service and is known for its low cost of ownership. The legendary 1KZ-TE under the hood is fresh off an oil and filter service and turns over with the twist of the key thanks to two new 12v batteries. Like all of our diesels, we replaced the fuel filter with a new one and also replaced the engine air filter while we were at it. To complete the overhaul on the 1K, a new valve cover gasket was installed fixing the tired old one. The 3.0L is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox that returns direct and rewarding shifts. Rowing your own gears allows for much more control over the platform and is a blast! Power is sent to the rear wheels or all four depending on the driver's preference. For loose surfaces like sand and snow, an OEM center locker can be engaged alongside the low-range 4WD. To ensure the transfer case operates properly a leak was addressed by replacing the output seal. With the drivetrain right as rain, we turned our attention to the steering and suspension. New upper and lower control arms were replaced by one of our trained techs, but we didn't stop there. New inner and outer tie rods and front and rear swaybar bushings were replaced for state inspection. The power-assisted steering system is easy to articulate and benefits from new steering rack bushings. The Surf happily trundles over road imperfections large and small and goes right where you point it thanks to a fresh alignment. The ABS brakes are confidence-inspiring and reel this rig in from higher speeds. Lastly, we replaced the dry cracked Japanese rubber with new 31" Falken tires. Not only do they look decent and reduce road noise but they will last for tens of thousands of miles to come!
*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.