1997 Hilux Surf Intercooled 3.0TD
The JDM Hilux Surf was packed with loads of goodies we missed out on here in the states. Upgraded aero bits and some more cabin niceties didn't hurt, but Americans were sorely missing out on the powerful, intercooled turbodiesel engine and factory center locker! This 1997 seems to have it all, and has been redone in a fresh coat of Apex Blue Pearl (B-621P). The OEM rear spoiler, privacy tint, and refinished OEM alloys complete the fun, modernized and this SSR-G model is a true head-turner. Aside from a few light paint blemishes and imperfections, this SSR-G is no worse for the wear, and our peppy hauler is fresh off a recent service. Offered with only 152k verified and documented miles, this capable, stylish, and efficient Surf is a certified Japanese Classic!
Inside the cabin, there is plenty of space to enjoy and a bevy of electric amenities to play with. The driver can see above traffic thanks to the tall ride height and getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy for drivers of all sizes. An adjustable steering column and adjustable lumbar support allow the driver to find the ideal seating position, and all the switchgear is close by. That includes controls for the automatic climate and USDM audio system which is Bluetooth capable. Overhead, an OEM field monitor displays the directions of travel, outside temperature, and barometric pressure for the inner meteorologist in all of us. The dashboard lacks any cracking or fading and houses dual SRS airbags for the safety conscious. The door cards and seats are upholstered in a durable "moon mist" colored cloth. They lack any major rips stains or tears and have been cared for in a prior life. Unlike our stateside 4Runner offerings, the rear seats are 4-way reclinable and also fold flat to create a large loading platform. Power windows, including the rear hatch glass, power locks, and electric mirrors all make daily use more manageable. Aside from the power folding function of the side mirrors, these items all work. The carpets and headliner have withstood the past 25 years without major sustaining major abuse and as a whole, the interior is in really good nick!
The fine folks at Toyota took a clean slate redesign for this truck in late 1995. The new Surf was more refined, more efficient, and a bit safer. The revised suspension gave delivered more off-road capability, yet was more refined on pavement, too. The engine carried over largely unchanged from the previous generation, which as we see it, was a good thing. The 2982cc mill is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up promptly with the twist of the key. Two new 12v batteries will keep the four-banger churning over on the coldest of winter nights, and a new fuel filter was installed to ensure proper fuel delivery. To keep the 1KZ-TE properly lubricated a new valve cover gasket was installed while it was in our shop and we swapped out the cracked serpentine belts for some fresh ones. The 3.0L is linked to an automatic transmission that makes the most of the turbo diesels broad torque curve. Shifts feel reassured and the driver can select two or four-wheel drive through the selective transfercase. A new right rear axle seal was replaced to give the driveline a bit of a refresh. If a beach run may be in the cards, a low-range 4WD and handy center locker can be engaged to keep momentum trudging forward. If you need to stop, anti-lock brakes came standard for the first time ever in a Surf. The 16 "wheels are wrapped in new all-terrain rubber at all four corners. The new Falken rubber quiets down the road noise a bit but most importantly 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.