Updating this page right now Jan 2017

The Postal CamperVan Project


The idea : Build a campervan, for all terrain exploring, diesel powered, based on the Kubvan. Lots of folks have put VW Diesels into Toyota 4X4's for obvious reasons, however putting a Toyota diesel and 4X4 running gear into Grumman Kubvan is another story.

Update table of contents

camper vanNormally aspirated water cooled 1.6 litre VW diesel powered Grumman Kubvan, all aluminum body and frame, front wheel drive, VW running gear. A cool ride.
It's going to get stretched 18 inches. Have a 1.9 litre turbo diesel installed with a toyota 4X4 transmission. Its all going to sit on a toyota front and rear axle and suspension

Started out in 2010 with plans to go camping the following year, yup it's 2017 now and the clock keep's ticking.


Spent most of the summer learning about 4X4 construction, by dismantling several vehicles and have ended up with a toyota front and read end for the project.

Getting the frame rails and bell housing clearances sorted out. Looks like I will be building a front end frame rail that connects to the existing body frame rails. The new frame rails will provide the engine mounts, pick up the front of the leaf springs and tie in the shock towers to the body. The fire wall will need to be cut away to provide space for the bell housing.

Kubvan engien bayKubvan toyota engine mountOn the left : Kubvan engine compartment showing end of frame rails, old rack and pinnion steering still needs removing. Inside frame rail dimension 24 inches, sufficient for engine mounts. On the right :
Outside frame rail dimension 29 inches, just enough to pickup spring hangers.
A beam across the front should tie it all together similar to the original configuration.

The body stretch
Need 18 inches of additional interior space to make it comfortable to sleep in, we also needed some frame rails to tie the rear suspension in.

kubvan body stretch kubvan interior stretch kubvan streach

Kubvan front frame rail kubvan front axle frameFinally got the front rails cut and test fitted next step is to fit the front springs and shocks. I cut out the front spring hangers off the old toyo frame to reuse here. You can just see the front of the leaf spring on the left bottom, and the shock in the foreground. Lots of bolting and welding to come but the pieces are coming together. On the right frames ready to slide under body.

Found a tranny, thanks Derek.

Toyota 5 speed 4X4 transmission

LINKS:  I have found these sites and forums to be helpful along the way: Toyota service manual downloads...

manuals for most of the cruiser and hilux models plus some others as well.. diesel engines...trans ...and one for body and chassis just find the one you need and download the torrent.                                            Another cool link, All ya wanted to know about diffs :        And more than you thought you would ever want to know about Shackles :

Rivet Gun Notes and Riveting Tips                   A great local site with very helpful people.       Site is short of a sys op but also lots of good folks on here.                                                Toyota drivetrain specs             Toyota Differential ID                                            Toyota VIN number lookup and parts lists                                             Toyota Manuals       Drawings            Toyota Timeline, changes to design over the years.    RF1A, Top shift mod                          A really great Link about diesel conversions                 Another informative link about engine versions and conversions