Newby with a DeckVan (2002 S210W) from Wisconsin (USA)

Hi Dai fans! I picked this up a few months back and added 2" lift in front and 3" lift in rear as seen below. Primary use will be to replace the Polaris Ranger (2015) I used to have for hunting, ice fishing, etc.

I have a cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) which has a 300’+ (92m+) driveway which is essentially a 2-rut gravel path between the trees. We get upwards of 90" (2.5m) of snow a year there. I had been planning on getting/making a snow blower for the front of the Ranger… But, being a CVT belt drive, it wouldn’t be able to ‘crawl’ at a slow walking pace very well; so I’d be burning up belts. Plus, it didn’t have heat and I only had canvas doors and plexi screens front and back (no wipers), so it wasn’t really the best tool for the job. I still plan to build a snowblower package but will mount it to the front of the Decky instead. Now I have heat (and A/C for the summer), along with a low-range crawling gear to clear the driveway with. And it seats four for hunting/fishing excursions, the Ranger could only seat 3!

Some plans I have for it…

  • A little taller lift (suspension and driveline changes) so I can put larger wheels/tires on it for ground clearance and for tracks for deep snow while still using the rear seat sliding doors.
    (wouldn’t mind swapping out rear brake drums for discs, and even an IRS for the straight axle if anyone has any ideas).
  • A little more umpfff! (the EF-SE engine is a little tired, so I’m leaning more towards a swap to a K3 rather than just an outright rebuild/replacement of the EF since tracks will consume more power too).
  • Some ‘real’ front and rear bumpers with winches, tow points, etc (will help with the front-mounted snowblower attachment as well). The current bumpers/fascia look fine, but would need to be trimmed for tracks and larger wheel turn clearance anyway and are useless for anything other than looks.
  • A Custom Coat spray-in bedliner application to the back end, both bumpers, and likely rockers as well. (have a couple of colors just waiting for me to get everything ready for spraying (and weather to warm up again).
  • A camo wrap since this will be going in the woods for access to our hunting property.
  • Some better all-weather floor mats (the ones that came with this are a little old/torn, and don’t cover quite as much as I’d like to cover, particularly up front… (unfortunately, I haven’t found a source for anything better yet, maybe folks outside the US have better/more options?!?)

Wow, the UP! I’ve been up there quite a few times (summer and winter and mostly to NMU but also some hiking to look for some icefalls for some ice climbing) when I lived in Brighton Michigan early 1990s. Looking forward to seeing it in action during winter.

Our cabin is just south of Marquette, and just east of KI Sawyer… same neck of the woods you were at when at NMU.

1 Like

Nice!! Thing looks great, and perfectly suited for your needs. Modifying Daihatsu’s these days from the states is tough, because all the information is so far buried in Australian forums or in Malaysian. Not sure how much custom you’re considering for the swap, but plan for most of it.

Stay warm!!
Rochester NY