1988 Toyota Van 4WD LE
Mission Vehicle from 2016–Present

The ERV (Earth Roving Vehicle) is used for short and intermediate range trips launched from Wichita, Kansas.

The Earth Roving Vehicle

The ERV is a 1988 Toyota Van LE, with the optional four-wheel drive. This style of van was introduced in the US by Toyota in 1985 (available until 1989), and features a front mid-engine layout where the driver and front passenger sat directly above the front axle. To service the engine, you must first unclip two latches, then flip the hinged driver's seat up and back. Due to the engine's location, the driver and front passenger also sit higher than the rear passengers. The van seats a crew of seven — driver and front passenger, two passengers mid-van, and three passengers in the rear bench seat. Payloads are stowed in the rear cargo area and roof rack.

Shortly after purchasing the van, I swapped in a remanufactured engine, when it was determined that the original had blown a head gasket. And beyond that, I've pretty much taken the entire van apart and put it back together again, replacing and repairing parts as things fail. I've yet to seriously modify it in any way though, and it remains mostly stock, with the exception of a small lift that was applied by a previous owner, to accommodate 27-inch all-terrain tires without body modification.

Vehicle Specifications


  • 2.2L 4 Cylinder Engine (Remanufactured 4YE)
  • Electronic Fuel Injection with Fully Transistorized Ignition
  • Floor Underguards for Engine, Transfer Case, and Fuel Tank
  • 4-speed Automatic Overdrive Transmission with Lock-up Torque Converter
  • Push-button 4-wheel Drive
  • Free-wheeling Automatic-locking Front Hubs
  • Galvannealed Steel in Key Body Areas

Exterior Styling/Design

  • Styled Steel Wheels
  • Dual Power Remote-controlled Outside Mirrors
  • Front Cornering Lights
  • Color-keyed Front and Rear Bumpers
  • Front and Rear Mudguards
  • Sliding Side Tinted Glass Windows
  • Wide Protective Side Moldings
  • Sliding Passenger Side Door and Illuminated Side Step
  • High Overhead-opening Rear Hatch with Inside Handle
  • Electric Rear Window Defogger with Rear Window Wiper/Washer — Includes Rear Fluid Level Indicator
  • Exterior Color: Light Beige with Metallic Clear Coat
  • Custom Roof Rack with Forward LED Lamps
  • 1 1/4 in Rear Receiver Hitch


  • Tachometer, Fuel Level, Coolant Temp and Oil Pressure Gauges, Low Fuel Warning Light
  • Steering Column-mounted Headlamp, Headlamp Flasher, Intermittent Windshield Wipers/Washers and Turn Signal Controls
  • Cruise Control
  • Digital Quartz Clock
  • Dual Power-boosted Flow-thru Ventilation with Front/Rear Controls
  • Dual Air Conditioning with Front/Rear Controls (currently not functional)
  • Cooler/Ice Maker (currently not functional)
  • Pioneer Bluetooth Stereo
  • Centrally Controlled Power Door Locks
  • Remote Fuel Filler Door Release
  • Reclining Driver's Seat with 4-way Adjustment
  • Cloth Seat Trim
  • 7-passenger Seating — Includes Reclining Front Bucket Seats with Fold-down Armrests, Sliding Adjustable Passenger-side Seat, Mid-Row Captain's Chair Seats with Armrests and Reclining/Swivel Adjustments, and Quick-release 3-passenger Rear Bench Seat
  • Rear Compartment Heater with Separate Controls
  • Full Carpeting — Including Rear Cargo Area
  • Carpeted Floor Mats
  • Power Package — Includes Power Windows, Front Foglamps and Door Courtesy Lamps
  • Power Steering Package — Includes Power Steering and Tilt Steering Wheel

Body/Frame Construction

  • Unitized Body

Steering Type

  • Variable-assist Power Rack and Pinion

Turning Circle Diameter (Curb to Curb)

  • 30.2 Ft


  • Power-assisted (Ventilated Front Disc/Rear Drum with Tandem Brake Booster and Rear Load-sensing Proportioning Valves)


  • Front: Double Wishbone with Upper Torsion Bar, Gas-filled Shock Absorbers and Stabilizer Bar
  • Rear: 4-link with Coil Springs, Gas-filled Shock Absorbers and Stabilizer Bar


  • Type: 4YE 4-cylinder EFI
  • Displacement: 2.2 Liters
  • Horsepower: 101 @ 4400 rpm
  • Torque: 133 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm


  • Optima 8042-218-FFP YellowTop Group 75/25 Deep Cycle Battery

Exterior Dimensions (inches)

  • Wheelbase: 88.0
  • Overall Length: 175.8
  • Overall Width: 66.3
  • Overall Height: 56.1


  • Cargo Capacity, Rear Seats Removed: 49.2 cu ft
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 5000 lbs
  • Curb Weight: 2475 lbs
  • Payload Capacity: 1525 lbs
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.9 gal


  • Kenda Klever A/T KR28 All-Terrain Radial Tire, Size 27/8.5R14
  • Roof-mounted Full-size Dunlop All-Terrain Spare

Mileage Estimates

  • Estimated City MPG: 19
  • Estimated Highway MPG: 21