About 3 months ago I bought my first car, a Daihatsu Cuore l7 from 2001.

Love makes blind and a few red flags where ignored. It was leaking water and had a bunch of rust. But we took it home. I used to work on bikes and with this car I want to learn how to work on cars.

I decided to first drive it for a while to feel what I want to change. What a nice little beast! Great pleasure to drive and the list of mods starts with; wheels!

These 13inch tires are tiny!! The car doesn’t like cornering, feels like it just want to pull itself straight. In heavy rain it feels like ice-skating. So the search for better wheels and tires started.

Found these for 80 euros second hand. Since I’m on a budget, these will do. Plus I really like the look! I have no idea where they are originally from, so if anyone knows? They are 13x5.5.

Looks really good on the car.

Next: Suspension!

Because this SuperSonicSpeedMachine has to endure so many g-forces I decided to change the suspension. It bounces around and anything above 3kg in the boot slams its ass on the ground. So I went with cobra suspension and bilstein shocks in the rear to make it a bit more stiff.

The Cobra’s will lower it 40mm, which probably looks nice but I am slowly getting interested in transforming this car into an adventure spec L7.

I decided I first have to graduate school before starting work on the car. So after June the transformation starts. Or so I thought…

While driving I smelled a smelly smell of burning oil. Turns out it probably blew a head gasket. This in combination with the amount of rust on the car makes me doubt about going further with this car, or to search for a different L7. I do not want to bring it to a garage, but doing it myself might be a bit too difficult. I do have the time soon, but no place to work, besides a parking lot. For now I will keep my eye out for L7’s in The Netherlands and hopefully continue this journey of living and dai’ing.

If anyone has any advice please do not hesitate to reach out.


Read up on spring rates and handling traits. A rear that is stiffer than the front will help reduce understeer. The way that weight transfers in a corner with a front wheel drive needs to occur such that both front tires are weighted and only the outer rear contacts/has pressure on the ground. The softest rate possible on the front (relative to the rear) will give the most grip. Sway bars can help with handling balance, but they are effectively torsion bars that link one side to the other, thus taking away the benefits of independent suspension. The bumpier a road is the less benefit one gets from sway bars as a bump on oneside affects the other side.


Bad luck comes in threes, blew a tire. Good reason to fit the new tires so at least its looks good while parked because of an oil leak.

Next update on this little nugget will be fixing the engine problem. It still runs without overheating or creating a white cloud, but rather not take it on the highway and doing more damage.


Nice nugg! I’m running the same shocks and I absolutely love them. They are very stiff!

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I’ve been running almost the same springs on my M300. The rear were way to soft. Changed the rear to a spring that were allot stiffer and although the ride is quite harsh the grip is way better. Mr_Gormsby helped allot with that.


Thanks for this advice @Mr_Gormsby . Definitely something I will look into.

First time wrenching on a car, it was a blast.
Car feels like new. The rear is stiff but still comfortable, happy with the results.

Extremely easy car to work on, for now :wink:

The door molding came off due to the sun melting the glue, next step will be removing all of them. I first thought they where screwed into the door but luckily it’s just glue.

Handling + looks improved. Happy days.


Nice work! Those shocks are really good. But I was missing something when it comes to the front. Feeling the same way?

It might be placebo but it seems like the turning radius had decreased. It also steers way more smooth and responsive. I have not made many km’s with the new setup but for now I’m happy. What are you missing in the front?

I had the same feeling after installing lowering springs! What I meant is, that with those Bilstein shocks installed the front doesn’t feel very stiff. That’s why I kept looking to stiffen up the front as well but it’s not the easiest thing to do with a Cuore. Unless you are willing to spend money on BC’s I guess

You don’t want the front to become stiff. If you want grip you better keep the front as stock as possible. Make the rear stiffer and you’ll “feel” the front more :slight_smile:


The problem solver! Found a pretty good L7 with Km’s on the clock, some small spots of rust but definitely a better basis for our plan. We found it almost by accident when visiting my sister and drove them both back 1,5 hours to our house. I was driving behind the new one a couldn’t stop smiling. These cars have something that is special!

We will use this car as a daily that is capable of bringing us to the mountains with our gear.

Project BenJ.

We took a lot of inspiration from this mad little Daihatsu Camper Cuore.

We really like the mountains and have had holidays with a VW transporter campervan before, but since new regulations won’t allow diesel vans in the city (Rotterdam), and the taxes are to high for owning a heavy van, we opted for creating our ultimate (daily drivable) adventure/overlanding L7.

Imagine this view from the back of little Ben… Goals…

With the added weight I’m still doubting if the EJ will suffice, otherwise a K3 swap might be necessary. Same doubt for the brakes, but that will be tested later on.

That’s it for now, the big trip is plannend next year. Plenty of work to do.

Cheers, and thanks to everyone for the great amount of knowledge and information that is shared on this platform.


Hi all, been a long time.

I made a render visualizing the vision I have with this car. It looks tough and rough :wink:

Lifted daihatsu Cuore L7

I have a second, broken down cuore where I will practice all the bodywork on before fitting it onto the daily.

In the meantime I have been trying to raise (lift) the car, but I’ve been searching for quite some time and can’t seem to find the right parts.
I want to lift my cuore L7 quite some cm’s from the ground. For the front I found a spacer that fits on top of he front strut, but for the rear I want to fit new springs and shocks. I have bought the rear spring perches and springs from BC racing but still find it way too low. I also have billstein shocks on my current setup. Are there any springs that will fit the rear spring perches from BC racing and will lift my L7? Otherwise a new set of springs and shocks will do. I just want to know for sure that it fits, lifts and won’t mess up the ride quality…

If anyone can help me with my search I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

start searching for some taller shocks and springs from other cars for the rear.

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Keep a good check on the drive shaft angles and lengths to ensure they don’t pull out or bind.

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I’ve seen a lift kit for L7’s on buyee a few times.

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Sub frame blocks and strut tower spaces could work but not as effective as longer/stiffer springs or shocks. Blocks will keep the tie rod and CV angles better but will reduce subframe clearance. Love the idea of a rally L7, on my lists for sure!

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