Daihatsu 2001 Cuore L701 building a better 'safer' car

Hi all

Basic specifications
Engine: EJ-DE 989CC
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Build Date: DEC 01
Colour: S07 Trim: GFS6
Horsepower / Kilowatts: 54.3 HP / 40.5 KW @ 5200rpm
Torque: 65 lb-ft or 88 nm @ 3600rpm
Drive-type: FWD
Wheels: stock
• Rears; Kuhmo KH17 155/65R13 (31.03.17)
• Fronts; Continental ContiEcoContact 155/65R13 (14.01.20)

Scope: it is intended this build will consist of 4 phases including;

  1. Suspension,
  1. Brakes (calipers, rotors, lines), following principles from this source; https://www.carthrottle.com/post/engineering-explained-brake-systems-and-how-to-improve-stopping-performance/
  • source Sirion calipers and refurb. (Larger calipers),
  • Dixcel EC brake pads (decent brake pads),
  • DBA495S (Larger, vented and slotted rotors), and
  • HEL Braided Brake Lines (increase Line Pressure potential)
  1. Review of tyres, and
  2. General maintenance, clean up of engine & bay, detail & creating a maintenance spreadsheet/schedule

My primary objectives are to build a better and safer car for my Cuore BUILD DATE: DEC 01, especially as my wife drives it occasionally. I don’t want it to be showy as it gets parked in a carport with easy access from the road and I don’t want to build a magnet and then have it stolen. In fact I would prefer a ‘sleeper’ type build if anything.

We have had this car since 02/2007 and it has been reliable (arguably bullet proof), incredibly fun to drive, efficient (so economical) and easy for the missus to handle. With fuel prices hitting $1.75/L and after a recent service to replace a rocker cover gasket and some rear tyres (only found out whilst in the shop wire was poking out and an egg was on one of the tyres. The mechanic didn’t want it leaving the shop with those tyres on) we were also advised the suspension needs replacing in the near future. They quoted from $790-990. Assuming they would just put on bog standard suspension I started doing research found a performance kit for $1299 and then the manuals and reviewed the docs and noted it is not overly complicated and have decided to do it myself. Kit ordered 21/01/20 with 7-10 business days delivery time.

The car has been to the mechanics ~6 times for things I could not isolate or fix, also battery replaced twice via RACQ call out and to a tyre shop twice in 12 years as I have done the fluids and brake pads once and is has been incredibly reliable. After such an impressive record I thought long and hard (sell and get something else or keep) and have decided to keep and are going to invest time and effort on this unit, spending 2-3K+ on improving the rolling chassis to significantly improve the handling, braking, grip and overall safety.

I have a decent socket set and many other tools and have done many varied works in maintaining my cars in the old days so I am doing the suspension myself especially as I found a trolley jack last night at Super Cheap Auto for $34.99:

The suspension kit I am looking at is a ‘BC Racing Coilover Suspension Kit’ and after some awesome advice down lower from @Roffelkut it is advised any to call through to BC Racing and or send them an email to clarify what is the correct kit for your car as google was showing a V1 VN kit for mine but this is not the best kit for $1299;
After emailing and calling I have been advised I should order the V1 VM kit, specifically the ZF-07-VM;

After the suspension I want to look at the brakes because they do pull up poorly and I saw Jame’s awesome work-log and would like to improve mine with better calipers and rotors.


No need for a spring compressor if you have an air or electric 1/2 impact driver. This is to take the old spring tops off. Put your foot on top of the spring as the unit lies down flat on the ground. Put a heavy mass against the end of the strut. Prob a 17mm socket and put the impact driver up against the nut. Put a heavy mass against the back the driver and rattle gun the nut off. The BC racing strut has base height adjusters and should come with C spanners. Run the base adjusters to the bottom, pop the spring on, put the top in and use the C spanner to wind the base up against the spring. Check the installed higher with weight on the car. Adjust to satisfaction. Do they tell you what spring rate the BC springs are?


Not that I can see but if there are any meaningful questions I should ask please post them and I will contact them before the purchase.

I don’t have an impact driver but did find another spring compressor for $12.95 though it is out of stock and sent them a message;

I went and got that trolley jack for $35 and some ratchet car stands that were on special (3000KG) for $47.49 and Penrite 6L 10W/40 for $40 so I am committed now;

After the suspension will be braided brake lines, better calipers and discs for the front end.

Front spring rate should be in the 150lb range. Rear 350-400lb. Crack the nut on the strut tops before putting the compressor on.

1 Like

The Cuore rears won’t be coil over and from the manual I use a jack to temporarily take the load while removing the shock absorber and then slowly lower the jack to remove the spring, pp.RS-5-RS-6 of the manual. So it is only the fronts that are a bit of a concern and primarily that I don’t want parts to go flying off in different directions and lose things.

I also want to do the brakes in the near future. I note with projects they get different calipers (Sirion GTvi or Copen as examples) and I assume this is because those vehicles have bigger engines and thus the calipers themselves have better breaking force/capacity by their design? I have also noticed projects are using the DBA T2 rotors (what looked like DBA495S in one and what was the DBA498S in the other, this later one would require different wheels from the stock to fit by the look?!?).
So the question here is should I hunt down Copen or Sirion GTvi calipers for greater stopping potential and then get the DBA495S? I think I will get some HEL braided lines at this time as well.

While the rear aren’t a coil over you can use a threaded base height adjuster with short springs.

Frts won’t go flying if a spring compressor has pulled the free ends off the seats. But loosen the nut before putting the compressor on.

If you can the Copen is best, but only fit 15" rims.

1 Like

Looks great in silver. Love the regular L700 over the Gino.

1 Like

hi mate, nice to see another grey l700 :smiley:. Im on bc racing coilovers v1 vm (https://www.driftworks.com/bc-coilovers-for-daihatsu-trevis-mira-gino-l700s-99-04.html?startcustomization=1).
they cost me around 900€ but there worth every penny. great comfort compared to lowering springs. lots of ajustibility and no need to swap top mounts or anything. all just plug and play. i recomend getting some camberbolts to compensate the extra camber youll get when lowering. looking forward to your build log!

1 Like

also gtvi brakes are overpowering the front tyres, even at high speeds so copen brakes are waaay to much.

1 Like

So would you suggest just reconditioning current calipers and getting larger vented, slotted rotors with decent pads and maybe braided lines?

This is where it is getting frustrating and completely confusing. In Australia the L700S is called a Cuore and the kit is called a “BC Racing Coilover Suspension Kit - Daihatsu Mira Gino/Cuore” and the link shows it as a “V1 Design VN Series”;

They use a generic picture (showing coilovers on the rear and camber tops) but when you go to the BC Racing website and review the V1 VN you see a picture that is what you would expect with rears having separate coils and no camber tops for the front.

The site and kit you list is also showing a generic pic (rear coil overs) but then the ‘Series image’ shows the front with a camber top…

Legally I think that would be called false advertising (using a picture that does not actually represent the product)!

Off note for the V1 VN kit listed on the Australian site it states:

  • Front OEM Upper Mounts Re-used
  • Rear OEM Upper Mounts Re-used

Which to me implies you have to use the tops of the old suspension?

I am going to call them today to try and get to the bottom of it.

no just some gtvi calipers disks and pads will be fine, they bold on right away and there plenty of stopping power, brake feel is also ok for a street car.

The vn series is indeed different. then youll have to reuse the oem top mounts on the front (not the back, there are not top or bottom mounts). id sugest you look for the vm series, the top mounts are much greater quality. Also camber tops dont work on the cuore, there’s no space.

A picture for illustration, on the right the old shocks with lowering springs on the left the new stuff.

1 Like

The V1 Design VM Series are the same price but do look better. I have sent them an email noting you have that kit in the same car and what they suggest or advise.

Thanks for the tips and the reason I came to a forum like this :+1:

1 Like

AWESOME - I have just had an email response from BC Racing confirming the VM kit will work (it will just have the standard rubber tops listed in the description);
"Hi Paul

This is the kit you are after, we do not have photos of every kit unfortunately as we have such a large range that not our resellers can purchase every kit to be photographed
This kit is in stock at BC HQ so will be 7-10 working days to your door
We have had extremely good feedback on this kit from Cuore owners"

Bigger brakes does not equate to over powering of tires. On the contrary a larger brake should provide better modulation and allow you to go right up limit of locking up with better feel and precision. Plus the idea of “big brakes” is to dissipate heat. If you are locking up there is a problem somewhere but it can’t be that you have a larger diameter disc than std and “better” caliper. Or you could have a severe brake bias problem.

1 Like

I ran the GTVi Sirion Hubs, rotors and calipers on the K3Gino and I would agree with you mr gomsby there was no negative impact of the running the “bigger brakes”.

I can’t recall if the L700 in any form had ABS but maybe the cause of the locking up post “upgrade” is that they no longer have ABS?


Abs shouldn’t be a problem unless the chopper rings and sensor are changed, since the system modulates brake pressure. Factory abs is always Ho hum. Bosch do a system for race cars that is “good”, about $8000us

1 Like

i just meant, with cuore calipers theres not enough stopping power to lock the wheels at 150kph, with the gtvi brakes this is very easy. Meaning that the larger pad size results in more brake power. Your foot manages everything ofc.
My calipers are new btw, also no brake bias problem. The car gets checked every month.

1 Like

M100 are 230-234mm (some variance I have found with after market rotors) vs Copen 246 and the latter has a bigger diameter piston/slave cylinder. My experience in fitting them was more brake power with less pedal effort (albeit slightly more pedal travel). Yes, they were able to be locked up. Rear though was an Applause disc conversion, and car in question an L200.

1 Like

A good and meaningful discussion and I appreciate all responses.

Anyone have suggestions for a drill mounted cleaning kit something like;
So I can clean up the hubs etc if needed as I am going. Or should I just get a wire brush?