Daily / Track / Show Copen + Stories

Aiight what’s going on guys! Just thought I’d start a thread on here for my Copen instead of flooding the FB group with stuff everytime I do something new to the car hahaha. :joy:

Anyway a little back story about me. :v:
My first car was a 2006 Toyota Yaris, or as many people called it Eggy/Togepi! :smile: I had that thing from my Learners till the 2nd year of my green P’s. But eventually I got the car to how I wanted it to look like and started to look at buying a new car. Posted up my car for an EOI and literally the next day, it was sold :cry:

I always knew I would end up with a Kei car in my life, So the hunt begun for a Little kei car :smiley:
To be honest A Daihatsu wasn’t in the top of my list. I wanted a Suzuki Cappuccino or a Honda Beat at first :joy:


I mean… Most of us can agree they are cool looking cars, right? Right? haha

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Like hnnngggggggg! hahaha :joy:

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But due to my financial position at the time, I narrowed my search down to a good example of a Honda Beat, and found one! I mentioned to my Dad that I wanted to buy this particular Honda Beat, and he said yes. So that weekend I organised with the Seller to view the car. He kept on stalling though. And by this time I’ve been a week without a car and was itchy to get a new one.

This is where a Copen came in the picture. My dad told me why don’t you get a Cuore? Since I’ve always like how they look, BUT i don’t like the feeling sitting inside haha. I feel like a fish in a fish tank in there :joy: No offence to Mira/Cuore owners haha. :stuck_out_tongue: He said, Well, Get a Copen. Actually didn’t like how Copens looked at first :joy: till I started looking at Japanese blogs and the aftermarket support for them and actually fell in love :joy: SO MUCH OPTIONS! :heart_eyes:

Started the hunt for a Copen and found the one :smiley: One owner car, Full service history, Owned by an elderly couple in their late 60’s, and had faily low mileage @ 64,xxx kms. One downside was the paint, it’s been left sitting under a tree on their driveway to make room for their collection of cars. This meant dings on the roof from branches falling on the thin aluminum roof and full of swirls marks on the paint.
But mechanically it was sound. So I bought it :smiley: The body never bothered me since I always planned on putting a bodykit on it anyway.
Happy me on the drive home :grin:


A few days later, I started ordering parts. and began personalising the car :smiley:
Easiest I could do at the time were updating the parkers to LED ones since I had the globes lying around the house.

Pardon me for the post after post hahaha. I can only post one photo at a time since i’m still a newbie on the forums :joy:

That same day I ordered a set of tyres since the car still has its Original tyres from new and they’re dry rotted.
And also ordered a HKS Racing Suction intake :slight_smile:


About 4 days later, my new tyres arrived :smiley: i’ve never seen such small tyres in my life before buying this Copen haha. even the tyre shop was sceptical about that size tyre even existed. I kept it the same size tyres just to be on the safe side incase I get pulled over by the police. :grinning:


Also that weekend after I got the tyres put on the car, I got a custom exhaust done.
2 1/4" all the way from the dump to the stock tips. I wanted to keep the stock tips again to keep it kinda stealth haha.
It made a huge difference especially from 4000 rpm to 8000 rpm. It revved so much smoother and you could definitely feel the car can breathe better. It sounds awesome hahaha especially when the wastegate opens up, the sound gets so much deeper haha. :joy:


A week after getting the exhaust done, Garage 88 here in Sydney rang me about the HKS intake kit I ordered. It’s ready for pick up! :smiley: What an exciting phone call that was!!

So the next day, I picked it up first thing in the morning :smiley: and went straight to my mate’s house to work on the car.

Opened the box and got greeted by shiny new car parts :heart_eyes:

Then we find out the whole front bumper needed to come off to remove the stock airbox and to have enough space to work around the intake. Since the car was so new to us, we had no clue where all the bolts are for the bumper. Eventually we got most of them off but the bumper was still held in by something!
There was a sneaky bolt behind the licence plate! :rage:

2 hours later, after a lot of trash talking with the boys and taking breaks, we got the intake in! :smiley: Now it was time to reverse the process. While we had the bumper off, we changed the horns to some Hella Horn copies lying around in his garage. :joy: Look at that cute little intercooler though! hahah

TURBO NOISES FOR DAYZ! I could finally hear the little turbo spool up ahaha.


Nice :heart_eyes: love that shiny intake


Thanks @Mokeman I love it too! haha I keep it clean too every wash of the car

2 1/2 weeks of ownership and I found wheels for sale! I bought them straight away half asleep and picked them up at 1am without having a good look at them.
The next day I took it to the tyre shop and had the tyres switched over. I was lucky the wheels were actually in good nick haha. Never buying parts again half asleep in the middle of the night. :joy:

White wheels looks so goood! :heart_eyes:

I wanted the tyres switched over ASAP becuase that coming weekend there was a Motorkhana event on and I wanted to test out the handling of the car. Yep, you guessed it! I made it to the motorkhana. :smiley:

The car handled beautiful!! It’s balanced nicely, no understeer even under power! (Unless in 1st but who cares haha)
Although lift off oversteer is a big thing I found out. but it’s nothing a bit of pedal can fix! :smiley: The semi slicks also stuck on the ground, people said Semis aren’t that good in the wet. But I got to chuck the car around with no issues going 80kph.


Mods came slower after the Motorkhana. :joy: But after that day I found out what else I needed to do to the car to make it handle better and to make it more comfortable to be in while taking fast corners. So again I hit up Garage 88 here in Sydney and ordered a set of RSR Springs, Camber bolts and A seat bracket for the Bride seat I took off of my yaris.

2 weeks later they arrived! :smiley: I first installed the Springs and camber bolts in, and what a difference it made! Lift off oversteer was drastically less and it turns in more nicely, mostly due to the lesser body roll and adjusted camber/toe.
Dialed the camber to -1.75 degrees and toe to -1 degree.

After a few weeks, I finally got around installing the Bride seat in the car. I was in the middle of moving houses when I got the parts and had no motivation on working on it.
Unfortunately, the night I put the seat in, me and my mates went on a little drive through Akuna Bay Circuit and we all got pulled in to a Defect station at the end of the twisties. :cry:


Awesome read Carl I’m always grateful when people do a build thread as you learn so much more about the car and the person and where they have both come from and this is a perfect example of finding out a lot I didn’t know and very happy I did. I’m sure my Mrs will have a read of this as a copen is the next dai she wants.

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Thanks @evilhighway! This is why I love forums over social media, Things stay where they are and doesn’t get washed out, people can come back whenever for a read if they need a reference for anything. :slight_smile: And also it’s also more formal~ish and I like that haha.

Months has come past and i’ve taken the car to Sydney Dragway for baselines.
With the HKS Intake and custom exhaust (with cat) My PB is 17.1 @ 78MPH.

She’s nothing quick but quick enough to surprise a whole crowd of people for staying door to door with a XT BA Falcon LPG hahaha. Most fun drag race i’ve ever had. David vs. Goliath :joy: :joy:
But again found out a few little things that I could improve on.

Heat soak being the biggest thing I noticed. The more and more runs I get, the slower my times got and wondered why.
Then someone brought up heat soak. The intercooler was pretty hot to the touch so we squirted some water on it to help it cool down a bit faster before the next run and it worked! My times had gone down to around 17.2xx from 17.4xx when hot. It’s still an issue I need to resolve, just haven’t thought of a way to work it out without making the charge pipes 3ft longer haha. :joy:

Second thing was not having enough revs. Yes, 8000 is not enough hahaha :joy:
Why? Because a few metres just before I pass the gates, I had to shift from 3rd-4th. But that takes time and have another maybe 0.5 seconds to build up full boost. Therefore affects the ET.
Luckily someone local was about to sell his Copen and he had a D-Sport ECU in it, As soon as I found out he was going to sell his car, I straight away messaged him about parting out a couple of parts, one being the ECU. The next day and a few $$$$ later, I’m a proud owner of a D-Sport ECU hahaha. :grin:
This meant 9000 rpm, Higher Boost Cut and adjusted Fuel and Timing for higher boost levels and up higher in the rev range. (so I’ve read, don’t count me on that haha :stuck_out_tongue: )


Scored well on the D sportecu :slight_smile: for the intercooler is it possible to put a small/slim thermofan behind it? or if your budget allows and can fit maybe a small water to air intercooler instead with a reservoir so you can put ice in the water, cold air for days :wink: well strip runs anyways


Welcome to the forum Carl, ive seen this car on the facebooks but as noted by you it all just gets lost… that’s why the forum is here to provide a place for us to document our rides and share stories. It also gives us a place to link new owners to look at and have question’s answered without the story having to be retold.

Thanks for your contribution mate, I once owned a Copen, back in 2003. Yep that’s right I bought one.

I just dug through my photo collection and found a few.

Mine was the one with the larger number plate and blue text and red leather


@Mokeman I wish I could! But right behind the intercooler is the turbo.
I’ve thought about doing a water-air intercooler setup, but there’s just no room under the bonnet for the whole setup to go in to at all. :pensive: Though they work really well! I work in a radiator shop so we pretty much have all that’s needed to make a kit or can source what’s needed.
Here’s one we did for my boss’ turbo Hilux.
From this, nice and neat setup.

To this whole heap of mess haha. he decided to go water-air after changing to a bigger turbo.

Thanks @FrAsErTaG !! I 100% agree.
Haha that’s awesome! You’re mad to pay a premium for such a little car! :joy: They were pretty expensive back in the day werent they?
Also if you don’t mind, what times did you guys run at Wakefield?

Yeah was pretty crazy I guess considering I only held on to the thing for about two years before I wanted to go back to a L series. I ended up moving out to a farm which at the time had a very bad dirt road and the Copen was too new and too stiff to travel over this daily… Now a days that road is tar and I am no longer living there…

Mate that was back in 2003-4, I really can not recall at all.

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Aww @FrAsErTaG ! Do you wish you still have it or not really? The bloke I bought the D-sport ECU off of only has 12,000KMS on his Copen. He said he doesn’t really want to sell it but he can’t justify paying rego for it every year and not drive it. :joy:

Update on the Copen:
Bought a Dash mat to help preserve the dash haha. I just though I’d give it an extra layer of protection from the elements, especially because I drive with the roof down most of the time :joy:

Also an aftermarket steering wheel… Yes, I know. It’s very illegal. But the stock steering wheel literally makes it harder to get in and out of the car and was never a fan of how it looked. So I changed it to a 330mm Nardi Torino unit with a Worksbell Hub.


Circumstances are vastly different for me now mate, I miss the car but I just couldn’t see it in my life at this point in time.

Perhaps in the future I might be interested in one again, potentially a good used 2016 model (once they start being imported…), in 10 or so years time from now…
There has been some newer ones for sale, not this newest model yet though.


OOOoooooo, nice. The coupe treatment works well. Have to assume quite a few new details would improve the aero.