From a cheap run about to full track build! 😆

Hi all! Welcome to the process of turning my L700 into a track car which initially was never the plan for this car as I bought it to use as a daily car for around town :laughing:

Track days are something I wanted to get into before however you’re always told it’s so expensive and that you need a fast car and that you need this and that. Having done a few track days now in the Cuore i’m glad it has become what it is today. A lot of money has been spent on it however no where near as much as what others would on ‘better’ cars yet I am having so much fun with this Cuore and learning a lot in the process having to make things yourself.

I’ll take you through my build process however I wont cover much detail on the engine swap as that has been covered many times before.

The story begins just over a year ago when I did my first track day. My friends at work who were into track days dared me to do a track day in the Cuore! I was a bit apprehensive at first thinking it would be crazy in a 1 litre Cuore but hey ho, it sounded like it could be good fun so I booked on to a local track that just happens to be a relatively fast track, Donington Park.

I must admit though when I arrived at the track before my mates did and saw the other cars which would be going out on the track at the same time I did start to sh*t myself! I’d never done a track day before so going out in a Cuore was terrifying! However towards the end of the session I was enjoying the Cuore that much I wasn’t even bothered about the other cars. The only prep work I did to the Coure for this trackday was fit some budget lowering springs to somewhat try and prevent a bit of body roll and also stripped it out to try and save some weight …

The track day was a real eye opener. I thoroughly enjoyed it and left with a massive smile on my face! I was so excited to keep this going and maybe do mods, mods such as the very common mighty engine swap, the K3! But also more mods to start turning this L700 into a track car. It only took this one track day for me to decide this was what the Cuore had to become :laughing:

The first mod I felt that the Cuore needed was a bucket seat. Going round Donington Park I was constantly trying to fall out the stock Cuore seats, holding onto the steering wheel for dear life.

I treated the Cuore to a simple cheap Sparco Sprint seat. I wanted to buy one new as it felt special doing so however I didn’t want to spend too much money. The seat simply had to hold me comfortably in place around a track which i must admit the Sparco Sprint does really well! Please ignore the seat belt routing in this photo, I was experimenting different routes the selt belt could take for best comfort and safety as harnesses were not an option at this point.

I wasn’t able to buy seat rails so I removed the mounting tabs off the stock seat to use later. Using 4 pieces of box section I made up a very simply basic seat base which the stock tabs bolted to. I also added some second hand seat rails to the seat base I made. This worked really well for the time being.

The second track day was booked, I couldn’t have looked forward to something anymore than I did for this track day. The second track day was at Mallory Park, a much shorter track compared to Donington Park.

Again, at Mallory I was absolutely loving the Cuore! With the bucket seat fitted I was able to relax a lot more and the let the seat hold me in place without holding on to the steering wheel for dear life. It gave me a lot more confidence to go faster in corners! The little Cuore was flying!:joy:

I was also so impressed with the EJ-DE. It was able to keep powering the Cuore all day for so long out on track. It didn’t skip a beat nor overheat!

However!! I did get to experience going round the same track as a passenger but also as a driver of a Honda Civic EP3. My friend’s EP3 is just on another level on a track! I was genuinely unable to handle the power of the K20 :joy: Here’s a cheeky photo of it :stuck_out_tongue:

Now this would be the last track day I do with the EJ-DE. Winter was coming and I thought it would be a perfect time to start the K3 engine swap. There would be no point trying to do more track days during winter months in the UK as we just constantly rain.

Now onto the mass of worked I carried out during winter to make this car more of a track car, or a ‘want-to-be’ track car :stuck_out_tongue:

Goodbye EJ-DE! You’ll be missed :slightly_frowning_face:

Thank you for reading so far. I’m still quite new to writing forum posts, hopefully they’ll get better!

Engine swap coming soon.


Love it! More people need to just jump on track with whatever they have. I’ve had a blast at every track day no matter what I was running.
Great project! Looking forward to seeing more!

just awesome!

I’ve enjoyed my sirion immensely on the track, as i’m sure you will.
More speed does not always equate to more fun.

1 Like

Awesome story :slight_smile: Keep it going! Makes me wish that we had some more tracks over here :frowning:

AaaawwwYess, this is what we want to see :slight_smile:

1 Like

Very cool. Hope to meet you at a Mallory track day in the Spring.

Do you know what spring rates those lowered springs are? A front wheel drive needs the front to roll or should I say keep both front tires tracking the ground. The rear only needs the outer wheel touching the ground. The front needs all the grip it can get, and that needs to be as balanced as possible left to right. Don’t ignore my advice and don’t take it for granted. Do some testing. Add this sort of thing


between your springs. Even a chock of hard wood or some steel SHS secured in will (in a controlled environment) give you a sense of whether you need more spring rate.

Getting balance via a sway bar has diminishing advantages as the surface gets rougher as such are torsion bars thank link either side and this takes away any advantage of having independent suspension, or even on a beam type L700 rear you end up with the beam as torsion bar and a sway bar as torsion bar - both are springs and they are not damped with shocks like the springs are - it just makes things tricky to get right and hitting a bump on the lhs affects the rhs.

Hope you are having max fun.

1 Like

@b_hoves Thanks! Yeah I would agree, I had a right good blast on the first track day! I’ll start writing up about the major work i took on during winter very soon.

@TPG Thanks! I can imagine you have, you’ve done a lot of work to your Sirion! I need to read through your write ups again as there’s a lot to remember and take in!:laughing:

@Mophius Thanks! You’re not too far from the UK, have a drive over with many of the other Daihatsu’s owners and we’ll do a track day!:stuck_out_tongue:

@Mokeman Hahahaha you’ll see some more soon as my next write up will be about the most amount of work I did to the Cuore over winter :stuck_out_tongue:

@Rallynrace Thanks! That would be good! I’ll let you know next time i’m at Mallory :grinning:

@Mr_Gormsby To be fair the lowering springs were purely for looks. I didn’t plan for this Daihatsu to become a track car so i just bought any set of lowering springs for the looks. Don’t worry i have been reading this forum since i bought the car (over a year and half now) and have learnt quite a bit from reading a lot, your own comments but also many other comments. I did quickly add a rear sway bar though which even on the street i actually felt a difference going round a roundabout. I’ll soon be writing up about the work I did over winter where I did quite a few changes all over the car so stay tuned for that.


Awesome to see you here on the forum and great write up as well! I’m excited to see your progress on here.

@Denis447 Have you seen the prices for the boat? XD But I’m sure I’ll be in the UK again someday :wink: I’ll be sure to drive with you on track

@Blyatsu Thank you mate, it’s took me long enough to start writing up about my build process!

@Mophius Let’s hope so! Maybe drag @Blyatsu a long and many other L700 owners :stuck_out_tongue:


can’t wait to see what becomes of this little rocket!

Winter came along and it was time to strip the Daihatsu down and prepare it to receive the K3-VE2.

To be expected it started to get dark sooner, it would rain almost every other day and the stupid massive tree in front of my house would drop a load of leaves everyday and cover the work area -_-

It may seem a little odd that I decided to take on a load of work during winter especially in the back garden with no garage however I was really keen on having the car ready for summer and not be working on it when I could be out enjoying it.

I’m hoping to move out next year and finally have a garage to work on my cars! The dream will come true one day… I hope!

Anyway, back to the Daihatsu. I really wanted to take the Daihatsu back to a bare shell to inspect every nook and cranny, if anything needed a bit of work i’d have a go at sorting.

Having stripped it back entirely I luckily didn’t come across too much that needed doing. There was surface rust in certain places I was able to wire brush and paint over. A small area did crumble when pressure was applied, so I cut it out and welded in a new piece of metal, which if i’m honest looked bad when I was done, but it did the job.

At the time I didn’t have too much planned for the interior other than a good clean and have a blank canvas for when it came to sorting out the wiring as I was planning on using as much of the Sirion wiring harness but to also relocate the battery and main fuse box into the cabin.

One thing I looked forward to doing was cleaning up the engine bay and painting it a different colour to the car. I know this is suppose to be a track car but sometimes I can’t help myself. I’ve always found it amazing when I see a really clean and empty engine bay at car shows, so I wanted to have a little go myself. As well as painting the engine bay I thought i’d give the subframe a good clean and paint to try and make it last as long as possible.

After a few spray cans the engine bay started to look pretty good, it was now time to start assembling the engine bay parts, but before I got stuck into the engine bay, a package arrived that I couldn’t be more excited about!!

BC Racing coilovers! I’d never bought some new coilovers before so when these came it felt so good!:heart_eyes: I chose to go with these coilovers as there aren’t exactly many options out there but also a few people on this forum seemed to be quite happy with them. I was certainly happy with the quality of them when they arrived or maybe I was just in a daze with how shiny they were :stuck_out_tongue: Either way, they fitted well and I was keen to try them out!

The coilovers were fitted immediately, so soon after I carried on under the bonnet. The Sirion’s power steering rack got a clean up and paint, black and white for a bit of contrast. The driveshafts were cleaned up and regreased. Throttle cable, clutch cable and also the fuel hose got a clean and a gentle lubing up with a back and forth stroke. Also having decided to finally have a proper go at doing brake lines, I bought myself a few new tools, a hand held brake flaring tool, a small hand held pipe bender as well as a plastic pipe to run the brake line through to straighten it. The fresh brakes lines make the engine bay look so much better!

Whilst I was doing bits and bobs to the engine bay I was also giving the engine a little clean up in the shed. I was initially going to strip the engine down and give it an overhaul, though once I pulled the rocker cover and timing cover I thought again. I’ve never stripped an engine down before so i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared to strip it down but also I did start to think, it does work so why bother going crazy with it. Instead it got a new water pump, fresh seals and a thorough clean of the intake, throttle body, rocker and timing cover. The block also got a bit of a clean and lick of paint. I decided to try run the Cuore without power steering so therefore I sourced a very short belt to run the alternator and water pump. I also had to source a bracket off a Yaris to adjust the tension off the belt by moving the alternator position.

Once the engine and engine bay were ready for each other it was time to let them combine and create what would become a sight for many eyes at tracks days :stuck_out_tongue:

Now the engine was in it was time to start on the wiring. Seeing as I wanted this to be a track car and nothing much more, I wanted to have a go at removing as much wiring as possible and keeping things simple. I laid the Sirion wiring harness out on the floor and printed off a few sheets of the wiring diagrams and also the pin out for the ECU. As I also wanted to move the fuse box into the cabin this was a perfect time to reorder the wiring to have the fusebox cables the right side of the bulkhead. With all the wiring removed that wouldn’t be needed to run the engine and turn a few lights on I actually saved 4.2KG!!

As the wiring harness was reattached to the engine, I decided to wrap all the cables in fabric electrical tape for the extra sexiness. Was it needed? not really no but again, i can’t help myself. Really in the back of my mind I wanted the engine bay to look as simple as possible so if it breaks down at the track it would be easier to find any issues. After reattaching the wiring I also plumbed in the radiator, connected up the throttle and clutch cables and slowly amped myself up to start the engine!!

I soon finished off the wiring in the cabin to be able to start the engine for it’s first time. Sadly I can’t find any photos of the wiring harness half finished up in the cabin (i say half finished because still to this day there are loose wires here and there which need tying up into the harness). Anyway, the interior was so empty at the time there isn’t much to see for now. However what there is to see is the engine starting up and a little cheeky rev.

I’m unsure how to add videos to this write up so I have uploaded them to YouTube;
First Start Up - K3-VE2 First Start Up in L700 - YouTube
Cheeky Rev - K3-VE2 Engine Rev After First Start - YouTube

I was completely over the moon when it started up first time… Well the second time :joy: The first time I forgot to connect the flexi fuel pipe to the solid fuel pipe so everytime the fuel pump primed the pipes, it was in fact squirting the fuel onto the floor :joy: Apart from that the K3 started right up which I was very pleased about having removed so many wires but also relocating a lot of the other wires. Now I just had to bleed the coolant and carry on rebuilding the rest of the Cuore.

Now sadly for some reason I didn’t take many more photos after this stage. I guess I was too excited to be able to drive the K3 Cuore but also all I had left to do was reconnect the wiring harness inside the cabin to all the switches and speedometer, refit the dashboard and centre console, refit the drivers seat and add a sporty steering wheel. I did have to fabricate a battery tray for the boot and also source a drive gear for the speed as I had removed the ABS unit, but thanks to @Blyatsu he was able to find me the correct parts i need to have a working speedo.

However I do have this photo. My dad said to me if the K3 started first time he would treat me to a new steering wheel. Seeing as the K3 did technically start first time without any problems other than a fuel leak he kept his promise and bought me a Suede Motamec Steering Wheel. The Daihatsu was now ready to go for a MOT and a good blast down some country roads!

Again, thank you all for reading. The next part of this write up I will start to talk about my experiences with the K3 in the Cuore, track sessions and future plans now the engine is in and running without issues.


wow - awesome write up!
Can’t wait for the on-track action!!!

Awesome! Looks like allot of fun :slight_smile:

Love me a good long write up. Not sure if it’s out of place to say, but looking back at our conversations, how you got to this stage and the way you handled things makes me proud! I really like the 'clean ‘n practical’ approach. I’m sure @Roffelkut loves this as well. Great job!

@TPG Thank you! I will crack on with the next write up soon because i’m keen to talk about the track sessions as the first one was incredibly fun and surprising!

@Mophius Thanks! It certainly was, taking on this much work is something I thoroughly enjoy and could spend hours doing so, i just can’t wait to have a garage and actually enjoy it more :laughing:

@Blyatsu Hahaha you are the inspiration for long write ups! Hahaha well i’m glad you say that as you were a lot of help when I needed it! It sure made life so much easier when you sourced me the drive gear. Thank you, that’s the approach i do like to take, lots more little things to sort in good time :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

MOT Test Day! I rushed the very last few bits I needed to do to go for a MOT test. I was so excited to get the Daihatsu back on the road and to be able to drive what I have spent the winter building up, but as well as being excited I was very nervous it would fail the test as I might have missed something or there may have been something the tester may not have been happy with such as rust.

Without any issues at all I was told that this was the cleanest pile of turd the tester had seen in a very long time!:joy: I felt pretty proud that I was able to present the Daihatsu in a relatively clean state and be told that what I had built up was done well and to a good standard! Now it was time to give the K3 a good seeing to and get a track day booked!

Before I did book any track days I started to get this feeling that the tyres I had on at the time were possibly too small and won’t grip enough to the track with double the power so I spent a bit of time on FaceBook marketplace searching for some wheels when I came across these 15inch Rota Slipstreams fitted with fresh Toyo Poxes. Now I know the Proxes are not suppose to be real track tyres but being wider and sportier than the Yokohama Bluearth tyres I thought they would be a better choice. I did have to do a lot of wheel arch trimming to fit the 195/50R15 tyres but at the time I thought it would look good and be worth it…

Lets move onto the first track day experience!

My first track day would be at Mallory Park in the peak of summer in the UK. It was so hot that day that I tried to spend as much time as possible in the shade which is very rare in the UK! However this would be a good test for the K3 for any potential over heating.

Lined up ready for the sighting lap. As you may notice I added some wheel arch extensions to keep the marshals happy incase they moaned about my wheels sticking out too far :grimacing:

I initially did take the first few laps steady to warm everything up and then check my tyre pressures, but once those pressure were set I went for it! Everything just felt so right, the engine just seemed happy to be revved to it’s limit every time without any overheating in the really high temperatures that day. The brakes felt great, even with generic disc and pads it would brake so hard and quick which felt very comforting. The tyres were sticking to the track like no ones business sending the little Daihatsu around the outside of a MX5 and Clio Sport!!:joy: If I remember rightly by the end of the day the Daihatsu would be exiting Gerald’s Bend at 90mph and hitting 100mph down Stebbe Straight!! I genuinely couldn’t believe how much fun the L700 became with the K3 fitted to it!

Flying down the Stebbe Straight.

I had booked on for the full day, however by lunch I was starting to run out of fuel which took me by surprise how much more fuel the K3 uses over the EJ. I had such a blast in the Daihatsu that day that I was happy enough to call it a day at lunch, pack up and go home on a massive high!

Mallory Park was such a blast. I couldn’t of been any happier with how the K3 performed that day. I was impressed that it was able to maintain it’s water temp all day and that it didn’t have any hiccups. It also didn’t use up any oil or break anything. It was ready for even more fun next time!


It couldn’t go completely smoothly. Surely something had to not be perfect. Well it was only very minor as it is a JDM nugget at the end of the day which lasts forever.

For some reason when changing into third gear it would crunch every single time!! I started to wonder if this is because I didn’t swap the Cuore clutch pedal with the one out of the Sirion?
Also for anyone looking to run 195/50R15 tyres you will need to trim your arches a lot! I had trimmed my arches back a lot before the track day and still rubbed a lot! I’ll drop the tyre size down to 195/45R15 and see how i get on with them.

Now time to book another track day!


Love you enthusiasm man! And I secretly still like those MSW’s :new_moon_with_face:

About the clutch pedal: I wrote a bit on that on my Blyatsu topic

It is very plausible the clutch isn’t disengaging because of the pedal, but on the other hand it’s no the first time I’ve heard or read something about crunching 3rd gears. Don’t know why, but it always seems to be the first with synchro failure. Or complete failure of 3rd gear, if you mate the gearbox to a K3VET ahem. On top of that, I’ve had a few grinds myself when shifting on high RPM, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re just not really comfortable with that. But, anyhow, swapping pedals might do the trick! Do be aware: I used the pedal from a YRV, which unfortunately has a bit of an angle to it, which causes the pressy-pressy bit of the pedal to sit higher (which I think is annoying).

Keep up the good work and keep enjoying!