I’m Ruben, 46 years old from the Netherlands. I drive my Daihatsu for fun, mosty over the weekends or when I come home from a busy day at work. My wife calls it my toy car or ‘The Racing Smurf’. When I bought it I liked the Rial Viper wheels on it. It definitely had potential.
I bought my L701 from 2001 around 2,5 years ago. It had run almost 141.000 km’s with no apparent recent history of maintenance. So the first thing I had done was a timing and multi belt change (sorry for not knowing the exact English technical terms). It was running a bit low in revs when idling, stll does, but has become better after some Wynns engine cleaner. I changed the airfilter and spark plugs. The clutch felt high but didn’t slip just yet. I Plasti Dipped the hood matte black because it had a lot of small paint damage. That gave me the idea to try to turn it into a small racer.
My brother who is 7 years older used to ga a Suzuki Swift some 35 years ago. As a boy I was mesmerized by the little Personal/Nardi sport steering wheel he had in that. I’ve always wanted that. However I got my driving licens quite late at 32 so then almost all cars were air bagged, so I didn’t want to remove that from our daily cars. So one of the first things was to fit a leather steering wheel. Found the right socket, took the old steering wheel and airbag out, and fitted the new one on the socket. I couldn’t have been happier.
Next thing was painting the wheels. With some playing cards between the rim and tire an easy job. First I thought bright red, but changed my mind and chose white. Not the best of choices as it is a bitch to keep clean. The look I liked so now it was time to lower it. I bought shorter springs and fitted them. 3 cm’s lower, I would have liked it to be more but couldn’t find the correct springs. It’s good enough though. The road holding has improved massively, it drives like a cart and can keep up with just about anything in corners and roundabouts which can be fun. Not in a straight line unfortunately………
Then a gear changer knob, black and round. A white one is underway as is an aluminium one. See what looks and feels best.
So everything was going well until I noticed the clutch starting to slip. So I had that changed. As it turned out there had been done some welding before on the clutch lever and there was a problem with the gear box as well. I had to double declutch from 2nd to 3rd for a while which auto-self-repaired after some time but the synchromesh rings weren’t very good anymore probably. So new clutch and new second hand gearbox (70.000 km old) went in.
Sound wise it is a very polite care, hardly any noise at all. So I tried on an open air filter. This was great, in low revs not much of a difference but when the DVVT kicks in in higer revving (I guess around 4500 rpm, no tachometer in this) it starts to scream. Great fun in tunnels! Unfortunately after a year or so the sound changed, power was missing, it just was a different car. I started to hear hissing sounds from under the car. What could all this be? I suspecter the air filter, so took it off and installed the original one again. This seemed to help a bit. Took the battery of to reset any DVVT systems. No effect. Then maybe it’s the air mass meter(?) that has broken down? Then I noticed the hissing sound was becoming worse. It was the exhaust. So had that changed and all the problems were gone. It turned out the exhaust was leaking heavily, probably also it was clogged up as I didn’t see any black oil specks anymore on the rear bumper. As so many L700’s mine has a taste for oil. It’s mainly the valve seals in my case. About 1 liter of oil every 800 km’s. After the exhaust change the specks came back so I concluded the exhaust had been clogged up, which fits the symptoms the patient had. Back on with the open air filter. Some valve seal conditioner and it has been running great ever since. Couldn’t be happier with the little thing.
Still some things to do. I have squeeky right front suspension. I took the spring out to see if it was because of the lower springs or if I didn’t do something right. Put it back with some grease here and there and it seems less loud now, but still there. And I really want a more sporty drivers seat. I understand seats from a Sirion are drop in replacements? I want a Japanese flag sticker on the roof and a front window banner. I have white ‘Falken’ tire letters to stick on but am not sure about that. I also have some red mudflaps but haven’t put them on yet either. I’m afraid it will be too much.
So on it goes, it will change some more over time. It is starting to rust here and there too so that will be the next thing to tackle.
Any advice on drivers seat swaps is very welcome! And any ideas on how to replace a leaking crankcase ventilation hose? I can’t find an original part.