James' Daihatsu Cuore L700 - SKD555


Love the Gino woodgrain stuff. you thinking of changing to the gino front?


November 2018: Cuore got the old quarterly wash yesterday. My Subaru has become more and more broken lately meaning the Cuore is getting used way more than usual.

Dirty girl.

Clean boi.

Gave the new Meguiar’s APC a go on the interior.

Works wonders.

It’s been really useful having a full parts car around to just take bits and pieces off.

I also had some time to go and get some photos of the car.


November 2018: I’m going to start ‘de-ricing’ some of the earlier ‘mods’ done in my P-Plater days. I picked up some white LED’s to replace the yuck blue ones I’ve been using in my parkers.

The blue ones were ready to go, I really need to fix up the drivers side headlight too, passenger one really is like new though.

Out with the old.

In with the new.

Passenger side was a little more of an effort with the battery but otherwise no biggie.

I was hoping to attack the number-plate lights but these LED’s are too long sadly. I’ll order some more and sort that out shortly.

Continuing with the theme, I can’t believe I waited so long to remove the HAI (Hot Air Intake).

Back to factory goodness. The pod did sound good but had a really strange noise at part throttle, really it was a silly thing.

Gave it a quick hit of APC, I really need to do the whole bay. Added to the list.


If you want better performance, remove the little over the engine intake pipe and cut a 65 or 75 mm hole in the air box. Take a trip to Bursons or similar and buy some wire reinforced flexible tubing, there is a little hole just above the number plate in the bumper to fit it into.
Fresh cold air fed into the intake.


This is what I have done to my GTVi and it’s the best of both worlds.


November 2018: Some smaller T10 white LED’s arrived.

They were certainly still taller but they just fit in.

That prompted me to move onto something else. The NSW JDM plates also seem to sit lower then they are meant to. I’ve noticed this not just on my car but even real imports. Of course this isn’t a massive thing but you know, little fixes.

Grabbed some drill bits.

Popped it off and grabbed the drill out.

I made the holes as small as possible and brought it down about 15mm.

Much better, now its actually centre.

The front is a similar situation, although I’ll wait for the new bar to do this.


November 2018: The wiper arms on the car really have seen better days, although not bad I suppose for 18 years.

I’ve never done this before so I grabbed the set from the parts car to have a go on just incase. They were in similar condition, looks like they have the original wipers too!

In good need of some prep.

After a range of techniques they were ready.

They then went up before getting a good clean.

Started with some wax and grease to clean, then out the paint came, nothing special just some basic satin black.

Three coats in total, with a full 24 hours to dry.

They came out just as I wanted.

Old ones then came off, I kept the blades on my car as they were still perfect.

On they went.


December 2018: So I’ve sold the Gino kit that came on the parts car. Most stuff I wasn’t really interested in as it wasn’t the goal of my build. Although one of the two things I did want to keep was the cluster that came with the car, because TACHO!

It’s clearly been sitting for awhile and thus was filthy and a little damaged. That needed to be sorted before it went in the car.

I’ve got a couple other spare clusters with perfect plastics so off it came. Pretty spotless inside.

Back on, much better.

The standard bulbs were switched out for LED units, T10.


Popping them in is a breeze when the cluster is out.

Now to pull the old one out. It’s a little sad for me cause of those low low km’s. Oh well.

Onto the removal, dash surround pops off.

Three 10mm’s off.

Speed and wiring could then be detached.

Popped it in and plugged everything in to check lights. Sadly even though the lights are white they light up orange. No massive problem though!

Now before I through everything completely back on, I thought it a good time to remove the last of the blue LED lights.

Easy in, I wish they were a little more even but maybe I’ll find better ones in the future.

I did the auto shifter too even though it won’t be here for much longer.

Dash panel went back in then.

Popped out for some better pics.

So cool having a tacho for the first time in this car. As the car is a 1L, redline is 6,500RPM, unlike the 8,500RPM from the 660cc this cluster is from. Still cool though. Love that it was completely plug-n-play with no modification what so ever.

With all the issues I’ve been having with my Subaru lately I’m so grateful for this little thing, it brings me so much joy.


Nice… :wink::+1::ok_hand::blush:


December 2018: So the parts Cuore has been sitting in my garage for wayy to long and it’s time to pull my finger out and get things going. The whole point of the car was to use it for a manual conversion in my car. Before any of that could happen though I needed to get a clutch.

After a quick eBay search I ended up with a unit from Clutch Industries. It was only $110 shipped which really makes me laugh, but that’s why I love these cars. Everything is small and cheap. I believe CI own Mantic which is the clutch I have for my Subaru.

The part number is R1943N for anyone interested.

Hopefully I can get everything in, in the next 3ish weeks!


February 2019: Time to really get stuck into pulling this thing apart. I started with the Gino kit, everything came off and surprisingly I managed to sell it the next day.

Interior bits out.

It’s funny, I had the car under car for a few days and another resident in my apartment building drove into it and knocked it off the stands. Luckily for them it wasn’t anything special, lucky for me the wheels were still on it with the handbrake up.

Before it went back up I quickly took the chance to get the drive shaft bolts off. Strangely, drivers side was a 30mm and passenger side was 32mm. I’ll get new ones when I reuse them later.

Bit of WD40 and some ugadugs with the dack and they came off no worries.


I proceeded to drop all the fluids.

Gave the plug a quick clean. Before anything goes on my car it will get a proper bath.

Tomorrow I’ll pull the shafts out and hopefully get just about everything else out. Ready to pull the motor and box soon.


March 2019: I had a few hours free this evening to work on the car and progress more. Wheels came off.

I undid the bottom of the strut to give me some extra movement to get the shaft out.

After doing so they came out with ease.

Rinse and repeat for the other side.


Next up to be tackled was the shifter linkage.

Something has been a little leaky in this area, bolts came off.

And off under the floor.

Before anything could come out, I needed to pull some more interior trims bits out.

Few screws here and there.

Out it came.

Removing the knob let the shifter fall through.

Couple bots let the floor mount pop out.

Moving onto the engine bay, rather than disconnecting all the power steering lines, I’ve heard recommendations to just move it to the side when pulling the engine to save the mess. So that’s what I did.

While shooting some of my mates cars over the weekend I got one of them to jump into my car so I could get some roller shots of it. Never had a chance earlier.


March 2019: Today was finally the day to pull the engine out. Before though, there was a couple little bits that still needed to come out. Clutch cable needed to be moved out of the way.

For anyone pulling an EJ out, something to remember, there are a few left over wires connected to the back of the alternator.

Engine was then chained up.

The tilter makes the job much easier. Weight could then be lifted to making unbolting engine mounts easy!

And out it came!

With the engine out I could separate the box and the motor. Started out with pulling the starter off.

Lot of sneaky bolts behind and under for the box.


And more.

Aye, off it came.

Seems the clutch was replaced once in it’s life. EXEDY unit.

Flywheel looks like it’s in great shape, it’ll be machined regardless. Rear main seal did seem to have a tiny leak. Nothing major though and an easy replacement for the next owner.

This plate needed to be kept as they are different on the auto.

The new box will need a good bath before going into my blue car.

With all that sorted it was time to move onto the pedal box. The entire unit comes out as one piece.

Two things are in the way that we found prevented the unit from coming out. The steering column and brake master. We found it a little easier to pop the steering column out. It’s going to used in a friends project anyway. It’s easy enough to pop in and out anyway.

With the column out the pedal box came out no worries.

Lastly the clutch cable could be unbolted and pulled through and we’re done.

A whole load of things were also pulled out for a couple friends’ projects, love how much can be fitted in the back of a L700.