JDM Toyota Duet / Sirion runabout in Surinam

Here is my 1998 Toyota Duet / Daihatsu Sirion M100A living in Suriname with my parents.
She was bought in 2017 as my transportation for when I’m at my parents and serves as a runabout for my parents. For the more official and more inland trips they have their CRV with K24.

The Duet got the EJ-DE 1.0 3 cyl engine, with 4LS automatic transmission (pensionadas don’t do manual, they told me), airconditioning, and some decent enough head untit and upgraded speakers. After I bought her there were some issues like brake failure, heavy oil leakage, a bit of ripped seats in some places, etc. The mechanical parts were fixed by the seller, so that was good. Found the car a little too reactive on the steering (having had so many Charades before) and a little sluggish for the 1.0 liter. But hey, all was working and don’t mind the CEL and ABS, that got fixed.

Through the years the tears in the seats became worse and the metal frame of the seat was poking through. Not good for pensionada back muscles, they told me. So after some thinking I had the the bolsters fixed and the seats reupholstered with some decent fabric and a little less flower power design :sweat_smile:

Smokey got some new clothes!
I think this might be satisfactory enough for the pensionada seat of the pants. :sunglasses:



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Sadly, Smokey got in a little brawl and got his teeth kicked in while. :smirk:
Luckily no one got hurt, only but a little shook up.

Having never done bodywork before, why not listen to the shoe brand slogan and at least get a look on how to go one. Take it like a learning experience - I could always bring in the bodyshop calvalry.
So I started pealing away to see what was underneath. Aside from the crashbar, the main structural elements were barely touched, the radiator and condensor and airco compressor weren’t hit and the car is still running straight. But almost every piece of panel was bent beyond kitchen repair.

The front bar in between the headlights got pushed in a little and the spotweld on the right front got shot.
Luckily my parents neighbour came over to help straighten that out as good as we could and he stick welded the thin corner plate back on. Not a professional weld, but it is bonded again. Put on another crashbar from the wreckers. Ready for some new 2nd hand panels, although the fenders are repairable.

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Captains log, covid partial lockdown time, message to self: don’t put too much money in the project or find yourself another runabout, just make it look decent again and technically it must be in order.
So I got out to go where I boldy never went before and at a far away wrecker stumbled upon a kouki front … hmmm, but this is not a project car.

So for the kouki front conversion, it looked like all is plug and play, but it seems that some of the holes don’t line up. Like the lower alignment pins for the headlights and the hoof latch.
I cut off the lower pins of the headlights, as everything else lines and bolts up. Later on I will see if I need to make some new holes to secure the underside.
The hood latch of the kouki hood is different, as the grill and logo are much higher in the nose.

This is how far I’ve gotten up till now
I feel I got the kouki front to fit reasonably well for my skills, but not as cleanly as I want.
Tried to paint some larger panels, but with changing wind directions in the car port and the monsoon rains flooding in, I really need to take it to a paint shop. Got all the chrome bits and grey edge caps, so those will return as well.

As my stay here is nearing the end I really want the basics to be sorted, so my parents can use it again without thinking of project car thingies. Repaired the wireloom protection under the hood, new battery, would like to do all the seals and timingbelt, waterpump and that sort of big maintenance stuff, but I need to get the parts from abroad, so our regular mechanic will do that.

Next I want to get a new alignment done, because the old one always felt twitchy, like the front has got too much toe out. I changed out the tires on the steelies with clean thread & wear so the alignment can be done properly and provide more grip and better water dispersion.

Wish list for the future:

  • 15 inch wheels
  • rejuvenate the suspension (already did all the bushings up front)
  • try to restore a little more power out of the N/A EJ-DE

Not a project like all you guys are doing here, but a learning experience and tryout for myself with just basic tools. Make it ride like a Daihatsu again :sunglasses:

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