Ko the Cuore (L701) [Sold]

Yearly Inspection

Today I took Ko to the yearly inspection/MOT. I was a month early just to make sure I had time to fix everything that would come up…

But nothing came up :partying_face:! She passed without problems!


Window Tint

Today I got the windows tinted. I’m really happy with how it looks and feels. No more blinding lights from SUVs in my rear view mirror is a big plus.


Rear bumper clean up

Recently someone hit my rear bumper while I was parked in my own driveway -_-. At the time I didn’t see any damage but just to be sure I wanted to remove the rear bumper and have a look.

And I was greeted with some work :slight_smile:. I used a wire wheel to clean up any rust and put on a nice anti-rust coating. Also used some fresh clips for the cable loom as some where broken.

I noted all 3 lower bolts had snapped. I’m not sure if this was because of the accident or if this has been the case for a while. I know the center one has been broken for a while because the bumper was actually flexing while driving. This resulted in a terrible noise while driving. I drilled out what was left of the old bolts and put in some new thread. Three new M8 bolts do the job. Luckily the annoying noise is now gone as well!

So I was really happy that all worked out when I noticed this:

It seems the bumper is “lazy”. The fitment is way off. I’m not sure if this is from the accident or if it was like this before. Maybe the bumper flexed a little bit over time from the missing bolt(s) and hanging on it’s own weight. So I guess I’ll have to source a new bumper some time soon as this annoys me to no end. The little scratch that is visible is new though. And sadly the damage is all the way to the primer.


Sad to see the damage, but kudos for trying to make the most of it!
I always knew I couldn’t fit the middle bolt on my rear bumper, but my dumba$$ took 3 years to even put the puzzle pieces together and discover that it had probably been rear ended (slightly) at some point, so there’s that.


Eh we make it work! I guess your bumper might be slightly out of shape as well then :roll_eyes:. It seems most Cuores over here have had someone hit their rear at some point…


[quote=“marc0tjevp, post:22, topic:6067”…No more blinding lights from SUVs in my rear view mirror is a big plus…[/quote]Cameras also help. When they drive too close, you can send video material to the authorities of whom will punish these reckless drivers

I wish that worked. Those SUVs just have very bright LED lights that shine right into your mirrors. The curse of having a lower/smaller car these days. Those drivers do nothing wrong when it comes to the law.

Nothing major happened but some things are cooking.


A wild DE transmission appeared. The one I have in the car right now sounds like a supercharger. It’s quite funny but of course not normal. My clutch is also super worn out, so I’m gonna be changing the transmission soon along with the clutch. While everything is out I’m gonna change the timing belt, tensioner and water pump as well. Opel Astra transmission for scale. Quite the job but I’m looking forward to the results!


I put 25k on the little Cuore since I bought it last summer. That went fast! Almost time for an oil change too! I’m quite excited to hit 200k :eyes:.

Air filter fix

I finally got to making a little bracket for my air filter. I shoved it over the original tubing with a clamp, but it always sagged off after a few drives. It even fell off one time. This little bracket should keep it in place…

Fog lights button

I found a front fog light button in Japan and got it shipped to me. Before I had two rear fog light buttons. Now it has the right icon and my autism is pleased again. I also put in some fresh bulbs in the right colour which looks very nice at night.


I also got a set of electric retractable mirrors from Japan including the button for it, see previous picture. I’ve written a little guide on the forum on how I took them apart under DIY. They are waiting for paint right now. Still got some work to do when it comes to wiring it all up but I’m excited to change my black mirrors for silver mirrors even if the electrical part doesn’t work yet.


Transmission prep

Just a quick one today. I gave the transmission a bit of clean. All ready to go in this Friday!


Big Maintenance

Yep, today was the day. Or well, last Friday. It was time to pull the engine and swap that noisy transmission for the one I prepared and change the slipping clutch.

But since the engine is coming out and all it’s the perfect time to do some other things!

  • Change the clutch and release bearing.
  • Change the timing belt. And of course the tensioner and water pump with it.
  • Oil change and a fresh OEM filter.
  • Spark plugs.
  • New coolant. Mine was brown. Yuk.
  • Put fresh gearbox oil in the new transmission.

Here’s everything:

Pulling the engine

Pulling the engine wasn’t the worst. I basically had a Daihatsu specialist helping me out so that’s cheating though. We planned to lift the engine from the subframe so we took out the front of the car first:

We always use old seat belts to lift engines over here:

I knew this engine was small but out of the car it looks even smaller. Small Marco for comparison:

Gearbox and clutch

I mean that’s pretty worn.

New (used) gearbox on there!

Timing belt

According to the last numbers on the sticker the timing belt was changed at 23.000km in 2004. So that’s about 165.000km ago… But I guess it held up fine? I hope it was changed sometime after and the sticker was just old. New belt on there. No pic of water pump though. It was pretty stuck in there but it lost the battle at some point.

Back in she goes

RWD Cuore right? Oh no wait, we gotta turn it.

After some aligning she was back in.

Finishing up

After that we filled her up with fresh engine oil and gearbox oil. Reinstalled the cooling system, filled it with fresh coolant and plugged everything back in. Started first time, didn’t forget anything. Oh and adjust the clutch cable after almost stalling the fist time I tried to drive off.

I must say she drives very differently. Everything feels much more direct and smooth. I think the old clutch was holding on for it’s dear life. It feels like I have much more power now. The gearbox noises are all gone, so no more fake supercharger. Everything just feels good. I’m very happy with it.

Some new wheels

Oh and @Blyatsu ripped me off real good.

Love how they look on the Cuore, absolutely delicious wheels. But they need some sanding down and a lick of paint. Or maybe I’ll polish them once they are bare metal… I don’t know yet, that might be a bit much. But also quite unique? Anyhow they need good rubber too, so lots of things to do before I put them on permanently. I might even run some spacers since the ET is so much different from my MX-5 wheels. I think it’s gonna be another time consuming project. But it keeps me off the streets (I can’t drive for shit).


It was a pleasure ripping you off :handshake:t2:
Although I’m usually not a fan of spacers, I do think I’d look heaps better with a beefier offset


Weird noises

After all the maintenance something weird came up; The driving belt was making a lot of noise. I didn’t replace the belt at the time because I totally forgot to order one. Today I replaced it after all. But it seemed the alternator was making a lot of noise as well. So I swapped it out for one from an L251 from the scrapyard. The alternator is exactly the same, except for the pulley. So I transferred the old pulley from the EJ alternator. All fixed now!

Junkyard run

While trying to find an alternator I ran into a Sirion 1 that had a beautiful cluster. So I had to take it… Minor modification: saw off the plastic tabs on the sides that are used in the Sirion but not in the Cuore.

The gray is very calm. I like it way better than the dark blue that’s standard. The font is also a tiny bit different and the numbers seem smaller. It honestly gives it a bit of a classy touch. Speedo now goes up to 180 so I can actually see my top speed on the cluster. 160 just won’t cut it lol. I also love how the needles are transparent instead of the bright red I had before.

Something else I found and had to take home! A pretty fresh looking strip for the sunroof. I’m gonna clean that up a bit and try to fit it. Mine is sagging sadly so I was surprised to find the exact same strip!

Strapped up with the window strip.

New vs old transmission

The new transmission is in for a week now and I must say I’m enjoying it. I had no idea how bad mine was before I changed it… The whining noise on the highway was so loud, I didn’t even know it was this bad. Now I just sit there going 120km/h in what is basically silence. Just engine noise. I love it. Of course the new clutch also helps a lot when it comes to how it all feels. Selecting gears is also super easy now. There’s no resistance I have to push through every time I change gears. It’s all just so smooth!

I did take apart my old transmission and honestly, I couldn’t find much. A bit of wear on the first and second gear but nothing else. The synchros looked really good and the bearings were decent. I think it was mostly the diff that was giving out as there’s quite some wear on the teeth there. A friend told me the tiniest wear on the diff can already make for quite some whine. Some of the internals are now going to @Blyatsu for his collection of parts he’ll probably never use but wants to have anyways.

POV: shitty transmission

Upcoming stuff

Now that most maintenance is done and the car is, if I say so myself, in great technical condition I have some time and an excuse to make some visual upgrades again.

I had to take off the plastic bit on the boot that hides the license plate lights because one of them burned out. A great opportunity to test fit something that came from Japan some time ago:

Yep, that looks real nice in my opinion. I just have to drill some holes to fit the clips on the sides so it sits flush. And of course paint it.

I also still have this spoiler laying around I took off a Marathon on the junk yard. I’m probably gonna paint it silver as well. The brake light that’s in it had some burned LEDs so I replaced those already. Again need to drill holes to fit it though.

No updates on the folding mirrors yet, they basically need paint and reassembly and then those are done. But I still need to change the cable looms in the doors. Because of some very very hot cable looms behind the dash I’ll be replacing the full loom at some point. So that’s gonna be a nice little project as well :smiley: .

Thanks for reading. Here’s a pic of my car. He loves you <3


[quote=“marc0tjevp, post:30, topic:6067”]According to the last numbers on the sticker the timing belt was changed at 23.000km in 2004. So that’s about 165.000km ago… But I guess it held up fine? I hope it was changed sometime after and the sticker was just old…[/quote]More than likely, the sticker read, “123.000” kilometers. Nobody in their right mind replaces a timing belt at only 23.000. If properly tightened, a timing belt will provide reliable service, well superceeding recommended replacement intervals. I still have my original on the shelf of which was replaced at about 115.000 km amd it still looks quite fresh. I assume that these short replacement intervals are set because of the belt tensioners wearing out that early. Not necessarilly because of the belt wearing. In both cases where I have changed belts on both my ED-20s, both tensioners were in need of replacement. The belt in my present ED-20 was replaced simultaneously with the water pump. But they were either too lazy to replace the tensioner or have deliberately left it on, in order to summon a future expensive repair

I know my Cuore went back to the dealership for a recall in regards to the piston rings in 2004. So It would make sense they changed the timing belt at that time.

The car also didn’t get to 123.000 up until 2013! As you can see it was close to 26.000 in 2004. So the sticker is right.


Mine also looked quite good to be honest. I hope it was changed somewhere in between but I guess we’ll never know for sure…

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That’s nice of them to do so, as long as they didn’t charge the customer for parts and labor not covered under warranty

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As far as I know recalls are always covered under warranty especially when it comes to safety.

This is true. But if renewing a timing belt isn’t covered under warranty procedures, they will foot the bill to who’s at the bottom of the food chain

The weather is getting better and I’m taking the Dai on some nice evening drives again. Here’s a pic of the tiny car next to the seemingly huge Daihatsu pillar from a local ex-dealer. You don’t see the Daihatsu drip on the ex-dealers much anymore so It’s definitely cool to see!

My polished knob

My shift knob has always been a tiny bit low down for my liking. I opted for a nice weighted chrome knob from a local shop. And I didn’t expect such a difference in driving experience. It’s way easier to shift and it feels way nicer.

Something I really have to do is fix the in-gear wiggle wiggle.

Plate garnish

I did some prep work on the rear license plate garnish.

It’s ready for primer now. I just have to order my colour code to finish it up. Once I’m happy with this piece turns out I’ll try the spoiler as well and possible redo my front bumper.

New center cap

Quite some time ago I lost one of my center caps. Even though I’m not planning to keep these rims for much longer I ordered a new one from Mazda and gave it a coat of paint. Good for now, but temporary. Initially I wanted to sand of the logos or 3D print something myself but considering I’m working on the TR wheels rn I’m not gonna bother.

It’s from Japan

Something I’ve been looking for for a while were smoked side blinkers. I didn’t want to tint the original ones though, because I didn’t like the shape that much. So I bought a brand new set of aftermarket ones with LED from Japan.

It’s a minor detail but the orange ones stood out so much. This is way more slick and will go very well with my “new” tail lights which should arrive any time by now.

Some more plans

I also ordered this washer bottle from Japan that’s normally only on the 660cc. The European ones are located on the left side of the engine and are very prone to breaking. It seems the sun creeps through the gap of the bonnet and speeds up the process a lot. The material is also super different from the 660cc one, less thick plastic.

That’s it for now. And again, have a nice picture.


I installed a quick quality of life option today; the boot and fuel door handle.

It’s quite easy to install. Just route the cables under the carpet after attaching the handle to the handbrake frame with a bolt. There’s two clips that hold it in place. One for the cable, part of the wiring loom right in front of the rear seat. And one for the splitter, right next to the seat belt.

Notice the non-protected welding job by a garage. Grade A work. It’s about time I tackle that and do it properly.

Then install the fuel door release and boot release. It’s a bit tricky to push the cable through to the boot latch but it worked out.

Overall really happy with the boot release, but the fuel door doesn’t seem to open yet. I looked at a different car at the junkyard but I don’t seem to miss anything. So that needs some further investigation.


Nice work! Have you checked if the fuel door has the spring installed? The cable only releases the “lock” and the spring should push the door open.

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