The Basket - perfect city daily build

Hi, everyone,
Ever since I saw the “Blue Turd” on MCM and fell in love with it, I had it in the back of my mind, that I had to have that car at some point in my life. So after years of looking at all the L7 builds here and on FB groups, the time has come for me to start my own thread.

Here is my 1999 Daihatsu Cuore, which I named “Basket” (a translation of a slang word in my language, used to describe a small shitty hatchback). These cars are incredibly hard to find in my small country in the middle of Europe, because no one wants them - everyone drives a BMW or a Passat (which I drive, lol), so I had to look across the border, where the market is a lot bigger, but even there L7s are hard to find, especially if you want one cheap and with not much rust. So after about a year of searching, which was interrupted by the global pandemic, I found one, that looked decent, so I took a chance, booked a flight, and there it was, my very first project car waiting for me at the airport parking lot in Krakow, Poland. It looked promising, but had some issues, bigger issues, than I was told about before taking a flight there. But it was only 400 euros and I was already there, so the deal was done. Now the hardest part began, I had to drive it back over 700km home in a piece of crap with very questionable brakes, driveshafts, that were shot to shit and a very loose shifter, which was bouncing around as the car drove. The first 100km were very stressful, I thought I wasn’t gonna make it and was ready to ditch the car (lol), but then I hopped on the highway and after another 100km at 120km/h I was sure I was gonna make it, and I did. Overall impression of the car after the road trip, despite all the issues was great - it was a lot faster, than I imagined, especially off the line, it reached a 100 in what felt was quicker than my 110kW daily. It also was very nimble and has very responsive steering, although I’d like to have power steering, so I’ll probably look into adding that.
The original plan was to register it right away, but I was planning on passing the MOT, which wasn’t going to happen, considering the condition of the car, and I really wanted to fix it myself. Now I don’t know much about cars and never attempted to fix anything car related myself, so I rented a small garage to store it during the winter and slowly fix it up. That way I can learn more about the car and avoid the road salts during the winter.

As it stands right now, I want to do these things on the car:
-Fix/replace the driveshafts (wonder if the l250 driveshafts would work)
-Replace/Upgrade the brakes
-Fix the oil leaks on and around the valve cover

-Fix/upgrade the wobbly gear shifter
-Get rid of the disgusting cigarette smoke smell from the interior

-Fix minor rust (some bubbling) on the rear arches

-Find out if I’m missing a panel here

I’ll update as soon as I do something to the car, which can take a while, but it’s not a race and I want to do things right. I hope you can provide me with some advice as how to go about fixing these issues, and sorry for the long post .


Wecome. Great looking Cuore. Fanatstic story.

I am not sure about the L205 shafts, Evilhighway you’ve had shafts out recently do you know?

Easiest upgrade on the brakes is Sirion M100. They will give you a little bigger set up. The next step from that is Copen and as a “bolt on” that’s my recommendation. With some fabrication work rear discs using Applause rotors over the top of your L700 drums (you turn them down in a big lathe for the rotor to fit over - you keep the bearing setup and have a flange with wheel studs that the disc goes over), Applause backing plates with a spacer for the caliper (spacer is the thickness of the flange), Applause or early MX5 rear caliper and handbrake needs attaching (somewhere in my build thread there is some info on that).

Wobbly gearshift is (of course) new bushes or if you have access to a lathe just turn some one brass or delrin ones.



I think you need to get bigger rims (from the stock 13" to at least 14") for the Copen to bolt straight on due to rotor clearance concerns?

Whereas the Sirion M100 can bolt straight on and do offer an improvement going from the stock Cuore 211mm rotors to the Sirion 234mm rotors. The Copen at 246mm rotors may present rim clearance issues? I would make sure you clarified those specifics before considering Copen front end brake swap out.

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It’s all good, I already have a set of 14" rims, just need to refinish them. And I also picked up a pair of Cuore L275 calipers, apparently they can run 246mm rotors.


The comment was m100 is easiest. Copen a other step. Some 14" won’t fit. But thanks for making the he deta obvious.

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Not sure about the L250/1 cv shafts I havent had the L700 ones and them side by side. I know there is a difference in the shaft with the way of the splines. L251/0 is 19 teeth spline to accept a cv where as the L700 is 20 teeth spline.

I had a little bit of time over the weekend to figure out, what exactly needs to be replaced on the car, so I got to work. First step - jack up the car :slight_smile:

I knew that the driveshafts were shot, so it was the priority, but I wanted to test these sweet old school European 14’s that I bought couple of years back, and was sanding them for months to prep for paint. These are the wheels:

And what do you know - they don’t fit. When I bought them, they were advertised as 4x100, and I never bothered to check, until today. They are something like 4x110 instead. Damn, I wanted to run these so bad. Well, you live and you learn. After the fail with wheels, I took off the old crusty calipers, it was obvious, that something is not right by just looking at the rotors, as well as the calipers:

This was a great chance to test out my new (for me) calipers form Cuore L275, that supposedly can run 246mm rotors. It bolts up nicely, and with the old 211mm rotors on it looks like 246mm should fit. I’d say 40 euros well spent.

Onto the driveshafts:

Both are shot at the wheel side, gearbox side looks fine. Gonna have to rebuild those (got to count those teeth on the spline), since I’m unable to find whole replacement units. Then fast forward an hour and a half and we got this on our hands:

One ball joint on the control arm and one on the tie rod is split, the stabilizer bushings, that go into the control arms are gone, front ones looks okay-ish, one shock absorber is leaking, and the hubs seem to have a little play in the knuckles. As I was going to get lowering springs anyway, I think I’m gonna replace everything with new parts, but I have some questions, which, I hope you can help me with:

  • SHOCKS. I cant seem to find new shocks for L7. In Malaysian sites, the Kelisa shocks are listed to fit the Kenari (Move L9). And if I go back to the parts site, it shows, that Move shocks are direct replacement to Sirion M1. So can I just get the shocks for Sirion M1/Move? Has anyone tried this? What other options do I have?

  • BUSHINGS. Where do I get the bushings to fit into the controls arms? The front ones looks fine, but if I can find them, I’d like to replace all of them with new parts.

  • STEERING. I want to run power steering at some point, I figured, maybe now? What do I need to have that, obviously a power steering rack, I can get that easy, a belt driven pump, a belt. Anything else? Also, if I stay with this setup, do you think I need to change the inner tie rods as well?

Thanks for all your help.


Strange, my driveshaft has 19 teeth on the inner spline.

might be an Australian delivered thing we got here. Would not surprise me we got some unique daihastu things over here. haha.

Or maybe it already had been blessed with the shafts from L250, haha

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