01 December 2017

Making a little monster - Daihatsu hijet

Here at an enclosed city park,
we make optimal use of these little unregisterable off-road only trucks.
This daihatsu hijet was from a power plant
somewhere in Southern California.
This is the lemon twin in the fleet,
the other one is a workhorse,
this one doesn't like to run.
I found a problem with a fuel safety shutoff,
deemed necessary on the cab-over configuration. 
The wire had been twisted flush.
This little piece was impossible to find,
so surgery was required.
After digging down into the insulation,
a new wire was soldered on.
JB Weld has saved the day 
on similar tedious projects.
This trick got it running for now.
There's still an ignition issue I'll get too later.
Now that it could move on its own,
it was time to make some modifications.
Green daihatsu #3 had some good things to copy.
The scrap pile was raided for a solid bumper.
These have a hi/lo transaxle perfect for towing.
Brackets were whittled out,
and welded directly to the frame.
No bolts here.
I needed a welding project,
it had been a while and I missed basic metalwork.
More scrap for the tow hitch.
The ball threads were wasted,
so it was welded on solid.
Tip - 
U-haul won't rent you a trailer if your ball is welded!
Next up was this box of goodies,
an almost complete lift kit.
The rear used long spring shackles,
the front used spring spacers.
The new bumper was tested with the jackstands.
No problem.
The original shackles were a symmetrical design,
with a connected bolt.
So the fuel tank had to be dropped to removed.
Fortunately the new shackles slid on quickly.
The pinion angle wasn't changed much.
The before shot had a tail stagger look.
The after shot had the nice stink bug look.
Like a truck should.
The front was held up with a coil over shock,
or something like a McPherson strut.
The cup basically pushed it all down.
At first I didn't like the 2-piece design,
but it allowed a rough alignment with the slotted holes.
The brake line bracket had to be cut 
and welded at a different angle,
otherwise it was a quick bolt in.
This raised the whole truck over 2"!
Makes the tires look even tinier.
The green daihatsu has spacers and quad wheels.
I'm thinking of a dually rear wheel setup.
The only issue was the front camber is really angled,
more than this pic shows.
I've got a few ideas to fix,
but only one can be used.
More on that later.
This drove for about a week,
then it started acting up again.
I swear some things are lemons!
Anyway I'll update soon.