Daihatsu: Where are the fans?!

I went off-roading in the Discovery at the weekend, but got very lazy with photos. You’ll just have to believe me when I say I had a lot of fun and the Disco performed without fault.

Back to the silly, yellow car. There’s one serious downside to owning the Daihatsu. Enthusiasts seem to be very thin on the ground! It’s not just Sirion fans – that I could understand – but generally, there are very few forums for small Daihatsus. Or any Daihatsu at all. Now, I know the company has withdrawn from the European market, but that doesn’t stop Lancia fans or Rover fans from celebrating their departed marque’s historical produce.

It’s a real pain because by contrast, there is no shortage of information online about Land Rover Discoverys (yes, the plural of that annoys me) or 2CVs. The internet is an absolute god-send when you’re stuck with a problem, but it only works if there is a community or forum that exists to help you. So far, I’ve struggled to find a decent Daihatsu forum or community. I found one, but there is cyber-tumbleweed blowing around the place.

Sirion cleaned

Nice car, but where are the enthusiasts?

So, desperate as I was to adjust the clutch, I was forced to just try and work it all out on my own. That wasn’t difficult actually. A 10mm bolt needed removal so I could get the air filter assembly out of the way, and then there was a hand-operated adjuster on the cable itself. It took seconds to sort out and the clutch bite is no longer on the floor. Result!

Emboldened by this success, and blessed with a day of sunshine, I set about making further cosmetic improvements. I’d already gone around the rusty areas and applied Vactan rust converter. It’s great stuff.

Vactan treated wheelarches

Vactan treated wheelarches

So, a quick sandpaper session and I could slap some zinc primer on. This is also incredible stuff and I’ve had it keep rust at bay even without a top coat. I did have to apply filler to the lower edge of this arch, as there was a small hole at the bottom. First time I’ve used filler (incredibly!) and I found it easy – as long as you aren’t too fussy about finish. I wasn’t. This is allegedly a temporary repair to get the car through the winter.

The car came with a handy tin of touch-up paint. That meant applying paint with a brush which saved on masking time, but meant a nice finish was pretty much impossible. I’m not fussed and it doesn’t look too bad really.

Muttley amused by the finish

Muttley amused by the finish

It’s definitely a lot better and a fine way to mark the first week of ownership. Next job is to try and remove the horrible dog smell from the interior.



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