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Thread: 1986 Daihatsu L70/L80 Mira/Handi

  1. #1
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    1986 Daihatsu L70/L80 Mira/Handi

    Sometime early this year I came into possession of this little sucker through a mate of mine who had it sitting under his house for 6 months or so. It had previously been a customer courtesy car for a car audio place on the other side of town, so I knew there would likely be a number of things that would need fixing. The motor ran, but very poorly and the radiator needed replacing, but all in all, not a bad little car for a meagre $75AUD

    As per the thread title, it's an Australian delivered, 1986 build L80 Handi, otherwise known as an L70 Mira to Japan and other parts of the world most likely. Unlike the Mira, however, the Handi is a 2 seater van. Australian models came equipped with the 3 cylinder 850cc ED-10 mated to a 4 or 5 speed gearbox. Similarly to the L20x and L50x models, it also features a semi-trailing independent rear suspension setup.

    Moving onwards, a few pictures for those who've not seen one before.



    Shortly afterwards...


    First port of call was to go over the car for a closer inspection on what needed repairs. There were a few small spots of rust in the roof and around the windscreen, but nothing too extensive or hard to fix. The general consensus was that there were a lot of smaller things which needed replacing/fixing, but the majority of the car was in decent shape. Next was cleaning out the piles of litter and crap filling the interior, then removing the interior and pretty much disassembling the entire car.




    The worst of the rust.





    That just about covers the majority of the disassembly stage.

  2. #2
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    Over the course of the next few months, I began searching for parts and replacing or fixing things as needed. The windscreen was taken out as it was cracked and I needed access to the surrounding sheetmetal for rust repairs. A few trips to the nearest wrecker provided a few interior pieces salvaged from an L200 Mira. Over a few days, I started to pull down the engine.



    Bores are in need of a hone, but the bearings and rings appear to be in an OK condition, which surprised me.


    Now, the fun part! The plans for this are to lower it considerably, fit some 13" wheels, rebuild the motor and replace the remaining items needed, paint it and replace the windscreen and drive it!

    After removing the rear springs for some laughs.


    The purchase of some 13x5.5" +25 to replace the 12x4" +50 standard wheels. I believe they came from an early Mazda RX, though I'm unsure.




    Shiny bits from Japan!


    Cleaning and repainting the engine bay.


    Where I am currently. Fixing some of the rust.


    That just about sums up the current state of the car, but I'm currently jobless, so awaiting employment to earn some money to start getting the engine back together along with the rest of the car.

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    I've seen a few of these around here, obviously Jap import. The later 5-door version L200S were and are still produced here as the Perodua Kancil. Very popular with people doing all sorts of modifications to them - L50x 4-cylinder 16v turbo engine with power steering is basically a bolt on job.

    Good luck with the resto job :tu:

  4. #4
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    Thanks man. I'm keen to get it up and running as soon as I can, but the lack of income is a big minus

    I'll be keeping the stock engine initially, but I've done a bit of searching and reading around on the web so I'll be building up an 882cc, 12 valve, triple carb powerhouse later on using some available bits and pieces. It won't be as quick as a turbocharged version, but it'll sound awesome and serve as a learning curve for building motors.

  5. #5
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    Spent a little time today working on the rust around the windscreen. My welding skills aren't the best, but I think it should hold enough and the body filler will make it look a little better. In any case, it's miles better than the gaping hole which was there previously haha.



    Also welded up the crossmember where it was cracked and a piece was missing.



    I should also mention at this point that at no point was this car to be built to a show finish. I quite like the bunky kinda feel it has going, so I merely want it to a roadworthy condition so I can daily it without fear that it'll fall apart on me

  6. #6
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    Looking good :tu:

    So you'll be using 660cc pistons to up the capacity to 882cc? The Kancil boys use quite a few types of pistons to increase capacity and compression like Proton/Mitsu 4G13 pistons (71mm I think) or Toyota 2E pistons (72mm, I think). Or the 72mm pistons from the later 12v DOHC Perodua Kelisa (Daihatsu Coure) for low compression application. Just giving you options to consider

  7. #7
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    Yeah, later on when I've got a bit of money to play with, the plan is to bore the block out to use the EF-EL pistons and use the 12 valve EF head with it. If my mental calculations are correct, this should increase the compression ratio somewhere above the 10.0:1 mark. I'll ditch the EFI setup and run triple carbs off a motorbike or something similar and probably get the cam reground to be a bit more aggressive. I've done a bit of research on these little motors already, so it should work in theory :P

    That being said, unemployment is a bitch and when I finally get some income, I'll be spending that on wheels for my other (main) pride and joy.

  8. #8
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    Just spent a little more time out the front working and cursing that I used too much hardener in the body filler so it set on me after like 3 minutes. Then cursing at the seemingly endless amount of sanding. Then cursing at blinding myself while welding again.

    Cursing aside, it was fairly productive and I'm just about ready to paint around the windscreen and go find a replacement to pop back in. Sanded back the lips on the front guards so I can put filler over those and get them looking schmick. Started putting stuff back in the engine bay. Fixed the drivers door sagging and not closing properly. Decided that the seats looked cooler without the headrests. Sat in the engine bay and pretended I was a motor then decided to call it a day.

    Pics!
    All fixed!


    The back side of the repairs.... :?


    Looking a bit closer to where i started


    Random shot showing strut brace/bonnet clearance


    How she currently sits


    So, things left to do:

    - Finish body work (more body filler and sanding, then a fresh coat of paint)
    - Install windscreen
    - Rebuild motor
    - Purchase gearbox
    - Purchase battery
    - Rebuild brake master
    - Vacuum the sanding dust out of the interior
    - Reinstall interior
    - Get wheels machined
    - Buy tyres


    Oh, and I have decided on a new colour for this. Out with the ratty old red and in with a new, secret colour

  9. #9
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    Haha, the stripes weren't standard anyway, and they weren't in particularly good condition either. I much prefer the cleaner look without them anyway :P

    The 882cc idea won't be put into action until a later date, as I'd like to have it up and running before anything, so just a rebuild with a new seal kit for the time being. The exhaust will probably stay running out the back, mostly because Australian regulations state that the exhaust must exit behind the rearmost windows. I will, however remove the muffler in the middle of the system.

    I have to admit, I was a bit dubious about the steel wheels when I originally bought them off a mate who was going to use them as spares for his L200, but once I did the initial test fit, it changed my mind pretty quickly.

    I've just spent a bit of time today out working on it with sanding and preparing the body for paint. Most of the glass and exterior trim is out/off and I've done most of the fiddly sanding on the passenger side of the car. The lips on the front guards have a thin smear of body filler to fill up the imperfections. I just need to finish the work on the rear guards, fix some of the body filler in the roof and sand the whole lot back.

  10. #10
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    A minor update. Started to paint some of the bits which have already been sanded. You may notice that I'm using pressure packs, as the idea is to have this up and running as cheap as possible. Rest assured, I am at least using decent paint :P If at some later date I decide to get the paint done properly, I'll sand it all back and get it done in two pack. For now though, Ironlak!


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