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Hijet Renovation & Upgrade Project

Discussion in 'Daihatsu Hi jet' started by Liberty4Ever, Sep 8, 2022.

  1. JMM

    JMM Member

    Nice write up--looking good! I've thought about painting mine but, per your comment, the prep looks insane. There's so much exposed structure & mechanicals I feel like I'd be cleaning and sanding for months.
  2. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I worked on it more today. I sanded, hung and acetone wiped the engine hatch, headache rack, both bed sides and tailgate. I masked (for the second time) the four windows, two door handles, two door lock faceplates, and two plastic trim darts on the lower doors. I also masked the Hijet logo on the front so I could bed liner around it. One advantage of masking the truck twice is that the first coat covers 98% and that is true for the trim as well. I was able to see the areas adjacent to the masking where there is exposed white paint so I masked those areas precisely and marked them for dry brushing trim cut in to ensure they get bed liner on the second coat.

    Because I was unable to apply both coats of bed liner yesterday, I needed to scuff sand and acetone wipe the entire truck to ready it for the second coat. That took about an hour, but I think I'll get a better result masking the truck twice and cutting in the trim twice. If I was able to paint it twice yesterday, I would have had some white paint showing around the trim, but I could have masked only those areas and used a model brush to apply bed liner when painting the interior. As it is, I'll be doing a lot of trim painting with a 1" brush under the bed when I paint the interior later. There is a lot to paint under there or it'll look goofy with the white showing on the frame.

    I was all set to put the first coat on the hanging parts (tailgate, etc.) and the second coat on the truck, then a second coat on the hanging parts, but it started to sprinkle this afternoon. I'd been watching the weather and knew there wouldn't be significant rain, but I didn't want to paint while it sprinkled and the overcast made it difficult to see so the second coat wouldn't have been very good. I wrapped the cab with construction plastic again, and delayed the painting for another 3-4 days when it'll be sunny.

    In mathematics, we'd call this project asymptotically approaching a limit. I get closer and closer but never quite complete the project.

    I ordered a tool from Amazon to push the retaining clips off the window crank handles so I can pull the door cards to do a better job of painting the doors when I paint the interior. I need inside the doors to install the remote keyless entry actuators for the door locks. Many mini truck projects!
  3. movemint

    movemint New Member Supporting Member

    That vid looks similar to Hijet's, with the clear plastic washer.

    that what I used to remove window crank handle, when cutting door cards to install speakers.
    Liberty4Ever likes this.
  4. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Great video. I love these tips & tricks videos for repair jobs where you probably don't have the proper tool. Now I feel like an idiot for paying $7.64 for the tool. :D

    I owe you guys an update. I've been busy wrapping up the Hijet paint job. It's been back on the road for a little over a week. I think I'll make a Monstaliner paint job video sharing what I learned and what I'd do differently.

    But I'm heading out now to do the annual maintenance - oil & filter change, inspect belts and hoses, suck the brake fluid out of the reservoir and replace with new brake fluid to get half of the moisture out of the brake system, etc.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2023
    maboyce likes this.
  5. Don O

    Don O New Member Supporting Member

    So, the amount of time you plan on spending on this project is:

    lim 1/x as x -> 0+

    Liberty4Ever likes this.
  6. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I used a fine model brush to manually paint the Hijet logo on the front of the mini truck yesterday evening. I do all of my best painting at dusk, in the fading evening light. Photographers call it the golden hour where the light filtering though the thick atmosphere as the sun sets makes the most glorious color as the shadows lengthen. I should have replaced the Hijet logo with the infinity sign to represent the never ending project.
    Don O likes this.
  7. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Hijet - Mileage Update

    I'd been getting approximately 31 MPG for many months, which I thought was very good for a 4WD pickup with a full size bed that I use as a half ton pickup. I considered it to be very good mileage considering it has a carburetor and distributor cap instead of an engine computer, electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition. However, my mileage has been decreasing.


    There has always been some variation based on the accuracy of the meter in the gas station fuel pump, the alcohol content of the fuel (10% ethanol is standard but the more ethanol the lower the chemical energy in a gallon of fuel), and driving conditions. The most recent fillup showed that the Hijet only got 27.5 MPG in the last 215 miles. The last three fillups indicated a downward trend.

    What could it be? Fouled plugs? Cracked distributor? Clogged jet in the carburetor?

    Based on my observations, my current theory is DRIVING LIKE A HOON.

    :) :cool: :rolleyes:
  8. maboyce

    maboyce Active Member

    It's also possible that one of your odometer gears is starting to slip, so that might be something else to check if everything seems mechanically in order. But my automatic with the same engine gets about 25 mpg if I spend a bunch of time on the highway, or 27 if I stay off of it. Both are probably getting worse for me as I get more comfortable with the truck and my foot gets heavier...
  9. t_g_farrell

    t_g_farrell Active Member

    Pull the plugs and see if its running rich. My van kind of showed this behavior before it finally died with a massive internal to the carb vacuum leak. Also check the valve adjustments as well. I ran the piss out of mine for 10km over 2 years before this happened to me. I'm fixing it now along with new wires/plugs/timing belt/valve cover gaskets and of course a carb rebuild kit.
    Liberty4Ever likes this.
  10. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    First Mini Truck Accident

    The subject is a bit clickbait in that my mini truck wasn't in an accident, but it was peripherally involved in an accident.

    I had lunch with a friend today, an ex-pat who had returned from Korea for the first time since COVID. We were standing next to my mini truck in the parking lot after lunch, chatting. I heard a motorcycle so I glanced over to see a very well maintained black Harley with a lot of chrome on the service road on the outside edge of the strip mall parking lot. The Harley rider was looking at the mini truck. I get that a lot. I turned my attention back to Jason and a couple of seconds later I heard a crash. The little car in front of the Harley had stopped to turn into the parking lot and the Harley ran into the back of the car at 5-10 MPH.

    I've passed oncoming traffic in the mini truck and the other driver was gawking the entire way, and when we pass, I'll glance in my rear view mirror and the driver's head is hanging out the driver's window looking back at the mini truck, which is definitely not safe. I'm not surprised today's accident happened and while I'm not responsible for other people's distracted driving, I feel badly that it happened. It could be worse. If I was an attractive 25 year old woman, there would have probably been three wrecks by now.

    I won't tell this story to my insurance agent. :eek:
  11. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Battery Cover

    Almost a year after I installed a new US standard battery (size 35N) with matching battery post clamps, I finally made the battery cover and installed it on Christmas Eve. I was originally going to cut a sheet of black textured marine nylon to shape, bend tabs on the sides and screw it to the rectangular aluminum box extrusions that I bolted to the battery box as a mount for the battery cover, but then I decided to 3D print a battery cover, keeping with the theme for my mini truck. :cool: However, I didn't have a large enough 3D printer. I was procrastinating until buying a large format 3D printer but there wasn't one to my liking so I finally gave up and designed the part in CAD, put a vertical V cut in the middle to make two parts that fit my printer and channels across the back for stainless threaded rod that hold the two pieces together. Each half took 20 hours to print using TPU, a rubbery material that is very tough, UV resistant, and chemically resistant. I used two M8 flat head stainless cap screws to attach each side to the aluminum extrusions and now the battery is retained by more than the cables, and people can stop telling me that someone is going to steal my battery.


  12. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Custom Kei License Plate

    Thanks to Drain's post in What Did You Do To Your Truck Today, I ordered a custom faux kei plate from Custom Japanese Plates.


    I chose an Independence Day, July 4th 1776 theme in keeping with my love of liberty. It's a subtle nod to liberty, similar to the parody of the Gadsden flag that's behind the passenger headrest. Half of the miles on my Hijet are driving my 92 year old Mom to the park to feed the ducks and geese.


    The custom license plate looks like a real Japanese kei truck license plate. The quality is very good and while I usually lean much more to the functional than the aesthetic, the kei plate really dresses up the front of the Hijet.

  13. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Flashlight Holder - Replacing The Road Flare

    The Japanese mini trucks have a road flare under the dash on the passenger side, next to the passenger door. The flares are removed when the trucks are shipped to the US, and that's generally true even on later models when the road flare is replaced by an LED version. On my mini truck, I think even the flare holder was removed... or possibly I removed it to paint and forgot that I did that, and then forgot where I put it. It's a senior citizen thing. No matter. I have a larger flashlight that lived in the mini truck glove box that has a lot more throw than a small pocket flashlight, but it's mini sized, scaled to the mini truck. It's the Thrunite TC20 that I bought in 2018, and it's a compact beast of a light with a long battery life on low and it's a searchlight on high. The TC20 is in addition to the LED headlamp in the glove box so I have hands free light when working on/around the truck. I wanted the larger flashlight out of the crowded glove compartment so I designed a flashlight holder that mounts to the 10 mm x 10 mm cutout that previously mounted the flare holder at the passenger's feet.


    I 3D printed the custom flashlight holder from solid rubbery TPU material and installed it where the road flare was, near the passenger's feet. Please ignore the messy paint slopped over from the exterior paint job that will be finished when I Monstaliner paint the interior of the mini truck in the spring.


    I'm beginning to think I bought the Hijet to justify buying my 3D printer. :rolleyes:
    movemint likes this.
  14. jblueridge

    jblueridge Member Supporting Member

    What brand model printer did you use.
    We have a Prusa and an older Lulzbot here.
  15. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I have eleven 3D printers that I've acquired over the years but I'm currently using an Elegoo Neptune 4 Pro. I have a shop full of CNC tools that I built or converted to CNC but I never use any of those tools. Whenever I need something, I quickly design it in FreeCAD and 3D print it.
  16. jblueridge

    jblueridge Member Supporting Member

    Our school gets AutoCAD for free, or at least i get to use it free.
    I can just barely use their Inventor product.

    The Neptune can do ABS and TPU without an enclosure?
    Very hard for me to print with ABS with the Lulzbot. Prusa is a little better but needs enclosure.

    I am trying to design an adapter so I can put a usb charger in place of one of the blanking plate/plugs in the hijet dash.
    Liberty4Ever likes this.
  17. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I drape a 30 gallon clear trash bag over the 3D printer to act as an enclosure when printing ABS. I reinforce the bag where the front of the bed contacts it with duct tape and it works surprisingly well. I print with a bed temperature of 110 C and the heated bed passively heats the inside of the improvised enclosure to 55 C which is enough to prevent warping or cracking on the large flat parts I've been printing.

    I've finally started printing some structural parts in PETG, which is almost as easy to print as PLA (a bit more stringing) and almost as strong as ABS (a bit less high temperature resistance).

    I print most things in TPU, which most people avoid. TPU doesn't need a heated bed although I usually print the first layer at 40-70 C if there is a very small contact patch and then turn off the heated bed for the rest of the print. TPU doesn't need an enclosure. It has excellent interlayer adhesion, way better than any other 3D printed material, and it's extremely impact resistant so it's great for structural parts. People think of TPU as a soft rubber but 95A and 98A durometer TPU is a fairly hard rubbery plastic when printed with 3-6 perimeter layers and 20+% infill.

    An MSLA resin printer might be better for that. Resin printed parts can be strong (I use Siraya Fast resin) and there are no visible layer lines so the plastic parts look like injection molded parts.

    I plan on popping out the blanking plugs on my Hijet, laser engraving them with FRONT LIGHT BAR, REAR LIGHT, CARGO LIGHT, and a symbol for heated seats, painting the laser engraved lettering a contrasting color and clear coat, pulling off the masking tape, and installing the small rocker switches directly in the blanking plugs.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2023
  18. jblueridge

    jblueridge Member Supporting Member

    Our Taz 3 has a plexi enclosure but students often remove it when they just want PLA parts.

    I don't know anything about resin printers.
    Can you recommend a brand or model?
    Would probably need to be less than $500.
  19. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I'm thinking of buying an Elegoo Saturn to get good print quality and a large print area for production parts. If you want good print quality and don't need a large print area, an Elegoo Mars would be a good choice. Other good brands include Phrozen and Anycubic. There are different versions of the Elegoo Mars series, and YouTube reviews are a good way to determine what might be best for you, but the reviews are usually very positive in repayment for video sponsorships and a steady supply of free printers. Amazon reviews are a reasonable way to learn the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Before embarking on resin printing, you should know what you're getting into. There is a lot of messy post production work with alcohol cleaning, drying and UV post curing that is a lot of labor and it's stinky messy work. I save resin printing for the parts that need that technology. I prefer the simplicity of FDM filament printing if possible. The new Klipper printers make that faster and easier than ever.
  20. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    Custom Hijet Mud Flaps

    I designed some custom mud flaps for my Hijet in FreeCAD and 3D printed them on my Neptune 4 Pro printer.



    I'm uploading the files to Thingiverse and Printables. Just search for Hijet Mud Flaps and you should be able to find them. They may fit other kei trucks.

    For anyone making their own, the mud flap is 150 mm wide and 170 mm long. It could be 200 mm or 230 mm long if you like them longer. The 6 mm mounting holes are centered and 100 mm apart, and 25 mm down from the top.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2024
    movemint likes this.
  21. jblueridge

    jblueridge Member Supporting Member

    I took a risk and bought a Creality enclosed printer that uses Klipper.
    Prints ABS without problems.
    I will try TPU next.
  22. Liberty4Ever

    Liberty4Ever Active Member

    I came close to buying the Creality K1 Max. They had some extruder issues for a few months but I think they're good to go now. I love being able to print ABS. I miss that with my open architecture bed slingers but it's honestly no trouble to drape a 30 gallon clear trash bag over the printer and the 110 C heated bed keeps the inside of the bag draft free and 55 C which works well for ABS. I have a reel of ASA to try, and I print some impact resistant parts in PETG although the surface looks too shiny and there's some stringiness. I print a lot of structural parts from harder TPU and with 4+ outer layers and 25%+ infill the parts aren't flexible, but do have excellent interlayer adhesion, excellent UV and chemical resistance, and excellent impact resistance. Someone should make 120A durometer TPU for non-flexible parts that has all of the other advantages of TPU but is less expensive and prints faster.

    Best of luck with your K1 or K1 Max. I hope to see some Hijet parts that you printed on it.
  23. ionstorm66

    ionstorm66 Member

    The only kind of compatible window regulator is a s120v/s130v regulator. They have a different bolt pattern, but use the same glass/door so it might just bolt right in. They also have electric locks, and a arm rest on the door for the window switches.
    Liberty4Ever likes this.
  24. jblueridge

    jblueridge Member Supporting Member

    I made a holder to keep a usb charger in the dash.
    I am still fiddling with the 3d part that will be visible.
    I put some pictures in another thread.
    Liberty4Ever likes this.

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