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New 1995 Hijet Van Owner Intro and Blog

Discussion in 'Daihatsu Hi jet' started by AZmini-t, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    Hello all! I'd like to finally/formally introduce myself (and my new ride) into the community. I have been a member of the forum since 2017 when I first discovered these mini trucks. The forum, while extremely outdated and pretty much a ghost-town at this point, has been a goldmine of info (see what I did there ;]). From the data here, I had determined that I was mostly interested in either a sambar or an acty. I never quite pulled the trigger on any purchases because of several issues. Five digit odometers and honesty about mileage/condition, title/registration when purchasing in the states, difficulty/issues with importation. I liked the prices of imported vehicles but didn't like the idea of buying a vehicle sight unseen.

    Anyway, I was perusing cars on craigslist two weeks ago in my free time (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?) and came across a 1995 4wd Daihatusu Hijet that had been posted on the site less than an hour earlier. It had a 6 digit odometer showing less than 80k km, A/C (a must for AZ), with almost zero body issues or problem rust areas, 5 spd (as opposed to 4), and it was already titled in Arizona. The only two things that it didn't have on my checklist was lockers and it was a van, not a truck. I texted the seller to ask about the importation of the van since 1995 trucks are barely able to start being imported. He had no idea about importation laws and stated he has had the vehicle for over 8 years and he bought it from a friend. Um... ok. Not sure how it got into the US, but it was definitely titled in AZ. He was asking 6k and I negotiated down to $5,500. Not a massive discount, but from what I've seen, the vans (especially with A/C) can go for significantly more than that. Gave him the cash and took it straight to the DMV. Transferred the title over and was in and out of the DMV in less than 45m, which was a miracle in itself. Titled it as a mostly off-road with permitted highway use. Cost $25 for the OHV sticker and $16 for the registration. We currently have auto and home-owners insurance through Geico. Called them up and after a 20m phone call had liability insurance for less than $20 a month. Reading all the issues on here, I feel extremely fortunate with how easy the transaction has been. I've already started on some repairs that I will continue to detail in this thread. Just wanted to introduce myself and my new van!
    00G0G_2lpl1AExEa8_1200x900.jpg 00p0p_bzsPL7bh0ej_1200x900.jpg 00I0I_e3IMqb8Gf8x_1200x900.jpg 00L0L_hO4l2uFEAyH_1200x900.jpg 00404_9VILGJ4CK5h_1200x900.jpg 00909_foIx5xqaedq_1200x900.jpg 01717_ltdAC7ZT18a_600x450.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  2. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    I'd like to start off by saying, I am in NO way a mechanic or anything close. Never changed my engine oil or filter, never replaced a spark plug, nothing. I think the only things I've ever done were to replace the engine air filter and replace a battery. I've always wanted to learn and that was part of the reason why I wanted a mini truck. It was going to be intro to car repair/maintenance. With that disclaimer, we live in an incredible age of information. I am a graduate of youtube university and believe there isn't anything I can't do without a few internet searches. Now, while I am not a mechanic, I would consider myself handy. I enjoy woodworking as a hobby, worked one summer in high school installing residential electrical wiring, fixed a leak in a washing machine with a bike tire patch, etc. I've laid tile, installed and finished drywall, and dozens of other home remodel type projects. But my scope was never broad enough to transcend into machinery or auto mechanics. So... let's begin!

    First thing I wanted to do was a deep clean of the vehicle inside and out. It wasn't dirty, by any means, I guess you could call me just a little bit of a clean freak. It had a slight dirty car smell on the interior. You can see in the picture of the rear sliding door open that the entire vehicle is covered with a vinyl snap in flooring. I removed every square inch of this. The vinyl is in decent condition with minimal rips, but below it was a thin insulation that smelled and looked nasty. Looked like it was the perfect place for mice and other critters. I may end up cleaning the vinyl and reinstalling it. Also might buy some type of underlayment to put below it that isn't condusive to breeding rodents. But for now, the vinyl is folded in a pile in the garage. Once all the fabric was removed, I used a dish washing brush to scrub every inch with soapy water. There were several spots with a sticky glue type residue that I didn't get up, but all the dust, dirt, and grime is out. I took off all of the front dash pieces and used an air compressor and paper towels to remove the 25 yrs of dust and cobwebs. I also removed the un-working aftermarket stereo at this point. Will have to figure out the music situation in the future. For now, the jumbled wire mess was not my goal. Have to say, after just a few hours of interior cleaning, the car smells MUCH better. Doesn't smell brand new, but the musky-ness is starting to go. I've also sliced up lemons and put them in a bowl in the passenger seat and it makes it smell delightful in there.

    After the interior was the exterior. Took it out of the garage on Saturday and let my daughter (far left with the bike helmet) and her two neighbor friends go to town. That occupied them for about 30m as they took turns scrubbing and spraying the soapy bubbles off. I then took my turn to actually clean the vehicle. Didn't worry about it too much because it is a 25 yr old vehicle in dusty Arizona. However, just wanted to do an obligatory, once over everything.

  3. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member


    It's not an understatement to express how important A/C is in AZ. I've literally seen days in December get above 100 Fahrenheit. It's rare, but it has happened. When test driving the vehicle prior to my purchase, it was about 55F outside that morning. I couldn't accurately tell whether it was working or not. I looked in the engine bay under the seat and saw that the air compressor clutch would grab and start spinning when I pressed the button. That was good enough for me. Later that afternoon at about 80F, I decided to test it out. No luck. It was blowing ambient temp. Ended up buying a couple small cans of r-134a refrigerant (additive free) and the nozzle from walmart. Watched a couple videos about charging the A/C and went to town shaking those bottles into the low pressure side while blasting the A/C. Problem... the pressure needle never moved an inch. Tried it again later that night. No bueno. Well, I have a buddy from my church who has a snap-on vacuum pump/A/C charger at home. I paid him $100 and he was able to vacuum the whole system. It held a vacuum for about 20m and then we added the refrigerant. He probably would've done it for free (minus the amount of freon), but I'm not that type of guy. I'd rather pay someone I know and care about good money then send it to some dealership. 1.) I can trust the guy 2.) I'd like to have plenty of good mechanics on my side, willing to help out when I really need it. While I didn't do it myself, job 1 is complete!
  4. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    Oil Change

    The first time I had learned how to perform an oil change was when I was 13 years old as a boy scout. It was entirely observational, but I remember it vividly. Fast forward today and I still have never performed an oil change. Always taken my vehicles to a shop to perform them. Price wise, I almost think it's not worth it to do it myself. You can pay someone $20-35 to do it for you and that's pretty much the price of the materials. Don't know if this is true, but I've been told shops sometimes perform oil changes at a loss just to get you in the door and become a regular at their location. However, I wanted this to be a bit of a hobby and wanted to do it myself. I located the filter and send my cellphone camera down there with the flash on to try and get a picture of the product number. As you can see, it was a MicroGard filter MGL51394. I deducted that it's probably had an oil change in the states at least once in the past. That was fairly good news.


    Went to O'Reily's and found the same MicroGard filter. However, I ended up opting for the more expensive wix filter 51394 for $8.99 rather than $4.99. I figured it couldn't hurt to spend a little extra for a nice filter. All the posts on the forum indicated you should probably run 10w30 or 10w40. I had no idea what the numbers meant at first. However, once again, I turned to the internet. Ok, so higher the number, the thicker the oil is. Well, living in AZ, I figured, I probably should run the thicker oil. O'Reily's only had one full synthetic 10w40 and that was Mobile 1. It was on sale and came out to $32 for a 5 quart container. Got back home and got to work. I don't yet have a jack, ramps, or any stands so I drove the car up on the curb out in the front yard. Slid under there and found the oil pan and drain bolt. I don't remember exactly the size, but I think it was about 14mm?? maybe 16? Got permission from the Mrs. to use a medium size plastic tote in the garage that had a broken lid. I'm guessing it can hold about 1.5 US gallons so I figured that would be satisfactory for all of my fluid changing needs. Got the drain plug loose and started to drain the oil. Once it got to about a drip every 1-15 seconds, slid my tote under the filter and tried to spin it off. I might add right now that I don't have an oil filter wrench. Needless to say, I struggled mightily to get it off. I went into the garage and found my old hole ridden bike tire that I've been harvesting for the past couple years. Cut a strip that fit just around the circumference of the filter and went back under the car. This time, using both hands and the sticky bike tire, I finally got it to budge. It still took much persuasion for the first little bit, but finally gave loose. Filled up the new oil filter with some oil (heard this helps to ensure the engine is starved for oil when you first start it?) and spun it on. At this point I realized I forgot to get a new crush washer (newbie mistake). Oh well. I didn't know what size I would need anyway, so not sure if that would've helped or not. I tightened it back on and it seems to be doing ok. No leaks thus far. Went back up top to the passenger seat and started to put in the new oil. I read that it takes about 3 qts, so that was my starting point. I used the remaining 2+ quarts (less the oil I used in the filter), and put the cap back on. Ran it around the neighborhood. Checked the oil level and it was right where it should be to the top hole in the dipstick. It may be a little bit high, but it looked pretty good to me. Next time, I may only do about 2.8 qts or so. Anyway, it was my first real test and looks to be a success so far. Lol, I'm sure most of the forum members laugh at all the detail I put into describing my oil change because it's something that's second nature to them. I'm think I'm ok with that honestly. I know I'm a rookie when it comes to this. And hopefully detailing my steps can only help me and anyone else who may be nervous to start!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  5. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member


    The previous owner had just barely purchased a new battery in January. It's not uncommon for batteries to barely last two years (or less) here in Arizona. I suppose a more expensive battery could last longer, but I've never had one go longer than about 2.5 years. Anyway, Jumbo starts just fine usually. And if it wasn't already obvious, yes, I decided to name the van Jumbo. The model name Hijet always makes me think of a jumbo jet airplane. Thus the ironic moniker of Jumbo arrived. Anyway, like I said, the truck has USUALLY started just fine. Disclaimer, it's always started, just a couple times it's been slightly different. I've noticed twice on cold (lol cold for az at about 40F) mornings that it would start kinda funky. When I turn the key and the engine starts, it was kinda chugging a bit for around 3 seconds before it takes hold and starts to rev up before the idle comes back down. Not sure what the issue is. Also, I don't think I've noticed it since I replaced the engine oil, but then again, it's been warmer the past few days since changing the oil. So... it might be that the oil is thicker in the cold? It may be grasping for air? It may be an issue with the fuel being old/stale (car was full when I purchased and have only driven about 150km)? Spark? Not sure. My van is an EFI version (aka electronically fuel injected) so I don't have a carburetor. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the difference is that a carburetor is a mechanical means of determining the amount of fuel sent to the pistons. Whereas using an electronically fuel injected method, there is a computer (ecu?) that determines how much fuel is sent? I'm 85% certain that's how it works, but I would love to be corrected if I am wrong. Anywho, I'm not super worried about it, because it's able to start first time, every time. Just curious if anyone had some insight.

    Spark Plugs - I figured an easy maintance item would be to replace the spark plugs. I wasn't sure what model would fit. I wanted to get something universal and local that I would be able to purchase repeatedly, rather than import something expensive from japan. I went ahead and detached the spark plug wire and tried a 5/8 in deep socket. It seated perfectly and was able to get the spark plug out. It appears to be and NGK BCPR6EKD. Looking that model up wasn't very fruitful. Everything had to be imported and was pretty expensive. However, I dug deeper into NGK's labeling and figured out how to read the model number using the below screenshot. Ok, so BC stands for the shell. Theoretically, I should be able to use a spark plug that starts with a B, BC, or BK. They all have 14mm threads. The only difference in the B vs the other two is that it uses a 13/16 socket to remove rather than a 5/8 socket. PR stands for Projected Insulator and Resistor. The 6 stands for the heat range. Higher the number, the more it takes to heat up. Lower the number, the less it takes. The next category is the reach. I'm not 100% sure here, but I beleive this determines how far down does the spark plug reach when fully installed? Mine currently installed are an E, meaning 19mm. Next is the Firing end construction. I'm guessing this is the shape of the end where the spark occurs. For example, on my spark plugs, there are two ground electrodes, one on either side. That lines up with the K. And then the D stands for 'special design'. Once again, not sure what that entails, but I'm so glad my spark plugs have a specialty design. The last number is the gap between the ground and the electrode. I read on here that you want the gap to be 0.035". Having been armed with this info, I went looking to see if I could find a suitible replacement. First thing I found was an NGK BPR6ES-11 at autozone. Here are the differences from what I can tell. B vs BC means that it's 13/16 rather than 5/8 drive to install. It's the same PR contsturction. Same 6 heat range. Same E reach. Firing end construction is different. It's not a special construction & 2 ground. Just a stand 2.5mm copper core C.E., whatever that means? And then the -11 indicates that it's 0.044". Ok, well, I can easily close that gap to be smaller. So, went back to O'Reily's and asked if they had any. Unfortunately, the did not. HOWEVER, they had something better, they had just a BPR6ES. Meaning the gap was actually around 0.032-0.035. Which, is pretty much right where I need it. Anyway, I purchased three of them at a couple bucks a piece. I have not yet installed them, but I'll update once I do.

    Also included a couple pictures of one of the old spark plugs. Doesn't look too corroded or warn, but it doesn't hurt to replace!

    NGK_Plug_Chart_1.jpg IMG_20200222_153830.jpg

    Update!!! BPR6ES does NOT fit. I tried to install them over the weekend and the 13/16 socket was too large to fit in the opening. Should've guessed that, but it was worth a try. I suppose it's possible that they actually work with the vehicle, but the tools I have preclude me of installing them. Took the plugs back to O'Reillys to return and thought I'd ask if they had any BCPR6ES plugs(smaller 5/8). They didn't have any in stock, but could get some in. They were the same $2.99 as the ones I returned, so decided to do that. Once they get it, I'll update to see if I can't get them installed.

    UPDATE 2 BCPR6ES doesn't fit either. The socket fits. The thread is perfect. However, they are a good half inch shorter. I tried to install one of them and got it as far in as I could, but I couldn't get it to seat all the way in. I went ahead and turned the key to see if it would start and it did. But I don't trust that it's not screwed in all the way. Pulled it out and will return them. Might have to settle on paying an exorbitant amount for spark plugs =[
    IMG_20200305_172938 (1).jpg
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  6. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    So, I've had the car for two weeks and here are some of the other things I've noticed now that need some maintenance:

    Transfer case - I have a couple tiny oil spots on the garage floor under where Jumbo is parked. Getting under there, it at first looked to me like it was coming from the drain plug. However, under further inspection, I think it's the seal on the transfer case going to the front drive shaft is what is actually leaking. I'm not 100% certain here because there kind of is oil everywhere. I've wiped a bit of it off to see how rapidly it's leaking, but I'm guessing it's the drive shaft seal because I believe that would sort of fling oil around as it spins? I've attached a picture and would love any input from anyone for this one. Did a bunch of digging and found what I think is the seal I need for a decent price at Amayama.com. It's about $3 for the part plus $15 shipping. Lol seems like the shipping is gonna bite me in the but on a bunch of these parts. I've attached the diagram from the purchased website. The diagram shows it in green as part number 36104c. However, I found it by looking up part number is 90043-11320. I'll make sure to update everyone once I know for sure if this replacement seal does in fact work for Jumbo. Looks like it should arrive from Japan in middle to late March.

    IMG_20200226_161008.jpg 1563998331591_original.png

    CV Boot - My passenger side outer CV boot is busted. It's got a crack all the way through it. Looking at the other three CV boots on the front axle, they all appear to have some major sun/heat damage to them. Such is the life of an Arizona vehicle! I ordered a kit on ebay from atvpartsconnection for 4 cv boots for the front end. (2 inner and 2 outer). Comes with grease and clamps for $52.58 shipped. Could've been cheaper, but i suppose it's not terribly priced. I'm gonna try and limit my driving until I can get at least the one side done. However, I enjoy driving the vehicle, it may be hard to keep me grounded! Maybe wrap in plastic wrap like motocheez? Duct tape? I have no idea how long it's been cracked like this, but I'm guessing much longer than I've owned the vehicle. Attached a picture of the broken boot.

    IMG_20200226_161104_Bokeh (1).jpg

    Drivers side sliding door handle - When purchasing the vehicle, the previous owner showed me that the outside handle on the drivers seat was broken and that you had to open it from the inside. Not a major issue, but I'd like to get it fixed. I took the vinyl panel off the inside of the door. It was fairly simple as it's just 15 or so plastic clips. Once inside the door, I could remove the outside door handle fairly easily with two bolts. My review determined that the problem was with the spring attached to the handle. It was completely rusted. I tried to stretch the spring tighter to get it to function properly and it just broke off with the slightest tug of my pliers. Well, there goes that attempt at a repair. Time to replace. I couldn't for the life of me find a replacement door handle for an s110v. As if these vehicles weren't hard enough to find parts, try to find a van specific part! I found an ebay seller with a pair of handles for the s80-83 generation of the Hijet. The seller had many detailed pictures of the product and that helped me tremendously. I compared the pictures to my broken handle and I believe they are almost identical. The fronts look like they are cut slightly differently. The backs however, look extremely similar, especially considering the spacing of the bolt holes and the angle of the bottom bolt hole. I ended up going with a set of left and right handles because if one side was rusted, I wouldn't be surprised if the other side is rusted as well. The cheapest I found just the one side was about $35 shipped. For both sides, it was $50. Seemed well worth it to buy in a pair. Will then have a spare for the left side when it goes out.

    IMG_20200226_160928 (1).jpg IMG_20200226_160934 (1).jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600.jpg

    Others items I'm still shopping for are an engine air filter (they are really unique for this generation unfortunately), clutch cable, and a timing chain with tensioner. The reason why I think I need a replacement clutch cable is because on occasion, it's difficult to get the transmission into first and second. All other gears are fine. It's possible it's another problem, but I'm guessing the clutch just has become slackened overtime to make it too loose to release the clutch from the flywheel? Maybe I'm way off base with this one. Once again, comments appreciated! Regarding timing belt, everything I've seen online says to do the idler pully at the same time, but I don't think their is an idler pully? Just the tensioner? Let me know! I'm also trying to get my hands on a water pump because I know you should do it at the same time as the timing belt. They are just a lot more expensive than I'd like to admit. I'm pretty sure you could do an entire civic timing belt, pullies, & water pump kit for like $60 on amazon. The cheapest water pump for a hijet I've found is closer to $150-$200 once shipped. Also, I'm not 100% positive its the right part for my van. Any help would where to find a decent priced water pump would be great!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  7. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    RE the clutch cable. They are re pretty easy to adjust. Climb under and you cash see where it hooks onto the bell housing. Slacken the retaining nut, and adjust the cable so you have about a 1/4-inch of slack in the throw out arm. Then relock the retaining nut.

    I’ll be under my truck this weekend, and see if I can figure out how to d a video and post it.
    Limestone likes this.
  8. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    That's a great point. I didn't think to adjust it. Just figured it had stretched too loose. But if just needs to be tightened a bit so it grabs faster, that would be a great fix! I don't want you to go through the hassle of figuring out how to post a video, but a picture or two would be awesome!
  9. Arkivel

    Arkivel New Member

    Wow nice van. Congrats!

    I've been looking at importing a Kei van from Japan to Canada and have come to the conclusion that the Hijet/Atrai has the features I want most. Its probably the best looking Kei Van. Parts are available in the US since they actually made Hijet trucks for awhile. Some of these vans are 64 hp turbos with lower gear ratios and more torque.

    Do you have any idea which model or engine you have? I see that yours is a blackout edition with a 12v but is this actually a turbo model? Would love to know what you think about the driveability and power etc.
  10. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    Unfortunately, this is NOT a turbo model. I've included a wikipedia page below which has a nice chart for determining which engines are 12/6v and which have turbos. I'm not sure how you determined it was a blackout edition? or 12v? The name plate seems to indicate this is an EF-ES meaning SOHC 6v EFI.

    As for power/driveability, I think it's suitable for my needs. Being a 5 speed, I was able to get up to 68 mph+ on the freeway. Acceleration is slow-ish, but that's to be expected. When driving on the pavement, I have often skipped 1st gear as it's ratio is really low. I would then launch in 2nd. What other questions do you have?


    IMG_20200210_142645 (1).jpg
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  11. Arkivel

    Arkivel New Member

    There's a decal on the rear hatch lid that reads 12v. I've read that there was a blackout edition of the Hijet. These models had black bumpers.
  12. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    Decal reads 12 valves, not 12v. I believe that means there are 12 openings to the Piston cylinders. Three cylinders, so that means four valves per. Two in and two out.

    As for blackout edition, I've never heard or seen anything about this. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
  13. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    Jigs, I had the van on stands this weekend doing the CV boots on the passenger side and decided to follow the clutch cable back to the transmission. I can see the fork where it hooks in. Also see the large black plastic retaining nut. However, I'm not entirely sure what to do to actually adjust the cable once I unscrew the nut?
  14. Arkivel

    Arkivel New Member

    12v is a contraction for 12 valves.

    I noticed something interesting about the wikipedia E series engine page. According to wiki the EF-ES is a 6 valve engine, not 12 valve which your van apparently is. The wikipedia page must be wrong.
  15. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    I see what you are saying. Ya, not sure which is correct, the decal or the wiki page. I'd probably think the decal is slightly more accurate than a wiki page. However, I knew someone with a 3 series bmw that swapped out all the badging to make it look like an M3. However, the badges surprisingly didn't make it go any faster! ;) I guess I'll never know unless I do an engine rebuild!
  16. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    You’ll know as soon as you set the valve lash. I think the 12-valve is pretty obvious, because the twin cam requires a wider head, and valve cover.
  17. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    On mine there are two nuts, one which adjusts the cable, and one to lock it in place. I undo the lock nut, and back it off a few turns, and then adjust the slack with the adjuster nut. What you’re shooting for is about a 1/4-inch of play in the throw out arm.

    As the clutch disc wears, the clutch fingers come up higher. So, you are adjusting to increase the slack in the cable.
  18. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    CV Boots

    CV Boots came a couple weeks ago. I wanted to tackle this project ASAP to avoid any damage to the axle joint where there was a cracked boot (passenger side). Got the tire off, and went to work on removing the axle nut (castle nut). I had rented the right size socket from o'reilly's loaner tool program. The best size fit they had was a 32mm. A 31 may have fit better? I'm not sure because they didn't have one. But the 32 fit just fine. Well, my 1/4" impact driver did nothing. My 1/2 breaker bar with cheater did nothing. Tried penetrating fluid. I torched the nut with map gas. Tried using a jack on the end of my breaker bar. No luck. 3 hours later and I gave up. Next day, I drove it to a buddy who has a motorcycle repair shop. I bought some burritos to share for lunch. He whipped out his 1/2" impact (much beafier than my little BB gun size of an impact driver) and had the nuts of in 10 seconds. Now that they are cracked, I put them back on with the cotter pins to get home. Looks like a new impact driver is going to be on my radar for a new tool purchase ;). Just gotta convince the mrs.

    When I got home, took off the wheel, hub, caliper. Unscrewed the three nuts on top of the strut. That let the control arm drop just enough to pry out the axle from the hub. A good tug got it out from the transmission. I've pretty faithfully watched motocheez's videos. He had a problem taking off the outer joint. So, I did the same thing. Took off the inner joint with the clips. Cleaned the old grease on the outer joint. New grease, new boot with clamps. Then put on the inner boot. Replaced the clip. New grease. Clamps. Done! It was a pretty simple procedure and super rewarding considering I have not mechanical experience. All in all, the process (excluding axle nut shenanigans) took me probably 2.5 hours. Way longer than it should take, but I'm a noob. I just forget dumb things like cracking the lug nuts BEFORE you jack up the front end. Doh! All of those dumb mistakes add up.

    Anyway, I finished the passenger side and waited till the following weekend to start on the drivers side. Everything was going great! I was going to be finished up in about half the time as the passenger, and as I was reassembling, I hit a road block. During reassembly, I used a hammer to get the axle back into the transmission housing. I had to be fairly forceful with it to get in. That's all fine if you put the axle nut on the shaft before using a hammer. Which... I did not. So, the threads were stripped. Couldn't get the nut started. In the process, I ended up stripping the nut trying to start it on the axle. Well, $60 later for a tap and die set large enough (m22 1.5 pitch), and I got the threads repaired. I was considering just filing down the first 2-3 threads of the axle just to start it. I mean, those threads aren't necessary anyway. That part of the axle has the hole for the cotter pin. But I didn't end up doing that. Anyway, it took 2.5 hours again on the drivers side. However, I could probably do it in less than an hour if I had to do it a third time ;) But the new boots look great! The kit was perfect. Had just the right size boots. I'm really glad I did all four of them as well. Taking off the other boots, you could tell they had lots of rubber deterioration. Heat and sun made them pretty crackly. One of them tore as I was removing it.

  19. AZmini-t

    AZmini-t Member

    After the CV boots came in, the next package to be delivered was my transfer case front output seal. I was really stoked to do this project. I typically do my projects on the weekends, but I decided to get the car on jacks on a Monday after work. I mean, we are all quarantined anyway. I'm not going anywhere ;). I lifted the passenger side up on jacks with the front jacking going behind the front wheel and the back jack going on the leaf spring. Maybe there was a better place to put this jack? I'm not sure. Right on the axle would've been fine I suppose. The manual recommends right on the rear diff. But I wanted something towards the outside, rather than the middle.

    I started by removing the 4 12mm bolts where the drive shaft meets the front diff. They came off fairly easily with an extension. However, after each bolt I had to alter placing the car in neutral with no e-brake and 4th gear with the e-brake. Doing so, allowed me to turn the nut without the drive shaft moving. It's just a pain to get up and down. Once removed, I rested the drive shaft on the motor mount (transmission mount?) bar that runs across the entire vehicle I was hoping to be able to get the shaft off without removing this bar, but that didn't happen. So, I undid the four bolts holding up the passenger side bar with a jack underneath it and slowly lowered the bar. It's a bit unnerving seeing the entire powertrain move a couple inches! However, it stops moving and I can lower the bar all the way down to remove the drive shaft. Once removed, you can see the old seal. It's apparent there is an oil leak in here as seen in the picture.


    I went around back of the transfer case and popped the fill bolt. Then down to the drain bolt and got it loose. I'm pretty sure I used a 15/16" wrench. I'm sure there is an equivalent metric wrench that was the proper one, but this is what I had in this size! As it was draining, I went back inside to help with my daughter's bedtime routine. 30m later, and it's more or less completely drained. The amount of oil I drained filled a quart bottle to the top.Went around to the front and used my $8 seal puller from Harbor Freight. It was perfect and the the job just right. When I got the seal out, there was a spring that came out with it. My new seal didn't have a spring! What was this spring for?? I'm guessing it is used to apply pressure to the inner circumference of the seal. However, the new seal didn't have one =[. I was a bit worried about it. I watched a couple videos on youtube and some of the seals had this and others did not? I looked everywhere in my packaging and didn't see anything. If anyone has insight on this spring, I'd love a shout out!


    Anyway, I proceeded with the install. The same 32mm socket I rented from O'Reilly's is the exact diameter as the seal. I used the socket to help tap the new seal in place. Got it mounted just flush.


    You can kind of see in the picture that there are some noticeable dings to the aluminum shaft where the seal mounts. These were there before I went messing with everything and I was pretty worried about them. Everything I read was that you need to have a perfectly flush mounting point. These dings may be the culprit to the leak, not the rubber seal. We'll see if the case continues to leak or if the new seal holds up. Looking closely, the dings apear to be on the lip of the flange and not on the inside. Here's another look at that big chip. You really can't see any substantive dings on the inside. I'm hopeful it's able to make a good mating surface and I have not issues going forward. Only time will tell! Screwed in the drain bolt and began to fill her up. It took 2+ quarts until it started leaking from the fill bolt. I dont know exactly, but I would estimate 2 1/8 quarts. Basically the transfer case was 50% full before I replaced.


    I got the drive shaft back in and screwed into the differential. And now was the trickiest part. Re-attaching the engine bracket was a pain. As I pumped up the jack, It was a nightmare getting it to line up with the holes. It took a lot of finagling, some hammering, some clever tricks to get them to line up again, but it finally did. Some of the tactics that helped were using smaller drill bits than the size of the bolt to try and line up the hole with the nut. Once inserted, drop the jack, remove one and try and insert a bolt. That worked once. I also, started threading the bolt from the inside, rather than the outside. This helped to line them up as well. I thought that once I got one it, the rest would line up. That wasn't really the case and I had to go up and down dozens of times in a dozen different locations to try and get to line up perfectly. You can see in the picture below the bracket that spans the entire distance of the car. I removed the four bolts (2 on front and 2 on the back) to get this to drop down. If I had to do this again, I would probably remove the two bolts at the top of the picture that have the massive washer's and rubber bushings. This would be much easier to align, I believe.


    Well, all's well that ends well and so far so good! Because there are a two dozen or so oil spots on the garage floor from the leak, I placed a piece of paper under the transfer case to see if it catches any drips. It's only been 24hrs, but nothing on the paper yet! The CV boots and the transfer case seal are tiny issues, but I am amazed at the feeling of accomplishment I have received as I have completed them. I'm looking forward to the next maintenance item! I've got a water pump/seal and a timing belt/tensioner currently in the mail. I priced out the water pump on several websites, all of which are pretty much $100 plus shipping. I ultimately found one on Amazon for $110 with free shipping. It was not only the cheapest one, but also is returnable. The part number is 16100-87507-000. This is a perfect for my single cam EF-ES engine. It may be the same for others as well. My water pump hasn't failed, but I want to do all the preventative maintenance to make sure everything runs for a good long time. I may be willing to sell my used water pump for a discount, or I might just hang on to it as a backup. I bought the timing belt and tensioner from fitinpart.sg. They cost a combined $46.91 shipped. This was a great deal! An ebay dealer was selling just the timing belt for $84 and with tensioner for $128. Other websites were similarly priced. Part numbers are 13514-87282-000 and 13505-87205. I also purchased an air filter (js a733j) for $11.90 from the same website. My filter is super unique an unfortunately I can't find it anywhere in auto part stores. I'm considering building my own airbox to be able to fit an off the shelf filter. If anyone has any insight on doing this, I'm all ears. Thanks!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    Limestone likes this.
  20. Limestone

    Limestone Active Member

    Nice job! The key is that you didn't give in. You tackled it and won. A little elbow grease, some common sense watching the video, you jumped in and got er done!!!:)
    AZmini-t likes this.

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