Daihatsu Applause rally car build part 3

Snatched from the jaws of the crusher post 3.

Rear Brakes

Daihatsu_Applause_rally_car_interior_paintNow the suspension was sorted, the rear brake fittings could be completed. First task was to remove the obsolete factory cable handbrake and blank off the cable openings in the tunnel. A new hydraulic handbrake meant making up and welding in a mounting bracket as well as fabricating an aluminium bracket for a new brake bias valve. A quick test fit for positioning and then it was all removed from the car.


Whilst sorting the handbrake, the customer dropped off some race seats. Straight away we got to the job of making aluminium seat mounts. Seat fitting is usually a tedious process of measuring, adjusting, drilling and bolting, punctuated by fitting and removing each seat several times. For a change, we had our theoretical position for the driver almost exact so when he came and sat in the car, he was happy with the position. Now drilled and bolted correctly, everything was again removed from the car for painting. The last item on the list before interior paint was to fit a roof vent. We have a straight forward method for this (read some of our other car builds if you’d like more info) which involves measuring, marking, drilling and then cutting the hole with a nibbler. Once the hole is cut, a bead of sikaflex is Daihatsu_rally_car_interior_driver_seat_inapplied and the vent is bolted into position.

Interior Paint

The prep work then started for the interior paint with a thorough clean and vacuum then a wipe down with thinners to remove dust and grease. Our standard silver colour was then applied throughout. It’s amazing how much difference some new paint can made to the cabin of a Daihatsu Applause rally car. We are asked all the time why we paint the interiors a neutral colour like grey or silver. There are a couple of reasons. We always keep stock of our interior colour so it is easy to touch up or partially re-paint any of the cars if required. The other reason is that the exterior colour could be changed at any time and a neutral colour will work with any exterior colour without having to repaint the inside of the car.

Interior fit out

Daihatsu_Applause_rally_car_rear_brake_plumbingOnce the paint had cured for a day or so, the internal re-fit could go ahead. The hydraulic handbrake and bias valve went in first and then new stainless steel braided brake lines and fittings followed. The whole rear circuit was installed and the lines fixed in place with “P” clips before a final nip up of all the fittings. With everything checked and double checked, we then bled the brakes, making sure there were no leaks and the rear callipers were working correctly. Interior trims such as the B pillar covers, kick plates and door seals followed before each seat and accompanying rails were carefully manoeuvred into position and bolted down. Two new brackets and 1kg fire extinguishers were also bolted in front of each seat to complete the majority of the safety items. A neat plate was also fabricated for the centre console where the car stereo had once been mounted. This plate will be later used to mount the mini fuse box and additional switches for specific rally items like spot lights and rally computer etc.

The Paint Job

Onto the truck, the Applause then headed to the owner’s sponsor for panel and paint. The guys then worked their magic and gave the car a flash new 2-pack colour scheme.

Daihatsu_Applause_Rally_Car_Spray_1Daihatsu_Applause_Rally_Car_Spray_2 Daihatsu_Applause_Rally_Car_Spray_3 Daihatsu_Applause_Rally_Car_Spray_4


A world away from the original metallic green and yellow that it started course car life with many years ago. The before and after photos tell their own story, it’s hard to believe it’s the same car.Daihatsu_rally_car_interior_fited_out


Final Items

In just under a week, the car was back in our workshop for the final touches. The existing aluminium sump guard received some love with the rough (and sharp) edges smoothed off neatly and then it was bolted back into position. The customer opted for a Velo rally kit which contains 2 x six point harnesses, a helmet net, tow points, map pocket and a spare wheel tie down. We fitted the harnesses up front and the spare wheel tie down strap in the boot. Alongside the spare wheel, a special bracket to secure the scissor jack was also bolted in. On the opposite side of the boot, the required reflective triangles found a home near the first aid kit. Whilst inside the car, we also fabricated an aluminium bracket and fitted/wired in a G100 Monit rally computer. Once the customer’s full time co-driver has had a chance to sit in the car, we’ll make up a remote zero switch and a foot rest before its first rally. Externally the last item was mud flaps. Brackets were drilled and riveted in place

Daihatsu_Applause_rally_car_mud_flapsand a new set of mud flaps were cut from HDPE sheet and cable tied on. The car was now effectively ready to run at the rally testing day toward the end of March.

Next post will cover testing and preparation for  competition.

Karl Drummond