Daihatsu Applause rally car build part 2

Saved from the crusher post 2.

Our attention then turned to the interior of the car. We set about completing some minor seam welding around the rear towers, tidying a few areas and removing the factory seat mount brackets. The owner wanted different race seats from those already in the car so we also added some bars from the tunnel to the sills on both sides to fix the new seat mounts to. We also had a discussion with the owner about the cage. To meet the CAMS state safety structure design, we needed to add four extra bars. The owner Daihatsu_Applause_rally_car_roll_cagehowever wanted some additional side protection so double diagonal crosses were fitted instead of single diagonals. In the main hoop we also added a harness bar along with the mandatory double diagonal cross to complete the cage.

Whilst working inside, the fuel lines were relocated from under the car to inside the cabin. Being mindful of budget, running two new braided fuel lines and associated fittings would have been cost prohibitive. Instead we took the complete factory steel fuel lines from the donor and with minor mods, ran them down the left side of the cabin, reusing the factory retaining clips. Why relocate the fuel lines? Well the existing fuel lines showed signs of damage and kinking and the factory position was vulnerable under the car. One wayward rock could have easily squashed the lines enough to cut fuel supply and put the car out of an event. It was at this point that we also discovered the fuel pump was dead. The old fuel in the tank was drained, the tank inspected and a new pump and strainer fitted. A new filter and fuel hoses completed the system ready for start up.

Before we could fire up the engine, we had to tackle some electrical issues. After market air con, ABS and other unnecessary wiring was removed from the loom. Also the coil needed to be relocated as it had been bolted to the some of the old braking system. Whilst at it, all the other electrical systems such as lights, wipers, horn etc were tested. Apart from a blown globe or two everything was working fine. On the first turn of the key the engine fired up and idled away smoothly so we could get on with some cosmetic items.

When we got the car there were several dented panels that if nothing else, looked untidy. We could have straightened all the Daihatsu_applause_rally_car_door_trimspanels, however it would have been time consuming. Instead we took the faster route and the front nose cone, left headlight, both guards and the bumper were all swapped from the donor car along with the left rear door. Apart from being multi-coloured, at least all the panels were now straight. All the door trims were fitted as three were missing from the rally car and the front door pulls were trimmed to clear the side intrusion bars. As the donor car had wind up windows and the rally car electric, the new left front trim also had to be modified to accept the window winder switch.

Now our attention turned to the rear brakes and suspension. As the 4WD Applause used rear drum brakes and the 2WD car used rear disc brakes, it should have been a no brainer to swap the rear disc brakes from the donor now that the rally car is 2WD. That was until we discovered that the 2WD and 4WD cars have completely different rear end set ups (apart from the rear diff and drive shafts). The hubs, arms and cross members from the two cars are different. With both set ups out of the cars and on the floor, we worked out that a mix and match would sort it, however we did need to fabricate new toe arms to get it all to work. Why didn’t we just keep the drum brake rear end? Apart from the disc brakes being better and lighter, the 4WD cars were not sold in Australia so sourcing spare parts would be difficult as opposed to the disc brake rear end.

A check of all the rear suspension bushes showed everything in good condition so we put a thin smear of grease on a few pins, bolts and threads before tightening everything into place. When we had everything apart, all the rally struts were dropped out for a good look. They were all KYB units that Daihatsu Motorsport supplied during the 90’s. All of the struts were pretty flogged out with none holding any gas pressure and the fronts also leaking oil. They were going to need a rebuild or replacement so the standard struts from the donor were temporarily fitted to keep the car mobile. Some research showed the Applause and Charade struts were the same so at least we had an avenue to order parts as the Charades were the more popular rally cars. A few phone calls didn’t yield much luck and even when we dropped the suspension off at reputable builder/re-builder, they didn’t seem optimistic. The owner had more luck sourcing a set of DMS from a Charade rally car and the issue was sorted.

Next post will see the interior painted, hydraulic handbrake fitted and rear brakes plumbed and as well as roof vent and bonnet pins fitted.

Karl Drummond

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