Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

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Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:08 pm

My Hijet is elderly; it's got 107k miles on it's 993 engine, and is generally in need of a bit of love in various ways. I really like it for all sorts of reasons, and though it might carry on for a long time, something major could fail at any time. I'm thinking that when it does, I'll take it off the road, and make a real project vehicle of it.

Engine

What else will fit, apart from the Daihatsu 3 cylinder range? One option would be to fit the 1.4 from the Charade, for a bit more poke, and then raise the final drive ratio. I'm quite happy at 55, but I wouldn't mind using less fuel. Does anyone know how much is involved in tweaking the final drive?

What I'd really like to do is put in the 1.4/1,5 diesel engine that's in the Citroen AX and Peugeot 106. I used to get 75 mpg from my AX diesel on a 55 mph run, and whilst the Hijet's aerodynamics aren't going to allow that, I'm sure it would significantly better what I get now. I guess that making a 4 fit where a 3 once was would be tricky though, and the slant would be too?

Interior

I once had a Saab 93 with parchment leather seats, and they looked great and were dead comfortable. I imagine they'd be a little high, but if I'm doing this properly, cutting down the frames to make them fit better doesn't seem too much of a chore. I could put a pair in the front and a pair in the rear too, but what would I do with the bench seat at the back? Dirty grey fabric would really let the side down.

Could retrim the interior panels in similar or contrasting colour leatherette, get some nicer carpet and maybe re headline the roof. What about the dash? Grey plastic would look out of place with those seats; can you spray a dash black? A wood rim wheel and wooden gear knob would set off the seats nicely, and probably an audio amp and better speakers (it's hard to hear the music over the racket!). For camping mode, the current checked curtains would have to go in favour of something more classy.

Bodywork[\b]

A respray would be vital after tidying up the shabby bits. Solid colour with perhaps central racing stripes across the bonnet and roof, perhaps black on silver, silver on black, black on yellow (might be a bit much!). Maybe a pair of spotlights, but I'm not generally keen on boy-racer bodykit. Anything which gave it more of a 70's Kustom van look would be fun.

[b]Wheels


These would be critical for more than just looks; currently I find the skinny rubber struggles on mud and snow, plus bigger diameter wheels would get me slightly lazier revs and better economy. What's the biggest and widest you can get away with before they start to rub or impair the turning circle? And what bolt pattern/pcd are the wheels?

It feels to me that I could do all this for not too much money, and end up with an awesome little van which might even be more practical than it currently is.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:17 pm

My wider alloys and tyres get less grip then the original truck tyres on the snow! Those deep cut commercial tyres were great on loose mud/snow surfaces. Fitment information is here:- http://www.daihatsuhijet.co.uk/hijet-wheels-pcd-4x110/


I'm sure you could make a little citroen/peugeot engine fit, but you'd have to alter the sump etc to work in the lean over engine location. Biggest problem would be mating/finding a gearbox that would take your FWD engine to the RWD hijet setup.

Most car seats have very deep bum cushion areas, and they are wide in comparison to a hijet seat. Even if you butcher the rails etc, you will find yourself very high, with your thighs touching the steering wheel. So far, the best seats to use are from a smart car, as found by Logi - I have stole his idea and fitted some in mine.

Main thing is, do you want to spend more money and time on an old shagged hijet than its actually worth?! Finding a nice clean 1.3 van would be cheaper than messing with engines and bodywork.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:05 am

My 175/70/13's rub on the front, so i'd say prob 165/65/13's would be the max on standard offset wheels( its what i'm going to put on when the 175s wear out.
A lot will depend on the offset of whatever wheels you find.
Theres a set on Ebay just now, see the You Want Alloys thread.
Plenty of interior paints available. Never used any, so no idea of results.
You can spend a shit load of money on a Hijet, but you'd be better starting with a good one, my old one was great but it was a constant weldathon, this one is so much better a starting point.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by 8bit-ash on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:18 am

The ultimate Hijet (van) would need a Notched rear chassis so it can be lowered properly. But then that would open up a whole new world of vehicle tests.
I recon a nice TDI 1.4 would be spot on too.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:04 am

Or you could be really retro and stick.a V8 in and jack up.the back.end... Wink
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by 8bit-ash on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:10 am

now that i'd like to see (from a safe distance)
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:13 am

Stick "toastr" &burnout into Youtube Wink
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:48 am

Well, I want it to be:

Economical - hence the small diesel (I hadn't thought of the rear wheel drive issue.....

Useable - mine is my micro camper, minibus etc, so I'm not going to shove a V8 in the back, as awesome as it would be.

A 1.3 wouldn't give me significantly better fuel consumption, or be any fun. My 'Jet has not needed welding so far, and I don't think it's likely to start needing tons, but if it did, then yes, a better shell would be a plan.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:28 pm

Do you know where they rot?

If you dig in the right spots you know where and when your next MOT fail will be! Laughing

If you totally prioritise fuel ecomomy then the 993cc is better than the 1.3, but the 1.3 revs nice and overtakes great. Perfect for blasting down the motorway in the fast lane.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:51 pm

No I don't; where DO they rot? The 1 litre is fast enough for me, really, but the PSA diesel would give a handy extra 10 horses, AND probably get me 50+mpg. I don't know; got to give it some thought, and maybe ask the expert nutters at Retro Rides about how to mate it.

Can't help thinking that for what I have in mind, maybe banded steel wheels would be better than alloys....

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:11 pm

Where do they rot? Only the metal bits............ Razz

Sills, springhangers, front chassis, inner wheelarches, doors, the rear panel where the sliding door runner is, the roof, the petrol tank........
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:31 pm

Don't forget that little bit 30cm down from the seat belt mounting point that's an arse to weld! They always go there first, and the rear arches right in the front bottom corner, that's also within the fail zone because of the suspension mounting points.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by rich the mechanic on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:08 pm

If you want economy then the bigger the engine the better so long as you don't have a a heavy right foot it is all power to weight ratio when we were looking for ours there was a Rascal fitted with a V6 essex with only a minor mod to the rear engine cowling. As for mating a engine to gear box that is easy to make adaptor plates, the hard bit is the actual engine mounts as PSA engines do not even have the castings unlike a lot of enginges that have RWD history.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:37 am

Yeah, might require creativity. Perhaps I should look for a V6 diesel Wink

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:50 am

More seriously, if larger IS better, maybe I should consider one of the larger PSA engines, the 1.7 or 1.9 xud, or even the 2.1 td that went in the XM. I'm a big fan of their engines; amazing fuel economy (I used to get 55mpg out of my ocean liner of a Citroen XM), and they go to starship mileages. BXs with 1/4 million miles on them aren't unusual.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:26 am

I smell poo rich!!! Think of it like this, a bigger engine will have more rotating mass and resistance from drag due to the extra bore and stroke values, bearing surface area, oil pump and water pump loads, valve train resistances etc..... For the best fuel economy possible, you need to match the torque output at its most fuel efficient rev band to the average working mass and hill based work load of the target vehicle.

A really big engine will make more torque than required, and you can only lean the mixture out so far before it melts a piston from high temps.

I guess you could gear it so it revs less for a given cruising speed. But a big engine will end up at tickover or below, where its not very efficient. Normally about 2000rpm for a derv or higher for a petrol. Although it hugely depends on the engine geometry. Take those big ship engines, they make peak torque and efficiency at a couple of hundred rpm.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:25 pm

That makes more sense to me, though I'm rather liking the idea of that big turbo diesel in that tiny car. Get it running at absolutely it's most economical speed at 60, and know that you've got buckets of torque if you want to put your foot down Smile I had an XM, and even in that great barge, it felt effortless and quick to me (owners of other XM models tend to disagree, but I loved that engine). What it would do in the little Hijet makes me smile to imagine! Maybe mate it to a 6 speed box, put on banded steels and fat rubber. Mmmmmm.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:50 pm

When you think about it though......

Consider the cost of a custom gearbox or bell housing, clutch and flywheel and prop shaft setup, that either matches the final drive in the diff of the hijet which would most likely explode if it was subjected to any more torque than the original setup - or a custom diff, which would most likely be required to match the final drive ratio requirements. Then the work required to fabricate all the alternative engine mounts, manifolds, sump, dipstick and exhaust due to the lean over engine space requirements under the seats. Then the wiring, fuel hoses, radiator hoses.... etc etc

Is it worth it?

I know, I'm boring and miserable! cheers

I did the 1.6 petrol sportrak engine conversion on my pickup because it is a straight forward bolt in conversion. Cost me £80 for the engine, and about 10 hours work. It won't save me fuel or money, but it'll make my hijet pickup a one of a kind, and better for drifting and autotesting etc. I did it mostly out of curiosity as I'd spotted the head gasket kit fitted both the hijet and the sportrak. And I only took the engine out of the pickup originally because it was knackard.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:59 pm

If things like a custom bellhousing and diff were necessary then no, not worth it. I'm counting on the Retro Rides nutcases to come up with a simpler, cheaper solution based on things that already exist. If they do, then yes, the rest might be worth it.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:47 am

Turns out I've just wrote a highlyjetted monologue....

I used to browse and post on retrorides but I got bored of some of the regular posters on there. I gave up on piston heads too because I got fed up of reading silly arguments between people that neither side had a clue what they were talking about.

I used to also be on loads of the civic forums, but got fed up of know it all little tossers that have no real experience what so ever. The last straw on the civic scene, was when I was selling a mongoose exhaust, a guy asked me if its was one diameter or another diameter, and I replied back saying there is only one system availible from mongoose, where I got a load of the regular big posters telling me I was full of poo because they all had the bigger one unlike mine that I was selling. Truth is, I used to work for mongoose exhausts, and I know what's in their warehouse, and being a doubter, I rang them up the next morning to ask if they had any new systems in the range, and they didn't. I posted up on the forum the next day that I had rang them to confirm the product range and they all called me a liar!!!!

I was cool and just asked them to post up a link of the part number or some where that sells the bigger system, but no replies?! The civic scene was good from about 1999 to 2005, but then it got swamped by little wanna be cool guys, and the good old engineering civic nuts left. The death of PGMFI.org after the lad who ran it got sued by some other guy who was making money out of the scene, it totally killed it for me. I sold up all my civic stuff, and got into hijets by accident after I bought a van to do my house up with.

This here Hijet forum is a nice place so far, no ego's, no dick measuring contest, everyone is doing there own little thing just to please them selves, no parts catalogue full of bolt on knob head goodies, and I genuinely like coming here everyday to maybe learn something, and maybe help some one. I like how the age range is a bit more spread and mature too. I learn some good stuff from these guys every now and again! And they are pretty much all bikers which tends to say alot. Most are far wiser than I! We even have a few girls here which makes a refreshing change.


Last edited by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:57 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling/typos!!)
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:55 am

p.s. the guys your talking to on retro rides will probably need the gear ratios and final drive ratios in the hijet to help select a gearbox to suite your needs.

A while back I compiled a full set of ratios from information I've found over the internet over the last few years, you'll find it here:-

http://www.daihatsuhijet.co.uk/hijet-gear-ratios/
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:32 am

Ultimate Hijet? One that doesnt overheat? Smile
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:17 pm

logi - sounds like I already have the ultimate HiJet!

HighlyJetted wrote:

I used to browse and post on retrorides but I got bored of some of the regular posters on there. I gave up on piston heads too because I got fed up of reading silly arguments between people that neither side had a clue what they were talking about.



This here Hijet forum is a nice place so far, no ego's, no dick measuring contest, everyone is doing there own little thing just to please them selves, no parts catalogue full of bolt on knob head goodies, and I genuinely like coming here everyday to maybe learn something, and maybe help some one. I like how the age range is a bit more spread and mature too. I learn some good stuff from these guys every now and again! And they are pretty much all bikers which tends to say alot. Most are far wiser than I! We even have a few girls here which makes a refreshing change.

I hope you don't feel I'm spoiling that! I've always found Retrorides awesome, but then, I've never tried to sell anything on there. I think who you get depends what you're talking about, too. I'm sure if I was talking older Civics, I'd expect some little scrotes, but since my discussions have always been about buses and campers and stupid ideas involving much older cars, I've only ever interacted with the really cool guys who have good advice, and more than anything, a sense of the possible, combined with sobering advice on how much it will cost and how hard it will be. I've seen people there come up with really innovative mix and match solutions that allow them to do really cool things fairly cheaply, and also the guys who have access to CNC kit, can machine everything from billet, and make cars that are nearly aeroplanes. I enjoy that Smile

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:32 pm

sammyboy wrote:logi - sounds like I already have the ultimate HiJet!Smile

Deffo a good starting point. Strange thing, unlike VW's, is most of us actually use them as intended, mine gets loaded up with all the shit of the day, it'll never be a show van, but i've still got alloys, seats, steering wheel etc. TBH more power would be nice but as the handling's limited by the narrow track & weight distribution i can't see much point.



sammyboy wrote:but since my discussions have always been about buses and campers. I enjoy that Smile

If you like campers & old shit you've prob seen this, me likey
http://www.ppcmag.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9639&sid=1d58ff9f6c8788f69a252b171a934797
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:35 pm

And on the bigger engine thing, our wee truck has a 5.5 litre engine, it does 11 mpg, the big one has a 12 litre engine, it does 9mpg, BUT, it carries 3 times the load.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:15 pm

There is so much more to an engine that cubic capacity...

Just to name a few:-

stroke to bore ratio,
rod ratio,
compression ratio,
crown shape and combustion chamber shape,
valve lift and diameter,
valve count,
port shapes,
manifold lengths and shapes,
plenum chamber size,
cam duration - shape and timing,
fuel atomisation - timing and quantity,
spark timing and strength,
exhaust harmonics - flow and resistance,
intake harmonics and drag.

An engine is just a crude air pump that burns fuel at the same time.
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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:38 pm

You're right of course HighlyJetted, but I'm not sure what you're driving at?

My Hijet would, after tarting up, return to being my microcamper, piano mover, 6 seater and trailer tent tow vehicle. To take it off the road at all, I'd have to get something else as a daily; my head says a cheap 106 diesel. My heart says a diesel Citroen C3 Pluriel.....

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by sammyboy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:45 pm

OMG, that Ford Thames is EPIC. I've not seen it before. I have a burning desire to build a Commer minibus up with a big diesel, Citroen hydraulics to I can run it at different ride heights, and do the interior out as a lovely leather-clad dayvan where the rear seats fold to make an occasional camper. That would be a REALLY ambitious project, not least because every single Commer is a total rotbox, so it would start with an epic weldathon. The result would be SO much cooler than the usual VW Type 2's though.

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by Logi on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:51 pm

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Re: Building the ultimate Hijet - a thread of ideas

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:58 pm

Not getting at anything, just wittering on!

Those guys on the PPC post are doing some serious work, there fabrication skills are fantastic.

I'm useless at bodywork, so I just own non rotten projects! Give me wires and electrical faults all day .

I don't know how people actually finish such big weld up restore projects Laughing
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