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1990 Daihatsu Rocky: Reddy the Rocky

utherjorge

Observer
So, its been a little bit of time since my last update. Minor mechanical upgrades-ish: got the head gasket done, which allows me to actually drive it. I have been around and about with it for a couple of months, and I decided to stretch its legs a bit. This was good and bad.

I know upgrades I have planned, and will save those for another post/time. Needless to say, I've found great places and people to try to spend time with this spring and summer, and will taek pics when I do so. I wanted to get out and play a bit, and try to see what my little guy is capable of.

So, I found a "secret" way into a place I've been trying to get into for a long time. Despite the shutdown, I do not wish to fall afoul of the Forest Service, so instead of trespassing, I found a way in along an old path that could get me where I wanted to go.

A little muddy, yeah?


Well, then we went and did this, didn't we?


Then, as we gathered the troops to get out, an inch of rain fell, and the trail became the stream.


All was finally well, and I did get out. But I learned some things in the process that need to be addressed.

1. I have a few options for the rear springs (and the mild lift that goes along with it) but I absolutely have to address this before hitting the woods again. At all times, it would squat back and drag the rear into the mud. I probably could have been out pretty fast if it didn't squat all the time. The leafs are tired and this must be done before spring outings.

2. Electrical upgrades have to happen. This includes hooking up the electrical fan in front of the radiator. I started to heat up quickly sitting still and that front fan would have helped. I'll lump the winch into this pile. Great success using a Polaris winch rated for 4500lbs today....pulling a side by side and I out of mud. I didn't get a winch yet because I need to upgrade the Big 3 wires first, and I now have the path for that. Then, the battery...then the winch.

3. General good care of the vehicle. Needs all fluids done again after two years of goofing around the local scene.

Also, I need to not be dumb, trying to go places I shouldn't without checking them out. The sloppy steering made it hard to pick a line which is also my fault.
 

utherjorge

Observer
A little bit of snow fun the other day. I chose to not go too much further, as the snowmobiles were out, and it's the first time they could do so all season. Coming around a curve and stuffing into a snowmobile going 50 would be a bad day for all. Plus...I learned I have no heat. MORE WORK TO DO

 

utherjorge

Observer
OK, so got some nice progress going on this week. Dual batteries and winch are in. Sadly, I've got an electrical gremlin I didn't know about with my turn signals. They work, but now the brakes are flashing too, instead of just the turn signals. So, that's on the list. But...pics!





And the winch!



 

utherjorge

Observer
Hello to one and all. You might run into this story in a few places on the internet as I look for advice, but my Rocky engine is no more.

A quick engine summary: when I first got it, I changed the fluids and started it up. I blew a hose. So I replaced that hose. Then, I started it up again. I blew a different hose. So, I replaced all the hoses.

Then, after running OK for a bit, the head gasket went. I had the head done (decked and everything, new head bolts, new timing belt and replaced all cracked valves I had) and all was OK for maybe 500 miles.

Now, I can't keep it cool again, and we have massive smoke on a start-up done when the vehicle is warm. I'm down compression in two cylinders. I think it's a simple matter of a 145k mile motor that was not always treated well, that already has cooling weaknesses, and is simply ready to go bye bye. Additionally, while it's drinking about half a gallon of coolant per 200 miles, this crap is floating up to the top. It appears to be some sort of stop leak product from who knows when. The radiator has been flushed and flow checked, and this is the third time all new coolant was put in, and we still have this, the top video in this link:
https://reddymcredred.blogspot.com/2019/04/poopie-engine-vids.html

Also, note the second video below it, where it barely cranks, and when it does it bogs, has no power, and smokes a ton.

So, we're not going to keep kicking this can down the road. I know this will be a two-year process, most likely, and I understand that. It looks like a Toyota 22R or small GM truck motor is where I'm going here.

I want to run a Toyota 8-inch rear end no matter what. I don't mind being all Toyota at all. It might even be easier. I simply want to get a reliable small motor under the hood so I can enjoy the truck, whenever that can be.

So, I have plans of what I can swap, and always did, but we're now going to go blank slate. As the carcass sits (I haven't stripped the motor out yet or anything) I'm going to finish expedition building, because I have parts and stuff already, and I need to empty my garage to make space for this. But now we begin the slow process.

Thanks in advance, guys. This has been a pretty disappointing few months as I get this thing going.
 

rascott

Observer
i have been following, as i like your little rocky( i have a similar vintage sidekick).
i'll be interested in how you proceed.
please post as you go.......
 

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
Look forward to following, I also have a 1992 Rocky, I drove through HS, and really loved that little thing. Right until i put a rod through the block like a dumb kid. She now is sitting w/o an engine, the plan was to drop a 22Re in it, or one of the dual fuel gas/Propane engines out of a forklift.

I never got far with that project, as life got in the way.

I am sure you found the warfs website/forum long ago as a resource?
 

utherjorge

Observer
please post as you go.......
I will be letting y'all know what I get up to.

Look forward to following, I also have a 1992 Rocky, I drove through HS, and really loved that little thing. Right until i put a rod through the block like a dumb kid. She now is sitting w/o an engine, the plan was to drop a 22Re in it, or one of the dual fuel gas/Propane engines out of a forklift.

I am sure you found the warfs website/forum long ago as a resource?
I am kinda/sorta a mod on WARFS. But by no means in charge there.

I'd like to know more about the forklift engine you speak of. Other Dai vehicles use a Toyota 3Y engine (not these little Dais, but others). That one also goes in some forklifts. Is that what you're thinking of?
 

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
I will be letting y'all know what I get up to.


I am kinda/sorta a mod on WARFS. But by no means in charge there.

I'd like to know more about the forklift engine you speak of. Other Dai vehicles use a Toyota 3Y engine (not these little Dais, but others). That one also goes in some forklifts. Is that what you're thinking of?
Im thinking that is right, we had Toyota forklifts for some time w/ i believe 3y engines, however they would run on propane or gasoline. I though it would be cool ( and lots of work, custom ) to swap out. with one of them. I will see if I can find what those model numbers were
 

Driftit

New member
Nice little Rocky. I have a Turbo Diesel Rocky that I just picked up. Has the 2.8 TD Daihatsu DL-52 motor in it.
Most would know this as a Rugger rather than a Rocky.

I have seen a few Rocky's with BMW 4 bangers in them. Bit better and easier to find than the Daihatsu 1.6. They like the mods too. E.g. Turbo. Could be an option for you. They actually came with them in Italy called a Bertone Freeclimber so they are easy fits.

Did you put the Bull bar on your Rocky? If so where did you get it?
 

itschrisb

New member
Saw a pretty complete one of these in the Junkyard the other day. Nice build btw!

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
 

utherjorge

Observer
Thanks! Sadly: cracked head and cracked block sent this to the junkyard in the sky. I have salvaged all the cool bits for the next build, to begin shortly...
 

Rexerex

New member
Sad to learn you got rid of your Rocky. I was hoping to get some advice. I had a 1991 and later got a 2nd (1992) because I got a great deal. Later sold the 1st one then gave the 2nd to our son who soon burned out the clutch. It then sat in the garage for about 5 years when I asked for it back. I replaced the clutch and have it back on the road again. It's still in very good condition for it's age and mileage (102,300 mi.) I'm keeping it stock while everything is still working.
I've got replacement front shocks on order but finding the rear shocks online are a question. All sites I've checked with the Year-Make-Model selection app show a photo of rear shocks with stud mounts on both ends. My Rocky has lower Eye style mounts with upper stud mounts for all 4. This is confirmed by my F300 shop manual. I'm not familiar with differences of other country versions or other "F" number versions. Seems like a database error in the Parts selection software or a incorrect part photo. Any thoughts?
Another problem is when I've driven it around it runs normally most of the time but then it will begin to lose power and begin to buck like it's got low fuel pressure. It slows to a crawl but will keep moving with just slight throttle. If I stop and shut off the engine for a minute then start again it will run normally again for a while. It's like there's something interfering with the fuel pick-up in the tank and getting sucked into it. When you shut it off the object floats away and all is clear for awhile. Any other ideas? I haven't replaced the fuel filter yet.
 
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