RightHandDrive.ca/blog Canadian Right Hand Drive News and Thoughts


Installing Daytime Running Lights on a Hijet

Hijet side marker - has two lights, one for marking, one for signaling.

Up until now I haven't had Daytime Running Lights on my Daihatsu Hijet. If your vehicle was manufactured before January 1st 1990 you don't need them.... It's a 1990 Hijet, so I figured it fell under that category. If I had the original import paperwork I wouldn't have to explain and prove it to the authorities that be.

But... I finally proactively broke down and installed DRLs. And, like most everyone on Earth, I'm cheap... and wanted to do it for free... so I did!

The Hijet (and all minitrucks) are painfully simple. It really reminds me of working on my classic VW Beetle. Two relays and simple to understand!

Fuses in the Hijet

Waiver: I am not responsible for anything that breaks your vehicle, or you. Also, I was thinking about naming this post "how not to install DRLs in a Hijet". I had no manual and made some stupid decisions. That being said... it was easy and works.

Ok! The Hijet has two lights in the corner housing: One for signaling, one for being a side marker. I made the side marker light come on when the ignition is on. I used the ACC circuit to do this. To make things painfully easy, I used the wire that goes to the cigarette lighter, and spliced from that.

First thing to do... take out the ACC fuse. There is a cover on the fusebox that pops off... squeeze the sides to pop it off (you don't need to undo the screw). The lower right fuse is the one you want to remove.

Now, behind the lighter you'll see two wires. Use a multimeter to see which one is 'hot'.

Good. put that to the side for a moment. Remove the amber housing to get to the wires behind it. You also need to remove the vent that is inside the cab behind the headlight to run the wires. Do that now.

Remove the side marker.

The vent to remove, note the wire going in behind it.


The vent removed, you can now see the back of the headlight.

Now, figure out which wire is the hot wire to the marker light, and which is the ground. The easiest way to do this is to turn on the side markers, and shove the lead of your multimeter into the backs of the harness clips. My control (hot) wire was green with a red stripe, and the black was ground.

Testing the wires in the housing.

Now, run a wire from the hot wire on the cigarette lighter to the control wire of the corner marker. I used the existing clips and hacked my wire on there, leaving the original wire.

My hacked in wire.

Make sure everything is wired in tight, put your fuse back in and turn your key!

Now, something happy happened. Since I left the original wire, when I hacked in my new hot wire from the cigarette lighter... both the corner markers come on! Huzzah! That means you only need to do this process to one of your corner markers.


Funny notes: you can really see the poor job that was done as an aftermarket paint job.... oh well.

Serious note: now that I know this, a better way to do this would be to find the wire that runs to the corner marker by the fusebox. I don't have a wiring diagram, and this was easy.


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Daihatsu van being given away!

Guy's Garage Daihatsu giveaway.

A radio station in Winnipeg has a Daihatsu Atrai as a prize in a radio giveaway! As a Daihatsu owner, I think this is pretty cool. The contest is called 'guys garage' and is a yearly contest where listeners call in to get 'keys' that may or may not start the vehicle that is being given away. In years gone by it's been a Porsche, or sporty car... this year it's a Kei class!

This really goes to show that right hand drive is a staple in Canadian motoring now. It's mainstream. It's not going anywhere. Canadians like a deal, and you can get a great JDM that's in great shape for a great price... why would we not do it.

Anyway, cudos to Winnipeg's Power 97 for auctioning off a very cool Daihatsu!


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Ford goes global – what it means to us

A Focus 3-door? Impossible!

I originally made this post for tunedtech.ca, and thought I'd cross post it here too. Check out the original here!

Ford, though born in Detroit, has not been good to the North American market. It's a name ubiquitous to the North American auto market, but has not sold it's best cars here. Sure, we've had various Mustangs, F-150 pickups and other big, fuel-hungry, V8-powered high-end Fords on the market... but we've been not seeing the other side of the market. Ford has not sold most of their high-end small cars in North America. This has (presumably) been done so the Mustang does not have competition from its own badge.

Maybe you, much like me, did not know that this has been going on for years! We missed out on the good years of the Ford Capri, which is not the same car as the Murcury Capri (which was just a low-end 80s Mustang). The Capri is known as a respectable 80s sports car, only available in right hand drive. James May even took one out for a spin in the 'Rear Wheel Drive Challenge' on Top Gear. It broke down... but it remains a good example of a good-looking and good performing car produced by Ford that was never sold here.

A Ford Escort Cosworth rallying

Then, there's the Cosworth-tuned cars. The Ford Escort Cosworth and the Ford Sierra Cosworth. The Escort Cosworth was a homologation car (much like the Subaru WRX STI or the Lancer Evo) to qualify the car for racing in various race leagues. It was a high-power 4-cylinder that remains highly desirable to this day. The big 3-point functional spoiler and turbocharged engine have gone made this car go down in history as one of the best sporty small cars in history. Here in Canada, the Escort was a family eco-box with as little flair as possible, and shames the roads to this day.

The Ford Focus might seem like a strange thing for this site to focus on (pun intended), since it's a mediocre eco-box family car in North America. But that's the thing... in North America it's lame. Check out the lead image... that's a Ford Focus RS... this last year's model. Ford stopped selling the Focus 3-door in North America in about 2004... but it only got better overseas.

The original GT40

And lastly... the Ford GT40 - the original GT40. The Mustang is the flagship of Ford North America.... the GT40 would run laps around the Mustang... and was rarely manufactured in LHD. The GT40 was a thing of beauty, intended to compete with Ferrari and other supercar manufacturers. But, the year was 1966... the musclecar era of North America was budding, and this car would have never fit into the Ford niche they were creating at the time.

The European Ford cars are so good that TopGear.com has a tribute to them! Check it out. There's lots of great photos of great cars... that were never available on Ford's native soil.

Overall, yes, I'm looking forward to Ford going global. That is, as long as it means North American Ford gets better... not European Ford getting worse!


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