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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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After one year of Right hand driving

Clifford the Big Red Truck

My Kei

I've had my truck for about a year now. Here's my experiences driving a Daihatsu Hijet in Winnipeg for a year as a daily driver.

I've been lucky, and have had no issues with 'the fuzz'. I often get looks, but my truck isn't exceedingly fast or sporty-looking so they usually just keep on going.

I've gone through one Manitoba winter with my Hijet now. The truck came with 12" rims and tires the truck came with did manage to get me through, but I wanted to upgrade. First issue - 1990-199something Hijets have a 4x110 bolt pattern. A guy who sells tires and rims for a living told me that there is no such thing as 4x110 bolt patterns. Solution - I managed to find 4x110 13" rims from a 86ish Mazda RX-7. Looks pretty cool now. Second issue - except there is a hub on the front axle that the rim wouldn't fit over, so I had to bore out the hub on the rim to get it to fit over. Not especially fun.

Having 4x4 on such a light vehicle was a boon on ice-covered roads. My acceleration was outstanding. I but on 175/80R13s so I have a lot more meat on the tires than before, which has given the truck absurdly good handling.

What about on the highway? Heh. I have the 4 speed model. It can go 100km/h, but it's revving pretty high. If you want to do a lot of highway, you should aim for the 5 speed. I've probably put on about 10-12 hours on the highway.... and it's ok.... but it's not 'good'.

How powerful is the 660cc motor? Surprisingly not bad. The truck weighs nothing, which helps. I put a pallet of sod on the back and it... uh... moved. Which was good. I think the truck doubled in weight and it still was pretty ok. I was quite impressed. The Hijet is truly an truck and can really hold it's own. I saw a F150 pick up approximately the same load with only a little less troubles.

Would I buy another one? Yes. I actually want a Hilux Surf now... but I love my little truck.

Any other issues so far? No? The parking brake light is staying on right now... I just need to tighten a spring and that'll go away. I need to change the oil filter, but just got the part number for that (Mastercraft 17-1747).

Overall, I'm super impressed. I wish they would sell something like this here in Canada new so we're not limited to 'old' vehicles.


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