1990 Daihatsu Rocky SE


Tough little truck, lots of guts, no pretense


Transmission failed in 1996. It was a spring that broke inside case.

Overhead Cam seized in 1998. Oil flow stopped because of stuck oil pressure regulator. My fault - I ignored the light because it was full of oil.

Alternator gave out in 2002.

Not a bad record for 8 years.

General Comments:

Love/hate the vehicle. It rides hard, gets great mileage, looks funny, turns very wide which is a good safety feature, but makes it hell to parallel park. The engine compartment is very well organized and a pleasure to work in compared to US cars of the same era. Beware of 4WD on icy streets. Over 30mph you WILL eventually go out of control and spin helplessly. In 8 years living in Maine, I've only seen 1 other Rocky.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2002

7th Mar 2003, 18:49

I live in Puerto Rico and parts are not easy to find. This is my second comment about the accident. I've seen at least 20 in the whole island. Any body knows about a place over the INTERNET to buy parts?

John Betancourt.

20th Nov 2003, 22:19

About the 4WD on icy streets: It's because it uses a part-time type 4WD which works well at lower speed and/or rugged terrain (bad roads, mud, sand). Because the nature of a part-time 4WD is having the same speed between the front axle and rear axle, you'll get trouble when driving it at high speed because naturally front axle runs faster than rear when turning/cornering where it's impossible to do with a part-time 4WD active.


1. Drive at lower speed and carefully when comes to icy streets.

2. If you have more money, try to install/modify the transfer case with a full-time 4WD which have a center differential so you can use 4WD mode at higher speed on icy roads. Make sure that it's lockable because an unlockable full-time 4WD will give much trouble on muddy, sandy, and rough road.

Desianto F. W., Indonesia.

6th Jan 2010, 19:41

I live in Puerto Rico, and I have a Daihatsu Rocky SE 1.6L. I do not have a problem to get the parts; on the Internet you can buy some of them. You must remember that Daihatsu and Toyota are partners. Many parts from Toyota fit in Daihatsus. For example, if you have an ignition problem and you cannot find the ignition for the Rocky, you can use one from a Toyota Tercel 89-92, and make a little adapter. The Tercel has the coin integrated with the module, and all you have to is cut the rotor shaft. I do not like to write too much, but if someone has a Daihatsu Rocky I can help. My email is urbano.25@hotmail.com

21st Jun 2012, 08:14

Good morning... I just bought a 1990 Daihatsu - Rocky. My oil icon is on, and a rambling noise is heard. Any idea what it is?

I would appreciate any comments.


Juan E. Frausto


19th Aug 2013, 13:35

I just bought a '90 Rocky SE. It sat for 6 years before I bought it, heard the rumbling noise from the distributor. Had to replace the distributor; mechanical advance system destroyed. Now she runs like a champ!

8th Oct 2014, 02:52

I have one, and I live in the Virgin Islands. Check out WARFS online (Worldwide Association of Rocky, Feroza, Sportrak & Freeclimber II Owners).

22nd Oct 2014, 12:49

Rockauto.com has a few parts. Good quality and price. I ordered a head gasket kit, but when I got it, it had about 10 extra gaskets at no extra charge. Cost $57.00 plus $10.00 shipping. It was at my door in 5 days.

1st Jun 2015, 02:11

Will the Toyota Tercel alternator fit a Daihatsu Rocky 1.6?

1992 Daihatsu Rocky SE Hard Top 1.6 gas


A city styled car, that can take an off-road beating


Entire ignition system died.

Timing belt completely fell apart.

Clutch is going out.

General Comments:

This car is great! I love it, and would only replace it with an older model Bronco.

It has gotten me out of a few tight spots in the mud, but also can take on a highway drive no problem.

The seats are a little uncomfortable, and parts are somewhat hard to find here in the States.

Would love to put in one of the 2.8l Turbo Diesels, but can't find one here.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2002

7th Mar 2003, 18:46

I have a Rocky from 1990. Great 4x4. Gotten me through floods, rain and dirt roads. I love it. I had a accident recently and messed up the left front side from the bumper to my door. I was involved in a hit and run. I was pretty destroyed because I love it. Now when I turn right, and the front end goes into a hole while turning, the tires scrape the bumper.

The problems that it has is the Power Steering Hose, and the back window on the door is Le xan.

I would keep it until it passes away.