13th Oct 2003, 08:44

Updating: October 11th 2003 Now reading 259,000 Kms


Adding to the above for an update. The Applause electronics ignition was removed from inside the distributor and placed in a metal box, sealed and a "electronics" heat sink added, it now runs better, no thermal runaway.

It runs better now. Found connectors at local wrecking yard. Some other Japanese cars used the same and well as Charades do also. A local parts seller "Super Cheap Auto" is a good source of connectors also in Sydney.

Next: MAJOR problems, Difficult to diagnose at first.


I had to replace lower cam gear (or cog) on the crankshaft as the cast iron key shattered into what I can only describe as rusty particles, a million bits of brown dust. 3.5 hours to get it off, 3.5 to get it back on.

Toyota (who owns Daihatsu) said they had never heard of this and were puzzled......... (a standard response???) Yeah... And I believe in Santa too.

Anyhow, three cogs later it ran, the cam gear shifts on the crankshaft allowing the timing to go way out and dangerously close to valve splatter at 20 degrees out.

AUD$69. per cog. They replaced the last ones under warranty, I supplied the 7 hours labour to do the job.



No guts, no pulling power... gradually it gets worse to the stage where putting the pedal flat to the boards, the car creeps away from stationary at 1-3 Kph, yet spark is OK and fuel OK... timing top gear mark and bottom gear mark are both spot on, however the bottom gear (or Cog) has moved on the crankshaft by a few degrees, thus resulting in poor acceleration.

In time it declines to no go at all, a symptom check is to move the distributor till the engine starts to fire, the you will know you have this exact problem. The engine will idle, but it will not rev at all. The cog moving on the crankshaft is the direct cause here. Make sure you attend to it asap. It will damage the valves and what ever else.

Theory why?


My theory is that it is a faulty batch of gears (or cogs). The metallurgical properties of the cast iron cog had deteriorated over the years making it brittle and not able to stand the stresses of working correctly in the car.

Toyota Sydney declined any comments on my theory.

I guess they did not want to buy into a possible legal battle. I took (and kept) plenty of digital photos of this.

Aging wires.


Note, the wiring is showing signs of deterioration, the head lights were not getting their full 12 Volts so in with 4 relays, two each side, one for hi-beam, one for lo-beam with diodes across the coils to stop back emf into the 12V line and possible damage to the car's computer.

I also am running 130w/90w globes awesome! and 2 x 55 watt "HELLA" rectangular lamps mounted on the bumper bar.

These also go through two separate relays (with diodes across the coils) The power to each relay is on separate wires via in-line water proof marine type fuses straight to the battery. Now I can see better. 6 relays and as well as 6 more slightly thicker red wires made it so much better.

I also have a sort of workshop type manual for the car a lot of which I researched myself, tracing wires and doing circuit diagrams in my (ahem) spare time?...

Do I still like my Applause?, You bet, now it's running good again, I see better at night and it runs better.

More top follow...

Any info or comments : jeff@unitechelectronics.com

8th Nov 2005, 00:17

I’m looking at buying an applause, and decided to search the net to see what I could find out about them. I’m sure those last comments would be extremely helpful if I knew anything about cars! If I understand correctly, it’s a great car and would have been much better had you not taken it to a dealer when it broke?

So a simple question, I’m a chick who knows nothing about cars and will have to rely on these dodge dealers. It’ll be my first car. Anyone got any advice for or against my purchasing it?

5th Jun 2006, 18:59

I recently bought a 1992 Daihatsu Applause XI. It had low kilometres (just over 100,000) so I thought it would be a good purchase. It seems to run really well, however, recently I am having trouble starting it, especially when it is a little bit cold. It was given a full service when I purchased it, so I would think that they would have picked something up, wouldn't they. Any suggestions.

26th Aug 2006, 19:25

I have recently purchased a manual 89 Xi model and it goes like a rocket,248,000ks and was running well for about a month after purchase.

Here are a few problems you might encounter:

Had injectors cleaned and seemed to fix a problem of running rough and not idling properly until you could get it up to 3000rpm.

Motor seems to run hot and heats up very quickly and fan cuts in, even though it does not go over halfway.

Had to disconnect heater as was loosing cooling fluid and was cheap option.

Radiator hoses seem to hold a lot of pressure and was worried it was blown head gasket, no oil in water, no water in oil, no cooling fluid or steam from exhaust, no condensation in hoses or under rocker cover. Had tests done by mechanic when injectors were cleaned and found nothing, although said it could be a very small leak into cooling system.

Would love to fit new exhaust system, extractors and air filter as suggested by some. Take it out to 6000rpm's and it sings like a canary, music to my ears!

My other car is a GQ Patrol, another great reliable car, but it's a truck.

This Applause is comfortable, handles well, easy to drive, goes like a rocket, great on fuel, seats 5, you will be surprised at the size of the boot for the groceries and probably won't get stolen.

248,000ks and now its going beautifully again, lets hope it lasts.

P.s. it cost me a 1000 bucks with 5 months rego and I'll keep it forever, its that good...

12th Oct 2006, 19:11

My friend has a 1990 Daihatsu Applause with a mysterious intermittent over-heating problem. Hot or cold weather doesn’t seem to be a factor. The temperature gauge suddenly climbs slowly, but surely off the gauge. There is no loss to the coolant except what’s boiling out. The head gasket has been tested and is fine. The computer has been replaced as is everything to do with the cooling system as well. The thermo fan is fixed on all the time. The car runs very well and seems to have plenty of power. Does anybody have any suggestions?

31st Oct 2006, 12:52

Hello, I live in Peru, South America.

I have just bought my 1st car, which is a white Daihatsu Applause 92 automatic with carburetor. It's in very good shape. I'm really happy with my purchase, great car, but my "problem" is the mileage; it's giving me 24 MPG. I think it could be better??? But, with carburetor, without a ECU, all the adjustments have to be done manually. Perhaps that is the problem; here (in Peru) this model is poorly known...

Thank you very much in advance. Please excuse me for my English.