1990 Daihatsu Rocky SX 1.6 liter 4-cylinder from North America

Summary:

Great running summer truck

Faults:

My aunt had the car before me. She had it from 100,000 miles in 1996 and she sold it to me in March of 2001. As far as I know, the only thing my aunt has had to fix was the water pump. When I first got it, I had to put in a new radiator. It leaked and overheated easily. Ever since I got the radiator in, it hasn't overheated and I've been on trips with it.

Another thing that broke was my clutch cable. It just busted when I was in my friends driveway. It didn't cost a lot to fix though.

The only other bad thing about my car is that the carpet by the pedals on the drivers side is torn and messed up. I've heard about this from other Rocky owners also. Some of the carpet in the back passenger side is messed up too.

General Comments:

Even though Daihatsu is kind of unknown, I think it's an overall great truck. I've had trailers and boats and all sorts of things hitched behind it and it does well.

It's very slow and the gears are small, but it definitely does the job.

The 4 wheel drive does OK in the mud, but it's mainly made to get out of trouble.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th December, 2002

24th Feb 2010, 11:35

I have a '91 Daihatsu Rocky. People ask me about it a lot. I simply tell them it is a Suzuki Samurai on steroids. I love my little Rocky, but she needs a new transmission. Does anyone know where I can find a cheap five speed tranny for my baby?

1990 Daihatsu Rocky SE from North America

Summary:

Tough little truck, lots of guts, no pretense

Faults:

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.

Solution:

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.

Thanks.

Juan E. Frausto

jef.americamarketing@ymail.com

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.