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  1. About 3 years later, the car is back on the road. Photos showing the current condition of the car will be included here.

    Let me first add a few close-ups.

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  2. Image result for eclipse cross

    During the last 6-7 years, the demand(mostly imports) for the Compact Crossover SUVs have been significantly increased in SL car market. This spark was first ignited by the introduction of Honda Vezel making those crossovers popular among Sri Lankans. Most car buyers started to think that having a compact SUV is pretty beneficial when poor roads scraped the underneath of their Premios, Allions and Axios. Another factor is the low engine capacity of these crossover SUVs, which is a nice invitation to the buyers in a country where almost 95% of the petrol vehicles imported have an engine capacity below 1500cc. After sometime the turbocharging craze began with the introduction of Audi Q2, Honda Civic 10th gen and Toyota CHR. With the help of turbocharging, now the power of a 2000-2400cc engine can be extracted from a 1500cc engine. Since then SUVs like CRV started doing the trick. Now most people in SL have lost their faith on the Honda’s i-DCD hybrid system in Vezel, Fit and Grace. So the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was born…

    Overview

    Image result for eclipse cross back

    We all know that as a vehicle manufacturer, Mitsubishi haven’t been much successful during the previous two decades. Even the Lancer was killed from manufacturing. But when it comes to the Eclipse Cross, seems that Mitsubishi is giving a fierce competition towards other similar SUVs in SL market such as the CRV and Vezel(a subcompact crossover SUV). One major thing that the Eclipse Cross stands above the others are the amount of options available throughout the range. On the CRV we have to step up to the top of the range model to get all the options. But with the Eclipse Cross G and G Plus (which are mostly imported to SL) have almost similar amount of options except for the infotainment system with the touch pad in the G Plus variant. What I drove is a 1.5 Turbo/CVT G variant with full time 4WD.

     

    When we talk about the exterior design, without a doubt everyone loves the front end design. Its muscular and sharp, but without being overly flashy like the body kit loaded CHRs. When we walk towards the back, we totally forget what the front end looked like. Totally different compared to the front design and for me it looks kind of awful. It looks similar to something like a Honda Insight, but always reminds me of the Pontiac Aztek (what Walter White drives in Breaking Bad) which is regarded as one of the ugliest cars of all time. But here its better than the Pontiac Aztec, nevertheless most people wouldn’t be happy with the back end looks unlike the front end. But for me, the overall design of the CRV is a bit better and looks bigger than the Eclipse Cross. So let’s move to the interior.

    Interior

    Here in the photo, it's the G Plus version, which comes with the factory fitted infotainment system

    Image result for eclipse cross interior

    Mitsubishis are famous for having cheap and plasticky looking interiors from the past. But here they have a much better interior design. It looks better and richer than what we have seen in the Outlander, which is a bit boring and less attractive with a plain design. The silver inserting with the combination of the piano black plastic panels certainly gives a rich and upmarket feel and for me, it’s the best interior I’ve ever seen from a Mitsu. But remember that those piano black panels are easy to get scratched and attract fingerprints. Dash design of the Eclipse Cross is much sportier than what you get in the CRV, even though CRV with those teak panels looks more premium(but dull) despite the awful placement of the gear shifter.

    If you plan to bring down one, better to go with a fully loaded one which has done few kilometers in Japan, because adding options such as sunroof and leather seats additionally cost around 400,000 LKR.

    The driving position is spot on with all the controls are in easy to reach positions. The position feels sporty with the steering wheel setup and the height really gives the confidence and “king of the road” feeling. This design gives you the feeling that everything is wrapped around you. All doors have soft padded armrests and plenty of spaces to store bottles and your stuff. There is a head up display which shows the speed and the digits look a bit small for me. Seats are comfortable with good side support, but they are on a little firm side. Plenty of headroom and legroom are there for all the passengers I never found it lacking space, specially in legroom department.

    The standard 6 speaker audio system is great when you compare with the systems you get from Toyotas. Has thumping bass (which most owners in SL are looking for) but the vocals are a bit laid off and lacks the top sparkle in the trebles. Overall most people would be in love with the system. You can squeeze out the maximum by installing something like a Pioneer or a Kenwood aftermarket player if you have the G or a lower grade. I haven’t come across the in-built unit with the touch pad in the G Plus unit, but it might be better as Mitsus always had good audio systems (mostly in the bass department) in their vehicles from a long time. I still remember cranking up the volume as a kid in a 16 Sri Mirage till the bass hits the chest. There is a one with a Rockford Fosgate audio system but I haven’t come across that system in the JDM Mitsu site. Thus they give you the option to add premium speakers for front and rear, which might be better.

    There are few disappointments in the interior. One is the Speedometer and the Tachometer. They have been directly taken out from something that was made in 2007-2008. Looks dated and boring as it doesn’t match with whole interior design. For me the boring to drive Toyotas have better looking meter panels even in the 2007 era. Anyway it’s only a little thing. Another problem that I had to face while driving is the Gear position of the Auto gear shift level.  The indicators in the shifter panel seems misaligned with the lever and there was few times I have mistakenly put into the N instead of D after starting the car. Maybe this is because I’ve been used to the gate-type shifters. Other than that I personally don’t like the design on the seats. Looks a bit flashy, something like an Alto. So let’s move onto the part which makes this car really stands out among others..

    Driving

    Simple. Best of both worlds. Most compact crossover SUVs have firm suspension (Vezel owners know what I’m talking about), even though they are less enthusiastic on corners. But here it’s a totally different story. I travelled on some bad roads, climbs and on a stretch. Suspension soaks up most of the potholes and imperfections on bad road while keeping the car without swaying. Comfort wise, it’s on par with cars like Axios and better than Aquas, Fits and Graces. But when you push it to a corner it stays flat without much body roll. On cornering you feel that you have plenty of grip even though it sits high. Another thing is that the car feels rigid on corners. Trust me, you can do some really enjoyable driving from this babe! I mean it has the perfect balance between comfort and handling which is a really tricky job to achieve from an economical car like this, while being a crossover SUV. I drove the CRV and for me it feels a bit choppy on bad roads. Steering is a bit of a let down when you consider with the other characteristics, because of being light and numb. But still, it is sharp. Sometimes I felt that it is not nimble as the Vezel (maybe due to the size).

    Then the engine. When I drove the CRV for a short distance, I noticed that the power is a bit hesitant on the lower end. But when you put your foot down the engine comes to life. I noticed the laziness in the throttle similar to what you get in a Grace or a Vezel when travelling at low speeds. I also mentioned earlier in this forum about how all the Honda i-DCD hybrid systems feel a bit hesitant to start climbing hills, and surprisingly, even being a non hybrid and a CVT, the CRV also waited a second or two to start climbing the same hill.

    In the Eclipse Cross, power delivery is flawless and feels punchy throughout SL street legal speed limits. I did floor the throttle for a brief time period and ended up speeding up to 120kmph without breaking a sweat. Power is always on demand and surprisingly I did not experience any issue in the acceleration department like the CRV. So thumbs up for the engine performance. But the car that I drive had the full time all-wheel drive system so there might be some improvement in grip and acceleration levels over the 2WD version.

    Brakes are okay, without any significant feature to highlight.

    The vehicle is surprisingly quiet on roads with minimal road noise levels, so you hardly feel the actual speed. When we travel around 60kmph gives the feeling of driving at 40kmph, because of this isolation. There is a slight issue and that’s the engine noise. From the outside, the engine is significantly louder than most of the 1500cc cars like Premios and Axios. The radiator fan kicks in frequently worsening the situation. The engine can also be heard as a slight whirling when traveling with a light foot, which seems as a slight noise because only a little amount of road noise is entered into the cabin. So the engine noise is highlighted. So let’s move onto economy.

    Economy

    The fuel figures are a bit like a mixed bag. When the car was brought home from Hambantota, on 92 octane, showed a figure of 12.3 kmpl which is a bit on the lower side. After few days, averaged shrunk to 6-7 kmpl territory on 92. It had 2500km on the clock when it reached home and after the 92 ran out, 95 was pumped. Still the car has rarely left the town, but gives a figure around 8.5 kmpl, which is good for a AWD vehicle.

    Final Words

    IMO, I think Mitsu have really done something this time after being out of the track for couple of years. For me, this is the best to drive among CRV and Vezel, with a nice balance between comfort and handling. I have not yet driven the Peugeot 3008, which is considered to have a better interior and better driving experience, but most people in SL would look for a Jap made vehicle. The CRV has a much more bigger and muscular looking exterior plus 7 seats, but the Eclipse Cross is better to drive and more comfier. CRV has a kind of premium looking interior with teak panels, while the Mitsu has a modern looking sporty interior. For owners who are looking for a premium feel, I think they are better off with a CRV while the ones who are looking for a sporty yet comfortable ride might be satisfied with the Eclipse Cross. Also the options like the touch pad navigation system, Head-up displays, panoramic sun roof plus the sporty front end design would like to grab attention of most buyers.

    Still none of us could comment on reliability department as the vehicle is very new to SL.

    But I will always recommend this over something like a Premio, Vezel or a CHR for bringing down for the permit, because you get car-like comfort and “go anywhere” ability with the Eclipse Cross. Only downside is the fuel economy, but I think it’s a bit early to comment on the exact figures. Therefore it’s always safer to avoid the 4WD versions. But I personally believe that a person who can afford to bring down such vehicle can handle a bit more cost for the fuel.

    Thank you for reading!

  3. ...and in the blink of an eye 3 years have gone by. It only occurred to me/us when the dealer called up to remind us of the upcoming shaken inspection and tax payment and to inquire what I wanted to do with the car loan. So off to inspection it went and decided to totally pay off the car. So now she is totally mine :)

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    At the 3 year mark I have put 10,xxxkms on it and each one of those kms have been more smile worthier than the other. Interestingly as the engine broke in the car became more lively as the engine was way more rev happy. In 2022 GR Garage started a personalization program called GR Personal Selection. The program offered owners the chance to take the car for a track day, drive it and tune the car according to their own driving style. This included a software upgrade which bumped up torque to 390Nm (an increase of 20Nm from the stock 370), adjustments to steering weight, throttle response and AWD torque split. Unfortunately, the track days didn't work out with my schedule so got it tuned to some presets that were offered. So now the car has 390Nm of torque, heavier steering and high throttle response. I didn't do anything with the torque split of the AWD system as I felt the changes introduced a bit of understeer which I didn't like. The upgrades have made the car a lot easier to drive. So much so my wife, who always made the car leap from stand still or jerk when accelerating and shifting gears, found it a lot easier to drive than before.

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    I bought the GR Yaris completely out of impulse. The original plan was to buy a standard Yaris with a MT until the GR Corolla was released. Thus, once the GR Corolla was released in Japan I had to go try it out and put my name down for one. 

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    The GR Corolla was a nice car. It is a lot easier to drive. The two rear doors make the car a lot more practical. The car does have a larger cargo area, however the usable space is not that much larger than the GR Yaris. The best thing about the GR Corolla is the engine improvements. The power delivery is much smoother and the engine is more responsive (the updated engine is going to be offered in the facelifted GR Yaris).
    Performance wise, although the GRC has more power, you cannot not actually feel it due to the added weight. Track runs have shown both cars to be equal in things like 0-100 times, etc...the main difference seems to be in terms of handling. The consensus seems to be that the GRY is better for rallying and B-roads (due to the shorter wheelbase) and the GRC is better for track use.

    Which brings me to what I did not like in the GRC. The weight...and the longer wheelbase. The GRC feels less nimble and playful than the GRY. Albeit...straight line, flat-out..the GRC is a lot more stable.  Which I support is in line with the above mentioned consensus.
    So, after a lot of driving around in the GRC and a track day with the GRC and a bunch of other GR cars, I decided to stick with the GR Yaris (I was hoping to keep the GRY and buy the GRC as a second family car for its practicality. Wife insisted I had to trade in the GRY).

    Then there was the whole purchase method for the GRC. The cars were offered only through lottery with each round of lottery having only 550 cars (Toyota closed its 2nd lottery a few months ago and the next one is supposed to come up in a few months). To give you an idea of how crazy the lottery is....I went to the dealership/GR Garage to apply for the lottery the morning after the lottery started (1.00pm prev day). The system already showed 5000+ lottery applications. The low chances of actually winning the lottery reaffirmed my decision to hold on to the GRY.

    The GR Garage is a total car person's den. It has two racing sims, a library with car books, mini cars...and always has a selection of fun cars. In this instance they had their (Toyota Corolla dealership's) GRMN Yaris and GR Corolla Morizo edition apart from the white one in the previous pic).

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    Now..the second moment of temptation..

    I was so mad with Toyota that I went and ordered a Civic Type R. Now that was a very refined car. FWD and wonderfully balanced. Interior was well appointed. The adaptive suspension was quite good. The car came in at 4.9mil yen fully loaded (compared to the GRC's price of 5.8mil) and the car made you feel special for all that money you spent on it. At the time of placing the order the delivery period was 4 years. To my good fortune, Honda called last December and said I could have mine in April 2024 if I still wanted it.

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    So... :) am I getting a Civic Type R in April ? I suppose we will have to wait and see. For now..life goes on with the GRY ....
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    Yes...we still have the old Corolla. She turns 25 this year and has 52,000km. Still runs strong and along with her shaken inspection next week I will be replacing some oil seals (for good measure as some are 25 years old and some 10). Other than that I replaced two engine mounts and replaced the clutch and pressure plates about 2 years ago

    Its amazing how small the Corolla wagon is compared to the GRY.
     

    The day Toyota was crazy enough to ask a bunch of us to drive their cars :)

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    The blue Supra was a manual and LOVED it ! If I could have afforded it that would be a car I would give up the GRY for in less than a heart beat.
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    The pure grunt and glorious sound of a V8 was mesmerizing.
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    Now....about that family car I wanted until a new toy comes around. Because the chances of getting a GRC was so low...the dealership managed to sell us a facelifted Corolla Touring ! Our/my first Hybrid car. The facelift has some exterior/interior design improvements, but the main change is the hybrid system. It now uses a 5th gen HSD mated to a 1.8L engine. Has a total combined output of about 137? hp and tons of torque thanks to an updated control unit and lighter batteries (so it has more power than the pre-facelift model and weighs less). It is interesting how the system handles the charge/discharge. The car does not let the battery charge up to a 100%. Only time it does is when driving long distances on the highway or going up and and down hills. At such times it just starts cruising on EV mode.  Its biggest let down is the eCVT and has a little bit space than the old Corolla wagon...but everything else is pretty sweet. All in-all the (temporary ?) purchase of the Corolla Touring worked out quite well considering some unexpected life changes. 

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  4. French fry 🍟 is easily one of the biggest gags when talked about French cars. A stereotype that unfortunately can sometimes be real. The best and worst part about a modern Peugeot is it’s electronics. 

    Here’s what the 508 has in terms of tech (quite a lot, mind you). Mine being the “ALLURE” spec with ALL the “GT” options specced except for sunroof and heated seats. I really hate that the guy who imported this spent 2k usd extra on nappa leather, but he cheaped out on the sunroof. 
     

    (I’ll do a separate chapter for the interior, because them nappa seats deserve it)

    Quad Zone climate control AC (imagine driving in hot slow colombo traffic while your testies freeze and you curse winter & snow).


    Head up display ( colour,Shows cruise control/navigation and speed)

    Usual auto windows/locks/wipers/lights/mirrors.

    Auto High-beam(too polite for Lankan roads)

    Interior sensor(detects movement and starts screaming when car is parked and locked)

    AUTO parallel and perpendicular parking( no way imma try it out here)

    Navigation (can be setup with Lankan maps).

    Paddle Shifters (very effective).

    Snow and sport mode.

    Cruise control with weird extras that I’m yet to try out.

     

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    JBL sounds with a separate amp in the back. Also has a subwoofer. 10 speakers. 550Watts. Mine pushes 570 Watts( changed the factory front 6.5”s to JBL club 6520s with built in tweeters) sounds absolutely fabulous. Really nice 👌 

     

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    Full color Multi information display on the speedo.

     

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    idrive style information system. Not as advanced, but has the needful. Have a separate controller on the center console area.

     

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    Turn-by-turn cornering lights(fogs) which help a lot on dark twisty roads.

    All-round audio and visual guided sensors.

    Full time LED running lights.

    BI-Xenon and LED headlights with auto height/length adjustment. Dims part of the beams for incoming drivers(so that means f**kers in their head beams are unfortunately not blinded by my highs). Also adjusts beam according to road inclines and weight loaded.

    Adaptive beams that turn with your steering input.love this option.

    Ambient lighting. While this is nothing crazy like on a merc. Has a nice orangy-red lighting that I’m really in love with. Also all the illumination on the interior is also in the same color. Real retro yet modern and I lov it!

    Manual sun shades on the rear half (y u no give me powered)

    Tail-lighting is mostly LED. The “Lion Claw” or “3 stripe” design is pure orgasmic at nights.

    Hill start assist and hill hold control (this is a life changer. My homes inner narrow twisty lane makes me have to do a 2 point turn and this makes it a breeze. Hill city boys love this option.

    Has airbags/esp/traction Control and other safety gizmos that I wont go into details.

    Has a oil/fluid sensor that even tells me if I need to refill washer fluid. 

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    Seats are obviously Electric with a lot of movements. The lumbar support is super good.


    I think I covered most of the worthy options. Smaller tidbits I didn’t even bother. The french really do like their fries large. yeah my lazy arse dint line all the pics correspondingly “yet” 😅

    ( I’ll be back with new pics and add anything I missed)

  5. Now the fun bit.

    Got the crusty old engine out. I'll be basically freshening up the engine with new seals and gaskets etc. There will be few mods to the engine to accommodate the EFI system and turbo.

     

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    Yeah  that water pump and the timing cover is way past its service life🙆🏽‍♂️

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    Got a throttle body to fit on the original intake mani. This is a Honda d16 TB. But if you are hoping to do this you can go with any throttle body as long as its not Drive by wire (DBW). I chose this because its was a freebie 😂, also i wanted a 3 wire idle control valve.

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    My trigger setup is pretty simple. Im going to use the stock dissy as the crank trigger. Gutted the dissy so i can weld in a trigger wheel. Actually its a chain sprocket 😛. And the sensor is from a Honda CR-V

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    Welded in a turbo flange to the stock exhaust manifold. Im actually surprised how it turned out. Turbo angle isn't too bad either. I've seen Subarus with the same turbo angle. Hopefully it can drain the oil quick enough 🤞.

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    Had to machine new studs for the water pump/timing cover. After New seals, gaskets, timing cover and a fresh coat of high temp paint engine is done.

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    Recent Entries

    Ok so  this is not a diet post. It's been a year since the EP71 went through a major modification. I've been putting off writing this - but better late than never. So here goes! In my previous blog post I mentioned that the humble 2E engine was really nothing to write home about and I did mention how it like many old carbureted engines would develop weird symptoms of it's own. Around 3 Months into ownership I was a little tired of the ailing engine and when it failed the emission test I was looking forward to get that sorted. I had initially thought of doing a 4EFTE swap but that was really stretching my budget and to be honest I was in a bit of a hurry to get the project rolling so I decided to settle for a 4EFE. Around Christmas time (2019) I managed to source a complete 4EFE Engine (off an EP91)  with an Automatic gearbox (with ECU and wire harness) combo in Kandy. But a few days of Christmas revelry ensued and when I call the seller the ECU and the wire harness has been sold. Undeterred I decided to go for the engine and gearbox combo and source the ECU separately since the engine and gearbox was priced quite fairly. A trip to Kandy on a poya day in a Mahindra Bolero and we were able to haul the 4EFE home. (This also provided me my first Bolero driving experience - it was surprisingly fun. The 2.5 L engine on that's pulls really well). The choice of gearbox was something I lost a wee bit of sleep about - but eventually decided an Auto was ok as the main aim of the car was to be a beater, a nimble city runner and a lendable car that anyone could drive and whenever I had masochistic thoughts I could always borrow my dad's Datsun B110 and feel depressed about my diminishing stick driving skills. So it was eventually a very easy decision. 

    With the engine and gearbox secured I asked my mechanic to start work on the car - while I source the ECU. And then I had to travel overseas for work for a couple of months. During this time my friend managed to source a recon steering column and shaft from an EP91 . This was 2020 now and Covid 19 happened. I barely made it home before the borders were closed. For the next 3 months the project stalled (sadly during this time a rat had managed to chew one seatbelt while the car sat at the mechanics) Around June things were getting back to normal and the project recommenced in earnest. Eventually we managed to source an ECU and wiring harness from a guy who stocked his parts in an old shed in his parents house deep deep inside the backwaters of Minuwangoda. After rummaging through a pile of car parts in the shed at 9 PM in the pitch dark, with the thrilling possibility of being bitten by 32 different species of indigenous snakes, we finally managed to find the wiring harnesses and a few more parts we needed. 

    There was a few more things to be sorted - such as the condenser, A/C compressor, break and accelerator pedals and also the gear cable. Being a Toyota parts were quite easily found. The gear cable though was a bit tough to find and eventually we found out that a slightly modified AE110 gear cable would do the trick. Below are a few pictures of the engine swap. 

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    Transporting the Engine in a bolero 

     

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    The Original engine was a 2E with around 80Hp which was reasonable for a car that weighed 720 Kg. 

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     The old 2E being taken out. 

     

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    Out with the old - in with the new : 4e about to go in. The retro-style gear shifter that came with the Automatic versions of the EP71 would have looked a lot cooler than the EP82/91 gear shifter unfortunately which looks slightly  out of place with the boxy/spartan interior of the car. 

     

    910039715_interior(1).thumb.jpg.88db4308affcac9bd9643c0041ff0453.jpg

    Notice anything weird in the first pic? Things got tidied up a bit before I took the car for emission tests. 

     Another change that I was not quite able to capture was the power steering conversion - which was basically swapping in an EP91 Steering column 

    Tune in for the next post - where I will write about the overall driving experience. 

     

    [Edit in 2022]

    Happy New Year Folks! Before I go in about the driving experience-  I thought about summarizing (as best as I can remember) the mechanical mods done on the car.

    Parts

    4EFE Engine, Gear box wire harness and ECU (obviously).

    Radiator

    Oil Pressure Sensor

    Engine mounts

    Gear Cable  (recon sourced of an AE110)

    Axel shafts (recon off an EP91)

    Fuel Pump (as with all Carb->EFI swaps) 

    A/C parts : recon condenser, condenser fan, drier filter

    Wiper motor (Not directly swap related. The washer tank had to be relocated though) 

    Steering (Entire recon column off an EP91)

    Brake wheel cylinders, Brake switch

    New Horn (again not directly swap related but the old horn wasn't working)

    Front shocks (to counter added weight as the engine is heavier)

    Silencer  bush mounts

    This is all as I remember. I will add more if I remember. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  6. Well it's almost an year now so a quick update on what has happened. Ive done 12500 kms at this point and the car has had two oil changes as well as a wheel alignment done by now. By this point the civic is as common as the flu now. 

    Fuel Consumption

    The most asked question still, and at10,000+ kms we are well past engine break in etc and we can have a fair idea on actual fuel figures. The 12,500 Km mostly consists City driving, a bit of expressway, and the once a month outstation trip. Overall fuel consumption is about 10KMPL. If further elaborated on average City fuel consumption stands around 8 -9 Kmpl. In the suburbs and outstations it will do anywhere between 10-12. Anomalies being about 15 (6L/100Km) on expressways and on smooth sailing road trips like Trinco. 

    The Ground Clearance Issue

    Honestly, I was worried about this at the start but it doesnt seem to be a big issue. One thing I noticed is that the suspension is much firmer on the Civic hence the lowering of the car even with a load is much less. On one instance I took a slightly elevated railway crossing at a bit of speed (my bad) I thought I may have sightly nicked the Muffler but I really could not see any damage at all and I wasnt sure I heard a slight sound. But as @Magnum (who drives a ground huggin' HiAce) says over time you get used to be aware of your cars height and drive accordingly. The Wide wheels also help on pothole ridden roads as they hardly fall into them...The small unpaved road leading to my house is in a horrible condition (due to a combination of Trucks hauling stuff to the neighbours house under construction+ the never-ending rain ) there are deep  nasty ruts that my other ride ( EP71 Starlet) with its tiny wheels fall into but is never a problem for the Civic. 

    Are the gizmos giving trouble? 

    The automatic braking might end up being a life saver but on day to day drives it can be bothersome. The whole thing is over dramatic and the braking is sudden and violent. When a biker suddenly moves in and the auto break kicks in its sudden, violent and introduces the risk of Madushani who was tailgating you in her Honda Dio ramming you from behind. 

    Proximity Sensors are actually helpful specially when parking (the car is wider than your Aqua/Fit etc ) there is though a mild annoyance  that has happened to me half a dozen times in an entire year. The front proximity sensor goes bonkers and starts beeping in heavy rain even when theres nothing in front. A forum member suggested that  a misaligned License plate could be the culprit - I haven't investigated that yet since I've not seen this behaviour lately.

    The Rain Sensing Wipers tend to over react sometimes working full speed when theres actually not much rain. All these of course can be manually changed.

    Automatic Stop Start might not be a good idea for our local traffic and some users complain of the 12V battery prematurely dying. Remember this is no hybrid so the entire stop start cycle is handled by the battery alone ... Also it can be frustrating when your engine stops and you get green in heavy city traffic. I usually turn this off. 

    Adaptive Cruise control and Lane Keep Assist work like a charm. The sensors detect vehicles moving into your lane as well.  

    The motion sensor inside the car will detect movement inside the car when its locked and will start to create a racket - the idea behind this is to prevent locking in a kid or a pet. Almost every Civic user has had the surprise of the alarm going off due to a couple of flies getting trapped in the car. This also can be turned off. 

    Performance 

    I've seen some people assume the car to be slow due to the tiny engine and turbo lag but actually I feel the CVT is the biggest disappointment but in reality I'd settle for the slightly lethargic CVT than getting continuous DCT issues down the line. To have some fun turn Eco Mode off and switch to Sports mode - you can use the paddle shifters but to be honest the paddle shifters are more or less a simulation...CVT and paddle shifters are really not an ideal combo. Another thing I usually do on a cold start is to leave the engine running for a bit (2+ minutes) before actually moving. Do not rev too hard initially. 

    The handling is really nice - the car  is made for open roads and long road trips. I drive on E03 regularly and enjoy taking the bends - the car feels really solid and planted. Braking is good. I've seen videos of  folk test the cars limits by driving 200+ km/h, braking at high speed etc (mostly on E03) its dangerous and illegal. 

     

    Mods done

    Nothing much actually all I've done so far :

    *Alloygators (19K at the Meguiars place )

    * Nano coating (45K )

    * Transparent protective film on the Door steps

    Overall Verdict :

    A year of trouble free happy motoring. Yes this is no hybrid and requires 95Oct. But thats a small trade off for a rather complete car for a sub 6Mill budget(SR). The car is a bit wide for a hatch (probably in Mazda 6 territory) so you are better off avoiding those mysterious little by-roads google maps suggest. This is no Wagon R .The car will not double up as an SUV so if you regularly travel on some remote jungle path this is not the car for you. If you live in a narrow tuk tuk lane and drive 20Km in heavy traffic you are going to appreciate the legroom and seat position but not getting to enjoy the car that much.  The car is at home on the open roads and highways. A slightly wide, attention seeking drama queen thats quite easy to live with.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  7. Here are few pics of the 1st coat of paint

     

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    It's been little more than 4 years with my Hiace and it has done around 76,000kms so I thought its time I give you guys an update on it.

    Let me start the blog with the basics, 

    Mine is a Toyota Hiace KDH206, this variant of Hiace is fitted with a 1KD-FTV turbo engine with an all wheel drive system. The AWD system in the KDH series is pretty much full time, it runs on all four wheels normally and if any of the wheels experience a slippage, the vehicle stops sending power to that specific wheel.
    There is a noticeable difference between the AWD variant(KDH206) and RWD variant(KDH201). The KDH206 is around 100kg heavier and you could feel that through the steering when you drive one. In addition, the KDH206 feels far more planted at higher speeds and around corners than the RWD variant. However the downside is that the full time AWD system drinks bit more fuel than RWD version. 

    Cost of Maintenance

    In short the Hiace is not cheap run, I get fuel economy of around 6km/l in kandy and around 9-10km/l outstation, the RWD KDH201 would return around another extra 2km more per litre. Hiace is originally fitted with 195/80R15 8ply tyres and they cost around 22-23.5K per tyre from brands like Continental or Pirelli, while Maxxis tyre could be found for around 16k.
    The Hiace requires 0W-30 oil and a regular service which needs to be carried out every 5000km costs around 10K using Toyota oil, I was using Toyota oil filter as well, but now I have switched to VIC.
    ATF oil must be changed around every 40k kms, I change air filter and cabin filter every year.
     
    It requires super diesel and this is an absolute must, if you regularly pump auto diesel you will pay more in repairs than what you saved by pumping auto diesel. The most likely issues you would get from pumping auto diesel are DPF, which costs around 70-80k to replace and injectors, which would set you back around 500k for all four.

    So far I had to change only a bush which costed around 50rs, apart from that I have not had any repairs.

    Performance

    The Hiace pulls pretty well for a vehicle which weighs 2 tonnes, the 1KD-FTV with a variable nozzle turbo produces 100kw at 3400RPM and 300nm of torque at 1200-3200rpm and it is connected to a 4 speed conventional automatic gearbox. Overtaking other vehicles with Hiace is pretty easy, you just have to put your foot down, the turbo will come to life and you would be gone. It is always on the right gear, there's no unnecessary downshifts or up shifts, the gearing ratios are perfectly synced with the power band of the engine although it is only a 4 speed gearbox in a world of 6 and 7 speed gearboxes.
    The Hiace properly comes to life on hill climbs with the help of low end power and variable nozzle turbo.
    Handling is fairly good for a van, it handles better than large SUVs. The KDH series has much less body roll compared to the previous LH series, but it isn't great as handling of a car. I notice the difference in handling when I drive the Hiace after driving our Bluebird which has front and rear independent suspension.

    Comfort

    It doesn't handle large potholes and bumps as good as a car, but it does manage to soften small potholes pretty well. The diesel engine noise is evident compared to a hybrid or petrol vehicle but the noise reduces when the vehicle gets to the third gear or at around 70+ km/h speed. The A/C is epic on the Hiace, it is one of the best cooling A/C I have come across, I rarely have to set the A/C temperature below 26 degree Celsius on auto mode and that is without the dual A/C. 
    There is plenty of space inside, 7 or 8 people could travel on long journeys with their legs stretched out and not crammed. The second row seat is the best place to be in, you get the dual A/C right in front of you, it is acoustic sweet spot and minimal sunlight enters the cabin.

    Practicality

    It is quite a practical vehicle if you are using it occasionally or for long journeys as it can seat 8 comfortably yet carry plenty of luggage(you could fit around 4-5 large travelling bag placed horizontally), it has got atleast double the amount of luggage space compared to a Noah/Esquire. However it is bit of waste of money if you are using it on daily basis as fuel bills are gone be crazy and parking these are not that easy within city limits. In addition, maneuvering these around narrow roads requires some skills especially roads with tight bends.

    Second hand value and parts

    Selling a KDH isn't difficult at all, if you maintain them right there will always be people willing it to buy it from you. There are plenty of body parts available but 1KD engine parts are bit difficult to find and even if you do find, it will be expensive

    Some used parts prices are:

    • Pair of tail lights: 15k for older design and 30k for new design
    • Pair of headlight: more than 100k without the HID unit
    • Rear door: around 40k
    • Fog lights: around 20k

    What I have done with my Hiace

    The Modellista body kit came with the van from Japan itself and I added the Modellista grill later on

    DSC-1416.jpg

    Original Toyota spoiler which came painted pearl white

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    I tinted the fog lamps yellow with Nightbreaker bulbs in them

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    I have also replaced the rear seats which are rotatable and come with a table as well

    DSC-1409.jpg

    I have done some electronic mods as well,

    Installed a transcend DrivePro 200 

    DSC-1414.jpg

    Carrozzeria tweeters with crossover

    DSC-1411.jpg

    and JBL component speakers with crossover(thanks to @TheFlyingFox)

    https://streamable.com/ujkce

    I was planning on installing FIAMM horns, but the JDM side of my brain took over and I went with Mitsuba Alpha

    https://streamable.com/nbipn

    Note: click on the links to access the videos

    My dad had the body kit removed for a short period of time and during that time I drove it through some muddy terrain. It did well. :D 

    FB-IMG-1548232218580.jpg

  8. Finally. At long last, the ITR sedan conversion is done!! Here she is in all her glory. More glam pics in the upcoming months! 

    Few niggles I’m trying to fix. The front end didn’t come with fender liners/mudguards. Sourced those from uk. 

    Also I was using a lengthened shifter linkage from an ek3 with a d series box. Apparently that’s why shifting into reverse and 2nd are difficult. Waiting on a proper ITR shifter linkage from the UK as well. Along with the stock dual bend shifter. C36013F7-5E7B-44F6-8ED0-260BE85C997B.thumb.jpeg.8eb40e037b9e60a25d843898c3b91cb3.jpeg

    E8D327D8-D403-4FA8-AE75-89A014A50E80.thumb.jpeg.2de729f23ee5de0c0e69c56b7abf5b00.jpeg

  9. For the year 2017 Toyota introduced the C-HR which is a compact SUV. Recently It came to the Sri Lankan automobile market also. The car came in 2 major variants with 4 trim levels. An only petrol version with a smaller engine but with a turbo charger and a one with the famous Toyota's Synergy Drive hybrid powertrain system. Both of these have 2 different trim levels as G and S (where G is always coming with the highest spec list). With the dimensions, the C-HR is a practical city rider. Despite the exterior dimensions, the interior is not a big compromise.

    We at Tarragon TV did a review on this car as the 5th episode of the series. Watch it and let us know your comments. Remember to subscribe for more videos in future. 

     

     

  10. Guys please note that we switched the AL forum URL from http://forum.autolanka.com to http://autolanka.com/forums today. It was done mainly for SEO and also to provide a better service for you all in the future. All of the old AL forum URL's should automatically redirected to the new forum URL. Therefore there will not be any impact to any external links. We did lot of testing after the change and everything (cross-fingers) seems to be working fine. Please let us know if anything is not working or if you need assistance with anything.

    Thanks!

  11. ProD's Blog

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    The first question when a tourist visit to Sri Lanka is, "why you guys are honking this much?". A question that I even don't know the answer.

    We Sri Lankans uses our car horn for every reason. If we see a friend; we honk, if we see an enemy; we honk, if we see a girl; we honk, if we want to overtake; we honk, we are rather than driving the car; we honk the horn. In my personal experience, near Orugodawatte Junction in the morning time we can hear more than 25 honks per minute.

    Following are some honking etiquettes that I presume too good to share.

    When is it appropriate to use your horn? Generally, you should only honk the horn when reasonably necessary to insure safe driving. For example, if your brakes have gone out, honk to alert other drivers.

    Use your horn to promote safe driving

    However, there are times when it is common and acceptable to use your horn when there’s no immediate threat of a crash. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between giving a quick “beep” and laying on your horn with an obnoxious “BEEEEEEEEEEP”. For example, if the driver in front of you at a red light is not paying attention when the light changes to green, wait at least 4 seconds and then give a light, quick tap on the horn.

    If another driver is driving too close to the lane line or almost hits you, it is appropriate to give a quick “beep” to let them know that they made a driving error and need to be more cautious. A quick honk of the horn can mean “Watch what you’re doing!”

    Don’t use your horn to vent frustration

    Your horn is not a way for you to tell another driver you don’t like their driving. If someone’s driving creates an ongoing danger, call the police. Never lay on your horn out of frustration with another driver.

    Many instances of road rage begin with aggressive horn honking. You never know another driver’s state of mind, the kind of day they’re having, or how they’ll react to your blaring horn. Your safety is the top priority, so be calm when driving. If you must honk your horn at someone, do it lightly. Also, do not yell, mouth words, or use hand gestures to show your anger.

    Don’t use your horn to ask “What’s Happening?”

    Do not honk at your friends because this could alarm other drivers. You may startle another driver into slamming on their brakes, aborting their turn, or performing some other dangerous maneuver. Your horn is not a way to say “Hey” as you drive past your friends.

    No, your horn cannot magically clear a traffic jam

    If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, don’t honk. It isn’t going to make the situation any better; in fact, it will make it worse for everyone around you. Unless you are in a parade or stuck in a parking garage after your favorite baseball team just won the World Series, you should never lay on your horn in traffic.

    Honking is sometimes against the law

    In some cities, honking your horn between certain hours is against the law. I don’t think anyone will miss the neighborhood carpool mom honking at 6:00 a.m. to get the kids outside. You don’t have to worry about breaking the law if you use your horn only when absolutely necessary. Not wanting to get out of the car and ring the doorbell is not grounds for using your horn.

    Honk if you’re …

    Honking does not always pertain to alerting other drivers. Honking has become a way of showing support. For example, some people honk when they drive past students having car wash fund raisers. In Detroit, a U.S. District Judge ruled that not allowing “honking for peace” in anti-war demonstrations would be against the First Amendment.

    The bottom line is to refrain from immediately reacting to a driver’s “wrong” move by laying on your horn or even giving a quick beep. People make mistakes and sometimes you need to just let it go rather than using your horn to vent. The simple rule: only use your horn when necessary.

    When practicing with your teen, watch how he or she reacts when other drivers make mistakes. Discuss why honking would or would not have been appropriate for each situation.

     

    Thank you!

     

    Danushka.

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