In 1970, the Daihatsu Hijet came with a two-stroke two-cylinder 360cc engine that made 22 horsepower and about as much torque. However, a mad man decided to switch things up and replace that with a mid-mounted Chevy V8 engine making about 400 horsepower.
After watching a couple of Youtube videos and reading a whole forum thread about the build, we decided it's just too crazy of an engine swap to keep to ourselves. And even though it's not quite ready to go out in public, this V8 Daihatsu Hijet is the stuff we like to share with out friends and readers.
Of course, you can't just drop a V8 into anything you want, so the guy making this project had to source a Jeep DJ5 chassis, which he had to narrow down in order to fit the little Japanese truck. The upside is that Jeep parts are more common than Daihatsu ones in the US.
Things get even weirder from that point on, as the old V8 is connected to a Saginaw 3-speed bell housing modified to fit like a direct drive. There's no reverse gear, so to back the truck up, he added a cart starter and a pulley to work the wheels backwards.