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Thread: Daihatsu Hijet (S65 & S66) 1981-1986

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    Feb 2005

    Daihatsu Hijet (S65 & S66) 1981-1986

    The Daihatsu Hijet is a microvan and pickup truck produced by the Japanese automaker Daihatsu. Despite the similarities between the Hijet name and Toyota's naming scheme for its trucks and vans (Hiace and Hilux), the name "Hijet" has been in use for Daihatsu's Kei trucks and vans since 1960, over two decades before Toyota took control. "Hijet", when transliterated into Japanese, is very similar to "Midget", one of Daihatsu's other mini-trucks. The Hijet competes in Japan with the Honda Acty, Subaru Sambar, Mitsubishi Minicab, and the Suzuki Carry.

    In March 1981 the all-new S65 Hijet appeared, now on a slightly longer wheelbase but with the same AB20 engine. New was a flat-floor option for the Vans, and also new was a high-roof option. Power output is 28 PS (21 kW) at 5500 rpm, while max torque is 41 Nm (4.2 kgm; 30 lbft) at 3500 rpm. Most mechanicals were originally the same as before, but in March 1982 the S66, a new four-wheel drive (from October 1983 with optional free-wheel front hubs and front-wheel disc brakes) appeared. From 1982, export versions received a torquier 843 cc three-cylinder engine (CD20), called the Daihatsu 850 Cab. In 1983 a one-liter version was also made available.

    Also in 1983 the Hijet Jumbo appeared, a high-roofed extended cab pickup with a shorter bed. This meant that there was space for more comfortable seats, with considerable more travel and folding seatbacks. The resulting rear compartment offered small luggage spaces, a flat-folding passenger seat, and a small luggage rack above. The two-wheel Jumbo was available with a fifth gear, as were some versions of the Atrai passenger van. There was also a Hijet Climber series (two- or four-wheel drive), these were fitted with bigger off-road tires and a limited-slip differential.

    The S65 was also sold as the Hijet Atrai Van from September 1981, a version specifically intended for passenger use. From October 1983 this became a separate badge in the Japanese market, where the Atrai remains separate from the more workmanlike Hijets. There was also a handicap accessible version of the Hijet S65V, which could accommodate a folding wheel chair. The most surprising news was probably the addition of a turbocharged version in February 1984, also available with four-wheel drive.

    A subsidiary of FAW Tianjin began producing the S65 Hijet in 1984, originally as the Tianjin TJ110 but later as the Huali Dafa. The Chinese-built trucklets were only available with two-wheel drive and the 843 cc three-cylinder CD engine, offering 41 PS (30 kW) at 5,500 rpm. The high roof was also available in China.
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