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Thread: The little coupe that nobody loved.

  1. #1
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    The little coupe that nobody loved.

    THE BORO COUPE.
    tl;dr: resurrecting a car to make it a reliable daily driver
    *note this may actually belong in member's rides, but there will hopefully be enough tech to stay here*

    Once upon a time there was an 85 coupe that nobody loved. It had peeling clear coat, mis-matched front bumper and bald tires on stock trashcan-lid 14" rims. No sunroof means it originally came with steelies as a base model. That feature also made the car a tiny bit lighter, and makes for more headroom for helmets and taller drivers. The coupe is a little less practical than the hatch, but again is stiffer due to the extra panels behind the rear seats. This also is desirable from a performance perspective.

    My friend purchased it from his friend about a dozen years ago and daily drove the car. He managed to smash it a couple times in the nose, with some ghetto fab repairs both times. All maintenance was done by him during that time, with repairs being done at our shop. Years ago we installed a Cusco LSD and did the head gasket when it began to seep coolant into the combustion chamber. Edit: my memory is a bit fuzzy, but realized after finding an old pic that the HG blew between cylinders and was running rough. See pic further down this thread

    The underside of the trunk lid framework is rusty and will eventually require replacement. The rest of the chassis is structurally sound. No rust on the shock towers, and a small amount in the rear of the rocker panel. Easily patched with a welder.

    When I got it last year, it had about 300,000km and had been parked for a few years. Lucky for me it sat in dry storage, and had a bunch of spare things inside. Four Watanabe rims with bald race rubber, an older expired race seat, etc. When my friend decided he wanted a motorcycle more than a car, it was sadly up for sale. After much consideration, I decided to adopt the beast. Buddy charged up the battery for a few days, and I arranged to drive the car back to the shop that evening after pumping up the four flat tires.

    A fine beast for the right price, at the right time in my life. A few years back I had passed my altezza-86 to another good friend. It was the right thing to do at the time. I've missed it dearly since, but a quick car is not something to have in my life right now. I just need a commuter machine that won't drive me crazy; something fun and not boring, yet slow so that I can keep my driver's license intact. And something that every 86 owner knows, these things, with a stock powerplant, are anything but fast.

    As with all 86 purchases, we don't really do pre-purchase inspections. They always tend to be after-purchase inspections. Not recommended if you haven't had one before, or don't have deep pockets. In my case I knew the basic ownership history, so I was okay with that. I also knew the condition of the car from a few years ago when I saw it last. Taking it home, I put two new tires on the back of the car, and put some older azenis RT215 on the front. Mismatched but JDM rims. Black Racing 6x14 front, and Watanabe RS8 7x14 rear. Checked all fluid levels, and off for a road test to the office in the morning.

    On the hoist, we found that the frame was in decent shape, with only a small amount of diamond that didn't really show up when the fender gaps were inspected. Fenders are original. Rear quarters are slightly buckled from ghetto lip rolling job. Front corner markers are missing, and right front signal lens is broken. Re-inspecting fluid levels showed that the waterpump was seeping, likely due to long storage. A fluid change with fresh toyota long life (red) coolant, and we would monitor the fluid level over the next few weeks. Little did I know, this waterpump would leak a few ounces per week for the next year and a half before it finallY(!) gets replaced. Haha.

    Inspection of the front and rear suspension showed a bent spindle on the driver's side, causing excessive negative camber. It wouldn't really be a problem for me, except that the difference between left and right was over two degrees. Not good for handling. We will need to align this beast after swapping front struts.

    First thing to actually do with the new (to me) car was to change all the fluids. Everything. Brake fluid: genuine Toyota. Coolant: Toyota long life red. Engine oil: Mobil1000 5w30 and genuine Toyota filter. Diff oil: Motul 90PA for the LSD. We skipped the trans fluid because it's already loaded with Redline MT90 and it's level and colour was good. Even though the car has 300,000km, the engine was running smooth and doesn't consume a large amount of oil if kept under 4000rpm. If it had higher oil consumption, a slightly higher viscocity oil would be on the menu. Perhaps Rotella 10w40 or 15w40. But in this case, the Mobil1000 5w30 is fine. Since this car will see daily use at pretty much constant 4,000rpm on the highway, I'll use non-synthetic for the time being. We may re-visit this in future. We shall see.

    A quick engine shampoo confirmed the worst: engine Oil leaks at the distributor, and possibly the front engine seals. Oh well, we shall tackle these in due time. Also, the engine refused to start after the wash. Typical 86 with flooded spark plug tubes, old wires, and all that. Fresh denso copper plugs and some compressed air, we were up and running again.

    Day two wasn't too bad, had to dig around the scrap pile for some strut housings. Should I pull the trigger on some Koni shocks right now? Nah, let's wait a bit first.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Brian; 08-15-2017 at 10:42 PM.
    - Brian


  2. #2
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    Tech tidbit:
    So, the alignment report showed excessive negative camber on the left front. Quick visual showed a bent spindle. How can you quickly tell this? By measuring the gap between the top of the tire or rim and the strut housing. I had two fingers gap on the right, and one finger gap on the left. If you have the same gap on both front struts, look for bendage in another spot. There are no factory adjustments for camber other that subframe shifting, so if the camber is not within 1/2 degree from one side to the other, something is bent. Bent spindles are popular, but so are frames.

    Digging through the parts stash was interesting. I found a pair of spindles that appeared straight, and a few stock replacement Tokico (blue) shocks were inside. One was flat, the other was leaking Hmm, I wonder what shocks the car came with. I also found some mystery springs that were painted and appeared to be cut down eibach stock replacements. Broscience would indicate that the ride height would drop on the boro coupe. Perfect.

    Now, if I'm swapping spindles, it's a good time to fix and service everything that comes apart. The idea is that I'm going to do brakes at some point anyways, why not do it now, all at once, instead of doing things twice? Do it properly the first time and you'll have more time to enjoy. Nothing worse than having to do things twice. Nobody has time for that.

    So I dug around on the shelf and found some Porterfield street front pads and a full set of wheel bearings, but no rotors. Off to the FLAPS(tm) Friendly Local Auto Parts Store to grab some rotors. I always deal with the same parts guy when I go there, he knows what I'm driving, and also happens to get me the correct parts. There's nothing more frustrating than getting the wrong parts. It helps that I fix his car too. I usually install genuine toyota parts into my cars, but rotors are kinda meh, just like this car. Aftermarket pads, aftermarket rotors, OEM bearings and seals with synthetic grease. I'll use genuine brake fluid though.

    Teardown of the existing spindles showed that one shock was flat, and one was serviceable. Nice part is they're also Tokico blue. Dang, I was hoping for some Koni dampers. Maybe someday, but not today. The spindle swap was easy, as was throwing in the new brake parts. Caliper retracted smoothly, so a quick fluid flush (yuck) and lube up the sliders, good to go.

    Tie rod inspection wasn't so great. Worn left outer tie rod, possibly caused by the collision damage. Oh well. Rummage through the parts shelf and dig out the rack spacers (thanks 666) some fresh inner and outer tie rods, and the red loctite.

    Tech tidbit #2.
    You can get your toe pretty close with a couple tape measures and a bit of experience and luck. When changing steering parts, you'll still want to get it aligned on a rack asap, but the drive to the alignment shop doesn't mean you need to scrub your tires to death with bad toe. Especially if the alignment rack is 75km away.

    Aim for zero toe when doing it on the ground. Find a perfectly flat spot to work, roll the car forwards in neutral a meter or so to settle the suspension and measure the toe. Look at the steering wheel and decide which side to adjust. If the steering is crooked to the left, make adjustments to the left when adjusting your toe.

    Wrap your mind around it a bit, you can do it too. When working on the floor, crank the steering to one side, paint mark the tie rod, then make your adjustment.

    Crank the steering straight, roll car back a meter and forwards again, and re-measure. Repeat as necessary. When you're at zero toe, road test the car to determine if you have toe out (darty steering) or toe in (stable steering). Fine adjust as necessary and straighten the steering wheel while you're doing this.

    If you're clever you would have made an appointment with the alignment shop already. Most good alignment shops fill up their appointments a week or two in advance. Don't count on getting in tomorrow unless you called two weeks ago. In my case I'm VIP, so back to the office I go to rack the car.

    Turns out I can do a decent toe setting on the ground, as verified by a Hunter aligment machine. *pats self on back* Not bad. No further toe adjustment required. The camber is still uneven, and a subframe shift did not successfully repair this. That means my frame is slightly diamond shape and not square. This sucks, but not badly enough for me to spend money at the frame shop for repairs at this time. I got other things to fix first.

    Like that leaking waterpump and noisy exhaust. Maybe I'll do a quiet exhaust with a large middle muffler, keeping the fartcan on the back for looks. A large middle muffler will hit the ground on every speed bump unless I set it really far back, which means under-axle. Hmm, that requires short-stroke rear shocks. In which case I should re-do the front too. Dang it, I don't have sufficient funds for that right now even though I probably have springs and sleeves laying around somewhere. I refuse to go half way with dampers. It's either Koni or the junky stuff it's currently riding on. Anything else is just lateral. All in or nothing.

    Ah, the new toyota wiper blades showed up today. Awesome. Time for a good cleaning of all the glass and the Aquapel treatment. This stuff is awesome in the rain, and it rains lots in Vancouver.

    I spent a bit of time rummaging through the spare parts stash and found a generic front strut bar, an old camlock 5/6pt harness, and an 86tuning/AMT tow hook. Yay! I didn't have any of these left, but luckily emagdnim13 had a spare and dropped it off a while back.

    Tech tidbit:
    Race harnesses must be installed properly, or you'll die in a crash. Or possibly compress your spine. Or fall out of your harness. When in doubt, check the install requirements of your racecar sanctioning body, or have a qualified tech inspector give you some pointers.

    I elected to install eyebolts through the floor and center tunnel for the lap harness. Two OMP eyebolts and OMP backing plates were procured from the racecar spare parts pile. Measure, drill, install, paint the backside to reduce corrosion. The harness goes downwards and back at about 60deg to my hips. The job of the lap harness is to keep me secured down in the seat. I did the layout of the submarine belts but didn't have hardware to install them, so I'll do that another time.

    Shoulder harness should be secured to the harness bar of the roll cage. Since mine's a street car and I'm not running a cage, I need to figure out where to put the harness. Long tails on a harness are not ideal, because if the car gets shortened (rear end collision) the harness will go slack. Hmm, what to do. Oh well, I put the right shoulder harness to the left C-pillar mounting hole. There's a 7/16"F threaded hole in the c-pillar for the unavailable rear 3-point harness, so why not take advantage of that? The left shoulder presented a slightly different problem. I could go to the same C-pillar as well, but then the strap could slide off my shoulder in an accident. Not what I want.

    In the end, I chose to use the child-seat upper anchor point in the parcel tray for the other strap. Not ideal, but because I'm a flyweight, I should be okay. I figure that the tether is designed for a child seat for a kid up to 80lbs, and I'm way less than 160 lbs I'll be fine. Because math. Maybe I'll use a long bolt, and back-up the upper tether from below in case of tear-out. Or maybe not.

    The way it's set up, the straps cross half way between me and my anchor points. Should pass tech inspection if required. Lack of anti-submarine strap would prevent it from actually passing tech. And the lack of B-pillar harness bar. And lack of roll cage. But I feel that everything else is done better than what came from the factory, and might be okay for a lapping day at the local track. But the footwork isn't there yet, so no track time for this car this year.

    WARNING: The above writeup is not a substitute for a tech inspection by a qualified inspector. I may feel that my install is better than stock, but it doesn't meet the requirements for track use. I cannot be responsible for your installation unless I inspect it myself when you're done.

    A few days into ownership, and some of my old friends were stopping by to see it and to say hi. Doboy came and gave me some old NC-RCA that he doesn't need anymore. SCORE! I'll put these in the trunk and find time to install (and re-align) soon. Crzy-Joe handed me a steering wheel quick release so that I could get the steering closer and more comfy. 666 sent me a custom shift knob.

    Tech tidbit:
    The transmission somehow will feel smoother with a massive shift knob. The stock shifter has a large mass damper installed at the base. Most aftermarket short shifters including the TRD one are a spindly stick. The custom knob from 666 is a special stainless and delrin combination. Feels nice and comfy with the plastic shell, and the stainless core adds plenty of mass. Thanks buddy! Shifts feel way smoother now.

    edit: if you're a cheapskate like me, you can find factory weighted knobs cheap at the wreckers. Toyota matrix has a weighted knob. Just spin it off and see. It's not as heavy as a full metal knob, but every bit helps. And it's cheap from the wreckers. Handy if you're running a short-shift stick of some sort. On a factory shifter you will notice a difference, but it's much more subtle.
    Last edited by Brian; 09-29-2016 at 12:07 PM.
    - Brian


  3. #3
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    Yes, I may be hanging around here again, now that I have an 86 again

  4. #4
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    I like this. I like this a lot.
    '80 MX32 sedan |'83 AE71 wagon |'84 AE86 hatch
    '85 AE86 coupe |'86 AE86 hatch |'86 AE86 coupe
    '88 MR2 S/C |'86 S12 hatch |'88 Silvia K's
    '91 Z30 Soarer '92 JZS147 Aristo |'92 S13 coupe
    '93 R33 Skyline |'98 S14 kouki


    Quote Originally Posted by JungleMatic View Post
    Is dyno like 200 for the hp if mustang shifts but 300 if corolla shifts?

  5. #5
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    Woohoo! a spark of life
    1JZ 1984 Celica GTS
    1UZ 1981 Corolla sedan
    ? 1972 Celica race car

  6. #6
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    We have a double resurrection. Yours in the forum and the car's. Great write up. I'm hooked on this story. Looking forward to more installments!! Pics?

  7. #7
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    Welcome back Brian. Yeah, pics please.

  8. #8
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    Blast from the past! Glad to see you're back Brian!
    Mat 83 GTS Hatch 87 GTSR5 Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by KingSpence View Post
    If only I put the same amount of effort into my schooling as I do my car. Education is important, but racecar is importanter.
    Stuff I'm Selling
    IG Mattyballz86

  9. #9
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    86tuning customer perk, you might even get to drive it as a loaner (if you can fit in the seat)

    Sorry Brian, I know the car looks better now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    nice to see you're gonna get back into the game with this car.

    also, shouldn't this thread be in the members ride/build section?
    Team おなに

    Motor Village Crew unite!

  11. #11
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    That's a pretty good pic of how it looked for the first few weeks with the mismatched rims. Thanks for posting that. I'll update this when I get around to writing some more. Funny thing is, it's been a while since I've written anything. Thanks for all the kind words everyone. It does feel good to be back. I had to avoid the forums a bit when I didn't have a corolla so that I wouldn't be tempted into looking for one. Thankfully this one kinda fell into my lap.

    Deathblossom, you're probably right. This thread may get moved if I can't put in enough tech.
    Last edited by Brian; 09-08-2016 at 11:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Pics aren't working for me.

  13. #13
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    Welcome back, Brian.
    1991 Ford Tempo, 1988 Chevy Cavalier, 1993 Subaru Justy, 1991 Chevy S10, City Bus, 1986 Toyota Corolla.

  14. #14
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    Rant mode.

    genuine vs generic jobber parts.

    Most of the time, I prefer genuine parts because of fit and finish. There are very few exceptions to this. One, racecar parts I'm obviously okay with. Two, OEM parts made by the same manufacturer that our brand uses, like Koyo bearings, Denso sparkplugs and alternators, etc.

    But for regular stuff like coolant, hoses and thermostats, gaskets and repair parts, I'll almost always use genuine parts. Genuine coolant is what, $3 more than generic stuff? And the stuff lasts about five years, so for $0.75/year it's totally worth it to me.

    The exception would be stuff like brake rotors (premium aftermarket is fine) and radiators, where I'm not paying and extra $400 for a genuine unit. If I'm paying that much for a rad, a Koyo racing rad is going in. On this car, and most others, a generic $150 jobber rad will do just fine.

    More later when I get a few minutes.
    - Brian


  15. #15
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    LEAKS LEAKS LEAKS

    There are plenty of leaks on this machine. Engine oil is leaking from the distributor and the oil cooler hoses. As mentioned, the waterpump is leaking but not noisy. And there's rain water leaking into the trunk, and also dripping onto the passenger seat. No sunroof on this car.

    Where to start? Well, oil loss from the cooler hoses is under higher pressure than the distributor. So let's start there. The oil cooler is a bypass type, where some oil is diverted from the pressure circuit, into the oil cooler, and returned to the oil pan. This means that the cooler doesn't see mains pressure, and that's a good thing. There are two ways to fix this. If the cooler itself is leaking, time to delete the oil cooler.

    Otherwise, the hoses can be replaced, but the factory hoses are quite expensive, IMO. Time to use racecar stuff. Not the stainless braided AN-6 stuff, but rather blue socketless hose. This is available from any racecar supply shop and there are many brands. Aeroquip, Russell, etc all make it. I prefer industrial hose supply shops where you can get the same hose for about $4/ft instead of $8-10/ft. It's called push-lock stuff and comes in gray, red, blue, etc. I'll stick with the blue stuff in AN-6 or 3/8" which is ever so slightly smaller than the original 10mm. Which means it's a fight fit. Yep. not a typo. A FIGHT fit.

    Order up the oil cooler mounting 0-rings and make sure you get the right ones, the early and late style engines use a different seal. There's a straight mount and an angled one. If in doubt, it's easier to get both styles than to have excessive downtime with your car. Fortunately my Toyota partsman knows his 86 and got me the correct seals.

    Next, remove the oil filter and the filter mount. Cut the hose and watch for oil drips. Clean up the mount and put it in the vise with soft jaws to prevent marking and damage. Fight your new hose ends in place. A bit of brake-cleaner or alcohol to wet it, and fight it on. Avoid slipping and smashing your knuckles. Clean and re-install the factory T-clamps. Re-install the mount with new gaskets, then fight the cooler hose onto the cooler itself. Do them one at a time, if you invert the hoses you'll reduce the effectiveness of the oil cooler because it won't fill properly due to air pockets.

    Take the fitting off the oil pan and clean and put in vise, fight on the new piece of hose the same way. Install the fitting back in place. I simply use two blue toyota drainplug gaskets because every dealership has tons of these in stock. And they work fine. Fight the other hose onto the oil cooler. I changed my oil because it was due, and a good time to install a new filter since the old one was off. Start engine and check for leaks. Shampoo engine compartment again. Forget that the engine valley cover leaks, fill it with water, have a rough running engine. Again. Remove plug wires, blow with air to clear water from valley. Spray some wd40 around a bit, re-try. Yep. One day I'll remember not to wash the top of the engine. One day.

    Pat myself on the back because I've upgraded my oil cooler hoses to modern stuff, and saved over $200 on the hoses, and didn't have to wait for them to arrive from japan. More money for gas and tires. Win-win for sure.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So you don't want to fix it, and want to save some $$ by deleting the cooler because you don't do any continuous high speed driving. Okay. You'll need the filter mount barb from toyota for a 4A-C or 4A-F engine. They're about $15. Also get another engine oil drainplug and a couple gaskets. And an oil filter. Drop the engine oil, remove the oil return fitting and install your old drainplug up there with a new gasket. Remove the filter, the filter mount and install the new filter mount pipe. IIRC you'll need a 12mm allen key to properly tighten it. Install your new drainplug with gasket, new filter, install oil and drive happy into the sunset with less oil leakage.
    Last edited by Brian; 09-21-2016 at 07:13 PM.
    - Brian


  16. #16
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    Headlights and daytime running lights.

    There are plenty of safety upgrades available for our old cars. The standard headlamp is a 6054 which is available in regular incandescent as well as halogen. These $10 lamps put out decent lighting back in the 80s. Nowadays, the preferred setup is to install an H4 conversion housing to allow high output bulbs. Bosch and Hella headlamp housings are good quality and worth the extra few dollars.

    I exclusively install Hella 72200 housings in my personal cars whenever a 6054 lamp is the original spec. The stanley/rabrig lights were popular a decade ago, but be careful with jdm lamps because they're usually RHD spec and blinding to oncoming traffic in north america. There are other brands of H4 conversion kits with projectors and halos and other stuff, I prefer to stay away from the fancy looking ebay specials and stick with a proper e-code actual TUV stuff.

    Alright. What about DRLs and general safety? Our cars are small and low, I drive around with the markers on all the time. I feel that it helps make me a bit less invisible.

    With H4 conversion lamps, it's possible to run a city light socket inside to light up the housing with the marker lights. Back in the day you'd see this done to VW and other european cars. This will save headlamp life, and reduce glare to oncoming traffic if you're running high power bulbs or HID conversion. Well worth doing. I had some peanut bulb sockets laying around so I drilled my housings and installed them permanently. You can buy a conversion clip that fits inside the housing below the bulb.

    So now that theres a second small bulb inside my headlamps, how do I keep them up all the time? And select when I want to lower them for aerodynamics at higher speeds? Part one is easy. To keep the headlamps in the up position all winter, simply remove the pink 30A RTR fuse under the hood when the headlights are up. They'll stay up until you re-install the fuse. I leave the fuse wedged in the fusebox so it doesn't get lost.

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    What if I want to control the headlight motors? Then you can modify the headlight retainer circuit. The headlight retainer has two parts. One part is designed to automatically turn off the lights when you exit the car if the dome circuit is working properly. Replace the dome/courtesy lamps switch on the driver's door jamb as necessary. If you drive a rustybucket you'll want to somehow repair the grounds too, perhaps by running an extra ground wire to a solid point on the chassis. I've only had to do this once on a car, we ran a wire under the rear seat bottom cushion. What a pain.

    The headlamp switch can be modified to retain the headlights up on demand. The headlight retainer wire, if connected to ground via switch, will allow you to retain the headlights up when you want. With the headlights off, if the switch is on, nothing happens. Switch the marker lamps on, still nothing. Headlights on, they flip up. Headlights on but park/markers on, they stay up unless your retainer switch is turned off. Turn car off, headlights remain up unless you've flipped the retainer switch off. Kinda neat, but pulling the retractor fuse does almost the same thing. Mine's wired this way because I want the option of flipping the lights down in the summertime for aerodynamics. Haha. Not like it really makes a difference or anything.

    I really wish I took pictures of this process, but as usual, when working on my own car, I'm always in a hurry and never spend time to document it.

    Tech tidbit:
    If your headlights don't work at all but your markers do, your switch may be fried. To prevent this, install some headlight relays as detailed in tech reference somewhere. To repair this, remove the headlight switch and fix it. If you don't have a temperature controlled soldering iron, find somebody who has one and beg them to fix it. Disassemble the switch and re-solder the three little wires that melt. If you're running high wattage headlamps, you'd better install relays before the switch melts and leaves you without headlights. If you're running an HID or LED conversion, these are generally lower wattage than the original sealed beams. So you're blinding oncoming traffic, but your switch is probably safe.
    Last edited by Brian; 09-30-2016 at 07:41 PM. Reason: edit retainer mod switch for clarity
    - Brian


  17. #17
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    this thread is useless without pics

    Well several years back, under previous ownership, the engine came in with a bad misfire. Two cylinder misfires aren't common, but when they occur they're usually the result of a blown head gasket between cylinders. If you have two compression gauges you can actually see the pressure move from one cylinder to the other when cranking. My buddy borrowed my white corolla for a road trip, and left me to repair the engine. New head gasket time!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    - Brian


  18. #18
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    Efficiency.

    Anyone who's driven a stock ae86 corolla will know that they're not very quick. And fuel economy wasn't bad for an 80s car but it's primitive systems could use efficiency upgrades. The top of my list is almost always removal of the stock fan. This reduces the constant load on the engine and makes a noticeable difference in throttle response, along with a slight improvement in overall acceleration. For fuel efficiency, it's probably in my head. But every little bit counts, IMO. If I'm constantly driving at over 4000rpm at highway speeds, the reduction in drag should make a difference. I dunno, because efficiency cannot be measured during spirited driving.

    Removing the fan in colder climates is easy, just take off the fan clutch and put spacers under the nuts and re-install. I did this last fall, and ran without a fan at all during the cooler months. No issues at highway speeds because airflow through the rad at highway speeds is way more than what a fan can pull. If I get stuck in traffic jams regularly, that's a different story. But you can always flip the heat to maximum and fan on max, roll the windows down if it's getting too hot. This will push airflow through the heater core, which is really a small radiator installed inside the car. Eliminating the fan also decreases the overall mass of the car, which technically should result in an efficiency increase as well.

    In warmer climates, the addition of an electric fan is a good idea. It's possible to have a manually operated switch to flip on, but that's not the way the factory does things. And having constant fan operation just brings you back to the original issue, we're trying to improve things, not do lateral moves.

    On the front-wheel-drive corollas, the factory installed a fan switch that kicks the fan on when the coolant exiting the radiator hits about 80C, well before the engine overheats. There are two fan relays to control the fan operation. And, in an emergency, or if the fan switch fails open circuit, the fan will run constantly with ignition.

    For my purposes, I sourced an ae82/ae92 thermostat housing (thanks Cory!) with fan switch and installed it in place of the ae86 one that doesn't have the provision for a switch. Then I wired two relays to control the fan. One will power the system up and is tapped into the ignition harness of the alternator. The other will invert the fan switch operation and turn the fan on and off. Power for the relays is sourced directly from the charge wire of the alternator, providing full voltage to the fan, and not having to run wires all over the engine bay. If you're looking to install one, I can supply the relay set. Just be sure you've grabbed the pigtail from the donor car. An additional benefit is that this thermostat housing uses a rubber gasket instead of the old style paper. So it's easy to r&r the thermostat. Incidentally, grab a new ae92 thermostat and gasket from your local toyota dealership. And a jug of red toyota coolant too.
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    note: these two pics aren't my car. I believe the pics are from deathblossom's car, which has cruise control.
    edit: don't know who's car this is in the pic. I see a wire that my car doesn't have. Looks to be cruise?
    edit2: it's joe's car! thanks to Duy for figuring out the mystery

    This SPAL fan came in the trunk of the car, as one of the bonus goodies. It's clearly a used unit, but will work just fine. If you're shopping for a fan, any 10" or 12" fan will work. Get a puller fan and install it behind the rad with the supplied thru-core fasteners. Or, if there are no fasteners supplied, you can use the drifters choice universal fastener: zipties. Just ensure that there will be no chafing. Install the fan so that the frame sits on the bottom of the rad core so it doesn't creep down. With mine, I put it on the right side (north american passenger side) of the rad, between the heater hoses because that side of the rad gets hotter than the left.

    I also sealed the body opening of where the rad sits, so that any airflow will push through the rad instead of leaking around the core using weatherstrip foam.
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    Last edited by Brian; 09-27-2016 at 10:19 PM.
    - Brian


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, BC
    Posts
    275
    Awesome write-ups, Brian! Hope you're well, and would love to see more pics.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,014
    a quick correction for you, my car does not have cruise control.
    Team おなに

    Motor Village Crew unite!

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