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Thread: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build

  1. #1
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    Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build



    After over a decade of lusting after one, I finally pulled the trigger on an 86. I'd been looking for a GTS hatch for a while, and this one showed up on CL here in Houston and after selling a Miata as fast as I could, I picked it up.

    It's a bit of a weird one. 300k on the clock, I was told the engine is a JDM bluetop with 50k on it. There's damage on the driver's front, so the hood is all bent, the fender is a replacement, the core support and inner fender are bent, and the front bumper is all sorts of sketchy. It did have an interesting list of mods listed in the ad:

    • Original Enkei 92s Black with 2" Polished Lip (with the rustiest lugnuts I've ever seen)
      New Nitto 450s Tires
      Corbeau Low Profile Seat Rails
      Corbeau Black Racing Seats (will be for sale soon)
      TRD JDM Short Throw Shifter :mrgreen:
      New KYB Struts
      Refurbished Brakes, Akibono Ceramic Pad, Brembo Rotors
      Megan 8g/6g Lowering Springs
      Odyssey 925c Lightweight Racing Battery (thrown in the back with a relocation wire that's a foot too long)
      T3 Adjustable Camber Plates
      NGK Iridium 2way Spark Plugs
      NGK Iridium Performance Wires
      Full Aluminum 3' racing radiator (with an electric fan drilled into it)
      Full Interior except cargo cover, carpet, and rear speakers JDM spoiler (complete but beat to shit)
      JDM HKS Full Race 3' Cat Back Exhaust :mrgreen:
      NRG Carbon Fiber Quick Release Steering Wheel Column
      NRG Drift Steering Wheel with Yellow Indicator (sold)
      Cusco JDM Rear Sway Bar


    It also came with a lot of spare parts.

    Here's the damage:


    It's pretty rough, especially on startup, and the rear end makes a lot of noise (welded diff? shit bearings? both?), but it made it from far south Houston to the Woodlands without issue.

    First order of business was to order a Nardi. The NRG wasn't my style, and I've always wanted a Nardi, so I pulled the trigger. I'm happy with the result:


    Here's the ratsnest on the driver's side:


    The intake was... interesting. POS AutoZone hose and pipe, with the MAF just shoved into the tube. That had to go. I know there's some controversy about whether the Injen helps or hurts, but it seemed the most complete solution for me, so I went for it.

    Before:


    After:


    Here's a comparison vid: http://statigr.am/p/509540751532249822_238207707

    Now, I'm waiting for my new seat to come in, worrying about the oil leak and rear-end noise, and planning suspension. It's expensive and anxiety-inducing, but I'm in love.

  2. #2
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    San Diego, CA
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Congratulations on the Corolla! I'm looking forward to where this project goes. I'm sure if it's anything like your wagons, this too will be solid.

  3. #3
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Woa, they are so purdy in grey panda form.

  4. #4
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    nice looking car. being a "hachi" from houston, i hope it didn't come with a retarded price tag.

    what are your plans for it? did you find a straight rad support?

  5. #5
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Quote Originally Posted by lolumad
    nice looking car. being a "hachi" from houston, i hope it didn't come with a retarded price tag.

    what are your plans for it? did you find a straight rad support?
    It was more than I remember them being back in the late 90s when I was shopping for them, that's for sure. I ended up selling a stock BRG NA Miata to cover it, so at least it wasn't one of those $7k "Takumi specials" that are so popular on CL. :roll:

    Plans are to keep cleaning up some of the issues, fix the front end (makes a good excuse to go Levin...), clean up the interior and get a cage, save up for some nice suspension bits and just generally enjoy it. Take it to a few trackdays, nothing too intense. If the JDM bluetop gives out, maybe do a 20v swap.

  6. #6
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Definately looks to be pretty good if that's all the damage. Any rust issues? I would consider replacing all the gaskets and seals on the engine. Shop around for the parts as some people tend to get a premium for parts. Good luck on your project. Looking for a hatch myself being very patient.

  7. #7
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Quote Originally Posted by Mazota TE51
    Definately looks to be pretty good if that's all the damage. Any rust issues? I would consider replacing all the gaskets and seals on the engine. Shop around for the parts as some people tend to get a premium for parts. Good luck on your project. Looking for a hatch myself being very patient.
    The damage that sucks is the core support and inner fender. No rust I've seen.

    Looking into a full motor rebuild now.

  8. #8
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Catching this thread up, this update is from August.

    Couple of updates here. First, I ordered a wide Corbeau FX1, but what actually showed up was a wide model Forza. I decided to keep it and got a decent partial refund.



    In progress (I need to order carpet or chip off the deadening and paint it!):


    Got it all installed, and though it appears the seats that were in there were Forzas, the new one seems to sit much higher up. I'm guessing it will sink a bit as it's used, but for now I fit but a helmet probably wouldn't. Good motivation to loose some weight, I suppose... Also, after looking at mine and talking to some people, looks like I'll need to reinforce the back-door sides of the Corbeau rails.

    So, that's the fun part of the update. The bad news is the head gasket is blown. As it ran rough from the start, it's tough to tell if it was blown when I bought it or if it just happened. I noticed the overflow making a lot of noise on shutoff on 8-6 day and sure enough found sweet white smoke at the tailpipe. I bought one of those combustion gas detector kits to make sure, and it was pretty convincing:


    I was going to run a compression test, but it turned yellow right off the bat.

    Here's a video of it in action, cool stuff: http://statigr.am/p/518321444219408565_238207707 (how about that loud always-on electric fan?)

    Here's how it's running today: http://statigr.am/p/518333151444619765_238207707

    So, yeah. Bummer. It was a risk going in, charge it to the game I suppose. I got very lucky with my last two cars, so it's time to pay the piper, I suppose.

    I was going to address the motor at some point anyway, but my hand has been played for me. I briefly considered a 20v swap or just throwing on a new head gasket, but I think what I'm going to do is do it right and rebuild the 16v now and go for ITBs next year perhaps. I'm talking to a few people about rebuilding the motor, hopefully I can get something together soon as I'm antsy to get back on the road. The whole motor is FUBAR, the damn distributor isn't even bolted down all the way!

    Also, that gasket blew for a reason, so I have to look at the cooling system. The cheapy aluminum rad and fan probably need to be swapped for something better. Koyo, maybe? The coolant looked like milky tea as well, ugh.

    Oh well, in general I'm trying to stay positive and keep grinding.

    Here she was on 8-6 day before everything turned to shit:

  9. #9
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    Another update from August.

    So, still waiting to rebuild the motor. Also need to work out a gameplan for the cooling system. If I was wasn't so tapped out, I'd love to do a Mishimoto rad...

    Part of the reason I'm tapped out is this birthday present to myself that showed up from Thailand yesterday:


    Now, hopefully they work...

    Also, when the car finally, you know, moves and stuff I'll be able to capture the event with this here:

  10. #10
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    Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch

    September

    Car is still in hibernation in need of engine work. I've mostly been playing with the wagons, but I've still been doing a little poking around looking for parts and adding to my stash:


    Also been keeping busy helping a friend with his FRS. Really love the car, might need to replace my IS daily with one. Here he is working on it with my three projects flanking him:


    Here's everyone together. Toyota life!


    Really looking forward to getting the car back on the road with the motor rebuild and cooling system. Then I can start on the suspension, and the tweaked bodywork, and the rust holes, and the rear end, and... everything else. :shock:

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