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 Post subject: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
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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:
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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:
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Here's the ratsnest on the driver's side:
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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:
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After:
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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.

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Last edited by BeanBone on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:00 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:47 am
Posts: 20
Location: Misawa, Japan
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:36 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Coarsegold California (around fresno)
Woa, they are so purdy in grey panda form.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 274
Location: TX
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?

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
lolumad wrote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:45 am
Posts: 38
Location: Massachusetts
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
Mazota TE51 wrote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
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.

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In progress (I need to order carpet or chip off the deadening and paint it!):
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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:
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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:
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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
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:
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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:
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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
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:
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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:
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Here's everyone together. Toyota life!
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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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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
January

Quick update time.

After months of no activity, things are getting back on track. As we left it, we had a blown head gasket, crap wiring, a free spinning distributor and all sorts of other madness going on.

My builder was kindly able to clear some time and driveway space for me, and she's been under the knife for a few weeks now.

Here she is hitched and ready to roll out.
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As expected, compression was ass.
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The underside of the distributor cap showed signs of the extreme temperatures under the hood.
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What followed was a complete tear down of the motor, which is where we are now. I'll be detailing the state of the engine and rebuild thanks to my builder's near-obsessive level of documentation.

Here it is liberated from the shell.
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The clutch housing was from South Africa and showed some wear.
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The head gasket was a mere shadow of it's former self.
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It is in fact a JDM largeport 3-rib, as expected.

Luckily, the head, cams, block, crank, and pistons are all in pretty good shape and can all be reused.
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Some random parts.
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Rebuild will entail new Exedy clutch/housing, PPC flywheel, all new seals, rings and gaskets, ARP head studs, Cometic head gasket, some casting material removal, timing belt, water pump, oil pump, a little combustion chamber work, new digital gauges, re-flowed injectors, new injector plugs, fixed wiring, heat shields, etc. It's a lot of work to be sure, but the goal now is to get the engine to a reliable state of tune so I can enjoy the car now without worry int he back of my head and to establish a solid basis for future modifications.

So far, so good. Can't wait to get it all back together and on the road. Then I can start budgeting to fix the rear end, and chassis damage, and suspension, and interior issues...

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Last edited by BeanBone on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
And now, we're all sped up to current day.

As per usual, it appears I've spoken too soon.

The bores actually have some damage that needs to be addressed, so it looks like the block will be bored out .20. Apparently, finding a set of 20-over ITM pistons requires an act of congress. Luckily, my builder was able to find the last set in the universe.

Also, had to order some Cusco motor mounts and some more T3 goodies last night.

This car is so full of surprises, ha! Crossing my fingers now there are no more surprises and we've made the last parts purchase for this motor rebuild, I'm already at the magical "spent more on parts/upgrades than the purchase price of the car" point, and I've only addressed some interior bits and making the motor run :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:29 am
Posts: 15
Location: Central Europe
Great project, looks like you have a couple of hours left before it's in mint.
Good to see someone offering their time on these projects.

Btw, nice seats, think I have to look after a pair of these :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:17 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Los Angeles
BeanBone wrote:
Here's everyone together. Toyota life!
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LOL! I did a double take on this photo. At first glance it looked like you have triple bosozoku style exhaust pipes on your AE! :mrgreen: :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
Stevester wrote:
BeanBone wrote:
Here's everyone together. Toyota life!
Image


LOL! I did a double take on this photo. At first glance it looked like you have triple bosozoku style exhaust pipes on your AE! :mrgreen: :tu:


Ha, just the cargo cage for my truck.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
Progress being made.

Pistons are in, T3 goodies are in, motor mounts should be in this afternoon. Injectors are re-flowed and ready to roll.

Rods are balanced.
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Head is refreshed.
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I think we're over the hill here, everything is coming together and looking exciting. Knocks on wood...

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 Post subject: Re: Finally Bought an AE86: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
Block is back from the machine shop. Hopefully there are no more surprises! :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:02 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Hong Kong
Great project.
Good to see it all being tackled properly.
And the GTS looks sooooo good in gray rather than the usual white or red... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Panda GT-S Hatch 16v Build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
Thanks. All of the proper engine work and the documentation you see here is thanks to my awesome engine builder, Jonas Velasco.

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 Post subject: Re: Gray Panda GT-S 16v Hatch Build
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 210
Location: Houston, TX
The builder has the pistons all together:
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As engine reassembly continues, let's inventory some random parts.

New old core support:
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T3 full hatch interior set (door panels, rear panels, trunk panels, taillight panel, hatch trim & spare cover) to replace my toasty, partially stripped interior:
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Digital gauges:
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Assorted bits (T3 handbrake button, T3 radiator shroud, T3 distributor shield, DIN gauge mount, TVIS badge, Twin Cam grill badge, Odyssey battery box & Cusco engine and transmission mounts):
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