I created this blog to keep tabs on by build and to share with the automotive community. Enjoy.


Blacktop 20v with T3 water kit and tweak'd cop harness
100mm and 50mm Sam-Q stacks with Pipercross filter
Poly Bushings
Techna-fit brake lines
Countless OEM wear parts
Fortune Auto Coilovers 8/6kg
T3 "tall" short shifter
Cusco transmission mount
JDM kouki corner lights (fender)
No-name Strut Bar
Spin turn knob
Slotted Rotors with OEM or Hawk pads
TRD 4.778 Final Drive with T3 rebuilt kouki LSD
Various wheels. Current:
Hoshino Impul 14x8.5 -20
Rays Volk Mesh 14x8 -0?
Custom under diff exhaust
NST brake master cylinder stopper
NST steering lock spacer on aw11 rebuilt rack w/ t3 adapter
Sparco steering wheels with Boss hub and T3 billet extender
TRD shift knob
Momo Corse fixed back bucket seat
Tint 20%
Solex "twin cam series" locks
Fiberblass +25mm Fenders



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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

AE86: Myth or Legend?

Is the potential of the AE86 a myth or a legend? Can it perform outside the context of a manga?

 My Initial D collection, a gift from my oldest and best friend Devon, a man who loves corolla's even more than I do.

The answer is yes. However, the ae86 in classic tuning form only shines under certain parameters. The conditions are low speed drifting, and low speed tight corners. I have noticed the ae86 is especially quick with switchbacks. (meaning changing direction, inersia, weight shift etc.)

Because of the iconic nature of the AE86 many builders choose powerful motor swaps, like a F20 or SR20 to perform with the newer cars. At what point has the build gone so far that you might as well buy a faster car from the start? Or is it cooler just because it's a challenge?

What it comes down to is, build the car you want, the way you want.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm Famous!!!

A couple folks have asked me for advice with their AE86 endeavors. So here is a shout out to them and a thanks for following my work.


Thanks for following fellas!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

She's Alive!!!

Finally got the 20v running. It's revving smooth and idling well. The only problem is the redline is at 6800 rpm. This thing should rev to at least 8 so I have some more tuning to do.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy 86 Day!!!!

August sixth has become something like the AE86's birthday. All around the world people are celebrating the iconic sports car that is the AE86. I've owned my car for over six years, the soul of each individual AE86 will only become apparent with this kind of devotion.

Keichi Tsuchiya said, "The 86 trains the driver", which became a quote in the popular Initial D. This is a very true statement, the car is not for the impatient, light-hearted driver. You must succumb to the apprenticeship the AE86 has to offer and become the car's slave in something similar to Pie Mei from Kill Bill.

Unfortunately my car is still waiting for a proper ECU which is in the mail from Japan. The swap has become a much lengthier endeavor than I had imagined; it will all be worth it when it finally runs.

August sixth holds even more historical significance, it was the day the Americans bombed Hiroshima, Japan. I have visited the tribute museum in Hiroshima and sensed the severe pain the people had to endure.

Regardless of anything the Japanese had to endure, they always prevail in any circumstance. With one of the hardest work ethics on earth, it's no wonder they can create cars as fun, iconic, and beautiful as the AE86.


Friday, July 26, 2013

More 20v Blacktop Progress: Custom Mounting and Earl's Fuel Line

Everything is coming along nicely. Today I custom mounted the ignitor and coil, installed the Earl's fuel line with a summit racing guage, and installed the exhaust manifold after minor grinding.

The Tweak'd Performance harness left me very little slack to mount the coil and ignotor. Since the ignitor is smaller I bolted it right above the booster as shown. Went down to the local hardware store and bought some allen bolts and nuts for a clean look. I just pulled the vent out to access the space behind the allen heads to put the nuts on.

The coil was not going to mount well in that vicinity so I extended the two wires using solder and shrink tubing. This allowed me to mount the coil down where the stock 16v coil mounted before. Since I am not actually using the coil to fire (just for the signal) it doesn't matter where it's mounted as long as it's plugged in. I had my friend Aaron (a fabricator/welder) fab me up a bracket to hold the coil using the stock mount location. I'm happy with the results on the bracket, I threw some Rustoleum red paint and some allen hardware on there too. 

I tried to mount it as tucked as possible in the stock location, fitting perfectly under the fuse box.

Another problem I had to solve was the large vacuum port on the manifold for the first cylinder. So I found a bolt with the same thread pitch and cut cut it shorter to plug the hole. If it's too long then it portrudes into the airflow, if it's too short it would leave a little valley where the air flows. With a little trial and error by opening the throttle plate and looking inside with a flashlight, I got the bolt to the right length.

It is this bolt right under the tps sensor:

I was excited to put the fuel line in today, so I put off eating and spent an extra hour hooking this up. I had the choice to run the SS line up above and come down on the connection on the fuel rail, or tuck it underneath and come up to the fitting on the fuel rail. I chose to tuck the fuel line underneath, it's not like people won't notice it and it serves it's purpose. I'm big on making everything as minimalistic as possible under the hood while retaining functionality.

 If you would like to get the part numbers for all the fuel parts needed including the gauge, check my 20v swap list with prices post.

The fuel line comes through nicely with minimal rubbing on any components.

Here the fuel return line and harness were running parallel so i zipped them together. I'm a little worried about the return line being so close to the water pipe, but I did retain the stock foam sleeve.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Explicit 20v Blacktop Progress: T3 Water Kit Install

I finally got my hands on a cherry picker and dropped the engine in the other morning by myself. This whole swap has been a 100% solo mission.

Attempting to install the Techno Toy Tuning 20v Water Kit presented multiple issues. First I noticed the lower water pipe was aiming straight at the alternator. So I cut one of the silicone elbows shorter on one side to tuck the pipe under the alternator. Most people who use this kit either route the lower pipe around the alternator, or over the top of it (with a 16v alternator mount). Since I am using the 20v alternator mount, I had plenty of room to run the piping underneath. This made the stock shape of the lower hose useless, so I ended up using the upper hose (as it is a straighter hose) on the bottom and a section of the lower hose for the top of the radiator. This gave it a nice tucked appearance when viewed from the top. By the way, the 20v alternator bracket will hold the 16v alternator perfectly, and lines up with the stock 20v pulleys fine. I deleted the 20v free spinning pulley and used the stock 20v serpentine belt.

Another thing I had to solve was the top alternator bracket.  Because I'm using the 20v alternator mount, it was rubbing against the top hardline, so I had to grind a little area for it to fit. Another modification can be seen in this picture where the hard lines mount to the water neck on the head. I pulled out the stock stud and got a longer one. The mount wouldn't fit underneath the nut on the stock stud. It's hard to see but the mount is actually on top of the stock nut allowing it to fit, and then secured with another nut. Providing the water neck a devoted nut allows me to remove the water pipe bracket without breaking the seal on the water neck in the future.

With the silicone elbows in place on the back of the head, the heater control valve would not fit in the stock location. So I just moved it to the left and secured it using only one stock bolt for now.

Ran into some issues with the fitment of the stock molded heater hoses. They didn't fit in stock locations what so ever. It broke my heart, but I had to chop up my brand new silicone ae86 molded heater hoses. Each heater hose was used in an unintended position but it worked; it's a really tight fit. Another problem was the inlet for the heater core outlet on the bottom of the T3 machined block. I only needed 4-5 inches from one of the heater hoses to reach this port. I found it strange that the inlet on the T3 water block is smaller than a stock heater hose port. I just clamped it on so hopefully it doesn't leak. This hose is in a really tough location right above the bell housing and virtually impossible to get to once the transmission is installed. Here is the best angle I could get on the stuff going on back there.

Over all I am very pleased with the water kit. The heater hose situation is a little annoying, but it looks really clean under the hood. Soon There will be posts covering the harness install, custom mounting of various things, and the install of the earl's fitting fuel hose set up. One more picture for the "20v ae86 under hood" Google image searches:

****EDIT**** It is now September 2015, So i have some issues to report with the water kit:

First off, it is incredibly prone to leaking. I had to take the block off the back of the head again due to leaking which is tough to do when the engine can't lean forward. I had to use a sealant and order another gasket to get it to seal.

After installing two different Summit Racing Heaters (both of them leaking within a weak of usage) I came to a realization. I noticed when I shut the heater control valve it would leak right of of the valve. But when I opened it the leak would stop. Basically the T3 kit isn't designed for any kind of restriction through the heater outlet. Which is a very bad design. The heater outlet is a pressure line, meaning it comes from the water pump and it has to pass through to get to the next water channel. Heater cores are restricted by nature because the water must pass through small channels in the core. Therefore, the high pressure was blowing heater cores and refusing to stop when the heater control valve was closed. All of this cost me time and money and it was a huge inconvenience. T3 should have added a channel that would allow a bypass of the pressure to the next port for when the heater control valve is closed. The final consensus: Don't buy the T3 water kit. Buy Sam-Q or make your own.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Steering Rack Stiffening

Ever since I installed a manual rack on my car there has been this looseness. It feels like the rack is shifting causing the steering wheel to end up slightly off from strait each time I turn it.

When I installed the rack, I had to install the T3 manual rack adapter bushing to retain the power steering rack bracket. However, I didn't replace the other "D" shaped bushing. My friend Greg had duplicates lying around from this Prothane bushing kit for his mr2.

Since the engine is out and the 20v is on hold until I get an engine hoist, it seemed like a good time to hopefully solve the steering issue.

Now that the new bushing is installed the rack seems much stiffer. After installing these I realized how crucial they are to the steering input on the ae86. Being that the bushings are $30 for both this is a modification that all ae86 owners should not overlook. Have a nice day.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Pulling the 16v

After few hours of work the engine was ready to come out. The intake side doesn't have a proper lift hook so I bolted the chain to the head.

 I was excited to get this old motor out.

It looks like something lived in here. A lot of cleaning to do.

I must say, after pulling this thing out, the motor looks pretty sad.
Hopefully the swap goes well so I don't have to put it back in.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blacktop 20v Swap Check List With Prices

There are already a few 20v blacktop swap lists out there. Figured I would contribute my idea of a "complete" list. The sections written in yellow are the routes I chose to go.

Blactop 20v engine ($1200 - 1500)
   -With or without harness depending on wiring decisions
   -With all sensors, distributor, coil, and igniter 
   -Did I mention all sensors; O2, IAT, TPS, MAP, etc.

Wiring (cheap - $550)
   -Make custom using 20v harness
   -Have somewhere like Tweak'd Performance make you a new plug and play harness ($550)

Convert cooling system one of these ways: ($50 - $690)
   -Convert to 16v flow by making a custom kit ($50-100)
   -Convert to 16v flow using Sam-Q's kit which can be bought through Battle Garage or similar  ($355 + source some hoses)
   -Retain 20v flow using a water line kit from T3 ($690) or SP-Tech (If available $550) (Don't do this - See later water kit install post for explanation)

Distributor Issue (free-$550)
   -Hammer firewall or cut and weld a box in it for the distributor to fit (free)
   -Buy a relocation kit from Sam-Q or similar ($550)
   -Run a waste spark system which you can wire in or have Tweak'd do for you. This allows you to run coil packs from a newer Toyota on the stock blacktop ECU. I am using 1zz COP's from a 2008 Corolla. Note you will still need your coil and ignitor for the signals.
(wiring from tweak'd $50) (coil packs $180-300) (Dist cover $90 at Battle Garage or make your own)
Some purists don't think a waste spark is proper, but many have run it with no problems. In my opinion it is a clean and cheap solution to the distributor issue. Plus it's just cool.

Fuel Line (free - $90)
 -Make one using one half of your 16v fuel line and the other half of your 20v fuel line. 
-Get Earl's fittings and stainless hose. Summit Racing had everything: two -6an banjo fittings, 3ft of -6an SS hose, and a fuel pressure gauge that mounts into the top of the fuel filter ($90) Here are the part numbers for all the fuel line parts needed:

Other Stuff (some optional)
   -OEM 20v gasket kit ($250)

   -Timing belt ($38-100) Hydraulic tensioner ($74 from Battle Garage) Tensioner pulley ($78) I used an OEM belt, tensioner and pulley. It is crucial to replace these parts as the blcktop is an interference engine. Many people convert to a 16v pulley, but this requires a 16v oil pump, water pump, etc. I figure the engine came stock with the hydraulic set up so it should be fine.
   -OEM 16v Pilot bearing and throwout bearing ($30-50)

   -Clutch kit of some kind ($90-300)

   -Engine mounts ($100) if needed. I used OEM mounts for more vibration dampening 
   -Transmission mount ($80) if needed. I used a Cusco mount for more stiffness on the driveshaft

   -Rear Main Seal (Might as well do it while you're in there) ($20)

   -Electric fan set up, unless you run a 16v style water kit. The 20v waterpump isn't strong enough to support a clutch fan and is known to break. ($50-100) Tweak'd performance wired in a relay for me that runs off of the stock coolant temp sensor.

   -O2 sensor. use either the 20v one or an o2 from a 1993 mr2 non-turbo will work too) ($60-100)

   -Coolant Toyota Red coolant is best ($28)

   -Transmission Fluid Redline mT-90 is what i use ($30)

   -Engine Oil and Filter ($25-60)

   -Fuel filter ($25)

   -Coil on plug plate (custom =cheap) (Performance Options has one for about $90)

   -A couple custom mounts for the IAC valve and the MAP (free - $30)

Did I forget anything? Please let me know.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Motor

Picked it up locally in Jefferson Oregon off a nice fella for 1200 bucks. Compression was good, I just hope everything else is too. Sorry for the cell phone pics lately.


Begun the 20v Swap Has

Today I officially tore out my harness to send out to Tweak'd Performance. They are making a brand new harness for the 20v blacktop, but they needed my old harness to source a few pieces.

It's kind of ironic that I was planning to start the swap today and my car died today. Well, it didn't die, but I left the headlights on for an hour and the battery voltage was down at 10v; effectively wouldn't turn the old starter. The last two days cold starts were getting rough and I believe my motor knew it was time to go. If any motor ever proved to be as reliable as this one has, I would be surprised.

On a lighter note, I'm so glad I never have to see this harness under my hood ever again! Goodbye!

Perhaps one of the greatest feelings when doing a project is obtaining all the parts. Kind of like when you're a kid and just got some new lego's. For now i just have this small box of things collected along with the motor. Including OEM(Toyota) front and rear brake pads, OEM motor mounts, OEM pilot bearing, OEM exhaust gasket, and some cheap serpintine belt. 

On the way in the mail I have a coil/ignitor, 1993 mr2 turbo O2 sensor by OBX, stainless steel fuel hose and Earl's banjo fittings with the pressure gauge set up from Summit Racing, and 1ZZFE coil packs to run a waste spark setup. Ignition and fuel line will look like this:

This photo was borrowed from morgan of club4ag.org in his 20v build that I have been referring to religiously

The only thing left I have to source is a water conversion kit, and an electric fan set up. Other than that all I have to do is send this harness in tomorrow and prep everything for the swap. Stay tuned for lots of updates as I meticulously swap my car over the next couple weeks.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Ae86's, Last of the Japanese Classic? Patina Worthy?

This black hatch belongs to my good friend Alex.

I love the look of layers of paint sanded down.

Keep Portland Hood, Alright?


Pictures of my AE86 at ITEM-B

I'm all about details, an example of this is the way I incorporated the brake master heat shield with the master cylinder stopper from NRG.

A picture of my car at ITEM-B, my shop/garage and my home.

Who remembers 76 antenna balls? So, utterly period correct for my 80's mobile.

BATMAN reverse light

Some Solex "Twin Cam Series". Love these things.

Corner Artist Style.


The Workhorse 16v 4age

Over the past six years my stock 16v has served me well. A 20v blacktop swap is in my sights. I should have the engine by the end of the month, stay tuned for updates as the swap begins!


Friday, March 29, 2013


Why is my blog getting so many views from Russia? Anyone? I can always have my girlfriend write some russian translations on my blog if requested. Though, japanese is much more my style. Why don't I have any views from Japan?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Corner Artist Logo Design

I came up with an idea to create a seal of sorts, for an elite group of automotive enthusiasts (aka my friends). Here is a series of photos showing the progression of the design over a couple days.

 It started out on the back of my school notebook. I saw the "metro goldwyn mayer" logo at the beginning of a movie and got inspired to replace the lion with a hoshino and make it my own.

Then I drew it again on a normal piece of paper and tried to generate some details.

Then i busted out an 11 by 17 inch piece of bristol and some micro's and got to it. The kanji symbol stands for "Car", and I just love the way it looks and what it represents.

 At some point I started taking pictures in inverse, to see what it would look like when made into a white vinyl cut sticker. I actually used the inverted photo technique to help me decide how to draw it.

This is the complete. The size of the sticker will be about 14 inches wide. Having shirts made is a possibility.  I'm not 100% satisfied with my "Corner Artist" cursive font, but at least it's hand drawn.

The shop that printed up the vinyl stickers is located in northeast Portland. Their shop is called NO LIMITS. Click the link below to see a video promo for their shop!


#cornerartist #ae86 #underground #blackbelt