1987 Corolla FX16 GTS AutoX/Track Build - Page 2 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Corolla Older Generations (1969-1987) Specific discussion of the AE86, along with generations 1 through 5.

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post #16 of 23 Old 01-18-2019, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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It's been six months since the last time I posted an update and some pretty cool stuff has happened in that time.





I added some aluminized tape to seal off the gap along the top of the radiator. This will help keep air flowing through, rather than around it, increasing it's cooling efficiency.





Two M16x1.5 oil drain plug bolts replaced the plastic plugs in the radiator. The exhaust is too close for comfort when it comes to plastic right there.





With the radiator to keep things cool, it was time for another trackcross. Unfortunately the weather was less than ideal.





On one of the last runs of the day the car suddenly became 100x louder. I limped the car back to the paddock, ears ringing, and found a broken downpipe. The slice/bent/re-weld method had bitten me in the ass. Fortunately a good friend of mine towed me home and then the car sat while I accumulated parts to fix it.





After getting the right wire to weld stainless I was finally ready to start creating a new downpipe.





It's not pretty but it should be stronger and flow better than the old one.





Can't forget the wrap! Heat is the enemy.





The car was up and running just in time to make it to the fall cruise. Clay and Brian also brought out their FX's!





I've never seen three in the same place before, so this was a really cool experience.





I love boxy cars!
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-18-2019, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Last time I tried to align the car I just could not get the rear toe right. This is because of the eccentric cam sleeve design of the adjuster. What often happens on these is the bolt, cam, and inner sleeve of the arm bushing all seize together. I already planned on replacing all the rear bushings, and really wanted to get rid of this stupid system at the same time.





Yep, the cam was definitely seized to the bushing sleeve. The only way to remove the arm from the car was to cut the cam out.





That thing was not budging. Even a sawzall wouldn't go though, I had to use an angle grinder.





This is where the cams allow the bolt to slide back and forth to adjust rear toe. The goal is to eliminate this as a point of adjustment, and instead use an arm that has an adjustable length.





Theoretically you are supposed to be able to turn the round part independently, but rust and time have eliminated that possibility.





I had replaced the front bushings with polyurethane a year or so ago, now it's time to finish the rear as well. The following Super Pro part numbers will do all of the rear suspension arms:
SPF0825K - outer bushings for the control arm and toe arm (go in the knuckle)
SPF1216K - inner bushings for the control arm and toe arm (go in the arms)
SPF0823K - bushings for the trailing arm (one pair in the arm, one pair in the knuckle)





Once you remove the brakes and sway bar the whole assembly can just drop down. Easy peasy. Well, after you cut through the stupid cam sleeves.





A combination of propane torch, hammer, and various size sockets in the vice will get the old bushings out. This makes a huge mess and lots of very toxic smoke so definitely wear a respirator, glasses, gloves, etc.





After a few very messy hours you'll end up with this!





I contacted TechnoToyTuning about making some custom arms, giving them the measurements from the stock arm for reference. They did a great job, except that I had totally mis-measured somehow and ended up with arms that were 2 inches too long! Once I realized my mistake we swapped out the center sections with ones of the appropriate length.





Since these arms are using off-the-shelf components for other cars, there was a little shimming necessary at the knuckle end, but T3 included most of the washers I needed.





I did have to special order some bolts and nuts to replace the sleeves that were cut out. These are the part numbers I ordered from Fastenal:
Bolts: 11114726 - M12x80 960-10.9 bolts (2x)
Nuts: 11508302 - M12x1.25 nylock nuts (2x)
Washers: 1140359 (bag of 25)
Total spent on hardware: $7.23





Not only do these look great, but they will make adjusting the toe much easier.





Pardon the ugly welds, as my welder was running out of gas. I do think I may end up changing this, as I'm not sure the washers are up to the task of keeping the bolts securely located. I may end up cutting/drilling plates to fit in the little tabs where the cam used to ride. But this works for now.





And here's the progression of how I eliminated the stock adjuster. No more seized sleeves for me!
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-01-2019, 02:22 PM
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Nice work! That looks sweet!

Thanks for posting part numbers too. That will come in handy.

'87 FX16 GT-S, Silver, not running
'87 FX16 GT-S, White, FSP
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-03-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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I had the opportunity to strap the car down at a local dyno day last month and put down a whopping 105 wheel horsepower. For a stock (other than intake, exhaust, and removing accessories) 16 valve 4AGE with over 260k miles, those are phenomenal numbers. No smoke out the exhaust either!





I was the lowest power car there that day and was probably the most excited about the results. The next car up was a Corvette that made more than 5 times the power and he was not excited at all! Big thanks to Kevin at FlimFlam Speed for hosting the dyno day!





Something that's been in the back of my mind for a while with this car is the need for some auxiliary gauges. I was fortunate enough to pick up lightly used oil pressure and oil temperature gauges for a good deal.





The oil pressure sender is surprisingly heavy, and hanging off the block can fatigue and crack the fittings over time. Solution: remote mount sender to chassis and run a -4AN line to the port on the block. The block is actually threaded for 1/8 BSPT, so some adapter daisy-chaining is needed.





The sender is mounted to an aluminum bracket, surrounded by some foam insulation from an old radiator hose for extra protection.





For water temperature, this will go in the upper radiator hose. It has a 1/8 NPT thread for the sender, and makes for a simple, clean install.





This was probably the easiest of the senders to install. After this picture was taken, all the wiring was covered with a corrugated sleeve and secured.





For the oil temperature sender, I got an m12x1.25 to 1/8 NPT adapter that will thread into the oil pan. I used a two-wire plug from a spare scrap harness I had laying around, in case I ever need to disconnect it. Due to proximity to the exhaust, I put a sleeve of insulation around the wires for protection.





The old location where the stock oil cooler return line bolted up is going to be my first try, but it looks like it may be too high up to get a reliable reading. If not, I'll put it in the drain plug location.





Here's the sensor installed. Hopefully this location gets a good reading, and that this is even the right sensor. It was included with the used gauge so it may or may not even be the right one for this application.





I made a mounting plate where the factory radio went, and all three gauges are easy to read from the driver's seat.





At the last HPDE, my hands were covered in blisters by the end of the day. A decent pair of gloves should make that last session much more comfortable. By the third session the fuel level starts to run low, and my standard gas can was a massive pain to use without spilling fuel everywhere. This new can fits into the filler on the car much easier and without spilling.

The first track day of 2019 is coming up in less than a week, hopefully all this stuff works!
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Last edited by RVAMR2; 04-03-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-09-2019, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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The alarm went off at 5:30am, far too early for any reasonable person to wake up on a weekend. Fumbling around in the dark, I throw on the clothes I had set out the night before, trying not to wake my wife or the dogs sleeping peacefully. Picking up the GoPro case and water bottle, I head out to the car which was already packed and ready to make the short 45-minute trip up 95 to Dominion Raceway, AKA the "Thornburgring".





Arriving at the track just as the sun was peaking over the horizon, I passed through registration and tech with no problems and ventured out to the paddock to stake out a spot to set up. The first order of business was to remove everything from the car so the track wheels can be swapped on. The other wheels act as anchors for the pop-up canopy, as it is always very breezy here.





After getting set up, everyone attended the mandatory driver's meeting. Afterwords we had about two hours of down time before the first "green" session at 10:30. The car got a good once-over, checking lug nut torque, fluid levels, and tire pressures, making sure there are no loose items inside, setting up the GoPro, and making sure my helmet, neck brace, and gloves are in the car.





One of the best things about track events is hanging out with the other drivers. Adam had brought out his awesome Honda CRV "RaceUV". If there's ever a car event going on around central VA, odds are you can see this crazy thing out there.





My good friend Micki was gracious enough to come out to take pictures. Every shot in this post was taken by her!





The first session is always taken a little easy, as the car is getting warmed up and the drivers are getting to know the instructors.





Adam and I were both in the "green" group for newbies with fewer than 5 track days under our belts.





By the second session, most people are getting more comfortable on track. Temperatures are coming up, and people really start to push.





My instructor for this event, Emil, pushed me really hard - which is just what I needed. I think I'll be hearing him say "brake harder!" and "open the wheel!" in the back of my head for a long time.





Over the course of the day, Emil had me braking so much later than before. I had no idea how well this car responded to trail braking, which I need to practice a lot more!





This front drive platform requires completely different driving style than the MR2 I've been driving for so long. Trying to break those habits is extremely difficult, but I slowly started to get the hang of it, if only a little.





By the last session, I was keeping pace with a Subaru which I was told was making over 400 horsepower. That's four times the power my little quarter-million-mile 4A-GE puts down.





The trusty Corolla made it through the whole day without any mechanical problems. When swapping the street wheels back on I did notice that only roughly 25% of the brake pads remain up front, so perhaps getting a spare set of pads and rotors would be a good idea to have on hand next time.





I can't wait to get strapped back in for the next event and apply what I've learned. Hopefully they announce the next HPDE date soon!
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post #21 of 23 Old 05-13-2019, 06:08 PM
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good writeup
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post #22 of 23 Old 05-21-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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With the car safely home from HPDE back in April, a few issues that had made themselves apparent now needed fixing.





The valve cover gaskets were seeping oil, so I went ahead and painted my spare set of covers and put them on with fresh gaskets. I love the white/black/red NASA-inspired color theme.





The biggest takeaway from HPDE was how much I was under-using the brakes, and needed to brake harder. By the end of the day the front brakes were pretty toasty, with the pads starting to glaze and the rotors starting to warp after the last session's cooldown. The rear brakes were basically like-new though.





Solution: remove the stock proportioning valve and install an adjustable valve for the rear brakes. This will accomplish two things: allow me to fine tune how much force goes to the rear brakes, and split the front and rear circuits for safety/redundancy.





I wanted to be able to reach the adjuster knob from the driver's seat so I made a little mounting bracket and welded it to the shifter riser.





A couple adapters and two 4-foot sections of steel brake tubing complete this end of the circuit.





The lines run under the shifter and through a pre-existing grommet in the firewall.





Without much room to hand-bend the lines, it's not the prettiest install ever, but so far nothing leaks or rattles and it seems to work as intended. Fortunately all of this is hidden behind the engine so you don't have to look at it.





I'd had a stainless clutch line laying around for a while, and this seemed as good a time as any to install it. What's one more bleeder valve when you're already doing the brakes anyway?





If you've been keeping up with this build so far it's probably pretty clear that this is a low-budget endeavor. That means funds for events are hard to come by, but I'm hoping to make it out to my first two-day HPDE event at Dominion in September. I can't wait!
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post #23 of 23 Old Yesterday, 02:47 AM
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Awesome build and maximising budget!!!
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