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James18

James' '86 Build

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Post #1: Intro & First Mods!

Things are starting to come to fruition with my build so I thought I might start a thread to join in on the fun, and help myself keep track of what's happened! It's actually rather therapeutic documenting everything. 

A bit of history for anyone who may be interested;
I purchased my car from a Toyota main dealer, last year. This car to me is a tribute to a late loved one, as she always wanted me to have something special, and the GT86 is what I chose. Light chassis, high revving engine, low centre of gravity and relatively affordable insurance for under 20s meant this was the perfect choice. 

The 86 is my first RWD car and I'm absolutely loving it. The power may not be anywhere near that of some of the motorbikes I've had the luck of riding, but for fun factor without the fear of losing your license you absolutely can't fault it. 

The car itself is a 2013 61K Grey Auto - I know I know! I just couldn't resist the flappy paddles! And the car is used for long trips and traffic infested commutes when not in the work van. Obligatory pictures of the car on Toyota's forecourt below. 

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I have an absolute day dream when it comes to plans for the car and have a nigh on infinite list of possible mods, however taking the plunge on them is nearly always spur of the moment, so I won't list too many expectations - but I'm in the mindset of future proofing the car with any I do purchase. My main influences on here come from @Lowe, @smudge @Deacon builds. As well as the plethora of online images. Speaking of images - big thanks to Jeff for helping me work out how to upload them correctly😅

First up had to be an email to Tuning Developments after hearing so much about them on here. I grabbed myself a resonated catback off @Mike@TD.co.uk and had it installed within a fortnight of owning the car. What a difference. Cold starts are a little fruity but nothing unbearable. Perfect customer service as always. 

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Next up was the customary Valenti tail lights - however I was slightly different in ordering from CT Autoparts in Australia. They were the cheapest I could find and had the Red Editions which I much prefer (and are a little bit rarer!) Shipping took just 5 working days. Highly recommended. To get rid of the godawful brick protruding out my bumper I got myself some new plates and installed those whilst I was at it.

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Post #2: Adding Some Individuality

I purchased some Eibach 20 & 25mm wheel spacers off an owner on the Facebook buy and sell page ages ago but finally got round to having them installed. These were just a stop-gap until I decide what wheels to pull the plug on, but they are an essential upgrade in my view - simple but so effective on standard wheels (and suspension) 

After deliberating between window louvres and tinting I decided on the latter and got some limo tint applied by Stu @ Protint UK. A good friend in the trade and all round nice guy, if you're local to Wiltshire, Stu is your man for all things tinted. Check him out on Facebook, if you're interested, can not recommend enough. 

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Now the interior is nearly pitch black inside, an upgrade in lighting was in order. I replaced the centre light with an LED upgrade and with the help of the brother had some LED strips installed. 2 in the usual front footwells. But also 2 strips attached on the roof where it meets the rear window, these are out of sight unless you are in the back and look great imo. 

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Post #3: Spoiler Install and Next Mods...

Ever since picking up the car I had the intention of swapping out the spoiler for something different. I loved the look of too many to choose from and didn't really fancy drilling any holes / getting factory holes filled. So when the opportunity arrived to snap up a SARD wing off @Lowe I jumped at the chance (Thanks again, Andrew!) The 7 hour drive was so worth it. This, along with a TRD style spoiler courtesy of @Tarmac, give me the perfect combination of spoiler height, design and subtlety, to compliment the natural lines of the car. 

After the TRD spoiler came back from the paint shop I was so excited I had to install them both on my lunch break outside work. When removing the original spoiler there was so much gunk underneath that it took longer to clean up than install the new ones. 
The SARD wing itself has a C shaped clamp that fits on the inside of your boot with three nuts that screw up into the underside, on each side. These will definitely scratch, so I placed a thin strip of adhesive and some rubber along the underside of the boot to stop this. On the exterior of the boot, I did the same but this time attached the rubber to the clamp itself. With the TRD spoiler installed, I have clamped the SARD wing as far back as possible, however when closing the boot this brings two issues;
    1) The clamp catches on the inside of the boot and doesn't shut properly. This can be fixed one of two ways, yanking on the boot where it meets the rear window and forcing it shut. Or alternatively I installed a couple of spacers on the boot latches. 
    2) The clamp rubs ever so slightly on the rear fender of the car where it stretches out past the width of the boot. To stop this completely destroying my paint work I cut out some clear 3M tape in the shape of the clamp and stuck it on to the fender. Barely noticeable unless you knew to look for it. 
    
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Post #4: Upcoming Mods

I've been on the lookout for coilovers for a while, however with the steep drive I have, and countless potholes on local roads (my front bumper is already badly damaged from scraping) I couldn't sacrifice too much ride height for aesthetics. 
I found a set of second hand HKS Hipermax IV SP going cheap (ish) from Club Japan Imports where the original customer had never paid the full amount to collect. I know these are the track orientated version, and there's not too much coverage of them from a UK perspective. I don't daily drive my car so comfort isn't too much of a consideration, but the 10kg spring rates do seem particularly high - hopefully the 30 stages of damping adjustment and progressive spring will help. They're widely considered as some of the best across the pond but we'll see once they're installed soon. For the price, I thought it was worth a punt instead of buying some cheaper, new ones.
Upon over night delivery, its clear they haven't done too many miles and seem in good condition - build quality looks excellent. The rear dust boots were cracked and I have patched these up as best I can, hopefully nothing to worry about. 

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Ever since reading @Lauren countless comments on this forum about how bad the standard wheels look I've always been on the look out for some new shoes. I spent ages trawling the internet, but I liked too many to make a choice, I knew I wanted 18s, and I knew I wanted something relatively lightweight, with racing pedigree (and preferably, not replicas). OZ, Rays, Wedsports etc. were all top of the list. And then it happened. A massive shout out to @Lucas@PartBox for sorting me out with a set of Rays Gramlights 57CR in this unbelievable colour. Complete with nut and lock set and centre caps. In 18x9.5J +38 I'm hoping I wont have too many clearance issues, but it's looking like lower control arms and toe arms might be needed. 

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In terms of tyres, I'm probably going to go for 255/35/18s (PS4s), unless anyone has any input on something better size-wise? Any opinion welcome. I'm ever so slightly concerned the thin sidewall may lead to cracking rims but this seems unlikely to me. I'm well aware this size wheel is going to be far too much traction for stock NA power, so I'm considering a set of Yoko V105s instead, but weighing up my options I'm not too bothered about sliding about round roundabouts. I've had my fun playing the Primacy lottery! 

My thought process is relatively simple - stock -> suspension -> wheels & tyres -> brakes -> power. I like to see and feel the affects of the upgrades before moving on to the next (admittedly I'll be doing suspension and wheels one right after another though!) Plus, insurance is a killer. Hopefully when renewal comes along in two months some of the specialists will be able to help. 

And that's all for now, folks! Thanks for reading.

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11 minutes ago, smudge said:

I wouldn't recommend taking influence from me 😂

Haha! Good luck with the rest of your build, I've really enjoyed following it. Can't wait to see it finished! Gonna be mega. 

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Good work and glad to see you didn't go for the louvres. I was going to spend £500 on the TRD rear window louvre years ago, but I'm so glad I didn't now with everyone and their dog putting ebay copies on their cars. And don't even get me started on the side window louvres. 😂

Good to see you got some decent wheels that are not fakes. Kudos for that. 255's with PS4's means you'll never run out of grip, not so much fun though. I recently put PS4's in stock sizes on my car and I can barely unstick it. Very reassuring and all that, but it's lost the fun factor for me. Trouble is I need to be competitive for the sprint series. Will give it a bit longer and see what I think. 

10kg spring rates are way too hard I would say. Anything over 6kg is going to be too much on the road really. See if you can get lower spring rates that will still work with the dampers I would say. 

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I think the car will look great on those wheels, suspensions looks really good quality too. Before fitting and paying for alignment etc it might be worth getting into contact with HKS and asking what spring rates they are good with. I did this with KW so I knew the new springs I fitted would work ok. The damping may be great and you may get away with it, but 10kg would seem to be really hard! I don't think anyone racing in the sprint series is above 7kg on either end of the car.

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@Lauren @maurice I think you're both probably right regarding the spring rates being too hard. There is a list of replacements available on the HKS website, so I believe 6/8kg springs are available. 

I'm lucky enough to know people where alignments and fitting aren't too expensive. So I think I'll risk the standard ones to begin with. If it is unbearable on the road I'll get them swapped out at a later date. Perhaps with a suspension service at the same time. 

It's such a shame, for me, that the TSS rounds are all up north! I would love to get up there and see a couple of rounds, meet some of you guys and maybe participate later on. Would be great for a round at Thruxton or Combe etc. Though I know both these tracks are sticklers for noise limits. 

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It seems you've taken my influence quite literally. 

Those coilovers were mine 😂 I was never told of the full fees involved so I told Club Japan where to shove the surprise invoice he sent me which was over double his original fees he had quoted. An importer with a horrible reputation.

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1 hour ago, James18 said:

@Lauren @maurice I think you're both probably right regarding the spring rates being too hard. There is a list of replacements available on the HKS website, so I believe 6/8kg springs are available. 

I'm lucky enough to know people where alignments and fitting aren't too expensive. So I think I'll risk the standard ones to begin with. If it is unbearable on the road I'll get them swapped out at a later date. Perhaps with a suspension service at the same time. 

It's such a shame, for me, that the TSS rounds are all up north! I would love to get up there and see a couple of rounds, meet some of you guys and maybe participate later on. Would be great for a round at Thruxton or Combe etc. Though I know both these tracks are sticklers for noise limits. 

I'll give you a few weeks before you'll want to change those springs. 😛

 

Don't worry about some of the rounds being up north, just book the Premier Inn with the rest of us, it's one of the other really good points about the sprint series, the social in the bar the afternoon and evening before. We normally have a table for dinner for 15 or so, it's great fun. 

The best circuits are up north though, no getting away from that. ;)

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3 hours ago, James18 said:

It's such a shame, for me, that the TSS rounds are all up north! I would love to get up there and see a couple of rounds, meet some of you guys and maybe participate later on. Would be great for a round at Thruxton or Combe etc. Though I know both these tracks are sticklers for noise limits. 

Me, @KevinA and @DebbieJ travel from the wrong side of London. With any motorsport you have to be prepared for a road trip really!

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On 3/10/2019 at 3:39 PM, Lauren said:

Good work and glad to see you didn't go for the louvres. I was going to spend £500 on the TRD rear window louvre years ago, but I'm so glad I didn't now with everyone and their dog putting ebay copies on their cars. And don't even get me started on the side window louvres. 😂

 

I feel somewhat responsible for that, but at least can hold my head high since mine were original Ikons. 😂 

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37 minutes ago, Lowe said:

I feel somewhat responsible for that, but at least can hold my head high since mine were original Ikons. 😂 

Now you know how I feel when people buy Rota Grids! 🤣

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4 hours ago, Lauren said:

Now you know how I feel when people buy Rota Grids! 🤣

 

On 3/10/2019 at 3:39 PM, Lauren said:

Good to see you got some decent wheels that are not fakes.

For my understanding, what is 'real' about Rays but 'fake' about Rotas?

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15 minutes ago, MartinT said:

 

For my understanding, what is 'real' about Rays but 'fake' about Rotas?

Largely it's about the fact that rota's wheels all copy the designs of other established wheel manufacturers, they are not alone in this though.  Rays are a high end JDM brand that tend to make new designs. They are one of the most copied manufacturers.

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7 hours ago, MartinT said:

 

For my understanding, what is 'real' about Rays but 'fake' about Rotas?

Or to put another way for example a Rays TE37 was designed by Rays Engineering (originally for the AE86 where in 14" guise it weighed 3.7kg, hence the '37' moniker). It is a forged wheel. Rota et al., copied it in cast form which is of course a lot cheaper  to look like the Rays wheels and now all the others, JR etcetera have done the same. 

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Ok, thanks both.  I thought you were implying that they were unsafe in some way but it's more about who designed the original and forged versus cast manufacture.

So is there an original for the Rota Blitz that I use?  I really like the design.

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Ok, thanks both.  I thought you were implying that they were unsafe in some way but it's more about who designed the original and forged versus cast manufacture.
So is there an original for the Rota Blitz that I use?  I really like the design.
They are not unsafe persae, but they are a weaker, heavier wheel and more prone to cracking. A forged wheel is stronger and lighter, but more expensive due to the amount of forming and machining required, alot more material is wasted as a result.

Sent from my STF-L09 using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, MartinT said:

Ok, thanks both.  I thought you were implying that they were unsafe in some way but it's more about who designed the original and forged versus cast manufacture.

So is there an original for the Rota Blitz that I use?  I really like the design.

For the sake of clarity - for road use and a lot of casual track use almost all wheels are 'safe'. Catastrophic failures when you aren't already mid crash ploughing sideways into a kerb are incredibly rare. 

That's a pretty classic design pretty much everyone offers some variation of it, you'd be hard pressed to figure out who was the first.  TSW Venoms looked similar and they came out about 25 years ago.

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The Blitz is an imitation of the BBS CH another timeless classic. Either way it doesn't matter. Rota is very much a marmite club, you have those that love the fact they can have great looking wheels for affordable prices. Others see it as a firm who is capitalising and undermining the hard work and reputation of other companies. 

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