JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

decryphe
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 am

JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby decryphe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:41 am

Hi guys!

So, now it's time to blog, rant, appreciate and tell about the probably only street legal JDM Trueno in Switzerland. Long story long, here it comes: shamelessly copied and updated from aeu86.org

So, one would probably first want to know, why the 86? Since it's such a great little car, there's many reasons why one might want specifically this car. For me it's mainly the basic idea of being small, lightweight, RWD, quick around corners and being a really bare bones car - a "car" car. That would fit to stuff like the Ford Escort, E30 (M or non-M), Alfa Romeo GTV and a bunch of other sporty coupes or hatches from the 70s and 80s - but for me it has to be from Japan. I grew up with Toyota, so that's what it is. And last but not least, this is the most damn sexy car there is. So the idea was born.

Searching for the right one, I've come across a couple options, but I had a specific flavour in mind. Had to be a red panda. Had to be mostly stock interior. Had to be mostly stock looking in the engine bay. Mainly, I didn't want to have to track down a ton of parts to restore the car to how I want it to be. After 9 months of scavenging japan-partner and tradecarview and a couple others, I stumbled over the one that I ended up importing. No more than two days after finding it, the money was transferred and it was mine. That was mid April.

Here's the pictures from tradecarview upon which I decided to buy it:
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...continued in next post

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decryphe
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 am

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby decryphe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:43 am

continuation...

A few days later, I receive a large collection of photos from the contact of my Swiss importer, showing a car in really good condition:
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After a long waiting period (longer than I had hoped), I finally finally got a call two weeks ago that the car had arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany. Found a company doing the unlading and releasing on Monday (LPL Automotive), picked up the papers for the car on Tuesday evening, prepared customs declaration, cash and temporary licence plates on Wednesday morning (5 min before closing of traffic office, 5 min before closing of the bank) and went to work in the afternoon. Took the night train with my girlfriend from Zurich to Hannover, woke up in Germany and arrived in Bremerhaven around 11 am. After the paperwork was done, security deposit made and the car had its A/C tested for R12 coolant (fortunately it had been upgraded to R134a already in Japan, as R12 is illegal here), it was time to pick it up. At 1 pm I saw the car for the first time in the enormous parking lot with all the cars being moved at Bremerhaven.

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Then it was time to drive it home. First pass the German customs with the T1 transit document (so I don't have to pay taxes in Germany), then start driving. After some initial warming up of my skills driving manual (haven't done so for six years), I started getting used to it again. Also had to be careful not to kill the engine (which I didn't do, fortunately), as the battery is low and needs a refill. A few stops for gasoline, a traffic jam and about 10 hours later we arrive at the Swiss border. As all documents are in order, I can pass and pay the customs next day in Zurich. Go to sleep at 2 am and go to work at 7 am - no sleep, but totally worth it.

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Some noteworthy things:
The car is very well set up, handles just the way it should - decently neutral, but very quick around corners. Set up for grip like a race car, feels a little like a go cart.
Fuel economy is great, keeping 150 km/h on German autobahn on average just used 8l/100km bleifrei 95.
It's loud... my ears were a bit numb after 10 hours at 4.5k rpm. Also, the warning bell didn't help either as it was constantly on.

...continued in next post

decryphe
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 am

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby decryphe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:46 am

continuation...

Here's a bunch of photos from under and around the car to give a picture of the condition it is in (which is a surprisingly good condition!).

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Apart from the wheel wells having some gooey stuff on the insides, I was unable to find any rust whatsoever. Just the odd screw in the engine bay that's collected surface rust. I also found a cat (actually two, there's a feline living in this former barn), which was a bit unexpected considering it's from 1984 and a catalyst wasn't mandatory in Switzerland yet. Also found some nice touches like steel braided brake lines and fresh engine and tranny mounts (seems to be Cusco, TRD would be a bit thicker).

I'm really curious about what kind of work has been done to the internals of the engine, since this car is faster than what can be seen in youtube videos of minimally modded 86es (stock + exhaust and intake). Time will tell once I get around to do some head work.

So, got around to cleaning the exterior from all the cat hair, dust and stuff that the car has collected during the trip from Germany and from standing in the barn. I also received the Supra headlamps - they're pretty rusty and I will cover up the rust with some protective paint before they go in the car.

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Now the car has a proper cover to protect it from dust and cats. Next week I'll inform myself about what other things I need to do to get the car registered in Switzerland.

Went to the local transport office and got temporary licence plates for yesterday and today and took the car on a trip to the mountains while weather is good and not all mountain passes are closed for winter. Here are a couple impressions:
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Touched up the exterior plastics with the Meguiar's Trim Restore stuff, worked like a charm. The plastics look like new now and that stuff seems to be holding up quite well - I'm happy. The car starts looking like new on the exterior now, just a handful of details to be fixed.

The upholsterer came by on Thursday evening and we removed the seats from the car. He took them with him for sampling the proper colors and fabrics and will then show me the samples before starting with the process. The chairs will get new foam and new fabric plus fresh vinyl on the back of the front seats (the edges are a little torn).

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This will give me enough space and a lot of time to replace the completely dried out bitumen sheets in the car with something much more modern (the guy doing the upholstery will give me a couple hints for material choice and how to work with the materials). Additionally, I'll be cleaning the rear fenders from the inside to remove all remaining dirt and seal some areas to prevent rust from developing in the first place. Same goes for the trunk in general, which is just bare painted metal with a couple dings and scratches. If I can't find original trunk panelling, I will fabricate it out of some plywood.

Turns out the trunk lid does not need anything more than polish with some rubbing to make it shine like new, plus new replica stickers. Still trying to find one of these old Toyota logo stickers.

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Last edited by decryphe on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

decryphe
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 am

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby decryphe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:47 am

With winter around, Christmas celebrations, work and a couple other projects I have going on, I haven't been able to get much done regarding the car. One small update though, the samples from the upholsterer came in yesterday and here they are:
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I selected the 890x4594 and 890x2507 colors to replace the faded cloth of my seats. Pictured are the rear seats which are not faded, but the front seats have almost grey cloth now and the foam beneath is dissolving. I chose that color for its stronger orange as well to accent the seats a little more than before. The brown has the same brown as the seats have now, just a little more saturation as it's new and not faded.
Unfortunately there was no cloth that has the same kind of feel to it, but the new one is nice to the touch as well and with its slight grainyness in color, it doesn't look dirty so fast as a flat color.

Almost crashed my Camry driving 5 hours in the thickest snowfall I've ever driven to get there yesterday. Even the highways were snowcovered. Was braking a little too much in a downhill curve and started going straight instead of around the curve.

Plans for the car:
I want to build it into a quick mountain pass cruiser. Not heading for max power or an actual race car, but something rather balanced. I also want to keep the stock appearance as much as possible, as that's part of why I love the 86 so much. So here's the steps that I have already decided on:
  1. Make it road legal in Switzerland (install fog lights, replace headlights for LHD, figure out what to do about position lights/Standlicht). Will have to check what else needs to be done - done
  2. Make it a little less loud (probably some interior damping between engine bay and cabin to make it less of a resonance chamber). Just need to keep it light still, don't want to make it heavy.
  3. Fresh engine and tranny mounts, probably the rubber parts are dried up. - not needed, TRD mounts are installed
  4. Freshen up the interior with new upholstery (high quality cloth and new padding) in the stock chairs and floor mats and stuff. - in progress
  5. Install an era-proper radio (I'll take the radio from the '92 Camry) and keep a collection of mixtapes in the car. - done
  6. Investigate meaningful engine performance enhancements, maybe some cams and some valve work. - in progress
  7. Polish the exterior, seal/protect the paint and apply new OEM stickers. - in progress
  8. Restore the wheels - there's dents and chips in these amazing Advans.
  9. Get the trunk repainted and install/fabricate some panels in the trunk (they're missing).
  10. Wash and clean the engine bay.
  11. Get it registered.

That sums it up, hope you enjoyed the read!
Last edited by decryphe on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MIGGZFSU
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:20 am

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby MIGGZFSU » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:18 pm

Hey bud

Really digging the write up so far. Congrats on the new car it must feel amazing to drive it.

Have not had the privilege to drive mine just yet

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Jayrdee
Club4AG Enthusiast
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:25 am
Location: Lexington KY

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby Jayrdee » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:30 pm

Super clean!

Love the advan wheels!
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MNAE92
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:09 am

Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby MNAE92 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:31 pm

Hey man, always good to see your car. Keep posting on the 4chan /tg/ thread btw nice to see new pictures.

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RuizXIII
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Re: JDM GT-Apex Trueno in the Alps

Postby RuizXIII » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:08 am

Very nice photography in the mountains.
Looking forward to seeing how the interior turns out.
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