My AE86 from Belgium

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My AE86 from Belgium

Postby timeightsix » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:37 am

Hi everyone,

In March 2013 I was lucky enough to track down a red 1986 AE86 Levin coupe in Portugal. The car was located more than 2000 km from Belgium and it took me a day or so to decide whether the car was worth the trip. It would later turn it out was!

I hopped on a plane a week later and arrived in sunny Portugal to find her sitting pretty in the previous owners garage. A few minutes later we started the car and I took it for test drive in the Portuguese mountains with the owner next to me. Never having driving an 86 before I instantly liked the go-cart feel of it. The engine had a smooth power band, no weird noises, brakes were good.

The only downside was the silencer was big enough to fit my luggage but the engine was still running the original exhaust header. Exhaust smell was horrible. While cruising on the highway it produced a droning sound which would drive me mad during the long trip back.



Anyways, already fallen in love with it we made a deal and I took it home.
Due to some problems with my GPS it turned out to be a 2500km and 26 hour trip with no rest, except for fuel and coffee. This road trip was absolutely amazing and I really got to know the car.

The owner had told me it consumed just a little bit of oil so he had given me a liter for the trip. On the first stop for fuel I couldn't even get a measure from the dipstick so it turned out it was consuming A LOT of oil. Every fuel stop I had to add atleast a liter of oil. Only after I got home I noticed one of the hoses running to the oil cooler was damaged. The engine was fine, it was the hose that had been dripping constantly. Easy fix so apart from spending a fortune on oil priced as gold I was happy this wasn't anything serious :D .

So, first things first. Very curious to find out what was beneath the ugly looking seat covers so I took em off. Near immaculate seats below them and some weird powder.




Bought a matching key chain.

The heather hadn't been working which was rather annoying during the trip. In heinsight this actually was a good thing because being freezingly cold kept me from falling asleep. If you're up long enough there comes a point pouring in caffeine isn't going to help anymore and with well over 35 hours of no shut-eye I needed all the help I could get. A very common problem is a clogged heather core and flushing it did the trick. I'm trying not to add too many pictures but there was lots of sand in the heather core and the coolant system itself was running mud instant of coolant.


Gave the engine an oil change and a new filter, put new transmission- , diffoil and new spark plugs in it, lubricated the hinges,... etc. All the typical stuff anyone does when buying a new old car. I also poured a bottle of Swiss Chemicals Warm up Gold formula in the oil and a bottle of the same brand in the fuel to clean injectors. All of the above really made the car run a lot happier.

These will do the trick.

Ok, so far so good. No big optical changes. Gave the car a good wash and found out more things to do as she was being driven nearly daily.


On a later drive, for some reason, my idle didn't want to come down after the car was heated up. The engine started revving up to about 2000-2500 RPM, came down to stationary rpm and kept repeating this over and over. In combination with that insane exhaust facing a red light was horrible since it made me look like an ***hole who wanted to race everyone. At the time I didn't know how the whole throttle system of the AE86 worked so it was nice to learn. The throttle body has a little wax pellet in it which acts as a blockage when it melts due to the warm coolant. The molten pellet closes an opening in the throttle body reducing the amount of fuel that goes into the engine and lowers the rpm when the coolant is hot enough or something like that... Having air in the system apparently causes the same effect so I bled the system thoroughly, took the TB apart and removed all the crud with a steamer.


Problem solved! No more angry people giving me the stink eye. However, that exhaust was still bothering me. The entire system was in poor condition so I decided to order a new one. Martelius hooked me up with one that fits the LHD AE86 real nice. I picked one with an extra silencer so now it's possible to listen to the radio but still hear the engine when you give it the beans. A friend once said it sounds like a mix between the high revving 4 cyl and a rotary engine. Can't say I'm not happy with that :) .



An unexpected heavy rain storm pointed out that water was leaking inside the trunk. This came as a shock since I realised how lucky I was the trip home from Portugal was, given cold, but sunny! Apparently no gaskets were fitted to the taillights. Water dripped down from the roof, followed the curvature of the trunk lid and got caught behind the lights. Ordered new ones straight from Toyota.


Just in time for a trackday and not to worry about too much db.
Picture credit goes out to Dennis Noten Photography:


While driving home a few days later I came off the highway and the engine stalled. When trying to get the car going it was making all these weird noises and it wouldn't run properly. After towing it home we found the cause: a blown headgasket. It had ruptured in between 2 cylinders so there was no coolant leaking and the engine did still run, but both pistons were working against each by pressurising the other one on the upstroke through the broken gasket.

Image18- 2-2

Since the head was off anyways I decided to overhaul the entire engine. Fit some new parts (Exedy light flywheel, slightly bigger clutch from the MR2, new waterpump, belts, gaskets,...) and I bought a slightly lower TRD metal head gasket to prevent from something like this happening in the future. New valves were installed and the head came back super clean from the machine shop.




Painted the camshaft covers, wrapped the exhaust header with heat wrap cause when the engine was taken out I noticed it had actually molten the distributor cover, this had a big hole in it :stupid:. I'm prolly forgetting a lot of stuff that has been done but there is more than I care to add at the moment. So this is the engine back in the car.


Fitted a Momo steering wheel which at a later stage was swapped for the bigger momo I had in my Starlet. The smaller one made the steering a little too heavy for my taste and catching the car when the rear got loose was more difficult.


The car wasn't sealed on the underside which was great because I really got to see the true condition it was in. NO rust :cheer:. Belgium weather isn't anything like Portuguese weather so it was time to start protecting it.


and after

Now, the compomotive rims were really cool and made the car look a lot more beefy than it actually was. The only problem was that they were quite wide and hitting the body at times. Especially bottoming out at fuchsröhre at the Nurburgring was suicide. So I sourced a set of original wheels to install whenever I felt like it. Downside is that I didn't like the ET of them. Nothing to worry as I would find a different set of rims later on.


Since the handling of the car still wasn't all that great I fitted adjustable Whiteline anti-sway bars front and rear, a driftworks CS2 coilover set, steel brake lines and Mintexx performance pads. It handled like a totally different car and I loved it!



At this point I was pretty happy with the total package. I didn't list all of the stuff I did. I actually worked on the elektric stuff quite a bit, the car has NOS new headlights, new blinkers, all sorts of stuff all over that has been modified or replaced to make it a better package without changing the look too much.


Last time at the Nurburgring and frankly on a lot of the horrible roads overhere the Compomotive rims were still hitting the fenders at times and I was scared of eventually damaging them so I sourced a set of Hoshino Impul turbo fan rims.

Can't find a decent picture with the covers mounted at the moment so I pulled one of my instagram. I keep the covers in a box so they stay in good condition.


and the car now:

More to come...
If you like to see more pictures of the car, my instagram is 'timeightsix'.

Kind regards!

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby davew7 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:38 am

"Super Nice" Thanks for sharing, DaveW7

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby s3cf » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:24 am

very clean car.
is that original paint?
what's the mileage on the car?

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby crappy4ag » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:12 am

maintenance and preservation in europe is second to none! beautiful
Formerly "Levinpinas" est.'05
Follow me on IG: crappy4ag

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby grappletech » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:06 am

Gorgeous car, an amazing car for sure!
87 GTS Coupe stock and Super Duper Clean
87 GTS Coupe Beams 3sge (under construction cuz I'm slow and lazy and broke-FML)
87 SR5 Coupe Shell. (Sold)
86 SR5 Hatch Shell
86 GT-SR5 Coupe 20v Swap

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby Jayrdee » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:04 pm

timeightsix wrote:

I totally remember reading about your car on Petrolicious. Absolutely beautiful
[I have no idea what I'm doing]
instagram: @dacobjurbin

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Re: My AE86 from Belgium

Postby GEOVA TRD » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:25 pm

So immaculate! :o

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