So it begins

So it begins…my blacktop 4age swap into the 86.

Just last week I finally got my engine on the stand to really start converting it from fwd to a rwd configuration. This means rerouting the water lines, etc. I decided to go with the sq engineering kit based out of Australia. He makes some really high quality parts for the 20v 4ag swaps.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a 20v 4age is — to put it short, it’s the newer revision of the 86’s original motor. Higher compression, stock individual throttle bodies, 5 valves per cylinder (as opposed to e stock 4 valves per cylinder.

Here’s my workspace:


Tonight, I decided to start taking apart my harness. The motor and harness I picked up was being run in an aw11 mr2. So I need to rewire the harness to fit the ae86 chassis and also to mate up with the ae86 harness. Spent a couple hours on it and decided it was time to go to sleep. I’ve got a lottttttt of work ahead of me…


Track Day

The wait is finally over. Thaison and I had been waiting months for this event to finally come. For me this was my first “official” track day, but we all know the streets is where we play most of the time. The day was full of fun and excitement, and may I say a little competition? Tons of amazing cars showed up from BMW M3’s to 1989 Honda CRX’s. Though the cars and their price range were drastically different everyone was brought together to have fun and enjoy the motorsport known as autocross. The best part of the road race/ autocross community is that everyone is extremely hospitable and wants to help anyone in anyway possible. I’d personally like to thank everyone I had the pleasure of meeting for making my first road race / autocross experience one I will never forget. On to the show!

Early morning at Harris Hill (Sad that Jack was not able to run)

Thaison testing to see if his bumper is still falling off (which it was)

The boyz in da yard

Scoping out the competition

Guilian approves

A man and his machine

Checking out the track

That M3 was beast

Daniel tearing it up

Cooling off

Daniel's 50 dollar driveway paint job

Thaison enjoys breaking exhaust hangers. Solution: Huge zip tie

Work work

That rat tail

Fryer staging

Thaison excited as ever

Ready to roll

I'm pretty sure that ever time Thaison lined up this gentleman asked himself what exactly Thaison was doing driving that car

Starting off correct

Inside the club house, Daniel and Joseph getting ready for some grub and relaxing in the nice air conditioning

Our chef

In case you didn't know, Thaison and his family own a chain of restaurants known as Pho Thaison (Yes they are named after him). Here he is showing off his cooking skills

The garage at Harris Hill (I probably wasn't supposed to be back there

Finishing up the Stir fry

2nd heat!

Intimidating competiton

My personal favorite car of the day. This gentleman (My apologies for not remembering his name) bought this car from California for $900 after seeing it on craigslist for $300. When he contacted the owner for the $300 offer he found out it was sold to another person and soon after tracked him down and had to pay $600 more. I would say it's still an amazing deal. The best part was that he was still running the stock motor and had just done some amazing suspension mods. (Props to the Bisimoto header)


The CRX at the start

I'm all ready

That way sir

Downhill sweeper. Most exciting turn of the course

Rolling back in

Those tire marks are ALL from me

2 boys in the hood

A day well spent with the Natsukashi family







track day — more to come!

So this past Saturday, Branden and I went down to Harris Hill Road for the “Mazda Raceway Outlaw Autocross.”  Essentially, a higher speed autocross, where we got to run a section of Harris Hill Road with a couple slaloms down the side straight, back straight, and before the dam turn.

Here’s a look at the track:

A really fun, technical course with elevation changes.  There was a slalom between 3 & 4, 5 & 6, and 7 & 8.  Gridding was in the pit and the finish was right before turn 9.  Needless to say, it was a suuuuuper fun day.

More to come on this event soon!

tearing up the slaloms!

tearing up the slaloms!

clutch job — still not finished

So…the clutch job still isn’t finished.  My slave cylinder decided to blow up.  So it is permanently stuck with the clutch “fully depressed.”  But luckily, I made it all the way home from David’s place — a good 20 minute drive.

I spent tonight with one of my 86 buddies, Joseph, (which I soon will do a feature of his build) and he helped me clean out my garage.  I really should’ve taken before and after pictures.  But…those of you who’ve been to my house know that the before picture was just tons of trash and junk piled into our garage.

After a solid four hours of moving things around, cleaning, and hosing — we got the dead fish/poop smell out of the garage and cleared enough space to fit my 86 in there.  This way, I won’t have to continue working on my gravel driveway…

The car hadn’t been in the garage for about four years — the last time it was in there was when I did my first motor swap, winter/spring of 2008.

Hopefully I can get all my parts in and swap everything in for Saturday.

And in typical Thaison, always doing things last minute.  And then everything blows up in your face, but somehow I (usually) get it done in the end.  Hopefully I can get my 86 up and going for Saturday’s track event.


Houston Gods

I spent the last 3 and a half days of my spring break in Houston. While being there for a school event, that doesn’t mean I put my car life on hold. This car was at the event and was later seen at the Saturday night meet. It also happened to be my favorite and for good reason.

Simply Beautiful


clutch job cont.

Stopped by David’s house to see Thaison and pick up a few things for the Si (more on this to come). After getting the car into the garage by pushing it over the concrete (car was soo low) David and Thaison got to work raising the car up for this Saturday’s Harris Hill Autocross event along with replacing his clutch.

Natsukashi Nights


cut cut scrape scrape

We don't need hangers

"Do work" fitment

Spacers and a new clutch!

Thaison never cleans his interior



clutch job

needless to say, i have an oil leak somewhere...

Took my car over to my buddy David Liu’s place to swap my clutch.  So I wouldn’t have to do it in my gravel driveway in the dark….

Clutch was SHOT to hell.  hahah, no wonder it was slipping so much.

Should be finishing it tonight!

wagon fever

So recently, I’ve been wanting a wagon more and more.  I figured it’d be a nice daily — i can throw a tooooon of stuff in the back and lug around whatever I need to.  I’ve always wanted a wagon — corolla, corona, cressida, datsun 620, whatever.  Any old japanese wagon from the 80’s and earlier.

One of the most popular wagons in the corolla scene is Ueo’s corolla wagon.  A rare TWO DOOR wagon:

The te72/ae72 wagons are my favorite out of all the corollas.  The rigid lines and everything make them look sooooo sick.  So one of my buddies, Mudathir, was telling me a couple months ago about a corolla wagon he was looking it/considering buying.  However, things fell through and he never went through with it.

So today….I went and checked out the wagon.  Damn, I really wish I would’ve taken some pictures of it.  But it looks similar to this (minus the wheels and minus the slam and minus the front lip and minus the rear wing and minus the clean).

So the car is 100% stock with a rusted rear quarter panel and busted tail lights.  I talked to the guys there and unfortunately they said they wouldn’t sell it to me today — but maybe in a coupe weeks.  It’s currently one of the shop mechanic’s daily’s until he gets a new vehicle.  Once he gets a new car, he said he’d sell it to me.

If I end up getting it, I want to throw the car on bags and just slam as a daily.  Keep the body as messed up as it is and just drive the ish out of it.  It’s a wagon — family car!

OEM Freshhhhhhhhh

The SI got a major overhaul this weekend. My main mechanic, whom I always tackle intricate car projects with, helped me with pretty much rebuilding my motor. We replaced almost every needed part/gasket that is needed of a car that has over 100k+ miles on it. The cool thing was, was that the parts that came off it were all OEM as well. I always get excited when I see nothing but the best on cars. Here are some pics!

Jose (Jalapeno) Showing his excitement for all the parts he sees

Get down with power tools


Well, you gotta have wiper fluid!



Battle Weapons

All the new part glory


Pop'n topz

Blue and yellow! Someone tell Spoon to sponsor me~!




Loose battery stays are never good. Still can't believe I've been driving around like that


Suspension goodies are my favorite, 13mm SI sway bar to 22mm integra type R sway bar. (have to wait for brackets 😦