AE86 the Ultimate Test

After getting the AE86 running in January, the 86 has seen 4 track events. After each event, issues have popped up. Thankfully nothing catastrophic.

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As I got more comfortable with the car, and latest oil lab report showing healthy motor. The next step was to take the AE86 to Circuit of the Americas. This was going to ultimate test if the car can hold up to the track abuse.

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First session started at 3pm, during the peak Texas summer heat. My tire psi cold was 28psi, and kinda low but I didn’t add air because I know the hot asphalt will heat up the tires quickly.

The car did great on the first session, took it easy just making sure it all stays together. The cooling stayed 83 degrees celecius, with the Texas heat, and oil pressures stayed at 70-80 psi. The first session a success, it was now time to have some fun!

The 2nd session was the fastest with 3:02 time. Slow times, people run a 2:40, but they are fast drivers with higher horsepower cars.

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My car in the long straights didnt have the power to pull but I was decent enough to hang in the corners.

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The 3rd session, the track was starting to get cooler and sun starting to set. I was kinda tired already but I didnt want to waste time or money. I went out there and tried to improve my times.

I noticed on my AiM dash that the throttle position sensor was reading 97% even though I was was 100% on the gas. It didnt really bother me, as the motor felt fine. But on the 4th session that when an issue happened.

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On the 4 session, the track looked perfect, the sun just setting in the horizon. Perfect for the dawn shots.

Then disaster stuck and happen after the video ended, since the go pro battery died. The car started to sputter and loose power. Then the throttle cable got stuck wide open.

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This happened at turn 10, just over the crest. Luckly this area has pretty of runoff and I was able to park the 86 in a safe area. I waited for a tow. I was thinking what caused this issue, since my overheating and low psi warning light didnt go off.

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Once is was towed into the pits, I found the issue. My throttle was stuck from a loose wire, and my TPS bolts backed out and came loose. Hence why my TPS was reading 0% when I pressed on the gas.

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More on that next blog…..

Hill Country Heat

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Wanting to go exploring with some friends, I went to Hidden Falls in the Texas hill country. My friends camped overnight but I couldn’t do it since I work the day left. I was able to meet up for day 2.

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I grew up in Austin, Texas and I couldn’t remember if it was this hot before in June. At 9am I was already sweating from airing down my tires. Its dry heat that felt like I was in a oven.

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The trails we hit were fairly easy for high clearance 4x4s. Tom told me they went to some level 4 and 5 trails yesterday and wanted to relax today. I couldn’t blame him, no one wants trail damage or white knuckle driving haha.

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The Texas heat was pretty bad, by the afternoon my Land Cruiser AC condenser got heat soak and AC was blew luke warm air. I think I’ll need a pusher fan for the summer. The AC cools once we start moving but idling, AC is non existent.

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We hit some trails where we did some trail maintenance. More fun with you have a group of people with you.

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Sal took some pretty dope pictures. Most of the trails was dry, but we manage to find some mud.

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Testing out the new roof rack. I can tell the body doesnt creak when flexing, and Im sure the roof rack stiffen the body. Feels solid.

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Tom take a pic for the gram.

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Had a great time with the homies and the views of the hill country never disappoint. The Land Cruiser is such a capable rig off road and looking forward to more adventures.

 

Project AE86: MRP goodness

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My eBay baffle pan was leaking and unfortunately JB weld didn’t help fix the leak, it was time to buy the legit one. Lesson learned is always stick to quality parts because in the long run you’ll end up paying more to fix the shoddy quality.

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I also bought a belt tensioner for my future 4age high reving build too. Might as well save on the shipping.

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MRP came with nice instructions on how to install the pan. I took mine to Backyard Auto because Im not skilled enough to remove my pan from the car. Since this part is important to avoid leaks, I figured to take it to the pros.

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Fernando did his magic and I got the car back in two days. The intial drive showed no leaks!!! Such a nice quality product and kinda said how it mostly hidden.

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Sure looks good though! I haven’t done a track day with the my new oil pan but I will do one once this COVID stuff subsides. Planning on a drifting the 86 in June! Stay tuned for that!

I also did small video of the MRP oil pan. Figured people would rather watch something then read about a product. More off visual learners.

Toyota 4×4 Friends

After exploring and getting stuck alone, I figured next time to bring my off road friends. Just incase if something happens we all have help. I’m getting more comfortable with recoveries and a better understanding of recovery. During the exploration, only 3 out the 7 rigs got stuck. We all had a great time out and looking forward to more adventures.

City Escape

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My wife and I took a day trip, escaping the city life. We just wanted to explore, and look for new spots to chill in the future.

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Houston isn’t an area known for outdoor parks but we do have a couple. We went to Sam Houston National Forest, and about 1hr drive from Houston. Close enough to the bayou but you are surrounded by dense trees.

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We had a little picnic by Lake Conroe and wasn’t too humid, in May. Besides us, I only saw a couple people exploring, probably because the corona virus is still going on. Traveling is limited. But with that in mind, getting help might get difficult.

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Which happened to us exploring a forest loop road. It rained the night before, and some trails was boggier then others. I was stuck for good. Thankfully, I had my winch and able to self recover out.

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It was a good test, but next time, I think it would be a better idea to have another buddy. I do see the importance of a winch and should be one of the first mods when getting into wheeling or exploring off road trails.

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If we didn’t have that which, we might be stuck in the trail a lot longer till someone arrived. Once we winched ourselves out, we called it a day and heading back into the city. That was enough exploring of one day.

Project AE86: Proper Preload

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Driving my 86 since the beginning of this year, I have noticed my ride has been very bouncy. During my track session I noticed it, and also happens during corner acceleration. I didn’t enjoy the bouncing, and initially thought it was because of my aggressive spring rates.

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Houston streets are not smooth compared to tracks. Street driving, the bouncing gets severe to the point the car would hop and start skipping over the bumps.  There were some moments the car handling would get very unbalanced from the bumps. Street driving was not enjoyable.

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I thought it was the spring rates being too aggressive for the streets but someone on facebook commented it could by preload was set incorrectly and set me this link:

This video helped me a lot and figured what I did wrong when I installed my rear suspension. I figured I’ll make another video and talk more detail about preload.

Initial impressions, and it’s a massive improvement. I drove around the city, and no bounciness. The car didn’t feel over springy. I didn’t have the bouncing on hard acceleration. The car still felt stiff over the bumps but it didn’t hop over them. The dampening seemed more smooth absorbing the bumps.

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As tracks are starting to open up, I’m looking forward to another shakedown test. Stay tuned.

Catalina Wednesday

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Met this owner of this sick white 80 series. On a 4″ OME lift, with 35″ tires. This rig is also triple locked, which is very rare. We share the same ARB bumper, and is an iconic classic like Volk or BBS wheels.

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