So, sometime towards the end of last year, I parked the peanut and put it on jack stands and removed the front brakes (because they were the 86’s brakes). The torque converter was going out (yes, it’s an automatic). I could only use 1st gear out of the 2 gears this transmission has.
You may be asking, “Thaison, your peanut has a 2 speed automatic????” Yes…oldschool technology. I’m pretty sure this car was marketed to be sold to people driving around in the city. But regardless, the gears are super long. 1st gear can take me almost to 50 mph! haha, I have no idea what RPM’s it’s running at though — there’s only a speedometer. I parked it because, I was working out in Lakeway, so that was about a 30 minute drive through the hill country. Sooo….needless to say, the peanut couldn’t get enough speed for the hills because the gears were slipping. So it sat in the driveway.
As of recently, I’ve been getting the itch to drive it again. I just get this feeling when I’m driving it that I don’t get with my other cars. The chasis is super light (curb weight of 1,600 lbs). It’s got a peppy little 2tc engine in it. The 40-year old seats are SUPER broken in. I added some asian-style “comfort beads” which are quite comfortable. It wreaks of gasoline. AND it sounds like a cammed big block.
My little brother helped me bleed the brakes last night and after hooking up the car to be jumped and priming the ISH out of the carb, it started right up. So today, I threw some wheels on it and drove it to work — I work closer to home now, so I don’t have to worry about too many hills.
MAN, did it feel good to be riding around in the peanut. The brakes are still a little spongy, so I’m going to have to look into that again. But other than that, it was amazing. I’ve removed all the seats, so there’s only the driver now. Half of the car, I’ve removed sound deadening. So boy, it’s even lighter.
So now, I’ve sourced almost all the parts, I’m going to start the 5-spd conversion. Using a T-50 from an ae86, a T-40 bell housing to match the 2tc block, ae86 clutch slave, custom drive shaft, and maybe a spec racing clutch. And maybe a stock clutch master cylinder? I read on speedhunters, where a guy used a wrx one — which leads me to think that maybe the te21, stock ones are hard to come by? Who knows…. more research for now and updates to come soon!