The White Wolf Toyota 86 Build
My name is Brad, and I am really excited to own my Toyota 86 GTS. I fell in love with them when it was first launched in 2012. Over the course of five years, my yearning for them grew and grew. I’d keep up with the latest news and available modifications, and when the circumstances were right, I bought one of the first facelifted models in Australia last year. Top of the range, it came with leather seats, HID headlights, bigger brakes and all the trimmings. I’ll be writing this in a timeline format, as I’ve made a lot of changes with the car through the year I had it.
In the one short year it’s been with me, I’ve never stopped tinkering with the Toyota 86. Within the first few months, my 86 received a Invidia N1 exhaust, Tomei exhaust manifold, Pedders Xtreme coilovers, and Rays 57 XTreme SP wheels. They were the basic ‘must have’ modifications that most car enthusiasts start out with. Immediately the Toyota 86 felt more agile thanks to wider wheels, better tyres and stiffer suspension.
The N1 exhaust had really livened things up, with an intoxicating exhaust note every time I prod the throttle. It was then tuned by IXA Battle Garage, which dramatically improved torque throughout the rev-range, thanks to the more efficient Tomei exhaust manifold.
Inside, I changed out the plastic rings on the climate controls for blue metal ones, and I mounted a CarJoying head unit that’ll not only play music, but provide gauges for my car’s engine, so I can keep an eye on temperatures and oil pressure. I topped it off with a Rocket Bunny GT Wing, so not only do you hear me coming, you’ll see me going past with that massive spoiler on the rear hatch. Oh, and I had to add aftermarket Valenti tail lights and rear fog lamp set. It is a must do for all Toyota 86 owners.
Stage one was short lived though. While I loved the noise, attention and the dramatic transformation, I soon got defected for the exhaust and outlandish wing. To clear the defect, I got rid of those, and decided to go with a more subtle approach for stage two. Swapping the noisy N1 for a more subdued MXP Competition RS Ti catback, my ears finally stopped ringing after every drive.
To keep the excitement of a noisy exhaust, I had Cosmic Performance add a pop and crackle tune. Every time I get off the throttle after pushing the engine hard, the exhaust will, you guessed it, pop and crackle. I loved hearing that noise, as it’s a sign of a good hard drive. A short shifter kit from IRP was added to improve shift gate action, important in a car where the feel of driving was more important than going fast. The car looked more sedate without the wing, too sedate. In that case, I went with Ewing Concepts to create a custom diffuser and lip kit for me. The front splitter comes with adjustable rods to vary the attack angle. Overall I’m quite satisfied with the looks for now.
While the 86 made a great noise and goes rather well, I soon needed more firepower under the bonnet. Sydney Motor Engineering provided a complete turbocharger kit that promised 300kW with the right modifications and tuning. Named the Spec R kit (R for Race, I think), it featured a massive GT3076 turbocharger mounted right up front, and came with precise mandrel bent piping and a huge intercooler.
To get it running correctly, the stock injectors were replaced with Injector Dynamics 1000cc versions, and the fuel pump replaced with a DeatschWerks DW300C. The MXP exhaust was deemed too restrictive for the turbocharger, so I upgraded to a custom titanium 3in exhaust made by PSI Factory. Parramatta Vehicle Services tuned the car on 98 RON fuel and it made 208kW at the wheels, with a conservative 5lbs of boost.
Although finally happy with the power levels, the grip from my tyres weren’t keeping up. As there was a Bridgestone Service Centre up the road from work, I wandered in and asked for recommendations. My Toyota 86 is a daily driver, so I’d need tyres that’ll have decent tread life, yet grips well in dry and well. They recommended the Bridgestone Potenza RE003, a tyre I’ve heard a lot about from my mates, but never had the chance to try out.
On my daily commute, I didn’t think too much of them. The RE003s were quiet and comfortable, and there was no increase in ride stiffness. I soon discover why the RE003s are the choice of car enthusiasts once I took it for a good drive on the Old Pacific Highway.
The grip was astounding, holding on for life even if I pushed the throttle hard. Even with the extra power, the traction control barely needed to intervene. The steering came alive, and with my modifications, it finally felt like the sports car Toyota should have built from the factory, and then personalised for me.
Where to next? I haven’t thought much about this, as I am just starting to enjoy the turbocharger kit and Potenza RE003s. Once I’ve gotten used to the newfound power and handling, I’ll make another decision. Perhaps a change of wheels, or a wide body kit. Before that, I’m planning to take my Toyota 86 on epic drives and maybe a couple of track days, where I can safely unleash all the power!
For more information on the Potenza RE003, click HERE.
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