The 2018 car season is coming to an end, which means upcoming mods will be put on hold, and the 86 will be put away for the winter soon.
A lot has happened to the 86 in 2018, way more than I had planned, and I figured this would be a good time to look back on what’s gone down.
The most major changes happened underneath the car. Last year, one of the very first mods I did was lower the car on Stance XR1 coilovers, and LCAs. For those not aware, lowering the 86 causes the axle angles to become really extreme, leading to possible axle failure. The only known way to counteract this is to either replace the rear axles everytime they tear or fail (short term), or raise the differential (long term). I opted to go for the long term fix, and enlisted the help of my friends at MXPI Tuning to install my differential risers from Parts Shop Max. Since the subframe needs to come out of the car for this job, I also went ahead and had them install the Parts Shop Max solid subframe bushings. The result of this is an incredible solid and stiff rear end. Although the ride is harsher, and there is more NVH when driving, there were three major benefits to this:
- The angle of the rear axles was fixed.
- Now that the differential has less “wiggle room,” the car puts down its power better.
- The whine of the differential travels into the cabin. This last one may not be for everyone, but for someone like myself who is looking to build a “race car experience for the street,” it is perfect. It’s a difficult noise to describe, you really need to be in the car with me to understand what I’m talking about.
You may also have noticed the Cusco crossmember bar in the rear. Truthfully, I installed that, along with the Cusco LCA braces to fill in the void left by my missing diffuser (more on this later). However, it does firm up the car more. I’ve also installed the Tanabe front and rear strut tower bars (not pictured) for further chassis reinforcement and stiffness. I mainly picked up the Tanabe pieces because the price was good ($150), haha.
I also changed my tire set-up, and kind-of changed my wheels. I had previously been running RAYS GramLights 57CRs (18×9.5 +38) that had been powdercoated bronze wrapped in Falken Azenis tires measuring 245/35R18. A local package deal for like-new 57CRs with Michelin Pilot Super Sports (255/35R18) came up, and I scooped those up. These tires are truly amazing, even better than the original Bridgestone Potenza S01 Pole Positions I was running. The downside to going wider in tire width is rubbing at full lock, and over hard bumps. As low as I am, I either had to dial in more camber, or roll the fenders. I felt that my fitment was perfect, so I had the fenders rolled, which solved the clearance issues. It’s worth noting here that my old set up was close to perfect – I had 18×9.5 +38 wheels wrapped in 245/35R18 tires. I was close to maxed out low on my coilovers, and I had no rubbing issues at all. However, I do like the way the meatier tires fill out the wheel well more, so I would not go back to 245s.
I did miss the Gun Blue II finish, and I have to say, they look really good here.
Obviously, another major change that happened was the aero. In all honesty, there are a number of reasons I picked the 86 when I was looking for a new car, but the Varis Arising-II body kit is at the top of that list. In my opinion, there is no other body kit out there that looks better than this, and I knew that the car I picked would be getting new aero no matter what. I purchased the bumper in April, though I do regret not buying the whole thing. At the time, I wanted all the carbon fiber options available for the Arising-II body kit, but that would have been really expensive. I wanted my car to undergo a major change aesthetically this year, so I figured I would get just the bumper, and throw together some skirts and a diffuser to go with the bumper until I had the funds to get the rest of the Varis kit. After my experience with this bumper, and fiberglass products in general, I am sold on FRP. I will be completing the body kit over the winter, the only CF option being the shrouds on the rear bumper. FRP is simply cheaper, and easier to work with than CF. If CF breaks, you are a bit out of luck, but if FRP breaks, it can easily be mended to look new again. Look for this car to have the complete Arising-II kit in 2019!
The front bumper had its hiccups – it needed to be redone three times due to the bumper warping from sitting in a container for months, and other incidents in the body shop. The skirts are Zele replicas from Version Select – they were painted and installed with no issue. What really screwed me was the Rocket Bunny diffuser replica (also from VS). The diffuser had a myriad of issues, including some rotting, some holes, and overall low quality. The bodyshop was able to fix these issues, and make the diffuser look great, but this cost me a lot of money. The worst part is that I ended up not being able to use the diffuser. The 2017+ Toyota 86s (kouki) all received an obvious facelift, but a less obvious buttlift too. The OEM diffuser is wider than the zenki model’s, meaning the new diffuser I got wouldn’t work. We only discovered this AFTER cutting into the OEM diffuser. The obvious solution would have been to buy a zenki rear bumper and use that, but I didn’t want to spend more money on something I knew I would change eventually. So I had an idea – I had seen several cars, including Kristian’s FRS, with the open rear, so I decided to go with that. I had the shop cut away the rest of the OEM diffuser so I could rock the open rear look for a while. While I don’t hate it, I’m looking forward to completing the body kit.
Those are the major changes that have happened to my 86 this year! Hope you enjoyed the read, and learned some things! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you’re looking for more regular updates.