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1985 Toyota Corolla AE86 - Don't Believe the Hype

Texan Garage-Built AE86 Corolla

Carter Jung
Nov 21, 2006
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper

False idols. Perpetrators. Funk fakers. Like any industry, ours is one filled with people of various inclinations and ranging personalities. Recently however, it seems like we're seeing more guys running around trying to take credit for stuff they never did or crediting themselves on stupid 'ish that they never should have done. Inflated egos, or something. Don't get us wrong, egos are a good thing, it keeps you motivated and gives you the confidence to believe in yourself. But like axle grease, Quentin Tarantino on-screen time, or Tabasco-a little goes a long way.

It's cool to see crazy cars built with inherited trust funds, corporate shill (Nads' favorite phrase), or abyss-depth pockets; but if a dude dropped a car off to be built by someone else and doesn't know a damn thing about his ride-in our opinion that ain't his. He may own the title, but it's not his to claim. Would you buy a Renoir (poster, of course), scribble your name over his, then hang it up on your wall claiming it as yours? Straight scandalous.

Joshua Garcia is the complete opposite. The anti-false idol-he's as real as it gets. A car fanatic, Joshua builds real-world cars with real-world budgets that you readers scream for every month. This car was built so cheap we can't even tell you how little he spent. It'll embarrass other feature owners. But don't get it twisted, it doesn't mean he used tawdry parts or the car isn't up to snuff-it is and then some. The reason Joshua's ride cost so little out of pocket is cause he used a healthy serving of, gasp, elbow grease and performed most of the back-breaking labor himself.

Hailing from Corpus Christi, TX, Joshua's no stranger to Super Street. Thumb through our July '05 issue and you'll find one of the cleanest old school 240Zs to have graced these pulpy pages. Finished with that project, Joshua found a new venture to begin-an '85 Toyota Corolla. "I had a rotary powered Corolla before this one and it was so much fun to drive. The AE86 is just a great platform to build on. Toyota had their ish together back in '85-lightweight and RWD equals fun."

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If a stock Corolla is fun, a heavily tuned Hachi is downright sinful, particularly if the motor runs four extra valves like the JDM 20v Silver Top engine Joshua swapped under the hood. "A ton of fab work went into getting the 20v to work with the AE86 chassis, as no one offers a bolt-in swap kit," says Joshua. A CNC operator by trade, Joshua flexed his skills reworking the cooling system, bending and welding new aluminum lines, and fabricating custom block-off plates and flanges. To get the new motor to fit and fire, the crank pulley and the trigger wheel on the 20v had to be machined and welded. For spark, Joshua plucked a MSD coil unit designed for a SRT-4 and used modified MSD plug wires originally intended for an Integra.

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Optimizing the efficiency of the 20v, Joshua converted the intake to pedal responsive individual throttle bodies using a Megasquirt standalone ECU with a Ford EDIS crank trigger ignition system. Since there are no bolt-on exhaust kits for an AE86 running a Silver Top motor, a rear section of a HKS muffler was paired to a Flanagan's custom piping fitted to a Danstoy stainless tubular header and Innovative LC1 wideband O2 sensor. A Koyorad aluminum radiator and dual FAL 10-inch fans keep the high-compression motor breezy, while a GReddy oil filter relocation kit and custom stainless steel lines add some sparkle in the engine bay.

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Going with the clean JDM look, Joshua picked up a set of Kouki front and rear bumpers and a Zenki front lip for an added aggressive look. The rear wing is OEM, however the Redline taillights, corner markers, halogen SS yellow motorized foglights and emblems are all straight JDM. As seasoned as Joshua is at building cars, he knows it takes artistry combined with experience to paint a car. So despite his pride on building the car entirely himself, he relinquished his Corolla to Caesar and Val over at Autocrafters and had them shave the antenna and spray the car a new coat of Toyota Super White.

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Continuing with the clean motif, Joshua tracked down as many non-cracked, unworn interior panels, including rare factory seats without their orange spongy guts exposed. Joshua replaced the a/c controls with a carbon fiber panel lined with Defi gauges, then sourced a Levin steering wheel modified to work with a quick release hub. Other interior trinkets include the ubiquitous Broadway mirror, Weapon*R floor mats, and Razo pedals and shift knob. For tunes, Tejano or otherwise, a JVC head unit pumps music out of a combo of MB Quart and Cadence speakers.

Building the car to "race the sh-- out of it," Joshua focused on the Hachi's setup. Espelir springs and Tokico shocks firm the ride while a TRD antiroll bar, T-3 strut braces, Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings and Battle Version adjustable rear lateral rod tauten the chassis. A T-3 short throw shift lobs off precious milliseconds during gear changes and an Ogura clutch and pressure plate guarantees the transmission will catch.

With old school coming back quicker than a streaking Frank the Tank, Joshua called the purveyors of vintage JDM, Takumi Project. After a free phone consultation with Mas and Kiyo, Joshua settled on a set of restored 14-inch SSR Star Sharks pre-wrapped in Falken Azenis tires. Before fitting the retro gold wheels, Joshua installed Brembo brakes complete with Hawk pads, Earl's brake lines and DOT Super Blue brake fluid.

With two features under his belt within two years, you'd think Joshua's ego would play up that fact. Hell, few in our ten-plus years have the privilege to that claim. "The build-up was a real bitch and unless you have a background in machine work and welding it's a huge challenge-and that's what I'm most proud of. Everything turned out great and I'm very pleased with the end result." Spoken like a true enthusiast.

DICTIONARY [DICK-SHUH-NER-EE]

Ever wondered how the hell manufacturers come up with some of their vehicle names? Neither did we. Despite the lack of wonderment, follow along as we delve into the etymology of the AE86 models:

Corolla [kuh-rol-uh] noun. The sum of the inner petals of a flower, which is often differing in color than green. Ex. Jonny often picked individual flower petals from the corolla in hopes of determining whether Steph truly, "loves me" or "loves me not."

Levin [lev-in] noun. Lightning. Ex. Unlike Itsuki, Takumi streaked down the steep touge roads faster than greased levin.

Trueno [tru-eh-no] noun. Spanish for thunder. Ex. After a long night of heavy drinking and Waffle House hopping, the morning was filled with flatulence louder than a hurricane's trueno.

OWNER Joshua Garcia

HOMETOWN Corpus Cristi, TX

DAILY GRIND CNC operator/Mr. Mom

UNDER THE HOOD JDM 20v Silver Top engine; individual throttle bodies; T-3 velocity stacks, Ford EDIS ignition system; custom coolant lines, block-off plates, flanges; HKS muffler, Flanagan's exhaust piping; Danstoy stainless steel header; MSD coil, spark plug wires; NGK spark plugs; Koyorad radiator; Fal dual 10-inch fans; GReddy oil filter relocator; Innovative wideband 02 sensor

DRIVETRAIN T-3 short throw shift; Ogura clutch, pressure plate

BRAINS Megasquirt ECU

STIFF STUFF Espilir springs; Tokico blue shocks; TRD antiroll bar; T-3 front strut brace, triangle rear strut brace; Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings; Battle Version rear lateral rod

ROLLERS SSR Star Sharks wheels 14x6 (front) and 14x7 (rear); Falken Azenis 195/60R14 tires

STOPPERS Brembo calipers, drilled and slotted rotors; Hawk Racing pads; Earl's stainless steel lines; Super Blue brake fluid

OUTSIDE JDM Kouki front and rear bumpers, smoked corner markers, Zenki front lip, halogen SS yellow motorized fog lights, Redline taillights, emblems; shaved antenna; Toyota Super White paint

INSIDE Restored interior; Broadway mirror; Weapon*R floor mats; carbon fiber gauge panel; Defi gauges; Levin steering wheel; quick release hub; Razo shift knob, pedals

ICE JVC head unit; MB Quart front speakers; Cadence rear speakers

Sources

Techno Toy Tuning
Placerville, CA 95667
530-626-7334
http://www.technotoytuning.com
DIYAutoTune
www.diyautotune.com
By Carter Jung
164 Articles

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