At some point we've all sat around wondering what the purpose of our life is. Whether it's figuring out what sort of job we should be working or where we should be living, we're constantly questioning our decisions and are unsure if we're doing what we were truly meant to do. We're not here to get all philosophical in a car magazine, so what am I leading to? Simple, when Toyota first came up with the Scion line its purpose was clearly defined: customization. Scion was to become an affordable and attractive car that was manufactured to be customized. Stephen Do may not know what he'll be doing three years from now, but lucky for his '06 Scion tC, its purpose in life was to set the tone for many Scion tCs around the world.
Straight off the lot, the Scion tC is a fantastic bang for its buck. Priced at less than $20,000, the tC offers great performance and good looks, but there's always room for improvement. Stephen wanted to build a complete car from bumper to bumper and it shows. No bolt was left undone in order for Stephen to accomplish his goal. To keep the exterior conservative and clean, Stephen opted to do things a little differently without screaming for attention. We've all seen those Scions that were customized the wrong way, and Stephen clearly took notes on what not to do.
He opted for the factory OEM lip kit to accentuate the Flint Mica body lines while lightening the load with a fine collection of carbon-fiber products from Seibon. The hatch, hood and doors have all been replaced with lighter counterparts. Subtle lighting changes were also made-after all, it's the details that make the difference. Mobile HIDs (8000K) light up the street while the third brake light has been tinted red.
Freeing up unnecessary weight should hint toward Stephen's true intentions with his build. A performance-inspired project, Stephen went with plenty of suspension modifications to tighten the handling in anticipation of tackling the track. Megan Racing's street series coilover kit offers plenty of adjustability to go along with the stiffened chassis. Every bar imaginable has been swapped out with aftermarket pieces, with GReddy providing the strut bar while Hotchkis' sway bars make this tC built for cornering. There's also no missing the six-point Autopower rollcage that was further modified by The Shop to fit Stephen's needs. What is amazingly eye-catchy is the unique orange powdercoat that has covered the cage. It also hints at a continued orange theme that brings us to the wheel and tire setup. "Track-inspired" means lightweight, so Enkei's RPF-1 wheels were a perfect fit. Mounted on Kumho Ecsta AST tires, these 18x8-inch wheels with a +35 offset have also been powdercoated the signature orange.
Under the hood, Stephen's 2.4-liter engine packs quite the solid punch. While most tC owners are content with just mild bolt-ons, Stephen desired so much more than just a few dozen horsepower. Opening up the GReddy catalog, Stephen ordered a full bolt-on turbo kit that includes a TD-05H 18G turbo, an eManage Ultimate with 440cc injectors, a turbo manifold, a downpipe and a massive front-mount intercooler Along with GReddy's bolt-on turbo kit, Megan Racing's mid-pipe and S-pipe connect out to an HKS high-power axle-back exhaust system. The shrilling sound of the HKS blow-off valve is unmistakable, even miles away. To keep things reliable, Stephen wisely swapped out the factory fuel pump for a Walbro 255-lph in-tank while AEM's water/methanol injection kit is always a great add-on to any forced induction setup. Controlling boost (and aiding Bobby at Performance Race to tune the car), is a TurboSmart manual boost controller. All of these pieces work beautifully together to produce 293 whp with 365 wtq at a conservative 8 psi.
All this horsepower being churned out of the Scion engine makes no difference when none of it's getting to the ground. To minimize all drivetrain power losses, the factory 5-speed manual transmission has been strengthened with an Exedy stage 1 clutch with Fidanza's signature lightened flywheel. A B&M short shifter leads us to Stephen's interior modifications, which are plentiful while staying clean and simple.
The factory seats have been tossed aside for lightweight Bride Ergo II pieces. Wedge Engineering provided the seat brackets while Recaro's sliders give Stephen the adjustability and comfort he needs out of his daily driver. Setting the tone some more, Stephen had the rest of his interior redone with Dolce & Gabbana material, several pieces were repainted and the door panels were lightened. Plenty of gauges can be seen, natural for any turbocharged car, including AEM's UEGO wideband air/fuel gauge, Megan Racing's turbo boost gauge, an exhaust gas temperature gauge and an oil pressure gauge. These gauges are cleanly mounted thanks to an Auto Meter A-pillar dual gauge pod and Glow Shift's single gauge pod holder. Last but not least, Stephen unbolted the boring stock steering wheel and replaced it with an NRG short hub with quick release and a Sparco Lap 5 steering wheel at the driver's end.
It's also worth mentioning the plentiful accessories that Stephen installed to make his car a complete project. Again, there's no mistaking the GReddy nameplate that can be seen on the shift knob, oil cap, catch can, radiator cap, air diversion panel and turbo timer. In the trunk, there's plenty of stylish aluminum in the form of a Taylor battery box kit. At the end of the day, though, it's clear that Stephen's Scion tC knew its true purpose in life from the get-go. Luckily, Stephen kept it classy and clean and there's no denying that this car is a blast to drive. Scion owners, take note-Stephen's tC not only sets the tone but sets the bar.
GReddy bolt-on turbo kit, TD-05H 18G turbo, cat delete downpipe, front-mount intercooler type-31V; HKS super SQV2 blow-off valve, high-power axle-back exhaust; Megan Racing mid-pipe, S-pipe; Agency Power lightweight crank pulley; Walbro 255-lph in-tank fuel pump; AEM water/methanol injection kit; TurboSmart manual boost controller
GReddy eManage ultimate w/ 440cc injectors
5-speed manual transmission, Exedy stage 1organic clutch, Fidanza lightweight flywheel, B&M short shifter
Megan Racing street series coilover kit, C-pillar bar; GReddy front strut bar, rear strut bar; Hotchkis front sway bar, rear sway bar; Ingalls torque damper; Autopower 6-point rollcage modified by The Shop and custom powdercoated orange
Bride Ergo II seats, Takata harnesses w/ long eye bolts, Wedge Engineering seat brackets, Recaro seat sliders, Sparco monza steering wheel, NRG short hub w/ quick release kit gen 2.5, custom Dolce & Gabbana interior, custom painted interior, custom door panels, Auto Meter A-pillar dual gauge pod, Glow Shift single gauge pod holder, AEM uego wideband air/fuel ratio gauge, Megan Racing turbo boost gauge, Megan Racing exhaust gas temperature gauge, Megan Racing oil pressure gauge
Flint Mica color, complete OEM lip kit, Mobile HID 8000K HIDs, 18% window tint, red tinted third brake light; Seibon carbon-fiber hatch, carbon-fiber hood, carbon-fiber doors; Karbon Koncepts carbon-fiber gas door lid; Nukabe tow hooks
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
Enkei RPF1 rims (size: 18x8, offset: +35mm) custom powdercoated orange, Kumho Ecsta AST tires (size: 225/40-18), Project Kics neochro extended lug nuts
GReddy shift knob, oil cap, oil catch can, radiator cap, air diversion panel, license plate frame, turbo timer; Perrin overflow tank; Agency Power silicone radiator hose; Taylor aluminum battery box kit; Moroso remote battery jumper terminal, external kill switch; Honda engine start button; Rockford Fosgate 4-gauge wiring kit; Perrin short antenna
293 whp and 365 ft-lbs of torque at 8 psi; tuned by Bobby at Performance Race Engineering in Gresham, Oregon
The Shop located in Beaverton, Oregon, for all my custom fabrications and support; Gary Rayevich and Jamarri Whiteside for all their great ideas, helping me with installs and motivation; my family and my team, Project Tuners