#01: Updated AE86


Hi All! It's already two months since I brought Mr 86 back home, and I've been spending time on it every now and then like every other new car owners. Honestly, I still can't process the fact that I own an iconic Toyota today.

Apart from just driving it around, I carried out essential chores like cleaning, regular maintenance and even simple DIY works to make the 30-year-old car more reliable and a comfortable place to be in. Here are some of the things I've done to the car.

1) Replacing Gauge Cluster Light Bulbs

When I first acquired the 86, I found the lights on the gauge cluster are rather dim and greenish. I intend to switch them to a brighter bulb, so I did a bit of research and found a video on YouTube that teaches how to replace the lights on the gauge cluster. Thank you Internet!


I am not going to bore you with the lengthy process but basically, to get to the gauge cluster I had to remove the whole meter hood piece. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to work around with car of this age.

After the gauge cluster is taken out, I realised that the green tint was due to green plastic cap which is placed on top of the W5W type light bulb. I removed them, replaced the light bulbs with new ones and put them back together. While I was at it, I also get rid of the ugly stickers at the front. 

Voila, the speedometer and tachometer are now brighter than before and it felt better without the green tint. Maybe I should look into the use of bright white LEDs next time. Anyway, 1st DIY work a success!

2) Marking the Letters on the Valve Cover

The letters on the 4A-GE valve covers inside the bay weren’t nice to look at and they somewhat bothered me. My solution was to simply use a special marker and colour them. Haha!

The letters turned out fine but the blue ’16 Valve’ letters was lighter than what I expect it to be. I guess its fine for now until make plans to restore my dirty and messy engine bay.

3) New HKS Air Filter

No car would want to breathe in dirty and dusty air. That is why I removed the old worn sponge and put in a brand new HKS Super Filter (Dry 3 Layers) to efficiently filter out dust for better engine performance. :D


The air filter head was taken out and washed thoroughly before fitting a new bright green sponge in. Easy!

4) Power Window Button Replaced


Previously the power windows on both door sides had missing switches and case (picture). Fortunately I managed to source for them in just weeks after owning the AE86. The pair didn't come cheap but it's a must-have component in the cabin and I'm happy now that my passengers can put the window down with ease.

5) New Original Trueno Emblem

Remember my visit to Carland 86 early this year? During the visit, I actually bought an original kouki Trueno emblem at the shop without having any idea that I will own a kouki Trueno. I asked Tokuchi-san for the zenki emblem but coincidentally it was out of stock that time.


The Trueno emblem on the front bumper wasn't an OEM part and that explains why it was slanted. Well, mounting the original Toyota Trueno emblem for kouki bumper fixed the issue and definitely looks cooler now.

6) Rubber Pedal & Gear Knob Change


The other things inside the AE86 that need to go were the beat up rubber on the clutch pedal and the uncool chrome gear knob. Many owners would look for modern alternatives to replace these parts, but I beg to differ. For components I often lay my hands on, I like to keep them original.


And that is why I bought these good condition used AE86 parts from a half cut workshop to change.

I have yet to change the rubber clutch pedal, but the gear knob is already in and I'm loving it. The addition of zenki AE86 gear knob truly brings the old school touch every time I shift gears.

7) Bonnet Washer Nozzle


The washer nozzle comes off every time I close the front bonnet due to its broken leg. Currently it doesn't bother me and since it's working alright, I will keep the spare replacement washer nozzles first.

8) Engine oil change & Leaking problem Solved

Leaking is a common problem that one has to tackle whenever the person buys a used car. Things doesn't retain the same way after many years of wear and tear. I've got some of the oil leak issues too on my 86. Thankfully after sending two times to the workshop, the leaking issues (at power steering pump and distributor) were solved. :D

I even got the engine oil changed to make sure the internals of the engine stay protected.

9) More Interior Cleaning

Finally, I try my best to keep the inside as clean as possible by doing plenty of vacuuming work and carpet washing from time to time. I still remember the car had an unpleasant smell when I first attained it.

 Now all that bad odour is no longer around and if you do get a chance to sit in, you'd definitely feel comfy!

I could list down pages of things I wanted to do with the 86, but I can't be too greedy to have them all at once. I had to be patient and go at my comfortable pace to refurbish it the way I wanted it to be. Although it will take a long time, I'd be sure to share with you guys on what I've done to it later.

Until then, have a great day and thank you for reading. :D