In the blink of an eye, it has been more than half a year since the start of my life with an AE86. Previously I did some minor things like emblem change, gauge cluster light bulbs change and interior cleaning (Read here!). However, the hachiroku is back again with further updates.
Well, it's not a complete restoration work but critical things to keep the engine running smoothly and upgrade which greatly enhances its visual.
1) Engine Cleaning & Valve Cover Repainted
The first thing you'll notice is the less dusty engine with a fresh white paint on the valve cover. I wanted to go with the original silver colour like every other AE86’s 4A-GE, but the painter didn’t have stock for some reason.
The engine block and throttle body had been flushed and cleaned. The transmission and differential oil which I believe never been meddled with since the first day, were replaced as well.
My ideal clean engine bay is still far from reality, but I know that very day will come. At the meantime, healthy engine is what I need.
2) ‘New’ Radiator
My good friend who I entrusted my car to informed me that the radiator is not in good shape and a high chance of breaking if being flushed. So, I was looking at new aluminium radiator options but at the end, went with the conventional 2 layer copper radiator for AE86 by Koyo.
3) Aircond Compressor Replaced
Having a car without window tint is quite difficult in this hot and humid country. Therefore, air conditioner is a must-have feature in every Malaysian car. Unfortunately, the aircond compressor in my AE86 stopped working long time ago, and I wanted to get it fixed at all costs. Now, it's working beautifully. :D
4) Complete Stainless Steel Exhaust Set
This is absolutely my favourite upgrade that I've done to the car, a new exhaust set from the manifold all the way to the muffler at the end. The extractor before was a 4-2-1 setup. It was horribly rusted and only God knows where it came from as it was taken from another car.
The new extractor is a 4-1 setup and I chose to give it a try as I was told that it performs better at top end rpm range, and it serves as a good platform if I were to further modify the engine in future.
The extractor connects to the centre pipe and leads the exhaust fumes out of the S flow muffler.
As a result, it’s quieter, looking way more handsome than the one before, and most importantly I could properly hear the revving music composed by the 16V 4A-GE engine.
5) Clutch Pump Change
You know it's bad news when the fluid in the clutch pump is left empty. It’s stressful that you can’t even engage in first gear and move the car forward. Lucky for me, the incident happened just when I was about to leave my friend’s workshop one day. He immediately rectified the problem and replaced the 30 year-old clutch pump which has been silently leaking bit by bit since the day I bought the car.
6) DIY Headlight Bulbs
The light bulb on the right went off recently, so I took the opportunity to change it myself. It's pretty easy to change the light bulb once you tried it, so let me demonstrate it. Firstly, pop up the 'eyes' and remove four screws to detach the plastic bracket. Then, another four screws to remove the trim piece and the glass headlight will come out.
Once the headlight is out, take off the rubber piece and loosen up the screws to release the H4 light bulb.
Be careful to hold only the legs and not the glass 'head' as these are fragile. Any H4 light bulb's brand with 12V 60/55W rating would do just fine, but what you should consider is the colour temperature.
The crystal light on the right is before the change, and the yellow light on the left is what's on my car now. I prefer the traditional yellowish warm lights because that's how cars in the 80s supposed to be. No bright xenon lights for me, that's for sure. :D
7) Eyelid Sticker Peel
My Trueno headlight garnish or the 'eyelid' had fake carbon fibre stickers on, and I didn't like it at all. So, I peeled it off and found the reason why the previous owner did it.
The AE86 kouki style 'eyelid' on the left had a clear crack, but right side one was still in good condition. Well, it looks like I have to add this rare item onto my already lengthy wish list.
8) Rubber Pedal Change
The original AE86 pedal which I bought some time ago is now securely mounted on the clutch pedal side using the reliable 'Contact Adhesive' glue from Dunlop. It works best with rubbers.
9) ‘Fix’ CD Player
All this while, I thought I was having a broken radio in the car. One day I fiddled with it and got it to play some sad emotional songs from a CD which got stuck inside. I managed to get the CD out somehow and boy, that Malay CD titled "Aduhai Sayang..." is actually a property of the 2nd owner (I'm the 4th owner of this car). :D
Driving the main protagonist's car of a popular Japanese anime means that you should only select upbeat modern Eurobeat songs and thankfully, I have a small collection of them. Listening to "Around the World" by m.o.v.e really brings out the Initial D out in you.
Many ask me what's next for your Hachi? I have plenty of things I wanted to do, change and improve in this car, but AE86 parts don't come around easy. Therefore, I have to be patient and persistent in sourcing out the things I need regulated by the funds I can save. Meanwhile, knowledge and experience from other enthusiasts are necessary to the outcome of hachiroku progress.
Thank you for reading and look forward to my next upgrades. :)