Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: AE86 Trivia (Page 2 of 3)

AE86 Trivia: AE86 and AE85 Gauge clusters

Earlier I featured the AE86 GT-Apex Digi Dash and obviously, it raises many AE86 enthusiasts’ hearts. This time I’d like to feature the normal analogue AE86 gauge cluster versus the AE85 gauge cluster.
AE86 Trivia header
In case you feel you have a deja vu by now: you are completely right about that! I did post the AE86 gauge clusters earlier but reposted it once again with additional information.

AE86 gauge clusters

If you ever owned an AE86 (or watched too much Initial D) these clusters should be quite familiar. There are two types of clusters for the AE86: left-hand drive (LHD) and right-hand drive (RHD). The layout of these clusters has been mirrored: on the LHD the tachometer is on the left side of the cluster, while on the RHD that spot is taken by the speedometer. Also, the warning lights, fuel, water temperature and oil pressure gauges all have been mirrored.

JDM AE86 gauge clusters


the GT Apex cluster and the GT / GT-V cluster. They appear to be identical, however, they do have subtle differences.

AE86 GT Apex (2-door and 3-door)

Zenki (early) GT Apex cluster
Zenki (early) JDM AE86 Levin & Trueno GT Apex gauge cluster
Zenki (early) JDM AE86 Levin & Trueno GT Apex gauge cluster

The zenki (early) AE86 GT Apex gauge cluster features the speedometer on the left and the tachometer on the right. As the Japanese government mandated speedometers to be limited to 180 km/h since the 1970s, the speedometer has a different scale than all export models. The gauge cluster features a fuel meter on next to the speedometer and oil pressure and water temperature gauges next to the tachometer. On the left and right we also find several warning lights, but I’ll get into that later. In the middle between the speedometer and tachometer, we find the two indicator lamps. Below the tachometer, we find the high-beam indicator light.

Kouki (late) GT Apex cluster
Continue reading

AE86 Trivia: AE86 and AE85 Gauge clusters

Earlier I featured the AE86 GT-Apex Digi Dash and obviously it raises many AE86 enthusiasts hearts. This time I’d like to feature the normal AE86 cluster versus the AE85 cluster.
AE86 Trivia header

If you ever owned an AE86 (or watched too much Initial D) this cluster should be quite familar:
AE86 Trivia: Toyota Levin AE86 gauge cluster
It is the standard JDM kouki AE86 cluster for RHD cars. Difference between the kouki and zenki cluster are the the white vertical lines and white needles that replaced the old orange needles.
Difference between JDM and UKDM gauge cluster is the speedo that reaches 150mph (240km/h). Unfortunately I haven’t found a picture of that cluster yet…

Difference between JDM and continental EUDM gauge cluster is the mirrored layout and speedo that reaches 240 km/h. Continue reading

AE86 Trivia: Toyota AE86 windhield replacement found!


I bought my USDM Corolla AE86 with a cracked windshield. This was mainly due to a design flaw in the AE86: the support for the windshield is a watertrap and after trapping water for more than 20 years it rusts through from underneath. Naturally this stresses the windshield and hence it cracks. So I accepted the cracked windshield, took it out and had its support repaired before replacing the windshield. Then the problems started: a replacement was not easy to find.

Carglass was only able to source a Corolla AE82 windshield and with help from Toyota Netherlands they sourced a windshield from the UK. I’ve heard from many other AE86 owners it is a big problem to find a new windshield nowadays because apparently the AE86 windshield is almost extinct now… So currently the options are either pray or find a used windshield…

Yesterday I read some breaking news on AEU86: a windshield replacement has been found for the AE86!
AE86 windshield replacement: Daewoo Nexia
AE86 windshield replacement: Daewoo Nexia

ZaX mentioned someone told him (max_ae86?) that the Daewoo/Chevrolet Nexia windshield is a 99% fit and the only thing you need to adjust to make it fit is put a little bit more glue on the topcenter (where the rear view mirror is mounted) to make it fit properly.
I know from experience that the EUDM windshield is the same as the USDM, but I have no clue if the JDM windshield is the same…

This is the exact model Nexia you need to borrow your windshield from:
AE86 windshield replacement: Daewoo Nexia
AE86 windshield replacement: Daewoo Nexia

The added benefit of this windshield is that you will have a shaded band on top of the windshield as well! So start hoarding those second generation Nexias!

AE86 Trivia: Viscous fan

As being an admin of AEU86 I’ve seen a lot of questions, facts and fun stuff about the Toyota AE86 (hachi roku). I also see a lot of questions returning even though we documented it on the FAQ already.

AE86 Trivia
This time we feature the viscous fan of the stock 4AGE!

So what use has a fan for the engine in general? Well, the engine heats up and is cooled through the water system. The water is cooled through the radiator and the radiator only works well when there is enough airflow (moving the heat from the radiator).

Most of the time when a car is driving it will have enough airflow to cool down the radiator, however during city runs and traffic jams the radiator won’t cool down enough. To overcome this problem a fan is mounted to ensure a airflow through the radiator. This can either be a fan driven by the engine (belt or clutch type) or an electrical fan.

The stock 4AGE has got a viscous fan installed on the waterpump. It is driven through the multibelt (crank, alternator and waterpump) and is driven through an internal clutch system. The clutch system consists of a small reservoir containing oil which reacts on heat. If the engine heats up the oil will get thicker and the fan will rotate faster.

4AGE 20v blacktop with viscous fan mounted
4AGE 20v blacktop with viscous fan mounted

The viscous fan of the AE86’s stock engine is driving the fan constantly, so even though you have enough airflow from driving it will also generate extra airflow from its fan. This is not an effective way of using a fan, but back in the early 80s a viscous fan was cheaper than an electrical fan with a thermostat controlling it. The thermostat is able to turn on the fan when it is needed, so 95% of the time it will remain silent! :)

Another reason for switching over to an electrical fan is an engine upgrade: all transverse mounted 4AGE engines (7 rib big and smallport, 4GZE, 20v Silvertop and 20v Blacktop) have a different waterpump. The waterpump of the transverse mounted engine has weaker bearings which will fail after a while when you mount the fan on it. So either you keep the waterpump and have the chance it will fail, you switch over to the old longitudinal mounted 4AGE waterpump or best option is to switch over to an electrical fan!

So upgrading your 25 year old system with an electrical fan is a good upgrade: it will save you fuel (not continuously driven), increase engine power (not driving the fan anymore) and will lighten up the engine (revving becomes a little bit faster).

4AGE RWD/FWD and 4AC waterpump differences
4AGE RWD/FWD and 4AC waterpump differences

Nowadays you can find electrical fans (and thermostats) plenty in the junkyards! For the thermostat the easiest solution is to buy an AE92 16v 4AGE bigport thermostat: it is external and easier to mount between the waterpump and the radiator. Also the 1988 Camry V6 radiator is a good upgrade of your stock radiator and already includes a big electrical fan!

4AGE AE92 thermostat adaption for AE86
4AGE AE92 thermostat adaption for AE86

However there are also some doubts upon the numbers of increase of performance: some people even claim 8 HP increase after switching over to an electrical fan. This is very unlikely: 8 HP of airflow is moving more than 10000m3 per hour! Also the viscous fan is driven by a clutch, so it probably won’t rotate too fast at the higher revs as expected unless the engine is overheating! If you get 8 HP increase after removing the viscous fan most probably the clutch system is stuck and the fan rotates at the same speed as your waterpump (or slows down your waterpump)! More likely it will be somewhere around 1 or 2 HP increase. But that’s still an increase of a few percent!

This one already got its viscous fan substituted by a electrical fan:

Images taken from:
[Club4AG]
[ Golberg’s 4age 16v Cooling Guide on RollaClub]

Other resources:
[Camry V6 radiator upgrade]
[Guide how to hook up an electrical fan to the 4AGE]

Thanks to Edgar for correcting me with the word viscous! :)

AE86 Trivia: Rotating grille Corolla Levin

As being an admin of AEU86 I’ve seen a lot of questions, facts and fun stuff about the Toyota AE86 (hachi roku). I also see a lot of questions returning even though we documented it on the FAQ already.

AE86 Trivia
This week we feature the rotating grille found on the zenki Corolla Levins!

First of all you probably think something like rotating grille? What is that? Well, it is exactly what it says: a rotating grille!

zenki Corolla Levin GT Apex with rotating grille
zenki Corolla Levin GT Apex with rotating grille

During the 80s Japanese car manufacturers were packing their cars all sorts of gadgets and to keep up with the competition they had to come up with the latest inventions! One of these things was the rotating grille as found on the Corolla Levin AE86, but only in the GT Apex trim. It is just another thing like the side mirror wipers found on the Toyota Mark II X80 series.

Rotating grille in opened and closed position
Rotating grille in opened and closed position

Basically what it did was having a closed grille when the engine is under normal operation to improve the drag coefficient and when the engine is under stress it would open up to give it more cooling. It had a thermostat which opened the grille when the water temperature was hot enough. Then the grille would open up and show the twincam 16 logo instead of the Levin logo when closed.

If you want to mount one yourself you definitely need the grille itself and the hoses and thermostat as well! As far as I know these parts are not available anymore at Toyota, so you will have to get almost all parts to make it work!

Rotating grille assembly as in the EPC
Rotating grille assembly as in the EPC

Then you need to hook it up between your engine and radiator like this:

How to hook up the rotating grille
How to hook up the rotating grille

As said before: it only operates at really high temperatures, so you really need to push the engine far to have the grille open up! Remember that the GT Apex trim was meant as a luxury trim and not a performance trim: therefore the GT and GTV trims got the louvre grille instead of this the much heavier rotating grille.

So is it worth its money then? Well that’s a bit hard to tell: it does serve a purpose to decrease the drag coefficient but it won’t save you much in fuel, especially if you push the car hard to get it open! ;)

AE86 Trivia: Digital dashboard

As being an admin of AEU86 I’ve seen a lot of questions, facts and fun stuff about the Toyota AE86 (hachi roku). I also see a lot of questions returning even though we documented it on the FAQ already.

AE86 Trivia
This week we feature the digital dashboard of the AE86!

If you are unfamiliar with it, this is what it looks like and how it operates:

If you want one you can get them either from a first generation (zenki) AE86 3 door with the GT Apex trim or find them through auctions.yahoo.co.jp in Japan. This version of the AE86 got the digital dashboard installed, unless you really didn’t want one and ordered one without it. That also means that Bunta Fujiwara ordered his Sprinter Trueno without digidash back in the 80s. ;)

The 2 door zenki and both 2 and 3 door kouki GT Apex trim didn’t get the digital dashboard default: you had to order it as a special option. It was also a Japan-only feature: it wasn’t even available as an option in the US like it was on the Celica and Celica-Supra! That was a weird decision taking into account that 1984/1985 (launch of the AE86 in the US) was the peak of the popularity of Knight Rider!

Digital Cluster in a Japanese zenki Sprinter Trueno catalogue
Digital Cluster in a Japanese zenki Sprinter Trueno catalogue

The digital dashboard was, like it implicates, a digital variant of the normal, analogue, gauge cluster. It displayed almost everything digitally:
everything except the mileage was digital. This also meant some signals feeding the cluster had to be digital: the fuel sender should give the signal digitally while the oil pressure became nothing more than a “warining” light for too high pressure.

In case you want to convert your analogue cluster to a digital cluster you arein need of two parts:
– digital oil pressure switch (one of a EP71,82,91/SW20/AE92/ST16x will do.)
– digital fuel sender (part# 83320-19725)
Especially the digital fuel sender is hard to get by!

Even though the digital dashboard has the same connectors as the analogue cluster you need to convert them to the digital cluster. You can find the wiring schema here:
Wiring conversion schema for the AE86 digital cluster

Is the cluster worth it? Personally I wouldn’t care more or less if the digital dashboard had featured in my Trueno. In some ways it would even be a set back since you would lose the oil pressure gauge!
On the other hand it does have a certain coolness factor!

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