UNDERCOVER 1UZ-FE TOYOTA 86 BUILD
When the Toyota 86 first landed in the market here, we weren’t the only ones hyped to see if it could fill the boots of its iconic namesake, the AE86. The ’80s sports coupe icon is a tough act to follow, and not because it’s over complicated, sophisticated, or ground breaking, but because it is such a balanced chassis, with just the right amount of power to make for one hell of a driving machine for those with the balls and skills to drive it on the limit. So, when Toyota launched its successor, promising that the Toyota 86 “does away with unusable horsepower [and] needless electronic interfaces, and replaces them with a sports car designed to put the driver back in control”, our hopes were high for a true driver’s car — one that bucked trends for machines half controlled by a clever ECU and with no real soul.
Toyota certainly delivered, but, like the old chassis, the stock power plant in the 86 is somewhat lacking in the ‘go’ department, and the real secret to a great-driving 86, new or old, comes through modifications. So, when Mike Saegers, a regular member’s day attendee at Highlands Motorsport Park, landed his own GT86, it wasn’t long before he, too, wanted to spice things up under the bonnet. This is where Simon Urquhart of Surfab comes into the picture, having worked on Mike’s previous Beams-powered AE86, which we featured back in NZPC Issue No. 249. In the quest for the few extra creature comforts that you just don’t get in a car from the ’80s, Mike decided to sell the old AE86 to Simon and focus on the new 86.
Having been in Mike’s possession for some time, the chassis is on its fourth power-plant combination. The first was the popular
supercharger-kit route for the factory 4U-GSE boxer. Simon tells us, “It went OK, but Mike soon decided that it was pretty average, so that came off, and it went back to standard, and then we decided to go turbocharged. We got about three-quarters of the way through the build, before swapping the heart was deemed the easier way to get the performance Mike wanted but without the complexity.”
A VVTi 1UZ-FE V8 in complete stock trim was soon lowered into the bay, backed by an R154, Exedy twin plate, and TRD limited-slip differential (LSD). In factory form, the 4000cc 10.0:1-compression eight-banger was a great upgrade, with plenty of torque to spin the wheels and power the nimble chassis out of corners. This form kept Mike fulfilled until he stumbled on the Hartley Motorsport race version of the 1U first developed for super stock racing. It wasn’t long till an order was placed, and, soon after, one of these engines was sitting patiently on the floor of the shed. Now, details of exactly what goes on inside one of these speedway fire-breathers are kept close to Hartley’s chest, but what we do know is that the heads are heavily CNC ported, with a new valve train, including a set of whopping lift valves, which give the 86 one of the meanest idles you’ll ever hear. Compression has been bumped a half point and the factory rods ditched for forged units. They also come with a Barnes
Don’t let the LS-style intake fool you; this is no GM eightbanger — it’s a dry-sumped Hartley engines–built 1UZ-FE VVTi race engine, which now revs to 8000rpm and has one seriously angry banshee idle. Making 500hp (373kW) on the engine dyno, it is sadly yet to hit the rollers in its current form
three-stage dry-sump pump hanging off the side.
Unlike in its speedway counterparts, a Holley four-barrel carb was never going to cut it for an intake. Instead, Simon teamed up with Robbie Whitely to build a new intake in order to retain the 86’s fly-by-wire throttle. The tapered lower intake runners were first designed in CAD then 3D printed before being cast in alloy. The lower half of the plenum was fabricated from sheet metal, while the top piece is actually an off-the-shelf Holley item that once belonged on an LS, the same model that also gave up its electronic throttle body and X-Air intake system. While this combo is yet to hit the dyno, on paper, the intake flows more than the Holley carb, so they’re expecting good results. On Hartley’s engine dyno, it spun 500hp (373kW) with a carb, so, with an 8000rpm limit, numbers around 336kW at the wheels should not be out of the question.
This time around, the R154 remained, but the clutch was upgraded to a Tilton twin plate, the LSD to a Cusco 1.5way unit, and a pair of Driveshaft Shop 1000hp axles installed. A simple sixpoint roll cage was fitted, along with a Racetech seat for safety, but that’s where the chopping stopped. The factory dash and most of the interior remain, and, thanks to the MoTeC M150 plug-andplay ECU with a modified engine loom to suit the v8, everything works as it should; even the stereo, if Mike ever grows tired of that howling V8. It’s a race car in street car clothing, and, while the exterior is subtle, underneath is a complex array of componentry from MCA, Parts Shop Max, Race Fab, and SPL Parts, ensuring that it would handle track day rigours, while the braking package from Endless sees monobloc four-piston calipers and two-piece rotors stuffed into the 17-inch WedsSport wheels and Yokohama semi-slicks.
It’s a combination fit for the track and would cope with
With MCA reds, a stash of aftermarket arms, and Parts Shop Max drop knuckles, the 86 produces a great amount of grip. A set of The Driveshaft Shop axles also adds much needed reliability
2013 TOYOTA 86