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Ae82 Gokai - It May As Well Be A Wife.


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#1 carbonboy

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:49 PM

Greetings, I've been meaning to try & compile a thread about my other-half... I mean my car build (takes all my time & money, may as well be :P ) for a while now so here goes.

It all started out back in 2006 when I became the (not-so) proud owner of an AE80 Hatch which was affectionately named Blue Thing after I discovered the 2-AC engine & 4 speed manual box not really good for much other than getting from A-B rather slowly unless pushed hard. I did however gain much driving practice after being a pizza delivery guy for a few years & found I had a liking for the handling characteristics of these little hatches, just needed a bit more poke.

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Shown here with horrible 13" steelies the morning I discovered someone decided to take it upon themselves to smash the windshield, rear passenger window & the hatch glass :o NFI who or why but, thats the 'burbs for ya :glare:

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Skip ahead a few years & I've finally had enough of the lack of go from this thing & decided rather than try & made a silk purse out of dog-poo I'd be better off just buying a good car to start with. Having always had a hankering to have a 4AGE between my strut towers I was willing to move over to the dark side that is FWD in order to have a car that came with one in the first place. Yes I could've gone the AE86 route but (probably due to the hype over Initial D ) the every man & his dog wanting one factor put me off & not having the time/knowledge/skills/space/money/tools to put a 4AGE into a KE70 it was pretty simple for me, the AE82 it was. No not the prettiest shape in the world but I liked the boxiness compared to the AE92 & financial reasons put later models out of reach. It had to be a hatch as I'm not a fan of the seca's, never have been, never will be. Kinda like SV22 Camrys...don't like 'em, dunno why :hmm:

Not being a RollaClub forums member at this particular point in time (nor having internet access readily available) meant that dfunkt was my treasure hunter/liason & mentioned that someone here was looking to offload theirs (to buy a Valiant? :wink: ), so after a nice cruise & a few drinks (its my shout next time Nobby!) a deal was struck & I became the new owner of a white AE82 TC hatch....plus quite a few spare bits for it!

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There's alot of praise (& abuse) for these cars scattered around so I'll just say I was happy with the car I had. It came with a few upgrades, from memory: Exedy HD Clutch, SAAS pod filter, ?? cannon muffler, lowered springs, Whiteline Rear Swaybar & 15" Enkei Rims. I returned it to stock condition (like I said, came with spares lol) for RWC/Rego to not have any hassles but as it turned out, I did have a small problem... There was a lovely knocking noise coming from the engine & I will never forget the look on my mechanics face when he popped his head up from under the bonnet after I had started it & gave me the signal to kill the motor :( Long story short I was then making lots of phone calls trying to track down a rebuilt bigport 4AGE as I just wanted to replace what I had. Turned out finding one, let alone at a decent price & in the same state as me was harder than I'd imagined.

Edited by carbonboy, 08 April 2012 - 07:16 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#2 carbonboy

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:08 PM

Once the new engine was sourced, built (very amusing watching 3 guys load the engine into Blue Thing via the hatch using a forklift & lots of jiggling about, not so amusing when the fork nearly punched a hole in the hatch glass that had not long ago been replaced) & brought home it was out with the old & in with the new. Well so I thought :blush: By the by full credit to my mechanic, his honesty did him out of a fair amount of work but as I was low on funds he pointed me in the right direction with doing it all myself (with the help of a few mates of course!)

Being a bit of a pedantic (read: Anal) bugger at times I thought to myself "while I'm here I may as well..." (its a curse that phrase I swear) & while the engine was out began to replace pretty much everything that was knackered, half knackered & cleaned/painted everything else. The reason for this is it had previously suffered a massive oil leak which spread oil absolutely EVERYWHERE inside the engine bay and somewhat beyond so away I went with the degreaser, scrubbing brushes and scourers.

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of this stage of it all as I was without a camera/phone with camera. The remaining bits of air-con gear were removed, the new engine went in (old one went onto a stand & stashed away), everything was hooked up & I swear, the moment before I turned the key (to turn it over with the ignition disabled in order to build oil pressure up for first start) is the most nervous I have been in my life. Relatively simple in the grand scheme (replace identical engine) but having never done anything like this before & NOT screwing it up I was one happy fella when she fired up! :dance: :dance:

Edited by carbonboy, 22 February 2011 - 10:27 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#3 Trev

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:17 PM

Nice little hatch, a good improvement over the old 2ac as well.

#4 carbonboy

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:15 PM

Once Sudi (no meaning, just liked the sound of it as its name) passed RWC it became the daily & Blue Thing was banished to the backyard, to possibly be used for spares. Having just laid out a large amount of cash, time & effort I followed the engine run-in schedule to the letter, to complete the amount of kms before the final step I drove her to my sisters place in Adelaide for Christmas...via the Great Ocean Road. Sitting on the same rpm on the highway for long time not cool, either for the engine or my hearing as the drone from the muffler made me resort to using earplugs on the way home. Also may have upset my sister a little as I basically arrived & started an oil/filter/spark plug change in her driveway as soon as the engine cooled. *Note* Pretend to be interested in family members photo albumns!

This trip was backed up in the following February (as there had been no issues with new engine thankfully) by a trip to Calder Park Dragway, as I was curious to see what these little things could do. Turns out when you remove the interior to shed a little weight & fiddle with tyre pressures/launch rpm you can dust off a VN Calais with a V8 & auto trans quite nicely! That timeslips a keeper! :cool: Drag racing is not what I have in mind but was good fun to do & let me know exactly how fast my car was. Faster than I expected an NA, 4 cylinder FWD to be at any rate!

Over time the bug for modifying/improving bit harder & harder (plus driving it around stock was not as exciting as it was when I first moved on from Blue Thing) so eventually it was shopping time. New KYB shocks were ordered for all 4 corners, with new dust boots and every single suspension bush was also replaced with polyurethane items. That alone was an epic session over Fri/Sat & part of Sunday morning ( :y: dfunkt for assistance :y: ) fitting it all along with the lowered springs that came with the car. Had a wheel alignment booked for the Sunday morning & rolled in only 15mins late! :happy: However enroute to a RC Arthurs Seat Cruise straight afterI heard a nasty noise coming from my rear passenger wheel...upon inspection I discovered that the knobs at KMart T&A in Sunshine hadnt torqued up my wheel nuts AT ALL & I was able to fit my finger between the inside of the rim & the brake disc hub :sob: Having been exploring the new handling traits of the car on the way there I felt a little bit sick at the thought of the wheel coming off a few mins earlier...Yes the KMart store manager did get torn a new one the next day, I got another alignment done for free (wheel nuts torqued correctly this time) & my money back, but never going there again.

Had been looking around for rear strut braces but not really having much luck & being lucky enough to have at the time a job working with carbon fibre I took it upon myself to make one out of the stuff. Again, sorry no photos from this point in time. After a bit of mucking around I did manage to get a prototype installed into my car. It did make the car feel that little bit stiffer in the rear when cornering & from seat of the pants feeling gave some extra confidence in the cars stability. Sadly my "road testing" may have gotten a bit enthusiastic as I hadnt factored in the amount of body flex into my design & quite simply broke the bugger. A version 2 was designed & base components built but sadly is still sitting around awaiting assembly. Have changed careers sadly so access to things for me aint what it used to be :(

Edited by carbonboy, 24 February 2011 - 10:02 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#5 carbonboy

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:41 PM

View PostTrev, on 22 February 2011 - 10:17 PM, said:

a good improvement over the old 2ac as well.

Understatement of the year! :lolcry: :lolcry: :lolcry: Cheers dude! :wave:

Keep puttering along enjoying the car & it starts going a bit pear shaped...well squished pear shaped. I managed to rear end a Honda Odyssey (fortunately an earlier model so the parts were cheaper) which stopped when I thought it was going to go. I learned how to spray paint in a real hurry as I bought them a new rear bar & sprayed it in a metallic green with purple pearl & clear coat. Had never done this before & probably had more confidence in my abilities that they deserved but had no runs & after I fitted it to their car the owner was happy enough with it. On Sudi tho I had to replace the passenger headlight, park light, grille, bumper & bumper indicator but as no insurance co. involved it was lucky they were nice & I had spares!

The next incident involved my car, a partially open door & a mitsubishi mirage who decided driving in the gutter was a better option than the tarmac provided. Hit my door which dragged along the side of their car until it hit my front guard & wrecked that too. I wont go into details as it got all legal/messy, its all settled now but I'm still peeved about it all. Here's some shots finally though:

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So having grabbed a few bits from Blue Thing to make the car drivable again I was out at a house inspection (which later that day turned out I didnt need be at after all) & when I returned I found Sudi not exactly as I had parked her, more than likely without the now smashed in quarter panel/rear drivers door & definitely no note from the offending twit who can't drive!

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Car WAS parallel to the kerb

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Edited by carbonboy, 24 February 2011 - 10:03 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#6 Trev

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:09 AM

Not having much luck with it.

#7 carbonboy

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:49 PM

View PostTrev, on 23 February 2011 - 12:09 AM, said:

Not having much luck with it.

But wait, there's more.....

Had been having a play around with an air temperature sensor mounted inside the intake pipe about 50mm before the throttle body & noticed that my intake temps were usually above the ambient air temperature, sometimes WELL above. It seemded that having a non-enclosed air filter wasnt such a great idea & all I was doing was sucking in hot air from under the bonnet :bash: So I pulled out the tin snips & some 0.5mm aluminium sheet & got stuck in to boxing the pod filter off from the rest of the engine bay. A few pop rivets & a length of industrial dust collector hose acting as a pickup behind the lower bumper grille later I was recording much lower intake air temps, cannot say I felt anything in regard to a performance increase but the peace of mind of the reduced chance of detonation was nice to have.

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Crude but effective.

The next thing on the list of things to change was the exhaust manifold. From the measurements I had taken from a set from Genie (that came with the spares for the car) was that they were pretty much a copy of the factory item except being steel tube instead of cast iron meant that they were a great deal lighter, always a good thing in my book! Installing them did require a bit of cut n shut to get them to line up to my existing system using a primary pipe from an unknown vehicle. This was because the flange on these headers was effectively rotated 45 degrees (RWD item maybe?) from what the orientation of the standard items flange was. There was a noticable difference in exhaust note after it was all fitted but that may have just been because I replaced every exhaust gasket while I was there & sealed any leaks I (more than likely) had beforehand. :doh:

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Edited by carbonboy, 24 February 2011 - 10:07 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#8 parrot

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:02 PM

Geez, remind me never to drive any of my cars anywhere near the Westies. Being an original Laverton boy, I'm allowed to say that.

Looks a great job, and clearly a well loved and cared for car. Also the cleanest engine bay on an AE82 I have ever seen!

By the way, you may want to change it's name to Betsy. :yes:


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Neighbour Don Dawson, who saw the wombat's body, said this did not appear to be the case. ''It looked quite healthy apart from the fact it was dead,'' he said.

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#9 carbonboy

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:18 PM

View Postparrot, on 23 February 2011 - 11:02 PM, said:

Geez, remind me never to drive any of my cars anywhere near the Westies. Being an original Laverton boy, I'm allowed to say that.

Looks a great job, and clearly a well loved and cared for car. Also the cleanest engine bay on an AE82 I have ever seen!

By the way, you may want to change it's name to Betsy. :yes:

Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI)


Man, the stuff I see people pull off in traffic out this way nearly makes me scream some days :bash: To be honest I've never been a fan of kids.... :lolcry: (bad joke?) Nah I have a thing of trying to make a name from the registration plates, they were SDI so Sudi rolled off the tongue nicely. No I never looked it up :no2: Another shot of engine bay coming up! (dodgy phone item)

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Again the modification bug was biting & to be honest I was a little bit over my shoddy work with the aluminium airbox arrangement. So having been employed where access to carbon fibre was available I started measuring/drawing & eventually knocking up a male plug in the shape I wanted my airbox. About a weeks worth of after-hours work was all that was required to get it all prepared, laid-up, fitted, asssembled & painted.

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Fitting stage seen here with K&N filter, was last one of its part number at Repco, was $50 instead of $120 & as luck would have it, it was suitable for my application. Score!

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All fitted, painted & stickered!

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A mirror I'd also done as a side-project

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Besides the damage to the drivers side, all was going well...until one rainy morning when I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get to work :(

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I came around this bend a bit quick, the rear end found a small dip/bounce in the road, unloaded & slid out sideways on me. Alas my rapid on-off-on-throttle/full turn of lock efforts to save it were in vain & I felt the lovely crunch of my car against the steel barrier.

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That cracked the passenger tail light, dented the rear bumper right on the corner & put a nice dent in the passenger quarter panel :bash: >| :bash: No photos of the car itself as it was due to operator error so shame prevents me. It was a much more sedate drive the rest of the way to work, I almost felt ill :yak: It wasnt so much that it had hit home quite hard that clearly my confidence had far outweighed my ability/judgement. I was struggling alot financially at this point in time as work where I was employed was getting a bit on the quiet/non-existant side so all I was seeing was a problem I couldnt afford to fix.

Edited by carbonboy, 24 February 2011 - 10:08 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#10 parrot

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:42 PM

Doesn't the AE82 have a cold air feed to the standard air box from under the passenger side guard? You could get rid of the massive ducting pipe then.

How about Sadie!
Neighbour Don Dawson, who saw the wombat's body, said this did not appear to be the case. ''It looked quite healthy apart from the fact it was dead,'' he said.

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#11 carbonboy

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:01 PM

I had a car with a dents everywhere on the passenger side & the drivers side had the doors from Blue Thing on it. So one afternoon I was wandering around one of the local wreckers looking for replacements plus the drivers guard, (had been quoted $300 for the two doors plus $80 for the guard) when I came across a straight paneled AE82 TC hatch (in white) with no engine, gearbox or front suspension. I wandered back to the office (after a quick call to VicRoads with the chassis number :wink: ) & enquired as to how much they wanted for the whole thing...$220 inc GetStuffedTax as scrap value
:wootjump:
Done & done! Got it home for less than $350 inc trailer hire, fuel for mates car & a 6 pack of beer at the end of it all.

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Making room in the shed was fun...

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So the stripping of bits to fix Sudi began...

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I managed to get everything swapped over & the car looking neat enough for RollaClubs 2010 GOR Cruise. It was the first that I had been on & I had an absolute ball, fantastic to be around people who don't look at you strangely when you mention you like Corollas :2thumbs:

If you look carefully you can see the rear bumper damage in this shot.

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Note the 4WD behind our cars in this shot... they had been following us for quite a while but sorry Mr Po Po, nothing to see here!! :fuzz:

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Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#12 carbonboy

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:32 PM

View Postparrot, on 24 February 2011 - 08:42 PM, said:

Doesn't the AE82 have a cold air feed to the standard air box from under the passenger side guard? You could get rid of the massive ducting pipe then.

How about Sadie!

It does, if you check out one of the photos you can see the hole underneath the fusebox where it normally comes out. I yanked all the standard duct/resonator (?) boxes out when I swapped to the pod filter from the standard airbox after RWC, there's alot of bends & twists in that setup! By the by if you can't find the top half of an AE82 airbox & need one, just grab one from an SV21 Camry & gut the AFM (if equipped), they fit perfectly!! :y: The problem I had running the pipe through there was that I was working with what I could acquire for free & the duct I had didnt fit either through the hole nor underneath the fusebox :( However air intake temps were lower again than when I had the aluminium sheet setup, some nights getting cooler than ambient temperatures by about 2 degrees. This was probably helped by the fact this one had a lid & much more sealed off from hot engine bay air.

Oh Sadie...the cleaning lady...... :dippie: :owned: I do like John Farnham but not quite that much :D .The plates have expired so a new name is in the works. This happened after I killed 2 fuel pumps in as many months (first one died so I swapped to the one from the parts car I'd bought, lucky IT worked & I got a few months out of it).

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Being towed home by a commodore...oh the shame!! :blush: :notimp: :blush:

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Edited by carbonboy, 17 May 2011 - 06:20 PM.

Blue Thing AE80 Hatch - Daily
Gokai AE82 Twin-Cam Hatch - Project

View Postparrot, on 22 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Your answer is that you don't need to do this now until you can afford it. All you will get is grief, and you will hate the car.

#13 78_7kRolla

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:41 PM

Love the progress. And thanks for the bumper :)
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#14 Trev

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:03 PM

Airbox suits well, how up to date is this thread?

#15 azza91

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:15 AM

You have had your fair share of dramas with this.hope it is nicer to you in the future
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