It was a couple of weeks back that I got an e-mail from Paul Hansen over at AVO America. He let me know that Ross at AVO Japan would be collaborating on a very special new D1 Grand Prix built together with the guys from Droo-P. I instantly knew what he was talking about, it could have only been Hibino's Toyota 86 which will be replacing his old and trusty AE86 starting from next month at the first Round of the 2012 season in Odaiba. Ross told me the car would be sent up to his workshop once Droo-P down in Okayama would be done with the chassis prep, ready to accept one crazy EJ25 motor!
Up Garage, the Japanese second hand car parts chain store that has been providing good deals to car enthusiasts for years now, will continue to sponsor Hibino and his team, with Falken tire still on board for the season.
Once I got the OK from Ross that the car had arrived at his shop in Tokyo, I didn't waste any time. I wanted to see what this 86 looked like, after all it's not every day you get to check out a race car build of a model that isn't even on sale yet! Upon my arrival I found Ross busy at work, finishing up the intercooler piping….
…that would plumb the custom intercooler to the rest of the engine. AVO are of course Subaru specialist from Australia, but have now been active in Japan with their own shop for ten years. In that time they have established themselves as builders of some of the wildest Imprezas, like their own widebody time-attack GDB which was also in the workshop at the time of my visit getting a bunch of new stuff fitted. But more on that on a separate post. At the heart of Hibino's 86 is a top of the line Cosworth EJ25, boasting a capacity of 2.6L thanks to fully forged internals and prepped heads that are ready to take the abuse from some serious forced induction…
…which will be provided by this little blower. This custom made new AVO turbocharger boasts a 0.70 A/R compressor housing…
…all custom made internals and an anti-surge attachment which will soon be added around the intake.
The EJ's 2.6 liters will have no problem spooling up the compact turbine housing, which is actually made from stainless steel so it can take much higher temperatures and is far more resistant to warping.
Here is the view from the back, where the front pipe and exhaust system still have to be completed.
Ross kindly allowed me to have a detailed look of the 86 from underneath, where all sorts of interesting things can be observed, starting from the shiny stainless steel exhaust manifold.
Since D1 cars spend the majority of their time travelling completely sideways at speed, Ross knew that he had to make sure the engine lubrication didn't suffer. So he got rid of the stock wet-sump and replaced it with a Cosworth dry-sump kit which consists of the main items you need for the conversion like the billet sump…
…the 2-stage scavenger pump, the pump's mounting bracket and the adaptor to drive the pump pulley off the crank. To this Ross had to add all the Earls fittings, braided lines…
…and of course an oil reservoir tank, a rather big one at that holding a massive 12L of the finest synthetic oil out there.
Ross had just finished fabricating the billet fuel rails that supply the juice to the four 1000 cc/min injectors.
Koyo supplied the racing radiator, a custom part that even sported the above etched-on writing on it.
Ross fabricated this custom intercooler set up with special end tanks that direct the piping upwards rather than around the corners of the front of the 86. The idea behind this is that if Hibino has a minor collision, or clips another car during a tsuiso battle, there is less of a chance of bending or damaging the piping. This solution of course also keeps piping short, which is always good for throttle response.
Another special part from Cosworth is the intake manifold, a larger volume item mated to a larger diameter mechanical throttle body.
These Bosh ignition coils were ready to be installed…
…along with the Link G4 ECU. The custom wiring loom and electrical system was being painstakingly created on the day of my visit too, but more on that in Part 2.
Ross will be loading the 86 with tons of sensors…
…to data log as many parameters as possible in order to see how the engine, along with the rest of the ancillaries, behave under the stresses of drifting.
With a target of 700 HP this EJ will need a nice and strong gearbox to transfer all that power efficiently. This won't be too much of a concern as the stock Toyota/Subaru transmission has been replaced…
…with a very compact Hollinger 6-speed sequential.
While under the car, I also checked out the custom transmission mounts…
…and the subframe that was fabricated to hold the sequential in place. You can also see the rounded off section where the custom exhaust will pass through once completed.
Taking care of the damping is an adjustable DG-5 suspension kit, which will no doubt require some fine-tuning once the car is finished and Hibino has a chance to drift it on track for the first time.
Project µ supplied the brakes with 4-pot calipers and 2-piece slotted rotors at the front. You can also see the hub extender which kind of hints that the car may be fitted with wider fenders, but I guess we won't find out if this is the case until the first round in Odaiba next month.
In Part 2 we'll take a look at the rest of the car starting from the interior, which as you can see above has been fitted with a custom welded-in roll cage and a ton of other nice little gadgets. More on this Toyota 86 build soon!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare