Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
03-12-2013, 02:11 AM
Post: #1
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
A number of years ago in 2003 i imported an excellent specimen of a 1986 Toyota Levin Coupe from Japan, because i couldn't find a clean example in North America and after having owned 2 gts and an sr5 which all required major body work i decided to try my luck and brought over a JDM Levin. After it landed and was insured and registered I drove it around for a few years and as i did i fell in love with the AE chassis more and more. My Levin did everything ... daily driver, road trip car to parts hauler (i once hauled an engine in it in the passenger side with the seat removed, yes and engine can be fit into a coupe !) as well as a part time hooligan car and it did everything flawlessly, I was really happy with the car. That is until the dreams started ... i'm sure you fanatics all know what i am talking about. Unfortunately during that time they were just dreams, being young and broke it took all i could to keep it maintained and running but during that time i learned more about the car as a whole and loved the car even more. Which brings me to present day, now with a steady income and after all the years of joy she brought me i decided that it was time to give her the refresh that she deserved so much. So here is my build thread, hope you enjoy it !

Anyway lets start with this, my Levin during the first few years of ownership.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

She came to me in pretty much stock form from Japan, the previous owner however did add some tasteful modifications. he/she added a trd 2way lsd which i found out after i pulled the pumpkin when i had to redo the back lashing after a day at a drift event, she also came with a set of 14x6 and 14x7 Watanabes, trd front and rear shocks/dampners with trd progressive springs but otherwise aside from that she was pretty much stock.

As time progressed I added a trd front sway bar, trd short shifter, trd header, rsr catback, a sparco sprint and a momo steering wheel. Unfortunately i don't have any photos of between 2004 and 2010 they were lost when the hard drive crashed and nothing was retrievable. So i'll start from 2011!.

Below you'll see what she looked like before i started the refresh.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

Here is what she looked like once i started taking her apart, its funny how quickly one can strip a car down to it bare chassis, to get to this point it only took about 3 weeks, that's with organizing bagging and labeling everything. Even though my plan was to replace every nut and bolt with new ones, it's still nice to know what went where especially since after a while all you'd have is a pile of parts and a bucket of bolts which you don't remember went where, learned that from working the previous cars.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

On to the Jack stands !

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

Once mostly all the bolt on parts were off, came the dreaded time consuming and often messy process of removing the seam sealer, sound deadening and that stuff in the wheel wells... rock guard ? . I found that the most effective way to remove the stuff from the front wheel wells was with a torch and burn it off ... although i did roast the paint on the other side hahaha and the best way to remove the seam sealer was with a pick and wire wheel doing that took almost as long as stripping the car ... i knew of some trouble spots when i first had the car but and fixed what i could but due to the lack of a garage, i figured it was best to leave those trouble areas alone. Now that the car is apart and i have a garage (although not the best ... rental) i can finally start to dig into these trouble spots but not yet.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
^^^ doesn't look to bad does it ? ^^^ just you wait !
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

Those weren't the only areas unfortunately, but me being the only one usually at the garage working on my old tired Corolla i sometimes get to immersed into the work at hand and forget to take pictures. At this point i had started to clean and prep the seams readying them for spot welding and stitch welding.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

I got the engine bay, front wheel wells and the floor infront of the B-pillers stitched and spot welded, although i cant take full credit for the welding since my brother did most of them at this point. i must admit he was really patient with me since i was being quite picky as to how the chassis was being welded, i had measured the entire chassis to the factory dimensions before hand and determined that there was very little deviation in the measurements in other words the chassis was straight and didn't need straightening so on with the welding !!!. I made my bro jump around a lot as i didn't want to much heat put into a specific area thus potentially warping my straight chassis haha by the end of the day i could tell he was getting a bit flustered by my pickiness, surprisingly the welding went pretty quickly well this portion of it. This is where i pretty much left off i was out of commission and out of the garage for a couple months due to a motorcycle accident and there she sat ... patiently waiting.
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03-12-2013, 05:33 PM
Post: #2
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
Once i could walk again ... work started. The next step was to take care of the rear half of the chassis from the b-pillars back.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

during the time i was out of commission while the car sat, we had some really humid days and unfortunately after welding i didn't get a chance to coat the bare metal and so it flash rusted. i was a little disheartened by this, granted it wasn't serious all i need to do was to remove the flash rust, it felt like talking 1 step forward and two steps back, but pushing on i did just that removed all the surface rust and coated with zinc primer.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

from that it was slowly transformed back and looked like this

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

once that was completed i moved on to plug welding all the seams, this included the door openings, the window openings, the seams in the the engine bay and the rocker seam.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

once all the seams we could get to were welded ... we went a head and built this.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

these are just prelim tests, we later reinforced some areas of the rotisserie and lowered the pivot piiont closer to the cg of the chassis to make it easier to rotate, unlike a proper rotisserie this one took two people to manipulate the chassis, the reason why my bro and i built a rotisserie is because i couldn't justify buying a rotisserie just to use it a handful of times. But in the end it did what i need it to do !
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03-12-2013, 06:58 PM
Post: #3
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
Looking good Thumbs up! Good luck with the project!
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03-15-2013, 03:44 AM
Post: #4
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
Thanks ^ Martynas it's taken a while to get to this point !

carrying on with the project ! after getting to the point where i had finished welding up all the body seams. i started to spot welded the the bottom of the chassis, which was nice since the car was never under coated and after that I started making the cardboard templates, so i could start making the reinforcement plates for the chassis. The plans for this chassis was to strengthen it because when i was running 8 and 6 spring rates in the unmodified chassis it started showing its weakness, it started creaking and at the windows it was starting to leak water. The only thing that i'm somewhat worried about is over doing the reinforcements, as a chassis with a little flex is more forgiving for if or when i screw up driving it, especially in rainy/slippery conditions. but i'm hoping that with a combination of stitch welding and spot welding in strategic areas that it won't be, i guess i'll know when i get it back on the road.

anyways picture time !

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

^ i didn't like the way this turned out, so i cut it out and remade it.

ahh that's more like it !!! below you can see the frame rail to firewall reinforcement, and beside it a template for the shock tower reinforcement.

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
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03-15-2013, 11:46 AM
Post: #5
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
I like it! Exactly what I'm doing to mine (only you're doing it neater).

FABRICA MI DIEM, PVNC!
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03-15-2013, 02:30 PM
Post: #6
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
Nice work!

But wouldn't you get the same result if you installed a good roll cage? Dumb question

Sarcasme is just one of the things I offer Wink

Daily driver: '92 Toyota Carina E GTI
Rebuilt project: '86 Levin hatch
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
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03-15-2013, 11:17 PM
Post: #7
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
very nice Job.
There is nothing like a full welded chassis Wink

Keep it up Wink

SR Team
BURN THE RUBER NOT YOUR SOUL!
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03-15-2013, 11:50 PM
Post: #8
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
very good job Respect! Respect! Respect!
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03-16-2013, 09:01 PM
Post: #9
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
Ivan141 i just checked out your build thread and you may say that mine is neater but, i say yours is more impressive it takes a lot of time and dedication to get your car looking the way it is. i know some people had mentioned that maybe you should get a new chassis but good on you for carrying on ! Thumbs up!

Jan Pedersen yea i did think about building a proper weld in cage, but i still want the car to be street able also a proper cage should get tied into the front shock towers and etc which doesnt make it very practical with all those bars everywhere, this is only the first step maybe when i feel the time has come for the chassis to evolve then i`ll get a proper cage installed so for now this will have to do ... VVV

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

BOOMEX haha i hope you`re right, i just hope i didn`t over do it for this round :wink:

roiz86 i should say the same about your build Respect! Respect! Respect! very nice !

the rollcage is a cusco safety 21 until my city opens up a new race track (old one got shut down) i don`t see a point in building a full out track car but that may change !!! in the pics above the cage is just fitted to see if i need to make any changes. But it doesn`t its very nice and tight against the pillers and roof line and out of the way !
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03-19-2013, 02:18 AM
Post: #10
Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin
oh happy days ! parts !!! Cusco Tension rods and Trailing arms !

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]

the traction brackets, rear lateral bar relocation (Jubiride) and the height adjustable camber plates (Garage Shapple) came directly from Japan ... almost over night, my friend went to Japan for vacay and while he was there pick me up some goodies, not to mention he picked up some goodies for himself too ! you can tell he likes corollas and R/C's !

[Image: AEU86 AE86 - Sum_Fing_Wong's Project Levin]
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