We peek under the hood of the iconic Keiichi Tsuchiya AE86 and reveal exactly what makes this car so special.
History of Keiichi’s AE86
For almost three decades, Keiichi’s drifting adventures have served as an example to fans of the sideways motion all around the world. The main elements of his recognizable brand are his green racing outfit, his AE86, and his aggressive driving style. More information on Keiichi’s life and racing career can be found here, but this article focuses just on his own Toyota Corolla AE86, the vehicle that got it all began…
His green racing suit, his AE86 and his signature aggressive driving style are the key components of his iconic brand
In the middle of the 1980s, Keiichi purportedly acquired his Toyota Corolla Trueno after working numerous jobs, including one as a club bouncer. He worked throughout the day while using the keys to hone his driving skills at night. The Japanese mountains were his preferred terrain.
Keiichi put extra effort into forging strong bonds with his race engineers after putting in a lot of effort to get into the Japanese racing scene. He also had fantastic relationships with Mr. Sakurai of Toyota’s Racing Division while driving for Toyota (TRD).
This amazing movie from the 1990s demonstrates how powerful Tsuchiya-san’s AE86 can be with only a 1600cc naturally aspirated engine. The on-road driving shenanigans depicted in this video are said to have cost him his domestic racing license after a run-in with the Japanese police.
Tsuchiya specified “total balance” over outright power for his own AE86 build
For his own AE86 build, Tsuchiya requested “total balance” above pure power from Mr. Sakurai. All aspects of the car’s performance were to be enhanced first, and power was to be added later.
When Mr. Sakurai passed away, Keiichi was forced—reluctantly—to find a new place for his beloved Trueno and a new engineer. He chose TEC-ART of Saitama, Japan. At the time, TEC-ART’s was the obvious pick because it is at the top of the Toyota Corolla scene.
In order to improve overall performance, TEC-ART adopted Mr. Sakurai’s already highly developed platform and suggested a number of enhancements. The sections below go into more depth about these upgrades.
AE86 Engine specification
The engine was given a total overhaul with a staggeringly long upgrade list, everything from the engine mounts to the cylinder head assembly were touched.
- 7A-G 5 valve (AE111 head)
- Power Output: 217ps @ 7200rpm
- Torque: 22.9kgm @ 4200rpm
- AE111 cylinder head ASSY
- 7A-FE engine block ASSY (Used 7AG engine and used 20-valve engine)
- TEC-CAM264 (264-9.0Mm) TEC-ARTS TOMEI collaboration products
- TODA strengthening valve spring
- 82deg forged piston Koizumi Shokai made
- TEC-ART’S 7AG dedicated I-beam connecting rods
- Crank shaft: 7A genuine “balancing”
- Crank cap bolt (ARP strengthening bolt)
- Crank metal & connecting rod metal: NISOM Tasu TRD
- Various parts WPC / DLC processing
- Oil pan spacer (TEC-ART)
- Large capacity Carl funnel (TEC-ART)
- Leveling injector (TEC-ART)
- IMPULSE made 5-valve water around KIT
- Aluminum pulley set (TEC-ART)
- Water pump adapter
- Super alternator (TEC-ART)
- Planetary starter (TEC-ART)
- other processing: combustion chamber processing (combustion chamber volume adjustment and correction) block shakeout etc..
- MOTEC M84 set
- Direct ignition KIT (TEC-ART)
- Engine harness production
- The current car settings (with horsepower measured at the chassis dynamometer)
- Mount: TRD strengthen engine mount
- Mount: TEC-ART’S made mission mount bush SET
- Strengthening fail-pump (SARD made )
- EX manifold (Type-F)
- Street Premium muffler Tsuchiya version muffler (serial number)
- 2-layer radiator (Type-R) electric fan set)
- Oil cooler (electric fan set)
- Present car Settings (MOTEC chassis Settings horsepower measurement) at dyno
- Engine harness production
- TEC-ART’s made EX manifold (Type-F)
- Street Premium Muffler
- AE111 genuine catalyst
To get the new found power onto the ground TEC-ART’s opted for their own single plate clutch kit and a hybrid 2-way rear differential.
- TEC-ART’S made 7AG dedicated carbon single clutch KIT (pro – spec 2)
- TEC-ART’S made N2 Cross mission + TRD 2WAY + 4.7 Final
AE86 Cooling System
- TEC-ART’S made of 2-layer radiator TYPE-R + electric fan 2 groups set
- Setrab made oil cooler (W360 × H265) + electric fan
AE86 Wheels & Suspension
Keiichi’s AE86 has worn many different sets of wheels over the years however it is currently on a set of MEISTER CR01 by Work. TEC-ART’s own brand suspension dampers have been fitted all round for enhanced body control.
- TEC-ART’S made by TEC-DAMPER TYPE-Aragosta (Street type front / 8k rear / 9K)
- Nagisa Auto made pyro tension rod and Pirorowaamu
- TEC-ART’S made Pirro control arm
- TRD stabilizer (front) + genuine stabilizer (rear)
- WORK MEISTER CR01 8.5j / off + 3/15 inch (front)
- WORK MEISTER CR01 8.5j / off + 3/15 inch (rear)
- GOODYEAR RS SPORT 195-50-15
The car’s braking power has been increased by DIXEL rotors and calipers all round with ENDLESS brake pads.
- DIXEL made slit disk rotor SD + full overhaul caliper (processing for MZ20) (front)
- ENDLESS made brake pad CC-Rg (front)
- DIXEL made slit disk rotor SD + full overhaul caliper (TEC-ART’S) (rear)
- ENDLESS made brake pad CC- Rg (rear)
- TEC-ART’S made original stain mesh hose
AE86 Interior specification
The interior has only been lightly modified; three performance gauges, a TRD wheel and shifter plus a pair of custom BRIDE seats complete the cockpit.
- Water temperature gauge
- Oil temperature gauge
- Oil pressure gauge
- Driver’s seat BRIDE GIAS II (Keiichi Tsuchiya KING version)
- Passenger’s seat BRIDE STRADIA II (Keiichi Tsuchiya KING version)
- TRD Steering & Shift Knob
Want an instant hit of AE86 drifting action? Try our drifting games section. We just added six new 3D drifting games.
The finished Keiichi Tsuchiya AE86
So what does all of these extensive modifications add up to? Watch the video below to find out, as Keiichi battles a Nissan Skyline R34 GTR!
TEC-ART offers the full ‘Tsuchiya Keiichi’ AE86 menu to owners of the car, if you have the cash and want the best drop them a line. The TEC-ART website is here: http://www.tecarts.com/.
Want to jump behind the wheel and slay tyres with your own AE86? You can do that and much more by playing Drift Hunters.
Now that you have boned up on Keiichi’s AE86 why not take a look at his life story?
Just as Keiichi-san has his iconic AE86 so Daigo Saito has his JZX100. Check out our Daigo Saito JZX100 feature.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions drop a comment below.