RA29 – Act 2

We left the RA29 after it’s initial shakedown and first drive since arriving at the shop where a couple of the most basic systems were addressed in Act 1.

The next items on the list were the brakes and suspension. With parts availability for the AE86 chassis being much greater than that of the RA29, Corolla GTS struts, hubs and calipers were sourced to provide the front brake and suspension setup. The smaller spindle size of the AE86 along with smaller rotor diameter is made up for with a vented rotor, a much better caliper design with many performance pad options and the availability of aftermarket brake kits, in the event I get lazy and buy one off-the-shelf.

Through some online channels I found a pair of strut tubes, and from that source I found a local hachiroku guru that had the remaining hubs and core calipers needed.

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The strut tubes, hubs and caliper brackets were disassembled, cleaned and sand blasted.

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The tubes were measured to fit the new KYB strut inserts and the difference was removed…

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…the edges beveled and tubes prepped for the torch..

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…and the welded tubes ready for a test fit of the inserts.

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Some perches for the coilover sleeves were cut and after locating them, were also welded up.

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A test fit of the entire sprung assembly was made. Then, disassembled once more for some finishing.

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Semi-gloss black was draped over the tubes and back together they went. The original AE86 hats in place for now, with pillow ball camber plates to come.

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The hubs were also shot in black and new bearings and hardware secured them along with new rotors to the spindles. To mount the calipers before the struts in the direction of forward rotation, the lower control arm needs to be spaced some to clear the lower caliper slide bolts.

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On the AE86, the calipers are forward mount, but I wanted them in the rear position. So I made a 12mm aluminum spacer to clear the bolt.

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The part is essentially a roll center adjuster that compensates for the amount of strut tube that was previously removed to fit the smaller length damper. With clearance for the caliper hardware, the last thing to do was get it on the ground!

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To get the rear down, some length was removed from the rear springs and de Carbon dampers from a fourth generation f-body were used to compensate for travel. Even from the low angle of this picture, the monster truck look is almost gone. But something was missing…

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One day, these showed up at the front door…
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…and these were inside! Some 14″ RS Watanabe Rewinds and Falken 615K’s. Gotta love tires that cost more than the wheels they’re wrapped around.

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Getting better, but it was still sitting a bit high and needed something else, something less..

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Yes! The wool pad was run over the entire car, removing shining up what paint was left, and the rear bumper was tossed in the shop’s loft.

If there weren’t so much planned for the RA29 project, I would leave it exactly as is… but, the end product is going to be much greater. See you in Act 3

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