My last project prior to the 86 was a 2003 Infiniti M45 that I had done up "Vip Style". It was a fun car, pretty quick for a big sedan and sort of rare and due to that it got it's fair share of attention. After a few years though, I kept missing having a legitimate sports car. You know, something you could throw around and really enjoy driving unlike the bagged sedan I was currently in. After a long search I settled in on the then newly released Scion FR-S or Toyota 86 as it is called in Japan.
My main reasons for picking the 86 were it’s low center of gravity, super lightweight body and huge aftermarket support. One of my main frustrations for the M45 was the overall lack of available parts without having to speak Japanese or make things with your own 2 hands. Since the 86 was the darling of the industry I was assured to not have the same problems.
The one major gripe from most people about the 86 is it’s lack of power. With only 200 horsepower on tap it seems like it would terribly slow. Thankfully due to only weighing in at 2,750 pounds it is more sprightly than you might expect.
Despite that, it definitely needed a power bump. Right now forced induction is out of my reach so I worked on maximizing the cars naturally aspirated 2.o liter boxer motor. Aside from adding the Crawford Power blocks and going E85 I have done just about everything else short of forced induction.
I have heard mixed reviews on the power blocks. I have heard that they rob quite a bit of top end so I am weary about adding them and as far as E85 goes there is just nowhere even remotely near me to get it so it is out of the question.
To let the boxer breath the air enters via an AFE Takeda Stage 2 and makes its way through MXP headers, a Motiv Concepts catless front pipe and exits through a MXP stainless steel catback exhaust. To handle all this extra air flow a custom Stage 2 Ecutek tune was expertly done by HRI Tuning. The car still won't be slaying bitches at the drag strip but it is much more capable than in its stock form.
To be able to be able to utilize the car to it's maximum potential I felt the need to improve the suspension. The first thing was to go was the stock springs and struts in favor of a set of Tein Flex Coilovers. This allowed me to get the stance right and give some extra adjustability with dampering and camber adjustments.
The next step was to “tighten” the car up a bit. This was done thanks to the good people at GTSPEC and Whiteline. The car now features fully adjustable sway bars front and rear, Strut and multiple Chassis Braces along with a slew of poly bushings. Thanks to them the car is now "on rails" as they say. We are still waiting on some rear control arms and tow arms so we can fully dial the suspension in.
Acting in unison with all the suspension tweaks is a set of 18 inch Advan TCIII lightweight wheels in a Matte Black finish. I went with a “square” setup running 18 inch by 9.5 inch wheels on all 4 corners wrapped up in a set of Toyo T1 Sport Tires.
What good is power and handling if you can't stop when you really need to though? To make sure the car stops as well as it goes all it took was some Brembo Calipers from an Evo, Rotors and pads from Project MU and a lot of engineering and fabrication know how from East Coast Garage. Once it was all fitted up the car stops like hell and continues to do so without fade.
Honestly I could have stopped right there and the car would have been just fine, but that is just not the Jade way. For us the car needs to look as good as it preforms, which required some subtle tweakin. Gone are the cheap looking “alteza style” factory tail lights and in their place sit a clean looking set of Spyder LED tails.
The stock lower end FR-S headlights were ditched in lieu of a set from a 10 Series. The new headlights are exactly like the JDM ones on the Toyota 86 with the LED bar and Factory HID’s but have the correct left hand drive beam pattern. The US Spec orange side markers were tossed and replaced with a set of JDM clear ones. Finally, every other bulb was swapped out to LED completing the lighting upgrade.
I personally prefer the Toyota 86 name to the Scion one so I switched all the badges to JDM spec Toyota ones. I also added a few little touches like TRD aero fins and real carbon fiber mirror caps.
To give the car a more aggressive look I had Aclass Autobody install a full C-West Lip kit from Japan. The kit consists of a front half spoiler, side steps and a rear half spoiler. I picked the kit because it was aggressive but not over the top. Since I am not going for that 100% “track car” feel I did not go with a GT wing but instead went with a more subtle Silk Blaze by Glanzen spoiler, also from Japan.
Since you spend all of your time sitting inside the car I could not leave it untouched. My one main gripe about the car in factory form was the seats. They were nice looking and quite racing seat like but not so comfortable for someone of let’s say, larger stature. This was easily rectified with a set of Recaro seats from an EvoX custom fitted by my good friend Doug at East Coast Garage. To make the interior a little higher end there is a significant amount of carbon fiber strewn throughout the cabin along with a few other little touches.
The final modifications I made to the car are perhaps the smallest, yet are one of my favorite. I am very proud of what I have done to my car and wanted to do a little something to commemorate it. The idea came from the various special editions that Scion does of the FR-S like the 10 Series, the Monogram Series and the Release Series.
These special editions have specific options and are done in a limited run and feature a plaque to show that you have number 1 of 2000 or whatever the run is. I figured that with all the unique mods that my car has there really is no other one exactly like it out there. Essentially it is a 1 of 1.
Thankfully the good people at Yospeed do custom billet console plaques and side sills with any design or text you want. I quickly whipped up a design using the og Jade circle logo and the text “Jade Series 1 of 1”. I think these little personal touches really make the car unique and mine.
Where I go from here with the car I do not know. I am sure it will change and evolve in the future but it will always be the first “Jade Series” 86.
When it came time to document the car I went to none other than Lafayatte Britto Photography. Lafa, as we know him, takes amazing pictures and has a real eye for how to show off a car properly. If you want to get some professional snaps of your ride hit him up, you will not be disappointed.
Lastly I want to thank all my sponsors and everyone who has helped me get the car to where it is today, without whom the car would never be what it is. Big thanks go out to Mackin Industries, Meguiar’s, Whiteline, GTSPEC, Beatsonic, Toyo Tires, Spyder Auto, HRI Tuning and Yospeed.
Check out the full gallery of photos and leave a comment or send us a message if you have anything you want to know more about! Also check out the profile page for the car to see the full mod list.