Larry Chen: Adam LZ’s AE86 Levin Drift Car, Making 500hp through a 1JZ Video

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Posted: 2023-10-02 15:00:37
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

[Applause] thank you Again [Applause] thank you we just finished talking about the Corvette we’re going to move on to the 86 something very different yeah it’s the exact opposite in fact completely different so we go from well think about it I’m a purist Larry because I got a Corvette engine

And a Corvette and I’ve got a Toyota engine in a Toyota so that’s unusual now in drifting to have the original engine in any car so this is actually something that you guys put together and uh Adam is going to be driving it this weekend so the conversation started so we had

Built the Corvette it was a little too fresh and fancy for me to go smash it into people I used to compete in an a86 for a long time I love the chassis but then as grip and things went forward in competition the 15s didn’t cut it you

Guys don’t know what taka Ono and in FD it’s just very tough to be competitive in A6 but now I’m walking away a little bit from the competition I’m doing them for fun rather than trying to win I wanted to get back in a Corolla Adam and

I were talking and I said you know what to be really sick if you drove an 8-6 because it’s the most iconic car for the Irish car fan everybody in Ireland grew up with the because if you’re into rallying this was the rally look spotlights aerial super lights or you

Were into drifting it was the original you know front bumper no side skirts work equips welded he already did for whatever he already did that kind of stuff so this is an iconic car for this country was this a common car in terms of what people would use daily

Daily I would say they were more enthusiastic these used to be very cheap as you know so the enthusiasts would buy them for four or five thousand Euro have fun and then do donuts do a little bit of drifting in the wet and then drifting they were popular because people knew

The chassis But as time went on it’s very difficult to make a Corolla very competitive so this was like a hark back because this competition at this event and my ethos and competition I was fun more than winning I wanted to build a knight of six we didn’t build this car

We found this car built but it has an interesting story so way back in the day the most successful drifter in Ireland was called Eric O’Sullivan so Eric was winning everything in Europe in an f20c powered imagine that was the most competitive car at the time 240

Horsepower in a f20c Corolla then you did the Red Bull World Championship in the Corolla that you shipped from Ireland okay so then he got the call from a couple of sponsors he was at Rockstar time that he was going to go to FD this is like year one of FD

And he built a chassis to go to FD to build a Corolla this is the chassis but then it seemed too impractical he ended up being in a Subaru and it went from there which is way more practical way more I don’t know I think maybe they had

The Subaru I don’t even know the whole story but anyway this car was all farmed up for FD but then it never left the workshop so for roughly 10 years this was fully fabbed never moved and then a guy a friend of ours picked it up and

Said I’m going to build a fun track day toy so he decided to do one Jay-Z which is uh an interesting engine conversion for a Corolla because quite a big six cylinder in a very small car so 1JZ it’s a stock engine and he runs this at like over 500 horsepower stock

And which is the best thing about six cylinder Toyotas you can put a ton of power through them bigger turbo intake Brads found all that’s all the stuff that you would expect that you would find in a 1JZ car custom made for this car it’s got so you take and the exhaust

Comes out the wing I feel like this is where they originally went and maybe this was hampering division so they ended up putting it out this is so crazy because it’s coming out of the driver’s side it’s got to be so loud it’s and it shoots on when it’s hot about three four

Foot Flames I decided really yeah so it’ll just that is so cool so what’s amazing about this car is that um he drove this at our last event and he was talking to me saying I’m thinking you know he’s got some other stuff going

On I think it’s out of the car and I said hey if you’re ever selling it let me know you watch this thing rip around it’s gray over black under this wrap very like almost looking like a road streetcar but it’s got all the power so

I love the look of it and then he hit someone that weekend and it actually he bought from Toyota brand new headlights this is a brand new grill that’s never even been outside from Toyota in Ireland you can buy brand new headlights brand new grille for a

1986 car amazing so it’s actually easier for me to get spares for this than the Corvette which sounds crazy to anybody watching from the us so we adopted Autumn’s S15 formula delivery yeah it looks so good and we kept it in t in theme at the old school with the

Two-tone so this is the original paint of the carousel wrapped and then we just put on Adam’s Livery because more than likely we’ll take the slavery off when I drive it afterwards oh so you’re going to use this this is my new cop car so basically this is to replace the

Hardship of fixing the Corvette with all the wings that was the demo car this is going to be the fun like enter the competition on 15s and just have a good time and see and I think it’ll still be quite competitive it looks so good I

Love the way that it was adapted it fits this chassis really nice and you know it took it was a designer called Square design from Scandinavia who we use for all of our liveries he said it wasn’t as easy as it looks to make a 15 because

It’s 15 is quite like swoopy this is very angular so even if it match up the Flames with the lights and stuff he did a really good job and then the really fun thing is that this car you know Adam’s car is yellow to Red like yellow orange red this is orange to

Orange because the T-shirt design for this particular event was printed and it was printed Orange so we adapted delivery to the t-shirt which is the opposite way around it the way we normally do it and it turned out even better so we’re really pumped on that and other than that the car is

Quite sparse like it’s got the reservoirs and stuff on the dashboard but as of tomorrow it would have a full carbon fiber dashboard so the same guy who did the work for us on the Corvette has done a dashboard for the Corolla so he said I’ll put that in over the event

It’s full ECU the radio in the back very very tidy job this is because you put the 1JZ in there’s no more room you’ve got an intercooler in the front you’re not going to have a it’s going to be a big heat issue so they put in the rod in

The back nice tidy job on the Windows all tubed at the back for obvious reasons Larry it’s going to be hitting a few walls over it’s it’s life so then the interior so this is a really strange interior because it’s been built in six days so Allen who built the car was

Quite a short guy so he had the floor raised the water pipes for the rear rat under the seat and the pedal box at a certain angle steering wheel outside but Adam couldn’t fit in it and I couldn’t fit in it I tried to test it I couldn’t

Drive it so in five days our fabricator said I’ll move the seat back well to move the seat back he had to cut the cage out here and change the harness bar completely he said that’s great and he goes I can’t go any lower because the

Water pipe so now he has to reroute all the water pipes through the car and then he’s like the steering wheel on that doesn’t match up so he has to re-fabricate all of the steering stuff in the car the handbrake was actually located way down there it’s now been

Remounted here so there was a lot of work just to get it comfortable for someone to drive all the Mechanicals were good but um so the short shifter connected to a 530 diesel BMW gearbox which is a really common swap in Europe because they’re cheap and they’re very

Strong because that car has a lot of torque so we put a short shifter on them which makes feel a lot more modern but the the gears basically I can get one for like 200 euro 300 Euro get you a gearbox right but when he did all this he went

Testing and he kept breaking the diff for the drive shafts because Library racks on the Corolla is not going to take that kind of power so he went to Gap Bill and there was a guy drifting a Volvo estate with what’s called a grabber rear differential it’s like a clutch plate differential started

Talking to him a couple of weeks later the whole back end is available in this so it’s a Volvo live rear axle with a clutch from Grabber a clutch type diff from Grabber in the back of this so you have Toyota made it to a BMW made it to

A Volvo all in a Corolla been modified quite a bit for that the strange thing that you can’t see under the car is it’s like strip braced from the front to the back all the way along too so it’s a lot of funky stuff going on that is so cool so it’s Toyota

BMW Volvo and two Toyotas essentially so you’ve got the engine from a jzx100 you’ve got the body of a Corolla you got a gearbox from a BMW and you got the back end from a Volvo all in the one car and that’s the Irish car scene if you

Have a problem you figure it out sort of maybe with a bit of Ingenuity and a bit of inspiration from something you’ve seen somewhere else but it works really really well we’re going to tidy up a few little things on the car just for our taste but the car Works quite well Adam

Will be the first person to drive it in competition it’s been at a lot of track days it’s done a lot of our drift games bash events and it looks like a lot of fun to drive but in competition he’ll be the first person to see what it can do

So it’s nerve-wracking for me because he’s going to be the first one but I think the Irish audience seeing him drive something that’s so you know it’s almost like this is the car they grew up with and now Adam is very much an influence to them when it comes to

Day-to-day content to see their old school with the new school come together in one car I think it was just a fun idea and thankfully precisioned into Graphics didn’t argue too much with me on a very short turnaround on the wrap and we’ve had a lot of good people help

On this this car actually had 580 horsepower when we took so we actually brought into the dyno and tuned it down because we were like there was no way this car needs this much horsepower for 15-inch tires so it’s now running high boost 520 low boost 460. which remember

Those are flywheel figures because you guys use wheel horsepower for your bike here everyone uses flywheel for some reason and a lot of that comes from our Dyno packs and stuff like that it’s just an easier way of saying it a lot of guys have the bolt-on dyno packs yeah so

Flywheel makes more sense because you have no Road resistance there but it’s going to be a flyer yeah and it’s going to be a lot of fun the whole suspension on the car has been done by Darren McNamara he’s the Corolla guy in Ireland he’s again you think of the period of

Darren McNamara Eric O’Sullivan Darren was the guy that made his Corolla more competitive than everybody so the front suspensions BC the rears are avos it’s his own little custom spring and shock setup and the angle kits from him as well yeah the first time I had a chance

To shoot Darren was when he brought over his 86 the Falcon car yeah yeah from from Ireland to compete at Irwindale when you think about it now it sounds ridiculous that you would be in Irwindale at the top level in SR20 Corolla but it’s it’s it’s I like the

Way it’s almost coming back to there again that this is the fun thing people want to see well the funny anything about that is at one point if you had a Corolla you were allowed to enter mid back yes if you couldn’t do the lines into this one oh yeah they said that’s

Fine yeah yeah you guys don’t worry about it because you can’t do it yeah so the funny thing is even this car if it existed at the time would have been insane to have 500 horsepower and 86 but it shows how far drifting has come and I still think there’s there’s room now

Where we have this almost full circle where we want to go back to the old school cars because they were the ones that were like the little go-karts and the fun ones the pro cars at the top level have I think been figured out at this stage I think they’ve whatever

Chassis they work with there’s such good Minds behind that but I like the old school nature of just manual a lot of horsepower small wheels have fun it’s good but you know it’s interesting you mentioned these were what a couple thousand Euros we were trading these like they were worth nothing like

Nothing I vividly remember test driving one in California for five hundred dollars and it wasn’t it was like nah we’ll pass because they’re not in my opinion A lot of people are going to get very annoyed but they’re not a very nice car they’re very

Slow the 16 valve is very slow and I always say I love how they look I don’t like how they drive but when you swap the drivetrain and stuff they are just a hoot so I much prefer how this looks than a jzx but I much prefer the engine

From a jzx so here you go perfect match made in heaven yeah another interesting point about the Corolla is that we have an a86 Day in Ireland that attracts almost the same amount of people of cars as the a86 festival in Japan that’s how popular they are here they’re just uh

People are just even the way they modify them it’s all they’ve got different uh styles that they go with so iconic car and nice to see that they still even in 20 what is it 2023 like it’s nice to see now that we can still bring one back to

The audience and we have four of them at the LZ World Tour event this weekend for Corollas four competing competing wow one with an S1 20 on 18s this one which is one Jay-Z on 15s we got Sultans which is LS3 on 15s and then we got the

Driftworks 86 which is a LSX uh on 18s so four completely different builds but still the originalities like the original coolness of this car is still carried on so it’s a lot of fun this weekend it’s like a Corolla Corolla celebration yeah so cool thank you so

Much no problem dude hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall We need [Applause]