I had a very clear vision of what I wanted this build to be when it was first purchased last December. I wanted an affordable street legal track hack, that I could beat on all day without any issues arising. For this to happen, I knew a few things would need to be over-engineered, and that the engine would remain as factory as possible. I also wanted the upgrades to be genuine parts, or OEM wherever possible. This led to the decision to run OEM Mitsubishi Evo X Enkei wheels, and the hunt then began for factory-released Recaro seats from the late '90s and early '00s.
One of the first things on the list to do before the new seats were installed was replacing the disgusting carpet. The previous owner was a heavy smoker, and I have never seen so much durry droppings! There was no hope of cleaning it up, so I found a fresh carpet out of a wreck.
Having the carpet out meant we could tidy a few things up and install the seat belt buckle mounts for the certification. Although my new seat rails have seat belt mounting points, LVVTA certification requires them to be mounted to the tunnel of the vehicle.
Seats! I love a good seat, however, my budget was starting to look a bit grim for anything decent. A Racetech or Bride seat supplied through work was the original plan, but I figured I would start looking for a second hand Recaro SR3 driver's seat instead to keep costs down. I managed to find the Recaro on the left-hand side of this image for $215, and then just before certification, I picked up the seat on the right for $200. They don't match, but I couldn't pass them up!
Then, once that was all done, my flatmate Damian and I installed the front lip to tidy the front-end up a bit. I'm keeping all these photos fairly vague mind you, as I will be doing a proper photo shoot in due course!
Alright, time for seriously cool shit. At the start of the project, I would have everyone on at work that I would be installing our off-the-shelf Wilwood SXE10 brake kit. The kit consists of JZA80 Supra 323mm discs, Wilwood Superlite four-piston calipers, stainless brake lines, and MRP Ltd caliper mounting brackets. I wasn't joking, I had been eyeing this fine piece of kit up since the get-go... Install time! Thankfully, I roped one of the Toyota technicians at work to give me a hand.
Wheels off, discs removed, and brake lines clamped. Now to check out what comes with the kit and remove the original caliper.
In the photo above you can see the new caliper sitting next to the cast-iron OEM units. Boy, the stock ones are HEAVY! Both new Wilwoods wouldn't weigh as much as one single OEM one. Even if they had the same braking power, the un-sprung mass difference would be worth it alone. Also, they don't look rubbish.
Before we could proceed though, the MRP Ltd caliper mounts needed to be installed. This bolts up to the existing caliper mounting points and spaces out the Wilwood caliper to the right location for the new 323mm disc. Fitting hardware is included, so it's extremely straight forward.
A quick dummy-fit of the new disc shows how much bigger the new disc is... The excitement at this point is, ah, like a lot.
Before I could mount the calipers, I had to read the instructions. RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING IN BOLD RED WRITING, it states that the 10mm caliper mounting holes need drilling out to 12mm. Believe it or not, this took me some time to figure out... I really should read the instructions first before assembling things. Believe it or not, not one technician at work had a 12mm drill bit, so off I went to the hardware store to pick one up.
Oh baby, they're gorgeous. The Wilwoods are mounted and looking better than I expected. Now time to rip into the rest of the conversion. The kit included Hawk Performance pads, which should be great for my application.
With everything else laid out ready to go in an unorganised chaos, we reached for the brake lines. These required a little bit of fiddling around to ensure the S-bend was the same as the factory line, so they didn't foul on any suspension components.
All fitted up, the Hel brake lines looked nice and should improve braking feel a great deal.
The final step in the oh-so-easy process is the brake bleed with new TRD race fluid. This is made incredibly easy by a vacuum-bleeder. Top 'er up with fluid, and hit the go button! The calipers did require a manual bleed at the end to get them over the line, but damn his makes life easy.
All done! The Wilwood calipers had oodles of clearance behind the Evo X wheels, which have a Brembo behind them from the factory. Initial test-drives indicate a massive improvement in both feel and force, but the true test will be on the track. It's all coming along, and I can't wait to get this thing out on track in the coming months. The next time you see this car on here, it'll be a much closer look at everything.