Our Cars

Toyota 86 review long-term – update 6

Broken 86. Fixed 86.

I was there, but I didn’t see it.  Busy replying to a post on the Practical Motoring Facebook page, the first I knew of the accident was the jolt.  Not a huge hit, but you can see the damage well enough.  Mrs P was driving, and distraught of course, but the other driver was fine.  Not sure whose fault it was – rainy, dark night in a carpark.  Probably both drivers to blame.
 
Anyway, that cost $2000 to fix.  Insurance covered it bar the excess.  It was a straightforwards repair, except for one tiny problem. The power window.
 
The 86 has frameless windows, which means that the windows on the doors don’t have any metal part for the glass to slide in to at the top.  It’s a style thing, typical of sportscars.  However, it does mean the windows have a little trick.  When you open the door the window slides down just a touch, and when you close it it slides up to form a good seal.  This little slide down/up function stopped working after the fix, something I noticed on pickup.
 
This is by no means an uncommon problem for modern cars which often require a bit of a reset in these situations.  In the case of the 86, it’s to push and hold the window button down until the window rolls down and you hear a click, then hold it, window goes up, wait till you hear a click.  I recently replaced the battery in my Ranger and had to do something similar to get the auto up/down to work again.
 
Unfortunately, the reset trick didn’t work.  I took the car home anyway, and the panel shop sent a sparky out to fix it.  That didn’t work either, so the 86 ended up in the sparky’s shop where a new switch was installed.  That did fix it, so after much grief it’s all back to normal.
 
Lessons?  Thoroughly test your car on pickup.  Lights, electrics, inspect the repair…everything.  It’s much harder to argue the case if you come back next day.  Credit to the panel shop though, they took responsibility and fixed the problem without argument.  If only all shops were like that.
 

Wheel change and back again

Last time the 86 was at Phillip Island I ran two sets of tyres; the normal Michelin Primacys, which yielded a laptime of 2.00.4.  Well, I say normal but my car is GT spec so it should run Prius-level Yokohamas, but I pretend it is a GTS and run the Primacys.  

Then I switched to a set of Nitto Invos, borrowed from a kind friend, which came on spiffy Subaru wheels…

20150705_130839

Don’t mind the gold and red at all, although the plate would be better off gold too.

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…and instantly chopped three seconds off that time for a 1.57.3, not bad for a budget tyre available for around $175 each from the likes of Import Monster.   Just shows how little grip the originals have, but at least they’re cheap.  And to be honest, lots of grip is fast, but also boring.  That’s why dirt road driving in the 86 is so much fun.

But now, look at what I’ve got on test from Toyo Tires:

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Yes, Toyo R1Rs.  There will be an update shortly on their road performance, and how they go at Phillip Island and Sandown, but in the meantime you can read about how to select a tyre here.

 other updates


Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper is the editor of PM4x4, an offroad driver trainer and photographer interested in anything with wings, sails or wheels. He is the author of four books on offroading, and owns a modified Ford Ranger PX which he uses for offroad touring. His other car is a Toyota 86 which exists purely to drive in circles on racetracks. Visit his website: www.l2sfbc.com or follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobertPepperJourno/