You mean there are other parts out there? not just from Japan? And dare I say it just as high, if not higher, quality and… cheaper!? Thats right boys and girls, the hachiroku motherland is not the only place to get top quality parts for your AE86!
This came about when I was searching for parts (specifically pistons) for my car and I didnt want to wait two months to have stuff shipped from Japan by boat or pay hundreds of dollars for EMS shipping. So I started looking at other parts of the world like the US, Europe and of course our home Australia. You’d be surprised what is available right in our own back yard and for a damn sight cheaper than having to import from Japan.
ENGINE AND ELECTRICAL
WISECO PISTONS: Wiseco have been around for a very long time, mainly in the US muscle scene since the early 60’s and only in the last 10 years have gotten on the sport compact bandwagon. I have the Wiseco high comp pistons in my smallport. SERCO is the Australian distributor of Wiseco pistons.
WOESNNER: A European company based in Germany that is a producer of high performance engine parts and supplier to many rally teams and also supply DTM race engines, they are up there with the likes of MAHLE and COSWORTH.
MAHLE: A big supplier and sponsor of many race teams and race cars around the world, the MAHLE name is synonmous with strength and reliability.
COSWORTH: Everybody knows Cosworth, but did you know they supply parts to you and me as well? Not cheap but when your suppling motors to most of the motor sport world you cant really say they are hard up for a couple of dollars.
CP PISTONS: Being heavily involved with the drag scene CP has forged a name for itself in providing the best low comp and forged pistons for forced induction engines.
ARIAS PISTONS: Making a name for themselves in the muscle car scene Arias produces high quality items from high comp pistons to low comp forged pistons.
ACL: ACL are the top provider of forged pistons and engine bearing to almost all Japanese cars. If you read any engine build on any turbo car you’ll find the ACL race series bearings.
EAGLE: A supplier of conrods to any and all vehicles today, they have proven themselves in the modifed car scene time and time again.
SPOOL: Only a recent player on the scene, Spool have made a name for themselves by manufacturing an new lightweight and strong conrod for the 7A-GE engine. This has only been a recent addition and word on the grapevine suggests that they may be making billet cranks for other popular engines as well.
COMETIC: Cometic have been making engine gaskets since the 40’s and almost all drag racing teams use a Cometic head gasket. I have used two cometic head gaskets on my smallport and they are used in quite a few 4A-GTE engines such as “Backyarders” low 9-sec FWD drag car.
CROWER CAMS: Having been making cams for V8’s for years, Crower branched out early to provide off the shelf and custom cams to the ‘new’ fan-dangled overhead cam engines.
KENT CAMS: Based in the UK originally providing cams and gears to Ford escort owners, they branched out early to provide bumpsticks to the rally ’86 guys due to similarities to the Escort BDA motors.
WADE CAMS: An Aussie company who have provided cams for 4A-GE’s for years and were suspected to have provided cams to the Group A teams back in the day.
KELFORD: Another Aussie supplier who have first started making cams for european overhead cam engines and again seeing similarities to the engines they supplied for, moved into the ever growing sport compact scene.
TIGHE CAMS: With a reputation as one of the best in the business, Tighe cams have been the quiet acheivers in the Aussie market. Having been in business for the last 35+ year and certainly knowing his stuff Ivan Tighe has been providing quality cams and custom grind cams for any enthusiasts needs.
TECHNO TOY TUNING: Probably some of the AE86 and 4A-GE’s most widely spread and used items. Most people use their quad throttle manifold on 16v engines and their ITB’s trumpets.
ARP FASTENERS: Any rebuilt engine anywhere requiring more strength in its fasteners looks no futher than ARP. Used in all facets of motorsport ARP fasteners will keep your shit bolted together. I have ARP rod bolts and head studs in my smallport.
MSD IGNITONS: Another huge US company from the drag scene dating back to the early 60’s. Every drag team racing use a MSD ignition system, be it a just a distributor or the MSD Blaster series of coils. They can supply ignitions to any car, MSD have proven itself countless times on the road and track.
MICROTECH: Providers of good quality ECU’s at a great price, preferred by the rotary guys due to its ease of tune and simplicity.
HALTECH: Haltech over the last 6 or 7 years has expanded its operations expotentially and breaking to the US market has added a huge boost in sales. In my opinion, this the best of the street ECU’S you can get.
ADAPTRONIC: Only being a very new player to the scene they the Adaptronic ECU’s have punched well above their weight and price bracket, quite literally blindsiding a number of the reputable named ECU’s due to its similarities to Autronic. Very popular in the Aussie MX-5 and AE86 scene.
AUTRONIC: This is one of the best most user friendly ECU’s you can buy without selling a kidney for a new Motec. Coming with countless features and simple, easily readable software, this is a top level street and race ECU.
MOTEC: Good old Aussie Motec. Used by almost all motor sport teams in the world, this is quite simply the best you can get. If you have to ask, you really cant afford it.
AUTOMETER: Again coming from the US muscle and drag scene, pick up any muscle car mag or look in any modified muscle car you’ll find Autometer guages. Durable and highly accurate these gauges are well worth the money.
VDO: A gauge supplier to all car manufacturers, making a huge number of digital and analogue gauges for the aftermarket enthusiast. I have a factory VDO speedo in my Nissan Micra daily driver, as well as an aftermarket tacho by VDO.
CHASSIS, SUSPENSION AND DRIVE TRAIN
ALBINS: Albins provides some of the best gearsets available on the market. Based in melbourne and starting out as an off roading specialist they moved to the road and track where they supply some of the strongest gearsets and gears available today. They also supply similar gearsets to the TRD 3 and 5 set for the T-50 and W-series gearboxes.
PPG GEARBOX: Pfitztner Performance Gears have only being in the game a few years but have proven themselves with a number of drag cars and drift cars. They can supply gearsets for the T-50 and W-series. PPG are based in Adelaide and can ship worldwide.
PAR: Having been around since 1992 and again based in melbourne, PAR is loved by the pulsar guys due to the indestructale nature of their gearsets. They supply gearsets for the W-series and can for the T-50 if asked.
MEAGAN COILOVERS: Looking like the Greddy coilovers and being manufactured in the US this set is loved by the US guys due to its price bracket and ease of fitment.
HSD COILOVERS: Being a big supplier to most Nissans, HSD also provide coilovers for the AE86 and many other vehicles. They are price quite sharply and provide an excellant quality product. They also supply the coilover systems to the “Driftworks” suspension systems.
DMS SUSPENSIONS: Suppling suspension systems to the ARC and off road racing teams, the DMS guys can taylor make a suspension set up to suit all conditions and driving styles.
WHITELINE: Everyone knows Whiteline and they have been around forever. Almost all AE86 owners have used a Whiteline product at some point. Whiteline can do shocks and springs as well as just swaybars and bracing.
BILSTEIN SHOCKS: One of the best you can get, Bilstein have been in the game so long they are almost part of the furniture. Providing parts to F1 cars for countless years, their street spec suspension packages are very hard to beat.
KONI: Equal to Bilstein in almost all forms of motor sport and company profile. Again most motor sport teams use these shocks or suspension systems. Koni have been heavily involved in tin top and saloon car racing since the beginning. I used to run Koni’s which were great, but the price of decent Koni’s still puts it out of reach of most AE86 owners.
EIBACH: Again being in the game probably as long as Bilstein and Koni, Eibach are a manufacturer of the worlds top level suspension springs. They can custom make any spring rate and height you want.
LOVELLS: An Aussie company who have been providing springs to the likes of pedders and Aussie muscle cars for years. They are still well represented in the Aussie motoring scene, I also run these springs in the micra and I cant rate them highly enough.
SELBY’S: Providers of a huge range of swaybars for all cars. Selbys are the 2nd biggest swaybar supplier behind Whiteline. They also provide a camber/castor top as well for most cars.
SUPERPRO BUSHINGS: Being the direct competitor to Noltec, Superpro have quietly plugged away and are now the main manufacturer and supplier of urethane bushings in Australia.
NOLTEC: Were the leading supplier and manufacturer of urethane bushings but in recent times have had some financial troubles with the new owners. Currently owned by the same group the ownes Whiteline Suspensions, the Noltec name is no more, but now coming under the name WHITELINE PLUS.
BODY AND INTERIOR
MONKEY WAREHOUSE: Aussie company providing body kits to cars, and copies of most Japanese brands.
MODIRIDE: US based company that provide a number of carbon fibre and fibre glass body parts and panels for the AE86 and many other cars.
86FACTORY: A new zealand based company that makes and sells a number of AE86 specific body parts. Hasn’t been much on the radar as of late from them, and is hard to determine if they are still in business.
REVOLUTION RACE GEAR: The suppliers of Sparco products, Cobra race seats, and Velo products. Aussie company who have been in the business for years and have outlets is most major suburbs and towns.
VELO: An Australian company previously only producing FIA approved race seats, are now making FIA approved harness’s and restraining devices. One of the only australian companys that are FIA and CAMS approved for their seats and restraining devices.
PERFORMANCE WHEELS: This aussie company have been around since the 60’s and provided the wheels to most of the aussie muscle cars such as the falcon GT and GTHO with their ‘bathurst globe’ style of wheels. they also make the superlite model which is a copy of the original mini-lite. all wheels are available in a range of sizes and offsets.
SPORTMAX: being only new to australia (and now known as XXR wheels everywhere else in the world) these are similar designs of popular Japanese designs and come in 15×7 and 15×8 sizes and varying offsets. They are multi stud of 4×114 and 4×100 so is suitable for all AE86’s and most FWD vehicles. Currently my girlfriend has the 501 style 15×8 +15 offset wheels on her MX-5 and they look fantastic! These wheels can be purchased through HR sponsors JDMyard.