HR Dictionary: Body & Appearance


Have you ever looked at a forum, tech guide or catalogue of all those shiny bits you want for your car but the terms and abbreviations got you confused? Well with the HR dictionary you’ll never have those problems again!!  In this edition we cover the finer details of body and trim terminology and all those strange acronyms you often see associated with bodykits or model types.

ADM: Acronym for Australian domestic market. Refers to Australian delivered AE86 sprinters and other Australian delivered vehicles.

BLACK LIMITED:  A limited edition version of the 1987 model Trueno hatchback model. Notable differences were orange coloured aircon and gauge cluster panels as well as embroidered gold APEX wording on the seats. Only available in black (hence the name) which featured a few gold body decals to signify the special model.

COUPE: The 2-door AE86. Referred to a “boot back” or “notch back” for its boot shaped body style which is similar to a 2-door sedan.

CRP: Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. Carbon-fibre body parts

DIGITAL DASH/ DIGITAL CLUSTER: Option fitted on selected GT-Apex zenki (early) models, the digital cluster had a led rev counter and digital clock style speedo. A definite throw-back to the 80’s ‘digital’ era where everything was designed around the LCD display, though not really that popular nowadays. Also an option on kouki models aswell.

DROP VENT: A vent in the bonnet that drops into the engine bay that slopes upwards towards the rear of the bonnet. Generally fitted to aid in airflow through the engine bay and out of the bonnet. Also helps direct airflow through the radiator rather than around it due to a lower pressure in the engine bay.

FOGLIGHT GRILLE: See Letter-Box Grille.

FOGLIGHT HEADLIGHTS: The complete grille-based fog light and Levin head light set up from a JDM Levin. The lights usually came fitted in a letter box grill standard, it has become the fashion to use these lights without any grill at all having exposed foglights.

FLARES: Wider arches to cover wider wheels. be it bolt on or part of the actual body themselves flares act to widen the body of the car so as to use wider wheels but still keep them with in the body of the car.

FLIP GRILL: A rare factory-option on JDM Levin’s, that has a small, thermostat-controlled letterbox type slot that flips open when the engine is getting hotter to allow more air to flow through.

FRP: Fibreglass reinforced plastic. Fibreglass bodyparts.

GT-APEX: The highest-spec AE86 model with all the luxury options. Came standard with tilt-adjustable steering column and optional power windows, power mirrors, climate control air con and sometimes the digital dash.

GTV: Lightweight ‘sports’ version of the AE86 catered to the ‘Sunday Cup’ drivers. Did not come with tilt adjustable steering column, or power windows. Optional extras were the digital dash and aircon.

HATCH: The 3-door version of the AE86. Also known as ‘lift-back’ or ‘hatch-back’ shape, as the complete rear hatch (including glass) lifts up on gas struts.

JDM: Acronym for Japanese domestic market. Refers to vehicles imported from Japan. This term originated from the Honda scene in the US back in the late 90’s and referred to Japanese only parts that were unavailable in the US at the time.

KOUKI: Later model, second-generation post-September 1985 models . Kouki front bars and rear axles are different to the earlier zenki models.

KOUKI PARKERS: Unlike the ADM parkers, these have a raised section running the length top to bottom if the orange flasher cover. Also use a larger lightbulb seat which necessitates a modification to fit.

LEXAN: A very strong glass replacement made from clear plastic. Used for its light weight and strength as a replacement for windows, lexen is illegal for street use but seen quite often on race cars. down side is that it can be quite flexible, and may not offer the rigidity that glass does.

LETTER-BOX GRILLE: A grill piece made from semi-transparent plastic. It has two versions, one which comes with small square clear sections on each end to allow fitment of foglights and one which does not.

LEVIN: Fixed-headlight version AE86.

LIP: A plastic or fibre glass bumper extension that is attached at the bottom of a front or rear bumper.

LIPPING/ROLLING GUARDS: Lipped or rolled guards have had the inside lip of the wheel arch rolled flat to allow wider wheels not to scrub against the inside of a wheel arch or guard.

OFFSET: Refers to where the outward face of a wheel sits in relation to the outer rim. The further the inside the outer face of the wheel is, is called a negative offset, like all those hot rims you see on japanese cars. The futher out the outer face sits is refered to as a positive offset, like the cheap chrome wheels you see everywhere.

OVERFENDERS: Wide arch replacement guards. They are usually replacement front fenders with moulded flares a part of the entire fibreglass panel and can sit over the top of rear guards. usually made of fibreglass.

PANDA: Two-tone striped paintjob found standard on all types of AE86. Came in white/black, red/black, silver/black and reversed black/silver.

PEDAL BOX: Refers to the pedal system you use for acelerator, brake and clutch. the AE86 doesnt actually come with a pedal box but the pedal system is commonly refered to the ‘pedal box’. A true pedal box would be something like the tilton pedal set that has internal master cylinders at the back of each pedal.

PINSTRIPE CLUSTER: appearing in Zenki GTV’s and kouki model AE86’s the pinstripe cluster is the most popular dash cluster for is sheer simplicity. It has an analog speedo and analog tacho and bright needles, it’s most popular as its the only cluster that reads to 8000rpm clearly.

PUMPED/FLARED GUARDS: Pulling or battering the inside of a guard or wheel arch to widen the arch itself to allow the fitment of much wider wheels

REDLINE LIGHTS: Tail lights with a red reflector strip on the top of the rear tail lights and runs the width of the AE86 hatch. Came standard on kouki Truenos. Come in both hatch and coupe variants.

ROLLCAGE: A protective set of bars bolted or welded in to the inside of a vehicle to protect the occupants in case of accident or roll over. Roll cages are really only intended for motor sport use, but nowadays you can find a good number street cars with roll cages. Roll cages can also, when fitted properly, also aid in chassis strength and stiffening.

SIDESKIRTS: Plastic, carbon or fibreglass body extensions that run under the doors and attach at either end at the bottom of the wheel arches. they are designed to flow with the front to rear bumpers following the lines of the body to add a sporty look.


SOUND DEADENING: A tacky tar like substance used to dull road noise for the cabin. Found under the carpet of almost all cars this stuff is used to make it nice and quiet inside the cabin of the car. Most AE86 owners remove it as the damn stuff weighs in excess of 15kg!

TILT STEERING COLUMN: Adjustable height steering column standard on the GT-Apex model and all ADM AE86’s.

TRD/DUCKTAIL SPOILER/WING: The short spoiler on the rear hatch below the rear window. It can be moulded or just riveted on, also can be part of an entire fibreglass rear hatch.

TRUENO: Pop-up headlight version AE86.

WHITELINE LIGHTS: Tail lights with a white stripe as part of the black strip above the tail lights running the length of the hatch. Found of kouki Levins. Came in both hatch and coupe variants.

ZENKI: Refers to earlier models, First generation pre september 1985 models. IE zenki front bars and rear axles are different to the later kouki models.

This is by no means a finished product so feel free to let us now more we can add in!


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