After years of driving my Mams Kia I decided it was time to get myself something nice. AE111 Levin’s always caught my eye, I loved the coupe look as well as all the extras you get. As well as that it comes with the lively 20 valve Blacktop engine that loves to rev all the way to 8200 RPM It has a 6 speed short ratio gearbox with an LSD as standard and Superstrut suspension which handles incredibly well through the corners.
I managed to pick up one of the rarer versions of the AE111, a Trueno. The only difference with these are the optional extras such as front bumper, head lights and rear lights. It looked fairly plain and unappealing when I first picked it up, but I knew the potential it had. She came completely standard bar Rota GT3 wheels and a HKS silent power cat back exhaust.
I bought the car back in August 2014 and has seen quite a few changes since. The first thing was to get the car running 100%, I put a new timing belt kit in it as well as a new clutch and changed all it’s fluids and filters. I like to keep the oil fresh in her so do an oil and filter change every 5 thousand km.
I was in my final year of college in 2014-2015 so money was fairly tight. I managed to pick up a TRD spoiler which makes the rear look less naked. Santa was good to me ans I got a few parts over Christmas as present, such as a lip for the front bumper, 3 piece 5Zigen manifold as well as Adjustable dampening TRD front shocks and 40mm TRD lowering springs all round. This dropped the car a little bit more as well as making the handling even better. Before I lowered the car I got a custom straight pipe welded to my back box as the original exhaust scraped too much. I heat wrapped the manifold to reduce heat build up in the engine bay. This, along with a decat and custom straight pipe freed up the engine and assisted it at the top end of the rev range.
After college I was able to put more time into the car. I finally changed the tacky looking Rota’s for some nice Volk Ray TE37’s which set the car off nicely. Since the Blacktop engines have individual throttle bodies, I played around a bit with the intake. I put 100mm trumpets in her although this slowed the car down drastically as it was just sucking hot air in from the back of the engine bay. I then got 35mm Imec trumpets which sit inside the plenum along with a rare ARC air box, Apexi air filter with heat shield and a cold air intake. This restored the power and made it more efficient. Although I am currently changing the intake around again and trying out a Toms intake which should be a better cold air feed for the engine.
Recently I got some nice rare performance parts. I managed to pick up a JAM plug and play ecu which gives more aggressive air/fuel ratios as well as allowing the engine to rev up to 8900 RPM. I then got a set of Tomei cams (intake: 264-8.00, exhaust: 256-9.00). These will allow me to get the most out of the new ecu. Over time I have also managed to pick up a few optional extras such as Trueno mats, Trueno door sills, non smoking ashtray and a complete Recaro interior (door cards not fitted) which are all becoming very hard to find.
My girlfriend got me a trackday for my birthday so I look forward to bringing the car out in Mondello towards the end of the summer. I Still have to do a lot of work before she is ready for the track. I will be rebuilding all calipers within the next month or two and will be getting new discs and pads all round. I also want to get the Tomei cams fitted as I only recently picked them up.
I have a few parts lined up which I should be picking up in the near future such as a carbon bonnet and a lightweight flywheel. I hope to have the new flywheel picked up and fitted before the track day as well.
I look forward to see how she handles a track day as I have high expectations for her. She currently does 0-62mph in 7.4 sec (recorded with an Apexi RSM) and cannot wait to see what she does with the new modifications.