Vang puts the Haltech E6X among his favorite mods. "I love this unit," he says enthusiastically. "It's so easy to use, very useful in tuning, and in my opinion one of the best boxes for the money. I use it to adjust my car all the time. Even when the car runs great, I can lean it out a bit if I go on a long trip, make it a bit richer if I want to turn up the boost, or just want to look cool and bring up the data gauge screen when I'm cruising and have people trip out about an old car that is high tech and tuned by a laptop."
"I love driving the car," Vang says. "Everywhere I go, I get compliments. People are always looking at the car either trying to figure what kind of car it is or trying to take pictures. I used to get other cars trying to race me on the streets before my car was finished. Cars would roll up and rev, do burnouts next to me, or just take off real fast to see if I'd race them. Now, people pull up and they just stare, talk, and point. I really don't race my car; I use it as a daily driver, just with a little boost when I want it. Yes, I'm not going to lie, I have done some light-to-light action, but it's not worth it. I like the stares and the `wow' looks better than a quick launch and looking in the mirror for flashing lights. Besides, it uses premium and it's getting expensive."
Vang credits his wife, Stacey, for keeping the Snow White old schooler in his garage despite the downhill spirals during the four-year roller coaster buildup. "There were many times that I had put the car up for sale because I lost hope when I couldn't find a part, something went wrong, financial crisis, or even just starting to lose interest because it was taking too long. She made me keep this car." As for the "on the cheap" part, Vang figures he has about $8,500 into the build. Yep, it's good to have homies.
Looking into the crystal ball it is clear that Vang is a bit conflicted when it comes to his `Rolla. "As the car sits, she is pretty much complete but there is always room for upgrade," says Vang in a pure flip flop. "I'm thinking of going rack-and-pinion someday for better response on the steering side, so that will be in the parts search. Next would probably be bigger front brakes, rear disc brakes, rear sway bar, and bigger rear differential and axles to handle the power. I already blew out three differentials and two sets of axles, so a bigger one would be beneficial. Also, a ball-bearing turbo and maybe someday a fully built motor, maybe. Other than that, she is pretty much where I would like her to be."
Yeah, right his "pretty much complete" sounds like phase three to us.
SpecsEngineMutt block and head'82 Corolla pistons 10:1Cometic head gasketTurbonetics E-57 T4/T4 turboTiAL Sports 38mm wastegateHKS blow-off valveCustom Ryan Carwin FMICRyan Carwin downpipePython Injection fuel pumpRX-7 550cc injectorsRyan Carwin plenum intake manifoldBMW 3-inch throttle bodyRyan Carwin exhaust systemMagnaFlow mufflerCorvette LS1 individual coilsMoTeC 60-2 trigger wheelHaltech E6X engine management
DrivetrainToyota AE86 T-50 transmissionACT Extreme four-puck un-sprung clutchACT pressure plate
SuspensionGround Control coilover kitKYB strutsSR5 -inch antiroll bar
Brakes'86 Corolla GT-S brakes
InteriorMazda 323 turbo seatsCustom door panels'74 SR5 Corolla clusterAuto Meter gaugesStewart Warner gaugesGReddy turbo timerNRG quick release steering wheelAutopower rollbar
ExteriorSR5 fender flaresUnknown rear spoilerUnknown front lip spoiler
Wheels & TiresKonig Rewind 15x7Toyo 195/50-15
Vang's consistent visits to the local junkyard seem to pay off. This hybrid engine was ass
Haltech E6X engine management system triggers four Corvette LS1 individual coils
Engine upgrades also include a Griffin aluminum radiator