There are two types of people in this world. Those who live the mediocre lifestyle, content with getting by with the bare necessities and then there are those of us who strive for the finer things in life. P.J. Bonifacio is definitely part of the latter group. Bonifacio, chief proprietor of P.J. Bonifacio Paint and Autobody Inc., located in City of Industry, Calif, has built his automotive reputation by seeing beyond the sheetmetal and executing a project with a high degree of quality. Coming from a background in automotive bodywork and collision repairs, this stern-faced, yet compassionate individual has been in the import game for well over 20 years, specializing in "Old Skool" Toyotas, such as the AE86/Trueno/Levin/Corolla, and Starlet. When rumors began spreading of Bonifacio rebuilding his personal AE86 Levin to turbocharged status, we jumped at the opportunity to be the first to expose this high-horsepower beast, knowing full well the vehicle would be a one of a kind executed to a very high standard.
The rejuvenation began in 2003 for Bonifacio as his AE86 Toyota Levin's factory engine was plucked from the engine bay. Out with the old and in with the new; the underpowered 115-hp 4AG engine was replaced with a 210-hp 3S-GE, 2.0-liter powerplant imported from Japan. Heading up all aspects of the engine buildup, fabrication and installation was Dan Quiambao of Danstoy, located in Norwalk, Calif. With motor in hand, the internals were gutted and plans to fortify the 3S for forced induction were in full effect. The factory engine received 1mm oversized 9.0:1 JE pistons while the crank was knife-edged and mated to a set of shot-peened and polished factory rods. A set of HKS adjustable cam gears were bolted to HKS racing spec cams (10mm lift / 272 degree duration). Titanium retainers, HKS double valve springs and stainless-steel valves keep the 3S-GE engine humming contently at stratospheric engine speeds.
Prior to reassembly, Able's Machine Shop performed a full blueprint of the engine while Danstoy executed a custom port and polish job on the head. A unique feature of the engine is the set of individual throttle bodies extracted from a 20-valve Corolla engine and enclosed in a custom plenum box. The ITBs are mounted to the head using a custom designed intake manifold. Danstoy, known for its custom exhaust manifold designs, fabricated a stainless-steel exhaust manifold in 1-5/8-inch diameter tubing in preparation for a Garrett dual ball-bearing turbocharger. Sporting a .70 A/R compressor housing and a .68 A/R turbine housing, turbo lag was kept to a minimum as spent gases are vacated through a custom flared 2.5-inch into three-inch downpipe that exits out the rear through a three-inch Flowmaster exhaust. With a punch of the throttle, the engine comes to life as a TiAL wastegate and TiAL blow-off valve scream to life with every shift.