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Feature: Travis Hilts’ SR20DET swapped AE86

Feature: Travis Hilts’ SR20DET swapped AE86

The ae86. What can be said that hasn’t already? We all know it’s about as iconic as a car can get in our world. Being as old as they are, it is hard to find a clean example and it’s getting harder to see them on the streets anymore.


If you’re into the whole JDM scene, there is a good chance you’re just as in love with this car as I am. I’ve never drifted – hell, I’ve never even owned a rwd car, but I still think of them as highly as anyone who has.


As these cars get older, the numbers of derivable chassis’ dwindle. In fact, with the sheer amount of amazing chassis’ available, you really have to be committed to the 86 cause to even think of starting up on one now. That’s why it was so great to see that Travis Hilts not only bought an awesome street 86, but  he’s building it to be a performer on the track. Travis did something very unlikely and moved from an s-chassis to the AE86. It’s unusual as you don’t see many s-chassis guys flipping to 86’s; it’s as rare as actually finding a clean 86 in these parts. However, Travis said goodbye to his s13 and spent the entirety of the winter getting this car ready for the season ahead.



Although Travis may have said good-bye to his S13, it would appear he didn’t stray very far from Nissan. This 86 has been engine swapped to a SR20DET and much of the suspension setup from his S13 has also been moved over.




The whole s-chassis suspension swap did come with its own set of hurdles. After a bunch of trial and error along with 3 alignments, Travis thinks he’s pretty close to having it dialed in.



The last time he had it out at the track, he said it felt pretty good. He did say he was experiencing lots of understeer upon entry though. Next time out, he said he’d try removing the front sway bar and hopefully some new grippy tires will change the issue for the better. With the recent influx of drift cars being built on the prairies it can be hard to keep tabs on everything that’s happening, but Travis and his 86 are at the top of the list of people to watch. A well-performing, nicely styled car can go a long way, and I’m excited to see it in action.


Travis left me a great spec list, so I will leave you with that. Thanks for looking.

1985 Toyota Corolla


Blacktop sr20det
Hks Bov
Hks intake
Hks downpipe
RCI fuel cell
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Braided turbo lines
Isis v2 boost controller
Griffin rad with electrical fan
Summit Racing overflow tank
Brake line tuck


Complete S13 suspension conversion
HSD Coilovers

Technotoytuning fender braces
Tein tie rod/ends with pbm rack spacers

Isis upper control arms
Voodoo13 toe arms
Circuit Sport drilled/slotted rotors
EBC yellow stuff pads
Welded Vlsd


Sparco Sprint bucket seats
RJS camlock harnesses
NRG harness bar
Hydro ebrake with wilwood master
Momo suede steering wheel
Apexi volt/rpm/boost gauges
Works engineering oil/water temp gauges


J-Blood replica body kit
Fineline tuning roof wing
Autokonexion 40mm flares
Aerocatch hoodpins
Front bash bar
Laminex wrapped tail lights

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