Jonny's Little Blue Car

updated 30/8/2004

My Corolla hardtop, originaly badged "Corolla CS". Below is what the I.D. plate and the fire wall says:
Model: KE55-HSTA
Engine: 4K-C 1290cc
Frame No: KE55(S)-900519
Color/Trim: AG TJ-FP
Trans/Axle: AG10-AM68-282
Plant: Z31

ADR plate 10/1978

Those numbers above means its a standard garden variety corolla hardtop with 1.3 litre pushrod engine, 3 speed Holden automatic, 4.3:1 Borg-Warner diff. It was very slow and handled like a little boat in a big storm. The steering is always super light on these as stock, and can have bump steer and veer all over the place. All this has changed. Everything mechanical has been replaced. Why I bought it? It was in very good condition for its age, and I'm not a pannel beater, but I like the shape. CS means it has cloth seats rather than vinal in the SE. I have since put black vinal seats in from a KE30.

If my car was a genuine Levin back it Japan, the I.D. plate may have said something like this:
Model: TE37R-MQZG
Engine: 2T-G 1588cc
Frame No: TE37-900519
Color/Trim: 041 TJ15
Trans/Axle: T50 T292
Plant: M21

Below is what I have done to the coupe.

My idea was to upgrade my driveline, suspension, brakes to Levin/Trueno specs, plus improvements where I see fit. I did much of this to my wagon so I had some experience and parts.

Bitsmy KE55 project
Car: KE55(S) hardtop 1978
engine: 2T-G, 1812cc high comp. 3T bottom end, 2T-GEU distributor
engine: 11111-88222 head, ND hi-energy coil/igniter (from Shuttle)
engine: 40mm Solex Mikuni sidedrafts, Redline bell-mouths and filters
engine: 305.5 degree Wade camshafts.
cooling: new 3 core radiator, KE tanks.
exhaust: 2", Genie 4-1 header, strait through resonator, strait through dog-leg glasspack muffler
transmission:T50 5-speed (from TA22 or 23)
diff: 6.7" 4.1:1 (from RA23/40), TRD 4 pinion 2-way LSD
wheels: Black Racing 8 spoke (like Watanabe) 14 x 6-1/2" +15
spare wheel: Celica/Tarago steel 14" x 5-1/2"
tyres: 195/60/14" Bridgestone Potenza RE711
tyres: 195/60/14" Bridgestone Potenza RE520S
tyres: 195/55/14" Dunlop Formula W-1 Spec R
front suspension: XT130 Corona struts, coilovers 325lb/in, adjustable strut tops, strut brace.
rear suspension: leaf, extra leaf, up-side-down leaf, polyurathane bushes.
anti-roll bars:front 22mm, rear 14mm, polyurathane bushes
front shocks:Monroe ST162 cartridges, with spacer, for short stroke
rear shocks: Koni adjustable, red. To suit Commodore wagon.
master cylinder: 13/16"(TE72) and 6" booster(KE30)
front brakes: 266 x 20mm vented (Puegeot), 4WD HiLux 4-spot calipers
rear brakes: drum 229mm (from RA23 or KE55)
steering: r-ball, celica knuckles modifyed for quicker steering
front track:1335mm
rear track:1345mm
caster: 2 degrees
camber: -1.5 degrees
toe-in: around zero
interior: all black vinal, suede steering wheel, fire extinguisher
exterior: hood pins, steel valve caps, clear contact on head lights, blue battery triangle on hood, TE37 JDM tail lights, TE37 JDM bonnet, grille and fender mirrors. TE37 "Levin" badges.
Future mods: adjustable stut tops, 2 liter forged pistons (at next rebuild if needed), mono leaf rear suspension. Race tyres (to proove laps tims, then put road tyres back on for drift).

This is my engine.

My 2TG
This engine is a whole different beast to the 4K I was using. Being a 1600cc it has slightly more torque, but not much. And being a twincam with 85x70 bore and stoke dimentions, it is a very revy engine. And since it has much bigger valves with high lift cams and free flowing design and big carbies, it has much more power once it gets going. Since power = torque x rpm (x a constant), the higher rev range makes a huge difference from the 4K pushrod design and the bigger ports and everything lets it breath at that speed. I have not got the Solex 40mm carbies quite right, and it has little power off the line untill 2000rpm. I will fix this with bigger power jets. It is still only a stock engine and doesn't have much power either way. I put the little 2TG powered corolla wagon on the dyno once. We got about 80HP at the wheels, which may indicate the expected 115-120HP of the near stock engine. This was with a 4.11 diff, in 3rd gear, 185/60/14 tyres, at about 120km/h. I guess that is about 6500rpm, as we didn't have a acurate tacho. We also got it to 140km/h in 3rd, that would be about 7300rpm. This is before the engine is well tuned, but that won't make much difference to max power. I also got it to 140km/h on the road in 3rd gear, but it doesn't have any more power up there at the moment. With the tacho now in, I see it will rev to almost 8000rpm, and starts valve bouncing or something around there. There is not much more power past 6300rpm with the standard cams.

Past mods
I had once put rack and pinion steering in the wagon. I got the steering parts from a KE70. To make it work I had to do alot of things, cutting and welding, and remachining parts. In the process, I also had to learn alot about bump steer among other things. I won't go into the details as this is no longer in the car. Do not atempt this before knowing everything there is to know about steering and suspension angles, as the placement and length of all the steering parts is very important.

I once chopped up the dash gauges and used a RA23 tacho and RA23 fuel and temp gauges where the clock should be. I got this to look very factory.