Wanderer New Reader
April 10, 2014 11:42 p.m.

Edit: Missed the rules post, 1988 Toyota Corolla GTS, I can't figure out how to edit the title so if Mods want to add that that'd be cool.

Hey GRM, so I posted a "best car" thread a while back and debated in my head many of the suggestions you guys gave for cheap cars to work with. A couple months ago I got wind that a friend of mine had an AE92 GTS that he was going to scrap. Gave him a call and he told me the trans and motor are great, so I went down to Socal to check it out. Sure enough, it was pretty healthy. I told him not to scrap it and i'd buy it off of him, to which he refused and said I could have it for free. So that was an offer I couldn't refuse.

It's got a little fender and bumper damage from a small accident, but only cosmetic. Of course with old cars like this that means a salvage title, which I don't care about. Here's the car anyway:

That's my Fit in the back too

Anyway, after about 12 years on automotive message boards of various makes and models, i've yet to make a build thread, so here goes my first.

First up is getting this thing smogged and registered. There's a few things it needs before that and i'm heading down to Socal next weekend to take care of as much as I can.

  1. Distributor O ring where the cap is is leaking like hell. Standard 4AGE feature.
  2. Tune up
  3. Battery
  4. Probably cat.

No engine lights and all gauges look normal, so i'll start with that and see what happens. I'll document a little of this revival when i'm down there.

I'd also like to ask GRM AE92 enthusiasts with some help on parts sourcing if you wouldn't mind. Curious where you guys get stuff like bushings and what crosses over from other AE9x platforms. I did some performance parts hunting and it looks like it's going to take a bit to decipher the code. I have friends very familiar with 4AG but they're all AE86 guys and don't know much about this chassis and what's available for it. TIA for any help.

Final goal for the car is HPDE fun car and some "spirited driving", not looking to be competitive at all, this is 100% just to mess around in.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
April 11, 2014 9:08 a.m.

Welcome! There are a few other AE92 owners on this board - me, Dr. Hess and trucke, a couple of other newish guys whose usernames I can't remember (edit: One of them is andy_ae92, here's his build thread: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/ae92-corolla-coupe/67710/page1/).

All AE92 coupes and hatches are mechanically identical from the nose forward - apart from some body parts and different engine models (they were available with 4AF(E)s or 4AGEs).

AE92s also share many parts from the AE101 - powertrain stuff, most front suspension stuff.

Rare parts to keep an eye out for: Rear suspension stuff, body and interior stuff specific to the coupe or hatch, the 2.5-turn rack of awesomeness (all the GTZ (supercharged) models had them, some hatches and JDM coupes had them).

Struts are the same from the AE9x chassis right up to the AE11x chassis. Over 10 years of the same struts.

The 4AGE in AE92s isn't the same as the one in the AE86s - AE86s only got bigports (AKA bluetop), early AE92s got bigports and later ones got smallports (AKA redtop).

For bushings...well you better sit down. All the performace bushings come from Australasia - SuperPro and Whiteline. Brace your wallet! A lot of the performance parts in general come from that region. These cars are mostly tuned in Australasia and the Caribbean.

A factory problem you should look at right now is the achey breaky engine mounts. Urethane-fill them or replace them with "performance" mounts. An engine damper would be a good idea.

More rear brake bias helps a lot on any AE9x-chassis vehicle, but it's not that cheap or easy to get.

Oh and here's my build thread:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/ae92-corolla-sr5-gts-goodies-swap-in-mini-build-thread/57697/page1/

Wanderer New Reader
April 11, 2014 4:20 p.m.

Thanks for the info Gameboy, i'm excited to hear AE101 suspension is the same, that opens a lot of doors! I was searching around for AE92 stuff and all I was seeing was KSport or uber expensive JDM stuff IIRC I saw Koni Yellows available but wasn't sure if it was real or not or discontinued or whatever?

These AE86 guys run everything 4AGE, bluetop to redtop high comp and everything inbetween, and a few 20V guys. I only know one guy who keeps swapping bluetops in, it's just his thing, idk. I totally wouldn't mind going 20V if I could get around smog but I do want to keep it street legal with no hassles... maybe in the future when I get a trailer

Going to bookmark the threads you posted so I can poke around, thank you for info!

April 11, 2014 7:29 p.m.

best of luck.....

The oil leak is likely a small seal around the distributor shaft... The outer housing seal is also likely bad... but there is a small seal inside that likely needs service. look around for kbox distriburtor rebuild kits

trucke Reader
April 11, 2014 7:38 p.m.

TwoRus has some useful parts. Here is their distributor seal kit. It's from kBox Engineering.

http://twosrus.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=28

trucke Reader
April 11, 2014 7:42 p.m.

Ground Control offers a coil over kit. Pick your own spring rates.

http://www.ground-control-store.com/products/description.php/II=97/CA=18

GameboyRMH MegaDork
April 11, 2014 9:07 p.m.

For coilovers, I'd say you should either run GC sleeves or the uber-expensive stuff...the mid-range Taiwanese stuff costs the most in the long run. Ask me how I know.

Wanderer New Reader
April 15, 2014 10:02 a.m.
oldeskewltoy wrote: best of luck..... The oil leak is likely a small seal around the distributor shaft... The outer housing seal is also likely bad... but there is a small seal inside that likely needs service. look around for kbox distriburtor rebuild kits

Hey I remember you from Club4AG place is pretty dead these days. Ah yes, my friend linked me the KBox kit, I wasn't sure if I had to replace all of the seals or just the outer one. I'll get the kit then, thanks guys.

As far as the GC sleeve kit, what shocks can I run with it? I wouldn't run high rates but adjust-ability would be nice in case I want to swap springs around. Koni Yellow available?

All the suspension talk is in the future, the car's got fairly new OEM replacement shocks on it right now and I plan to run those with OEM springs for a bit until I get used to the car. Just want reliability right now, but just looking for a solid path before I start the journey. TIA

GameboyRMH MegaDork
April 15, 2014 10:20 a.m.

Yeah the Koni Yellow models are:

Front: 8641-1145sport (They have an 1146sport for the GTi hatch...different valving I guess? They should be the same) Rear: 8641-1147sport

Found some for sale here:

http://www.nolimitmotorsport.com/koni/apps-Toyota.html

Matt B SuperDork
April 15, 2014 10:50 a.m.

It's amazing what some people will scrap. Although, I'm sure the kind of crap I'm willing to put up with is probably equally amazing to them.

Kudos for saving that one.

Wanderer New Reader
April 16, 2014 8:32 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Yeah the Koni Yellow models are: Front: 8641-1145sport (They have an 1146sport for the GTi hatch...different valving I guess? They should be the same) Rear: 8641-1147sport Found some for sale here: http://www.nolimitmotorsport.com/koni/apps-Toyota.html

Thank you so much Gameboy really appreciate it! I will go that route one way or another then.

Thanks Matt B, I felt it wasn't ready for the crusher at all. He was just getting rid of it because he has like 7-8 cars sitting that the property owners are making him get rid of and he can't sell them all in time. I was happy to take it!

Parts ordering Friday AM to start working on it this weekend, looking forward to it

accordionfolder HalfDork
April 16, 2014 9:19 p.m.

Hey! Another guy over here. I'm in San Francisco, out in Sunset. It looks like you're south by a bit. Let me know if you need a hand anytime. Sonoma is awesome, I'm heading to Buttonwillow this weekend, though that's a bit of a haul.

Great looking HPDE car!

Wanderer New Reader
May 22, 2014 4:08 p.m.
accordionfolder wrote: Hey! Another guy over here. I'm in San Francisco, out in Sunset. It looks like you're south by a bit. Let me know if you need a hand anytime. Sonoma is awesome, I'm heading to Buttonwillow this weekend, though that's a bit of a haul. Great looking HPDE car!

Hey Accordionfolder, yes i'm down in Milpitas... the car is WAY down in SoCal lol. I'll get it up here soon enough and on the road. I'd love to make it out to BW or Sonoma sometime soon as soon as I get this thing reliable.

Terrible lack of updates or work on the car due to life expenses, closing bills, etc. I've got a Vegas trip coming up for a bachelor party (friend) and after that i'm going in hard on the car so I should have some progress soon. Goal is to have this thing trackworthy by November to run with some friends at SOWS to debut since I actually know that track pretty well and I know the car not at all.

Wanderer New Reader
June 24, 2014 3:28 p.m.

Some small updates this weekend. Didn't end up going to Vegas and spent money on the car instead. Took a good poke around at at to see where's it at and talked to my friend to get a better idea of where it stands.

Took it for a freeway drive, trans is great, no grinds, no pops, motor is healthy as can be, revs to redline with no hesitation. New shocks, car handles nicely.

Picked up a battery and valve cover gasket and threw them in.

There was minor fender damage, so I hit up the junkyard looking for a new one. Found this guy

Took the time to pull the fender and bumper...

Bondo everywhere. Abandon ship.

I go to two other yards and find two other AE92's, both of them have fender and bumper damage on the same side hahaha. Oh well, just going to pull the existing fender out. Get back to my friend's pad and proceed with "repairing" the fender, sideskirt and bumper with my bare hands, rawr! (I had no body tools whatsoever). I reminded myself racecar not showcar. Got everything to line up and bolted it all back on. My friend had a replacement sidemarker lying around so I threw that on as well. Finished product

Oh well, at least there's no body panels flapping in the breeze anymore.

Cleaned out the interior of all the random stuff and my buddy's belongings. 231k on the clock, so just broken in . Definitely going to need to get a steering wheel. The rest of the interior is getting ditched, so I told him he could strip it while I was back home up north. He's got a another AE92 and the seats and back are in better shape in this car.

Got the registration back fees paid up, salvage title fees paid, etc. Just need to finish smog and do lamp check next time I come down next month and it should be good to go. All lamps work and smog will be no problem, so i'm excited to get this thing on the road soon.

Final pic. Sadly, the HKS exhaust is going with my friend... it sounds so good... swapping with the generic pipe on his other car for the time being. Will get something fabbed up later.

Next update in a month or so, I should be driving this thing back to Norcal and start working on the fun stuff. Until next time.

Wanderer New Reader
Aug. 26, 2014 9:31 a.m.

Small update, nothing major.

Last week I rode down to Socal with a friend that was up here in Norcal showing the Alfa 4C at Laguna Seca during the race weekend. Was happy to ride back with him instead of flying. That being said, I was pretty much committed to driving this car home unless I wanted to get a rental. Got into LA Saturday evening with plans to drive back Sunday evening, and had to finish the car up in between.

Rotors were warped, so went to Autozone and got discs and pads. Replaced those. Changed engine oil, transmission oil. Friend helped me with the K-box distributor seal kit, fixed the oil leak there.

Ran into some timing issues, I think we installed the distributor a tooth off. I had already left the garage, so I just started adjusting it by ear. I realized I wouldn't be able to fix it without removing the distributor and rotating it a tooth, so I started pulling plug wires. First wire I pull breaks, on both ends, in a parking lot. Call a few friends up and one was able to run to a late night Autozone and they actually had a new set, which he delivered (my hero). Adjusted the best I could and I was off. It was still too advanced but if I was light on the throttle it didn't ping. At this point it is already 10:30PM and I have a 6 hour drive ahead of me with work in the morning, so I got on my way.

Kettleman City 3:00am

Made it back to The Bay at 5:00am, hopped in bed.

Following weekend got the timing sorted out and it runs like a champ now. Did some driving on local back roads and the car feels good.

Finally in Norcal, running, plated and registered. A long time coming.

My friend let me keep the HKS exhaust too, sounds good and i'm excited about that. Moving back into a place with a garage next week, so i'll have more updates more often now and excited to get to work on this thing.

Wanderer New Reader
Aug. 27, 2014 4:32 p.m.

So the unpleasantries of the 4AG's ancient electronics and vacuum system have started rearing their ugly heads.

Intermittent problems are becoming less intermittent. Occasional surging idle from 1000-1500 and bogging when going on throttle. Doesn't happen all the time, just sometimes. It was doing this before I worked on the timing so I don't think that's the problem.

TPS? Vacuum leak? Unmetered air at the MAF? Oh the joys. Will look at it when I get it to the garage next week.

If any of you 4AG jockeys have any advice on this I'd be forever grateful.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
Aug. 28, 2014 7:33 a.m.

Ooooh boy I'm still trying to work through the same problems that showed up somewhere between me driving the donor car into the shop and trying to drive out with the same engine.

I'm just switching to MS2x + CoPs to eliminate the offending components. Good luck.

Wanderer New Reader
Aug. 28, 2014 5:21 p.m.

Haha, thanks Gameboy, from searching online it seems these are common 4AG issues. I guess i'll just have to try each, verify voltages, lines, etc. I read timing could cause this as well but the idle is fine sometimes, sitting at 800-1000 when it feels like it and the planets align.

Will update if I find the answer. Trying to keep the motor as stock as possible but if I get pissed enough maybe i'll just swap in a 20V lol

GameboyRMH MegaDork
Aug. 29, 2014 8:33 a.m.

20V parts are even harder to find than 16V parts in the US...they're not as bulletproof as a 16V either.

Wanderer New Reader
Aug. 29, 2014 3:27 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

I have source for 20V parts, but i've heard the same about the bulletproof part. I know you have to try pretty hard to blow up a 16V, especially low comps.

The motor seems pretty healthy other than the driveability issues. I didn't burn any oil in the 300 mile drive up to Norcal and the oil still looks clean. I am not sure if it's the original motor, but i'll stick with it and get the issues sorted.

Wanderer New Reader
Sept. 15, 2014 12:05 p.m.

Small update, going on vacation this week so didn't want to spend money. What can I do to make some progress that costs $0?

Gut the car.

Original moldy spare. Gone!

Decent shape interior that will go back to my friend to swap into his AE92 with less than perfect interior. Gone!

Aftermath

My friend for the weekend. Stuck around through everything lol

Still need to strip the sound deadening out and clean up and all that, but i'll save that headache for after vacation.

Off to Vegas.

oldeskewltoy SuperDork
Sept. 15, 2014 1:23 p.m.

As far as the occasional wandering idle... The warm up circuit MAY be at fault. Beneath the throttle body is a heat activated bypass valve. The engine coolant circulates around this assembly and as it warms up the assembly closes off an air bypass. As they get older the bypass doesn't always get completely closed off... and as such a small vacuum leak remains.

Wanderer New Reader
Sept. 15, 2014 2:15 p.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy:

Thank you so much. What should I do to remedy? This is the next task, fixing the small drive-ability issues and I will add this to the things to look at.

Oh, in other news, also found a dent in the oil pan and a slightly bent RTA while poking around the car, so a few more things to do/junkyards to visit.

oldeskewltoy SuperDork
Sept. 15, 2014 4:51 p.m.
Wanderer wrote: In reply to oldeskewltoy: Thank you so much. What should I do to remedy? This is the next task, fixing the small drive-ability issues and I will add this to the things to look at. Oh, in other news, also found a dent in the oil pan and a slightly bent RTA while poking around the car, so a few more things to do/junkyards to visit.

the right way.... is to check the "aux air valve" - it is the assembly under the throttle body.

Some people remove the AAV and cover it with a plate.

I did this on my engine for I don't need it anymore as I have a different managment system then OEM.

Wanderer New Reader
Sept. 16, 2014 8:02 a.m.

Got it, thanks much for the pictures.

So I suppose with CA emissions I will have to either clean/rebuild the valve somehow or find a lower mileage junkyard TB, slap it on and give it a try. Maybe I can knock out two birds with one stone if my TPS is also acting up. I haven't checked it with DMM yet... my friend said he checked it recently and it was OK but I know they can be finicky.

I'll add that to the shopping list I guess.

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