Toyota Corolla GT-S

Started on May 22 by ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)

Ride Rating


This is my low and stiff Corolla for trackdays, autocross, and paved backroads fun. I have put a lot of effort and aftermarket parts into suspension work, and a few bolt-ons for the engine. It is lightweight, responsive, and loves to hassle bigger cars through the twisties! My goal has been to enhance the performance envelope a bit without losing out on driveability or streetability too much. I want light weight and a simple aesthetic with a spectacular overall driving experience and I am pleased with the results so far.

Highlights include:

-TRD Japan fiberglass hatch and spoiler with lexan window for weight savings

-Carbon fiber hood and Japanese bumpers (not pictured) for further weight savings

-Lightweight battery for weight savings

-Adjustable aluminum suspension arms, heim-jointed one end, hard bushing at the other end for weight savings and handling response without rattling loose any fillings

-Homemade short shifter and various body braces

-TRD Japan roadrace shocks and springs

-Traction brackets to relocate the rear lower control arms and roll center adjusters to relocate the front control arms after lowering

-TRD hard bushings wherever there aren't heim joints

-A small dose of negative camber up front and zero toe for great turn-in

-Braided brake lines and high performance pads

-4-2-1 header, exhaust, Injen intake, and power steering delete to wake the engine up a little bit and further shave the weight

-Nardi deep-dish steering wheel for a bit of interior dress-up and a better driving position

10 comments on this ride

Latest updates

Dec. 22

Aero mirrors-exterior aesthetics

The other bit of progress is the acquisition of a pair of used aero mirrors from Japan! These look like East Bear or possibly a knock-off of East Bear. They are the final piece of my own ultimate AE86 aesthetic....JDM ...

Dec. 22

New transmission mount

Next I got the old sloppy stock mount replaced with a TRD hard rubber mount. I also cleaned all the mud off of the crossmember...gotta stop driving lowered cars off road!

Dec. 22

Transmission cleaning

My long term plan is still to rebuild a T-50 or two, but since I have two Corollas and three T-50's, I decided to put the best of the two in the hatchback for now. It will help finalize the ...

Dec. 22

Another view of gear deburr

Here is another view of the final drive after hours with a tiny grinding bit on the Dremel. I hope it is worth the effort, but even if not, I doubt it will hurt, and it kept me busy for ...

Dec. 22

Prepping new diff and final drive

Here is my new Toyota OE 4.3 final drive with a my gear deburring going on. I decided to chamfer all the machined edges to help eliminate stress risers and maximize the life of my new rear axle. Look for ...

Dec. 22

Yikes! Ancient alarm wiring nightmare!

I have always wanted to remove it, but figured that the car worked, and the alarm really seemed to have it's tentacles in there pretty firmly. I thought about swapping over the whole manual column, ignition and all, but since ...

Dec. 22

Small interior updates

Looking inside we can see the new manual steering column which I swapped over, as well as my new Lexus pedals, which will make heel/toe they look good. The racks are different heights power vs. manual, so the columns ...

Dec. 22

More steering

Here's a peek at the underside, showing the new outer tie rods, adjustable at the end so I can finally try to minimize that last little bit of bump steer I sometimes feel. If you look at the outer end ...

Dec. 22

Another view of engine/steering

Here's the other side of the engine mockup and steering/crossmember install. There are a lot details yet to fill in on the side of the know, intake, exhaust, that type of stuff.

Dec. 22

Engine and steering finally in

Here you can see the engine has been dropped in for mockup and detail work around the engine bay. You can also see the rebuilt manual rack (with Quaife quicksteer) as well as the manual AE86 column I swapped over. ...

Feb. 04

Alternator and thermostat housing

I traded in my old crusty and oil-soaked alternator for a Toyota remanufactured unit, which looks nice and will ease my mind knowing that pretty much everything else is new. I have a lightweight aluminum pulley for the alternator, but ...

Jan. 14

Making ITB gaskets

The final bit of progress is on the intake side of things. With help from oldeskewltoy, I now have a set of gaskets to go between the ITB's and and the intake manifold. I suppose I could have ordered something ...

Jan. 14

Oil temp sensor finds a home

I also found a spot to put my new smaller oil temp sensor which will minimize the number of parts, cost, weight, and joints which might leak. I started with the fittings I already have coming into and out of ...

Jan. 14

Another pic of the intake spacer

A peek at the inside; you can just see the port-match...sort of...:)

Jan. 08

Intake spacer completed

I finished the plywood intake spacer/heat insulator. It is fully port-matched on both the manifold side and the intake side, and has been painted with about coats of high-temp enamel to help seal the wood from moisture. I hope it ...

Jan. 01

Intake thoughts and oil plumbing fixes

After some more reading and thinking, I am going to make my own airbox over the throttle trumpets without worrying too much about the theoretical details. As long as I make sure that it ducts cold air into the engine ...

Dec. 21

Port matching the intake side

I've been working on getting the ITB->intake manifold->spacer->cylinder head doweled to keep everything lined up and port matched to get the best flow possible. It has been a little bit of a hassle, but I will spare you the details ...

Dec. 17

Slowly but surely...

Long time, no update! I have been chipping away at a little work here and there, and thanks to some help from some friends today, we got even more done. Here are some of efforts of late: After making the ...

Sept. 14

Going overboard on the details?

I've made some more progress with another round of detail work on the engine. As some of you may have guessed by now, I tend to like fiddly little tiny cosmetic stuff, even stuff that doesn't really contribute all that ...

Sept. 14

Plumbing; mostly oil

A lot of the rest of my work lately has been on plumbing. Thankfully, a friend working on a similar build has been paving the way for a lot of this, and I have benefitted from his updates and his ...

Sept. 14

Plywood (!) intake spacer

I really like the idea of insulating the intake manifold and ITBs from the heat of the cylinder head, and have been looking for a phenolic spacer for months, but there just isn't anything available, and I can't find any ...

July 29

Details, details...

Down to the detail work on engine assembly, AKA the fun stuff! :D The backing plate for the block was bent, so I straightened it, and it was scratched up, so time for some semi-gloss black paint before mounting. I ...

July 16

Degreeing the cams

I got the new camshaft oil seals installed, as well as the back timing belt cover. The new Toyota timing belt tensioner is installed as well. Per a trusted friend's recommendation, I am running the timing belt tenioner without the ...

May 01

Cams back in the head

It feels good to see it starting to come together after taking it apart for so long. Got the HKS 272's in and the valve lash adjusted today both exhaust and intake. The bummer is that I have to pull ...

April 24

Engine reassembly in progress

The oil pump is back on, the sump and windage tray are back on, the block is painted to match. We also removed the flywheel, which I was surprised to find out wasn't much lighter than stock...I guess the free-revving ...

April 16

Management has arrived

I know have a huge box full of wiring harness, ECU, ignition coils, injector drivers, crank pulley and pickup plus mount, distributor modified to serve as cam timing with pickup, and a bunch of sensors. Installation *should* be fairly ...

March 22

Aesthetic upgrade as well

I don't just want to get the mechanical stuff in order with this new engine; while it is out and apart I am doing a bit of an update in the looks department. I unbolted everything I could from the ...

March 22

And the high-comp

Here is a look at the top of the rotating assembly. The high-compression forged pistons are from Wiseco and are nominally 11.0:1 compression ratio. They are stamped with 82mm, which means an overbore that gives me 1627cc. I cleaned up ...

March 22

A peek at the bottom end

Here's the bottom end...I opened it up just out of curiousity. Everything looks great and is well within spec, so I did a tiny bit of cleaning and will put it back together with some new gaskets.

March 22

Head reassembly started

Since the engine was rebuilt only a couple thousand miles ago, there isn't much that is needed. My main priority is upgrading components the original owner didn't have the budget for. The port work and combustion-chamber work he did is ...

March 19

Oil pump back together

I started re-assembly of the engine today...I had it stripped down to a shortblock just to check everything out. The oil pump was of the later type, meaning that it was replaced when the previous owner rebuilt the engine a ...

March 12

New engine in the works

Well, I no longer have the patience and funds for my rally car project, or perhaps I simply no longer cling to the unrealistic fantasy, so I have yanked that engine to put in this car with some additional hop-ups. ...

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May 30, 2008 2:41 p.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter):
How can an AE86 not get more votes? Especially one as nice as this one?
Jul 17, 2008 4:45 p.m.
Cool! (Check mine out haha) Where'd you get the 4-2-1 header? Update the pic with the new bumpers too
Aug 27, 2008 5:11 p.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter):
I got the header from a company called KBD, and sadly they are now discontinued. I think at one point they were known as Dobi, and made the headers back when the car was fairly new. These days they do mostly bodykits, but several years ago we got a couple dozen Corolla owners together and had them do one last run. Apparently they got rid of the tooling after that last batch. :( It is a nice street header because it enhances and smooths all of the powerband over stock, and saves a nice bit of weight. Unlike most of the other offerings on the market, it is designed first and foremost for LHD cars, so it fits, and the primaries are a good size for a stock head with other breathing upgrades (mild tune.) Most others on the market are good for heavier mods or racecars, but give up some bottom/mid range on the street. I will have to take some pics when I get the bumper back on. I took it off again to tidy up wiring for the lights and so my buddy could copy the Japanese bumper brackets.
Nov 5, 2009 8:48 a.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter):
Man, beautiful ride. Great to read @ your engine builkd up. My 4age is going together much milder-webbers, stock cams, timing pulleys, on a 120K engine. Good to get ideas for that inevitable first rebuild.
Dec 6, 2009 10:34 a.m.
Mr. Lee:
NICE car! I've always wanted one, even before the drift craze hit, I'm gonna have to keep an eye out for one after new years, gotta finish my rx7 first. Again, NICE!
Dec 18, 2009 12:29 a.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter):
Thanks for the comments, guys! I am always flattered when someone else finds my efforts inspirational. I am getting excited to drop the engine in and get it wired and fired this winter in anticipation of driving it next spring and summer. My buddy I've been helping is nearing completion on his similar build right now, so we should be able to focus on my car soon; keep your eyes peeled for updates!
Jan 5, 2010 12:57 p.m.
Torbin Zixx:
Awesome HachiRoku!
Jun 10, 2010 11:28 a.m.
Wow awesome Hatchi dude! The engine work is super clean! The wheels are xxr 513 in gunmetal =] they look great on corollas!
Aug 28, 2010 5:04 a.m.
I like the red wrinkle paint on the valve covers. Those aluminum pulleys (free horsepower) look good too. Reminds me of rebuilding my 4AGE on lunch breaks at my job. Good times. What kind of cams are you using?
Dec 22, 2011 9:23 p.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter):
Thanks guys...sorry I have been so-so about updates. The camshafts are older HKS 272's (both intake and exhaust.) They are 272 degrees advertised duration with 8.35mm of lift. I was going to use HKS 288's with 8.35mm of lift, but the bottom end wasn't built for enough revs (or at least not reliably) to get the most of the 288's, so I downsized, and I think I will be happy with a big midrange-top end power boost. I am planning on an 8300rpm rev-limiter.

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