Started on July 17 by Stuc

1986 Toyota Corolla


So, I think I picked this up around Oct ‘06. I was sick of always having FWD, so I thought I’d do something about it. I read a thread here entitled something like ‘the most fun car you’ve ever driven’, and someone posted that an 84-87 RWD Corolla with a blacktop engine swap was more fun than driving a Ferrari (which I can only hope to own some day), so I thought that this would be an attainable goal for me since the swap has been documented several times, etc. Other reasons were that I always liked how this car looked and I always had lightweight cars and didn’t want to change that. Well, there are hardly any in Florida, to begin with. I ended up finding one in Miami that was a project which came with the blacktop engine already, as well as some other goodies. However, I’m in Daytona! How was I gonna’ pick it up? Well, I posted on my favorite trusty forum (shameless plug asking the insane question, “Can I borrow a trailer for free”? Good ol’ Bill Gotwalt, R. I. P., actually let me just use his trailer to drive 300 miles to pick up this car no questions asked. What an awesome guy! Well, when I got there, I wasn’t too keen on the condition, but I did talk the price down, but in the end I only feel I got an ‘ok’ deal because or all the things I’ve had to buy/replace. Well, I can certainly say I’ve learned a lot working on this car. When I got it, I was assured that it had everything required to complete the swap—not even close. For instances, it was carburreted, while the new engine/ecu was fuel injected, which at that time, I didn’t know the difference between! Eventually I figured out I’d need the EFI and circuit open relays from another car since neither this chassis nor the engine harness had them, so I got them from a junkyard AW11, along with some other electrical stuff. I think it was summer ‘07 mostly that I spent as a hermit inside the house, rarely coming out to speak to anyone, wires sticking out of my ears but somehow, when I was finally done with the wiring, it started first try! (Okay, 2nd, just had to reinforce the chassis/engine ground) I pretty much intend to auto-x this, as well as drive it semi-daily. The interior is stripped (and I mean stripped), it’s got some Autometer guages setup, cheap custom bent 2.25” exhaust with a big glasspack and a little motorcycle muffler, wrapped ghetto pacesetter header (came with it), custom bigass radiator, and an ITG Filter for the ITBs. Okay, I haven’t updated in a while, but a lot has happened with the car! I was lazy and only locked 1 hood pin on my first drive, intending to go slow on the 1-block trip. Well, on the way back I took it to the top of 2nd and the hood flew up and broke the windshield! So, there was this little rust spot at the top of the dash right where the windshield met it I figured I’d take the opportunity to fix while I had the glass out. Then I figured I might as well fix the rest of the rust while I’m fixing that, so I took out the rest of the glass, and it sat for a while. I’d work on it, fixing rust spot and dent after rust spot and dent, and I’d always find more! So, after struggling with finishing it while working and going to school I finally got it to a point where I was okay with it, so my roommate and I painted it in our carport and have it back together at this point. It still needs another coat of paint and some spots fixed, but the paint itself looks pretty damn good, especially for coming out of a $13 sale price Harbor Freight gun.

Latest updates
July 09
Been DDin'

Well, my regular transportation is out so I’ve been DDing this putting some serious miles …

April 07
Hmmm put these bumpers on a while ago

Finally got around to putting a sensible radiator on it and some non-US-safety-stick-out-a-mile bumpers. Those …

Nov. 24
Not much of an update.. far as progress goes. I fixed the starting problem, although I’ve hardly driven it …

April 23
Okay, where are we now...

Well, things haven’t been great financially. We (the car and I) went to go autocross …

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July 17, 2008, 5:05 p.m.

Cool story. Cool car. You've come this far, you'll get it sorted.

July 27, 2008, 2:35 p.m.

Thanks for the writeup...looks like a decent start for a project car. Electrical and wiring issues can be really frustrating, can't they? :) Best of luck getting it working well.

July 29, 2008, 1:34 p.m.

That is a huge Intercooler!! Car looks cool. Good luck.

Aug. 10, 2008, 10:32 p.m.

Ah well it's just the radiator.. haha.. ended up being a little overkill (I'll have to some of it for street driving) but still cheaper than a Koyo Right now I have that problem sorted and it's apart for paint!

Aug. 30, 2008, 12:31 a.m.

...cover* some of it..

Oct. 11, 2008, 8:55 p.m.

how's it comming? You have the electrical issue sorted, you meant to say? Glad to see an ae86 running around, fun car.

Oct. 14, 2008, 9:08 a.m.

Yeah, well, I have it running great pretty much... but when I first figured out what was wrong with it I took it for a little drive and went to put some gas in it. On the way back I guess I went a little faster than I had planned on and the hood flew up on me. My fault. I was lazy... I only locked one hood pin... So! It busted the hood and windscreen, so while I had the glass out I took the opportunity to repair some rust that was only accessible with the glass out right up on the top of the dash, and figured while I was repairing that I should repair all the other rust... so all the rest of the glass came out. Then of course I might as well paint it while I've gotten it all taken apart! So, I'm actually done with most of the rust repair, just a couple finishing touches to do with bondo, but progress has really slowed down now that school started again and I should be looking for a real job! Hopefully it'll be back together in the next couple weeks so I can hit the autocross in Deland which was the plan 2 years ago! In a way though it is good that this happened because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten around to it forever.

Nov. 22, 2008, 2:04 a.m.

i drove a hachi for the first time at the smackdown in washington, awesome cars!! there is a video on my firends facebook of me drifting (sort of) lol these cars rock, i'm sure you will hav lots of sun once it's sorted! best of luck! been in your shoes if you have checked out the rest of my phots in my profile!!

April 8, 2009, 11:26 p.m.

Old school RWD Rollas rock, any year. My personal ride is a TE27 1971 corolla just like you I have very little money invested in the car, yet it out handles anything out there on the street. I turbo'ed it to 350 HP with a SAAB T3 from pick n pull. Runs on LPG (poor man's EFI). My 1981 Rolla coupe had full Supra suspension. And with 450HP 4AGELU blew the doors off anything at a light (you with the VIPER in vacaville know who you are).

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