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fc1212

Levin AE101 restoration

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Hi guys it's my first post here, so please tell me about any mistakes I made in the post.

I just got my driver's license, and my dad is willing to share or even allow me to own one of his cars, one of them being a 1991 Corolla Levin SJ manual (AE101). However, he hasn't renewed the registration for the car for nearly 4 years, and there are quite a number of problems with it. I would really want to restore the car myself. Does anyone have recommendations on performance upgrades for the car, namely suspension components, strut bars, brakes and maybe even a turbo kit if possible. Thanks!

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Practicalities vs Priorities, eh....

Full service + *renew brake fluid.

You make it go.. *OTHER PEOPLE make you stop!!

Perhaps a bit of detailing around the engine, nice place to work 🎱

Any chance of a picture, m8

2sav

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Hi,

What are the known problems with it ?

While standard service items may still be around quiet cheaply, at nearly 30 years old you will find many of the key parts are no longer available, new or secondhand.

Unless your existing problems are quick, cheap and easy fixes, think you ought to look at dads other cars !

Have a look at Paddys thread and how a later model  '98 is being restored and all the time .effort and money he is needing.

https://www.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/topic/174991-paddy-the-corolla-1998-13-e11-3-door/

If you want to restore cars as a hobby, fine, but as they say, spending all that time and money will never be recouped, unless you have something very special.

Think I would put the money towards a later model with more life in it and enjoy driving rather than bare knuckle  weekends on the driveway !

 

 

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Like @oldcodger points out, with the age of the vehicle parts (even on a second hand basis) will be hard to get hold of - even expensive if you can find them. I'm also the poor sap who decided restoring/working on a 1998 Corolla was a good idea 😂

The problems it has that you know about will always be followed by problems you don't know exist until you start taking bits apart. The biggest issue I have come across when working on my Corolla is that some bolts just break off, so you end up having to drill them out then using a tap & die set to then put new bolts in. This has happened so much in terms of taking body trim off, but it also happened when taking the bolts off of the rear anti-roll bar bushes. Not ideal.

But you're young so you want that performance, but you're young so there's more to consider than just the car itself. Not sure where in the world you are, but the moment you start putting performance upgrades on a car your insurance goes up. If you're newly qualified (and young) this just increases your insurance 10 fold anyway.

Ultimately with my Corolla I want a replica/tribute to the WRC Corolla of 1998. But that final goal is so far off in the distance because of the money it would take, the time I don't really have and whether I'm up to it (physically and mentally). I took a year off working on my Corolla because life gets in the way, now I'm towards the end of just the first step of getting the car ready to a point I can drive it day to day, and to a point where I know if I do more work to it I've a good base to work from.

So, for you, really you should split your aspirations in to two groups. Get the car on the road, then make it sporty. Getting the car on the road will allow you to see the state of the car. It might need welding for it even to pass safety inspections (like the UK's MOT or Ireland's NCT). It's this part, really, where you will spend your time and money on. Things like turbo's etc are expensive in themselves, but they're even more expensive if they're bought for a car that hasn't had the basics sorted first.

However, unlike me you've got someone physically near you to help. I did a lot of the heavy work myself (for better or for worse) so you could do the work half as quick than I could. You will learn a lot about cars in general, and you will get a kick out of it when it goes right, and even more so when something that didn't go right gets fixed. As much of a hard ship it is, especially when its your first one, it hasn't put me off doing it again.

So you need to do these first before anything else:

  • Audit the car, find out what the problems are, what it'd take to fix them and the cost
  • Plan what you want to do with the car, include the nice things you'd like and cost them
  • Work out how much money you have
  • Work out how much time you have
  • Work out where you'll do this work
  • Sort out the list prioritising important jobs first, make this your stage 1
  • Get your car to the stage 1 point, get it safety tested with an MOT/NCT
  • Drive your car for a bit, see if you can live with it
  • Review the items you didn't include in stage 1, work out whether you actually need them

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:59 AM, oldcodger said:

Hi,

What are the known problems with it ?

While standard service items may still be around quiet cheaply, at nearly 30 years old you will find many of the key parts are no longer available, new or secondhand.

Unless your existing problems are quick, cheap and easy fixes, think you ought to look at dads other cars !

Have a look at Paddys thread and how a later model  '98 is being restored and all the time .effort and money he is needing.

https://www.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/topic/174991-paddy-the-corolla-1998-13-e11-3-door/

If you want to restore cars as a hobby, fine, but as they say, spending all that time and money will never be recouped, unless you have something very special.

Think I would put the money towards a later model with more life in it and enjoy driving rather than bare knuckle  weekends on the driveway !

 

 

Well the car hasn't had its registration renewed for a couple of years, so I'll tell you what I know.

Firstly, wonky alternator. The car would discharge itself rather quickly, even if the car was left untouched for a few nights. Secondly, the air con fan belt melted and fell out of the engine compartment, so now it's basically a sauna. Besides those big ones, the interior is slightly moldy, the front light glass is a bit hazy, and suspension's a bit worn and soggy as the last time we replaced the shocks was 4 or 5 years ago.

Apart from the problems mentioned above, the car isn't in such a bad condition. There isn't much rust under and around the body, the steering's still good the last time we drove it, gearbox is absolutely fine. 

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8 minutes ago, fc1212 said:

Well the car hasn't had its registration renewed for a couple of years, so I'll tell you what I know.

Firstly, wonky alternator. The car would discharge itself rather quickly, even if the car was left untouched for a few nights. Secondly, the air con fan belt melted and fell out of the engine compartment, so now it's basically a sauna. Besides those big ones, the interior is slightly moldy, the front light glass is a bit hazy, and suspension's a bit worn and soggy as the last time we replaced the shocks was 4 or 5 years ago. 

Apart from the problems mentioned above, the car isn't in such a bad condition. There isn't much rust under and around the body, the steering's still good the last time we drove it, gearbox is absolutely fine. 

Air conditioning, to a point, won't be a DIY job. So you'd have to outsource that. Might be an idea to have a look at the air conditioning compressor to see if it's seized (which may have caused the belt to melt). Air conditioning can be hugely expensive to fix, so you might even be better to delete it from the car. Less load on the engine = more power.

You can remove the alternator yourself and bring it to a garage to get it tested. If it passes the test then it could be a new Battery.

Suspension, well there's two ways. You can go the polybush route or the normal rubber route. With my Corolla I put polybushes at the front and normal rubber for the moment. One day I'll put polybushes at the back. But you can do these yourself really and it's not that expensive.

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