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Buying Advice On An Corolla Gti


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Hey folks,

I have recently got rid of my mk1 mr2 and am looking to buy a Corolla gti as i need some back seats for the dog. However, trying to find some info on the car is proving more difficult than i thought it would be so hopefully someone here will be able to help.

Firstly, i know the engine is similer to the AW11 but what are the differences.? I found out that the engine in the Corolla is 129bhp (the mr2 was only 124). Also what is the high torque model?

The car i am going to look at is on a G plate, it surposedly has no rust but is there any hidden spots i should look out for?

Does the gear box have the same problems as the mr2, i.e synchro crunches at high revs and 5th gear pop out?

Whats the weight of a gti and its performance figures. Does it understeer terribly or have any unwanted driving charcteristics i should know about?

Finally, is there anything that i should look out for (that could be broke or damaged) on this model that i may miss?

Thanks

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Hey folks,

I have recently got rid of my mk1 mr2 and am looking to buy a corolla gti as i need some back seats for the dog. However, trying to find some info on the car is proving more difficult than i thought it would be so hopefully someone here will be able to help.

Firstly, i know the engine is similer to the AW11 but what are the differences.? I found out that the engine in the corolla is 129bhp (the mr2 was only 124). Also what is the high torque model?

The car i am going to look at is on a G plate, it surposedly has no rust but is there any hidden spots i should look out for?

Does the gear box have the same problems as the mr2, i.e synchro crunches at high revs and 5th gear pop out?

Whats the weight of a gti and its performance figures. Does it understeer terribly or have any unwanted driving charcteristics i should know about?

Finally, is there anything that i should look out for (that could be broke or damaged) on this model that i may miss?

Thanks

I won't have all the answers but can help on the major ones!

Engine is the same 4-AGE as the Mk1 MR2, except the later H & J reg cars which have the hi-torque 4-AGE engines.

If it has no rust I'll eat my hat. I've seen mint GTis that have lost their rear axles going round corners (and I'm not joking) Look for the fillers around front and rear arches, the rear hatch along the bottom of the glass seal and under the rear seat where the subframe can rot badly... sunroof usually rusted badly too.

The gearbox has the same synchro probs!

Understeers like any other FWD Toyota to be honest.

Interior is one of the most robust I've ever seen. If it's not near mint there's something wrong!

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Late spec non tvis is the one to go for kicks out around 130bhp. If you were a mk1 mr2 owner same sort of body work will need done like the man says they rust like hell. should cost you around the £500-£1000 mark for one that wont need to much in its next MOT

Just remember to give the sils and underneath a good going over before buying.

But if it was me I'd trade the dog for a cat and get a 2 back instead :lol:

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yep as said above. does understeer but you can provoke it into liftoff oversteer pretty much on demand :lol:

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Thanks for the responses.

I went and looked at one last night and am now picking it up on Tuesday (with 13months MOT). As suspected the car wasn't rust free and the rear arches had been done (although to a high standard) but overall it was a lot better than i expected. Its a G reg with 117K, but it has masses of severice history most notabley about 20 odd stamps from Toyota and cambelt done at 80K. It seems to have the hi torque engine fitted too (which i thought where only on the later models).

The first things i need to do is change the exhaust manifold heat sheild as it has rusted through in parts and looks a mess. Can the car be run without one or do i run the risk of melting something? Secondly, i need to change the front tyres as they looked like ditch finders, and recommendations, i think they are 185's.

I'll get some picks up when i pick the car up next week.

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What to look for on a GTi (AE92).

Bodywork:

The Corolla AE92 model is believed to be one of those cars whereby the top-of-the-range model rusts the worst – in other words the GTi version is believe to rust more than the ‘standard' versions of the model!

I have a 1989 ‘G’ plater that I have owned some 14 approx years now and the only rust that I seem to be suffering is two spots on the front wings arches where the inner plastic arch bolts to them.

I heavily waxoiled mine when it was only 4 years old, plus I spray old engine oil (taken from the sumps of old British motorbikes) on the underside. I also periodically waxoil areas every so often and this appears to have paid dividends in later life as my car still hasn’t need panels, paintwork or welding … as yet (keeps fingers crossed!) despite being used as normal transport all year round!

However if the vehicle you are looking at has not had much ‘rust preventative measures’ then from what I have seen looking round scrapped versions round the scrapyards and repairs to friends GT/GTi’s in the past then check the following:

Sills usually the rear area,

Inner rear sill and were torsion bar mounts.

Rear suspension/turret mount – this I have NOT come across myself but there have been warnings on this forum.

Tailgate – again not ever seen it myself but examples of this have been mention on this forum.

Rot in panel below backlights,

Windscreen surround can rust along top

Sunroof – this was a problem when newish and was admitted by Toyota due to a problem of the seal ‘rubbing’ and they did do a ‘recall’ in about 1995 and it incorporated AE82’s, AE92’s and Celicas unfortunately not everyone could be bothered to take there car in at the time (especially if “they couldn’t ‘see’ any rust”) so alas consecutive owners suffer. I took mine in back then and to this day my sun roof has never rusted.

Mechanically:

Jumping out of 3rd and 5th is a problem one high milers I have heard (in fact I heard about this back in 1994).

Rear callipers seizing their handbrake mechanism – MAJOR FAULT! Someone at Toyota should have been shot for the design of the rear calliper on the GTi! :ffs: What appears to happen is the slide and mechanism gets dirty and seizes easily from it, so periodic cleaning (sometimes every 9 months) is required. This IS the major Achilles heel of this car!

Oil seal can leak around distributor area – it means removing distributor, if it’s just weeping –live with it!

Interior:

Very hard wearing, yet well finished, lovely multi-dial dash and superb supportive and comfortable seats.

Electrics:

Nothing - why should there be? … it’s Japanese! :D

As a drivers car I think a recent review in the Toyota enthusiasts magazine after carrying out a back-to-back test between the three 4AGE engine Corollas of the 80’s which was the AE86 GT vs AE82 GT vs AE92 GTi summed it up – they stated as a comfortable drivers ‘hot hatch’ which can be used as everyday transport round town or on motorways and swallow up long distance miles then the AE 92 GTi wins!

Of course I have to agree after 14 years of commuting and motoring holidays abroad.

Incidentally The MK1 MR2 (and the best) is a sports car I keep promising myself as a cheep and cheerful alternative to my cheep ‘n’ cheerful (and battered! :lol: ) MGB GT

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What to look for on a GTi (AE92).

Bodywork:

The Corolla AE92 model is believed to be one of those cars whereby the top-of-the-range model rusts the worst – in other words the GTi version is believe to rust more than the ‘standard' versions of the model!

I have a 1989 ‘G’ plater that I have owned some 14 approx years now and the only rust that I seem to be suffering is two spots on the front wings arches where the inner plastic arch bolts to them.

I heavily waxoiled mine when it was only 4 years old, plus I spray old engine oil (taken from the sumps of old British motorbikes) on the underside. I also periodically waxoil areas every so often and this appears to have paid dividends in later life as my car still hasn’t need panels, paintwork or welding … as yet (keeps fingers crossed!) despite being used as normal transport all year round!

However if the vehicle you are looking at has not had much ‘rust preventative measures’ then from what I have seen looking round scrapped versions round the scrapyards and repairs to friends GT/GTi’s in the past then check the following:

Sills usually the rear area,

Inner rear sill and were torsion bar mounts.

Rear suspension/turret mount – this I have NOT come across myself but there have been warnings on this forum.

Tailgate – again not ever seen it myself but examples of this have been mention on this forum.

Rot in panel below backlights,

Windscreen surround can rust along top

Sunroof – this was a problem when newish and was admitted by Toyota due to a problem of the seal ‘rubbing’ and they did do a ‘recall’ in about 1995 and it incorporated AE82’s, AE92’s and Celicas unfortunately not everyone could be bothered to take there car in at the time (especially if “they couldn’t ‘see’ any rust”) so alas consecutive owners suffer. I took mine in back then and to this day my sun roof has never rusted.

Mechanically:

Jumping out of 3rd and 5th is a problem one high milers I have heard (in fact I heard about this back in 1994).

Rear callipers seizing their handbrake mechanism – MAJOR FAULT! Someone at Toyota should have been shot for the design of the rear calliper on the GTi! :ffs: What appears to happen is the slide and mechanism gets dirty and seizes easily from it, so periodic cleaning (sometimes every 9 months) is required. This IS the major Achilles heel of this car!

Oil seal can leak around distributor area – it means removing distributor, if it’s just weeping –live with it!

Interior:

Very hard wearing, yet well finished, lovely multi-dial dash and superb supportive and comfortable seats.

Electrics:

Nothing - why should there be? … it’s Japanese! :D

As a drivers car I think a recent review in the Toyota enthusiasts magazine after carrying out a back-to-back test between the three 4AGE engine Corollas of the 80’s which was the AE86 GT vs AE82 GT vs AE92 GTi summed it up – they stated as a comfortable drivers ‘hot hatch’ which can be used as everyday transport round town or on motorways and swallow up long distance miles then the AE 92 GTi wins!

Of course I have to agree after 14 years of commuting and motoring holidays abroad.

Incidentally The MK1 MR2 (and the best) is a sports car I keep promising myself as a cheep and cheerful alternative to my cheep ‘n’ cheerful (and battered! :lol: ) MGB GT

Great write-up! :thumbsup:

I have to agree on the Mk1 MR2... one of my mates had one when I lived with him last year and any excuse to use it!! :lol: Especially in this weather!

I think I'm gonna give my Celica the same treatment as your GTi regarding rust-proofing as yours is obviously a testament to the effort you've put in...

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  • 4 months later...
I went and looked at one last night and am now picking it up on Tuesday (with 13months MOT). As suspected the car wasn't rust free and the rear arches had been done (although to a high standard) but overall it was a lot better than i expected. Its a G reg with 117K, but it has masses of severice history most notabley about 20 odd stamps from Toyota and cambelt done at 80K. It seems to have the hi torque engine fitted too (which i thought where only on the later models).

i bought my 1990/H gti with 106,000 miles. the cambelt had been done around the same mileage as yours, from memory. it ended up snapping at 115,000 or so. engine was not damaged though as non-interference

now my mileage is 123,500. so far, it has only popped out of 5th once on me. however, my old 1989/G 1.3 used to pop out all the time - it started at some point between 95,170 and 110,000 (the miles i owned the car for) and i believe my 1.3 may have had the same gearbox as the gti

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