Welcome, from sunny Australia!

My Rally Car - A long term project

My rally car is a 1981 Toyota KE-55S Corolla, and I bought it from a guy called Edwin Heatherington back in 1986, as a rolling shell only with no engine or gearbox. It was exactly what I was after, as a couple of months earlier I had crashed my KE-30 Corolla and written off the body, but the mechanicals were fine.
The car had excellent suspension and brakes, so I think it was a good deal.
This is how it looked when I first picked up up (Apologies for the poor quality of the pic, but it's the only one I have) And on the right is how it looks after the new paint job. -

  The engine it used to have was a Toyota 1.6 litre 2T-G twin cam. It put out about 140hp, but was very tired before I pulled it out to put the new engine in.  Behind that was the ubiquitous Toyota T-50 5 speed gearbox, which  survived quite nicely despite the constant thrashing.
The suspension is very strong - The front struts are made from the bottom 9" or so of a RA-23 Celica, and the rest of the tube is made from thick wall steel tubing.
The lower control arms are lengthened, and also has very large spherical ball-end type joints (commonly called rose joints) on the inner ends so the camber of the front wheels can be adjusted easily.
The rear suspension appears simple and perhaps a little primitive, but seems to work very well. It still has the original style Corolla leaf springs in it but with an extra leaf which is specially built to stop axle tramping. (Leaf spring wind-up, that causes the rear wheels to hop up & down when spinning) The rear axle is out of a TA-22 Celica and is modified to fit the leaf springs. Unfortunately it doesn't have a limited slip diff.
The brakes are also quite good - It has 10" discs all round, and are ventilated on the rear. The front brakes are RA-23 again, but on the rear they are specially machined down from an early model Aussie Valiant of some sort. The discs sit in between the wheels and the axles and are clamped in place by doing up the wheel nuts. All the wheels have extra long studs so that longer wheel nuts than usual can be used for extra strength.

The car is collecting dust at the moment, as I don't have enough time to get anything done on it, but hopefully by the end of 2005 or so, there will be some progress..

I was planning on using a Toyota 3T-GTE turbo 1800cc engine in it for some time in the car and getting a lot more power from it, but something came up that I couldn't pass by ...

I am lucky enough to have a friend that is a Japanese parts & engine importer, and one day he brought back a rather odd engine, one that I've never seen before or since. It's a Toyota 1G-GZTE, which means it's a 2 litre, twin cam, four valves-per-cylinder, 6 cylinder, supercharged AND turbocharged 450hp monster! Take a look at a couple of pictures of it -
This is looking at it from the front, and on the right hand side you can see where the turbo bolts on to the exhaust manifold, and the supercharger on LHS the supercharger. You can also see part of the complex inlet plumbing ...

This shows a good view of the inlet pipes. All of the darn things!  It took me a while to figure out how it all works, but I think I've got it under control. ;)  You also get a better view of the supercharger, and also the two inlet manifolds - The upper one and the lower one.
(apologies for the scratch in the picture)
The engine is a rather clever device - when driving slowly (Yes, I DO believe that it's possible!) the turbo is not spinning fast enough to make any boost, and also the supercharger isn't spinning. This is because it has an electronic clutch on the front of the blower, much like an air-conditioner, and so can be turned on & off as needed. This means that while driving around on the road the car is quite docile.
Ok, put your foot down a little. The supercharger cuts in, making up to about 12psi of boost, thus giving a fair kick in the tail. And also helping spin up the turbo faster...
So the turbo (Which is a LOT bigger than what you'd normally put on a 2 litre engine) spins up quicker and I expect it to be making more boost than the blower at around 4,000rpms or so.
Once the turbo is making more boost than the blower, the blower turns off and thus loses all the mechanical drag required to spin it. The turbo then runs up to 20-something psi. I haven't worked out just how much yet, but I reckon it'll be about 25psi boost.

I changed my mind yet again, and have given that engine back to the importer I bought if off, and I am shortly to receive a Toyota/Lexus 1UZFE, four litres with quad camshafts and an alloy block. This means that they're a lot lighter than the 1GGZTE above, and also a lot shorter. With the larger capacity it should still make around the same total power as the smaller engine and even though it won't turbo's the top end power should still be quite good. Pics to come ...

I changed my mind yet again, and am now going to fit it with a 2.7 litre Suzuki V-6 as after some careful measurements it was going to be difficult to fit the big V-8 into the car. The V-6 is quite a bit smaller and lighter, and so will be much easier to fit. The smaller engine will of course make less power and so to keep the performance up to close to that of the bigger V-8, I will be running more revs (~8,800rpm) and a shorter diff ratio, thus increasing the torque at the wheels to nearly the same amount. The other reason I'm using this engine is because it'll be indentical to the one in my Starlet, and so help reduce the total cost of building the engine.

Here's the estimated power output. The useful torque curve is quite wide, so the engine will still be quite drivable.

This is one part of the rally car package.
I have decided that to be able to really use 400hp+ odd in a small car like a Corolla, that I really need a proper 4WD system, and so the car is going to be fitted with the gearbox from a Ford Sierra Cosworth 4WD, thus making it a 4WD rally weapon. To do this, I will be moving the engine and gearbox back a couple feet, and this will help the car be better balanced as well. This involves cutting a rather large hole in the firewall and moving the gearbox tunnel back a fair bit, but it'll be worth it.
Here's the only picture I have of the gearbox, will get more when I purchase an actual gearbox.

You can't see where the transfer case comes out the rear end, as it's on the other side. Hopefully I'll be getting one from England some time in early 2004, courtesy of a friend in the UK, so I can make a little progress on that side of things.

One of the problems with having the engine sitting in the middle of the firewall and a diff sitting in front of that, is that there's not a lot of room left to put a steering rack in that area. What I really needed was to find a FWD car that had the steering rack sitting in front of the crossmember and so had the sterring arms on the bottom of the strut also point out forwards instead of rearwards like they almost always do. After a fair bit of searching and questioning, I found that such cars are rather thin on the ground ....

Fortunately, Ford Sierra to the rescue again! I dug up a picture of the bottom of the front of the car, and it turns out that they have exactly the rack & struts I'm after. Here's that picture.

#1 is the short driveshaft from the gearbos to the front diff, #2 is the gearbox itself, #26 is the transfer case, #4 is the front diff in the is case (I'll likely use a Nissan R180 diff though), #16 is the rack which is hidden behind the front crossmember, #19 is one of the front halfshafts, and #8 is one of the tie-rods on the steering.

So it's all slowly coming together .... Hopefully it'll be on the road by late 2004 odd.

Late January 2004
Work has started!!!
It'll take a while, but the car is off the to a friend's workshop, and he will be doing the major mods to get the car under way. They include cutting the very large hole in the middle to fit the engine & gearbox, fitting the Sierra front suspension & Subaru rear, etc. I have purchased a standard 2.5 litre Suzuki quad-cam V-6 and hopefully to get a hold of the Sierra 4WD gearbox & other parts soon.

Early 2006
After being mucked around a great dealfor several years I got my head down and set about getting the Ford Sierra 4WD gearbox that I wanted. I managed to find a good one on an English Ford forum, and simply bludgeoned my way into getting the gearbox by spending the money needed. It ended up costing far more than it should have, but I would still be waiting if I did things on the cheap.
Unfortunately, for various reasoons, nothing else has been done on the car. The two main reasons are that the shop that was going to be doing a lot of the work has shut and my other projects have priority at the moment.

For more motorsport links, try the motorsport section on my links page.
Back to the Car Index page

Back to the Index page

Page & contents where applicable © Bill Sherwood