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Swapping A V8 Into A 1990 Corolla?

By Guest V8 Corolla, August 14, 2004 in Pre-1997 Toyota Corolla and Geo Prizm

Guest V8 Corolla

Hey guys,

I'd like to start by saying that this is not a joke. I have a chance to buy a friends old 90 Corolla, its not in the best of condition, for a cheap price. This will not be a car I drive on the roads, unless I can insure the car before the swap as a 4 cyl. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew which V8 to choose for this project, it would be nice if soemthing simple would fit. But all ideas are welcome.

Basically, the reason for wanting to do this is because I think it would be fun to do, and fun to complete. I'd love to see peoples faces when I start up my little 1990 Corolla and hear a V8 rumble. Any positive input is welcome. Thanks.

Not completely unheard of - there is a group in Australia that swapped a Lexus LS400 motor into a Celica - so it can be done. The costs and weight will completely outweight any performance benefits you can gain from a V8 swap though. I think they were quoting something like $300,000 for the development - but others could do it for around $50K. The 1990 Corolla unit body is not strong enough to take that kind of an engine, as you will have to cut into the wheel wells and part of the firewall - both structual elements here - not counting all structural reinforcements needed inthe body and upgrades to almost everything else (hubs, tranny, suspension, brakes, wiring, cooling, etc.)

If you want to make a sleeper - much easier and cheaper to swap in a 4A-GE or 4A-GZE into the car. Or a Celica 3S-GTE would also be a good choice - good low mileage motor, tranny, wiring, motor mounts, etc. will set you back about $4000-$5000. That engine in stock form makes between 180HP-260HP and some have gotten as much as 1000HP in drag form.

Other alternative is to go a rolling tube frame with a V8 and tranny all set up - then cut the Corolla body off and set in on the frame (ala funny car).

If you have just recently hit the lottery - then I'd say go for the V8 - otherwise go with a performance 4 cylinders available almost everywhere. People have done those and there will be a wealth of information out there for you.

Guest V8 Corolla

Thanks for the info, doesnt look like I will throwing a V8 at the Corolla anytime soon, haha.

We'll see what happens.


OH, go ahead and go for it! What have you got to lose? I recommend a 572 cu. in. Chevy "crate motor." Sounds like a good project for the guys on "Horsepower TV."

Guest MicroBlast007

doing a V8 would require you to acutally own your own shop. in San Diego a bunch of guys put 5.8L in a focus and that thing rocked. have you thought about an I6 with a large displacement and rear wheel drive? I've seen a vw golf with a 2.4L porche 944 engine. an I6 would give you mAssive torque and still fit your car, default_wink but it wont be easy

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