Demon Corolla

A​ Toyota Corolla goes OEM++

3w ago

For thirteen years, Andrew Morris admits his soul is forever linked to his 1988 Corolla and such fervour has transformed the sedate Toyota family sedan into a beast of beauty, garnering him numerous awards.

“It bought it as a bare shell for 10k,” said Morris.

Spanish Town resident Morris, better known as Speed Demon for his ability to make Toyotas go fast, applied his skills to the car starting with a full ground up rebuild. Using the theory known in the Volkswagen tuning circles as OEM+, Morris never strayed far from factory parts initially upgrading the original carbureted 4A motor to the high performance 1600cc 16-valve 4A-GE.

“I thought the car was fast until I got beat by a newer 20-valve 4A-GE,” he said.

The defeat threw Morris into full modification mode causing him to build the holy grail of Toyota engines, a 20-valve 7A-GE. Using the engine block of the 1800cc 7A-FE and the head of the second-generation 20-valve 4A-GE his car became a formidable machine.

The Corolla as it is now began life in 2007 when he retired it to his garage upon purchasing a newer car. It would emerge a year ago after another lengthy comprehensive rebuild. It was returned back to bare shell, and then painted in its original blue colour. The interior followed a similar OEM theme using elements from the Japanese Corolla GT. Even the entertainment system is all Toyota pieces.

T​he interior is OEM from the Corolla GT.

T​he interior is OEM from the Corolla GT.

Where he did deviate a bit was with the third motor. It’s a mash-up of OEM parts. Using a base 16-valve 4A-GE he added pistons from the supercharged version of the 4A-GE, the 4A-GZE, and used the 20-valve head. The end result is a motor that has been turbocharged to 250hp.

With horsepower now over three times what the Corolla had from factory, Morris modified the rest of the car to cope with the extra speed.

W​ith a turbocharged 4A-GE20v the Corolla now has three times its original horsepower figure.

W​ith a turbocharged 4A-GE20v the Corolla now has three times its original horsepower figure.

“I used Toyota Racing Development Waydo suspension. Converted the car to four-wheel discs brakes using the setup from the Levin BZ-R. I also used the Levin’s limited slip differential in my gearbox which uses custom ratios from various other Toyotas,” he explained.


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Comments (1)

  • I really respect these OEM+ builds, takes a lot of restraint to not get on the phone and start ordering custom pistons and and sending blocks off to be bored out and clearanced for a stroker kit. Only reason I would never do it is that it puts a cap on how much power I can have, if I tried to go OEM+ on the Coronet project I am working on, I would be stuck with 15×8 wheels, 4 wheel drum brakes, and a POS flathead 6 that made 100 crank HP brand new... the 512 CID RB block will make much more power, and the custom box tube frame will make running bigger wheels and tires easy. Again I really respect the OEM+ approach but I personally like to see how far I can push things!

      5 days ago