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Old School Cool

Toyota KE70

When I look at the cars we have nowadays, I can’t help but feel mildly disappointed. 30 years ago, even the most basic everyday car was rear wheel drive. Of course, there were still the nicer models that people desired- things like the AE86 or the Celica, but ultimately you could still buy a basic Toyota Corolla, wait for it to get wet outside and go out to have some fun.

For that same reason, most drifters tend to buy older Japanese cars. They are easy to drive, cheap to maintain and repair, and have a wide array of aftermarket parts. Another benefit from an economic standpoint is that the tyres are much cheaper – 13” tyres aren’t too expensive if you purchase them second hand, and will last you a good night of drifting.

For those who couldn’t get the AE86 (not that this is a bad thing as the price shot up following the rise in popularity as a result of the Initial D following), there were still plenty of models available. One such model is the KE70, which is similar to the AE86 in terms of platform, although it lacks a little bit of the aggression and finesse that made the AE86 so popular as a drift car.

That being said though, the KE70 is certainly very capable of drifting, although a smart move would be to swap out the engine and gearbox for a 4AGE and T50 respectively. In this case, the owner went one step further and installed a full lock LSD, and swapped out the final drive ratio for a TRD 4.3.

This being Hypertune, we’re not going to feature a car that hasn’t had some serious modifications done to it. Once the engine was put into place, the owner went all out with tweaking it for maximum performance.

The electronic fuel injection was swapped out in favour of the more tuneable Weber DCOE40 carburettors with trumpets- this particular installation isn’t very easy or straight forward as it requires some ECU tweaking to avoid system errors. K-Series was taken on to fashion a custom bracket and modify the distributor to accommodate these modifications. The pistons were changed to 81.5mm bores for a higher compression ratio and overall capacity.

High revving engines tend to start burning oil if the temperature is not regulated, so an oil cooler was installed to reduce the risk, as well as a JASMA Evo 3 radiator to cool the engine down more efficiently. In addition to this, a Cusco oil catch tank was also added to collect any of the oil vapour that results from high RPM driving in order to keep the engine clean.

Handling is a pretty big issue since the KE70 was never intended to be particularly sporty. To rectify this, the stock shocks were replaced with TRD short strokes, intended for the AE86. These were used in tandem with HKS coil springs to provide a ride solid enough to prevent serious body roll, but compliant enough to soak up the small imperfections on the road. The rear gets a standard TRD shock absorber with 8 stages of hard or soft adjustment, as well as a Cusco strut bar.

From the outside, this KE70 isn’t particularly outspoken. The front gets a JDM GT emblem facelift and a Celica lip. The front lights are replaced with Marshall Sportlights, while the rears are chrome JDM units. The whole car has been resprayed to a bright orange, making it instantly noticeable on the road. On all four corners are SSR Mark 1 8JJs, although the fronts run a 165/60/13 size tyre, while the rears are a 175/60/13.

Step inside and you will notice a slight mish-mash of parts from different companies, although ultimately it serves the purpose of being a driver’s car. The driver gets a full Recaro bucket seat while the passenger makes do with one from SSCUS (which is still significantly better than stock). A Pivot MEGA RAIZIN helps to keep the voltage stable for the Sony XPLOD player and speaker set. There’s also an OMP steering wheel, which is far better than the stock stylized chevron steering wheel and an HKS turbo timer to keeps the engine idling after shutoff to let the engine cool down progressively.

Car: Toyota Corolla KE70 DX
Engine: Toyota AE86 4AGE 16V
Engine Modifications: JASMA cam pulleys, TODA racing high cams 288dgree lift 8.5, TODA valve springs, port and polish head, twin Weber DCOE40 carbs, custom bracket and modified distributor K-Series, 81.5mm pistons, Mallory Promaster ignition coils, oil cooler set, TRD YAKUZI plug cables, JASMA Evo 3 radiator, silicone hose pipe SARD, CUSCO oil catch tank, electronic fan, Mitsubishi fuel pump, JASMA damper engine, Pro Circuit extractor, custom exhaust piping, N1 muffler
Transmission: AE86 rear axle, full lock LSD, T50 gearbox, TRD 4.3 final drive with 20V 8.5” clutch.
Rims & Tyres: SSR Mark 1 – 165/60/13 (Front), 175/60/13 (Rear)
Suspension & Chassis: TRD short stroke AE86 absorber, HKS coil springs, CUSCO pillow ball (Front), TRD 8-stage absorbers (hard/soft) (Rear), Cusco AE86 strut bar
Interior: OMP steering wheel, HKS timer, Pivot Mega Raizin, JASMA RPM meter with shift light, Sony Xplod player and Sony speakers, Recaro bucket seat (driver side), SSCUS pilot bucket seat (passenger side)
Exterior: JDM GT emblem facelift, flared wheel arches, JDM mirror, Celica front lip, Marshall spotlight, JDM chrome rear lining and lights

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