Jukka's AE72 Corolla Wagon

Recommended Posts

My streak of buying awesome parts for supercheap continues. Found some gauges on a local forum on Saturday evening for cheap. Problem was they were going to get sold quick due to how cheap they were and they were an hour and a half north of me. Option 1. Pass and find something else instead, Option 2. hop into the car and drive an hour and a half north through massive thunderstorms and hope they don't sell by the time I get there, or Option 3. Remember I have a friend from uni that lives in the same town as the guy selling the parts, so I got her to go meet him and buy them for me. She also happen to be passing through town today, so she even delivered them for me.


The gauges in question though...


Older (circa 2004) Defi BF Gauges, Defi-Link Display and Defi Control Unit 2, with 2 optional warning lights. It came with water temp, oil pressure, oil temp, 11K RPM tach, the controller, link display, 2 warning lamps, and all the daisy chains, wiring, manuals and sensors. Only thing it's missing is the cups for the gauges, and one sensor (I think the water temp).


Price?.......$60. Lol. It was actually $40, but I threw him another $20 to hold the gauges for me so my friend could grab them. 


I'm going to go through all the wiring tonight when I get home and run the gauges through some tests to figure out if they still read properly. I figure for $60, if one part is toast, I can flip the rest and make a profit, or replace the parts and still be ahead of the game.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Defi Deals keep on coming in. After I posted that picture above on my facebook feed, one of the technicians from our shop came to my desk and asked "Hey, do you want more Defi's?" and plunked a box down on my desk. In the box was a Defi Control Unit 1, a 60mm Oil temp gauge, 60mm boost gauge, and an oil sandwich plate. I asked how much he wanted for it, he said $40. Done. Bought the gauges, boost gauge's stepper motor is broken/not working properly, but otherwise it worked properly. Ended up taking the sandwich plate, the sensor and replaced it with the older/more beat up sensor from my first batch, and sold them to a buddy of mine for $60..so I ended up buying my gauges plus a sandwich plate for $40..lol.

Anyways, I checked the gauges all out, everything seems to be in full working order, save for missing a water temp sensor. I ordered a replacement one from work, so that should be here in a couple weeks time.


I also did some work on the Corolla over the weekend. I first decided to tackle the front anti-roll bar. The ends were really rusty, but the middle section was near perfect from being protected from the elements by the metal splash guard. I decided I wanted to clean it up and paint it a different colour.



During: I used a 120 grit flapper disc on my grinder to strip the oil paint and rust back and brought the bar down to basically bare metal.


End Result



It turned out amazing. Looks almost like a whiteline bar in the colour. Should be a nice pop of colour under the hood.


I also finished grinding off the stupid steering angle bracket from the AE72 front LCA. I replaced one side with an AE86 unit because the strut rod was buggered up, but the AE72 OEM LCA had a massive plate welded to the side to prevent too much steering angle.


Also found my new favorite tool combination. 1/4 impact driver + wire brush = easy cleaning of rusty/dirty parts.




Speaking of rusty parts, as I was peeling back the undercoating in the front inner fender, I found a little rust hole...that I poked...and it became bigger....and bigger...


Decided to cut out the metal and see how bad it was....it was pretty bad.


I spent the last hour or so welding and filling the patch, which sucks because it's either welding upside down in the inner fender, or it's welding in the dark from the inside of the car. Either way, it's patched, ground, but I ran out of space on my phone for photos, so I figure this would be the one to take...



Not going to be any updates for a bit, heading back to the city I grew up in for a week and a half, then flying to the complete opposite end of the country for a wedding after that. 

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

More slow updates. Had a blast on my vacation, feel in love with one of the provinces I've never visited before while at my friends wedding, but back to reality.


Managed to get a tiny bit of work done. I borrowed my friend's ball joint tool to press the new balljoints into my control arm and finish pressing in the poly bushings into the LCA as well. That allowed me to get the steering arms bolted into place and the RCA's stacked ontop.


Once I got everything put together, the anodized red just stood out like a sore thumb, so I did something about it.




I also had a chance to get at the drivers side steering rack bushing, which after 2 hours of fighting with (while still in the car with the engine still in the car), unbolting the entire rack, and cleaning about 3" of oily dirt from the cross member, I managed to get the poly bushing in.

New poly for reference


Rack bushing that was in there...



One benefit I found is that it's self lubricating thanks to the sweaty 4AC in the car.


I also decided to take a stab at figuring out how I want to fit my Defi gauges. I went to the local hardware store and bought a sheet of Polycarbonate, a 2" hole saw and got to work. This is a rough test fit, so I know the mounting locations aren't symmetrical. I'm going to probably re-make it, but I'll see how it looks when it's actually in the car.


The clear polycarbonate look was cool and I thought of doing some super cool early 2000's boy racer LED's in behind the gauge, but settled for wrapping it with the same silver vinyl I used on the lower dash components earlier.


The one thing I really like about this location is that it's within eye shot, it's simple and clean, but the factory opening has 2 small openings in the back that I can feed the wiring through, so if I decide later on I don't like the look of them, I can pull the panel out and not worry about having holes or mounting brackets there. I'm going to use some heavy duty 15lb 3M double sided tape to hold the poly carbonate plate in place.

Also found the location I'm going to mount my link meter too thanks to a Speedhunters post.


I looked at my factory gauge cluster and I can mount it in the same place and all it will be doing is covering up the factory warning lamp for low oil pressure, which will be disabled anyways.


I'm hopefully going to get some time to finish working on the patch on the floor this weekend and undercoat the frame rails, then I should be good to start throwing suspension components back in.

  • Like 5

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was planning on putting the suspension back together for the front end over the weekend, but I only had a little bit of time to work in the garage over the weekend. I was supposed to do a 2100km round trip to Vancouver to pick up my hatch and drop off/pick up some parts for some guys off a local forum, but my daily driver decided it had other plans and tried to spit out it's balljoint 120km into the trip. I had to limp it back home and postpone my trip for a couple weeks from now.


Anyways, I decided I didn't want to spend a bunch of time laying on the ground welding the patch in my floor and scraping off the undercoating, so I turned my attention to my 4AGE I bought nearly a year ago.


I've done pretty much nothing to it since bringing it home except for pulling off the dented oil pan, the intake manifold, TGV's and cracking the valve covers off. The motor was pretty dirty and had a lot of oil coming down the front end of it, so I wanted to see where that oil was coming from. The motor was taken out of a car that rolled, so I assumed most of it would've come from the car being upside down. 


I spent about an hour cleaning the oil and grime off the engine and found most of the oil was coming from the oil leaky cam and front main seal. I stripped the oil pump off the front, replaced the cam seals, replaced the front timing seal, and started cleaning off the block.


After scraping all of the old gasket material off, I decided to put the oil pump back on. The manuals I found online only list 15-18ft/lbs of pressure for the bolts that hold it on. I started to tighten the pump back up and all of a sudden the wrench felt very light.


Fuck. There's still a decent amount of material left on the threads that I should be able to grab it with a set of vice-grips, but the problem I have now is that the block is freezing cold (it's been between +2-+7 degrees C in the last 2 weeks,) so my garage is freezing too. I tried heating it up with a propane torch to loosen it up and she doesn't want to move. I'm going to throw the garage heater on tonight and see if I can warm it up and try again tomorrow. Worst case, I have broken bolt flute extractor bits I can use. 


And that also puts the 4AGE rebuild back on hold for a little bit. I'm trying not to spend any more money on the car for the next little bit. So far my trip to Toyota is going to cost me about $50, which isn't bad, but not right now. I'm going to keep picking away at the front suspension and brakes and see if I can get them ready to install this weekend. Then time to move onto body work..hopefully.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

More older JDM goodies for cheap. Some guy posted an ad on Facebook Market place that literally said "This..I don't know what it is, best offer".


I recognized what it was, so I messaged him right away and asked him if he knew if it was working or not. He said he can get it to light up, but doesn't know if it works otherwise. I threw him an offer, said I would go check it out. Got there, checked it out, he lit it up for me, but couldn't get the screen to turn on. He turned his back for a minute to go look for something else he wanted to show me, so I wired it up properly, turned on, worked fine. I told him I would take it.


Walked out 5 minutes later, $20 poorer, but with an SAFC in hand..lol


The case was pretty haggard from dirt and the guy welded the cage it was being held by in, so a bit crispy in a couple spots. Brought it home and decided to give it a bit of cleaning and a shot of paint.



Can't go wrong for $20. LOL.


It's been snowing here already, we got about 45cm of snow last week with another 15-20 due in the forecast, so the Corolla has been put on the backburner for the time being. Still haven't got my replacement hatch, but that'll hopefully be sorted in a week and a half's time.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I learned 2 valuable lessons this weekend. One, yes it is possible to do a 2100km round trip road trip in a single weekend. And 2, probably better to do it with someone else helping with the driving vs doing it your self. I decided to drive from Calgary (where I live) all the way through the Rocky Mountains, down to Vancouver on the west coast of the country. Just about 1000km each way, plus running around in Vancouver and area. Why you may ask? I decided to help out some members of Canada's version of Oldschool that's specifically for older Toyotas by bringing down some larger parts that would be hard to send with a courier/post. But more importantly, I picked up my mint condition hatch for my corolla.

One of the members had this mint hatch off a 79 Wagon for sale with basically no rust on it what so ever.


Came with all the factory badging, and a near mint condition licence plate lamp section. The one on my car was so old and rotten that the letters are all blown out.


Theres maybe 2 or 3 small spots of surface rust that I managed to clear up with some steel wool yesterday evening in 5 minutes.


While I was down there, I also managed to score a Personal Neo Eagle 345mm steering wheel for $100. It's been used, but not in horrible shape.


Decided to see what it looks like with the TRD horn button I currently have in my steering wheel right now.


Still on the fence if I like it as much as I like my current cheap Grant steering wheel, but the authentic Italian made/JDM touch would be nice VS the cheaply made US branded Grant I have on there now.


I'm going to have to buy a new hub for the Personal, or my MOMO I have sitting in the garage if I decide to switch over. For some reason Grant decided to us a 5 bolt hub instead of the traditional 6.




  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't really made much progress on the car in the last little while. Life's been a bit too busy, plus it got bloody cold here quick. We've had snow on the ground on and off since October.


Anyways, some actual progress on the car came in the way of re-pinning my drivers side door lock to work with my new ignition cylinder key. For some reason the new ignition cylinder key was too wide to fit into the hatch, passenger side and fuel door locks, so I have to still run 2 keys, but at least the 2 most commonly used cylinders will be on the same key.


I also started to collect more parts and ordered some new ones too.

I pulled the trigger on a new steering wheel hub so I can run the Personal wheel. There's a guy out here who runs a 70's and 80's Japanese car specialty shop who had a bunch in stock, so I managed to grab a dual drilled HBK hub for a really reasonable price.


I've also been toying with different ideas for the 4AGE for when I go to throw it into the car in the spring. I lean from EFI to carbed and go back and forth every week. I finally decided to take a big step in 1 direction the other week...



Picked up a set of Mikuni CV's off a Suzuki GSXR 700 SRAD for a cool $100. They are in fantastic shape and came recently cleaned too. I talked with one of my friends about building the intake manifold for it instead of shelling out close to $400 for one from the guys in the UK at DanST. So he's going to help me weld it all up when I get the pieces together. I already have a wideband gauge for tuning, can get the fuel pressure regulator for dirt cheap, and fuel pump for around $120. The only thing I need to figure out is a distributor. Some guys are just running stock 4AGE distributors with the timing locked out and an MSD box, other guys are running 4K distributors with 4AGE gears, I've seen guys running 4AC distributors with 4AGE gears, and people doing coil-on-plug conversions using a crank trigger.  I think I'm going to go the easiest/cheapest way possible and run the MSD box and factory distributor locked out.

I also took advantage of TechnoToyTuning's Black Friday sale and ordered a set of their billet injector plugs


and one of their T50 shifter bushing rebuild kits


So hopefully all of this will be arriving in the next week or two. I also have a big order in over at Toyota for a whole bunch of stuff I need for the 4AGE, like a new crankshaft key, oil pump bolts, waterpump bolts, timing cover bolts, valve cover nuts, crank pulley bolt, and oil filter union to delete the OEM oil cooler.


I also bought some new, used, tires for my mesh wheel set over the weekend. A guy had a set of 185/60R14 Michelin Pilot Exalto's on a set of steel honda wheels for $40 for the set, so I picked them up and they are getting put together at my tire shop right now.


Now I just need to do a few more hours of metal work on the inner guards to patch some holes, throw my suspension back together and plumb up the AE86 brakes and I should be able to get the car back down on the ground and figure out how much lower I need to go in the rear to look right for the lowering springs up front. But things are slowly moving in the right direction, just need to find the time to put the work in.

  • Like 7

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The in-laws are in town for the next little bit, which means I get out of daddy duty a bit more, so I actually had some time to work on the car this past week. Didn't do too much, but what I did made a big difference.


My new steering wheel hub came in, so I decided to install it along with the Personal wheel. 


The hub is for an AE86, so it did fit, but the contact for the horn didn't line up properly. I had to bend the contact a bit, but she works now. I also still need to order a horn button retaining ring for the wheel. I added it to my christmas present list for my wife.

I also thought with the new wheel in, it would be fitting to start installing my Defi Gauges too. The old Autogauge tach was alright, but it wasn't very bright. The 11K RPM Defi tach and the link display where the first two to be installed.


From the drivers seat...area.


I did a loose fit of the shift lamp there. I'm not sure if I'm going to run it or not, but just wanted to see if it would work or not.

Also fitted up the rest of the gauges under the radio. I used some 15lb double sided tape to hold the plate in place.


I was originally going to mount the controller in the glove box, but the harnesses I had for the gauges are just a bit too short, so I modified the ash tray mount to fit the controller. Right after I did that, my friend said he had a 1meter long harness I could have to help install it in the glove box. Still not sure where I want to mount it. I did find a picture of someone who did mount their controller in the ash tray location and it worked nicely.


I also got the controller all wired up too, so just need to run the cables for the sensors when I go to install the new engine. I also found that the original owner of the gauges shortened the oil temp sensor wiring by about 4 feet, so I'm going to need to cut and extend the wiring to fit properly.


And last update, I got the 14" tires I bought for $40 mounted onto my mesh wheels so now I actually have some decent looking rollers. The wheels still need some more work, but they'll do for the time being.




My stuff from TechnoToyTuning should be here on Thursday, so I'll get around to the transmission shifter bushing install around then. Still need to do some cleaning on the 4AGE before the injector plugs go in.


Hopefully I'll have some more updates coming down the line in the next few weeks.

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Came home to some new parts last night.


Techno Toy Tuning Delrin shifter bushings and billet injector plugs as well as a massive T3 sticker.


These injector plugs are beautiful. They fit perfectly from the quick test fit I did on the motor last night. Super light and I like the fact that they are removable if I decide to go with fuel injection later down the road.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Found something useful this weekend. I bought my wife this thing called a Cricut machine for christmas. Essentially it's an easy to use plotter, so you can cut card stock, carboard, vinyl, etc with it.

I decided to play around with it a bit on Saturday and it's super simple to use, so i decided to try making a vinyl sticker with some old vinyl I had kicking around...


Going to make some more vinyl stickers down the road, maybe a TEQ sticker for my blank horn button I have off my old steering wheel, some new stickers for some of the switches I have on the dash. But this opens up a whole new world of custom stuff I can do for the car and for my friends.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy shit! I finally had some time to get working on the car again. Thing's have been crazy around here. Been working out a ton (dropped about 40lbs of fat so far and 2" off my waist), did some written testing for being able to apply to a couple of police services back in my home province, and now have some applications in to a couple services. Which means in the next 6-8 months, I may have to move this thing 3200km across the country, so time to start putting some time back into it.

The weather finally started to turn around..we had snow 3 weeks ago, and it was 23c on Saturday, so I decided to crack the door on the garage and spend some time on the car. I finally got around to finishing the GL front end. I replaced some old plastic screw clips that held in the lamp surround/marker lamps, popped everything into place and lined up correctly. I also pulled my MK1 GTI lip spoiler I got for my birthday 2 years ago out of storage and decided to do a dry fit. Its only held in place by a couple cable ties, but looks good. I'm going to have to fabricate some little brackets to hold it in place when it comes time. But I think it looks good!

Now the big debate is with or without badge? 


I'm still on the fence. I'd have to modify the badge a bit to fit the GL grill as it came off my factory North American Spec grill. 




I also apologize for the state of my garage. I honestly haven't stepped foot into it since November of last year except to grab a shovel, so it's a bit of a mess. It'll be cleared up soon enough.


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.