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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I just got this thing a couple months ago and have been driving it pretty regularly, I guess you can call it my daily driver.
But there is one problem... I'm 17 and so naturally I need it to look like a 17 year old owns it...lol

I am very impressed with the motor and don't plan many upgrades to it... if any.

But Right now I am wanting to improve the look, and of course (because I am an "immature" teen) the sound...

PAINT: I got that covered,I am a graphic designer and I work at a relatives sign and wrap shop so we are going to wrap this thing in all kinds of crazy! But most of it will be white, with accents and cool designs to advertise the shop.

BODY KITS: I have that pretty much figured out as well. I am going to use the front and rear lips that Rollatuner from the TRD forums uses. (I'm pretty sure you guys know who that is.)

SOUND: not speakers, I'm not that obnoxious. The exhaust, because I'm not made of money and I like the way it sounds I'm simply going to get an A3 Racing 4" muffler.

WHEELS: I think I've settled my heart on the Rola GRID or KONIG backbone or(my fav) the NS1507's . all being the same style... In 16x7 (not sure about the offset yet maybe something on the positive side like 38?...)

Now for the part I am not sure about, nor do I have much knowledge in this field... SUSPENSION...
So here is a question I have, Does anyone think or know how much the car will drop or raise when I put on these wheels leaving on the stock suspension?
I'll explain why that matters to me in a sec...
I have heard that the NEX SS full coilovers are great for daily driving and quality. But for the price of new suspension, I will definitely have to hold off on getting some anyways.

Now maybe someone can help me here, I love the look of a car that has been dropped a few inches and given a bit of camber. But I can't do that. Heres why, I live on an old peanut field (fun to drift around in btw) So leaving the house I must get over a few hills which are not too aggressive, I drive 2 different minivans over all the time they sometimes scrape on the muffler. Anyways Should I get new suspension to drop it a few inches or what? The car already makes it over the hills easily with maybe 3 inches clearance on the worst one. Does anyone out there have 16s on stock suspension? If you do show it to me!

Any and all help and suggestions are greatly appreciated, I won't be posting to many progress pics for a while, because I plan to buy most everything at once.
 

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2012 corolla ce
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16",15" or whatever you toss on will end up near exactly the same tire size as stock 14" rims because you have to use the correct size tire for the car and rim. Google tire plus sizing and read up the only difference is how thick the sidewall will be. In my opinion the roters are so small on this car it looks a little goofy if you go 16"+ but here is the thing its YOUR car so if you like it then do it.

As for suspension i know eibach makes 2 or 3 levels of lowering springs for this car. Matched with blistien or kyb struts have many positive reviews here on toyotanation just use the search bar on this site and be ready to read a ton of examples.

Anyhow i did want to add a few things you might have missed. First the 99 doesnt have the (in my opinion) nicer front bumper with the fog lights. I just think its something to consider as once painted and you add a lip its much less likely you would do it all again.
Next though you dont care for an audio setup the stock system is garbage. Many ce models dont even have rear speakers. At a minimum upgrade your deck to one with bluetooth for your phone to talk and stream from its safer and much better. If you want better sound consider tossing in a set of component front speakers and add rears if you dont have them. Just makes it more enjoyable to drive.
Finally my last advice is make sure its in good shape mechanically before you go crazy making it look good so spend your money on repairs and maintenance before upgrades.
I look forward to seeing what your ride becomes. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. So ya I agree with alot of what you're saying.
Ive done alot of research on tire sizes (thanks for the tire read suggestion btw) and stuff and I'm pretty sure I want to do 16, anything above that would and does look odd imo.
And yes the front bumper on this car is what makes this car look like it was made for granny... And after all the research I've done the lip I found satisfies the look I am going for.
Btw will the fog light model one fit this year model? if so that might bring up another option I'm willing to concider.

The speakers in mine are really really good (once again, imo) Obviously they aren't super clear and I totally understand the nice driving experience thing too, but these work good enough to the point that IF i change them it will be after I have done every other mod I could possibly want to do.

Mechanically wise though, this car was taken really well care of. (excuse the big dent in the hood and smashed left blinker housing, not my fault either, lol) This thing lived in a city all its life, was barely driven (kinda a bad thing) and kept really clean, it only has 130000 on the odo.
But, and here is why I say not driven much could have been a bad thing, As soon as I got it home I check the oil... not a drop (well that's an exaggeration... it had like half a quart). I JUST DROVE IT 45 MINUTES TO MY HOUSE! HOW AM I ALIVE!? lol anyways the motor seems to be fine after a few months of babying it and making sure it doesn't leak and cycles the oil properly. That why I say I will probably never do anything to push the motor past stock power. (Also just by observation of the oil filter it hadn't been changed since, oh 2009!???) But ya other than that "little" incident it was really clean and all that good stuff.
 

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Being that it's a CE (base) model, there's a lot of part swapping that you can do that would be considered "upgrades" and will enhance the look of the car. Also being a 99 model, look into an 01-02 front end swap (considered the 8.5 generation Corolla; same car when you get down to it, but the front end was updated with as different bumper, headlights, grill, etc).

If you just got the car and you think it's mechanically sound, I would still make and go over a little check-list. After all, it is an 18 year old car. I would suggest making sure it's good for another 5 or 6 years mechanically before diving heavy into mods. Although don't pass up the opportunity for upgrades and mods while doing minor repairs; if the dome light is out, go ahead and replace with with an LED bulb, etc.

If it'll help, take a look at my build thread for my 01 CE, may give you a little inspiration :)
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/131-8th-generation-1998-2002/1331209-new-me-2001-rolla.html

Best of luck, I look forward to seeing the progress! Feel free to ask any questions, this is a great community that's always willing to help out :)

One thing to always keep in mind though when modifying ANY car, you will NEVER get back in return the money you put into it, ESPECIALLY when it's a 20+ year old compact economy car... Personally I've come to terms with that lol and I just build any vehicle that I own into the car/truck that I WANT to have and drive, it's not all about what you'll get back when you eventually sell it one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Totally makes sense, as far as getting anything out of it, ya its just for me to be happy with. Although the wrap we are putting on it will advertise the shop I work for so something might come out of it, ya never know. lol

Also looking at your forum, what's with the rollas and the door handles!? XD I had 2 outside broken ones, fixed the driver side, and now the right passenger outside and inside are broken, I can still open it from the outside. During this gen did they use an awful plastic or what? Maybe it's this Florida weather...

also where did ou get that 300000+ sticker that goes perfect on a yota

your not the only one to rip off the weird trim on the inside, but mine left me with a white rubber ...
 

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Mod. Break. Fix. Repeat.
2001 Corolla CE
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...what's with the rollas and the door handles!? XD I had 2 outside broken ones, fixed the driver side, and now the right passenger outside and inside are broken, I can still open it from the outside. During this gen did they use an awful plastic or what? Maybe it's this Florida weather...

also where did ou get that 300000+ sticker that goes perfect on a yota

your not the only one to rip off the weird trim on the inside, but mine left me with a white rubber ...
I dunno but at least they're cheap to replace lol

For the sticker, eBay of course :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welp, this is the second time this has happened, the first was one of the little bubble ones you can fix, so I did, but this one not so much... And no I wasn't driving behind big trucks, just happens to the best of us I reckon, but luckily all insurance agencies in Florida are required to replace a cracked windshield no charge, so i will update when I have a fresh windshield!

Also I'm going to this HUGE swap meet that happens 3 times a year in Moultry Georgia this weekend, usually find cool stuff, we go to find model A ford parts, we have most everything we need to complete our 1929 model A truck , we just lack the tools to finish, i.e. sand blaster, giat oven for our powder coat set up, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I got back from holidays and restarting school... college. I have been considering heavily the 02 front end swap for the slightly more aggressive look.
Any ideas of what I need to do this?
Do i just need the hood, fenders, lights and bumper or is there more to it?
 

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So I got back from holidays and restarting school... college. I have been considering heavily the 02 front end swap for the slightly more aggressive look.
Any ideas of what I need to do this?
Do i just need the hood, fenders, lights and bumper or is there more to it?
I don't want to rain on your parade but you can probably upgrade to a nicer car instead of dumping money into the corolla. I would assume getting used parts that are thrashed your going to be atleast $200 deep just for a front bumper that wont increase the value of the asset.

For wheels, I have 15" for the summer with 195/55 tires on there. And they rub in the back, if you have 3 100lb girls in the back you'll probably be rubbing till your sidewalls cut. Maybe my 8 month old shocks are blown cause they are cheap but rolling the fenders is a good idea. Anything bigger then that and your car is going to ride, brake and handle like shit. A front swaybar would probably be a better investment then the facelift to the front end. 14's are best for offroading/snow travels.

Throw a head unit in the car, maybe some speakers when it pops the stock ones, get your self some ok wheels and call it a day.

The only thing i've considered doing to the exterior is figuring out what lip this guy has on his car and going for that.

Its a 90's soda bottle 4 banger that doesn't spin past 7K. Any exhaust is going to sound like shit on these cars.


Yes the door handles are shit, ive gone through 7 interior handles and 1 drivers exterior.
 

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If i recall the front end swap (which is very detailed in the faq sticky) says all you need is new headlights and the bumper. Now since many 8th gens are worthless due to age and neglect you should have little to no issues finding one for scrap metal prices. Heck i purchased a 8th gen for $200 with a blown engine ripped interior and no exhaust but it had a spoiler with my paint code so i swaped the trunk and grabbed a few spare parts and sold it for scrap for $150. So as long as your willing to take a small loss you can buy a whole car which should have some decent parts to upgrade. The key is finding exterior parts in your paint code as painting is expensive. Not saying thats the only way to get the 8.5 gen front end but its one of the best ways to upgrade your car on the cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If i recall the front end swap (which is very detailed in the faq sticky) says all you need is new headlights and the bumper. Now since many 8th gens are worthless due to age and neglect you should have little to no issues finding one for scrap metal prices. Heck i purchased a 8th gen for $200 with a blown engine ripped interior and no exhaust but it had a spoiler with my paint code so i swaped the trunk and grabbed a few spare parts and sold it for scrap for $150. So as long as your willing to take a small loss you can buy a whole car which should have some decent parts to upgrade. The key is finding exterior parts in your paint code as painting is expensive. Not saying thats the only way to get the 8.5 gen front end but its one of the best ways to upgrade your car on the cheap.
Ok thanks! I'll look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't want to rain on your parade but you can probably upgrade to a nicer car instead of dumping money into the corolla. I would assume getting used parts that are thrashed your going to be atleast $200 deep just for a front bumper that wont increase the value of the asset.

For wheels, I have 15" for the summer with 195/55 tires on there. And they rub in the back, if you have 3 100lb girls in the back you'll probably be rubbing till your sidewalls cut. Maybe my 8 month old shocks are blown cause they are cheap but rolling the fenders is a good idea. Anything bigger then that and your car is going to ride, brake and handle like shit. A front swaybar would probably be a better investment then the facelift to the front end. 14's are best for offroading/snow travels.

Throw a head unit in the car, maybe some speakers when it pops the stock ones, get your self some ok wheels and call it a day.

The only thing i've considered doing to the exterior is figuring out what lip this guy has on his car and going for that.

Its a 90's soda bottle 4 banger that doesn't spin past 7K. Any exhaust is going to sound like shit on these cars.


Yes the door handles are shit, ive gone through 7 interior handles and 1 drivers exterior.
Then why are you dumping money into yours if its such a problem and there seems to be no positive side of it from you?
 

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Then why are you dumping money into yours if its such a problem and there seems to be no positive side of it from you?
Cause your going into college. And when I was your age and first got a car I wanted a cold air intake more then I wanted nice tires or brakes. Few years later I regretted how I spent the dough. Just throwing it out there for you to think about but when I was your age I wasn't that great at saving money so if its going to get spent on beer or something like that and go in the garbage anyway. No reason not to.

I'm spending money on mine because this is my daily and i've had it for 4-5 years and put 50K on it and have no plans to get rid of it any time soon. Being about 20 years old things start falling apart that everyone neglects on these cars. So far i've spent about 500 a year on this car, which includes like 8-10 tires, $250 wheels and fluids. And have never been stranded, atleast off the shops lot. lol.

Now if your getting into wrenching or youve been wrenching and you can take on a junk car to use for parts. Definitely go that route and the bumper swap is a no braining if thats what you wanna do. But spending like $2-300 flat out for a bumper swap I wouldn't advise. If you can house a parts car you can probably do most of the things you want for -$'s. I don't have the space to part cars and don't have the funds to open up a dismantling shop.


I'm saying it because I wish someone told it to me when I was your age and I thought about it, is all. because I did the same thing. Bought a base model car and started putting all the racing model parts on it individually to get it where I wanted and in the end I could've just bought a better car.
 

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On the suspension front I can help a bit.

My car is stock 98 LE, I did want a drop at first because the body roll on this car is ridiculous if you push it at all. But I live where it snows and wanted to set my car up for offroading aswell. Stock springs in my experience leave the car a little bouncy.

Doing 15" wheels with 195/55 tires (which is the same height as a 185/65/14 set up the car came with) do rub in the rear. I've done 195/60's and 65's in the front before, the 65's rub a bit. 60's if you really push it. I feel the 15's are a little to big for the chassis and they look dumb as hell to anyone that knows stuff about carving corners. Generally the bigger you go, the worse it effects your car as far as braking, handling, gas mileage, acceleration. And tires cost more.

With wheels that wide (the 16x7's you spoke of) I would expect the outside of the tire to scrub. But with the 195's being to close to the fender you will deffinetly have to do something, and over cambering may be necessary to make them clear. Crack the baseball bat out and grab your folks hairdryer/stretch the tire!

Ask someone who has 16's what they had to do.
 

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100% agree with post 15. Its foolish to buy brand new bumpers and skirt kits then pay someone to paint and install them on a 18 year old car. Performance mods for a corolla do an excellent job at one thing regardless of the part in question and that is by reducing your bank account. As for the 16" on a car built for 14" personally i think the tiny front rotors and even smaller (probaby rusted badly) rear drums will look awful with big shiny rims but thats just my opinion.

That said if your interested in a parts car you need to do your homework for your area. Find out how much a 99 corolla is worth in scrap metal and if they will pick it up or must it be driven there. Also find out if its ok if its missing a few parts like a bumper or whatever you plan to swap before you buy. Here in toronto its the frame they buy so just a shell is all they want strip everything you can but you need to call around to find out about your area.

If they give you a ballpark price and are ok with picking it up in any condition then you can shop craigslist or other used car sites for a parts car. Most people will ask a little more than scrap knowing exactly what you will learn but are afraid to rip apart a car so if you are honest you may find people willing to trade for services. I know i scored a digital clock for my dash by helping a kid remove the power window motor from his doors for another person who needed those parts and niether knew how to do it. As long as you tell them i need an hour or two in your driveway to remove what i want and then ill have a truck come by and get the rest im yet to find anyone to say no to simple jobs for spare parts that wont cause a leak or spill in a driveway. Just a thought how to get started on this.

Patience is key it took me 2 years to find a spoiler in my paint code with just casual surfing here and there. If you repair your car properly and its in good enough shape to upgrade your toyota can last many years still.
 

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On the suspension front I can help a bit.

My car is stock 98 LE, I did want a drop at first because the body roll on this car is ridiculous if you push it at all. But I live where it snows and wanted to set my car up for offroading aswell. Stock springs in my experience leave the car a little bouncy.

Doing 15" wheels with 195/55 tires (which is the same height as a 185/65/14 set up the car came with) do rub in the rear. I've done 195/60's and 65's in the front before, the 65's rub a bit. 60's if you really push it. I feel the 15's are a little to big for the chassis and they look dumb as hell to anyone that knows stuff about carving corners. Generally the bigger you go, the worse it effects your car as far as braking, handling, gas mileage, acceleration. And tires cost more.

With wheels that wide (the 16x7's you spoke of) I would expect the outside of the tire to scrub. But with the 195's being to close to the fender you will deffinetly have to do something, and over cambering may be necessary to make them clear. Crack the baseball bat out and grab your folks hairdryer/stretch the tire!

Ask someone who has 16's what they had to do.
Rubbing also depends the offset of the wheel. The lower the offset the more the wheel sticks out. The higher the offset the less the wheel sticks out. I want to try a 16x7 +38 with a 195/50-16 or a 16x8 +35 with a 205/45-16
 

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Check your door plate to make sure your car was built for 185/65/14 if you plan to so this. Many 8th gen's are 175/65/14 and would make going to 195/50/16 dangerous as its 2" bigger in diameter.

Mainly though the question is why mess with alignment, comfort and safety to pay more money for rubber on a corolla? Dont get me wrong i love mine but its not a sporty car and the rear suspension is terrible with any weight in your car even with a new suspension. Lets not forget those sporty tiny rear drums i bet are rusted solid on your car im sure everyone will love that look. #sexy 14" rubber is way cheaper 15" is fairly cheap for high end tires your car will ride better be safer and there are lots of good looking rims in both sizes. Unless your going to add rear discs and a bbk all around i really think it looks cheap and foolish to spend big money for the look of 9 1/4" drums.
 

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Cause your going into college. And when I was your age and first got a car I wanted a cold air intake more then I wanted nice tires or brakes. Few years later I regretted how I spent the dough. Just throwing it out there for you to think about but when I was your age I wasn't that great at saving money so if its going to get spent on beer or something like that and go in the garbage anyway. No reason not to.

I don't even want to talk about what I drove for a couple years in college... THAT was a money pit... sure was fun though :grin:

Lesson learned though, never DD a project car...




 
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