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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my 1996 Toyota Corolla. 1.8L 7A-FE, power everything, leather seats (the car was custom ordered by a rich guy from Japan fully loaded), rear spoiler, and custom Toyota branded rims. My parents bought in 1998, and when I got my license when I turned 18 (I still don't know why I waited that long), I started driving it. Father got himself a nice 1999 Mazda Miata, mother drives her business car, a 2001 Lexus RX300. So I took the Corolla, which was parked without use for around 6 years.

Current mods:

Engine:
Genuine TRD two point strut bar
Genuine TRD oil cap
Genuine TRD radiator cap
Sickspeed engine dress up kit

Exterior
FX GT front bumper
FX GT fog lights
FX GT front lip
OEM BZ Touring headlights
OEM JDM grills
17x7" XXR 962 wheels
Rolled fenders
Muteki SR48 extended lug nuts
Custom exhaust tip
Smoked rear turn signals and backup lights

Interior:
OEM Toyota Celica leather steering wheel with red stitching, airbag, and cruise control stalk
OEM Toyota tweeter pods
OEM Toyota Secret Box
OEM key ring light and foot well lights
OEM fog light switch near handbrake
Tach gauge cluster
OEM ashtray coin holder insert
OEM central diff switch under drivers side vent

Audio:
Pioneer DEH-80PRS Bluetooth head unit
Pioneer TS-A1605C front 6.75" component speakers
Pioneer TS-A1675R rear 6.5" coaxial 3 way speakers

Suspension:
BC Racing BR series coilovers

Miscellaneous:
Avital two way alarm
LED lights wherever appropriate

I knew nothing about cars, and my parents knew little, so we just started driving it. With 6 year old oil and no maintenance... I still cringe. But it was bone stock when I started driving it. Quite a good looking car too, aside from the giant white spots on the roof and hood from a bad clear coat. Here are some photos from when I took over:











She was always a happy girl with that doofy smile.

Early 2012, while driving through a Costco parking lot, some idiot smashed into the side of my car after blowing a stop sign quite fast. Ruined two doors and bent the frame ever so slightly. Kid didn't have a license/permit, and my insurance decided to total the car. Yeah, they quoted $3500 for two doors. The car was valued at $4200, minus deductible and junk value, ended up totaled. Ridiculous. Ended up driving like that for 8 months due to lack of funds to fix it, which let water into the doors, condensed in the cabin, and ruined my headliner.

Took it to a cheap shop, handed them two golden junkyard doors, and told them to do their thing. $2000 got me two attached and straightened out doors, fixed B pillar, and a full car paint job. Nissan Magnetic Black, looked pretty dang good. Sadly, it's a cheap-ass paint job. But it does the job I guess. I threw on an eBay mesh grill, a TRD badge, eventually some glue on red trim, and a new exhaust tip.











 

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Moderator
1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I started fixing this car because I couldn't afford to take it to a shop. The heat gauge started dropping and the car never fully warmed up. I started doing research, found out it's a thermostat, and decided to tackle the task. Terrifying, considering I've never touched an engine before. But alas, I successfully completed it! This started my huge venture into fixing my car.

Fixed thermostat, oil, air filter, fuel filter, distributor cap and rotor, spark plugs and wires, fresh coolant, fresh power steering fluid, fresh transmission fluid, fixed some vacuum leaks, a few new gaskets, cleaned the throttle body and intake manifold, and much much more. With the car fixed, modification began! Thanks to Toyota Nation for the inspiration and the help of course.

New FX bumper:









OEM BZ Touring headlights and facelift C grill. Rewired the 9005/9006 bulbs to H4, wired together the parking lights, did an AWESOME job making it all modular just in case, and converted the corner lights from 7440 to dual filament 7443 to use as parking lights and turn signals.











Then comes an FX GT OEM lip and BC Racing coilovers







Then new rims! 17x7 XXR 962s, 205/40/R17 tires, and rolled fenders.













And most recently, my second grill:



 

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Moderator
1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
What's to come, you ask?

First I'm going to get new seats installed. I have two 7th gen Celica seats in the garage. Getting them reupholstered with tan/black leather, black center and tan sides, then getting the brackets modified, and fitting them into the Corolla.
Black window tints.
I have 6.5" JDM speaker brackets for the front doors to go along with a full set of new speakers.
Fix the sagging headliner.
JDM short rear bumper.
Cold air intake.
New exhaust.
Maybe a rear lip and side skirts if I can find skirts smaller than 8th gen Corolla S ones.
Maybe a projector retrofit.

I'd love to hear your feedback!
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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2,626 Posts
I love everything you've done with the car. . Especially keeping it after it was declared totaled. Everything you've done with the car is very tasteful and thought out, keep up the great work!
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I love everything you've done with the car. . Especially keeping it after it was declared totaled. Everything you've done with the car is very tasteful and thought out, keep up the great work!
The decision to keep it was easy :p I love it to death.

Thanks, to both of you!
 

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12 Posts
Very classy and tasteful. How many kilometers (miles) on the car? What will the seats cost? I am so tempted to buy a 97 with only 40,000 kilometers for only $3500 ...but just am afraid where I will end up.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Very classy and tasteful. How many kilometers (miles) on the car? What will the seats cost? I am so tempted to buy a 97 with only 40,000 kilometers for only $3500 ...but just am afraid where I will end up.
Thank you!

136,000 miles on it now. Pretty low for such a year, but damn is 40,000 km incredibly low

Seats I think would run me $1200 for reupholstering (brand new leather and all new foam) plus whatever it costs to modify the brackets. The seats themselves cost me $80 at a junkyard.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sometimes I forget that you have to update build threads.

I got my wiper arms powdercoated. They were terribly chipped, and I got them finished in 30% semi-gloss. Fantastic job, $40.



I installed two 48 LED panels, one in the dome light and one in the trunk. My best friend bought them for me for Christmas.









They're VERY VERY bright, and pure white. No more blue tinted lights!





Installed a TRD two point strut bar for the 8th gen Corolla. My father's Christmas present. I had to modify two things to get it to fit. First, I cut a LOT off the throttle plate. If you cut just enough for clearance, it WILL hit the strut bar when you're going uphill. Trust me. I cut this much off and haven't had a single contact.



I also took off the clamp that holds the airbox hose to the airbox. I took off the clip that's on it that holds the throttle cable. The cable won't go anywhere as it's stiff, and the clip interfered. You can just slide it around to not touch the strut bar, but then the screw to tighten it would be impossible to reach without an angled screwdriver while the bar is in place. I just removed the clip in its entirety. And of course, put the clamp back on.

Unfortunately, I had to take off my oil catch can. It was in the place where the new strut bar rests. So I will find a new place for it. Maybe get a cold air intake and fit it where the airbox was.

Here are some photos of the bar on my car:





It actually works better than my old 3 point OEM Toyota bar that bolts to the firewall. I'm guessing because it's built better, as that one could be bent at its joints.

Also bonus photo:

 

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Weazler
94 Corolla Base
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903 Posts
Sometimes I forget that you have to update build threads.
You were one of the most frequent posters on "what did you do to your corolla today" thread. Just think. If you posted every little thing on build thread. Youd be like 12 pages deep. Hahaha

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
You were one of the most frequent posters on "what did you do to your corolla today" thread. Just think. If you posted every little thing on build thread. Youd be like 12 pages deep. Hahaha

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Yeah seriously! I did a LOT in the last year, but now things have calmed down. Poor timing indeed.
 

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Your car has every cosmetic mod I ever wanted to do to mine, but I spent my money on another car and wound up making mine a borderline ricer with cheap eBay parts LOL. Seriously, really clean car. I also love normal white LEDs, they just make everything so much brighter and add a touch of class.

Even after owning my Focus (a superb car for backroad driving) and now owning a 7th gen Camry (straight line rocket but the extra weight takes getting used to when cornering) I still love my Corolla. Just has a lot of character that neither of those cars have and is great fun to drive hard.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Your car has every cosmetic mod I ever wanted to do to mine, but I spent my money on another car and wound up making mine a borderline ricer with cheap eBay parts LOL. Seriously, really clean car. I also love normal white LEDs, they just make everything so much brighter and add a touch of class.

Even after owning my Focus (a superb car for backroad driving) and now owning a 7th gen Camry (straight line rocket but the extra weight takes getting used to when cornering) I still love my Corolla. Just has a lot of character that neither of those cars have and is great fun to drive hard.
Thank you :) I've been dreaming of many of these parts for so long. I saw them and knew I needed them.

Yeah these Corollas are surprisingly fun to drive! Not much power (at all) but definitely an enjoyable car. Something... Special.
 

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1997 Corolla
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I installed two 48 LED panels, one in the dome light and one in the trunk. My best friend bought them for me for Christmas.


They're VERY VERY bright, and pure white. No more blue tinted lights!
How is the LED panel held in place in your dome light?

I have a 16 LED light that is slightly blueish now, but I'd like a 48 LED one like yours. What should I look for to make sure they are pure white? What is the color temperature of yours?
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
How is the LED panel held in place in your dome light?

I have a 16 LED light that is slightly blueish now, but I'd like a 48 LED one like yours. What should I look for to make sure they are pure white? What is the color temperature of yours?
It comes with adhesive on the back. I just plugged it in, took off the backing, and stuck it on.

It didn't state a color temp but unlike all other eBay lights, it's "white" description was perfectly accurate. No blue tinge at all. I think the eBay seller was 2011_led. I'll find you the link in a bit.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I went to a Pick N Pull in Windsor today with my father. Decided to go to Windsor, which is 1.5 hours away, because it's a beautiful and scenic road. I loved driving there. The brand new pavement made my Corolla on coilovers feel like a brand new Lexus.

Once there, I quickly found what I needed. I cut off the TPS connector with an extra length of wire. To adjust the TPS, you need a multimeter on pins 1 and 4 while moving it. Nearly impossible even with thin and long multimeter probes. I will just plug in this connector and wrap the wire ends around my multimeter, makes it much easier!

I also found a Corolla that was terribly smashed but had some stuff in good condition that was rusted on mine. Namely, the condenser upper bolts and the radiator upper brackets. Got those as well.

On the last Corolla I was looking at, I thought "might as well check the trunk" and found a trunk carpet lining! SO damn happy about this one. I know it's not even a big deal, but I love it.



Also found a 6th gen Celica with intact fog lights in great condition that are the perfect shape for the USDM 7th gen Corolla bumper. Now, my father is getting a (very modest) Miata body kit and the fog lights might fit it perfectly. If they fit and look good, I'll give them to him. If not, I'll sell them to some Corolla or Celica owner. They're in awesome condition and have the entire wiring and connector.

The total came out to $38, which amazed me. Good junkyard trip!
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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Nice! I am hoping to find a trunk lid lining for my car, so at least one other person thinks trunk lining is a big deal. lol I'm currently waiting for two radiator upper brackets to get to my house. Do you know if the lower supports are rubber by chance? I've yet to remove a radiator and some of the diagrams I've seen aren't very clear as to what they look like.
I love seeing the updates you make to your car.
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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10,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Nice! I am hoping to find a trunk lid lining for my car, so at least one other person thinks trunk lining is a big deal. lol I'm currently waiting for two radiator upper brackets to get to my house. Do you know if the lower supports are rubber by chance? I've yet to remove a radiator and some of the diagrams I've seen aren't very clear as to what they look like.
I love seeing the updates you make to your car.
Thanks buddy :)

As far as I know, the lower supports are rubber pieces that the radiator slides into.
 
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