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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ive had my '90 4cyl. for almost a year now and shes been back and forth from Chicago to STL. it handles pretty well for being an econo box, and it'd be a complete sleeper. so i ask all you brains out there, since i know im not going to gain anything out of selling it, should i rebuild it. ill add pics tomorrow. tonite she turned 190,000 miles and leaks more oil and powersteering fluid than i can put in it, ive tried to find and fix the leak but i cant find it, i think its comming from the oil pump but im not sure. i got a guy who will rebuild my motor for 400 bucks (includes pulling it and putting it back it) plus the cost of parts. i cant decide if i want a high compression high revver or a low compression turbo car. budget doesnt mind and i need a project. i also want to convert my drums to disc and beef up the suspension. eventually i want to turn this car into an SCCA amature racer. i think ill leave the body till last but i wanna get started on this. anyone with pics of mods or ideas, gimme some input here.
 

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Infrequent Tourist
1989 Toyota Camry
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20 Posts
wrongcamtiming said:
ive had my '90 4cyl. for almost a year now and shes been back and forth from Chicago to STL. it handles pretty well for being an econo box, and it'd be a complete sleeper. so i ask all you brains out there, since i know im not going to gain anything out of selling it, should i rebuild it. ill add pics tomorrow. tonite she turned 190,000 miles and leaks more oil and powersteering fluid than i can put in it, ive tried to find and fix the leak but i cant find it, i think its comming from the oil pump but im not sure. i got a guy who will rebuild my motor for 400 bucks (includes pulling it and putting it back it) plus the cost of parts. i cant decide if i want a high compression high revver or a low compression turbo car. budget doesnt mind and i need a project. i also want to convert my drums to disc and beef up the suspension. eventually i want to turn this car into an SCCA amature racer. i think ill leave the body till last but i wanna get started on this. anyone with pics of mods or ideas, gimme some input here.
The forum has a lot of information on the 3sfe motor. Most of it suggests that turbos and high performance mods are possible, but the gains are not going to justify cost.

I have no experience with SCCA racing, but I believe that modifications to the car will put you up against some very fast cars. You may find that autocross is a good route to go instead.

As your post suggests, the Gen2 Camry is a great econo-car. I used to work for an guy years ago that would say "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". In this case, it means that your are fighting an uphill battle trying to make your Camry a racing car.

Get the $400 rebuild and your car will probably give you reliable transportation while you save up for a car better suited to your racing ambitions. I have known a few people who raced amerture cars and motorcycles. They all said "It was way more expensive than I expected".

I read an article that suggested the main reason Americans are broke is that we waste too much money on cars. They depreciate so fast that once you buy them, the money is gone forever. I love cars, but they are a major waste of money.

Your Camry is worth keeping and fixing up because it won't depreciate any more. It is cheap transportation even if it costs a $1000 each year to keep it on the road. I am sure this is a major buzz-kill, but the facts are that life is too short to waste your money on fast cars.

If you gotta' have a fast Camry, then search the forum on 3sgte swaps. It is a $5K+ project, but you will end up with a Camry that can smoke tires to smithereens. It is a waste of money, but the cool factor is very high.

Good luck!
 

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Pochacco Owns Me
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3,123 Posts
rebuild it for what? just drop in another motor.. rebuilt that one... 3sge for NA ~180hp range.... 3sgte for turbo ~ 250hp range.

springs u have 2 options.. intrax or b&g
shocks another 2.. kyb gr2 or koni
sway bars only whiteline

here's my drum to disk swap @ http://tril.pendulus.net/reardiskswap.php

you should use search this has been discussed plenty of times :)
 

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Where's my boomstick?
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2,528 Posts
Any mods done to a camry will just put you into a higher SCCA class and you will never be competitive, expecially if youve never raced before. Go read the SCCA classing rulings and then read examples of the cars youll be going against.

Im not saying SCCA racing isnt fun no mater what you drive, but its even more fun if you dont finish last every time.
 

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Insanity makes more sense
1990 camry
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210 Posts
autocrossing in a 2nd gen camry is fun... autox in any car is fun. 2nd gen camry's are best done with a fresh oem suspension (new struts if you're extra mushy) and a nice set of stickie R compound tires in H-stock class. You won't be able to win with the camry until you get good. plain and simple. But H-stock with stickies is the optimal class for your car. I run STS cause I have headers and cat-back. STS does not allow for stickie tires like stock classes do. If you're interested in just building your car up for fun, get a 3sgte put in, and get your suspension tuned by a shop that knows what they are doing and run SM (street modified). In order to be competitive in SM you will most likely need custom suspension work.

before you go sinking money into any car. if you wanna do well in races, upgrade the driver first. ;)
 

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Bullitprooph
1986 MR-2 N/A, 1991 Celica GT-S, 2006 Corolla CE, 2005 Matrix XR, 2009 Matrix XRS
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1,503 Posts
if you're gonna rebuild it, these gasket/seal sets are awesome.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/TOYOTA-87-91-CAMRY-CELICA-3SFE-FULL-GASKET-SET-TFS3S_W0QQitemZ140084262831QQihZ004QQcategoryZ33667QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

mine even came with fuel and brake line washers (copper). I tried getting a price from Toyota, part number by part number, and we were well into the $300 range when I told him to stop wasting my time--not in those words. :lol:

As for piston rings and valve shims and everything else, I'm not so sure...

For your racing desires:

http://www.trader.ca/powerpage/details.aspx?vlotid=1295435&adid=5706236 :)
 

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Where's my boomstick?
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2,528 Posts
WVcamry3sfe said:
autocrossing in a 2nd gen camry is fun... autox in any car is fun. 2nd gen camry's are best done with a fresh oem suspension (new struts if you're extra mushy) and a nice set of stickie R compound tires in H-stock class. You won't be able to win with the camry until you get good. plain and simple. But H-stock with stickies is the optimal class for your car. I run STS cause I have headers and cat-back. STS does not allow for stickie tires like stock classes do. If you're interested in just building your car up for fun, get a 3sgte put in, and get your suspension tuned by a shop that knows what they are doing and run SM (street modified). In order to be competitive in SM you will most likely need custom suspension work.

before you go sinking money into any car. if you wanna do well in races, upgrade the driver first. ;)

What type of crazy rules are you guys following? Ive run STS and H-Stock and used the same tires in both classes. H-stock requires any OEM sized wheel with any DOT approved tire. STS lets you use any size wheel, with any DOT tire. I ran Falken Azenis RT215's in both classes.

To be competitive in any class other than H-stock, youll need a LOT of track time practice, + a good suspension, + some more power. Hasnt been asked yet, but does this guy have a manual or a 5spd transmission?

Auto-x Season is just starting around here, would definatly recommend finding out who the local club is, most have a website/forum and find out when they run. usually cheap to run, $20-30. Go out there with what you have right now and give it a shot. dont worry about modifications or special tires till you get your feet wet.
 

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Insanity makes more sense
1990 camry
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210 Posts
Tommy said:
What type of crazy rules are you guys following? Ive run STS and H-Stock and used the same tires in both classes. H-stock requires any OEM sized wheel with any DOT approved tire. STS lets you use any size wheel, with any DOT tire. I ran Falken Azenis RT215's in both classes.

To be competitive in any class other than H-stock, youll need a LOT of track time practice, + a good suspension, + some more power. Hasnt been asked yet, but does this guy have a manual or a 5spd transmission?

Auto-x Season is just starting around here, would definatly recommend finding out who the local club is, most have a website/forum and find out when they run. usually cheap to run, $20-30. Go out there with what you have right now and give it a shot. dont worry about modifications or special tires till you get your feet wet.
STS does in fact have rim size limits. you can not have a rim wider than 7.5 inches in STS(section 14.4). by stickie tires I mean you can't run a race compound tire. it must be DOT approved tire. Rim size as in diametre, sure anything is allowed. The whole STS concept is Street Touring (s) tire. Meaning your tire has to be a street tire. Stock categories for some reason are allowed to have ANY tire size provided it fits your OE wheels. and yes, I think in STS, I'm pretty sure the tire can't be wider than 225(section 14.3 A).
 

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Where's my boomstick?
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2,528 Posts
ok, well yea, limits on rims in both classes, but as far as i know and understand the rules, both classes allow the same tires. you cant run R compounds in either class, both require any DOT approved street tire.
 

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Pochacco Owns Me
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3,123 Posts
you'r going to need a clip not just the motor. the clip would give you motor..wiring... ecu and other lil things you'll need
 

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The bucket owns you!
1988 Camry 4banger
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89 Posts
I'd honestly suggest suspension work before engine work. but that's just me.
if you're autocrossing, this is true. Engine mods aren't going to help you much unless there's some good straightaways there. Build it to carve corners, unload any unneeded weight (back seat, spare tire, radio, A/C) and learn to drive it well.
 
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