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3K Engine in KE55E


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Hey guys,

Working on my 79' Corolla. Previous owner has replaced the 4K-C engine with a 3K engine. Everything is connected correctly and have checked everything 100 times. Now, everytime i start her up, she runs well but as soon i put her in drive it stalls. 

Been trying to adjust the idle screw, but don't get much of a response from the motor. Has anyone got an idea of how the vacuum setup differs between the 4K-C engine and the 3K engine. If so can you suggest a diagram to follow to make sure it is all connected in the right spot. Or could this just be a completely different issue all together?

And has anyone got a clue how to decode the engine number, so i can figure out a manufacturing year?


Cheers fellas. 

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17 hours ago, Novica94 said:

Been trying to adjust the idle screw, but don't get much of a response from the motor.

That's not good..  Either the box is not working, or the motor isn't developing any power.  You need a good strong idle setup to get the car moving, it will take the first 1500-2000rpm before the idle circuit hands over to the main circuit.

What happens if you have your foot down when you put it into drive??

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this sounds very much like a bad ignition system, most likely the coil.

pull a plug out, clamp it to part of the engine with vice grips, attach the main HT lead from the coil directly to the plug and observe the spark. i am not sure how to explain what the spark should look like, but a small yellow one is no good. nice n bright blue or white is good.

if u have good spark, plug the coil HT lead back into the distributor and check again with the plugs appropriate HT lead. if this weakens the spark, ur HT leads or dizzy cap or both needs replacing. if its still good and strong, read on.

really the only true way to test an ignition coil is to buy a new one, but I'm pretty confident in my analysis that this is likely ur issue.

ive had to change the coil on my 4 k manual transmission and the economy and power increase was staggering.

it can also be from an incorrectly set distributor advance setup.

check your vacuum advance is operating first, by sucking hard (use ur cheek muscles) on the vacuum line and watching inside the distributor for movement. if u can suck air, the membrane is broken, if it just doesnt move, its jammed.

if its jammed, someone may have set the base static idle timing for a smooth idle, which would be too advanced when load is applied without the required timing retarding.

other possibility is that the engine is running off the main fuel circuit and not the slow circuit, which puts a horrible blobby non vaporized fuel mixture into the engine and bogs down when load is applied. this is easy to check, get it idling nice n smooth, and look down the carby throat with the choke out the way and see if fuel ia dribbling out into the main venturi in the centre of the little circle at the top. if it is, its likely this is ur problem and someone has hidden the blocked idle circuit by winding up the base idle screw. people that do this, piss me off beyond reason.

check the spark quality first.

its my guess


Edited by rebuilder86
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You could have a dodgy brake booster. U can check it with the engine running and the hand brake on. Push the brake pedal down you may air hissing or gurggling from under the dash on the drivers side. If it has an air leak it will cause the car to stall. I had this problem with the Princess' hardtop I had it rebuilt and $200 later she was running like new.

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