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ca18det ke20


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Hello All,

Posting this because in hopes to inspire as many corolla enthusiasts to finish their projects and share my story.. It seems the JDM corolla trend has died off some over the last few years but they're only getting rarer and more expensive..

I've owned 5 or 6 toyotas over the years, including 2 x mark 2 coronas, ke30's, ke55's, a v8 hilux and currently a v6 hilux..

3 years ago i found a ke20 with ca18det installed located in tasmania and knew i had to have it.. i bought the car and brought it to sydney where i began the process of getting it engineered in NSW. I knew it would be a challenge but honestly had no idea it would take this long. 

Now this thing was (in my eyes) perfect - No rust, fresh paint, clean conversion, mechanically solid ect but as the laws are more stringent in nsw, the TAS mod plates don't count for much on the main land.

So heres the setup,

1974 ke20

ca18det with t28 turbo. water to air intercooler (rad support still intact)

hilux diff

r31 brakes front and rear.



For those interested,

my original engineer, had "dissapeared" by the time i completed his checklist, including a full brake testing appendix.. which left me very unmotivated and contemplated cutting my losses..

having found a more reliable engineer with a new check list, i slowly worked on the list, doing what i could along the way. the main thing that slowed me down was not having a trailer to get works done.

Having applied for temporary unregistered permits to complete work the rta eventually caught on and said i could'nt use them anymore as the car is unroadworthy.. i did use tow trucks but also ran the gunatlet a few times driving maybe 200 illegal kms total to get works done. (what was i thinking?) 

After failing the noise test, i was sent to liverpool exhaust as i was told they will get the car under the 95 db limit no worries.. they put a little hot dog exhaust on the thing which is pretty restrictive so as it sits its probably only making 100rwkw (damn). On the way home pulling into my street i was followed by police and as there was nowhere to stop and i lived 50 metres away i slowly drove into my garage complex... At this point they jumped out and drew guns on me (no shit) screaming to get out of the car and being told i was under arrest, i remained as calm as i could and explained what i was doing. After talking in my driveway for about an hour, citing all my documents, emissions reports ect and explaining to him what the car needed to be engineered i had talked him down from wanting to arrest me, impound my car to simply issuing me a fine for driving unregistered car and illegal BOV. it was about $1800 total but honestly i was relieved because if they had impounded it I'm sure they would have defected it for some made up bullshit aswell. I know it was a stupid situation to be in and i don't recommend it but we make stupid decisions when were desperate and i know it could have ended a lot worse.. Btw his reasoning for drawing a weapon was "usually when someone leads down a dark alleyway, it doesnt end well". I was respectfull the entire time and there was a 1 minute period after the initial weapon raising where i probably wasnt making sense.. They were trying to usher me into their patrol car, and i just kind of stood my ground and said 'hey wait, what the hell is going on here, give me a second to explain myself... I can't talk when my heart is pumping out of my chest", at this point neighbours are watching and i think they knew they kinda made a mistake. after being honest with them and talking for an hour the tone was very much friendly and they pretty much said, it looks like your'e trying to go about things the right way but bottom line is its illegal and we have to write you up for something.. And so the car sat for another 6 months until i had enough money and resources to finish the remainder of the works..

We had some issues with the brake bias as the master cylinder was too big for the application but i found a mechanic who was very helpful and wasn't trying to rip me off.. He also let me use his trade plates to drive the car back and forth and to get re tested.

Anyway, i've just passed my final inspection and am waiting on the engineers report to be mailed out. 

My immediate plans will be to re install the 3.5 inch exhaust, turn the boosts back up (15 psi) and maybe find another LSD diff centre with higher ratios as currently it sits at 3000 rpm on 110 kph which is a little to high for my liking.

I also picked up a ke25 tacho dash off ebay for an arm and a leg so i might install that while i wait for the report.

I hope you enjoy my story, let me know if anyone has any questions about what was required in detail for engineers as i'm happy to walk through it. every engineer will have their own priorities its just about keeping them happy.


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Nice one mate, good story with the pull-over as well! Send me a PM if you're still bothered about the way that happened, if you're over it don't worry just let it go.

I've got a '74 KE20 as well, top little cars and looks like you're is very clean and well modded. I wouldn't worry with 3000rpm at 110kmh - thats nothing for an 1800cc engine, although you probably could drop it to 2600 - 2800rpm and have it be fine. My little 3K spins about 4000rpm at 110kmh in 5th with the stock diff and a K50!


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