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New here: KM30 Liteace


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New here, first post and having a little difficulty posting text.  

Anyway, hope you guys don't mind a van owner hanging out in here.  We bought this little Liteace a few months ago, which is not a Corolla but has a 5K engine under the seats.  I have been lurking here trying to learn more about this thing.  It runs surprisingly well, considering what must have been a lifetime of neglect:

- changed out the plugs and wires

- reset the timing

- removed the restrictive inlet pipe that snakes its way to the air filter all the way from the front bumper

- oil and filter

- have a carb rebuild kit and new manifold gaskets, waiting for a good weekend to do it

Was very surprised to find points in the distributor cap, an old-school coil on the firewall, and an old-school voltage regulator under the dash.  Wow.  VR already went up in smoke due to some faulty wiring back by the fuel sender...that was an exciting morning... we had flames coming from underneath near the gas tank at one point.  Never travel anywhere now without at least a water bottle!  

Plans for this van are to upgrade the alternator & distributor, source a 3-core radiator and make some changes to the aircon condenser arrangement.  After that, piece together a 1.75" exhaust system from Jetex, unless you guys can recommend a more Asia-Pacific source.  This is our only vehicle, and we don't exactly have an ideal place for working on the little guy, so I'm doing what I can. 

Edited by Papay
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We are in Philippines.  There is a large but somewhat disconnected Liteace community here, but the most difficult thing about finding parts is there really are not junkyards.  We are left with Facebook as a means of trying to buy and sell, so it is just as easy for me to order from Malaysia or Australia as it is from Manila.  

Having never owned aToyota, (much less an engine so small), I was surprised to learn about the 4K's and the brilliant work shown in this forum.  My original thought had been to yank it out and put in a 22r, but now I'm inspired to see what can be accomplished with what we have.  He will happily cruise along at 80-90 Kmh, which is as fast as I dare to go on these roads anyway.  The mountains are another story, but am looking forward to the challenge.  

Already started on the interior.  Attending to basic needs like electrical, brakes, etc.




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I'm in cebu and have an owner type jeep with 4k, and its got the 5k electronic dizzy, maybe they got mine from urs and swapped my old in into urs?? :p

If u look on olx there is a great cheap electronic dizzy for sale in manila. Cheap as.


Combine that with a decent new coil, ill find the model of mine for yah, its available throughout the country. The original points type coil is a bit weak with the electronic dizzy so be sure to do this. Mine is fuelmiser cc215.

Mine has a voltage regulator, but it is simply there as a sort of, over complicated harness connector and does nothing but simply connect the alternator field wire to the main bus when the key is in lol. The alt has built in regulator so all the wires from the VR just go to the abyss. Must be a common thing in the philippines.

Also, in cebu, in the middle of the city, there are a few absolute paradise toyota k series junk yards. Like shelves atacked roof high with cylinder heads, blocks, old pistons, crankshafts, dizzys, u name it.

Surely manila has something similar?

Edited by rebuilder86
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Awesome car, looks pretty tidy too!


I believe you should find good resources in the Phillipines - see link below. I remembered that there was a guy there who was right into Toyota stuff and had the fabled 3K-R engine for sale, and there it is on his home page! 



I also know that guys from the Philippines used to come to Australia and fill up containers with K engines and parts for Corollas, so I'm sure there are plenty of parts available - you just have to find them!


Cheers and good luck with the project

Edited by TOM
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Yep, all of the guys with parts are in Manila and Cebu, and I'm on a different island, lol.  

@rebuilder86, it sounds like I need to plan a trip to Cebu!  Yeah the old style VR was a big surprise, I'm planning the alternator upgrade and dizzy upgrade.  I have actually wondered if this engine could be a 4K, how can I verify?  Reason for my suspicion is it looks to have a Tamaraw radiator, and it is missing the filler neck on the water pump that a Liteace should have.  The way motors are swapped and parts are cobbled in Philippines, anything is possible!

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I have actually wondered if this engine could be a 4K, how can I verify?  

The first number & letter of the engines serial number is the series of the K motor.  2KXXX  3KXXX  4KXXX  5KXXX  7KXXX

The serial number is on the side of the block back from the dizzy.




Edited by Banjo
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I don't see any lugs under the cylinder head spark tube holes. 

Its a head for flat top pistons, so unless u have an amazing rare 5k with flat top pistons (as opposed to deep dish) the id say its a 4k of some variety.

In fact that reminds me head to piston compatibility is the first thing id check. Open a spark plug and make sure all the pistons are flat tops. If u can see any dishes, then u have the wrong head. If so then u have been fooled the same way i was. Mine is missmatched and therefor economy is terrible and i can't make it ping (detonate) with any level of spark advance. Ive got mine set to a ridiculously advanced state as a temporary measure.

Only in the philippines.

Edited by rebuilder86
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OK good to know.  So a 5K head would have lugs there.  I won't say I was fooled, because I really didn't ask the previous owner much about the engine (since I was ignorant of Toyotas).  But yeah, when he hands you the evaporator in a box of bits, and a random compressor to go with it, and a mangled parking brake handle assembly...well at least it was cheap.  Before doing a basic tune up, it would barely maintain 70Kmh on flat ground.  No acceleration whatsoever.  At least now it is dare I say 'peppy', and can cruise happily at 80/90.  Runs really smooth other than an exhaust leak, so I do not suspect a mis-matched head.  Never had any pinging, even on second-gear climbs in the mountains.  

After we get back from Bohol I plan to check the number on the block.  Based on what you've said, and the points dizzy, and the Tamaraw radiator with no shroud, I'm thinking it is likely to be a complete swap from a Tamaraw.

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I found one of these in the bush not long ago ,looks almost identical ,but it didnt have a k engine in it not sure what engine it was.

Couldnt open the door to read the plate.

I was more interested in the diff but couldnt work out what it was,

What sort of diff is in it papay??


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Well papay u may have a 5k, but if it is, its either 

A. Got the wrong head or

B. An incredibly rare flat top pistons 5k.

What i was saying about pinging, was the missmatched head makes it drive exactly like u say, smooth and never pingng. Theres not enough compression for it to detonate (ping).

So just open a spark plug and check the pistons with a torch. And hope to see no D dish. i think when parts break there, they just get something which fits, so be prepared for it to all be wrong. Its just such a common engine in philippinea that most of them have ben mucked around with. Hell, i can get most 4k parts at the local merkado.

U been Chillin in panglao?

My dads wife is from tagbilaran, i spend a lot of time there.

Edited by rebuilder86
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First time in Bohol, just hanging out in Lila with family from the states.  Wanted to bring the Papay van on this trip, but it wasn't in the cards.  Maybe next time.  Got your point about the non-pinging, will def check things out further when we get back to Ilo.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Snapped a few pics.  Block is clearly 5K, but I don't know anything about these cylinder heads.  In the one pic is a very faint casting number, it could be "105" but I didn't clean the dirt off.  Would the next step be to look at the piston tops?





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