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LucaKE

KE38 Engine Conversion Conversations

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Hey everyone, 

For the last half year, I've been fixing up my 1979 ke38 corolla with a 4k engine. I can't help but look into the future and think about potential engine swaps, or upgrades. I'm unsure about what direction to go, as I kinda want to starting planning a swap/upgrades now. I have wanted to throw in a 4age into it, but I've heard it's incredible costly with all the fab work, and if the 4age has any issues, it's expensive to fix. I was also thinking of putting in a 3rz, but I'm pretty sure that's illegal due to the 2.7lt capacity compared to the 4k's 1.3. I also, love the working and the sound of carburetors, and leaning towards keeping something carbed. I have also been thinking of upgrading the 4k, but not sure how expensive it will get for a little return in power.

 

Advice, ideas or suggestions in relation to a engine swap or upgrades would be appreciated!

 

Cheers, Luca

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Hi Luca,

               Welcome aboard !   Where are you located, & what sort of availability to alternative engines do you have ?

How much power do you need to generate ?    What are you going to be using your KE38 for ?   What shape is the body & the rest of the car in at present. (pics please )

What kind of transmission, is currently in your KE38 ?  auto/manual/4sp/5sp ?

Don't forget, if you start upgrading your engine, there are a lot of other things, like brakes & suspension, that must also be upgraded.

Give us a bit more description, & your intentions/aspirations, & we'll go from there.

Does your KE38 look a bit like this one.  Think this one might be a 1978 model.

image.png.327d67b4d24af0432dd0fd2ab02fc967.png

 

Cheers Banjo

Edited by Banjo

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24 minutes ago, Banjo said:

Hi Luca,

               Welcome aboard !   Where are you located, & what sort of availability to alternative engines do you have ?

How much power do you need to generate ?    What are you going to be using your KE38 for ?   What shape is the body & the rest of the car in at present. (pics please )

What kind of transmission, is currently in your KE38 ?  auto/manual/4sp/5sp ?

Don't forget, if you start upgrading your engine, there are a lot of other things, like brakes & suspension, that must also be upgraded.

Give us a bit more description, & your intentions/aspirations, & we'll go from there.

Does your KE38 look a bit like this one.  Think this one might be a 1978 model.

image.png.327d67b4d24af0432dd0fd2ab02fc967.png

 

Cheers Banjo

Hi mate, sorry, should have given a bit more information!

 

I'm located in on the Sunny Coast (Noosa) in QLD, Australia and Ill have the ability to travel anywhere along the east coast to get the perfect engine! I don't want to make a stupid amount of power, maybe around 70-80kw, just enough to do some epic skids and a nice daily car. I don't have any pictures of the body in a small file size, but these, but overall the body is pretty clean, just finishing cleaning up the rust and getting everything ready for a roady. 

 

It currently has a k40 (man, 4spd), which ill probably throw in a k50 if I choose to do some upgrades or begin to travel further. Again, I'm kinda leaning to something carbed as its easier to register, but open to ideas! 

Also spot on, that looks exactly like mine! Except, looks wayyyyy better!

 

Cheers, Luca

 

Edited by LucaKE

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Those K gearboxes will all die later, there are no bearings available for them. So a quick & easy conversion would be any bigger K motor like a 5K, with a K40 or K50 until you run out of gearboxes.

The 4AGE carries a T50 gearbox, there's more of those around, and the last RWD performance version would be a 3SGE with its Asian J160 6-speed.

How's your general car mechanics & welding/fabrication? The 4AGE conversion isn't that bad, although I'm talking KE70 rather than the older cars I haven't done it on.  

The 3SGE has been done, but its a tall motor and I don't know how the cross-member works with it.   Same with the 2AZ motors, look at littleredspirits great work on his AE86.

If the motor in yours is a bit worn, drill it out to 5k and use it while you plan something bigger for later on. Its not worth spending a lot on as the power gains aren't that great, but even carbs/cam/exhaust helps.

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Also spot on, that looks exactly like mine! Except, looks wayyyyy better!

I think that KE38 sold for about $ 7.5K a year or so ago.  It wasn't original.  It had been resprayed etc. off memory.

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1 hour ago, altezzaclub said:

Those K gearboxes will all die later, there are no bearings available for them. So a quick & easy conversion would be any bigger K motor like a 5K, with a K40 or K50 until you run out of gearboxes.

The 4AGE carries a T50 gearbox, there's more of those around, and the last RWD performance version would be a 3SGE with its Asian J160 6-speed.

How's your general car mechanics & welding/fabrication? The 4AGE conversion isn't that bad, although I'm talking KE70 rather than the older cars I haven't done it on.  

The 3SGE has been done, but its a tall motor and I don't know how the cross-member works with it.   Same with the 2AZ motors, look at littleredspirits great work on his AE86.

If the motor in yours is a bit worn, drill it out to 5k and use it while you plan something bigger for later on. Its not worth spending a lot on as the power gains aren't that great, but even carbs/cam/exhaust helps.

I would love to do a 4age conversion as its a fuckin great engine, but my main concern is the cost. I can weld pretty decently, but a big conversion like this will be a first. Also, 4age's are super expensive and I can't seem to find a RWD one around or in anything. I might just stick to the little stock 4k for now, until it dies, and then plan something bigger like the 4age conversion : )

 

Thanks for your help fellas!

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