Welcome to COROLLA Performance


First off, it would be best if you knew which engine, transmission, etc. your car has, be it a Corolla or another Toyota.  You can determine this by checking your vehicle's ID plate/label.  Click here for an explanation of the ID plate/label.  There should also be a label on the distributor (if you have one) that has the engine designation on it, e.g., 7A-FE.  I also took the liberty of making available a Toyota Vehicle Identification Chart – a list of US Toyotas along with their production dates, model numbers, and engine ID.  I acquired the information from TRD-USA's 1998 Sport Parts Catalog.  It's broken into 3 sections:  1) Camry, Celica; 2) Corolla, Land Cruiser, MR2, Paseo, RAV4, 4Runner; and 3) Supra, T100, Tacoma, Trucks.  Hope that was useful...now on to AE102 stuff...

The engine in the AE102 is either the 1.6L 4A-FE or the 1.8L 7A-FE (which I concentrate on).  I talk about them in more detail under the Engine Modifications section.  Before I proceed further, I must bring to your attention some overlap in Toyota's use of designations.  In most or all of the US, AE102 designates those Corollas with the 7A-FE engine, while AE101 designates the 4A-FE models.  Toyota probably did this just to make distinguishing parts for the two easier.  On a more global scale, however, AE101 actually designates a late model Levin, quite different from a so-called AE101 US Corolla.  Since the Levin is not available in the states, Toyota probably didn't think the overlap would concern consumers...until I came along.  Since the Toyota culture is more global than local, from this point on, AE101 will designate the Levin while AE102 will designate the Corolla of interest.  I encourage you to make this distinction, and keep it in mind when looking for parts.

The AE102, Corolla model years 1993 to 1997 in the US, is actually the last Corolla to have an A-series engine, an excellent engine line and the driving potential behind the AE102 (aside: pre-96 models escaped the evil of OBD-II).  Throughout this period, only minor changes were made to the Corolla.  I will attempt to briefly point out the more significant differences.  In terms of styling, the 93-94 base and DX models had a grooved, gray plastic trunk panel.  The LE model had a red and orange lens-type panel.  In 95, a new gray plastic trunk panel was introduced along with a new rear light cluster (has clear signal lenses, for example).  That year, the LE trim was removed as well.  At some point, other trims were introduced, such as CE, but the differences aren't worth mentioning.  In 96-97, the gray trunk panel was replaced with a red, lens-type panel.  The interior changed slightly from year to year as well.  Most notable IMO is the removal of the air ducts under the front seats in later models.  In terms of the engine (7A-FE), the 93 (and maybe 94) had a bad alternator design, probably the fault of AC Delco; it was remedied in later models with NipponDenso units.  Various components and their locations changed slightly as well.  Performance figures varied through the years, probably as a result of minor retuning.  For example, in 93, the figures are as follows:  110hp @ 5600, 115 lb-ft @ 2800.  In 96, the figures became:  105hp @ 5200, 117 lb-ft @ 2800.  I have seen the 7A-FE quoted at as low as 100hp and as high as 120hp.  I don't know the exact reasons for this, but it's probably due to a combination of minor retuning, varying emissions regulations, and misquoting.  Accompanying these differences are differences in weight from year to year; the variance is only a few pounds, however.

Many AE102s were built at the NUMMI plant (New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.) in Fremont, California, a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors (GM).  Geo Prizms, the GM counterpart of the AE102, were also built at the NUMMI plant, alongside Tacoma pickups.  For all practical purposes, the Prizm is identical to its counterpart, with slightly different body panels.  The Prizm is entirely designed and defined by Toyota, GM having little more say than what their emblem should look like.  Currently, NUMMI continues to produce Corollas, Chevy Prizms, and Tacomas.  I strongly encourage everyone to go on a plant tour, be it at NUMMI or elsewhere.


Beginning with the 1998 model year, the Corolla was entirely redesigned and designated ZZE110, gaining a new body and a brand new engine, the 1ZZ-FE.  Click here to read more about the 1ZZ-FE engine.  It's no A-series engine, but if anyone is modding the 1ZZ-FE, I'd really be interested in seeing what you're doing.  Past rumors of a 1ZZ-GE were partially true, the latest addition to the ZZ engine family being the 2ZZ-GE, powerplant of the 2000 Celica, equipped with Toyota's variable valve timing and lift technology (VVTL-i).  Click here to read about VVTL-i or here for 2ZZ-GE specs.  If you've been to this site before, the first thought that should come to mind is a swap of the 2ZZ-GE into the ZZE110 Corolla! =)  Finally, a new G head design from Toyota and Yamaha.  However, without having access to a 2ZZ-GE engine, I can't say for sure if the two engines are really interchangeable or exactly what the swap would involve beyond the rule of thumb that models within an engine family are usually interchangeable.  The 2000 Corolla keeps the same body but is upgraded to a more powerful 1ZZ-FE with VVT-i.

Components are covered in more detail in the Modifications section.  If you are looking for specific technical data (e.g., torque specifications, clearances, measurements, etc.) or have any other question, feel free to contact me.  As much as I encourage do-it-yourself work, making all that information available here would simply take too much time and space.  Besides, you can always go buy a Haynes or Toyota repair manual, both of which are excellent.

Much harder to obtain info on are specific parts and part numbers.  Once you have a part number, the difficulty of finding a part usually boils down to availability.  I have begun to compile a parts listing, but it's going to be very rudimentary for now.  I'm basically just copying down all the part numbers and related info on packages I have lying around.  For now, the listing is intended to be more for my benefit than anything else so that I can keep track of numbers.  The listing will hopefully evolve into a real parts database one day. =)  If you want to contribute info in this area (or any area), please contact meClick here to go to the Parts Listing.

A commonly overlooked tuning component, yet essential to engine operation, are spark plugs.  Here I make available the NGK and NipponDenso spark plug charts, so you can determine the exact spark plug for your application.

NGK Spark Plug Chart  (choose format:  Word 97, html)
NipponDenso Spark Plug Chart  (choose format:  Word 97, html)

Technical Articles

There are numerous sites with useful tech info...I'd like to especially recommend Dirk Apel's and Stephen Gunter's excellent collection of technical articles that are very informative. Now to my collection...articles directly relevant to the AE102 and other Corollas will be listed first.  Note that not everything here will always technically be a technical article (e.g., Jacobs catalog).  More detailed information on the AE102 can be found under Modifications.

Motor Trend Road Test Review of 1993 Corolla wagon
This review was published in the November 1993 issue of Motor Trend.  If you have this issue, you can find the full article on page 73.  The article compares the Corolla wagon to the Ford Escort wagon, the Saturn SW2 wagon, and the Subaru Impreza L wagon, all of which are in the "small station wagon" EPA size class.  I don't make the entire article available here; only information relevant to the Corolla wagon is available.  Apparently, Motor Trend never reviewed the sedan version.  This is alright because the wagon is virtually identical to the sedan.  The wagon is only about 20 pounds heavier, and the difference in weight distribution is about as small.  Differences from year to year are probably on the same order of magnitude.  Therefore, it is fairly safe to generally extend the results of the wagon to the sedan.

About the 1ZZ-FE engine (in the ZZE110 Corolla)

About the 2ZZ-GE engine (in the 2000 Celica)

Toyota Variable Valve Timing and Lift technology (VVTL-i)

Jacobs Electronics Ultra Team catalog
3 pages relevant to the Ultra Team product taken from Jacobs' new catalog, in PDF format (723kB).

Even though the AE102 is front-wheel drive, it is worth understanding why rear-wheel drives are better in general.  It would be so awesome if someone took up the incredible task of converting the AE102 to RWD!

All About Spark Plugs
Spark plugs...those essential little things hidden away that so many seem to not understand.  Some neglect them while others attribute great gains to them...both are wrong.  Hopefully, this article will shed some light on the matter.   The information in this article originated from Luis Haddock and was updated by Todd Shelton and then updated by me.  I thought about typing up a textbook discussion on spark plugs but figured that this article would be good enough. NGK has some good tech info on spark plugs as well.  Note that the NGK and NipponDenso spark plug charts are available above.

Stock AE102 Specs

These are the stock torque and power curves for the 7A-FE.  The curves are only approximate (as with all such figures).  I obtained this information (and the info in the table below) from Toyota's brochure for the 1996 Corolla.  Additional info on the wagon is taken from the tech data in Motor Trend's Road Test Review of the 93 wagon (available above under Tech Articles).  The wagon is only about 20 pounds heavier than the sedan, being virtually identical otherwise, so performance figures (e.g., standing 1/4-mile time) can be generally extended to the sedan.

Stock Curves

  Sedan Wagon
4-Door 4-Door DX 5-Door DX
Brakes Power-assisted ventilated discs (front)
Power-assisted drums (rear)
Construction – body/frame Unitized body
Engine Inline 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve with electronic fuel injection
1.6 liters (1587cc)
100hp (SAE net) @ 5600 rpm
105 lb-ft torque (SAE net) @ 4400 rpm
1.8 liters (1762cc)
105hp (SAE net) @ 5200 rpm
117 lb-ft torque (SAE net) @ 2800 rpm
Bore = 81.0mm
Stroke = 85.5mm
CR = 9.5:1
Redline / Fuel cut:  6000 rpm
Speed limited to 115mph
Steering Rack-and-pinion Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Suspension Independent MacPherson strut (front) Independent MacPherson strut and stabilizer bar (front)
Independent MacPherson strut and stabilizer bar (rear)
Turning circle diameter – curb to curb 32.2 ft
Weight/power ratio (lb/hp) NA NA 22.4
Acceleration, 0-60mph (sec.) NA NA 10.8
Standing 1/4-mile NA NA 17.9 @ 77.4mph
Braking, 60-0mph (ft.) NA NA 125
Handling, lateral acceleration (g) NA NA 0.82
Speed through 600-ft slalom (mph) NA NA 60.9
Height – overall, unloaded 53.5 53.5 55.3
Length – overall 172.0 172.0 172.0
Wheelbase 97.0 97.0 97.0
Width – overall 66.3 66.3 66.3
Width – tread 57.5 (front)
57.1 (rear)
57.5 (front)
57.1 (rear)
57.5 (front)
57.1 (rear)
Ground clearance NA NA 4.7
Head room 38.8 (front)
37.1 (rear)
38.8 (front)
37.1 (rear)
38.8 (front)
39.7 (rear)
Hip room 51.3 (front)
54.3 (rear)
51.3 (front)
54.3 (rear)
51.3 (front)
45.9 (rear)
Leg room 42.4 (front)
33.0 (rear)
42.4 (front)
33.0 (rear)
42.4 (front)
33.0 (rear)
Shoulder room 54.1 (front)
53.5 (rear)
54.1 (front)
53.5 (rear)
54.1 (front)
53.5 (rear)

(5-speed manual overdrive)
(3-speed automatic)
(4-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive [ECT])

Weight distribution, front / rear NA NA 58 / 42
EPA passenger volume (cu. ft.) 89.4 89.4 91.1
Luggage capacity – rear seatbacks up / down (cu. ft.) 12.7 / NA 12.7 / NA 31.4 / 64.8
Fuel tank (gals.) 13.2 13.2 13.2
Size 175/65R14 185/65R14 185/65R14
Spare Temporary
Type All-Season steel-belted radial blackwall
MILEAGE ESTIMATES (EPA ESTIMATED MPG CITY/HIGHWAY) These estimates are way too generous

(5-speed manual overdrive)
(3-speed automatic)
(4-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive [ECT])



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