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View Full Version : First time Celica owner seeks advice on performance upgrades, suspension, wheels, etc.



mistarob
01-19-2013, 11:27 PM
What's up guys,
Over Christmas, I took some time off from my business and went on a week vacation with my GF to visit some of her family in a little town called Bend, Oregon. While there, I found and bought myself a Christmas present: A 1994 Black on black Toyota Celica GT 5speed with 32,100 original miles. This car is a 1 owner car, an older man who only drove it around town in the spring and summer months, garaged it during the winter.
This car is beautiful, and IMO, still brand new, based on interior/exterior looks, etc. Let alone the mileage is practically nothing from what I understand with a Toyota. I have never had a celica, nor have I ever purchased an import FWD vehicle. The only recent experience I have had with a FWD car was my 99 GS "Supercharged" Regal which I previously owned. I currently drive a lifted Dodge Ram. So, you can imagine one reason the celica enticed me was to help save money on fuel. LOL
Traditionally speaking, I am a Turbo Supra lover, having fallen in love with my mk3. But I realize that these two Toyota car's are like night and day in difference. I am very happy with my new quick little toy, but i would love some idea's on what I can do to upgrade a few things. What is the shift/rpm time per gear? It sounds like I should shift around 3500-4000rpm, even when im in 5th gear doing 75mph on the freeway. Just doesnt seem right. Like I said before, im new with these FWD 4cyl..
Performance:
This Celica is completely stock, untouched in any way. I love this simply for the fact that I know some kid, tweeker or backwoods hillbilly hasn't raped it (we've all seen the nightmare examples). In the 3 weeks that i've owned this lil beauty, i've put about 700 miles on it, and I can tell you that I would love to add some power and speed to the pedal, stock is simply not at all enough, considering the looks of this car, its very slow, LOL. So since this is fresh and clean, I would like some inexpensive ways to ad some more speed and power to the pedal without straining the motor.
Handling:Wheels/suspension,
I would like to have the care lowered. Would 2 inches be to much, or should I look instead at changing the wheels from stock 15's to maybe 17's. I dont want it slammed, but a little lower would improve the appearance, at least to me. What are some suggestions for the suspension and handling? This car is 19yrs old, I already know the front shocks are shot (perhaps from sitting?), I wonder what else needs replaced? So, I have in mind of just replacing the whole suspension, so it is tighter on corners etc. I would like to upgrade to a wider tire and rim, something that both hugs the road better, and just look's meatier...
Obviously im a newb here. And that can be both annoying, and fun for those of you who are experts. So, lets hear what you have to say.

KoreanJoey
01-20-2013, 01:40 AM
2 inch drop is kind of a lot. The geometry gets all out of whack. People here will tell you, I really push the H&R springs with some decent shocks and a performance alignment. Also, a rear swaybar will really help the car rotate instead of understeer. A 17x9 would look pretty good and there are a lot of options in the 245-255 range for that size wheel.

4thgenceli
01-20-2013, 02:51 AM
^^ speaks the truth.

A popular suspension upgrade for the 5th gen is Megan coilovers. They do provide drop and are quite adjustable. You can adjust the height to your liking as well as the firmness.

As far as performance upgrades, you can do a couple bolt-on upgrades for the 5sfe and get some decent power out of it. If you're looking for motor swaps, the 3sge and 3sgte are the two easiest options. 3sge if you like revving to the moon, 3sgte if you want some boost.

pintoBC_3sgte
01-20-2013, 03:15 AM
Wow low mileage . Any pics?

Murgatroy
01-20-2013, 03:30 AM
2 inch drop is kind of a lot. The geometry gets all out of whack. People here will tell you, I really push the H&R springs with some decent shocks and a performance alignment. Also, a rear swaybar will really help the car rotate instead of understeer. A 17x9 would look pretty good and there are a lot of options in the 245-255 range for that size wheel.


^^ speaks the truth.

A popular suspension upgrade for the 5th gen is Megan coilovers. They do provide drop and are quite adjustable. You can adjust the height to your liking as well as the firmness.

As far as performance upgrades, you can do a couple bolt-on upgrades for the 5sfe and get some decent power out of it. If you're looking for motor swaps, the 3sge and 3sgte are the two easiest options. 3sge if you like revving to the moon, 3sgte if you want some boost.
The Megans are the easiest and best bang for the buck on the suspension. However, the temptation to drop them it hard to resist. As Joey points out, 2" is a lot of drop. That is a lot of ball joint eating drop. Sure, they are only $30 a side, but replacing them every year is not fun. Bumpsteer is not fun. Sure, having that totally awesome slammed badass stance is awesome, but there is a lot of crap that goes with it.

The question you have to ask yourself honestly before you buy a single part is how dedicated and determined are you?

Do you feel like throwing a few thousand dollars at it and wrenching on it a fair amount of time, or do you just want to drive a nice looking gas sipper?

Two completely separate paths.

Facime
01-20-2013, 10:28 AM
^^ speaks the truth.

A popular suspension upgrade for the 5th gen is Megan coilovers. They do provide drop and are quite adjustable. You can adjust the height to your liking as well as the firmness.

.

94 = 6th gen, but yeah Megan coilover kits are available as are various spring kits. Having owned both I find stock for stock the 6th gen handles better than the 5th gen right out of the box. Springs, wheels and tires would be a nice upgrade.

I loved my 94 blk/blk. Kinda wish I hadnt had have to sell it. I would love to see yours.


(Im also in Oregon)

mistarob
01-21-2013, 01:11 AM
Thank's for the info.

crymson
01-21-2013, 01:58 AM
Wow low mileage . Any pics?

^^^ This

mistarob
01-21-2013, 06:37 AM
Ive got some homework to do for sure. I'll keep in mind the Megans. 4thgenceli, what kind of bolt on's would be good for this motor, what kind of results are we talking about here? I'm not interested in doing a motor swap, not with the miles and condition its in. If I were going to do that, id just pic up one with much higher miles, they are cheap enough and fairly easy to find. Shit, I thought my lil car was rare, till I bought it, drove it 4hrs home, and since have seen at least 5 in the lil 21,000 town I live in. I guess it's true what they say, when you purchase a certain car, you will notice that same model everywhere. Id put money that mine is the cleanest and lowest miles in town at least. You in Western O huh Facime, what part? I'll have to get some pics taken, didnt think anyone would care to see pics of a stock car... I wonder who sells and installs Megans? Wonder if Les Schwab does, I need to price out some rims and tires anyway. Or is it better to buy online and have it all shipped to my door? If so, where's the place to do business?

KoreanJoey
01-21-2013, 07:53 AM
I'd install them... but I'm in Washington...

Facime
01-21-2013, 12:26 PM
Im between Corvallis and Newport along hwy20 near Burnt Woods. I have a shop out and could help you do some installation work, but my shop is kinda full currently. Spring is better for me. I dont like working in the cold ;)

Also, Im betting since it black its in serious need of a good polish. I just happen to know a guy that works miracles on paint. Again...maybe in the spring...

METDeath
01-21-2013, 02:27 PM
Again, with suspension, I'd go with either H&R springs on stock struts, or just go ahead with the Megans, cost wise for a PROPER spring/strut install they are pretty close.

For the 5S-FE there aren't a lot of "bolt on" upgrades. Sure, there's the classic "intake" and a few choices on exhaust header and cam shafts/gears. However, those won't add tons of power. Most people that want power swap to a 3S-GTE motor.
Then again, with your low mileage, I wouldn't swap the motor and just run stock or nearly stock until you hit over 120k. Or you could always boost the 5S-FE using 3S-GTE parts and some fuel management software ala Presure2 (don't think he has a detailed build thread on here though).

Murgatroy
01-21-2013, 07:10 PM
Basically for the 5SFE without major work you are limited to I/H/E. Intake, Header, Exhaust. Would will net about 10HP with all those modifications.

If you want to go deeper, you can get a set of custom ground cams, some form of EMS and then add a turbo. At that point, you are at the cost of a 3SGTE swap with factory turbo power that is most cases makes more power than a 5SFTE.





If it were me, I would do the traditional I/H/E, some suspension work, wheels and tires and drive the devil out of it.

Smaay
01-22-2013, 12:31 AM
do this

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/6/1/6/6th_gen_6.jpeg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/6/1/6/6th_gen_4.jpeg

BonzaiCelica
01-22-2013, 04:34 AM
2 inches is the most i would go on lowering springs without affecting the geometry.

i have tanabe df210 with 2.2 in front and 1.5 inch in rear drop. suspension technique front and rear sway bars with mevotech front end links and miata racebeat rear poly end links. I'd say go with megan coilovers definitely. As long as you don't drop them from their factory setting height. you will not effect suspension travel to where you'll notice it. TRD lowering springs are really good and best option for 6th gen celica's. Go to 6gc.net you'll find plenty of info in the suspension/handling/braking threads. the stickied ones especially....

bloodMoney
01-24-2013, 07:47 PM
If it were me, I would do the traditional I/H/E, some suspension work, wheels and tires and drive the devil out of it.

^this.

For the last 3years, I've been on eibach pro springs with KYB GR2 struts and good tires and she is plenty of fun just like that on the dragon.

Ask anyone that's been to the dragon with us, I drive the shit out of that little 6g.

As much as I can for a flatlander anyway.