View Full Version : Celica Platform

06-30-2005, 05:08 AM
Here is the question:

What are the specific pros and cons to using a Celica as a platform for drag racing?
Considering the following: The car is not intended as a daily driver in addition to racing. It does not need to be economical, quiet, or practical in anyway. The car also does not need to be driven home after the race. It would be a trailer queen.

Now, go to it, boys!

06-30-2005, 05:18 AM
What Celica are you looking at using? I know you mentioned getting a 6th gen GT. But if given an option I would go with a 1rst-3rd Gen as they are RWD. But you are really not giving us enough information to go off of, how much money are you looking at spending? Are you going to be entering contigency races? If so what parts are available? Are you looking to recoup your losses? Are you just out to hand the domestic boys thier asses? How fast do you want to go?

There is a lot more to it than putting a big engine in it to make it fast.But again dragging a FWD is not my forte, I know there are others here that will know more than I do. But you need to set up some stipulations as to what you require and how far you are willing to go to achieve it.

06-30-2005, 05:38 AM
Murgatroy - just who I was waiting for!

I need you to ask questions to get me thinking. I'll do my best to answer.

First - which celica? Yes I did want to go with a 6th gen because I have the opportunity to get one for relatively cheap, I'm used to working on 6th gens, and well, I have a LOT of parts for 6th gens (body panels, parts car).
You have a very good point about the RWD celicas. With more discussion, I may chose to go with a 1-3gen. But lets say (for discussion's sake) we stick to the FWD 6 gen.. just to see what kind of modifications we can do.
I know that converting it to RWD is out of the question.. although toying with the idea is like sucking on a lollipop.

Second- How much money? Maybe we can speak in stages. 1st: $500-1500, 2nd: $1500-3000, 3rd: 3000-5000, 4th: $5000+

Third- On the one hand, out to hand domestic boys their asses, but go a step further. We'll see where that leads. Keeping all options open.

Forth- How fast CAN I go?

06-30-2005, 05:39 AM
on the subject of FWD vs. RWD --- What about the possiblity of a locker? Is that possible? I've only known it to be done on RWD cars.

06-30-2005, 06:09 AM
Use an alltrac and strip the shit out of it. Ultimate traction plus much stronger parts like axles and trans. Just find a junker 4th gen one on ebay since you won't be using it for DD. If you strip everything off of it including the noise shielding etc, I'd be willing to be bet you could run low-mid 13s with the stock motor and turbo.

06-30-2005, 06:40 AM
The All-Trac is a good idea. It would be fun, and if you buy that it can be used to rally as well.

If you do go with the 6th it can be converted to RWD. If you are out to go fast in a straight line and only that you won't have to worry about the creature comforts that would lose going this way. It essentially will take the whole bottom of the car and cut it out. You then build a tube chassis lay the car back on. It would be a little more difficult than back halving the car since you don't have a frame that is made to handle all that stress to begin with, but not entirely out of the question. You could then use a shortened Ford 9" rear and a ladder bar of 4 link set up. This would give you the ultimate in traction (shy of 4WD) with less to break. That however is going to be cost prohibitive. You are looking at an easy $5k just to get a rolling chassis. But you could put a V8 in there and really show them.

If you however stay FWD I really can not help you as again I don't know as much about making power with a Toyota as others on the site do, I will step down in that aspect. I will tell you that it will have to have forced induction of some type, and probably an engine swap if you really desire to competitive.

As for handing the domestics thier asses... well, look for the J-Bodies and Neons. ;) However if (I know this is absurd) you tube chassis the car and go for a RWD setup, you will have a better shot at poaching the V8s.

Again how fast you can go depends soley on how much money you can put in the car. Lisa Kubo can run 6s in her ProFWD Saturn, yeah that is a pipedream for most of us, but it can be done.

Also, what kind of dragging are you talking about? Grudge Match Heads Up or actually Bracket Racing? If you are in it to Bracket Race all you have to do is get closer to you dailed in ET than you opponent gets to his. Yeah, I know it is not the same as blowing thier doors by a tenth a second but it still counts as a win.

06-30-2005, 06:44 AM
Murgatroy - just who I was waiting for!

Hehe. I feel special. :D

:bird: to all you leg humpers out there, she wants me!!

06-30-2005, 06:58 AM
also.. are you racing against all out drag cars? i mean, you could hit low 12's relatively easily, and that would be quicker than most everything you see on the roads. might wanna do some light weighting, suspension work, and drag slicks and that'd help out a bit.. i dunno, you have a lot to play with. definitely a 3sgte swap though ;)

06-30-2005, 08:17 PM
Basically, with enough money, the possibilities are endless.

The first opposing force against you with a 6th gen, is power. Ramp the power up to around 300 crank HP, and then your going to be looking at some traction issues. Tire size/tire compound is going to play in a big factor here. Stiff rear springs and struts is a must in this case.

An open differential is not going to work very well, for very long.

There is a 9 second FWD celica out there. You need to think realistically, and then clearly state your goals. From there, we can help you. If you just say you want low drag times in a 6th gen chassis, your going to recieve various responses on ways to do it. V6, V8 swap, FI, convert to RWD, convert to AWD, gut the car, leave the car intact. Be specific in your goals.

07-01-2005, 06:42 AM
Sorry guys.. been working a lot but I'm back to reply!

I wanted you guys to start throwing ideas out there so I can narrow this down. I'm thinking hypothetically just to see where I can go with the Celica and if it's worth it.

From my understanding, conversion to RWD is extremely hard. AWD is even harder and we're talking about extra weight. If I want AWD, I'll buy an all-track. For this discussion I'm talking about getting a standard GT 6 Gen and seeing what I can do with it.

The tube chassis idea would be a huge project (not quite ready for that, don't have the equipment - but not out of the question if i get very serious about this later on).
Gutting the car completely, putting in a cage, upgraded suspension and supports, replacing panels - this is what I can do. I liked what Sean said about traction and suspension issues - these upgrades are what I was planning on.

As for how fast I want to be- I liked what Xeril said. That's about what I'm interested in. Can't be the fastest but blow some doors off and be faster than all local Celicas - that would be sufficient ...for a while.

Question - Is it worth it to stick with FWD? Can I do enough with it to be happy for a while?
No one answered me about a locker. I don't know much about them.

3sgte is a great engine and can def get up to 300hp with some mods. What kind of times are we looking at for that (on FWD)? I guess I should be asking Lagos about that.

Ok here's some of my ideas.. I get the 6th Gen, I gut it completely, replace some panels, weld cage, upgrade to firmer rear suspension, add some slicks. (That's chassis) As for the engine (if I want to keep the engine) I would replace headers, fuel pump/injectors, intake manifold(?), add turbo, intercooler, take out a/c, pwr steering, etc., upgrade to lightweight flywheel, sport clutch, change gear ratio (to what, i'm not too sure about), maybe change the tranny.... annnndddd..... I can't think of anything else right now.

Comments about the above?

I'm kinda curious about swapping a Camry V6 or a Lexus V8. I'm looking this shit up as I write this so I'll be back with more stats.

07-02-2005, 08:35 AM
Forth- How fast CAN I go?

as fast as you have money for.

and im with Murgatroy, 1st-3rd gen due to the rwd factor

Dr Tweak
07-02-2005, 08:57 AM
I'm kinda curious about swapping a Camry V6 or a Lexus V8. I'm looking this shit up as I write this so I'll be back with more stats.

Kristin, I've been looking into this option myself and I've found that the Lexus 3VZGE 3.0 V6 is possible, even perhaps the 5VSGE from the Hilux!!! (3.5 V6). I don't know the exact specs on these, but they are large GE class engines so I'm sure they're putting down some impressive torque and hp.

I'll help with the swap if you need a hand, or whatever else. :cool:

07-02-2005, 09:02 AM
If I want AWD, I'll buy an all-track.

Please never do this spelling again, or I will be forced to ban you. :hehe:

As for a car, definitely a stripped 4th gen st185.

07-02-2005, 09:03 AM
Please never do this spelling again, or I will be forced to ban you. :hehe:

As for a car, definitely a stripped 4th gen st185.

This from the man with the 4th gen ST185 :ugh: :hehe:

07-02-2005, 09:10 AM
hmm personally, for an all out street/drag car, a 6th gen would not be my pick.

i would have to agree with the 1st-3rd gen comments because of the RWD aspect. plus 3rd gens look so effin awesome :happyrun:

if you would go for an early gen, i would say an engine swap is in order. the R series engine is a torquey truck (aka NOT MADE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE). i would say a good swap would be to a 1UZ-FE/3UZ-FE hybrid, (UZ from lexus GS430 & LS400) a 7M-GTE, or a 2JZ-GTE if they can be squeezed in there :drool:

EDIT- dang i go to leave a post an my idea already gets mentioned :ugh:

07-02-2005, 09:30 AM
This from the man with the 4th gen ST185 :ugh: :hehe:

Crap, I owned myself in the process, :laugh:

That's st165

Fuck posting past 3 in the morning anymore. Night folks.

07-02-2005, 11:03 PM
Personally i see nitrous being THE power adder for drag racing.

It costs nothing. If you have trouble you can shut it off. You can add it to anything.

Engine space is not a problem. Simple engine plumbing, no custom oil lines, no fancy intercoolers ...etc

Do you need RWD to put down nitrous properly ? Nope, you can go progressive ...

however nitrous does need displacement... With a built motor you can spray a 200% shot of nitrous. I think If you calculate it chemically (33% oxygen by volume vs 16% for normal air?) you can easily see a 100% shot and possibly more factoring in that the nitrous is sprayed at 1600 psi and so it is forced in the air just as normal air would be under boost...

But at some point... there IS a limit to how much nitrous you can fit in a motor depending on your displacement... so a 4 cylinder may only take a 200 hp shot where as a nice V8 can take a triple stage 150-200 shot of nitrous ...

If i went dragging i'd use nitrous, with an auto, with long gears and sticky tires and LSD.

you can do that on a celica. But the max you'd want to spray a 5sfe or a 3sge might be around 150-200 hp... That still only gives you a 300hp car. If you had a v6 making 200hp stock in there, you could spray another 200 on it no sweat and that's you at around 400hp and about hte same weight (1mzfe have aluminum blocks don't they?)

I dunno.

If you really wnat to go out drag racing make sure you're shooting for 500-700 hp.


07-03-2005, 04:06 AM
Please never do this spelling again, or I will be forced to ban you. :hehe:

As for a car, definitely a stripped 4th gen st185 .

This from the man with the 4th gen ST185 :ugh: :hehe:


07-03-2005, 04:36 AM
Wow, alot of opinons. I just came from your other thread, too. Whew.

Anyways. My take.
First off, let's be realistic. I don't see you being able to stick in a tube frame, or do a V6/V8 swap anytime soon [btw, the Camry V6 fit's in pretty good. Only have to mod one engine mount, and figure wiring, and fuel lines. And exhaust, whatever else. It will bolt right to our transmissions.]
So, I'm going to focus on your 6th g.
To start, you don't need one in "good" condition. In fact, [to save $$] the worse the better, within reason. Why waste a nice condition Celica only to tear it apart. Is the ST a lighter chassis? Forget about all the accesories and crap. Torn down to bare chassis, I would go with that if it's lighter.
Second, once you get it, tear EVERYTHING off it. I mean everything. Except the dr seat and steering wheel. Lose the dash [make a mount for gauge cluster], everything under it, carpet, ect. Strip the engine bay. All you need is the engine, transmisson, alt[maybe even lose this], and wiring for such.
Lose the headlights, all the extraneous crap. If you are serious about it being a pure drag car....
Get you some steelies for the rear, and some decent 16 x 7/8 rims [for cheaper tires than drags]. Maybe even 14s or 15s.
Now, with your shell/drivetrain, run it at the drag strip. Just to see what it will do. For shit's and giggles.
Now, source out a 3SGTE engine/harness/ecu. If you don't have a 5S, get a 5S shortblock. I guess 92 ^ would be preferable, as it has a place for a knock sensor. Make you a 5SGTE. Eventually, you will want to replace the rods/pistons, but for now, on your [assumed] budget, it will do.
You will also need a better transmission eventually, but the current one should hold up for now [unless you have a ST]
You'll also want a fmic, intake, no exhaust, mbc, fpr, upgraded fuel rail, and a few other bolt ons I forgot/you can afford.
This [should] give you ~ 270 crank hp. Maybe a little more [added displacement/no acc]
Not sure on what kind of times you'd be looking at, but I'd say [assuming you'd have traction] maybe low 13s? :shrug:

This is all to get you pretty quick on a low budget. And, it's just a rough draft. There's alot of little stuff involved in doing the above, but, In my opinion, it's the cheapest way to the quickest time for a 6th g.
There's a whole crap load more stuff you can do once you get $$$, but I'm trying to be realistic for your near [1-2 years?] future.
IE upgrade engine internals [custom], EMS, better turbo, upgrade transmission, :blahblah:

* Forgot about nitrous..Just like Nuke said...*

07-03-2005, 04:42 AM
I just want to thank you guys for the last few posts. This is some real thinking and just what I was looking for.

I'm at work right now so I can't comment much. I'll be back later tonight to do a little more research and throw a bit more at ya.

Thanks again guys, this is why I LOVE CT!!!!!!

07-03-2005, 11:00 PM
I have to warn against the juice (N2O) on an unmodified engine. With a 4 cylinder for all out drag racing purposes anything over 30-50HP will blow you engine. If the engine if set to handle this. With forged internal and a slightly lowered compression ratio, head studs, high flow fuel pump, timing retard full MSD spark setup and a progressive stage set up, I would suggest no more than 150HP shot. Again this is from my Domestic experience, but I have seen a lot of guys melt thier mills thinking that they are gonna drop a second off thier time.

The weight reduction in gonna be the biggest thing. Think 100lbs=0.10s. That means everything from the inside. EVERYTHING. Door glass, dash, seats. Get a lightwieght seat from Summit for like $30 and build an aluminum dash for your gauges. This will be a pain in the ass to start with, but it will save you hassle and time in the end. Put a cage in with a 5-point and you will pretty much be done with interior mods till you break to the 10s (as long as it is a 10pt cage.) I would then suggest fiberglass fenders, hood and removal of anything that is not needed for the car. If you are gonna run in a street legal class, I am not sure about your sanctioning up there, but here it requires you to still have headlights, tail/brakelights, a DOT approved windshield and wipers and sound conrol. You will not be allowed to run straight opn exhaust (unless if is not that loud.)

Once you complete all that you will have shaved a good amount of time. Wheels and tires are gonna be involved in that step too, maybe even more important. You want big fat wrinkly tires up front. Weld makes some 13" and 15" featherwieght wheels for FWD slicks (same brand I use on my Mustang) they are not cheap, but they wiegh nothing. You want as big a tire under that car as you can get. Notice I say under. The tire will not be allowed to be wider than the car. Fender flares are fair game as long as there is not a no body mod rule. Since it will be a track only car you can go for a 9-10" wide tire up front as long as you can fit it. You may have to trim the fender lip. Out back you will want as small a tire as you can get. 16"-17" as narrow as possible to reduce drag.

These again are simple things that most ppl will save to do last. They will make you faster from the get go, and they are cheaper and easier than tearing into an engine swap. There is more, but I am off to the movies.

I again still have nothing to add for the engine as it is not my forte.

When I get back I will explain about traction, and why it is gonna hurt you. ;)


07-04-2005, 02:25 AM
Traction is gonna be your weak point. In normal driving conditions a FWD car is great, it has more weight over the drive wheels thus more traction. However in drag racing you are going to have weight transfer, where all the wieght is gonna want to go to the rear, this is why a RWD will eat you every time, the weight transfers to thier drive wheels. I am not certain about a FWD set up. I know they make traction bars for Hondas, but a 6th Gen Celica is not a cookie cutter car. All I can suggest is the softest sprig you can get up front to keep the nose down. Stiff struts. In the back you are going to want the stiffest suspensin possible to keep it from squatting. If it squats that is gonna take your weight and traction from the front.

Another thing. Is the car you are looking at a stick or an auto? I prefer an auto. Less gears that are taller, the less you shift the better. I know I am gonna have ppl argue and disagree, but shifting causes you to lose time. Most pro drag cars use a GM Powerglide. A 2 speed. I am not sure how well a Toyota tranny would handle the abuse, but they are cable operated correct? If so, you can retrofit a (insert brand here) Ratchet shifter. That will help with your shifts and you can hold the Engine speed in your powerband. You can have almost any speed shop fix your converter to a correct stall speed. This of course is getting into all the fine tuning of the engine and so forth. Again a foriegn area for me.

But, if you want to stuff a SBC in there and RWD it with a tube chassis... I can help you build that engine... :hehe:

07-04-2005, 03:14 AM
I was leaning twoards the auto too. Just not sure how much power it can handle.
As far as rear springs, what about sticking something between the coils to prevent them from compacting?

07-04-2005, 03:45 AM
putting headers on a turbo, did she really say that, sounds like she doesnt even know what she's talking about. does she know how much time and money this would cost.. just buy a fast car to begin with or a bike.

07-04-2005, 03:56 AM
putting headers on a turbo, did she really say that, sounds like she doesnt even know what she's talking about. does she know how much time and money this would cost.. just buy a fast car to begin with or a bike.
That is why she is in here asking us about it.

When she gets if built though, she has to slap some CTech.com stickers on it or else we are hunting her down. ;)

07-04-2005, 04:28 AM
Like omg, i'm totally a girl so like if I don't know anything then like.. maybe it's because i'm blonde?! *dumb look* Nah, I don't know ANNYTHING about cars! teehee!!!!

totalyl like.. i need to buy shoes... what's a celica?

07-04-2005, 04:29 AM
So many people took pictures of my car at the last show shine and drag... my CT stickers are displayed all over the place now.

07-04-2005, 03:13 PM
Like omg, i'm totally a girl so like if I don't know anything then like.. maybe it's because i'm blonde?! *dumb look* Nah, I don't know ANNYTHING about cars! teehee!!!!

totalyl like.. i need to buy shoes... what's a celica?


07-04-2005, 04:41 PM
^now that's what im talking about. honestly get an alltrac, keep the interior make it decently fast. a dedicated drag queen i cant see for myself, if i was you, bc i would want to take that puppy out more than once a week just to race, i would like to drive it around.

07-05-2005, 01:42 AM
Depends what you're looking for.
Some people want a dedicated drag car that will blow the doors off a dd.

07-05-2005, 06:08 AM
hey i haven't lost interest in this thread... i'm moving out of my apartment... i need to work at 6 am tomorrow... so... i'll post later

07-05-2005, 09:50 PM
If it were me, this is what I would do.

6th gen ST platform

4AGTE, using a 20V head (blacktop), GZE bottom end along with a GZE tranny.

Forged pistons and rods, along with a sleeved block. Head would get a full upgrade from TODA racing (valvesprings, retainers, valves etc). I would use a GT35 turbo mated to the engine by an equal lengh "ramhorn" type manifold. I would use a 38 mm wastegate with a full 3 inch exhaust.

I would get custom axles made, a TRD LSD, and some big ass racing slicks. I would make some custom traction bars and solid mounts for traction's sake.\

Interrior would be fully gutted with an autometer gauge panel with tach, shift light, oil pressure, boost etc.

Hmm... sounds like fun eh?

07-05-2005, 11:49 PM
It would probably be alot easier/smarter to use the 3SGTE w/5S block.
Much more displacement, and easier to find parts.

07-06-2005, 03:54 AM
It would probably be alot easier/smarter to use the 3SGTE w/5S block.
Much more displacement, and easier to find parts.

What difficulty in finding parts? I don't see any difficulty in getting parts for a 4age block, or valvetrain upgrades for a 4age 20v. 3SGTE's are heavy and are limited to 2 intake valves.

07-06-2005, 04:18 AM
I didn't say it was hard to get 4AGE parts. Simply that it's easier to get 3SGTE parts. It's a more common engine in the US.
And 2 valves or not, it has more potential than the 4AGE, which more than offsets the slight increase in weight. Remember, this is going to be a dragster, not a autocross car.
Look at the dude that has 800+ whp in his MR2.....
5S block, 3S head.