Is it Easy to Mod a Toyota Corolla?

In this brief article, we will discuss the best ways to modify a Toyota Corolla to be more Sporty.

Is it Easy to Mod a Toyota Corolla?

Yes, like any car, a Corolla is also a mod is just a question of Taste, Creativity and Budget. Depending on what you want from your Corolla, there are infinite possibilities for modification that are available. But the monetary investment involved would rise in proportion to the wildness of your mod idea.

What are the best Mods for a Toyota Corolla?

There are basically 2 kinds of modifications that you could  do for any car:

  • Functional Modifications
  • Aesthetic Modifications

In this article, we will look into on the Functional Mods. The Toyota Corolla has been position in most markets as an entry-level “Boring” sedan that would carry you and your small family in comfort from Point A to B (and also never give up on you!). Because of this historic image problem, the first thought with anyone thinking of Mod-ing his/her Corolla would be – “How do I make my Corolla sportier?”. It is but obvious that most of the Mod ideas already tried out have revolved around this basic idea of adding varying amounts of ‘Sportiness’ to the car’s character.

If the car left the factory dull and boring, think of it as an advantage. Because Toyota never gave any sporty options, there is all the more opportunity for you to add any amount of sportiness.

Engine and Drivetrain Upgrades

Since Engine power comes at a price, lets look at the different engine tuning in terms of cost. The Engine mods in ascending order of cost would be: 

  • Aftermarket Free-breathing air filter, 
  • Engine ECU Remap using either software or an aftermarket ECU altogether
  • A performance exhaust
  • An aftermarket Lightweight flywheel
  • Porting the Cylinder heads (This could actually also cost nothing if you DIY it; all you need is the right power tools)
  • A high-performance fuel pump, Aftermarket fuel injectors, a racing camshaft, and would be the upgrades worth considering for the Fuel-Intake. 

Now the most serious and expensive engine upgrades would be

  • Switching from a naturally aspirated (factory setup) to forced induction like a turbocharger and/or a supercharger
  • Re-building the Engine Block and adding aftermarket Pistons; Aftermarket Cylinder heads and performance valves

OR

  • Simply getting a used, good condition in-line 6 2JZ gem of an engine from the old generation Supra. 

The trouble with mod-ing any car is that it is a vicious cycle. With all this increased power, the trouble is that you cannot neglect the drivetrain that has the responsibility of handling all this extra power. The best Drivetrain Upgrades would be:

  • A heavy-duty racing clutch assembly
  • Upgrade to a heavy-duty gearbox
  • In order to extract maximum joy out of your upgraded engine, a Chassis-mounted Gearshift lever mount would be a useful addition. The chassis-mounted gearshift would make the shift quality sporty, quicker and more accurate. By doing this, you also get to adjust the gearshift throw as per your liking.

Wheels and Tires

  • All that extra power needs to be put down on the tarmac. No Mod can be complete without the ‘Racer’ look. Alloy wheels that accommodate wider and lower profile tires are essential.
  • Even if there is no other upgrade done, general psychology works this. If your Corolla has the alloy wheel mod, it gives the impression that you are a person who enjoys driving and likes to take car of his/her car

 Suspension Upgrades

  • With all the high-performance packed into the engine and drivetrain, you need to enjoy the experience of this extra power.
  • It goes without saying that you need your Corolla to handle better at fast corners 
  • In order to make this happen, the most basic thing is to have your Corolla sit at the right height. About 1 inch of drop in the Suspension height would be ideal, not too high to spoil the handling, not too low that the ride comfort suffers because a lower spring would need to be harder in order to avoid hitting the bump stop.
  • For this, you could look at aftermarket lowering kits that would include modified struts and control arm.
  • For really good handling response, it is important to ensure that you have the right kind of damping at the front and rear. The best way to go about this is to replace the OEM shocks with adjustable shock struts, where you could tune the damping values for bump as well as rebound
  • If your suspension arm bushings are worn out, it would be better to take the opportunity to upgrade the bushings to Polyuerthane. Polyurethane is much harder as compared to the factory rubber buhsings. This upgrade will eliminate alot of the play that earlier came with rubber bushings. You will experience much tighter cornering behavior.
  • The downside to Polyurethane bushings, however, is that the isolation from road vibrations would reduce and you would start to notice road unevenness much more than earlier.
  • Similarly, the Anti Roll bar could be upgraded to an adjustable type. That way, you could dial in exactly how much roll-stiffness you need in order to bring balance to the handling of your Corolla.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have discussed the best ways to modify a Toyota Corolla to be more Sporty.

In case of any queries or comments, please feel free to ask.

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