1980 Tercel 1AC engine swap to 4AGE

If you have questions about a 4A-GE (7A? Etc) swap, or how to work on it, post here!
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My tercel:: 1980 Corolla Tercel
Location: Sacramento, CA

1980 Tercel 1AC engine swap to 4AGE

Post by smshpdl »

I'm looking for a bit of direction with swapping out the 1A-C, replacing it with a 4A-GE.
I've been told to get a 1987 or 88 Corolla FX16 or a 1990 Corolla GTS, both front wheel drive, as a donor vehicle.
Positives: I've located a shop and mechanic that is willing to do the work. The mechanic has the ability to weld.
Caveat: The mechanic is concerned with a plethora of issues that may or may not arise, as he has never done an engine swap before. This brings me to the forum. If I could get a general step by step process, he's agreed to do the swap. I'm hoping someone here can give simple direction with using the entire front clip of the above mentioned donor vehicles. Engine, transmission, front & rear suspension and brakes, and any other parts needed to make it all work. Ideally I'd like for my 1980 Tercel to have the drivability and enough power to climb hills without getting into the slow lane and be a bit more zippy.
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: 1980 Tercel 1AC engine swap to 4AGE

Post by Petros »

that is a pretty expensive way to get more power in an old econo box. it can be done, there are several threads in the archives of this forum where others have installed 4ac, 4afe, and 4age engines into Tercel4wd, which should be fairly similar swaps to the 1980 Tercel.

it is not a simple bolt up operation, the "hard points" of the engine mounts and trans bolt up okay, but you have to make a full custom exhaust, rig the EFI system (including high pressure fuel pump and fuel lines), and the wires and sensors system to the older carburetor design car. You also have to make the 4age flywheel adapt to your transmission and starter (the best way is to cut down the 4age flywheel to take the ring gear from your car so the starter will engage it). throttle linkage and cooling lines and cooling fan are also systems that have to be sorted out.

Also, I do not know how California emissions requirements will be met. a much more simple way to get more power is to get a 4ac, rebuild it with oversized pistons, a reground performance cam shaft, and than install a larger dia free flowing exhaust system (perhaps after the cat converter because of your emissions laws). the outward appearance of that engine is the same as the 1ac, and everything (manifolds, carb, cooling system, etc) will bolt right up to it. it is not as good as the 4age, but it should get you about 25 to 30 more hp over the 1ac. that would be a noticeable improvement without all the messing around and custom parts fabrications required for a 4age.

Good luck.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)
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