Garage Dori
Fitting Corona RT132 Struts into Corolla KE35

A better, more complete guide here: Toymods Guide

Why Do this Swap?

This swap is alright by itself, but there are better options out there, like the AE86 struts. But I changed to the Corona struts because the calliper bolt spacing is just right for Hilux (chassis: LN106, '89 - '94) 4 pot brakes to bolt on. And use Peugeot 604 Vented discs (maybe diesel),273mm x 20mm. The 4 bolt holes need to be re-drilled for the hub to fit as they don't quite line up. (Thanks Traction_Issues off Toymods group). This is a monster brake upgrade, good enough for me to run 250/300hp with good pads without having to worry about stopping. The downside of this is that the Hilux callipers are quite heavy, which makes your unsprung weight increase. (Greater unsprung weight = Slower for spring to compress and expand over bumps)


Parts Needed:
2x RT132 (or TT132, XT130) struts
2x RT132 (or TT132) steering arms
File and dremel or drill bit used for filing out holes ($5 NZ)
Brake Fluid to top up as some will be lost. ~100ml
Socket Set - 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 23mm(? - steering arm nut)
Pair of Spanners - 16/17mm
Pullers to take off Steering arms.
Long Screwdriver to knock off clip holding brake line onto strut
Hammer to Hit long screwdriver ;)
6x Washers to go under Strut top nuts (bigger ones, use std and these)


1.) Have someone sit on the front guard and undo the Shock Nut in the middle of the strut top. (Under the yellow cap of course ;) 19mm and medium extension)
2.) Repeat for other side.
3.) Jack the car up under engine cross member and put it on jack stands.
4.) Undo the 3 nuts on the strut top. (14mm socket - short/med extension)
5.) Undo the 2 bolts that go from the bottom of the steering arm through into the bottom of the strut. (17mm medium extension)

6.) Using the hammer and long screwdriver, tap off the clip that is holding the brake hose onto the strut. You may or may not have a hole for the brake hose to slide up through. If not, then get a hacksaw out and cut down a gap as pictured.

7.) Undo the bolts holding the callipers on. (17mm medium extension)
8.) Slide the calliper off the disc, unhook hose from the strut, rest it somewhere on the swaybar links, ie: don't let dangle.

9.) Get someone to stand on the control (lower) arm where the radius (castor) rods meet the control arm. Then using all your strength lift the whole strut up and over the steering knuckle. This can be difficult with stiff springs, use your legs. (ie: squat position.)

10.) Now that you've got the strut out, you should have a good look around and understand how everything connects and interacts.

11.) Undo the 2 king nuts a little (17mm and 23mm?) and then, using the pullers, put the push down bit (center shaft) on the middle of the bolt coming through, and the bottom of the puller arms on the edge of the steering arm. Pull the steering arm off each nut in turn (by tightening the pullers).

*** Now its time to reassemble the RT132 strut into the KE3x ***

12.) Put the Corona steering arm back on, tighten up with socket set. (17mm and 23mm?)
13.) Now comes the labourous boring part. Measure the internal circumference of the chassis hole for the strut top (something like 8.5cm), and then measure the external circumference of the corona strut top (something like 9.0cm). That is how much you have to take out of the chassis. (pretty much the whole ring).

14.) You will notice that your strut top won't come through because the holes for the strut top bolts are too close in, so you will have to file these out too, (something like 3mm).

*** Note: you can't just angle grind the Corona strut top as its not thick enough, it will crack ***

15.) Undo the Corona calliper. Now is a good time to change the pads. See bottom for this (17mm medium extension)
16.) Depending on how much hose you've got with the Corona strut, you'll have to disconnect the Corolla Calliper from the brake line and reconnect in with the Corona calliper. (I did it at the strut part - so half Corolla, half Corona brake hose.)

17.) Now get someone to stand on the control arm again and put the Corona strut in.
18.) Tighten up Strut top nuts, putting big washers underneath, tighten up strut bottom bolts.
19.) Slide calliper back over the Corona disc, and bolt back on.
20.) Bleed brakes on this side, whilst wheel is off.



Changing RT132 Corona Brake Pads:

Assuming calliper is not over disc. (Can't think of how to change any other way anyhow.)

1.) Look at how the Corona pads are held in, then lever out old pads with screwdriver.
2.) Lever the piston back as far as possible with a screwdriver.
3.) Place the pad closest to the piston back in.
4.) Tap the floating part of the calliper with the hammer so you can put the other pad back in.
5.) Slide back over the brake disc.

*** Note: Once pads are in and calliper is on disc, the brakes will even up automatically ***


Things to think about:
1.) If you have new pads in, take it easy for a while... then start to do some short stops... then some massive stops
2.) If you are worried about the amount of metal left in the chassis, you can always have a plate made up, (make a template out of cardboard, cut one out of steel), and just use longer studs.

3.) Standard Corona brakes won't be that much better then the KE3x ones, as the disc are about a half inch greater in diameter, and pad area is about a 3rd as much again. But the discs are still solid.

4.) To give the same reasonable ride height with the std Corona springs, I cut one coil off and they are easily captive, max cut would be 1.5 I'd say. for maybe a half inch drop. With AE85 springs and carriers this would be different

5.) I rebuilt the standard shocks with 20/40W motor oil. They are an open bath design, and the seals all looked good, so I just emptied out the old oil, and filled with motor oil, making sure I got as little air as possible. I'm unsure how long they will last though. But I'm changing to Coil-overs + Koni yellows (externally adjustable) anyways.



Since fitting these struts, and now having swapped a few, I've noticed that you can actually get around having to grind out the chassis. Two options:
1.) Use AE85/8 springs and top spring carriers, the springs will locate in the Corona strut (bottom spring carrier) and you can use the 85 top spring carrier to hold it there.. then you can use your standard KE3x strut top. :)
2.) Try and see if standard corolla springs fit... I don't think they locate in the Corona strut... or try some other springs. Apparently Holden Commodore springs are relatively stiff and would locate.

Modify your car safely,


Garage Dori at Tama Autos 2006