Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Suspension and other discussion

Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby underscore » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:23 pm

Right now my car is ~1" lower than stock on coilovers. I'd like to do a couple of novice RallyX events but I'd rather not do them while lowered and I don't want to swap back and forth to the stock suspension and then need an alignment several times a year. I was thinking of making some spacers that go between the strut and the body similar to these: https://andersondesign-fab.com/product/ ... k-spacers/

Looking at the Subaru guys they run up to 2" spacers on top of a stock MacPherson setup front and rear. Is there any reason we can't do the same? Since plenty of people lower their cars much more than 1" I would think there's got to be similar wiggle room going the opposite direction. My plan would be to make 2" spacers which combined with my -1" coilovers would net me +1". Then I can pop them on, run an event, and take them off.

I'm guessing they would throw the camber off a bit (unless I try to factor that into the design) but since the events are fairly short and I wouldn't be using my daily-use tires I don't think it would be a problem.
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby fussellbug » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:06 pm

There's a seller on eBay with 20mm, 30mm, and 40mm strut spacer sets. No idea about quality, but they are made of polyurethane and require changing out the studs on your strut mounts.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Complete-Leveling-Lift-Kit-40mm-for-Toyota-CARINA-ED-CELICA-CORONA-EXIV-CAMRY/263548090868?hash=item3d5cb0b9f4:g:eLsAAOSwQVpaqCt7

BTW these ship from Russia.
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby underscore » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:26 pm

Interesting, I wonder if the RC hood vents would give me enough clearance for the studs even with the spacers taken out. Wresting them in and out over the long studs might be tricky though.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
It's for sale! http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=52181
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby JRWperformance » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:46 am

I modded my struts with coil over sleeves from Summit racing. I also did the removable top cap mod on the rear struts to fit strut inserts. I use regular 2.5 inch springs you can find just about anywhere in all kinds of lengths and rates. I can crank them up and go a couple inches taller than stock. I did it because I want to drive in the winter and our winters can make the roads pretty crappy.
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby underscore » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:52 am

Do you know which part number fit? I've been doing more research and it seems like if I swap just the strut assemblies all I should have to correct each time is the camber, which is easy enough to DIY. My current plan is to have a stock setup with spacers for the rally/winter stuff but if I can go to generic coils for cheap then I've got a lot more options for playing around with spring rates later on.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
It's for sale! http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=52181
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby Numbchux » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:13 pm

underscore wrote:Right now my car is ~1" lower than stock on coilovers. I'd like to do a couple of novice RallyX events but I'd rather not do them while lowered and I don't want to swap back and forth to the stock suspension and then need an alignment several times a year. I was thinking of making some spacers that go between the strut and the body similar to these: https://andersondesign-fab.com/product/ ... k-spacers/

Looking at the Subaru guys they run up to 2" spacers on top of a stock MacPherson setup front and rear. Is there any reason we can't do the same? Since plenty of people lower their cars much more than 1" I would think there's got to be similar wiggle room going the opposite direction. My plan would be to make 2" spacers which combined with my -1" coilovers would net me +1". Then I can pop them on, run an event, and take them off.

I'm guessing they would throw the camber off a bit (unless I try to factor that into the design) but since the events are fairly short and I wouldn't be using my daily-use tires I don't think it would be a problem.


My background: I've lifted many Subarus with various different methods/kits, and have spent plenty of time under my AT180 and now ST184. My understanding of the ST185 chassis is theoretical.

The limiting factor with "suspension" lift (obviously there's no frame, but on a unibody, independent suspension car, suspension lift is just struts, body lift spacers drop the engine/transmission/differentials to match) is almost always CV joint angles. Stock static ride height already puts them at a downward angle, so by lowering the ride height, you're actually reducing the axle angle. So, no, 2" up is not the same as 2" down.

2" up on a Subaru is typically pushing it a bit. Typically a front axle joint will start failing after 50k miles or so. Seems like a long time, but a Subaru joint will easily last 200k or more as long as the grease/boot are in good shape.

My concern with doing the same with a ST18x chassis, is the front axle shafts are much shorter, putting the joints much closer together. Meaning a 2" lift would mean a much more extreme joint angle. But, if you're just planning to spin your height or preload adjustment up a couple inches for the day, you'd probably be fine.

I raised the rear of both my Celicas about an inch using Ground-Control coilover sleeves. Super easy, but being FWD, I have no axles to worry about back there. The suspension geometry change, combined with the spring rate balance change (stiffer in the rear, stock in the front), really wakes up the handling without having to rely on sway bars (bring on the rough/uneven roads).


Have you gone to many local RallyX events? Different venues may or may not require much ground clearance. There's a few venues we use locally, and really only one has ground clearance concerns (and even then, if it's dry not too bad).
-Chux
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'87 unTurbo 4Runner, 4.3 swap, 35s
'89 Subaru XT6, 2.7L Flat 6, AWD, awesome
'84 Subaru Brat, 4" lift, 29s, Impreza engine, 4.444s
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby underscore » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:15 pm

The extra lift would only be for a handful of events a year, though the car will be driven harder at this time so the increase in wear would be more than if I just drove around town for a couple days. The local RallyX venue looks to be pretty good but the TSD events can hit some nasty terrain that even the organizers don't know about if someone chewed up the road after their last sweep. I'd rather be wrecking cvs than oil pans but I don't want to be intentionally destroying anything.

Before making any spacers I'll definitely keep an eye on the cv angles and try to emulate what they'll be at different points in the travel at different ride heights. I may need to limit the downward travel at full droop if the angles get too crazy. I'll also have to factor in the ability to wrestle the assembly into the car, something like a 1" spacer or some spacer plates might be easier to work with and easier on the car.

Ideally I should sell the car and get a Subaru since parts are easier to source and I wouldn't feel bad risking damage to a Subaru (I don't really like them) but I'm not getting any interest so I may have to just work with what I have.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
It's for sale! http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=52181
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby Numbchux » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:34 pm

Yea, 1" over stock just for shorter events would probably be fine. I'd be looking at a skid plate before I went any higher than that (I'd probably do that anyway...).

If you plan to do much, might be worth getting a beater just for RallyX. Almost anything can be competitive and fun. Unfortunately I live pretty far away from the closest events, so I won't be running much until I get my van sorted out and acquire a trailer.
-Chux
'91 Celica GT vert, poly bushings, rear discs, etc., DD
'87 unTurbo 4Runner, 4.3 swap, 35s
'89 Subaru XT6, 2.7L Flat 6, AWD, awesome
'84 Subaru Brat, 4" lift, 29s, Impreza engine, 4.444s
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Re: Has anyone lifted their Celica?

Postby underscore » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:47 pm

Skid plates are something I'm hoping to do either way, a lift and taller tires can only help so much.

The "beater" we've been using for the last two TSD events was my 92 GTS, it behaved pretty well but it's lowered 1.75" so it had a pretty rough time at the last gravel event. We destroyed one tire, one strut, one strut mount, and at least one control arm mounting bolt. I'd be happy to keep using that a bit longer but long story short I have to combine all my car needs into a single vehicle. If I can't find a buyer for my GTFour then by default it'll have to become that vehicle.
★ 1991 GTFour RC ~ "Rebel Scum" ★
It's for sale! http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=52181
Build thread http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=44216
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