Magazines:  Real Estate Shopping: Adult Costumes  |  Kids Costumes  |  Car Books  |  Guitars |  Electronics
This Issue Archived Articles Blog About Us Contact Us

Camry Creation

A full-house modified Toyota Camry turbo!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • Toyota Camry feature car!
  • Performance built turbo engine
  • Custom paint and body kit
  • Custom leather trim
  • A real eye catcher
Email a friend     Print article

The Aussie family car is a popular base for local performance build-ups – fast Falcons and crazy Commodores abound. But what about the other local family machines?

Well, Lawrence X proves there is life beyond Falc-odores!

Check out Lawrence’s 1996 Toyota Camry – it’s almost certainly the wildest example in Australia. From its custom paint and bodywork to its leather trim and turbocharged engine, this Camry is every bit a rival for modified Falcons and Commodores!

Lawrence purchased this Camry CSi (chassis code SVX10) about 5 years ago as a family run-around. Back then, this white-like-a-household-appliance Camry stood humbly on its hub-capped wheels. But it wasn’t long before Lawrence chucked on a set of aftermarket wheels and a high-flow exhaust.

Click for larger image

Just these basic mods gave the Camry a big improvement, but the standard 2.2 litre four (coded 5S-FE) lacked the grunt to tackle other local sedans. And here’s where a turbocharger enters the equation.

Lawrence considered dropping in a Toyota turbocharged 2.0 litre (a 3S-GTE) but decided to try something different – turbocharging the factory 2.2. In the first instance, an extra injector and micro-fueller went on to provide increased fuel flow at high engine load. However, a couple of years after this set-up was installed, a piston ring broke and Lawrence decided to start again.

Time for a proper engine build.

Click for larger image

Lawrence had Warren from WM (Warren Molloy) Motorsport haul out the original engine and rebuilt it with 7.4:1 forged pistons, later model floating conrods, an ARP stud kit and ARP rod bolts. The 16-valve head was also modified and ported before being installed on a multi-layer 3S-GTE steel gasket. Interestingly, a Celica GT4 sump fits straight on the 5S-FE bottom-end – this gives increased oil capacity and baffling. The standard engine’s balance gears were also removed – Warren says he balanced the engine internals and there’s no noticeable effect on NVH. An ARE oil breather is also fitted along with a new washer tank and radiator header tank.

Click for larger image

Warren says the angled-back engine position creates a heap of space for a sexy looking custom exhaust manifold. As you can see, long length runners have been used to give maximum visual appeal. This mounts a GT25/28 ball-bearing turbocharger, which gives an excellent combination of boost response and top-end power. A custom dump pipe leads into a 3 ¼ inch exhaust system with a 3 inch high-flow cat converter. A relatively quiet 8 x 4 inch TRR muffler is used with a subtle(?!) 5 ½ inch tip.

On the intake side of things, there’s a pod filter mounted in the guard and, a little further downstream, an ARE air-to-air intercooler with a 60mm thick core. A TurboSmart Type 2 blow-off valve is also fitted along with a ‘Boost T’ to give up to 16 psi manifold pressure. The inlet manifold and throttle remain stock.

Click for larger image

Controlling the fuel and ignition is an EMS Stinger 2.1 programmable management system. The fuel system kicks off with a Walbro 550 pump teamed with Series 5 Mazda RX-7 injectors and the standard Camry pressure reg. The ignition remains stock.

Backing the turbocharged 2.2 litre is a standard replacement Camry 5-speed manual gearbox – the first unit suffered an exploded diff... The clutch is a 30 percent upgraded Exedy unit intended for a ST205-series Celica and the standard axles haven’t given any problem.

The highly modified state of the engine should come as no surprise given this Camry’s wild body and exterior – there’s nothing that’s been left untouched!

Click for larger image

The normally conservative Camry lines have been reworked using a modified Trust front bumper (which was originally intended for a R32 GT-R), R34 Skyline skirts (cut and reshaped), a Camry ‘T-Bar’ at the rear, chromed wiper arms and headlight eyelids. The bonnet has also been treated to a custom air vent and raised TRD letters in the metal – Lawrence makes the point that it’s not a cheap an’ easy fibreglass job. The paint is a custom mix that’s based on Ford’s XR-series Blueprint Blue with added red pearl and flake. Looks good, eh?

A set of Ferretti 18 inch rims wearing Falken ZE326 225/40s capably fill the guards and, as you’ve probably already noticed, the car rides low. Very low. Lawrence has gone for a Pedders suspension upgrade comprising adjustable coil-overs, front and rear camber kits and a front strut brace. The brakes have also been tweaked – there are quality aftermarket pads, drilled discs at the front and slotted discs at the rear.

Click for larger image

Indoors, the standard Camry CSi trim is nothing but a memory. From top to bottom, the cab is re-trimmed in grey/white soft leather. The seats are re-bolstered versions of the originals and you’ll also appreciate the custom floor mats, matching painted steering wheel and dash and custom hood lining with a raised Toyota emblem. A new set of gauges has also been roped in – boost, oil pressure, water temperature, battery voltage and a giant tachometer. Tunes are pushed from JVC front splits and rear 6 x 9s, a pair of JVC amps and a 15 inch Earthquake sub.

Click for larger image

With absolutely no effort to reduce weight or enhance the chassis for drag racing, the Camry’s best quarter mile time to date is a 14.0 at 106 mph. Note, however, this was achieved on worn street tyres and standard suspension – a 13 second pass seems like a definite. This is further justified when you consider this Camry rips out 178kW at the wheels (on a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno) along with super-strong torque through the rev range.

Lawrence is more than happy with the performance of his Camry and the amount of attention that it creates - even during a mundane run to the shop. Still, Lawrence wouldn’t mind moving on to something else and he is contemplating selling this beast. If you’re prepared to make an offer around AUD$34,000, you can get in contact with Lawrence through

Thirty-four grand might seem a lot - but consider what some people are prepared to spend on their Falcons and Commodores!


WM (Warren Molloy) Motorsport
+61 7 3205 1951

Did you enjoy this article?

Please consider supporting AutoSpeed with a small contribution. More Info...

Share this Article: 

More of our most popular articles.
How Ford in the US is developing safety systems - it's very weird!

Special Features - 29 September, 2009

Water-Blasting Cannons and Shopping Trolleys...

Building and installing the in-wall speakers

DIY Tech Features - 11 December, 2012

Sound in the Lounge, Part 3

Understanding circuits

DIY Tech Features - 9 December, 2008

How to Electronically Modify Your Car, Part 2

A new intercooler... and the series conclusion

DIY Tech Features - 22 March, 2011

Powering-Up the 1.9 litre TDI, Part 5

Drive a diesel? Find out when to change gear for best performance!

DIY Tech Features - 22 January, 2008

Finding the Best Gear Shift Points

12 cylinders, 6 camshafts and in 1929, the fastest car in the world

Special Features - 23 July, 2013

The Golden Arrow

The revs and loads at which engines use least fuel

Technical Features - 10 April, 2008

Brake Specific Fuel Consumption

How the air moves under a car

DIY Tech Features - 9 March, 2005

Modifying Under-Car Airflow, Part 1

Useful in literally hundreds of car modifications

DIY Tech Features - 22 July, 2008

The eLabtronics Voltage Switch, Part 1

Using oxy gear to braze metals

DIY Tech Features - 3 July, 2007

Beginners' Guide to Welding, Part 3

Copyright © 1996-2018 Web Publications Pty Limited. All Rights ReservedRSS|Privacy policy|Advertise
Consulting Services: Magento Experts|Technologies : Magento Extensions|ReadytoShip