1983 Toyota Starlet (KP61)



Purchased pretty much the shell with most of the parts for $900. It came with a JDM small port 4AGE and an AE86 T50 Transmission with SR5. I flat towed it to my grandmothers garage, hence the tow bar. Its an 83 so its the rarer of the two body styles that came to the US.





Bought a gasket kit and put the motor back together. AE86 exhaust manifold worked and almost bolted up to the stock exhaust.



Being that it was a small port 4AGE, or high comp or red top, the intake manifold has a different runner design than the AE86 4age or early Blue Top 4AGE, or big port. Thus the intake manifold needed to be modified for the RWD application as the small port 4AGE only came in FWD configuration. There are two ways of doing this. I opted for the easier way, however doing this made me lose the PCV port on the manifold.



I pulled a stock harness from a AE92. Proceeded to rewire and stretch wires to fit.


Designed new engine mounts utilizing the stock AE86 mounts.


Finished intake manifold


In order to pass smog and the BAR inspection, I had to retrofit the EGR and utilize a factory airbox. This one is from a AW11.




Knowing that the axles in the KP are basically toothpicks, I opted for a much stronger rear end from a Celica Supra snagged from the junkyard. I would have preferred an AE86 unit for the less unsprung mass, however due to overly inflated prices of AE86 parts, I chose an option that is less than half the cost and unbreakable with a little baby 4AGE turning it. LSD’s can be had from the junkyard for around $60 for these 7.5″ ring gears.





Disk brake comparison, Celica supra right, stock front KP on the left.



Swap almost complete.


Completed and driving.





Side by side with my old 3SGTE AE86.







  • george

    Good job! I as well have a starlet and want to change a few things on it.Any advice on how and where to source the parts? Thank you.

    • admin

      It’s hard to get parts, but your best bet is Club4AG or eBay. Sometimes they show up in junkyards so keep your eye out.

  • george

    good job!

  • Luis landa

    How much dis you have to cut and weld to make it fit into the starlet . I’m looking into do the same thing in mine

    • admin

      You only have to weld on the top mounts to fit. The bottom ones bolt on. However, it’s a bit wider than an 86 rear end so you will need to run flares.

  • Jose aviles

    By any chance would you have a passenger fender for sale really trying to find one and I can’t since this body style is so rare

    • admin

      No sorry, I sold the car 4 years ago. I do have a rear hatch still though.

  • ALEX

    I’m currently doing this swap. did you cut the top 4 link mounts off the factory rear end, clean em up and then just weld em to the celica rear end with proper spacing so the link bars fit?

    • admin

      It’s been so long but I think I just cut the top mounts off the KP rear end and welded them to the Celi Diff. The bottom mounts already bolted up. The top mounts go out at an angle so it doesn’t need a panhard bar. If you don’t have solid links or poly bushing, the rear end will walk a bit. Or add the panhard.

  • Alexis

    I want to drop a 3SGTE on my 81 kp61. Any place you recommend that can help me with a project like this in Cali?

    • admin

      I would do a Beams swap then add a turbo. 3SGTE’s do not like vertical orientation as oil drains are only on one side of the head.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *