First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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TEC3
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First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:50 pm

Hey Guys,

I rescued an 83 gold Wagon locally here in TN. I have always wanted a 4wd Tercel and use to ride around in my friends dad's wagon back in the early 90's.

Mine needs a good bit of work, but runs fine, transaxle shifts well and the 4wd seems to engage. Here is a list of questions/ need to knows.

1. I am going to be base lining over the next few weeks. What are the best fluids to run in these older, smaller motors? I generally run Mobile 1 Full Synthetic in all my vehicles (Land Cruiser, Tundra). some people are fearful of Full synthetics, but most have high quality seal conditioners in them. If I am off on this please suggest what to run as well as weight of oils for diff, transaxle, motor, etc... Also I generally run Toyota Red coolant. currently it has Green unknown in it. Should I flush and go toyota red or just go with something in the green family of quality?

2. The brakes are not working, they go to the floor. I am going to bleed the system really well, but are their any known brake issues or weak points?

3. Lift... how do I easily lift these? I want 2" or so. Not too much. More just to stiffen up the ride. the rear is so soft if I stand on the bumper it sags badly

4. I believe after reading here I am going to go weber car. 32/36 Manual choke seems to be the answer, but where is the best place to purchase the kit/ adapter plate.

5. What else do I need to know about my little awesome Wagon... I am all about learning and getting this thing in tip top shape.


Thanks everyone and glad to be a part. Will post pics soon.

Tommy

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NWMO
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by NWMO » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:12 pm

Tommy,

Congrats on your purchase, I'm enjoying my "new" Terc as well.

1) Synthetic vs conventional oil is a matter of preference it seems as there are two camps. I run synthetic in my 7 gen Corolla, but stayed conventional on the Terc. Green a/f is fine, I'm sure the red would be fine as well. Lots of info here if you search. You might want to check/renew the transmission/transaxle oil as it protects some of the hard to replace components.

2) Typical disc front/drum rear. It's not uncommon to find some rusty lines that may be an issue. I had to replace the MC on mine, but I don't know that it is a common failure.

3) Again, lots of past discussion here. Most like to keep the lift to 1"-1.5". Concerns with going higher predominantly relate to CV joints and added stress. There use to be heavier coil springs for the front ( for a/c cars). I can't find them now, but have a NAPA store looking for "old stock" for me. I am going with the "Nissan Pathfinder" springs on the rear, supposed to add a couple of inches there.

4) I am new to the Tercs as well, but have so far had no real issue with the stock carb and my car is running well. A lot of Weber conversions, but I think it is more often about "loosing" the vacuum emissions which apparently creats many idle and run issues. I noticed a small leak at the base of mine, but I'm getting 29 to 30 mph and enjoy how it drives.

Chris
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Mattel
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My tercel:: 1988 Corolla 4wd Wagon (AKA Corolla All-trac) 5speed, AC, Power Sunroof, Windows, Mirrors, Steering, Locking, Diff Lock, 14" Corolla SX Alloys with Silica Hankook Tyres, 4afe, King Springs, Upgraded Headlights, Full Synth oils, 210,000kms
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by Mattel » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:08 am

I would keep the stock carb if it is working well. My weber surged a little bit and was a little harder to drive and not noticeably a better performer than the stock one.
Previous: 83 Tercel SR5 4wd, 84 Tercel SR5 4wd
88 Corolla 4wd Wagon 5speed, All power options, Fact Sunroof, Diff Lock, 14" SX Alloys, Hankook Tyres, 4afe, King Springs, Upgraded Headlights, Full Synth oils, Tow Bar, 210,000kms

TEC3
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 am

Thanks guys.

The stock carb will not idle when cold and idles extremely rough when warm. Drives fine though.

TEC3
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:31 am

So do you suggest rebuilding the carb rather than a Weber. I had a Weber on my Nissan 720 a few years ago and didn't have the greatest experience. Actually it was the reason I sold the truck

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Petros
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by Petros » Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:56 pm

Tec3,

Welcome to the form! sounds like you have a vacuum leak, not a problem with the carb. The stock carb works well and is very relialabel (as far as carbs go), going to a webber will cost much more than rebuilding the carb (but check for vac leak first, there are many threads on this topic, you will not fix it by rebuilding the carb if you have a vac leak). The webber appears to give a little more power (not as much as you might think), will give you similar or slighly lower fuel economy, and may not work as well when starting in extreme cold or hot weather. but the webber is a popular carb, and reliable. I prefer the stock carb, I have driven both many miles.

the brakes are generally reliable, but they will eventually go bad, particularly if the car sat without being driven much. Most common problem with brakes is the rear wheel cylinders, and the master also sometimes gives problems. A simple test: if you pump it up and hold it: does it slowly bleed off, or does it hold the pressure? If it bleeds off, it is likely the master is bad, if it holds the pressure, likely it is the rear wheel cylinders.

The brakes btw, are too small for the car, they are easily overheated and warped the front rotors. If you want to replace all of the brake system parts than go over to the repair guilds sections and and do the Brake Upgrade I outline there. All the parts you will need to put larger brakes on the car will cost about the same as stock replacement parts. Most of the parts you need you can get from Rockauto.com at a great price. you might also replace the brake flex houses as well, they do not cost much. you will not regret getting the larger brakes on the front. when you buy new brake parts try and only by NEW, not rebuilt or remanufactured parts (most of them are junk out of the box).

There are lots of threads on brake, gear oil types and benefits. Make sure you follow the directions in changing the transaxle fluids, it should be changed (you might consider doing a transmission flush: 50/50 gear oil and AFT run it for a day and get it good and hot at high speeds, and than change it out, it will bring out sludge and grit a simple change will not). Use quality gear oil, I like 50/50 synth/mineral oil blend. the trans was not designed for synthetic gear oil and I find the syncros stop working and it seeps out the seals with all synthetic (too slippery). make sure you get all 4.1 quarts of gear oil in the trans (see the thread on this topic).

do not raise the car too much, the front cv axles get damage with too much an angle on them. I would not go over 1.5" unless you do a lot of welding to changing the angle the cv axles meet the wheel hubs.
Always diagnose the problem BEFORE you try and fix it. or you will waste time and money. There are lots of threads on this topic too. go read them.
'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)

TEC3
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:13 pm

Petros,

My searchfoo must be failing. I searched both transmission and tranaxle fluid change and nothing came up. What exactly is the procedure?

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Petros
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by Petros » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:27 pm

start here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7442

go into the individual sections on "repair guides" and search within it "gear oil change", or just read the titles on the leading threads on the first page.
'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)

TEC3
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:24 pm

So basically put the car on ramps, drain from all 3 drain holes, then fill only from the front diff(final drive).
4.1L of diff fluid and you suggest 50/50 syn-Dino mix. What weight do you suggest? I will probably do the ATF/ gear oil flush based on your suggestion. 2L of each I assume? 24 hours, distance, speed and I would guess at some point engaging 4wd to cover all basis. Then swap for 50/50 gear oil the next day. What about additives like Lucas?

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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by ARCHINSTL » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:50 pm

TEC3 wrote:Petros,
My searchfoo must be failing. I searched both transmission and tranaxle fluid change and nothing came up. What exactly is the procedure?
Welcome!
When doing a search here, single words work OK - but If using more than one word, be sure to put quotation marks before the first word and after the last word; otherwise you might type in, say, master cylinder, and wind up with hundreds and hundreds of posts on master (only) and cylinder (only).

Changing trans/diff lube - ALWAYS make sure you can remove the fill plugs BEFORE draining!!! Those plugs have been on for over 30 years and some hamfisted "tech" may have rounded off the &^%$#@^ soft metal Toy OE flats.
Note also that, after draining from the reap plug, it should be threaded back up and then it should be unscrewed 7-8 turns to allow lube to enter the rear chamber.
I made these mods to a cheap socket and open end for the plugs: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6976&hilit=socket
Tom M.
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TEC3
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by TEC3 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:03 am

Thanks Tom,

I will be giving this a go in the next week or two. looks like I should pick up a few 24mm wrenches and a 19mm to grind down and help with the process.

Petros I will be hunting the vacuum leak and seeing about getting it cleaned up. I actually have a ton of OEM toyota vac line from when I rebuilt my land cruiser motor. It should work well for replacing the old stuff on the carb. I really can't wait to dig into it. August is an extremely busy time for me at work(college campus) so the whole getting a new toy and then letting it sit has been extremely frustrating.

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Petros
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by Petros » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:03 pm

there are several things to keep in mind when looking for a vacuum leak:

1) first use a diagram of the vac lines, follow each line on the diagram and verify all of the lines are connected properly at each end, and it is routed to the correct location. visually inspect for cuts or splits. Often previous mechanics messed up the routing. having it routed to the wrong location can also make it act like a vac leak. Do not assume who ever worked on it before knew what they were doing, even if they were a mechanic.

2) With the engine running use carb cleaner spray to squirt around all the vac lines, gaskets, and components on and around the carb and intake manifold to look for leaks. With the engine running first try a squirt down the carb to see if the engine speeds up or slows down (it can do either since the engine responds differntly to the type of chemicals in the spray). Than squirt in small puffs around various places on all the hoses, gasket surfaces and other areas that use vacuum. if the engine changes speed when you squirt at one place, than you found the leak location.

3) rev the engine and spray carb cleaner down the carb throat, on the linkage and throttle shaft area and confirm the linkages all move freely.

4) go through each of the diagnostics in the service manual for the various vac operated systems to verify function and make adjustments as necessary. It is not difficult and all of the system tests only take about 10 to15 min once you know what to do (the first time will take longer of course because you have to locate where all of the stuff is). do not be intimidated, take it one system at a time and just follow the test/adjust procedures as shown in the manual. You will learn a lot and it will not take as long as you think, none of the tests are difficult.

Also, verify that the spark timing is set at 10 deg BTDC (rather than the factory 5 deg), and than see if it runs better. Doing these things usually will fix any running problems related to the carburetor and emissions systems. If some of the components fail the test you usually can by pass it, cap it off, or ignore it, depending on what it is (check back with us here).

After all of that, if you find the carb is still causes hesitation and flat spots, than consider rebuilding it or replacement. Usually a rebuild is not necessary, besides the cleaning, the most I have ever done on perhaps 20 different Tercels, (in addition to what I outline above) is replace the accelerator pump and the AAP diaphragm, or pulled off the top of the carb (carefully!) and clean it out with it still on the car.

Always diagnose the problem BEFORE you try and fix it!

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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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by irowiki » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:05 am

I would use good ol walmart green antifreeze.

I ran mobile 1 in my old 83 (had it in it when I bought it) and it loved it! 30+ MPG all the time! My 87 burns too much oil (shoddy rebuild) to make full synthetic worth it.
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by The Professor » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:30 am

I'm still pretty new to Tercels myself, but have decent experience with Subarus of a similar vintage.

One comment I will add about engine oil to to avoid resource conserving oil at all costs. These types of oils are designed more for emissions compliance than keeping old engines happy so they have removed a lot of the additives, like ZDDP, that are excellent wear inhibitors because they can damage catalytic converters if your engine burns A LOT of oil. (Small oil leaks won't kill your cat, but if your exhaust resembles a Bob Marley concert, you're doing it zero favors. Plus it's probably near-dead at this age/mileage anyway)
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Petros
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Re: First post... Just picked up an 83. Tons of questions

Post by Petros » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:00 pm

oil additives like STP are almost all ZDDP, so you can buy the cheap wal-mart 5 quart jugs and just add half a bottle of STP to each change. Or you can buy the more costly diesel engine motor oil blend, or the "high mileage" blend. Synthetic oil would work too, but it is kind of costly to use if your engine is worn, it will go through oil real fast. It is also so "slippery" it will seep past oil seals if they are not in good condition.

When my high mile engines burns oil I just use the cheaper motor oil with STP.
'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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