Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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Ace
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My tercel:: '83 DLX 4WD Tercel wagon 3AC

Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by Ace » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:21 pm

I'm interested to hear comments about the different (factory) differential ratios on 4x4 Tercels and how it affected drive-ability and economy etc, especially from those people who have driven both versions.

From the archives here:
the '83-84 Tercel4wd with manual trans has 3.73:1 diff ratios front and rear, the '85 and later used 4.1:1 diff ratio. [what about auto trans?]

So the later versions are turning 10% higher revs at a given speed, presumably for a little more oomph at the expense of economy. Was the final drive ratio change accompanied by any other changes in engine specs, transmission gear ratios, or tire diameters for 1983 through 1989 ? No, as far as I know.

Wikipedia says:
Second generation (1982–1986)
North American Tercels were all fitted with the 1.5-liter engine, producing 63 hp (47 kW) at 4,800 rpm.

On my '83 4x4 Tercel I can attest that there is no great surplus of power with a 1452cc motor, but I like the economy. Of course it helps to have the right gearing. I can feel the decrease in performance at altitude, or with any significant load in the car.

Just interested ...

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rer233
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Re: Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by rer233 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:06 pm

I've had numerous T-4's with both final drive ratios- far as I'm concerned, the 3.73 is by far the best setup. Car's not going to be a dragster with either ratio, and I prefer the taller gears due to the lower RPM's @ highway speeds. Only had one A/T 4WD and the thing SCREAMED on the highway. I converted that car to M/T and went with the 3.73 gears- couldn't be happier. I call that my "sex change" car.
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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Petros
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Re: Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by Petros » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:40 pm

I have driven cross country with both final drive ratio Tercel4wd, manual transmission. Economy is about the same, may be a small difference, but not much.

I have come to like the 3.73 final drive too, a bit quieter at hwy speeds, perhaps slightly less wear and tear on the engine too (fewer revs per mile). I have found the stock 63 hp a real problem pulling out into traffic if there are any passengers or additional load in the car with the higher final drive, but with a few tweaks only a little more power seems to make up for it.

the lower 4.1:1 final drive is much better from a stop, especially when on a steep hill. and better for slow going on rough roads.

I thought I remember that the first and second gear ratios are slightly different on the '85-87 transmission, but the gear box is interchangeable between the early and late transaxle assembly, and most (but not all) of the internal parts.

the auto trans has a diff ratio between the two, something like 3.9:1.

Although the engines were all rated at 63 hp in all model years sold in North America, there are some slight differences in the emission controls, carb jetting, and I suspect slightly different cam shaft profiles as well. this may affect the torque curve shape for the different gear ratio, or perhaps between auto trans and manual, but still have the same peak hp.
'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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xirdneh
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Re: Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by xirdneh » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:16 am

the auto i converted to manual had 3.73 gearing , i do not remember what year it was

first gear and granny gear ratios are different between 3.73 and 4.1 manuals
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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Ace
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Re: Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by Ace » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:19 pm

Since my older 1983 Tercel has the taller 3.73 final drive ratio, I'm thinking it's not a good candidate to try taller tires. I've always gone with the standard size 155/80R-13 tires and I guess I'll stay with them.

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Re: Wondering about different axle ratios on Tercels

Post by Tercel__jon » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:27 pm

Does anyone actually know the ratio difference between the 1st and granny gears between the 3.73 and 4.10 transmissions?

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