"Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

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loess
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"Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:36 pm

ne-sunset02.jpg
My first T4WD! Picked her up a month ago in Idaho, she is my daily driver. 1985 SR5 model with 231K on the odo.

I had winter tires installed last week on the 13" wheels. I went with the Nokian Hakkapeliita R2 in 175-70R13 and have been impressed so far with them. Just in time for a frigid weekend of snow and ice here. Handling on dry pavement was a little floaty at first but has settled down, perhaps partially as a result of the much colder temperatures. The ice has also given me my first opportunity to engage the 4WD on the car which is performing beautifully, but I really may not need it much except for steep icy inclines. The tires themselves are handling the road conditions in 2WD no problem.
newtires02.jpg
newtires01.jpg
I have to admit it pains me a little to expose this 98% rust-free vehicle to its first taste of road salt even though I know it was inevitable. Wish I had a garage so that I could rinse it off frequently but such is life. Probably just try to run it through the car wash as much as I can over the winter when it is sunny and above freezing.
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by Petros » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:32 pm

nice ride. keep the rust off of it and it should hold up for a long time.

I often thought that if I lived in a place with salted roads I would put a couple of those ramps in my parking space and several days a week just hose down the underside and wheel wells. likely you would have to use warm water and keep the hose indoors where you live.

Also, there are several threads on rust prevention methods, including putting motor oil down inside the door panels and at the frame drains. A little prevention will keep the worst of the rust away.
'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)

loess
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:12 pm

That's a really good idea about the ramps, I found some on Craigslist for cheap that I might buy this week. I do have a pressure washer and could probably hunt down a really long hose to run warm water from the laundry spigot in the basement all the way outside. Wheel wells and exterior would be easy to rinse but I am a little concerned about blowing pressurized water into bearings and seals on the underside; seems to me that could potentially force moisture and the brine already sitting on the surfaces up into places that it most definitely does not belong. But I suppose if I am very careful about where I aim it I could avoid hitting vulnerable areas. I will be sure to read up on existing discussions about rust.

loess
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm

Knocked all that gunk off with the pressure washer and got a hose adapter for my sink faucet so I can do it at home. Nice shiny Toyster:
cleanterc.jpg
I was driving yesterday, heard a thunk and the clutch got floppy. Clutch cable snapped (actually it is actually still partially attached but frayed). Guess I get to learn how to replace that. Ordered one from Rock Auto overnight shipping should be here Friday.

Maybe this is a dumb questions but can one make their own clutch cable by just swapping a length of new cable into the existing housing if you just obtain the right gauge? Looks like a very thick bike brake line type of material to me.
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by Petros » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:32 pm

they are cheap enough, I do not know why you would want to try and make one. I suppose it would be possible if you use the soft metal ferrules you buy at a hardware store and crimp them in the right place on a generic cable, one at each end. I would not do it unless you were stuck with no way to get a replacement cable.

Usually the factory cable lasts a long time, mine is original and I have about 380k hard miles on it. So getting a factory replacement is well worth it. a generic cable likely will not last as long, most of the hardware store cable comes from communist factories in the orient, you could get some qulity stainless cable from a sailboat rigger, but new would likely cost more than a whole new cable and housing.

Usually the housing goes "dry" and starts to fray the cable, so good lube with molly grease, or perhaps lithium grease, is the key to long cable life.
'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)

loess
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Location: Nebraska

Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:48 pm

Petros wrote:they are cheap enough, I do not know why you would want to try and make one [...] I would not do it unless you were stuck with no way to get a replacement cable.
Right, I was thinking that the ability to swap in generic cable might be an inexpensive backup in the unlikely event that the clutch cable failed again; if one was traveling and unable to obtain a factory cable quickly perhaps big box hardware store materials could be used temporarily. But yes, I guess you would basically spend just as much if not more on materials as opposed to simply buying and carrying along an extra factory one.

FedEx delivered new cable today just as I was finishing removing the old one. Super quick and easy thanks to the FSM and info on the forum. For reference, the one I got is the Pioneer CA908.

loess
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:04 pm

Well, the Nokian tires I bought in December really didn't have much of a challenge to step up to over the winter; we had a real easy cold season here in eastern Nebraska with only a few heavy snowfalls. But I'm still running those tires because they're all I've got! I've been keeping an eye on CL for a set of Miata daisies within a reasonable driving distance and haven't had any success yet. I did finally get a chance to go a-wheel-huntin' at the salvage yards today, searching specifically for 14" rims with the 4 x 100mm bolt pattern that fits the Tercel. Found these on a 1989 Acura Integra. I kind of dig them. Trying to picture how'd they look on the T4WD...what do you guys think?
IMG_20170425_150118.jpg
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dlb
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by dlb » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:22 am

i like those acura wheels because they are a moderately sporty design but they don't look so new, flashy, or sporty that they'd look stupid on a boxy old station wagon. they also look like an 80s/90s wheel so that will also help them to look natural on a terc. i say go for them.

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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: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by Mattel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:26 am

Are those wheels on the acura directional?
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

loess
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:04 am

Not sure if they are directional, and I woulda gave them a try (thanks for your comments dlb!) buuuut turns out I lucked into a pretty good deal for a set of daisies yesterday from a younger kid who had a '93 Miata. Look to be in good shape, I'm about to take them to the car wash bay and knock the spiderwebs and clods of farm dirt off of them.

Local tire shop has a decent price on General Altimax RT43 tires in 185-65-14. I was about to purchase those and have them installed on the daisies, but here is a budget-minded tire idea that I could use some help on:

I've never bought used tires, but I'm considering a drive up to South Dakota to get three used General Altimax RT (not RT43 which are the current model) in 185/65R14 off of a Craigslist ad. They're a couple of years old, have around 2000 miles on them and, according to seller, a good 1/2 inch of tread left. Then there's this one on eBay that I could potentially buy to round out the set, but it looks a bit more worn at 8/32nds tread left:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-P185-65R14 ... 1265867376

I'm tempted to put that all together and save myself some money (as opposed to dropping $375+ on four new tires), but am I asking for trouble with the differences in tread wear? Does that eBay tire look too worn to bother with?

Alternatively, perhaps I should offer to buy two of the used RT's from the CL seller, put them on the front wheels, then buy two new RT43's and put those on back. There are slightly different tread patterns between the two models, and of course the differences in wear in new vs used.

I'm guessing all this would be fine, but just want to be sure before I go to the effort.

Here's a picture of the used Altimax RT's on Craigslist:
altimaxrt.jpg
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Petros
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by Petros » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:15 pm

I have used used tires, and even had different brands of tires on some of the T4wd I drove, if you are keeping the car I am not sure it is worth it. when I was in college I would get tires from the wrecking yard, off the "little nickle" advertiser (which CL actually put out of business, it was the "pre-CL" way to buy cheap used stuff). but I noticed two things, when they were remounted on my wheels, they would act squirely (like they were low on air) for about 100 miles, it seems they had to get warmed up and "settle" into the new installation, after that they felt solid. And they did not seem to last nearly as long before they were worn out. So it seems newly installed tires take a "set" and run cooler and longer than if they were remounted. This became especially obvious when I found some tiers in a wrecking yard already mounted on rims like mine, and I just bought the wheel and tires, and bolted them on (saved the cost of mounting and balancing, so it was worth it).

It is much cheaper to install used, but it only puts off replacing them until later. I am not so sure the they are actually cheaper to run on a per mile basis, because of the accelerated wear. I also had one nice looking but used tire completely shred and come apart (when I have 4 people and camping gear in my Tercel) on the freeway. Fortunately no loss of control, but I had to stop and install the spare. It may have been the age of the tire (which was of unknown vintage, the wheels and tires came off a corolla GTS in a wrecking yard, but they looked in good shape). But it may have also been the disruption of installing them going in a different direction.

unless I am selling the car, I only buy new tires now, in complete sets, and only rotate front to rear so they do not change directions (even thought current "experts" say this is not necessary). I have had tires delaminate on cross country trips perhaps six or seven times over 40+ years of driving. Often these are are Tercel "rescue" trips, recovering an old tercel to fix up and resell, they will have old tires of unknown vintage, usually if they hold air will get me home, but not always. Other times they looked to be in good condition and not so old, yet they still had internal problems that lead to delaminating at speed. OTOH, I bought an '83 T4wd that had not been driving in 5+ years, with almost bald, cracked tires that looked bad, but I drove them 4000 plus miles across the TX desert at high speeds to eventually get back to home in Washington state, and they held up fine. I did not expect them to and happen to have three spare tires on Tercel Wheels in the back.
'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)

loess
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Location: Nebraska

Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:29 pm

Always really appreciate your experienced perspective, Petros. And that you posted when you did because I was about to head up to buy those tires and thought about it more and talked myself out of it. I dropped Toyster off at the shop this morning and had them put on a new set of RT43's. Right out of the gate the car rides so much more quietly and feels like it handles a lot more smoothly. You bet I am keeping her, this car has been such a champion and she has checked nearly all of the boxes that I was looking for when I had to move on from my Previa. Even more stoked on her now with her new shoes. A larger investment up front but feels like the better decision. Very grateful for you and rest of the T4WD community here to bounce things off of instead of navigating blindly.

Next two projects I am aiming for are headlights upgrade and to experiment with swapping in on the driver's side the Toyota Supra MKIII seat that I have in storage. Will probably need to DIY some brackets, and the seat is almost comically heavy at ~75 lbs (!), since it has multiple motors for numerous powered adjustments (lumbar, side bolsters, fore/aft, front & rear seat bottom tilt, etc). My sit bones and my crooked spine are wanting something more supportive for long drives.

Oh, and I will get to removing those Mazda center caps soon in favor of something else :mrgreen:
toyster-daisies02.jpg
toyster-daises01.jpg
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Last edited by loess on Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:11 pm

See the link for what I used for Goldie's center caps:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11401&p=87055&hilit=daisy#p87055
The lug nut covers are crutch tips!
Tom M.
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loess
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by loess » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:32 pm

I collided with a pickup last week in the middle of an intersection not half a mile from my house :cry:

The city has been ripping up streets (as per usual in the summer months) all over the place, creating a minefield of ever-shifting and unanticipated road closures/obstacles. Some crew must have hit an electrical line overnight resulting in the stoplights at this particular intersection defaulting to flashing yellows and reds (I had a red which meant I *should* have stopped completely before proceeding). It caught me off guard as I was driving home and I didn't react in time to avoid the other vehicle's trajectory. Plus it had rained that day, and my brakes have been randomly/intermittently soft lately (an issue which I was hoping to investigate this weekend). So, I slid in the rain and struck the back of the passenger side truck bed. Driver and kids were OK, no one hurt and everyone cordial and friendly in the aftermath which was a relief as my last wreck was much more intense and came with an air of palpable tension and stress.

Buuuut now the front end of my Tercel is a slight rhombus and there's a gaping hole in the radiator which means no antifreeze circulates through the system. I'm hoping I can get the frame straightened at a cost that doesn't stack up too high, replace the radiator and headlight assemblies, and do what I can to bend the metal around the fans so that they spin freely again. I just want to get Toyster back on the road for now, as she is my daily and only vehicle; don't mind driving around a crumpled up hood while I source a new one and other replacement parts and panels. Will have to see what this is all going to cost.

Or I don't do anything to her, and hang onto her while I save up for another Tercel4WD and use Toyster for parts.

Or I sell her as-is (of course if I go that route I'll certainly offer her up here first; she is a terrific T4WD with that deserves to be healed up so she can live a long life!).

I dunno...decisions, decisions. Perhaps y'all have some thoughts/advice/ideas based on these photos of her current state...

t4wd-collision01.jpg
t4wd-collision02.jpg
t4wd-collision03.jpg
t4wd-collision04.jpg
t4wd-collision05.jpg
t4wd-collision06.jpg
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Petros
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Re: "Toyster½shell" 1985 Tercel 4WD SR5

Post by Petros » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:41 am

that is just too bad. it can be fixed, but it is a lot of work, you will need a new front end clip. Strip it down to bare frame/unibody and use pry bars, a come-along, and a big stump to push and pull it back into shape. May not be worth the effort, but likely it can be fixed with out a lot of cutting and welding, just sheet metal bending.

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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