New Head Gasket Time

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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Kozuto_98
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

The new piston rings came in today. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I'll have my engine all ready to go back in.
For anyone curious, here's the factory ring gap specs.
ring-gap.png
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1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
drafting3d
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:23 pm
My tercel:: 1985 SR5 100% original

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by drafting3d »

So to male it clear do you still have a 3A bottom end or a 4A bottom end?

have you surgically cleaned the head bolt threads holes out? including cleaning the bolts?
Ive borked a two separate engine jobs by not doing this, the old torque wrench was out of calibration too (it read under the correct reading by about 20%).
If using a skinny (like a 3/4) extension on the socket head that can alter torque readings too.
I often re-test headbolt torque with my 'new' wrench after a few heat cycles or 2 weeks of running.
The engines are still running strong 20 years later
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Kozuto_98
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

The head bolt that was broken was the cause of my overheating and leak problems. When I took apart my engine the third bolt I went to take out was
already loose. I was going to use a bottom end Jimcrazy gave me which had 1mm oversized pistons, but I was unable to use it because I was sent the wrong piston rings and I'm unable to find any that are in stock to fit the overbore. I was sent rings for a vw as I found out after checking the part number on the box.

Thanks to Jimcrazy's help I'm able to use my original bottom end. He managed to get the broken head bolt piece out and got the thread cleaned up.

Surprisingly after all the head cycling and being run with the broken bolt for so long my head is still straight, I couldn't find any areas out of spec
with a flat surface and feeler gauges.

My best guess with how the bolt broke in the first place is probably somebody before I owned the car. The head gasket I pulled out was relatively new
and the person I bought the car from mentioned that it always had some overheating problems, but he thought it was a failing water pump.
It wasn't :lol:
1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Petros »

the head gasket on these engines are very sensitive because of a poor coolant circulations pattern, uneven cooling of the head will result in compromising the gasket when it gets near the upper end of the temp gauge (it does not even have to get in the red zone). so it is important to keep the cooling system in top shape, replace hoses and t-stat regularly before they go bad, etc. a broken bolt would allow the head to lift off the gasket enough to break the seal. it only "always" has a cooling problem when you are always loosing coolant through a compromised head gasket. when everything is working well, it holds up reasonably well if you do not abuse it.
'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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Kozuto_98
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

20210502_190705_HDR.jpg
Almost ready to fire the engine. Got it all back together.
Just need to hook up some electrical, put the alternator back on, get the power steering and water pump/alternator belt on, hook up some vac lines
and put the rocker cover back on.
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1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
User avatar
Kozuto_98
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Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

Got it all back together yesterday, for the most part. Still need to put my dash back together.
Still have some screwing around to do with my ignition timing. Another couple issues that came up was a real bad oil leak, at first it looked like it was
an direct oil leak from the head gasket, but after later inspection it was the cam seal. Got a new one that I'll toss in later. Only small leak for coolant now is just my heater core. It's a really minor leak compared to what I had, and I'll be replacing the heater core soon enough.

Fingers crossed this engine will last me long enough to get a 4A swap into it.
1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Petros »

the heater core replacement is not difficult, but a lot of work. the whole dash has to come apart. you can either by pass the heater as a temp measure (it is almost summer anyway), or you can throw in a can of Barr's leak should hold it as long as you need to. Do not worry, it will not harm the engine or the radiator, there are no coolant passages small enough to get gummed up with the stop leak.
'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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Kozuto_98
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Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

I probably will loop it. The heater core being broken is my fault, maybe yanked it a little too hard taking off a hose. I tried soldering the outlet back
on, but I'm a programmer, not a plumber :lol:
I just need a little time and patience in a junk yard and I'll have another one it.
1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
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ALiveSR5
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My tercel:: 1985, SR5, 4WD, 6-speed manual, Wagon.
Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by ALiveSR5 »

Kozuto_98 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:02 pm I just need a little time and patience in a junk yard and I'll have another one it.
I do not know what is involved with shipping from the U.S. to Canada (i.e. customs) but here is a heater core, still in the duct housing, that has been box-stored, since 1995, after I removed it from a 1985 Tercel 4WD wagon with under 52,000 miles.

If this would be preferred over going to a junk yard, make me a fair and reasonable offer (plus shipping). If you don't want the duct housing, I could remove the core from it, if it is not too difficult to do.

Just an option. :)
~
Heater_Core_In_Duct.jpg
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No other vehicle that I have ever owned had a heart and soul like my 1985 Tercel SR5 4WD Wagon. :D
~
Great minds may think alike but it is the doers who see their visions become reality. :?
User avatar
Kozuto_98
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Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

ALiveSR5 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:39 am If this would be preferred over going to a junk yard, make me a fair and reasonable offer (plus shipping). If you don't want the duct housing, I could remove the core from it, if it is not too difficult to do.
I'll keep it in mind, and I appreciate the offer. Traveling in NS right now is iffy because we have another wave of covid going around, so I would rather not get a fine for going outside the county I'm in. Hopefully I can get one soon, but if not I'll get in contact.

On another note, I swear my engine is cursed. I spent the majority of my day tracking down oil leaks. The new cam seal fixed the oil leak that I did have, and then 2 more appeared from an unknown origin. I've tried a different oil filter, checked all around my oil pan and oil pump, double checking
my rocker cover seal, and I cannot for the life of me find it. Last thing I tried checking today was my oil pressure sending unit, and one of the leaks
is for sure above it.

I am at a loss as of right now. If it's not something I missed my only conclusion now is voodoo magic.
1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
User avatar
Kozuto_98
Top Notch Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:45 pm
My tercel:: 1987 SR5 Wagon
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: New Head Gasket Time

Post by Kozuto_98 »

Guess I should give some conclusion to the whole process that was getting my Tercel back up and running.

Besides leaking oil, everything has been working great, and I can finally drive on the highway without constantly checking my temp gauge.
Engine also runs a bit stringer now with the ports and valvetrain all cleaned up.

I guess I'll have to use the oil leak as motivation to get 4A build finished and running.
1987 Tercel Wagon SR5 4WD
1997 Acura CL (Sold for 4A-GE money)
RIP 2016 Civic (wrist pin recall)
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