New here. Need help. Need a trans.

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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Atech88
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My tercel:: 1983 sr5. Stock

New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Atech88 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:52 pm

New to this Tercel endeavor. I acquired an 83 Sr5 wagon with the 6 speed 4wd trans. We own a repair shop in Crestview Florida and had a traveling customer leave the car and title with us. It has some transmission issues, ( hard to shift) won’t go into neutral. Out the $1000’s a month we pay for repair information I can’t find anything on this gearbox even down to the model. The car is in decent shape and I’d be willing to pay for a decent gear box/ transmission/ or whatever you call this monstrosity that I’m quite sure (based on years in this industry) never frequented Florida. If anyone has a whole unit and is willing to ship please let me know. Any comments or a model number/ where to find parts would be appreciated also. I’d would opt to go into the unit but gobs of silicone on every mating surface makes me very uncomfortable to try and salvage especially with absolutely no information. Thanks for listening to my cry for help.

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LowBuckCanuck
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:32 am
My tercel:: 1986 DLX 4wd Wagon "Jenny"

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by LowBuckCanuck » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:09 pm

Atech88 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:52 pm
New to this Tercel endeavor. I acquired an 83 Sr5 wagon with the 6 speed 4wd trans. We own a repair shop in Crestview Florida and had a traveling customer leave the car and title with us. It has some transmission issues, ( hard to shift) won’t go into neutral. Out the $1000’s a month we pay for repair information I can’t find anything on this gearbox even down to the model. The car is in decent shape and I’d be willing to pay for a decent gear box/ transmission/ or whatever you call this monstrosity that I’m quite sure (based on years in this industry) never frequented Florida. If anyone has a whole unit and is willing to ship please let me know. Any comments or a model number/ where to find parts would be appreciated also. I’d would opt to go into the unit but gobs of silicone on every mating surface makes me very uncomfortable to try and salvage especially with absolutely no information. Thanks for listening to my cry for help.
Unfortunately, the transmission in the 4wd models was shared with no other vehicle produced by toyota, making replacement parts and replacement units a rarity.

It may sound basic, but have you tried replacing the gear oil yet? These transmissions can be kind of finicky with low oil/wrong oil weight/old oil etc. It's certainly quicker and cheaper than a whole gearbox shipped across the country.

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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
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Mattel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:23 pm

A flush with some cheaper oil and then replacement with a good Synthetic Redline like oil (GL-4 I believe) makes a huge difference! I guess its a manual because you said SR5 model but is it an auto. Make sure that the car is in 2wd and not 4wd on the road or the transmission will bind and cause permanent damage!
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

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Petros » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:42 am

Hi Atech88,

welcome to the forum. there is a lot of good info on this site about the Tercel4wd, including a ton of transmission information not available elsewhere. you many not need a new transmission, but it may be able to fixed with some external repairs. first remove the center console and get the shift lever out. it is held in place with a large circlip. there should be a ball and cut with a plastic liner where the lever meets the top of the linkage housing, and a ball and cup on the end. if any of these bushings are work out or sloppy it could make it hard to shift. these parts are available from some aftermarket sources. if the shift lever ball is shot, you will have to replace the lever, several of us have extra (including me) and can send you one if that is what you need.

Also, the linkage has an interlock to prevent it from going into two gears at once. occasionally this pops out and causes the linkage to lock up. the fix is fairly simple, you remove a plug on the side of the trans (it is up high next to the linkage area, you should not have to remove the trans to do it) and you can put the lock out mechanism back into place. The spring loaded mechanism can get sledged up and and it sticks, the easy fix is to run the trans with a 50/50 mix of ATF and cheap gear oil for a day or two, get it warm at fwy speeds, and than drain it all out. than put in quality gear oil. that will clean out sludge, deposits and other junk that built up in the oil and on the parts. this usually helps the shifting and other problems as well. There have been several posts about this fix in the form by form member Xirdneh.

Sometimes when the large bearings at the ends of the trans main shaft and auxiliary shaft wear it allows the gear clusters to slop around making shifting difficult, and usually results in it popping out of gear. these bearings are still available since they are standard ball bearings, you just need to know the size/part numbers. somewhere in the archives, I think in the part number section of this forum, is a list of the bearings and seals for the transmission. unfortunately it means you have to take the trans apart to replace these bearings, it is big job, but with these bearings and new seals it may be all it needs. there is also a you tube video on how to rebuilt the trans done by Robert Walker, known as Xirdneh on this forum.

if none of that works, than you may have to find a replacement transaxle assembly. they are around, but you may have to wait to find one, and than pay for shipping to your location. make sure you get the correct year, there were two final drive ratios and you need to match the front and rear diff ratio. the '83-84 had 3.73:1 ring and pinion front and rear, and the '85 and later had 4.11:1 ratio. that is for the manual trans (auto trans used different again), you can change the gear ratio, but you have to change out the rear axle third member so it matches. the trans is listed as interchangeable, so sometimes these get mixed up and it will damage the drive drain, the trans or the rear diff. they are only interchangeable as a set, front and rear, they do all bolt up (the wires for the 4wd and back light are a bit different, but that is an easy change).

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)

Atech88
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 pm
My tercel:: 1983 sr5. Stock

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Atech88 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:31 am

Thanks for the help. I’ve already removed the trans. (It is a manual). The shifter housing was full of crud/ cup pretty much gone. The unit was full of clean fluid. I’ve already removed the bell housing and don’t see anything unusual with the front bearings. I’ll keep digging in when I get a chance. Defiantly something binding keeping it from ever being in neutral despite where you move the shift shaft. I’ll keep posting as I go along.

Atech88
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:31 pm
My tercel:: 1983 sr5. Stock

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Atech88 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 am

Got apart. Found a synchronizer melted together and some random detent balls in the bottom. I’m in the market for a whole unit if anybody comes across one. If I don’t find anything soon I’ll be scrapping or parting the whole car out. Just hated to see the car go to waste but I’m not interested in trying to piece together a transmission I know nothing about that someone already been into.

xirdneh
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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by xirdneh » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:03 am

Must have ran low on oil for too long
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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BaileySims
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My tercel:: 1983 Tercel SR5 4WD
Location: Texas
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Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by BaileySims » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:04 am

There's been one near me that pops up every now and again. Last I seen it was in 2 pieces and a bit of surface rust on some areas. The seller said it had been sitting in storage for several years. If it pops up again I will be sure to inquire about it for you
WAGON MAFIA.
Blood, sweat and beers.

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by Petros » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:44 pm

it would be a shame to part it out if the body is mostly rust free and in good condition. finding ones with good bodies is more rare these days, unless you get lucky. Running and cleaned up, not even restored, these cars will bring $3500 or more, because they are still popular in vintage Toyota circles.

You can find a trans, you just have to keep your eyes out for one. There are various used part websites, and on this forum, as well as the 4wd Tercel Face Book page. I have found them in the local self service wrecking yard, you just have to keep checking their inventory twice a week or so, when one shows up you run over and get it.

be aware there are slight differences between the early and late transmissions. the '83-'84 transmission assembly will bolt right in without any issues, it has the 3.73:1 ring and pinion ratio that must match the rear diff ratio.

The '85-'88 Tercel4wd has the 4.1:1 ring and pinon ratio, and the back up light and 4wd indicator connector are different. it will bolt in, but unless you are aware of the differences you could trash the new trans or the rear diff. sometimes people will install the wrong trans axle assembly and than have major problems and give up on it. that might be the fate of your car. you can still use the later trans assembly, but either you have to swap out the front bellhousing/diff assembly with the old one, if it is good, or change out the rear axle third member so the gear ratio matches. It is an easy swap over if your front diff assembly is good. You have to change out the electrical connector too, but that is easy.

Twice I have pick up "fixer" Tercel4wd that had the wrong year trans installed, and had to fix it before it can be put back on the road (when a seller tell me it has a "new" transmission, it always worries me). So keep this in mind if you can only find a trans from '85 or newer, it can be used to put your car back on the road, but you will need to check it out, perhaps change parts around.

And the 5-speed, front wheel drive transmission that came in the 2wd version of the wagon or sedans, has a lot of common parts that can be used to rebuild the 4wd transmission. all the gear cluster, bearings, syncros, shift forks and other parts can interchange. the gear box is almost identical, it only has the extra low first gear added in, and a longer main shaft that extends into the rear transfer case. Most other internal parts are identical/same.

You can down load the factory service manual with the transmission overhaul procedure in it, from either this site, or from the FB group page.

Don't give up on it, it is worth fixing. you should be able to find what you need if you just look in the right places.

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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garyfish
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My tercel:: 1985 Tercel SR5, stock; 1987 T4WD DLX wagon, manual tranny
Location: North Coastal California

Re: New here. Need help. Need a trans.

Post by garyfish » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm

FYI... on Feb. 10th an '84 SR5 wagon was added to a wrecking yard in Orlando... check out this link for more info:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15038

might be worth a try to contact the yard to see if they have any info about the tranny, the odometer mileage, etc... according to Google it's about a 6-hour drive from Crestview to Orlando
1985 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon, 300K
1987 Tercel DLX 4WD wagon, 6-speed manual, 260K -- got this one running Jan. 2015 (had been sitting for 2 years); this has been my daily driver since 2016

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