1985 Tercel DLX bad Auto tranny?

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TercelCars5
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My tercel:: 82.83.84.84.84.85

1985 Tercel DLX bad Auto tranny?

Post by TercelCars5 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:35 am

I just got a really clean 1985 Tercel Deluxe Auto. has about 118K miles.

Previous owner was driving it on the freeway, trans made a noise. He pulled over & it never moved again.

I picked it up from a trans shop that said the front diff was locked up. The car starts and runs just fine, and when you put it in drive, or reverse, it moves the car forward until it can't (about 3 inches back and forth movement). I don't think the front diff is locked up because when we drug it out, the driver tire was rotating backwards. Even in neutral the car would not move.

From everything I saw, The only thing that makes sense is that the parking pin came loose and is stuck locking the gears in "park".

Trans fluid on the dipstick looks great.

Anyone ever seen such a thing? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

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

Re: 1985 Tercel DLX bad Auto tranny?

Post by Petros » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:45 pm

it is a fairly easy procedure to remove the diff front cover and inspect it. if the diff was bundled up, it would be obvious. it seems if you raise both front wheels and rotate one, the other should rotate the other direction, would indicate the diff is still working, at least the spider gears in the center.

check the shift linkage, sometimes that can index improperly and lock it up. Do all of the external things/inspections first to rule out any easy fixes. than pull it if you have to. Always diagnose the problem before you try and fix it.

I am not familiar with the internals of the auto-trans in the Tercel (they are under powered enough as it is), but I did have one for a short while that someone gave to me. I drove it to Austin from WA and gave it to my daughter to drive while in collage.

the Tercel auto trans is generally very reliable from what I have seen, but there is a link between the gear box and the front diff that sometimes fails. usually that does not lock it up. you have to pull the trans and separate the front diff/housing assembly from the main gear box to inspect that.

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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TercelCars5
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My tercel:: 82.83.84.84.84.85

Re: 1985 Tercel DLX bad Auto tranny?

Post by TercelCars5 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:00 am

We could not get the car off the tow dolly, We loaded it with Jacks and rolled the tow dolly under the car.

We have new front axles here, so we just cut the cv shafts in half so we could get it to roll in neutral. The car would not move at all in any gear position including neutral, that is why we cut the front CV shafts.

With the car in 4wd we got it to move backwards with a noticeable pop. Then we got it to go forward and drive itself around the lot, but it was not happy, you could feel intermittent resistance. We backed it into a stall and might do a manual swap to it, unless this auto trans I have lined up seems good.

I am under the impression that we will just have to pull the trans out no matter what. But will check under the front diff cover first. Might be a week, depending on when I can get to it and time off from work.

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