New T4WD Owner - Introduction

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TRDFerguson
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Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 6:30 pm
My tercel:: 1985 Tercel 4WD 6 speed
Location: Redding, CA

New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by TRDFerguson » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:17 pm

Hi All,

My name is Andrew and I've recently joined the Tercel 4WD world as of last month with the purchase of a 1985 SR5 4WD. I live in Redding, CA and I found this car in Chico. It actually is one of the cars from this for sale ad: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13542&p=103370&hilit=chico#p103370 . I'm hopeful that I can snag the other one that he has for parts soon.

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So once I got the car home to Redding, I starting tearing down the engine for the head gasket replacement. Lots of oil/water emulsion everywhere.
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After I got the head off, I found a steam cleaned #4 cylinder and a very slight failure in the gasket.
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The engine ran and idled relatively good before the service, so it kind of made sense that the failure was minor. I also was pleased to find that neither the block nor the head was warped. In fact I couldnt get a .001 feeler gauge under the straight edge before or after resurfacing. I found a section of wide square tube from work and stuck some 220 sandpaper to it and sanded away. Things turned out very nicely.

I did valve stem seals for good measure.
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After lubing the cylinder walls and valve train it was time to reassemble. Note: none of the lube you see on the cylinder walls was present on top of the block, I made sure it was clean.
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About 6 hours later, everything was back together!
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The next morning, oil and coolant went in and with the help of her bigger toyota brother, I went to start it.
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But........No start. I sprayed some starting fluid and attempted the start again. The engine fired and immediately (like in one second probably) revved to almost redline before I killed it. I determined that I had an air leak. I found that I had the vacuum line bracket that sits to the passenger side of the carb UNDER the carb instead of on top of it. This was creating a decent leak. I remedied the issue and she started normally after that. I really don't like that the very first time this engine ran it was revved to the moon, but I'll just hope for the best.

I replaced water pump, thermostat (gasket now leaking), spark plugs and air filter at the same time. I still have a hot valve adjustment to do and that leaking thermostat housing to fix before considering it done. I've never done this type of work on an engine and it feels VERY good to have accomplished!!


Thanks to Petros for his informational thread and also helping me through PM.

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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 T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by Mattel » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:22 pm

Thank you for the concise photos and write up and welcome!
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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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by Petros » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:22 pm

congrats on the first time success of your major repair operation.

I find it very useful to put a small coating of gasket sealant on the edge of the thermostat before attempting to install it. the angle is a little award and it is difficult to keep it seated while you thread on the 10mm nuts. I have had the same thing happen, the sealant seems to help hold it in place.

it clearly appears the old head gasket was bad, so it is best to replace the thermostat at the same time just to make sure if that was the original cause, you do not damage the new head gasket with a bad thermostat.

I have noticed as well that it seems when I have purchased old Tercels that have not run for 2 to 4+ years, the thermostat is almost always bad anyway. likely they break down when not being used either.

carefully check your radiator for build up, corrosion, blockage, etc. could flush it out as best you can while you are at it. Soaking it in vinegar for an hour or two, and than flush seems to help remove a lot scale and build up.

if there are any questionable hoses, replace those as well.
'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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TRDFerguson
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Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 6:30 pm
My tercel:: 1985 Tercel 4WD 6 speed
Location: Redding, CA

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by TRDFerguson » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:35 pm

Mattel wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:22 pm
Thank you for the concise photos and write up and welcome!
Thanks very much!

Petros wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:22 pm
congrats on the first time success of your major repair operation.

I find it very useful to put a small coating of gasket sealant on the edge of the thermostat before attempting to install it. the angle is a little award and it is difficult to keep it seated while you thread on the 10mm nuts. I have had the same thing happen, the sealant seems to help hold it in place.

it clearly appears the old head gasket was bad, so it is best to replace the thermostat at the same time just to make sure if that was the original cause, you do not damage the new head gasket with a bad thermostat.

I have noticed as well that it seems when I have purchased old Tercels that have not run for 2 to 4+ years, the thermostat is almost always bad anyway. likely they break down when not being used either.

carefully check your radiator for build up, corrosion, blockage, etc. could flush it out as best you can while you are at it. Soaking it in vinegar for an hour or two, and than flush seems to help remove a lot scale and build up.

if there are any questionable hoses, replace those as well.
I didn't notice that I didn't get a thermostat gasket with my new thermostat or with the huge set of gaskets I bought for the engine, so I didn't use much care when removing the old gasket. So right now it has a half-torn boogered up gasket that doesn't even need pressure to leak. I'll just have to get a good gasket and I'm assuming my problem will go away. The radiator looks pretty sad.... wouldn't be surprised if it had 280k on it. I might as well try the vinegar trick as a precaution, but if I have cooling problems I think it might behoove me to replace it.

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marlinh
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My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
Location: Kootenays

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by marlinh » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:45 am

Check to make sure the thermostat housing is flat before you replace the gasket or else it will still leak.

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

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by Petros » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:08 pm

I have made gaskets from a the box the new thermostat came in. usually the any auto parts store will have a generic gasket that will work, about $1.00 or so, saves you from having to make one.
'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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TRDFerguson
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 6:30 pm
My tercel:: 1985 Tercel 4WD 6 speed
Location: Redding, CA

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by TRDFerguson » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:30 pm

Petros wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:08 pm
I have made gaskets from a the box the new thermostat came in. usually the any auto parts store will have a generic gasket that will work, about $1.00 or so, saves you from having to make one.
O'Reilly had a gasket in stock to my surprise, I think it was $1.50. It had adhesive on one side to hold it in place during install which was very handy. Coolant leak is no more.

I've put about 7 miles on her over the past couple weeks, with no problems rearing their head yet. Shes not registered yet, so I'm just taking quick little trips around the neighborhood.

Termell
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Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:10 am
My tercel:: 1985 Tercel

Re: New T4WD Owner - Introduction

Post by Termell » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:24 pm

Welcome aboard! Good write up and should be a good future reference for others. Keep it up and have fun

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