Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

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lannvouivre
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Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:22 pm

Originally posted in General like an idiot, so this may look familiar.

Image

Has 400k miles.

The driveshaft begins flopping around maniacally at over 75 mph, seems like the carrier bearing is bad. Alas, I am too fat to fit under the car to inspect the u-joints.

Also, it leaks about a quart of oil every 100 miles. This resulted in my car getting showered with oil for about 200 miles. We power-washed it and it's not the valve cover gasket, it is something much lower I think, unless it's under the timing cover. My solution is to replace every front seal and the valve cover gasket, then maybe do the oil pan gasket with the tube of RTV silicone that sealed the last one up really well. I mean, it still has my 1ZZ sealed up tight as a drum after about 15k miles so...But I don't think I'll do the pan gasket until we get new oil. Until then, going to assume it's fine and not because I don't want to waste oil.

I'll admit I really don't want to do the pan gasket again. If removing the crank pulley to do the front crank seal and oil pump seal doesn't improve the access to the oil pan, I will just assume it's not leaking there for at least 100 miles. I tried to get Zach to drive the Tercel more, but he is intensely worried about the oil level. Meanwhile, it's still a little overfull from when I topped it like 50 miles ago so I feel no concern whatever.

The stereo stays on when the car is off, so I must remedy that soon as well.

Lastly, the brake fluid is brown and this does not inspire confidence for me.
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Ridlbox » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:00 am

Body and paint look fairly good and the body appears to be straight
i will find a tercel in a music video
That's my new goal 8)

larry mcgrath
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by larry mcgrath » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:56 am

These engines are famous for the oil press sending unit leaking, it's located on the engine block ,tucked between the alternator and the block, a real easy and cheep fix if thats where the leak is, you need to use a mirror to see it, Larry

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Petros
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Petros » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:47 pm

nice looking car, well worth it.

the oil pan gasket almost never is the source of a leak, the leak runs down the block and around the gasket interface and looks like the source. It could leak if someone had the pan off for some other reason, and they botched the install. So save that one for last unless you suspect the previous owner had the oil pan off of it.

a bad oil leak is likely coming from something under pressure like the oil pressure sender as larry pointed out. I have seen bad leaks like that coming from the front and rear main seal and from a badly installed valve cover gasket (my own car leaked like mad, spraying oil on cars behind me, when one of the three valve cover hold down studs got stripped out of the top of the head),

the fuel pump gasket and distributor o-ring are also common sources of oil leaks, but usually not that bad.
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'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)
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by irowiki » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:56 pm

My 81 leaked a quart every 100 miles right out the valve cover gasket, the cam seal,and the crank seal.
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lannvouivre
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:52 am

I don't really want to mess with the oil pan again if I don't have to, because the space between it and the top of what I'm assuming is the front differential is TIGHT. The red Tercel had had the pan off before, and the PO put on a cork gasket that failed horribly...oh, and he did not fully remove the old silicone gasket. :roll:

The leakage is pretty extreme in my opinion. This is like...BMW-grade leakage. I will check all of these places. I have the new valve cover gasket, the front seals for the crank, oil pump, and cam. I'm probably just going to do all of those plus the ones you mentioned. I got all of those other seals because they were cheap and I would probably blow out an internal organ in frustration if I realized one of those was bad and I had no replacement parts on hand.

Can I replace the diaphragm in the vac advance on the distributor, or does the entire vacuum advance unit have to be replaced?

Are the differential gaskets silicone as well?

If the failing carrier bearing has indeed damaged the U-joints, where can I get replacements? Rockauto only has a right CV axle for some reason.
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Petros
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Petros » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:37 am

not likely the career baring will cause a u-joint failure in the drive shaft. When the carrier bearing fails it makes a loud whirling sound coming from the rear floor area (it is mounted to the body there), it is fairly obvious.

The diff cover uses paper gasket, but likely using form-a-gasket would work just fine.

you have to replace the distributor vac assembly. It is not critical that this work since it will not affect performance, the reason for it is to slightly increase fuel economy when cruising steady speeds at part throttle.

That is a very severe oil leak, you need to fix it because you risk inadvertantly driving without oil, which means you will be replacing the engine if you allow that to happen. Not worth the risk, get the oil leak fixed. Usually it is not too bad.

BTW, the valve cover hold down stud is easy to strip out of the aluminum head, which will cause the valve cover to leak like crazy. If you discover that is the reason for the leak, the repair is fairly easy, you remove the rocker shaft assembly and over size the stripped out hole, use the over-sized tape and install a thread insert (brand name Heli-coil). I use lock tight on it so it stays in place, the coil insert makes the installation stronger too.

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)
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:55 pm

T4WD augury?
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lannvouivre
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:13 pm

Petros: The carrier bearing is far gone enough that when you drive over 75 mph, the driveshaft begins flopping around wildly and it feels like it's preparing to blow up. On a truck I test drove recently, the carrier bearing looked like this:
Image
And at low speeds I was literally shaking with fear because the driveshaft was flopping around so hard. The bearing was so bad that it murdered two of the u-joints and bent the front half of the driveshaft. Now, I don't think this carrier bearing on the Tercel is that gone, but it's got play in it that it shouldn't have. We don't drive over 75 mph in this state unless you're going out to El Paso anyway, but the fact is the bearing is probably bad and I saw what happens if you just ignore these things.

ARCHINSTL: If we didn't already order the carrier from rockauto, I will order one from Rick.

I will probably bring the Tercel to my house today to start tearing everything down so it's all ready come Tuesday, then also look at the oil sender area. I really hope the valve cover stud is not stripped out. I have been checking the oil every day the car gets driven a little. I powerwashed it with some Gunk to help locate the leak and we drove it a bit, partially to make sure it leaks a little (so far the level hasn't dropped), and partially so Zach learns stick. I did verify that the head gasket is not leaking oil to the outside, so I'm leaving that alone for now, and that if the valve cover gasket is leaking, it's at the very back of the engine or under the timing cover where I can't see it. I'm honestly impressed it's leaking this much without being a BMW or Chevy.

I'm not really convinced this car was cared for very well mechanically beyond oil changes because it was leaking so bad and the brake fluid in the reservoir is brown. It makes me sad. The oil was down to the very bottom of the dip stick when we picked it up, but it was running perfectly and we have the 3A-C in the red Tercel anyway. My BF really wants me to swap that one into this Tercel, but I'm like "that's a lot of work" and "we don't have a cherry picker" and "no one wants me to do that in their garage".
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Petros » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:21 pm

swapping an engine is a lot of work, much easier to fix the leak with the engine in the car. Usually oil leaks are easy fixes, the only common one that is not is the rear main seal, you have to drop the trans (or pull the engine). If the engine is otherwise shot or worn out, than a swap might be in order, but not just because of an oil leak. Even than, I have replaced rings and bearing, and rebuilt the head, in a Tercel without removing the engine.

You do not really need an engine hoist, the engine is not that heavy: you strip it down of external parts, unbolt it and I use a come-along type hand winch over a garage beam, and I have also put a lifting strap and put a beam through it and two normal guys lifted it out (not body builders by a long shot). Stripped of external parts, and with the head off the short block assembly only weighs about 150 lbs or so. I have actually pulled a whole Tercel engine out by my self by rolling it over the front bumper with the grill, rad etc removed (it as at the wrecking yard, I rolled it into a wheel barrow), not recommend but it can be done on a smaller engine.
'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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lannvouivre
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:31 pm

I don't usually have help working on cars, so I would still need the hoist. Can't use a come along as this is my parents' garage and they have those stupid storage baskets covering the ceilings. I just plain told my BF it wasn't going to happen unless I absolutely had to take care of something.
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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lannvouivre
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:57 pm

The Tercel is, unfortunately, leaking while sitting on a level surface. I think the distributor o-ring and fuel pump gasket are leaking, and I can't find the latter gasket online. Additionally, the oil pressure sender is probably leaking but I'm sure it's also just an o-ring.

The only way I can think of for it to leak while sitting level is the oil drain plug, unless the oil pan's mating surface is usually below the level of the oil. It's losing motor oil for sure, even faster parked than when being driven. I'm thinking of putting new oil in it and a new filter so we can put the magnetic plug on. I hope to god that it didn't get its oil changed by a torque-happy gorilla, because I'm not sure a new oil pan would be easy to acquire unless I start cannibalizing the red Tercel. I would cry to have to remove my beautiful RTV gasket job I did...
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Notmikeb » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:26 am

Fuel pump gasket is just a paper gasket. Use the plastic spacer to trace the shape on a cereal box and cut it out. Boom! Gasket.
-------------
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lannvouivre
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by lannvouivre » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:49 pm

Notmikeb wrote:Fuel pump gasket is just a paper gasket. Use the plastic spacer to trace the shape on a cereal box and cut it out. Boom! Gasket.
This is my kind of fix!
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Petros
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Re: Zach's 1985 4WD Tercel Wagon

Post by Petros » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:52 pm

you can also buy proper gasket paper at any auto parts store. the cereal box usually works, see if you can find a box with some waxy coating, usually holds up better. Use sealant on it. Sealant alone should also work, make sure you coat both sides of the plastic spacer.

I think the spacer is the cause, it is there to keep the fuel pump cool, and with cool fuel coming in from the tank, and the hot engine head on the other side, the temp difference causes some stress on the interface. Using non-hardening gasket sealer would hold up best to that kind of thermal stress.
'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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