1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

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FRQ
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by FRQ » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:08 pm

@Petros: I'm quite happy to have found it. The timing is all wrong for another project, but I couldn't pass it up. :) I never see these as projects anymore. Seems like ever since savings accounts stopped paying interest, people started investing in other things, classic cars being one of them, it has become a total stockmarket with prices soaring. I still enjoy dabbling in vintage Alfa's, but in a world where a nice 101 series Giulietta costs an average of 70000 USD, with earlier 750 Veloce examples going upwards of 130000 USD, it's no longer fun.

I just want to drive my cars and tinker with them, the exorbitant prices just mean much higher parts costs and insurance rates. I'm actually quite looking forward to the day the bubble bursts.

It's partially what drove me to more obscure Toyota models, so in a sense I shouldn't complain. The little Tercel is just as much fun in its own way for a fraction of the cost. Bang for buck it can't be beat. :D

FRQ
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by FRQ » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:33 am

After close to a year of lurking here, this happened:

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55000 mile one owner timecapsule, this thing is mint, couldn't resist it, despite it being more or less identical to my other one (new one on the right). :mrgreen: Just needs a good clean after driving it back through 500 miles of rain and dust. Now I need to decide if I will be keeping one or both.

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

Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by Petros » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:13 pm

Twins! what are the chances of that?! those look fantastic. If you want to sell one, let me know, I might have to fly over there and drive it back here! that would be an adventure. Love to bring one of those back to North America.

Actually I have relatives in Greece (where my mother was born), and last time we went I rented a VW Golf for ten days and really felt ripped off. It cost me over $900 Euros to rent it for ten days, that cost more than the Airbnbs we were staying in, and I thought I could buy an older used car for that much and just leave it there with a relative to use for future visits. likely it would save money.

Lots of interesting used cars in Athens and around, many models I do not see here, but I thought staying with a Toyota would be cheap, reliable and I would know how to fix it. Unfortunately I did not see any Tercel4wd, though there was no lack of any other older models there (my cousin even wondered how they got those old cars to pass emissions requirements in Athens). My uncle let me borrow an older Corolla to drive around the Island they lived on, very similar to the models here, but the whole front end clip (headlights, grill and bumpers, etc) was completely different, and actually more interesting and stylish than the similar but boring corollas they sell here. OTOH, I love those Euro bumpers and some of the Euro details on the Tercel4wd better than the idiot federally mandated crap on the Toyotas sold in the US domestic market. I would love to bring one of those here (and perhaps a few of those old Alfa sports cars as well!), I wonder what shipping one would cost. These are old enough that getting one registered as a vintage car would not run into any federal requirements to complicate the issue.

Though driving a car from Europe to North America would be an interesting challenge, I wonder if it can be done with just a few ferry rides from say Great Britain, to Iceland, to Greenland, to Canada, if possible. Or perhaps going the other way, east through Russia, and across to Alaska. If there are any roads that go that far north to the east coast of Russia. OTOH, it might be cheaper to just to ship it in a shipping container from Europe to Boston, though road a trip like that would be quite an adventure.

keeps us updated on your car activities. and if you have a good runner you might want to sell, I would consider going over there to buy it from you. My wife and I are considering another trip to Europe next year, saving up our money now.
'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)

FRQ
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by FRQ » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:08 pm

Tercel Wagons are like hen's teeth in Europe and good ones aren't cheap. You can find some nice first gen Hilux pickups in Greece though for reasonable prices, those are fun, or if you want to get more exotic, a Toyota Stout.

Driving a car back to the US would be an expensive undertaking and if you take the Russian route, it will take a serious beating. You'd also need to insure it with an ADAC Carnet de Passage, those aren't cheap and they require you place the value of your insured vehicle in an escrow account, which you get back at the end of your trip. The cheapest way to get a car to the US is roll on/roll off shipping, basically a floating parking garage, I'd guestimate that would set you back about 2000 USD all in. Importing is simple under the 25 year rule.

With European Tercel prices and shipping cost, you'd have to really want one. Getting a set of JDM bumpers and headlights/grille through an importer might be an idea?

Before buying this latest one, I had a poke under the hood and saw the choke isn't working and it's running WAY too rich, if I engage the choke manually, it dies fairly quickly. I suspect someone might have messed with the fuel mixture to compensate for the choke malfunction. High idle is flaky too, doesn't always work and when it does, at different rpm's. Just goes to show, these Aisan carbs are finicky beasts, even on a 50000 mile engine, it looks nearly brand new.

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I will probably be keeping this one and selling the other one, too many cars, too many projects! Last month I bought another project I couldn't resist, an '87 Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo. You guys only got it with the 3.0 V6 and called it a Milano:

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FRQ
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by FRQ » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:49 am

Forgot to ask: what's the deal with Tercel thermostats? I've driven three now and owned two and all three had the same symptoms: when moving at any speed, the temperature gets the needle barely off the minimum, when sitting in traffic, temps will climb normally and sit perfectly in the middle of the gauge with the fans kicking in when needed.

Is there a "cold weather" variant of the Tercel thermostat?

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

Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by Petros » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:16 pm

thermostats get "lazy" when they sit around and do not get used. best replace them with a quality one. most of the tercels I have rescued, that were sitting around in someones yard for 4-5+ years, the t-stats went out soon after I got them on the road again. now I just replace them right away with any rescue car or engine, not worth the risk they pose if they fail to operate properly. same goes BTW for the cheap ones made in a chinese communist factory, many are junk in the box, most will barly last a year. there no savings if it stops working and causes engine damage when it overheats.

they should be replaced every 2 to 3 years anyway, eventually, even the good quality ones, wear out and you risk damage to the head gasket when it finally fails.
'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)

teranfirbt
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My tercel:: '86 SR5 4WD, 5AFE, lifted rear, 195/70/14 tires
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by teranfirbt » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:34 am

I've had the same thing happen where the spring on the Stat can't hold the thing closed. Basically at higher RPM the water pump makes enough pressure to overcome the spring in the cheap shit ones and it's unable to control temperature. Answer is an OEM Toyota branded Stat, I've never had an issue with my tercel or MR2 once I put one in. 2-3 years is pretty excessive for a replacement schedule, but you do you ;).

FRQ
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by FRQ » Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:47 pm

Weird it happened on all 3, I suppose all 3A tstats are of mediocre quality, I'll install a new one, I have a new one somewhere, good brand, non OEM, I wonder what the result will be.

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

Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by Petros » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:22 pm

teranfirbt wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:34 am
2-3 years is pretty excessive for a replacement schedule.
yes, it is. I usually go a bit longer, like 3+ years with a quality aftermarket one, along with new coolant and perhaps a radiator cap, hoses if necessary. likely if I bought a costly factory one I would go longer, up to 4 years unless it started showing a temperature set point migration on the gauge. I am too cheap to spend that much, I can typically buy a quality brand on close out from rockauto for less than $8, ones where their retail is normally $16-20. each. those are cheap enough where 2-3 years is not a big deal.

I have noticed that on a good working one, the temp comes up to operating temperature and holds is fairly steady over most of the driving, it holds the temp at the same place everyday. only exception is when pushing hard up a long steep road in summer, but still will it hold steady, just a bit higher on the gauge. I have also noticed before they completely fail they tend to start wavering, even when holding the temp in a reasonably low range. the temp gauge wavers up and down a bit, if I see one doing that it gets replaced right away.

I have seen this too many times, not even sure what causes it, within a few weeks of that, the steady state temperature starts to hover upwards each succeeding day. This is very bad, needs a new t-stat right away. Even the quality name brand ones can occasionally go bad prematurely, but this is much less common than the cheap ones made in the orient. by cheap I mean in normal retail price range of $7-10. quality ones normally sell for $16 to $24, but I watch for them on rockauto close out and get them (2 or 3 at a time, so I always have one), for as little as $4 each.

So if the temperature wavers up and down, or the set point seems to be creeping higher, time for a new thermostat. they can, and occasionally do, fail all at once. hence the typical gear head recommendation for 2-3 years replacement. for really conservative protection of your cooling system, every 2 years, replace the coolant (including a full radiator and block flush), new rad cap, and new t-stat. I tend to push that to 3+ years, unless I need to pull the engine out or apart for some other reason, than I do it at that time ahead of my normal cooling system service.

neglecting the cooling system can lead to costly repairs to the engine, and these 3ac engines seem much more temperature sensitive than most other engines I have owned and driven for many many miles. so keep the cooling system in top shape is an easy precaution to keep it reliable
.
'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)

terceldude
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Re: 1984 Euro Tercel 4WD Wagon

Post by terceldude » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:58 am

FRQ wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:53 am
I've been lurking here for about a month or so when the inexplicable bug to get an obscure 4WD bit me. Not my first rodeo, I have a bit of a Land Cruiser 60 series "problem". :)

After some searching, I managed to turn up this 2 owner 152000 miles '84 in France. No power steering or AC, does have an electric sunroof. I haven't had it up on a lift yet, but have seen pictures and the underside looks to be solid, fingers crossed a more profound inspection doesn't turn up any nasty surprises. First off, some pictures:

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Bonus picture with one of her big sisters:

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Cosmetically, at the moment the biggest letdown is the rear hatch, peeling clearcoat and some rust bubbles along the window edge. At least 1 of those 2 issues should be easily remedied. I'm also on the lookout for a set of MR2 3 spoke wheels.

In terms of rust, there are some small bubbles on the left rear wheelarch and on the inside bottom of all doors. Nothing major yet, but worth sanding down, treating with rust converter followed by some paint.

Of course I have questions, lots of them:

-Front axle shafts are shot (loud ticking noise when turning under load), the Toyota EPC number didn't turn up much here in Europe, which is a bit unusual in my experience, are these worth getting? Not familiar with US brands: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-Tercel- ... 2115555357. Should I go ahead and replace the seals in the axle housing as well? Any other bits that might need doing while I'm tearing into the front suspension? Anti-roll bar bushes from what I've seen here? Bearings perhaps?
- Heater: cold/hot slider is properly stuck, anything mechanical that can go wrong with these other than the heater valve in the engine bay and the bowden cable that might need lubing?
- Difficult cold start: I take it the automatic choke isn't working properly? Should I just throw a rebuild kit at the carb and replace all vacuum hoses while I'm in there and call it good or shouldn't I bother and just get a Weber?
- Tires: any EU available brands that are still making a good 14" A/T? The only thing I found was a General with a 165 width for the Fiat Panda 4x4. I'm considering a set of rally gravel tires (Fedima, DMACK), but those are pricy...

In terms of general maintenance, I plan on replacing the timing belt (non-interference engine if I'm not mistaken?), adjust valves and change all fluids. Any recommendations for engine oil (mineral? weight?) and gearbox/diff oil?

I'm sure I have about 50 more questions, but none come to mind at the moment. I'm also looking for some parts for a brown interior:

- ashtray
- shifter boot and knob
- knob for heater control slider
- set of good condition OEM mudflaps
- possibly some door handles and a few other small bits of trim that haven't developed a whitish sheen from UV exposure.

Anyway, it's something different from my diesel 60s, that's for sure, but at first glance this should be a fun little daily driver, excited to get it registered and spend way too much time pouring through the threads on this forum. :D
So jealous of you ---- I've always wanted that model but it would be too expensive to import to the States. Oh well, a guy can dream can't he?! :D
K-Business

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