Tercel Turned Trailer?

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Abletobecain
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My tercel:: 1983 4WD DLX, 1986 4WD SR5, 1985 4WD SR5, 1983 4WD SR5
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Abletobecain » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:27 am

I am completely obsessed!! I can't fathom what I could possibly regret about having even dozens of these cars...which I plan to someday. I want to buy/rescue/restore every one of these cars that I even hear about. I guess you could say I fell hard...haha.

pics/details of the new fleet member in my original thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13838&p=105589#p105589
1977 BMW R100S 1WD ("Brunhilda"/Summer Fun)
2007 Tundra Limited Crewmax 4x4 ("Tetsuo Shima"/Hauler) SOLD :cry:
1983 DLX Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Charlie"/Daily Driver)
1987 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Sprocket"/Off-road-Camping)
1985 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Lucky"/Project)
1983 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Cadaver"/Parts Car)

The Professor
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My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
Location: Western Washington
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by The Professor » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:42 am

What about turning a Tercel hatch into a sleeper trailer? Just looked one over in the yard and it looks like I would fit with a sleeping platform, etc. (6'1"). It would be lighter still than a 2WD wagon with only just a slight decrease in sleeper compartment volume.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987.5 Subaru RX 3-door
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan

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

Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Petros » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:47 pm

Abletobecain wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:27 am
I am completely obsessed!! I can't fathom what I could possibly regret about having even dozens of these cars...which I plan to someday. I want to buy/rescue/restore every one of these cars that I even hear about. I guess you could say I fell hard...haha.

You are going to need a bigger back yard. I run across complete cars that I do not have time to collect and rebuild, I will direct you to them to keep them out of the wrecking yards.
'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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Abletobecain
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Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:18 am
My tercel:: 1983 4WD DLX, 1986 4WD SR5, 1985 4WD SR5, 1983 4WD SR5
Location: Kitsap County
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Abletobecain » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:37 pm

Professor...that might be a good option to make the weight. I'd really like to keep the lines of the wagon though.

Petros...I definitely need a bigger back yard! I'm already parking the 87 runner at a friends house. Definitely point me to any you run across. I WANT to save every Tercel I see/hear about but that doesn't mean I CAN. Although, if it's too good of a deal it's really hard for me to say no.
1977 BMW R100S 1WD ("Brunhilda"/Summer Fun)
2007 Tundra Limited Crewmax 4x4 ("Tetsuo Shima"/Hauler) SOLD :cry:
1983 DLX Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Charlie"/Daily Driver)
1987 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Sprocket"/Off-road-Camping)
1985 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Lucky"/Project)
1983 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Cadaver"/Parts Car)

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Abletobecain
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Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:18 am
My tercel:: 1983 4WD DLX, 1986 4WD SR5, 1985 4WD SR5, 1983 4WD SR5
Location: Kitsap County
Contact:

Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Abletobecain » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:04 am

Well this crazy idea just got a little more real as I have an opportunity to buy a clean 2wd automatic with a blown head gasket for $200.

I'm still concerned about weight and I was wondering what the limitation on the T4 tow vehicle would be...is it the transmission? Would the 4.10 gearing and a 4AC swap allow me to tow anymore weight?
1977 BMW R100S 1WD ("Brunhilda"/Summer Fun)
2007 Tundra Limited Crewmax 4x4 ("Tetsuo Shima"/Hauler) SOLD :cry:
1983 DLX Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Charlie"/Daily Driver)
1987 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Sprocket"/Off-road-Camping)
1985 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Lucky"/Project)
1983 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Cadaver"/Parts Car)

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NWMO
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by NWMO » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:57 am

Able,

My understanding is that the transmissions tend to fail when used to pull much, typically 5th gear. I am pleased with my 4A swap and it's pretty quick around town and pulls 70-75 mph no problem with reasonable grades. However, there are a couple of long (0.75-1.0 mile), steepish hills on my way to work, and it will still bog down some in 5th gear. I can downshift around 60 mph and 4th pulls fine and will even accelerate it I ask it to. Honestly, if pulling anything of size, I would keep it in 4th. The 4.10 gears would be better, particularly getting away from a stop.

The other concern that has been discussed is the puny brakes. If I was going to pull more than a few times, I would start with a brake upgrade, there are some discussed on the board that look manageable. Living in rural Missouri, we have had two separate accidents in the last month where dump trucks have rear ended farm equipment on the highways, killing one tractor operator (a 17 year old young man) and putting another tractor operator hopefully on a two year path to recovery to get back to walking, etc. Driving the interstates pulling anything behind a stock Terc would not be a good idea IMO. Now, with a brake upgrade, keeping it in 4th gear and some common sense, I would go for it.

Chris
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"

In remembrance of my friend ARCHINSTL:

T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

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Abletobecain
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Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:18 am
My tercel:: 1983 4WD DLX, 1986 4WD SR5, 1985 4WD SR5, 1983 4WD SR5
Location: Kitsap County
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Abletobecain » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:15 am

I would definitely be giving the tow vehicle the MR2 brake upgrade, which I recently sourced anyway. Also definitely staying out of 5th when towing.

I think the only way to know how light I can get the trailer shell is to just buy the darn thing and start cutting but I'm hoping I could get the shell to around 700-800lbs so I can add gear and still be close to the limit. I think aluminum panels instead of the windshield would help a lot. I'd like to keep the side glass but might be able to switch to a plexi.

Any other ideas to shave weight?
1977 BMW R100S 1WD ("Brunhilda"/Summer Fun)
2007 Tundra Limited Crewmax 4x4 ("Tetsuo Shima"/Hauler) SOLD :cry:
1983 DLX Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Charlie"/Daily Driver)
1987 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Sprocket"/Off-road-Camping)
1985 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Lucky"/Project)
1983 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Cadaver"/Parts Car)

The Professor
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Posts: 412
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 6:38 pm
My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
Location: Western Washington
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Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by The Professor » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:58 am

Saving weight:
Remove engine and all firewall mounted brackets & accessories, EVERYTHING
Remove entire front suspension/wheels/brakes/steering
Replace engine crossmember with simple steel tubing
Cut off everything in front of the firewall (Not a huge fan of this, since you lose the engine bay as storage, if a trunk floor is added)
Gut doors and make windows stationary (maybe just two windows stationary, keep the rear two operational?)
Replace rear window with plexiglass, remove wiper, gut rear door

Brakes:
What if you kept the 2WD rear drums, but connected them to an inertia brake system, similar to the automatic trailer brakes used on U-haul car transporters? That should help take some strain off the towing-Tercel's braking system.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987.5 Subaru RX 3-door
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan

User avatar
Abletobecain
Top Notch Member
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:18 am
My tercel:: 1983 4WD DLX, 1986 4WD SR5, 1985 4WD SR5, 1983 4WD SR5
Location: Kitsap County
Contact:

Re: Tercel Turned Trailer?

Post by Abletobecain » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:25 am

Prof, that pretty much details my exact plans for the car. The crossmember tubing is an interesting idea but I thought to just remove it as well. As far as storage in the engine bay I was planning on a platform with a propane tank and/or a slide out kitchen. I'm thinking rear window will get an aluminum panel as well as the windshield. I definitely like being able to roll the door windows down. I'm in the process of sewing some exterior window "shades" that will secure by magnets and have mesh at the top to allow ventilation when the window is cracked.

I was definitely planning on somehow utilizing the rear brakes and I'll have to look into the inertia system you mention as a possibility.

My biggest problem at the moment is that I currently have room for one more car...maaaaaybe two if I want to be jockeying all their positions when trying to work on one of them. And there's quite a few for sale at the moment that I want to buy, lol.
1977 BMW R100S 1WD ("Brunhilda"/Summer Fun)
2007 Tundra Limited Crewmax 4x4 ("Tetsuo Shima"/Hauler) SOLD :cry:
1983 DLX Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Charlie"/Daily Driver)
1987 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Sprocket"/Off-road-Camping)
1985 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Lucky"/Project)
1983 SR5 Tercel Wagon 4WD ("Cadaver"/Parts Car)

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