New to the Tercel 4WD world!

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Kamikaizen
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:16 am
My tercel:: 1984 AL25 6MT, more stock than Wall Street!
Location: Longmont, CO

New to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by Kamikaizen » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:14 am

So just yesterday I sealed the deal on a 1984 Tercel 4WD. She's showing 259k on the clock but the old dude I bought her off of says he's driven easily double that. He was the third owner and it's been a Colorado resident its entire life.

Image
There was a fair bit of snow covering her so there really wasn't a good chance for a full body shot, but here she is!

Originally she was posted up on the Boulder craigslist as a part out, but we were able to settle a deal for him to have her rehomed so she can get back on the road and fulfill her destiny as an unflappable mountain goat. As a result there's a number of bits missing but I was able to scrounge up enough from a junkyard to get the engine back in working order once I get her hauled over to my workspace.

Unfortunately the pinion seal on the rear diff went out and chewed up the pinion shaft, so I'm going to need to scare up a new diff before we can make proper use of the very curious Z52F gearbox. For now the seller closed off the axle with a Ford freeze plug that he had sitting around, so when the engine's back together we'll at least have FWD in the meantime.

I hail from the Celica Alltrac world so I'm no stranger to quirky Toyota AWD/4WD setups :D I love my 88 Alltrac to death, but the family needs a workhorse for going up into the mountains to job sites and one of these was on the short list of options.

There's no special plans laid out just yet, so I'm going to be working on refreshing the motor to get it back into good working order, take care of the brakes and suspension and gradually fix up the interior. Once that's done we'll see if any ideas come to mind to personalize her :)
1988 ST205 swapped ST165 Celica Alltrac
1988 MA70 turbo targa auto project Supra
1986 RN50 2WD pickup workhorse
1997 SXA10L 2dr RAV4
1984 AL25 Tercel 4WD 6MT

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NWMO
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 1:08 pm

Re: New to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by NWMO » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:10 pm

Welcome to the site!
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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Petros
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Posts: 10894
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by Petros » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:56 pm

nice save! welcome to the forum. Looks like you may have kept another great little T4wd out of the crusher.

Before you waste any money on replacing the stock (undersized brakes) make sure you go check out my thread in the repair guides section on doing a brake up grade. Parts costs are about the same to replace the 11 mm unvented front rotors and calipers with fully vented 18mm thick rotors and calipers.

I also have a repair guide for replacing and improving the head gasket. If you have to pull the head, make sure you check it out. Gives details and suggestions for improvement not in the service manual. If you are going to rebuild the engine, you might consider finding the 4ac to replace the 3ac. More power, very similar engine, bolts right up without any mods necessary.

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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Kamikaizen
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:16 am
My tercel:: 1984 AL25 6MT, more stock than Wall Street!
Location: Longmont, CO

Re: New to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by Kamikaizen » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:34 pm

Awesome! Thanks Petros! Uprated brakes are definitely on the forefront of my mind. I just finished compiling a shopping list for a complete round of SuperPro poly bushings, as suspension and brakes are pretty much my top priority in any build; doesn't matter how nice the motor and body are if I can't safely keep them on the road where I want them moment to moment.

The motor is definitely going to get a teardown with fresh gaskets and seals, and I'll be rebuilding the carburetor for good measure because I know those diaphragms are gossamer thin by now. After all that's done we'll have to see where she wants to go in life :)
1988 ST205 swapped ST165 Celica Alltrac
1988 MA70 turbo targa auto project Supra
1986 RN50 2WD pickup workhorse
1997 SXA10L 2dr RAV4
1984 AL25 Tercel 4WD 6MT

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Mattel
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Posts: 1472
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:11 am
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 to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by Mattel » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:33 pm

Welcome. Make sure you get the earlier model (up to 1985) rear diff. as they have different ratios in the 1985 to 1988 and you need compatibility with your front diff. You may need to check the build date on your car.
Best of luck with fixing it. Great to see a project. Monroe air suspension in the back is a good option for hauling stuff as well!
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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Posts: 10894
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New to the Tercel 4WD world!

Post by Petros » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:40 pm

a good place to start with the suspension is to just make sure all the struts, bushings, tie-rod ends, ball joints, etc are in good condition. Poly bushings may help, particularly if you go for better wheels and tires. I have been meaning to try new poly bushings on the front suspension, but for my driving if the factory bushings are in good condition I find it is not too bad with the 14" alloy wheels and 60 series tires.

BTW, the best improvement to the handling you can do, once the suspension and struts are up to spec. is to replace those factory steel wheels with alloy. Even better would be to go to 14" wheels (some have even gone to 15"), with a lower profile tire that keeps the rolling dia the same. the steel wheels are noticeable flexible, going to a quality alloy wheels makes a difference.

If you are going to rebuild the engine, you might as well find 4ac to rebuild (you can likely find a rebuildable core for about $100). You will not regret the upgrade. the stock 3ac only puts out about 62 hp, and you can not push it for too much more hp. I tried that and kept blowing head gaskets, the head design does not cool evenly and the higher hp compromises the seal. the 4ac has an improved coolant path in the head, and also you can tweak more power out of it without losing reliablity. Parts cost the same.

on your pinon seal, it would be easier to replace the whole rear axle assembly so you do not have to adjust the ring gear to pinion lash. likely the ring and pinion gears are already trashed, so they have to be replaced as well. It is a complex process and you have to get the gear lash correct or you risk trashing the new diff assy. You can rebuild the existing rear diff assembly, but you will need all of the mating parts, and a shim set to get the gear lash correct. 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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