New Tercel owner in MT

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Trapper
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 7:13 pm
My tercel:: 86 sr-5
Location: Montana

New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Trapper » Tue May 14, 2019 7:21 pm

Hey everyone. I picked up this nice little Tercel a month back. She needs some work. Running a little rough from a possible vacuum leak or carb issue. And just old components everywhere else. I plan to rip her open and do a bunch of different things. Not surprisingly theres some great write ups and videos on how tos for this car so it will help tremendously. Got her for $1800 with 200k on it. A little more than I wanted to spend but I can see the potential. My plans are..

Weber carb and probably while that is being done I would do the valve stem seals and cover gasket.
Timing belt and water pump. Probably replace the front seal and a new radiator since I know mine is old.
Suspension. Im thinking of lifting it a bit for easier driving on these mountain roads. Or just new stock all around. I know its old.
Audio. New speakers and maybe a bazooka tube to go with it. New radio as well not sure what. I like those supra radios.
Exterior. She needs a paint job but is holding up well for a 33 year old car. But I want to get a roof rack.
Tires. Last but not least. I want to get a spare set of rims so I can switch between summer and winter.

Thanks for checking it out. Any suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks
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Petros
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Posts: 11335
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Petros » Tue May 14, 2019 11:25 pm

welcome to the forum!

nice looking ride. I would not be so quick to switch out the carb, the factory carb is usually durable and performs well. sort out the vac lines and do the various checks and adjustments, you might find the stock carb will suite you well in your cold climate. Webers are decent replacements if your carb is actually worn out, but they do not have the systems for extreme weather conditions as the factory carb has (though the factory carb is more complex because of it).

Make sure you change out your trans gear lub with fresh gear lub, and replace any leaky seals on the trans if necessary. At the very least top it up, and when you change it out make sure you get all 4 liters of gear lub in the diff/trans/transfer case. Fresh gear oil usually improves shifting and keeps the gears quiet. the trans is usually durable and trouble free if you keep up on the gear oil changes and do not let the level get low (as in leaky seals). Good used transmissions for these cars are getting hard to find replacements if you blow it, so take care of it and it should serve you well for many more miles.

Before you do any suspension mods first make sure all your bushings, tie-rod ends, ball joints, etc. are in good condition. And the rack is adjusted if necessary. Also, you can greatly improve the handling with 14" or 15" alloy wheels, and lower profile tires. the stock skinny steel wheels are noticeably flexible and going to lighter and stiffer alloy wheels with lower profile tires makes a difference. Than you can use the stock steel wheels for your winter tires.

post more pictures of your car and your progress as you improve your ride.
'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)

Trapper
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 7:13 pm
My tercel:: 86 sr-5
Location: Montana

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Trapper » Thu May 16, 2019 4:45 pm

Petros, thanks for the words of wisdom.

Ill have to think about the carb then. Previous owner messed with it. Took out the electric choke and put in a manual. I didnt realize the Weber was less suited for cold climates. Ill have to really run through the carb and see what I can do. Once I get my work truck Ill have freedom to open this thing up. Though I like the stripped out look of our engines with a weber. I might have to take it to a mechanic to check that out as Im not very familiar with the complexity of it. Sometimes it will idle at 1200 and if i drive it hard like im in a rush home it will idle closer to 2000.

Do you recommend just replace all ball joints and tie rod ends if one is bad? I bet it couldnt hurt if I dont need to drive it. Then just tackle the rest of the suspension.

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Petros
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Posts: 11335
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Petros » Thu May 16, 2019 7:24 pm

it would be rare to find a mechanic that knows how to work on this fuel system, many will say they can, and than proceed to charge you money and mess it all up. I have seen all the vac lines misrouted done by mechanics that said they knew how to work on it.

Best to figure it out, it is not difficult to sort out yourself. Down load the section of the service manual on the fuel system and the emission control system from this site and read through it. There are some simple tests, adjustments and inspections you do in sequence. None are difficult. It would not surprise any one here if you had missing or misrouted vac lines on your car. It is not enough to put them back on where they came off, they might have been put in the wrong place by a mechanic.

No, I would not replace any suspension parts unless they show signs of wear. They hold up well and last a long time, but they will go out at random intervals, usually after about 200k miles. odd thing is some tie rod ends need to get replaced at twice the rate as others. For example, I replace about twice as many right side wheel bearings (both front and rear) as left side, on the various project and rescue Tercels I have owned. the only thing I can figure is that is the side that is against the curb when parking. in England, Japan and Australia, they go through a lot more left side wheel bearings where the park and drive on the other side of the road. No point in replacing a good part. I suspect it is the same as for the ball joint.

Left and right side are not any easier to do at the same time or a year later, you have to pull off the same number of parts on each side, making it twice as much work. If you pull it apart, and the ball joint is good, but the tie rod end is loose, sloppy and has play in it, just replace the tie rod end. OTOH, if the ball joint has a torn boot and does not feel tight and smooth, they are cheap and easy to replace, might as well do it at the same time since you have it all apart.
'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)

The Professor
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Posts: 586
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 6:38 pm
My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
Location: Western Washington
Contact:

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by The Professor » Fri May 17, 2019 7:55 am

I like to replace parts like tie rods and ball joints in pairs. It might be a bit wasteful, but it keeps the replacement schedule simpler to remember.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door, x2
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

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Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 11335
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Petros » Fri May 17, 2019 7:06 pm

The Professor wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:55 am
I like to replace parts like tie rods and ball joints in pairs. It might be a bit wasteful, but it keeps the replacement schedule simpler to remember.
I have no schedule other than to check the suspension parts regularly when I do other service to my car, and replace them when worn. most cost effective way to keep a vehicle on the road. occasionally a relative new aftermarket part will go bad in short order, time to replace it again (and make a note to not buy that junk brand again).
'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)

The Professor
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 586
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 6:38 pm
My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
Location: Western Washington
Contact:

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by The Professor » Mon May 20, 2019 7:52 am

It may not apply to a Tercel, per se, but on my faster cars I like to replace parts in pairs to ensure consistent, predictable performance. I track and autoX several of my vehicles, so having one worn tie rod and one new one is less than preferable.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door, x2
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 11335
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Petros » Mon May 20, 2019 8:09 pm

repair shops often will tell you they must be replaced in pairs, including brakes, bushings, etc. I used to think this way, but thought about it and call BS. if one side checks out at factory spec (I.e. no play, tight fit), you will never know the difference, and the new one on the other side is just as likely to need to be replaced before the "old" one (particuarlly if the old one is a factory orginal).

well meaning and misinformed mechanics will even tell a fable about "even wear" and other such psudo science to sell you more work and parts. but I have even put one new front caliper on the front brakes (on a one ton GMC truck), and left the other old one, than went out and tested it carefully with "hands free" panic stops, and found no reason to replace the other. the other never went bad for the rest of the time I owned it, and even sold it that way years later. I have done this ever since and never had any issues.

no need to replace good parts unless there is a compelling reason. "my mechanic says it should be done" is not a good enough reason. too many misinformed, lairs and incompetence to trust them for that.
'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)

The Professor
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 586
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 6:38 pm
My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
Location: Western Washington
Contact:

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by The Professor » Tue May 21, 2019 9:58 am

Brake calipers aren't wear parts (they have wear parts, but themselves are not wear items). I too have a OEM fresh caliper on one of my WRX's front wheels. I would NEVER replace one caliper worth of brake pads, and in that case I would be able to tell that one wheel starts braking before the other.

Not trying to start a debate. Your method has merit for saving money and using logic, but there are specific cases where absolute performance outweighs cost. Thankfully I'm at a point in my life where I get to choose which way I prioritize.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door, x2
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 11335
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Petros » Wed May 22, 2019 5:07 pm

I agree if performance is affected. it would be unsafe if there was any affect on braking or drivablity. OTOH if there is no detectable difference in performance, it does not matter.

I have even used different brands of brake pads on one side than the other (a bad caliper wore out one side, and I had a extra used set so installed it), and could not determine any difference with brakes hot or cold, lots of hills around here, so I would notice pretty quickly.
'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)

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

Re: New Tercel owner in MT

Post by Termell » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:35 pm

Welcome! A little late to the party but that looks neat one. Any update on work progress?

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