How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Here's some good repair guides for your Tercel :) Look here for help first!
Abra-Cadaver
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How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:37 pm

Are your front sway bar bushings, control arm bushings, brake hoses, and ball joints shot? If no, go to step two. But we know they are, so go to step 1

1) go to toyota and pay an arm and a leg for sway bar bushings (2 swaybar to frame bushings, 4 swaybar end bushings (they go on either side of the control arm,) 2 collars that go through the control arm, 4 cup washers, 2 lock washers. 2 upper (or inner?) control arm bushings. Since you're already in there, unbolt the ball joints and put new ones in too because they're probably garbage. There's really no going around this. You need to order the toyota bushings. There's enough threads on this topic that you can do that homework yourself. It sucks, I know, just do it and then come back to this.

2) now that your front end bushings and whatevs are good, be happy there is a simple write up of how to lift your ugly car. I used all new parts, and they are cheap enough that sourcing from the junkyard wasn't worth the trouble (especially since I'm living in southern california where everyone drives a new european car and never bought a toyota to begin with, making pick-n-pull useless.)
So gather these parts:

*TWO Tercel upper strut mounts KYB #SM5067 (because yours are shot, you just don't know it yet until you take em off.)
IMG_1756.JPG
* TWO Upper spring seats (spring hats) Moog #K160075
IMG_1757.JPG
*TWO front strut inserts KYB #363045
IMG_1755.JPG
*TWO boot kits KYB #SB103
IMG_1758.JPG
*Front Springs Duralast #FCS254V
IMG_1760.JPG
*Rear springs Moog #CC247
IMG_1761.JPG
*TWO rear shocks KYB #343162 (sorry I didn't get a pic of the box.)
=======================

I didn't get pics of every step of the way, because sometimes I just wanted to get it done and not mess with getting a picture.

3) Now the fun part! Loosen your front lugnuts, pop your hood, and then jack the front of your car up from the center support, and take your wheels off.

4) Remove the strut by loosening the 3 top strut mount nuts
IMG_1743.JPG
and the two 17mm bolts holding it to the steering knuckle.
IMG_1744.JPG
and then wiggle that thing out of there to remove it.

5) get some spring compressors and keep your face out of the way (because no matter how many times I use them, they still scare the crap out of me) and compress the spring and take off the top nut to take off the strut mount.
IMG_1745.JPG
there will be a little rubber foam washer between the spring hat (upper seat) and the strut mount, save it for your new ones.
IMG_1746.JPG
Remove the spring from the strut and be careful taking the spring compressors off. (Use better ones than I did!)

6) Put the strut in a vice and get some channel locks to remove the cap holding the old strut cartridge in
IMG_1747.JPG
throw out the old strut insert, put a cap and a half of oil in the housing
IMG_1749.JPG
Put the new strut insert into the housing, use the new strut cap to lock it in place with your channel locks, and re-use the old bumpstop if you want, or put your new boot kit on. You will have to squeeze the plastic accordion and zip tie it to the new bumpstop. It will make a crease that is not pretty, but you're driving a 4wd Tercel, its fuction over fashion all the time anyway.
IMG_1750.JPG
7) Compress your new front springs-
Set them on the strut, tighter coils on top. I had bought rubber spring insulators for the front lower seats, which was a mistake since the fit between the spring and the lower seat isn't the greatest... I had to disassemble them again to remove the lower rubber since it didn't sit well.
Put your new upper spring seat (spring hat) on, making sure the spring sits in the rubber. Note the direction of the arrow that says "out" on top. I'm not sure it makes a huge difference, but i pointed mine towards the 2 lower mounts anyway.
Put the foam washer on top of the spring seat, and then put your new strut mount on top of that. You may get a one-sided sealed bearing like I did... luckily it was on the top of the strut mount
IMG_1753.JPG
if this is the case, just pack it with a bunch of extra grease, since it will be under a cap anyway. NBD.
You may need to compress the springs more at this point to get the top nut on.. I found that the top nut is good when 3 strut threads are exposed out of the top of the nut.
Now the tricky part, as you can see, the spring has a very small tolerance for sitting on the tercel strut.. so as you loosen the spring compressors slowly, also tap the spring to keep it seated. (or weld a bigger lip, if you've got it like that) I just went slow with it and kept tapping it to keep it in the lower seat notch as I loosened the compressors, and tap the spring back in from the lip. It's a tight kinda awkward fit, but 85%+ of the spring will fit in the lip, there is a small section that looks questionable, but it's not enough to cause (me) alarm.

8 ) Once you're all seated and the spring and strut assembly is all back together, practice your cuss words because you may have to use them while putting the assembly back in :D :D
I put just two of the top mount nuts on finger tight to allow wiggleability. On the passenger side I needed my friend to pry the sway bar and steering knuckle down to get it in, drivers side went in easy peasy.
The best thing is to get some alignment punch stakes to finagle into the mounting hole once its close, to pry it into place and get the other bolt through like this:
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Bolt everything up tight and do the same on the other side (it will go twice as fast after doing one already)

I'm putting the rear in the next post since I can't add more pictures..
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Abra-Cadaver
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:09 pm

9) On the rear, jack up the car, disconnect the two brackets that are holding the e-brake cable to the frame by using a 10mm socket and breaking the bolts as you turn them, because they're trash.
Do the same for the sway bar end links, since you don't need them anymore anyways.
IMG_1291.JPG
Disconnect the bolts on the brackets holding the swaybar to the rear axle. Remove rear sway bar and punt it to the moon.

10) Take your new rear shocks, either get a drill and drill out the lower bushing, or press it out with a press.
I used a press.
50251512140__A4B02F04-D898-41B1-A932-46FA034B9336.JPG
and you can cut the plastic straps holding the shock compressed, I just didn't yet.
Remove your old shocks with a 14mm box end wrench holding the lower nut and with a ratchet loosening the top nut on the upper shock mount. Undo the lower shock mount and remove your shock.
Then press out the old bushing to use in your new shocks, you will notice there is no metal sleeve in the old shock, this is why you need this bushing in your new shocks.
You don't need a press to get the old bushings in the new shocks, I just sprayed mine with white lithium grease and pushed them in with my thumbs.
They don't like to stay centered, so keep an eye on that when you go to reinstall them.

11) have a friend press down on the brake drum as you wiggle out your old springs. It can be a pain, but you'll get them out no prob. Keep the lower rubber in place on the spring seat, and swap over the upper rubber cap to your new springs. I sprayed the rubber spring seats with white lithium grease to help the new springs slide into place.
Have your friend press down on the drum brake and wiggle your new springs into place, tighter coils on top.
Do the same on the other side.

12) Install your new shocks with the old lower bushings, making sure the lower rubber bushings stay centered.

13) If you were lucky and your e-brake bracket bolts didn't break, bolt them back up!

14) put the wheels on and drop it on the ground

15) take it around the block and hit some bumps and enjoy the better handling, flex it to check suspension and make sure everything is seated.
IMG_1773.JPG
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16) GO GET AN ALIGNMENT!!!

17) Find some bigger 4x100 alloy wheels, and tires that will suit your driving.
I went with 14" 1985 CRX phone dials (I need wheel spacers or to grind down my brake carrier before mounting them), and some 195/75/r14 Rambler retreads from tirerecappers.com
I'll post pics once I have them mounted.

-Noah // Abra-Cadaver
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BaileySims
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by BaileySims » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:49 pm

Dat flex! Very nice write up too!
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Hiro
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My tercel:: 1986 Toyota Tercel FWD 5spd

Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Hiro » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:16 am

How much lift did you get with this? How much of this translates to 2WD models? (I'm assuming very little until we swap front struts from a 4WD)
'86 T2 DLX (114,000 miles and counting)
'90 EE4 RT4WD
'92 EG VX Hatch
'95 YJ 4.0L
'05 C6 Z51 (460rwhp)

Abra-Cadaver
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:58 pm

BaileySims wrote:Dat flex! Very nice write up too!
thanks! The flex is great compared to the stock set up, I always had wheels come off the ground off-road before.
Hiro wrote:How much lift did you get with this? How much of this translates to 2WD models? (I'm assuming very little until we swap front struts from a 4WD)
As soon as it was installed I measured about 3.5" lift in the rear and 2.25" lift in the front. This is the lift difference from my sacked, worn out, old springs to new. My car was sitting lower than stock height because my suspension was tired. I'm not positive what the amount of lift difference is from new stock suspension to this. I'm guessing a .75" less difference compared to new stock springs. (which would mean 2.75-3inch lift in rear and 1.5-1.75inch lift in front.)
I don't know about the 2wd Tercels, but if its all the same wagon body style and suspension mounts, just not 4wd, it should all work the same. I'm guessing the 2wd models don't have a solid rear axle though. I can't help with that part, sorry.

I'll get measurements front and rear, from the center of the stock wheels to the fender lip next time I go out to my car.

-Noah

Abra-Cadaver
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:49 pm

Rear = 15.75in from center of wheel to lip of wheelwell
Front = 16in from center of wheel to lip of wheelwell

teranfirbt
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My tercel:: '86 SR5 4WD, 5AFE, lifted rear, 195/70/14 tires
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by teranfirbt » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:07 pm

Nice, I put Pathfinder springs on the rear of mine and was super happy. What kind of mileage do you get with that setup?

Abra-Cadaver
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:31 pm

teranfirbt wrote:Nice, I put Pathfinder springs on the rear of mine and was super happy. What kind of mileage do you get with that setup?
yep, these are new replacement 1990 4door 4wd pathfinder springs.
you should do the front too, huge improvement in handling and rebound. The car is a pleasure to drive now. Handles bumps and responds so much better now.

teranfirbt
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by teranfirbt » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:55 pm

Considering all of the off road driving I do these days (none :P) I've actually been considering going the other way, give it a nice drop. Something to get the tops of the current tires ~even with the lip of the fenders. Living in Texas the height isn't even an advantage in winter, when we *might* get 1/4" of snow. I'll kick myself the first time I load up the back, but so be it.

Abra-Cadaver
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Abra-Cadaver » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:06 am

teranfirbt wrote:Considering all of the off road driving I do these days (none :P) I've actually been considering going the other way, give it a nice drop. Something to get the tops of the current tires ~even with the lip of the fenders. Living in Texas the height isn't even an advantage in winter, when we *might* get 1/4" of snow. I'll kick myself the first time I load up the back, but so be it.
guess I could just send you my old springs :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hiro
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Hiro » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:44 am

Are the spring diameters/hats the same for 2wd as 4wd? Is the pathfinder springs just applicable for 4wd models?
'86 T2 DLX (114,000 miles and counting)
'90 EE4 RT4WD
'92 EG VX Hatch
'95 YJ 4.0L
'05 C6 Z51 (460rwhp)

teranfirbt
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My tercel:: '86 SR5 4WD, 5AFE, lifted rear, 195/70/14 tires
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by teranfirbt » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:53 am

Abra-Cadaver wrote:
teranfirbt wrote:Considering all of the off road driving I do these days (none :P) I've actually been considering going the other way, give it a nice drop. Something to get the tops of the current tires ~even with the lip of the fenders. Living in Texas the height isn't even an advantage in winter, when we *might* get 1/4" of snow. I'll kick myself the first time I load up the back, but so be it.
guess I could just send you my old springs :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I may just take you up on that! :lol:

Hiro: Front springs should be the same dimensions but different rates for 4wd and 2wd. 4wd springs would probably lift a 2wd a bit. The rear is a completely different suspension type, I've never seen one in person but I don't think they're anywhere near close.

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rer233
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by rer233 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:23 am

FWD rear suspension is independent mcpherson strut- completely different from 4WD live axle.
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
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jimcrazy
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by jimcrazy » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:10 am

my 86 fwd ..4wd struts in the front and 1 1/2 strut spacers in the rear
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Petros
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Re: How to lift your Tercel 4wd

Post by Petros » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:23 pm

teranfirbt wrote:Hiro: Front springs should be the same dimensions but different rates for 4wd and 2wd. 4wd springs would probably lift a 2wd a bit. The rear is a completely different suspension type, I've never seen one in person but I don't think they're anywhere near close.
I have found this was not true with a set FWD front struts I took off an '85 Tercel FWD wagon parts car. the FWD struts are an inch (25mm) sorter, but everything else should be identical. I took the FWD struts apart to use the parts, and out of curiosity measured it, their coil dia, number of coils, and length was the same, but the wire dia was thicker off the fwd as compared to coil springs off an '87 T4wd. So the FWD springs were slightly stiffer than the 4wd front springs.

Might be due to year difference, or someone replaced them with aftermarket springs, but I was surprised to learn that the FWD was different. I installed the stiffer springs in the '87 T4wd. Both btw were originally equipped with A/C.

with a car this old and messed with by various previous owners and mechanics, anything is possible.
'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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