Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
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connorblanco
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Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by connorblanco » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:46 am

Hey all, I’m considering buying my roommates T4 Automatic wagon, I believe it’s an ‘84. This thing is in good shape aesthetically, but it definitely needs a lot of love under the hood. I only see people mention the standard trans with the 6th extra low gear, and I’m wondering if the Automatic models are even worth the trouble of fixing up. Any encouragement/insight you can provide is greatly appreciated.

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NWMO
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by NWMO » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:03 am

Connor,

The car is under powered, so the MT alleviates some of these issues and makes them more fun to drive. But, even an AT is a good little car and very capable in 4wD. If the body ans underside is good (look closely), you may consider sending your transmission to Lukas in Europe and finding a junker w/ a MT to swap in.

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

Live each day to make a positive difference in someone else's life AND on your bad days, just keep it to yourself :)

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by Petros » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:32 pm

I had someone give me an almost perfect '85 with only a few minor issues (carb adjustment). they could not sell it, even cheap, so they gave it to me to get it off the street. I considered selling it after I sorted out the issues, but no one really wants the auto trans.

I drove it to Texas for my daughter to drive, she needed a car anyway. served her well, and she actually fell in love with it. After many years of her dad driving one she did not care for the Tercel at all (it was the butt of lots of jokes between my wife and two daughters), until she owned one. Funny how Tercels have that affect on people.

If you want it for yourself, no problem. But they are hardly worth putting any effort into it if you only want to fix it up to sell it. You might get lucky, many youngsters these days can not drive a manual transmission (and some geeky kid might actually like the funky Tercel4wd retro look), but I would not count on it.
'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)

SinusoidalTendencies
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My tercel:: 87 4wd wagon

Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:25 pm

I like mine so far. But it was only 600 usd still running and driving. I get er up to 80. But it's really just a 55mph cruiser for the most part. Hills can be a pita. 60ish HP ain't much.

Yaut
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My tercel:: 1985 Toyota Tercel 4WD automatic, lifted 1.5", 15 inch wheels

Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by Yaut » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:16 pm

My auto is plenty capable but would prefer a manual for sure. I have to imagine the acceleration is much worse than the manuals with such long gears but it does the job.
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splatterdog
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by splatterdog » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:51 pm

An auto T4 is still way better than no T4.

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dlb
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My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by dlb » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:21 pm

I bought one auto T4 as a project and didn't enjoy driving it at all. Totally different experience from the manual trans version. I agree with Splatterdog in that it's still a better car than most though.

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irowiki
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by irowiki » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:50 pm

splatterdog wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:51 pm
An auto T4 is still way better than no T4.
:mrgreen:

Some people just can't or won't drive a manual. I had no problem with the 2-3 auto Tercel 4WD's (well one was a FWD).

I would say go for it and you can always resell it later. Or convert it to a MT if you get really motivated.
Former Tercel Enthusiast (not a practical family car anymore but they still have a place in my heart)

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:25 am

splatterdog wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:51 pm
An auto T4 is still way better than no T4.
What - he - wrote!
If you do not drive much on the highways (high RPMs), it should be eminently suitable.
Tom M.
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irowiki
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Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by irowiki » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:03 pm

ARCHINSTL wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:25 am
splatterdog wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:51 pm
An auto T4 is still way better than no T4.
What - he - wrote!
If you do not drive much on the highways (high RPMs), it should be eminently suitable.
Tom M.
Oh we took two auto T4's all over the place, 70-80 MPH at high RPM's and they were fine!
Former Tercel Enthusiast (not a practical family car anymore but they still have a place in my heart)

Site administrator, if something is broken, PM me!

81 Coachmen RV, 65k miles
95 Camry Wagon, 135k miles
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CathodeRayTube
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My tercel:: 1985 4x4 Automatic - restored
Location: Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by CathodeRayTube » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:09 pm

My automatic always served me well and was my main driver til it failed inspection for rusty brake/fuel lines 2 years ago and its been on ramps since...i advanced my timing slightly and have a straight piped exhaust basically, and i put synthetic oil in it...seemd decent for what it is and managed to still do 90+ on the highway and overtake while sitting at something like 5200Rpm...i have several spare engines so i wasnt afraid of testing the upper limits..
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Lukasloza
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My tercel:: 1985 Toyota Tercel 4wd Vagon

Re: Is the Automatic T4 worth it?

Post by Lukasloza » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:34 pm

I would buy automatic transmision imidietly, if someone have spare or want to do swap. :)

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