Carburetor Replacement

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My tercel:: 1985 Tercel dlx 4WD Wagon Automatic
Location: 97540

Carburetor Replacement

Post by Sabrarain97 »

Hey All!

I am sick of going through shitty stock carburetors and am wondering if any one has an opinion to sway what I am planning to do.
I do not have the space or time to do a carb rebuild myself.
I have went through a bunch of different OEM carbs, all seemed to have something wrong with them. Currently mechanic is saying he thinks that there is something wrong with the float, and he has quoted me ~650$ to get in there.
Mechanic has been urging me towards going away from the OEM and getting a Weber. I am resistant to this because I read the other post on this forum that discussed "Weber vs Stock" carbs, and saw that each of the folks there prefer stock.
So my question for yall, if you would entertain me, is should I just pay the mechanic for a rebuild of my OEM carb, or do I just buy a Weber and do the transition? The Weber will save me 250-350$, but at this point I really dont care and want to do what will be right in the long-haul.
(more context- I like to take this car to go play in the snow and really dont care about going fast or accelerating quickly or any of that. So I just need the thing to work in extreme cold and be able to take me on a road trip reliably)

Thanks for any feedback here!
~Sabra w/ a 1985 Toyota Tercel 4WD/FWD Automatic DLX (Terry)
ISO: Working Stock Carb for 3AC Engine
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My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
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Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by dlb »

Rebuilding a carb doesn't take much time or space. I just did one, first time in almost 10 years and it was easy. And the rebuild kit was only $40.

Like I just mentioned in another post, installing a Weber seems like an easy solution but it's not. You need to also install the fuel pressure regulator, get the weber set up, mess around with clearing the hood, re-route hoses/possibly modify the EG, etc. Things that seem easy rarely goes as planned.

I say just take a few hours and rebuild a carb. Xirdneh posted a video that is on youtube that walks through it, even.
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My tercel:: 1985 Tercel SR5. aka Spud
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Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by MrWrench »

As someone who put a Weber on his first t4, I'll likely never do that again. I deal with increased tuning issues with the season changes, bad issues with heat soaking during summer months, difficult starts in the winter and sometimes warm and a mess of other issues.
Switching to an electric fuel pump solved a few of those issues. But the car still starts harder than any of my cars with properly functional OEM carbs.

Personally I'd recommend you send your factory carb out for a rebuild. There's a few places that offer carb rebuilding.
1984 SR5. winter driver rescue
1985 SR5. Daily driver. Aka "Spud"
1986 SR5. Dakar Rally clone build.
1983 SR5. New purchase.
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Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by dlb »

Here is xirdneh's (aka Rob's) carb rebuild video I mentioned, it's great: ... bertwalker
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My tercel:: 1981 Toyota Tercel w/ 7age

Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by SirFoxx »

ive never had issues with my webers, even with a turbo connected to them *shrug*
1988 DLX 4wd Tercel Wagon w/ weber (RIP)
1985 4wd Tercel SR5 (RIP)
1986 Base 2dr Hatch (RIP / PARTS)
1986 DLX 4wd Tercel Wagon with ???
1985 DLX 2dr Tercel Hatch w/manual swap
1981 2dr Toyota Tercel w/7age (RIP)
1981 3dr hatch Toyota Tercel w/Turbo 4AGE
1981 3dr hatch Toyota Tercel SR-5
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by Petros »

That mechanic is way over charging, or he does not know what he is doing so is way over padding his estimate. It only takes about an hour to remove and rebuild the stock carb, and at worst, an hour (or less) to trouble shoot it and sort out the vac lines and systems. I would not take it to him, most mechanics today do not know what to do with a carburator. Same is true with companies that will offer to rebuild your carb for you (or excahnge your carb for a rebuilt one). Most of those are junk out of the box. Very costly and a waste of money.

That being said, switching to weber is not easier than rebuilding your current carb. there is a lot of sorting out to do, fabricating linkage and other special parts to make it work, than jetting it so it runs acceptably and economically (do not believe the supplier you do not have to re-jet it, it will run that way but will consume gasoline like a big truck). no one makes a weber kit optimized and designed to fit perfectly on a 40 years old Toyota Tercel. there will be a lot of experimenting, trial and error, and messing around to get a weber swap to run and work properly. And even than, at extreme hot or cold outside air temps, it will be troublesome.

The factory carb was designed and optimized to run on your engine in all conditions, and works remarkably well if it is working properly. it is also remarkably durable and reliable, I have over 400,000 miles on mine, and I now have to rebuild it, only the second time in its 40 years long run.

The FSM has a fairly detailed step by step instructions on rebuilding it, and more importantly, assembly and testing of each of the systems as you go. Xirdneh's (aka Robert Walker on Youtube) has great Youtube videos that are a great supplement to the FSM to show you the actual process, and gives you lots of good tips.

You should also go though, inspect and test each of the emission control systems also shown in the emissions chapter of the FSM to sort out issues unrelated to the carburetor, but may be affecting the drivablity. Swapping out a number of carbs and it has the same issues, indicates it may not be he carb at all. But one of the many emission control systems is malfunctioning. The tests are all fairly easy to do, most are simple and do not require any tools (pull vac line going to XX, and note if engine idle speed increases). usualyl the problem is bad or leaky vac lines, if a component tests bad you often can clean it with carb cleaner, or by pass it if you can not find a replacement.

There is nothing to be intimidated about, none of it is difficult. There are a lot of steps, but none are hard to do, most all do not require special tools or test equipment (some tools or test equipment that you may not have do not cost much to buy, you will save many hundreds over paying a mechanic that does not know what he is doing). Just take both the rebuild, and the testing, one step at a time.

Once you do it, next time you can repeat all the tests in about 20 min for future diagnosis, and you will learn more than a modern mechanic knows about your engine. unfortunately most modern mechanics are not that knowledgeable about how our cars, or its fuel systems, work. They have been trained to depend on electronic diagnostic tools he plugs in and get a reading to tell them what to change. The Tercel is not equipped for that, but the service manual will tell you what you need to know. IOW, YOU are the means to diagnose and fix your car, no computer to tell you what to do. Most mechanics today were not even born when this car was in production, it is all an intimidating time waster for them (a money loser). Most will incorrectly say "it is not worth fixing" (and why so many end up in the wrecking yards), what they really mean it is beyond their knowledge and they do not want to take the time to learn how. And who can blame them when 999 out of 1000 cars come in they just plug into their analyzer, and than proceed to repair. they have no incentive nor practical reason to bother with an 40 year old econo-box he is not likely to see again. He should have just told you he does not have the knowledge to cost effectively fix your car.

A few tips for DIY carburetor rebuild: clear a work table/work space of all junk and distractions, cover it with butcher paper or other clear durable paper (tape it down well so it does not move). Before you remove the carb, mark and number all the vac lines with tape labels, and take pictures of them so you can get them all back on properly (BTW, do not assume the vac lines are all correct, use the vac diagram in the FSM to verify routing is correct when you install them...on a car this old the vac lines are often buggered up and misrouted). Put the fasteners and tiny parts you remove to get the carb out in container in a safe place for the installation. Keep a magnet on a probe (mechanic's magnet) handy so if you drop something you can immediately recover it from the engine bay, floor, or caught on the engine somewhere. When you take the carb apart on the work table, use cups or bottle caps as parts holders, lay out on the the paper table top and write on the paper what they are. put them in an orderly arrangement on the table so it will make it easier to figure out where it goes when reassembling it. Watch out for the many tiny parts, clips, pins, and internal ball valves and springs. there are ball check valves (they look like a tiny ball bearing or BB) that just sit loose in their pocket and will just fall out and disappear under your work bench if you are not careful. you may not even notice you lost a part line that, and when you put it all together and get it on the car it will not run properly.

Most of what you are doing will be just cleaning out the sludge and deposits from the passage ways, jets and vents inside the carb. if the carb has not been messed with before, most all of the specifications and clearances will still be good when you re assemble it after you clean it out. Make sure you go through ALL of the linkage adjustments procedures, many operational problems are just the linkage is way out of adjustment (someone messing around trying fix it by dorking around with the adjustments, but just makes it worse).

Besides normal metric tools there are a few that may be useful to get: a volt-olm meter, and electrical jumper wires with clips on both ends, one jet requires a 9mm deep socket in 1/4" drive (nothing else will fit, and in working on import cars for almost 50 years I have never used a 9mm wrench or socket, except to remove the jet in the Tercel carb), you can skip removing it but it will be much easier to clean out the passages under it with it removed. small needle nose pliers to get off and install the many tiny linkage clips. Small pipe cleaners or bore brushes (they do not cost much, harbor freight or the auto parts store has a package with a selection of sizes for like $4. get the smaller ones for the carb). several cans of spray parts cleaner are good to spray out the passages. you can wipe out most of the parts with carb cleaner, but you can also soak the parts in a can or pan of oderless paint thinner to weaken all of sludge and build up to make it easier. I made a parts cleaner pan by attaching a vibrating palm sander to an old aluminum baking pan (using screws through the side into the base of the palm sander), and mounting it on a simple wood stand with large zip ties, to clean parts. I put parts in it with solvent or oderless paint thinner and turn on the palm sander, cover the top and let is vibrate for 15 min. all the parts come out looking like new. it is poor mans ultrasonic cleaner made with junk I had sitting around in my garage.

You can do it, just follow the procedures. Nothing to be intimidated about, look at as a new adventure where you will be learning a lot. And you will be very pleased with the results once you get it all sorted out. You will also learn a lot about the way your car works. And you will save your self hundreds of dollars, that alone is worth committing a whole weekend to rebuilding your carb and getting all checked and adjusted properly.

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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My tercel:: 1983 SR5 Wagon

Re: Carburetor Replacement

Post by Mogordo »

I have little experience but I would just as soon my recently acquired Tercel had come with a decent stock carburetor and all the original pieces as with the Weber and set up it came with. Probably if I understood carburetors and vacuum systems better I would have an easier time but as it is I can't exactly just go back to "square one" with the Weber to figure things out as I presumably could if it had original equipment.
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