after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

Finally, an update. Several weeks ago, I got everything back together and was excited to get the car started and test the clutch. Unfortunately, it only cranked, even with some sprays of carb cleaner down the barrels. I checked for spark, nothing. Checked to see if I'd just forgotten to plug in the distributor but no such luck. I remembered then that when I tore the dizzy down to mess with the advance diaphragms, all the screws were really frozen in place, and in getting one loose it broke a plastic piece in there. I had hoped it was just the plastic housing and whatever connections were in there were fine but nope. So I ordered another dizzy from a wrecker, that was a PITA but it finally arrived, and luckily, both the advance diaphragms are good on it! Pretty lucky.

While I was waiting for the dizzy to show up, I moved on to the front sway bar bushings and collars. Found the bushings were ok but the collars were completely gone. The ends of the bar aren't too bad though, luckily. New collars are NLA from Toyota but I found a bushing and collar kit on ebay that was only about $50 shipped so I got that and threw them on today. Getting the sway bar mounts lined up was a little annoying but I've learned to be patient with them and figure out ways to line them up so I don't strip any threads, so it wasn't too bad.

Then I put the new dizzy in. Sprayed some carb cleaner in the carb, car fired up immediately. Didn't want to stay running though so I looked at the carb, found the fuel bowl was overfilled. Removed the top of the carb, cleaned the bowl out, found the needle was sticking a bit. Sprayed carb cleaner on it, worked it back and forth, seemed to work fine then but the car still didn't want to stay running and the bowl still overfills. So a carb rebuild is next on my list, it looks like.

But while I was babying the engine to keep it running, I put it in gear and inched it back and forth a few times. The clutch engaged just fine, so that's good news. Looking forward to fully testing it soon.
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NWMO
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by NWMO »

Good job David, keep it up!

Chris
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."
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dlb
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My tercel:: '83 dlx. 7 previous.
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

Update time. I rebuilt the carb and it runs now, hooray. I adjusted the float level to spec (9/32" gap from the top of the float to the bottom of the air horn when inverted, IIRC) but found the fuel bowl was still overfull so FYI to anyone else doing this, I found the float needed to be basically level with the air horn in order to get the fuel level in the correct range. Here's a pic of my eventual success.

Image[1].jpeg

It's still idling rough after a minute or so of warming up so I checked the idle jet (aka slow jet, depending on whether you're reading the FSM or the directions in the carb rebuild kit -- idle jet makes more sense to me so that's what I prefer to use) and it was fine. The car is a lowly DLX so it doesn't have a tach but I believe I have the fast idle set in the right range. I got sidetracked with other things but will figure this out soon.

But once I got it running, I was finally able to take the car for its first real test drive, and I'm happy to report that it went great. The transmission shifts really nicely, the clutch I installed works great, all the new brakes and parking brake are great, etc.

Oh I just remembered something else that happened. The charge light was fully lit and the park brake was dimly lit so I checked the voltage, and the alternator wasn't charging. I messed with it to see if it was just dirty contacts or something but no luck there. Cheapest one I could find was on rock auto for $130 including shipping but that was going to take at least a week so I took my alternator to a local place that rebuilds them. Unfortunately they called me and said it wasn't salvageable, too much corrosion on the windings and everything else inside. Bummer. I finally got one locally because I didn't want to wait a week for rock auto. I had to swap the old pulley onto the new alternator to match the other pulleys and the belt on the car, never had to do that before. So that was a bit of a saga, just for an alternator.

I also gave the car a thorough bath last week. It took me 1.5 hours of serious scrubbing, and it's still only mostly clean. There is still some green and brown algae on the roof in particular, and a weird light pink algae in a bunch of spots that is very difficult to remove. After that I decided it was time to paint the lower portion and disguise the big rust holes that I filled with spray foam :D Here are some pics of that process.

Image[4].jpeg
Image[3].jpeg
Image[2].jpeg
Image.jpeg

I'm going to let it sit in the warm garage for another night and then get back to work on the carb. Still lots of other stuff to do too -- bypass tube o-rings, exhaust, maybe a windshield, some other minor stuff. I hope to start driving it regularly pretty soon though, and I can barely wait. Resurrecting this POS has been a lot of fun, and really satisfying so far.
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Nordical25
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by Nordical25 »

Good job! Almost there to hit the road.
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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

I just took the car for its first real test: driving to the gas station.

thumbnail_IMG_0213.jpg

It went pretty well! I hadn't dialed the carb in yet but the car needed gas and, you know, I just wanted to drive the dang thing. So the idle was still a bit wonky but it was manageable. I tried to inflate the spare tire but found it had a massive gash in the sidewall so I dropped it off at the tire place to get a new spare put on. Got new wiper blades because the old ones literally did nothing, that was a nice improvement. Tried to get a spare key cut from the terrible local hardware store but true to form, the new key wouldn't even fit in the ignition so I'll go to the real place in town for that later.

The biggest problem I noticed on the drive today was that the engine runs a bit hot (needle was usually just slightly over halfway on the gauge which I have noticed seems to be normal on the DLX gauges, but when driving on the highway it was almost up to 3/4), and also the rad fan never came on. I had tested the rad fan already by unplugging it and it came on like it's supposed to so I'm not sure why it didn't come on when the gauge was reading that high. Any ideas?

I haven't done anything with the cooling system yet besides drain it, replace the rad and heater hoses, and replace the coolant so it's possible there is just a lot of scale in there. I still have my Gates coolant system tool so I will use that on the rad, block, and heater core and see if it doesn't run cooler then. The compression wasn't alarmingly low on cylinders 3 and 4 but it was low enough that I think a bad head gasket could also be the culprit, though I didn't see any white exhaust and the engine ran fine besides the rough idle. Anyway, I'll work on the cooling system first and see how that goes.

Also, I should note that it was a lot of fun just to finally drive an al25 again. Man, I've missed these things. And I got a ton of compliments on the car, even just in the 30 minutes I was driving it around for. Pretty funny.
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NWMO
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by NWMO »

Good to hear David,

It sounds like the temp sending unit (in the radiator) needs replaced. However, I would start by unplugging the fan sensor and just let it run, then put some miles on the car and watch for head gasket issues (milky oil, “washed” spark plug/cylinder, bubbles in the coolant).

I put a little over 200 miles on the Rusty Frog working today. The wind was kicking our rear, but the car did fine, just slow.

Chris
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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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dlb
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My tercel:: '83 dlx. 7 previous.
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

Ahhhh, it's slowly coming back to me now -- unplugging the rad fan from the temp sending unit just tests the fan, so if it comes on then but not when the engine is getting hot, the temp sending unit is faulty. It's been so long, it's amazing what I've forgotten. Thanks for the reminder, Chris.

I checked the coolant level this morning and it was the same as before which is a good sign regarding the head gasket. I'll keep an eye on it though and see how things go.
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Nordical25
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by Nordical25 »

Great that your Tercel took you already to gas station.

Did you remember to check level of engine coolant reservoir? And empty reservoir had an effect to my temp gauge. But just slightly over halfway temp gauge is still ok according to my experiences. Especially if there is no OEM thermostat inside. Here the spare part sellers sell occasionally non OEM "winter thermostats", which go a bit warmer so there would be a bit hotter coolant for heater core. I had also once malfunctioning temp gauge. So I solved once problem by swapping temp gauge at instrument cluster. But there can be several causes for a bit hotter running engine according to my experiences.
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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

Nordical25 wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:08 pm Did you remember to check level of engine coolant reservoir? And empty reservoir had an effect to my temp gauge.
Yup, this is how I keep an eye on the coolant level. I always check it when it's stone cold, and make sure the coolant is at the 'full' line. So far so good!
Nordical25 wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:08 pmBut just slightly over halfway temp gauge is still ok according to my experiences. Especially if there is no OEM thermostat inside. Here the spare part sellers sell occasionally non OEM "winter thermostats", which go a bit warmer so there would be a bit hotter coolant for heater core.
I have found that the temp gauge on the DLX's tends to read right around halfway, while on the SR5 gauge it reads more like 1/3. I have no idea if others have found this so mine is a pretty small sample size but anyway, that's what I've noticed.
Nordical25 wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 11:08 pmI had also once malfunctioning temp gauge. So I solved once problem by swapping temp gauge at instrument cluster. But there can be several causes for a bit hotter running engine according to my experiences.
I thought about this too but considering how long this car has been sitting and neglected, I'm going to assume the coolant system needs some work first and then go from there. I'm planning on using the flush tool on the radiator, block, and heater core, and replacing the thermostat, water pump, temperature switch, and bypass tube o-rings.
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Nordical25
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by Nordical25 »

Good that you follow coolant level via reservoir. Then everything is fine on that front.

You are absolutely correct on SR5 gauge compared to DLX gauge. I did testdrive another red 1987 Tercel before buying my second 1987. Both of them read around halfway with DLX gauges without any overheating issues. I have a feeling that DLX temp gauges are getting stiffer when old. Broken one was nearly above first white stripe when cold.

It makes sense to go coolant system through. If you manage to verify everything else, temp gauge maybe your last resort.
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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

I finally got around to going over the coolant system. I started with using the Viper flush tool on the rad, block, and heater core. Then I replaced the thermostat, water pump, bypass tube o-rings, and fan switch. I tested the old thermostat and it passed the test, it has 180* stamped on it and that's when it opened. The old water pump looked fine too, the bearing still felt good and there hadn't been any drips from its weep hole, but I just wanted to cover my bases and get the system done in one go so I went ahead and replaced everything anyway.

Tonight I filled the system with water and let it idle up to temp, looking for leaks and watching to see when the rad fan came on. No leaks, hooray! And the fan came on at around 3/4 up the gauge (the needle was almost at the white line that separates the 'normal' and 'hot' sections on the gauge), and it turned off when the gauge got down to halfway. I feel confident in it not overheating now so tomorrow I'll put coolant in it and drive it around more to see what the gauge reads under different driving conditions.

But perhaps most important, this finally showed up in the mail:

thumbnail_IMG_0260.jpg

So cool! I bought it off of ebay at the start of November. There are still two available here

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/224207260572

if anyone else is interested. It said it would only take two weeks two arrive but it turned out to be six, FYI.
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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

I've been driving the car a bit lately and it seems that the Viper did a good job on the cooling system. It's running quite a bit cooler now, so far tending to be in the 1/3 to 1/2 range on the gauge. I need to start doing some longer drives though to get a fuller picture, and it's also -5 (celsius) here right now so that is likely impacting things. Anyway, so far I'm happy with that aspect.

The warm idle is still lousy, I think there is a vacuum leak I haven't found yet so that's next on my list. Then I need to adjust the valves because they're chattering a bit, and then a slight alignment. It's nice to be able to drive it now and figure out what needs work, and prioritize jobs.
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Nordical25
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by Nordical25 »

I am glad that your Viper tool does its job well. And that gauge reading sounds perfectly fine to me.

Let's hope that you will find origin of your vacuum leak. Start spray or brake cleaner are good options for vacuum leak hunting. Anyway fixing minor faults when car drives is much nicer already than starting point. So things are proceeding well I would say.
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dlb
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by dlb »

Nordical25 wrote: Mon Dec 19, 2022 12:24 pm Let's hope that you will find origin of your vacuum leak. Start spray or brake cleaner are good options for vacuum leak hunting. Anyway fixing minor faults when car drives is much nicer already than starting point. So things are proceeding well I would say.
I agree! This stuff is all pretty fun and easy, and now that I'm actually able to drive the car regularly it makes each improvement even more satisfying.

I've sprayed carb cleaner everywhere but didn't find anything with that so I'm going to check all the vacuum diaphragms again, particularly the ones that keep the choke open since this seems to only happen when it's warm, and at idle. Later this week, I hope.
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Mark
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Re: after many years, I'm finally back in the T4 game

Post by Mark »

When I've had a vacuum leak that only happened when warm, it was the egr vacuum modulator diaphragm.
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