1985 Toyota van

Talk about the other members of the Toyota family here
Jarf
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My tercel:: Currently without
Location: Ontario

Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Jarf »

Mark - awesome ride, congrats
Have you been over to ToyotaVanTech.com, they have all the answers to everything TV

I have also learned that all the people that have something negative to say about them have never actually been inside one.
They are not small on the inside, they actually handle quite well and are easier to work on than many newer cars.
I much prefer to work on "Red" than I do Suzy
This is an older pic but....
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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
Location: Victoria, B.C.

Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Mark »

Jarf wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:01 pm Mark - awesome ride, congrats
Have you been over to ToyotaVanTech.com, they have all the answers to everything TV

I have also learned that all the people that have something negative to say about them have never actually been inside one.
They are not small on the inside, they actually handle quite well and are easier to work on than many newer cars.
I much prefer to work on "Red" than I do Suzy
This is an older pic but....
I'm not a member of that forum, but I have used it for things like wiring diagrams and the FSM (even though it's for the 2nd gens). I find that the general discussion isn't that helpful since a lot of the suggestions to people's questions seem pretty random and not that technical and when someone asks a new question, they get scolded and told to "do a search".
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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
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Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Mark »

I think the trickiest part of working on them is the placement of the components. On the Tercels (or most non super-modern cars), you open the hood and everything is there. On the van I had to take apart the dashboard to access the brake master cylinder. I had to cut a hole in the sheet metal behind the driver's seat so I could replace some coolant hoses without taking out half the engine. I do find it easier to do work underneath it since the ground clearance is much higher. I can lay fully under it without jacking it up at all.
Jarf
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Location: Ontario

Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Jarf »

That forum is set up different from most, having one thread that everyone participates in does make organization easier and also helps with finding actual solutions too.
Sorry for chastising, as I was quite possibly, one of the scolders.
It gets old fast when every single poster asks why their van wont start and has it ever happened to anyone else.
There's been a lot of new members lately and some of the advice has slipped in quality but it is a good place.
You are right about access but I find its more about it being unconventional, than difficult.
And yeah, the dash does have to come apart to work on anything in there, but its not like you're replacing the BMC every day, either.

I did the HoD while I had the valve cover off, wasn't that bad and saved cutting metal but everyone has their own take on it.
Granted, things are well packed in there but once you wrap your head around that, it gets a lot easier.

The best thing of all though is the driving position, Its like comparing the local cineplex to an Omnimax theatre.

A couple of years ago I had an ice fishing outfitter make the same sort of claims about the 4WD aspect as Petros did.
Told me I could park in the lot and he would give me a ride out.
6miles out on the lake he asked if he could buy it, as it would make a great customer shuttle.
People are funny.

Hope you enjoy
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Petros »

I said I like the van, I am not a downer at all about them. but they have their quirks.

doing major maintenance is one of the easiest of any van I have ever worked on, typically you are working through a hatch like hood with the most of the engine out of reach, my full size ford was like that. but not on this van, once you resign yourself to getting that engine access panel off, it is excellent access. the one I worked on, as a favor to a handicapped owner, once I got the hatch off to replace the radiator, it was easy to just give it a full service: new water pump, front seals, all new belts, spark plugs, filters, oil etc etc. Fortunately with a Toyota, you do not need to give it maintenance very often, with this vehicle, you give it the full works since removing the access hatch is so much work, you want to get it over with all at once.

the driving position takes some getting used to, similar to other "cab over" front ends, you ride over the front wheels, and you are actually ahead of the steering system. so it is a very different experience, feel odd compared to the normal driver's position of being tween the front and rear axles. but it is not bad to drive at all, easy to park, visibility is excellent from all sides.

I like it because it is unusual, fun and quirky, and Japanese. I also like smaller vehicles too. I do not think it was intended for the US market, unlike all the modern imports, they are almost all specifically designed for the US market. one can imagine this thing winding its way through narrow streets in the older parts of Tokyo making deliveries. it is a very cleaver design, even brilliant, for its intended use.
'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)
Grendle
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Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Grendle »

( I know - it's an old thread, but since I'm new and drive one daily ...)

+1 for them being considerably more spacious on the inside than you would think. I have the only van I know of that can out parallel park most sedans, fit easily in any compact car space, and can still haul all the 4x8 plywood I need to build a bouldering wall in the guest bedroom.
IMG_0334.jpg
Or haul an antique wardrobe from Iowa to Texas and still seat 3.
IMG_1806.jpg
Or haul a replacement motor for my F100. (That picture is buried in iMessage somewhere.
In fairness to Petros' point though, other small vehicles can haul more than you think too. I had a youth leader once who fit a queen mattress and two 6' teenagers in his Civic hatchback while we were helping him move.


As far as 4wd goes, their capability is what you make it. Definitely requires some creativity if you go beyond the well documented AT/MT tires and 2" lift, but the manual version actually has a hi-lo t-case, and the narrow stance and weight distribution plus low CoG you get with the mid engine setup has some benefits on mild trails. That said, I really only take mine on poorly maintained access roads when we go camping/etc.

I think the biggest 'problem' with the engine access is that I tend to postpone things I want to do on the passenger half until something comes up that I need to do on the passenger half. It's not hard to open up the passenger side, but it's so much more worth it if I'm knocking out multiple jobs at the same time.
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Last edited by Grendle on Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Grendle
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Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by Grendle »

As far a ToyotaVanTech goes, I'm mixed. It's invaluable for some of the information I've needed, and most of the users are friendly, but the whole 'use the search feature' response is a real drag when you use the search feature and the top 5 hits are other threads asking the same question and being told to use the search feature. There ought to be an algorithm to ignore or de-prioritize unanswered threads when searching.
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dlb
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Re: 1985 Toyota van

Post by dlb »

Grendle wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 1:50 pm There ought to be an algorithm to ignore or de-prioritize unanswered threads when searching.
This is a great idea.

Funny about the 4x8 plywood thing. That's actually a vehicle requirement for several friends of mine.
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