Upgrading your suspension....

Here's some good repair guides for your Tercel :) Look here for help first!
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takza
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Upgrading your suspension....

Post by takza » Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:23 pm

Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to improve the handling of your Tercel.

These improvements result in much better onroad handling (much less corner sway and nose-dive when stopping) AND they increase clearance offroad a little.

What I did:


* Added (2) rubber donuts (circular rubber spring boosters) to EACH front spring. These fit real well in this spring, you just need to jack the car up, take the wheel off, and use some soapy water to get them into the coils. They will last at least several years.


Image


You CAN start with one per side and then try 2 per side later if wanted.

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* For the rear springs, I ONCE used (4) of the 2-bolt type spring clamps with the "saddles", 2 assemblies for each spring.


Image


With the wheel off, you generally want to adjust these so that they fit between 2 coils at at least the width they are at with no weight on the springs.

I put these on exactly opposite each other, 2 to a spring and use them to hold the coils APART.

Be sure they are on opposite sides of the spring (180 degrees apart) and that you have no interference with sheetmetal. The outside corners of the metal saddle brackets can be ground down some to help with any clearance problems.

To keep these in place (they won't fall out, just slide), I use (2) small hose clamps over 4-5 layers of elect tape on BOTH sides of each booster for a total of (8) clamps for both springs.

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The rubber donuts are easiest and best to use in ALL FOUR springs. I use 2 in EACH spring...though you can start off with 1 in EACH spring.

Just need to be sure to do BOTH the front and back the same to keep the car balanced.

With the rear springs you will probably need to take the lower shock bolt loose in order to drop the spring enough to open the coils.

TWO doughnuts in each spring ALL AROUND will improve handling greatly.


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* For the rear sway bar, the method I use to tighten these up is to
insert squares of thin plywood, metal, or plastic under the rubber
attachment blocks to snug them up, and also an extra flat washer in the
endlinks for the same effect.

* For the front sway bar, I did the same for the attachment blocks.

Just don't shim so much that the rubber splits. Usually 3/32" thick
is about right. I use a thin layer of grease on the bars where the
rubber rides after I clean them up with fine sandpaper. Since the old rubber is hardened and shrunk...shimming them puts you somewhat closer to urethane.

If the rubber parts are oxidized too much (split & rotted), they need to be replaced.


** Have found that replacing the bushings on the ends of the swaybars helps handling a lot....as they wear you have both front to back and up-down slop...a solid swaybar mounting makes a big difference.**

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The Tercel wagon has a pretty good suspension setup as-is with the
swaybars front & back and the 5 links on the rear axle.

These improvements might seem pretty simple, but they are very effective on-road.

These mods work best for on-road driving...but for off-road, boosting the springs doesn't allow them to collapse fully...which is best in rough terrain...though this setup does OK offroad...just not optimal. Also, the swaybar mods do not really help any for off-road driving...where some offroaders remove the swaybars entirely (not with the T4WD though).

On the other hand...I did some fairly serious offroading with these boosters and swaybar shims and really had no problems...the MA700 rear shocks allow greater extension in the back...keeping the wheels on the ground over gullies.


Cost is around $50.

With the typical lower & sagging springs seen on older cars....a stiffer suspension...& some 14" wheels with 60 series tires you can take full advantage of the handling. You'll be surprised. B)

NOTE: There are many other options as far as suspension improvement...some have found other cars with springs that willl fit the rear....some have boosted the front springs and/or replaced them. As far as struts and shocks...the MA700 air shocks can be used in back (or other longer travel shocks?)...some have modified the front struts also.

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Last edited by takza on Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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shogun
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Post by shogun » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:25 am

for my car i had custom springs made for it about 40% stiffer that is the most the stock shock will hold (i use kyb super series) the next thing is i made the poliurethane bushing kit for the front (any bodya can mail me i will ship anywhere) and am working in the back, i seam welded the front, that works really great for me because my thing is doing touge, dont know how well will it work in off road, this setup won me and my wagon an autocross champinship in the up to 1500cc class
tercel 4wd custom suspension, under drive pulley, vented brakes, cold air intake, and plenty more to come

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SinusoidalTendencies
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My tercel:: 87 4wd wagon

Re: Upgrading your suspension....

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Sun May 12, 2019 4:01 pm

having some trouble finding spring boosters

and all of your images are broken so i'm not even sure what they look like
I don't always learn my lesson.
But when i do, it's the hard way.

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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
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: Upgrading your suspension....

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sun May 12, 2019 10:38 pm

SinusoidalTendencies wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:01 pm
having some trouble finding spring boosters
and all of your images are broken so i'm not even sure what they look like
https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/b/susp ... 824178d471
This is from O'R's site, but most stores will carry them - pretty sure takza was talking about item 3, the Superior RideEFFEX 1 Inch Spring Spacer.
Tom M.
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SinusoidalTendencies
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Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:06 pm
My tercel:: 87 4wd wagon

Re: Upgrading your suspension....

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Mon May 13, 2019 3:44 pm

Thank you kindly good sir. may have to pick up a quadruple of these to try them out. though i think i may ultimately go with a spring switch out lift method after more research.

here's another picture for posterity
Capture.PNG
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But when i do, it's the hard way.

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