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Diamond in the Rough - my 1985 Toyota Tercel build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by ArizonaComa, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Jan 20, 2021 at 5:15 PM
    #1
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    Hello, my name is Erik and I am the owner of this 1985 Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon.

    First impressions (Jan 2021):
    I would say that for the age, it is in remarkable condition. I am the 4th owner, and there is zero rust on this car from what I can see. Some things to address - it needs tires soon, an A/C recharge, some other small odds & ends, but aside from that this thing is a solid daily driver. I have already begun ordering parts, and I am excited to get to work. It will likely just be lots of routine maintenance and fixes for a while, but nonetheless I am excited to get this thing as solid as I can.

    IMG-0029.jpg

    IMG-0030.jpg

    IMG-0033.jpg

    IMG-0034.jpg

    IMG-0035.jpg

    IMG-0031.jpg

    Current status (as of 3/12/2023):
    IMG_1206.jpg

    Maintenance/Modifications:

    I document a spreadsheet database for the maintenance of my vehicles. The Tercel's maintenance is tracked here:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sw-SJCHXY10CHiOqcJTZm9OoCcp5ujUy4c1JLv8vA7k/edit?usp=sharing

    -**Currently swapping in the drivetrain out of a 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD 5/6 speed MANUAL wagon. The car is mainly a 5 speed while driving in FWD, and when 4WD is engaged the car gains an "Extra Low" gear.**

    -3A-SCV (Swirl Control Valve) JDM engine
    -Weber 32/36 progressive carburetor with electric choke
    -AW11 MR2 seats, driver and passenger
    -Euro-spec Tercel steering wheel
    -Euro-spec rear window louver
    -Miata Enkei 14" aluminum wheels
    -Ceramic tint
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2023
  2. Jan 20, 2021 at 5:23 PM
    #2
    Tacotsubo

    Tacotsubo Mediocre at best

    Joined:
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    4,068
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    First Name:
    Kevin
    San Antonio
    Vehicle:
    2019 MGM DCSB TRD OffRoad
    Fox 2.0 PS Coil 3 Inch Lift, Fox 2.0 Smooth, AAL, Modular bed platform, Softopper, New Tail LIght, Rock Sliders
    And just curious if you care to share, what did you pay for this 35 year old gem ?
     
    Mark77 likes this.
  3. Jan 20, 2021 at 5:28 PM
    #3
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    Haha, I knew someone would ask. I'm sure I paid a bit more for this than some would, but I decided it was worth it to me.
    You just don't come across these.

    I paid 3900. For comparison, I used to daily drive a 1981 Toyota Pickup that was in immaculate shape as well, and I paid (and sold) that truck for 4500.
     
  4. Jan 20, 2021 at 5:32 PM
    #4
    Tacotsubo

    Tacotsubo Mediocre at best

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2019
    Member:
    #289136
    Messages:
    4,068
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Kevin
    San Antonio
    Vehicle:
    2019 MGM DCSB TRD OffRoad
    Fox 2.0 PS Coil 3 Inch Lift, Fox 2.0 Smooth, AAL, Modular bed platform, Softopper, New Tail LIght, Rock Sliders
    Well man. Congrats. Have fun with the build.
     
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  5. Jan 20, 2021 at 5:37 PM
    #5
    Running Board Man

    Running Board Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Member:
    #211024
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    3rz swap
     
  6. Jan 21, 2021 at 9:15 AM
    #6
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    What's that involve? How much of a pipe dream is that compared to the typical 4AGE swap?
     
  7. Jan 21, 2021 at 10:27 AM
    #7
    Running Board Man

    Running Board Man Well-Known Member

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    Well... The 3rz is toyotas 4 cylinder truck motor in 95-04 tacomas and other things around the world

    It's common to see people replacing the 22r/e with a 3rz because it's got more power torque and greater efficency while being just as/imo more reliable

    They make swap kits for pickups... Idk about tercels
     
  8. Jan 21, 2021 at 10:30 AM
    #8
    Natetroknot

    Natetroknot Experiencing TW at several WTFs per thread

    Joined:
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    Nate
    Dubuque, IA
    Vehicle:
    19 Sport AC-6MT
    Awesome car, been forever since I’ve laid eyes on one!
     
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  9. Jan 21, 2021 at 10:32 AM
    #9
    Running Board Man

    Running Board Man Well-Known Member

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    NVM tercels never got the 22r/e
     
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  10. Jan 21, 2021 at 9:04 PM
    #10
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    Thank you! I am stoked to continue working on this. Custom battery cables are coming soon
     
  11. Jan 21, 2021 at 9:04 PM
    #11
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    Nope, I'm pretty sure this uses the 3AC engine.
     
    WGyde91 likes this.
  12. Mar 2, 2021 at 6:25 PM
    #12
    WGyde91

    WGyde91 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
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    First Name:
    Wes
    Vehicle:
    2016 SR utility 4x4
    Rough country level Spyder OEM fog 3” total stance
    I just picked up a 83 hatchback this past Saturday, Hadda do a helicoil,new battery, and basic maintenance. $300. minimal cancer on wheel wells 120k miles. I’ve been glued to forums looking at custom builds since sat. Found out you can turbo the 1.5 with a 4cyl diesel turbo. Takes some carb work though.
     
  13. Mar 2, 2021 at 6:27 PM
    #13
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    Central FL
    Vehicle:
    2012 Tacoma SR5 4x4
    Nice! I look forward to this.
    I don’t need another project I don’t need another project
     
    gsubioguy and ArizonaComa[OP] like this.
  14. Mar 2, 2021 at 6:29 PM
    #14
    WGyde91

    WGyde91 Member

    Joined:
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    Wes
    Vehicle:
    2016 SR utility 4x4
    Rough country level Spyder OEM fog 3” total stance
    Oh you know you want to. Go find cheap Tercel, they’re easy to work on. Ya know ya wanna.......
     
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  15. Mar 2, 2021 at 6:30 PM
    #15
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    I had one of these, I had to sell it quickly as I already had a bmw and a supercharged corolla.

    Honestly my biggest regret. I wish I kept it for my son to hoon one day.
     
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  16. Mar 2, 2021 at 6:40 PM
    #16
    Gen3TacomaOBX

    Gen3TacomaOBX Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Male
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    S
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tacoma DCSB SR 4x4
    Bilstein 6112 front / 5100 rear shocks, Headstrong AAL, Firestone airbags, 4.88 gears, OME Carrier bearing drop kit, Tekonsha P3 brake controller, remote start, any-time-backup camera w/ front facing camera, Leer 100R shell (w/e-track single slot tie-down mounts for removable Yakima EasyTop), Husky liners, window tint, heated seat (passenger only.) Relentless bed rail brackets with QuickFists (shovel/axe/fire extinguisher.) Hondo Garage Un-holey vent mount. Anytime rear with front facing camera. Billet front seat risers. Viair 88p. 265/75r16 Goodyear Ultra-terrain tires. Custom Sliders (1.75" HREW tube w/ 3/16" base plates). Cat shields by CaliRaised. Custom front bumper (1/4" steel plate, 1.75" tube).
    This site contains affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
    #16
    ArizonaComa[OP] likes this.
  17. Aug 18, 2021 at 11:18 AM
    #17
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    IMG-1447.jpg

    Been a while since I've updated on here. She's still going strong. Daily driveable in all aspects besides the A/C that I will get fixed soon.
    I've been up to a LOT on the Tercel. Let's see...

    -New battery
    -Oil change & OEM oil filter
    -Compression test (all cylinders between 190-195 PSI)
    -New fuel filter
    -Installed a brand new Weber 32/36 electric choke carburetor, and low-pressure fuel pressure regulator
    -Replaced brake master cylinder
    -Replaced power brake booster
    -Replaced all (4) rubber brake hoses
    -Replaced rear wheel cylinders
    -Replaced brake pads
    -Profusely bled & flushed brake system
    -Drain & fill ATF, cleaned ATF filter
    -Inspected the rear diff
    -Resurfaced OEM front brake rotors
    -Replaced tires

    I've got some scattered pictures of all of this maintenance that I can try to dig out and share, but suffice to say... I've been busy. It's taken me about six months to do all of that maintenance listed above, as I have been still engaged in my full-time studies at Arizona State University.

    IMG-1219.jpg
    Here's another interior shot. This Tercel wagon still amazes me with its character and "cool" factor.

    IMG-1196.jpg
    Here she is, basking in the sunlight right before she got her new tires installed.

    IMG-1460.jpg
    I don't always have the luxury of keeping this 1985 Toyota Tercel in garage, and I hate to see it bake out in the Arizona sun directly all day. So, I came up with a bit of a shelter for it to take a breather under when not in use. Complete with door ding protection, stakes, ground anchors & rope, and 50 lbs. of sandbags. I will be adding more sand soon. And, should a storm arise, I will look into taking the shelter down.

    That's it for now. More of a photo dump and an update than a descriptive thread on all of my maintenance. It hasn't been anything terribly exciting, mostly TEDIOUS troubleshooting and problem-solving, but thankfully the vehicle is happily driving once more.
     
    Leedehua, -Rorschach-, det107 and 4 others like this.
  18. Aug 18, 2021 at 9:14 PM
    #18
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    Any recommendations on chasing down a forum member who works with vinyl? I would LOVE decals like this on mine.

    I have decided, for now, to run stock size tires. I may go up a smidge, but I am keeping this as a relatively stock vehicle. Perhaps a 1-2" lift ("Abra Cadaver lift, it's referred as) but that would be it, just for extra ground clearance.

    Roof rack is happening for sure. I am chasing down gutter mount towers currently.
     
    This site contains affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
    #18
  19. Aug 22, 2021 at 2:48 PM
    #19
    ArizonaComa

    ArizonaComa [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Member:
    #329085
    Messages:
    229
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Erik
    AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Impulse Red ACLB TRD
    285 K02s, Bilsteins, and a GoFastCamper
    New AC compressor on the way from RockAuto. After that, I should be ready for some cold, cold R12 to run through my vents.
    Already replaced my schrader valves in my lines, and all of my o-rings are replaced and oiled up. New receiver drier as well.
     
  20. Sep 22, 2021 at 9:42 AM
    #20
    TuffRuffDangerous

    TuffRuffDangerous Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Member:
    #105169
    Messages:
    748
    Gender:
    Male
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2011 TRD Off Road 4x4 DCSB
    Salex glovebox/console organizers, Philips H4 MotoVision headlight bulbs, Optilux H10 Extreme Yellow XY foglight bulbs, csjumper2003 LED domelight & license plate bulbs
    Is that the original paint? Looks good!

    I became a fan of 4WD Tercels when I got a one in a Happy Meal as a kid. Does anyone here remember the toyline Stomper?

    [​IMG]
     
    tinker_troy and ArizonaComa[OP] like this.

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