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malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/31/17 9:29 p.m.

I loved my first one so much I got another one.

So earlier in the year my buddy calls me, "hey you need to buy this tercel"

Sight unseen I got it.  $250 got me a very solid, coral rose pearl 97 terkle with 144k, bad trans and rear strut mounts.  It moved...just very clunky noises came from the trans


The car has factory optional undercoating, underneath is in excellent shape.  Only rust issues is the driver side rear 1/4 above the wheel (as always) and the front control arms had seen better days.  Still has the owners manual and the salesman's business card too.

Hunted for a trans...found a 4spd (car is a 3spd originally) not too far away at a recyclers with only 79k for $250(plus tax) with a year warranty.

Slapped that in...with some help from the Tercelonline forums gave me a heads up...as a few little things are different.  It was easy and straight forward.  My biggest issue was the TV cable...the one in the new trans was cut, and I accidently ripped mine apart dropping the trans out.  After some careful measuring and butchering them together plus with making a custom support bracket, the trans was in, and working perfectly.


While it sat waiting for me to tag it...I began working on another turbo system.  This one is being made with leftover specials and not going to stay in the car.  So I MIGd my manifold that was made with left over pipe.  The DP is stainless and will be TIGd.  Trying to make everything work without modifying anything on the car so I can easily sell the kit off when I engine swap the car. Here it is on a old bad motor & mocked up on the car.


Got tags eventually and found out the brakes were warped...baaaaaaad.  I threw a cut on the rotors to help me get by until I had the money for new brakes.

FF a month or so after the tags...got a screaming deal on some FortuneAuto 500 coilovers with Swift springs, also did the cheap BBK kit (corolla calipers, protege rotors), new control arms with BJs, inner and outer tie rods.  I also had purchased a set of 3spoke wheels from Japan, cleaned them up and repainted them in a gray metallic.  Shod them with Sentury tires.


Made some custom braces as well.  My leftover UR lower brace does not play too happy with automatics.  The lower brace is not completed, I will make it a 4pt, it will also serve as part of a splitter mount eventually

Snatched up a used Corbeau seat for $70...with a slider and a mazda bracket...well I cut off the mazda tabs and welded on my own.  Very comfortable seat.

Thats pretty much where Im at for the moment.  Eventually, I want to swap in a 1nzfe from a box/egg, echo/yaris with a box/egg trans (short final drive).  Keep the A/C (im too fat and old now)and make an even better trackday/autoX car then my previous tercel

ssswitch Dork
10/31/17 11:31 p.m.

This is a pretty neat project. I don't think I've ever seen someone actually do something to this generation of Tercel.

Much less twice.

Vigo UltimaDork
10/31/17 11:55 p.m.

Cool build. I dont know how daft i have to be to not notice from your instagram posts that you were turboing it, but now i am significantly more interested. 


Do you know about the Tercel that ran last year's Challenge? Did very well in AutoX with no power mods (that i can remember).

dannyzabolotny Reader
11/1/17 1:03 a.m.

I don't have much useful to contribute other than the "holy E36 M3" surprise of seeing somebody build something out a Tercel. This kind of stuff is why I love GRM, it's a special kind of crazy here!

And here I thought I had seen everything when I read an extensive build thread about a Dodge Intrepid...

midniteson Reader
11/1/17 2:37 a.m.

Awesome build. I love tercels! nothing like a light car to throw around. talk about a sleeper. is there a build thread for the previous tercel? what were the mods to it?


malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/1/17 8:34 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Yeah he is a freind.  Cool car

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/1/17 8:36 a.m.

In reply to midniteson :

i do not think so.  But that car...IHI turbo from an early legacy, GC springs, braces, etc etc it was a fun car....made 134/174 at the wheels.  Lifted a ringland after 30k of boosted abuse at 298k.  The chassis was too rotten to continue

Carson Dork
11/1/17 8:50 a.m.

YES! I love these. I have a '96 Ruby Pearl.

Mine's under the knife right now. Starting my own build thread soon.

singleslammer GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/1/17 8:53 a.m.

Wow, that escalated quickly. Here we were going over a new transmission install (we have all been there) and then there was a turbo! Great!

dculberson PowerDork
11/1/17 9:50 a.m.

I swear that just two days ago I was looking at a CL ad for a Tercel and thinking about how much I like those cars and wondering why I haven't had one for a couple decades. And then this thread is here! It's a sign. Make mine green. 

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/1/17 10:00 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

its hard to find em.  They are all still being used!

Usually the ones that popped up are TRASHED unfortunately 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
11/1/17 10:12 a.m.

My wife's cousin had one. Two door manual. I really liked that car and I keep my eyes open for them. On skinny tires they're a blast. You're right though, people tend to drive them until they are impressively worn. Keep on keepin' on with this. I like it.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/1/17 11:43 a.m.

My 2 best buddies like the 4th gens.  The one of the lift has a 5efhe swap from a Toyota Sera (think paseo engine with more compression), the one next to the lift now has a 5efe swap and now has my old turbo kit from the white car.  Its apart, waiting for him to complete the megasquirt for it to make more power.

Fun fact tercels can run 3.5psi without any modifications.  Runs perfect with very safe AFRs.  At one point I was at 17psi in the white car.  But l turned it back to 14psi for the majority of its boosted life

This is his 8th? Tercel and primary reason I even got into them years ago.  Started reading up to learn to help him about 10years ago...and eventually bought my old white one...and now the rest omis history 

Hal UltraDork
11/2/17 6:56 p.m.
malibuguy said:

That garage looks familiar, but I thought you were into Subaru's

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/2/17 7:03 p.m.

In reply to Hal :

Hey Hal!  Hows the wagon?

Really I am not.  I like my wife's Forester...but my niche is little yotas

Hal UltraDork
11/2/17 8:39 p.m.

In reply to malibuguy :

The wagon is doing great.  Been doing a good bit of dirt & gravel with it.  The exhaust you built is perfect for some of the places I have been.

Stealthtercel Dork
11/3/17 12:20 p.m.

Just wanted to say that two new Tercel build threads in as many days is like Christmas for Hallowe'en.  My third-gen served me well for 270,000 km or so, the last couple of years with a low-mileage JY Paseo engine and big front brakes, and expired due to Toronto rust.   This and the cranberry one are making me think it's time to start looking again (although maybe not in Toronto.)

Please resume coolness.

ssswitch Dork
11/4/17 6:54 p.m.

What generation of Megasquirt are you using on these Tercels?

I can't imagine they have very sophisticated ignition or injection requirements. I have a half-assembled MS1-2.2 here and I think it would be pretty cool to put it in a boosted Paseo.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/4/17 8:20 p.m.

In reply to ssswitch :

My buddy bought the ms2 from me.  I originally bought it to run a TPI build that never manifested.

Tho a MicroSquirt should run a terseo just fine

volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
11/4/17 8:47 p.m.

I have a special bit of like for these old terkels.  A friend of mine used to have one, we beat on that car mercilessly.  2 door, black, 4 speed stick.  40mpg every tank.  

I had a similar year Civic for awhile, and while the Civic was generally better at everything the Terkel was still just as fun.  And, didn't eat head gaskets or CV joints.  

I would kindof like to find one of those "Blackhawk" ones, 2 door, with a stick.  Would be a fun little econobox.  

echoechoecho Reader
11/4/17 9:35 p.m.

Tercel take over of GRM!

I planned on doing a video walk around of my tercel explaining everything I did but never ended up doing it.  now Im doing it tomorrow!!

also Im running megasquirt on the factory harness so if you need the diagram or tune file lmk

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/5/17 7:15 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

My white one was a 'whitehawk'.  Its nothing other then a decal package.  There was also redhawks.

Usually it was only on upper models.  AC, PS etc etc.  But my pink one has those options as well.  Just black poverty bumpers.

Btw the car has a name, Floyd...get it?? ;)

#floydthepinktercel is my instagram tag

volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
11/5/17 7:37 a.m.

In reply to malibuguy :

I'm fully aware the "X-hawks" were just stickers and tinsel.  Still want one.  wink

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/17/17 8:52 p.m.

No real update.  Just driving the car and enjoying it.

With the onset of winter the motor has gotten noisier (then they normally are for cold weather).  I may just leave it alone until I do the swap. 

Almost bought a parts/donor xB...but house stuff has priority (unfortunately)

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/18/17 3:34 a.m.

Tell us about the Nova!

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