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malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/30/19 3:23 p.m.

So some of you may of seen Floyd, my pink tercel https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/my-2nd-tercel-build/134131/page1/

I now welcome you all to Earl, my grey tercel.

Funny story..I bought it for a friend of mine to replace his rotten 4th gen with my old turbo system.  This car was $300 with a rod knock, 4spd, AC, PS, but no sway bar.  Its in above average shape for a salt belt car, I guess spending its life in Virginia gave it some extra years before major rot.

Anyways, we fully stripped his 4th gen

to donate the majority of its running gear for the grey 5th gen.  The body stuff went to another friend with a 4th gen that always seems to find stuff to run into, or be ran into.

So he works for the government (and was one of the many that didnt get to work for a month) and owed me some money for working on another project so he gave me the grey car as he rather wait out for another 4th gen.

Ill lay out my plans for this car in a later post :)

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/4/19 9:24 p.m.


So the intial plans are to throw a motor in it and beat it for the 2019 season.  Then hopefully around this time next year the car will recieve the 1nz swap I orignally picked up to put in Floyd, my pink tercel.

Along the way I will upgrade the brakes to my favorite, Mazda rotors, corolla calipers and camry master cylinder.  I am undecided about the suspension.  I have my old suspension from my white car with newer dampers availible to me, but thats actually a bit soft and that just may find its way onto Floyd, and the FortuneAuto coilovers will get switched onto Earl.

Id like to get another Corbeau Forza seat, and thats probably one of my main things to get asap as they fit me very well and ride very comfortably with their tube frame construction vs a rigid fiberglass bucket.


malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/19/19 5:09 p.m.

well progress was nothing for the last couple months.  Finally my replacment motor is en route to me and I should have it after the weekend.

So today I made quick work of dropping the motor and trans out.

Im sticking in a motor from a 98, so no EGR.  Also I got my old LSD, 5speed trans back, so that will go in with it all.  Im fully servicing the new motor, seals, timing belt, water pump, etc and I have an full-face ebay stage 2 clutch coming.  Ive havent had much luck with them before, but this is a different brand and the motor is stock for now, so I might work out.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/19/19 5:15 p.m.


Motor, 4spd trans, ac bracket and manifolds 329lbs

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/12/19 9:49 a.m.

Got Earl running about 3 weeks ago.

Runs really strong!  98spec engine, Ebay stage 2 clutch, my old 5speed with an LSD, underbrace and stoptech pads on new china rotors.

Just in time for me to hurt Floyd, but hey Earl is helping out

Agent98 Reader
5/12/19 1:43 p.m.

Dual motor Tercel! Take that, Tesla.....

Getting a turbo for Earl?

TJL Reader
5/12/19 2:27 p.m.

So that has 2 “coil on plug” setups and each coil feeds another plug? Kinda cool i guess. Different. 


I cant think of many websites(other than GRM) where people would get excited over a tercel. Thats why GRM ROCKS.

my aunt used to have a tercel, i dont think it was the blackhawk but if i remember it had the rims and some extra body kit stuff that looks like the blackhawk. I dont remember much of the car other than she had it forever and it was very toyota boring reliable. 

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/12/19 3:21 p.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

Maybe might get the old set up from Floyd if it sticks around.  Right now I just need it to be a runner

5/12/19 6:53 p.m.

Yeah, what's up with that coil-on-plug setup you've got there?

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/13/19 4:16 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

standard issue mid-late 90s Toyota waste spark

5/13/19 9:51 p.m.

Seriously? Huh, toyota gets wierder every day.

What's the plan with Earl here? Just bash around and let something come naturally?

tdrrally Reader
5/14/19 10:06 a.m.

i always wanted to put a 3sg and 5 speed from a celica along with brake and suspension upgrades in one of those. it would make a sweet rally/race car.

mycars12 New Reader
5/14/19 12:08 p.m.

You literally gotta cut up the engine bay to make that 3s motor fit. You would also need custom axles and mounts lol.

Dave Reader
5/14/19 12:31 p.m.


Very nice! I just got my Tercel on the road yesterday. It is a 1996 2dr sport. Only bought for four hundred and some bucks.


I originally bought it as an engine donor for my Innocenti but noticed it was almost rust free when I got it home (bought in the dark as I only cared for the motor - figures when I ignore all the buying common sense rules I end up with a cherry of a car). Couldn't cut it up so now it is the kids car but it is quite nice to drive. I plan on borrowing it often. What are the details on the brake upgrade? I probably won't do it anytime soon but when they need replaced ...

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/19/19 6:55 a.m.

In reply to Dave :

there is a few brake upgrade options for the 5th gen, the EASY one is run all 1st generation Paseo rotors and calipers.  Generally most street cars are fine with this, tho I did track that set up with real race pads and was OK, but I eventually needed more capacity.  The way I normally go, is Mazda Protege rotors and Corolla calipers.  You have to grind some meat off the mating surface of the caliber bracket (to spindle) to center it over the Mazda rotor, but its an amazing feeling set up.  I also run a Camry MC to have immediate take up in the pedal.

On this car I might experiment with some Celica parts that I have.  I got to get bigger wheels first.

This car is an absolute hoot to drive and I forgot how much fun a nearly stock Tercel with a manual can be.

mycars12 New Reader
5/20/19 1:00 p.m.

If you are looking for upgraded brakes you can use st205 calipers. 4 pots and direct bolt on to the hub. They sure are pricey tho.  You going 16x8 or 17x8?

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/21/19 6:34 a.m.

In reply to mycars12 :

I have brakes off a 205 regular car tho that I am going to play with.  Tho they might be the same as the Corolla calipers I normally run.

Wheels are most likely 15s.  I have a few wheels I like, just no extra fundage to spend atm.  Tho Im not opposed to something obnoxious in a 17 or 18 just to hurt people eyes

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
5/21/19 8:36 a.m.

Yeah, what's up with that coil-on-plug setup you've got there?

Wasted spark ignition was pretty common, just look under the hood of NA and NB Miatas.

mycars12 New Reader
5/21/19 10:21 a.m.

In reply to malibuguy :

corolla calipers are 1 pot and the mx3 rotors are like 255?

you should be able to run the st205 4 pots with some mini cooper rotors which is like 280?

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/23/19 4:50 a.m.

In reply to mycars12 :

Not sure.  The big thing is they are much thicker.


malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/30/19 1:41 p.m.

whipped up a E36 M3ty little bracket (3rd variant of this thing trying to get it right) to use  GM truck tensioner so I can have AC without PS.  There is a proper idler to replace the PS but you can never find them, so I came up with this.  Its a bit awkward to install.

Id like to try to find a smaller unit, or at least one that is like the other way around in design.  Then maybe I can make a nicer solution that I can also be proud to reproduce.

But hey my AC works now, and as per typical Tercel AC, it blows North Pole air <3

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/11/19 10:39 p.m.

Went from the 155/80-13 to a 185/60-14 on Kosei wheels and each corner is 1 lbs lighter!


Then about 10min after that picture up in the mountains I blew a brake line and went backwards off the road.  Luckily im fine, car is fine...tho nearly wacked a tree.  However I had absolutely no brake pedal at all.  So 50~ miles home with ebrake and downshifting to get to my shop and reveal



jfryjfry Dork
10/12/19 12:37 a.m.

Whoa man that sounds like quite a close call and quite a nail-biting drive home. 


Glad you made it!   

Run_Away GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/13/19 1:33 p.m.

Glad you and the car are okay!

1/20/20 8:44 a.m.

Hi Malibuguy, I checked your four Tercel threads and haven't seen further details on this brake upgrade, aside from talks of the 1st gen paseo caliper brackets and slightly larger rotors. Have you found any rear disc substitute other than the starlet? Interested in hearing more about the brake setup below as ill need additional stopping power in the 1/4. Thank you

malibuguy said:

Along the way I will upgrade the brakes to my favorite, Mazda rotors, corolla calipers and camry master cylinder. 



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