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War_Wagon 02-02-2013 12:17 AM

1991 Toyota Tercel project
Go figure. I had a super clean 1991 Tercel 2 door, 5 speed, rust free, no accidents, mostly original nice paint, mint black checkered interior, pass mirror delete car. With 165k KMs (102k miles). I sold it at the beginning of January to a girl that had just moved here, didn't have much cash and hadn't found a job yet. She called me today, crying, then put the mechanic on the phone. Yup, it burnt an exhaust valve and lost a cylinder. She hadn't even put 1500 KMs on it. I do a lot of car stuff to make a living, so I did what I thought was the right thing and gave her her money back., if anyone in the Vancouver area wants a super clean, 3 cylinder Tercel, runs great except for the cylinder that doesn't lol, please let me know! It's too nice to scrap, but I ain't going to fix it. It'll be cheeeeap. Cheaper if you bring beer when you come to look at it :snail:

War_Wagon 02-04-2013 10:53 PM

$350? Anybody in Vancouver? If you are mechanical enough to take the head off, get the valves done, then put it back together yourself, you could even make some money off it if you resold it. But its nice enough to keep, and it will last a long time once the head is redone. My other one averaged 32 mpg with just regular driving and well inflated tires. And it had 60k more KMs on it. With some proper hypermiling it could pull in some good numbers, and if you need to drive on the highway a lot these cars are geared surprisingly well, 120 km/h if you need to do it and the car doesn't break a sweat.

HydroJim 02-04-2013 11:06 PM

you have the cleanest high mileage cars I've ever seen.

Why do cars stay so nice up there?

mechman600 02-04-2013 11:36 PM

The Canadian West coast in an anomaly. We only get salty roads for about a month each year (total over the coarse of the winter) whenever temps are around freezing, surrounded by many months of pissing rain that washes the salt away. It keeps our vehicles very well preserved.

War_Wagon 02-04-2013 11:37 PM

Well I kinda thought 102k miles on a 22 year old car was low, but thanks lol! This area is technically a rainforest, right next to an ocean, so while we get a lot of rain, we don't get a lot of snow. So there is rarely if ever salt on the roads. And we don't have "hard" water, so the mineral content in the water supply is low, which is easier on paint when you wash a car, so the paint lasts longer and protects the metal etc. And commuting distances here are probably a lot lower than they are in other places. I see a lot of posts on this forum from people that have to commute huge distances to work everyday. That is less common here, so older cars tend to live longer. I saw a 2001 Mercedes at an auction last week that had 41k KMs on it (that's 26k miles). On a 12 year old car. And that's not totally uncommon.

Lol ninja'd by Mechman!

mechman600 02-04-2013 11:39 PM


Originally Posted by War_Wagon (Post 354784)
$350? Anybody in Vancouver? If you are mechanical enough to take the head off, get the valves done, then put it back together yourself, you could even make some money off it if you resold it.

I had a '92 with the bare bones 4-speed manual.
I am very very temped....but my wife would murder me.
What's the car worth running good?

HydroJim 02-04-2013 11:52 PM

Oh my bad, I saw 165k and completely missed the whole kilometer thing. Even still, any car around my area would have giant holes in the rocker panels or rear quarter panels.

War_Wagon 02-05-2013 12:18 AM


Originally Posted by mechman600 (Post 354799)
I had a '92 with the bare bones 4-speed manual.
I am very very temped....but my wife would murder me.
What's the car worth running good?

If I could tell you that I would have been able to retire years ago lol. I had listed it for $1500 and sold it for $1200. Your mileage may vary. If gas prices spiked tomorrow it would be a $1500 car plus all day long.

War_Wagon 02-06-2013 10:26 PM

Well I went to take it to the auction today to get rid of it. I hoped someone there would buy it to fix it, but in the back of my mind I knew that it would get sold to the scrap metal guy and get crushed. I have to rescue these little eco cars normally at the auction, and that's when they are in good running order. But a Tercel with a dead cylinder? I could see the vultures circling it as I drove it towards the auction. I pulled into the driveway where they book in cars for the auction. And I couldn't do it! I jammed it in reverse and flew back out onto the road (well as fast as you can go with 75% of the engine working lol), and took it back to the storage area I keep my stash in. I think I will have to name it the Island of Misfit Eco-cars, but I hate the idea of a perfectly repairable, low mile, rust free car going to waste. I don't know if I'll ever get around to trying to fix it myself, but at least I'll be able to sleep tonight without visions of the little thing getting crushed for no good reason ha ha

mechman600 02-07-2013 09:43 AM

HA! You are awesome.

arcosine 02-07-2013 01:40 PM

it's typical for toyotas to burn a valve. I just replaced the head in my 4A-FE, it's $300 for the rebuilt head with camshafts and about $60 for the gaskets. The one exhaust valve is $6. You could drive it on 3 cylinders and just unplug the fuel injector.

War_Wagon 02-07-2013 10:00 PM

That's what our receptionist said when I told her I bought the car back, she's not usually too quick with a come back, but I told her it had lost a cylinder and she replied "Well, it will be better on gas then!" I guess I am rubbing off on everyone there ha ha.

malibuguy 02-12-2013 11:25 AM

wow thats very clean. Id totally buy it right now if i had a way to get it here. 4th gen tercels around here are rather beat to hell.

drainoil 02-12-2013 06:33 PM

I wish you were closer.

War_Wagon 02-13-2013 03:23 AM


Originally Posted by drainoil (Post 356171)
I wish you were closer.

Well it's not going anywhere anytime soon, so if either of y'all ever end up closer to here then you are welcome to a tour of the Island of Misfit Eco-Cars! Buy 3, get the 4th one free lol. Only problem is that unless you are within reasonable driving distance of Vancouver, the eco cars in my stash really aren't worth what it would cost to ship them somewhere further away. If gas prices spiked then maybe it would be, but spending $1000 to ship a $350 car seems counterproductive. But at the same time, I hate seeing this stuff go to waste, even though no one locally wants it. I make it no secret that I am in the car business for a living, but I deal with exporting things like a 2009 F350 Powerstroke diesel to the USA. Eco-cars are just something I like, and because of what I do for a living I see a lot of them available, for cheap. In the 1980s, muscle cars were cheap. Then in the early 1990s they spiked, to crazy levels. I think old eco cars will be similar. We've already seen it with the Metro's pulling big money on eBay a few years ago when gas was super expensive. But I would rather sell my stash for cheap to people that appreciate it and will make use of it, but at the same time if that doesn't happen, I won't say no to making some dough off of it ha ha :snail:

P.S. the Insight twins are not for sale lol.

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