I had one of those in the 90s and really loved it. Be careful with your fluid levels - the transfer case and such have low capacities, and you need to stay on top of them. That was what toasted mine, unfortunately, on a cross country trip. Every junkyard I called had Tercels but all with the same problem. I really wish Toyota would make more cars like the Tercel - the AWD Matrix and Rav4 just falls short of the old school utility of the Tercel.
I think as we see gas prices rise this is exactly the future of Expo vehicles for many people. I have an 80 Series now, and so many times I'm on a dirt road thinking, man, what a waste of an 80! I could drive this road in any awd car.... nothing against the 80, I absolutely love my 80, but now that I have an overbuilt rig it almost takes the fun out some trips because I rarely have to be concerned about my line. That's just part of being on the East coast, I suppose.
I assume you've seen this build:
2008 Tacoma DCSB supercharged.
Had two of them growing up, I put one out of it's misery just prior to high school graduation. The rusted up frame coulndn't handle an impromptu trip through a ditch and nearby field. Would defiantly consider a slightly more powerful engine, the poor things couldn't get out of their own way. Seems to be a lot of the out here, might grab one and try a VW TDI in it.
Living in Idaho, I had a Tercel 4wd for sometime as a ski car. One of the many rigs I miss, along with my FJ 40.
Love these cars! I can't believe you've done so much with one of these guys.
We had one awhile back, took up into the mountains in California. On the mountains you were required to have chains and 4wd, we went up in ours with bald tires and no chains. Amazing vehicles! Ours had roughly 230k still ran great
Very cool little car. I love seeing people mod little wagons/hatchbacks into capable off-road vehicles. So many people just have the attitude that you need a jeep or something with solid axles to have fun off-road, and that's just not the case.
I have an off-road ready SX4, I feel your pain with the lack of aftermarket support. But getting custom things made or making them yourself is half the fun!
hey Sam, love the tercels! ive tried to find one, but rust free and tercel are in completely different libraries!
I would love to see your rig some time and maybe do a run! any chance you mountain bike to? i have a welder and some fab tools if your ever feeling frisky for some mods!
1994 Montero SR. 32/11.5 Build in progress
I drove one for a ski tuning job for years, pick up, tune and delivered in some serious snow storms. Those cars in the snow with studs are unstoppable! I had a steep twisty downhill road that I would drive every night. The game was to not use the clutch or brakes all the way down and through all the curves. The other fun game being sober and driving around at 2 in the morning was to generally try to put it sideways as much as possible, not an easy task.
The car just would not go sideways in 4wd. I remember the combo like it was yesterdays delivery with drunks hanging outside of the bar next to the ski shop in the village circle.
You would be coming in hot in 2nd gear, hold the clutch, shift to 1st, shift to 2wd, hand brake, set it in sideways, look at the faces on the drunks pointing, big drift around the circle, shift back to 4wd, dump the clutch which straightened it out immediately and basically slide in past the drunks to the ski shop front door. I must have done that same thing 500 times!
Oh and my close friend who also partook in those shenanigans just bought one!!
Awesome! I saw two of these in Moab last July. Any chance one was you?
"Simplicity is the key to brilliance."
"Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier."
"In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit, counts more than the object pursued."
Wow, I didn't realize this thread came back! Since posting on here the frame on the car cracked, it started with an accident before I bought it, but I assume the 4 wheeling caused it to spread. I bought another wagon with a bad engine, and swapped everything over. I also ended up buying a 1st gen Tacoma, and the tercel is currently for sale. Heres the new one if anyone wants to see: