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#3308170 - 03/11/14 10:37 AM Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets?
andrewjoelpeters Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 22
Loc: NM
Hi all,

I've found a junkyard engine for a 1981 Tercel, and I'm wondering what I'd be getting myself into if I bought it. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but spoke with guy that owns it. He said it came out of a wrecked car, that it was running when the car was wrecked, but that it's been sitting on his shelf for ten years!

What would be the first things to look at/replace before using it? I'm guessing the gaskets will be dried out from all that sitting, but I don't have experience rebuilding engines. What else?

Thanks!

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#3308192 - 03/11/14 11:08 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Canada
I'd just replace hoses, and see how it goes.
You may need to do some Carb work, but you might just get lucky.

My Toyota truck sat for 20 years, and only suffered some stuck piston rings, that were freed thanks to a dose of MMO (First and only time I used the stuff)

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#3308193 - 03/11/14 11:08 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 3316
Loc: Phoenix
All the gaskets and seals are 33 years old, so I am sure they are all shot and easier to replace on an engine stand than installed in an engine compartment.

I wouldn't worry about it sitting for 10 years if it was inside, but was it good when it was pulled 10 years ago from a 23 year old car? You hate to invest all kinds of time and money just to get it started and hear a rod knock.

Are you restoring this Tercel?

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#3308197 - 03/11/14 11:13 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
Darwin1138 Offline


Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 253
Loc: Mexico City
Basically you need to replace everything made of rubber (cambelt, vacuum hoses, fuel hoses, fuel pump diaphragm, spark plug wires, seals and gaskets)
You have to check the ignition system and rebuild or probably replace the carburetor and the starter.

One nice trick before turn over the engine is to pump oil through the oil filter base so that a film of oil could get into every bearing.

Also depending on the storage conditions the cylinder walls could be rusted you need to verify this by looking into the spark plug hole if there is too much rust the engine would lose compression in very little time.
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#3308215 - 03/11/14 11:36 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1702
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I'd be concerned about rust on internal parts.

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#3308249 - 03/11/14 12:13 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 15128
Loc: Sunny Florida
If stored indoors it should be fine. Small amounts of rust are no problem on the bores, it's the valve gear that should concern you.

Even a speck on a follower or lifter can cause a failure...
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#3308314 - 03/11/14 01:29 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
SF0059 Offline


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 474
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
I have to ask why you are thinking about doing this?
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#3308351 - 03/11/14 02:26 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Canada
As other members have said, We need to know more about this project, and what intended result is planed.

Those old Tercels, especially in 4wd wagon, are sort after around here.
If you are planning a restoration, you might want to consider the Junk yard engine a 'Core' for a rebuild.

If you just want to get an old Beater going, that's a different matter.

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#3308442 - 03/11/14 03:59 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
andrewjoelpeters Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 22
Loc: NM
Thanks for the guidance everyone! I picked up the tercel for a couple hundred bucks, but the engine's pretty tired: high mileage, burning LOTS of oil. I know a new-old engine might not be that rational, but I'd really like to get my hands dirty and learn a little more and I figure this is a good way.

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#3308654 - 03/11/14 07:30 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
HM12460 Offline


Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 1464
Loc: West Michigan
Originally Posted By: andrewjoelpeters
Thanks for the guidance everyone! I picked up the tercel for a couple hundred bucks, but the engine's pretty tired: high mileage, burning LOTS of oil. I know a new-old engine might not be that rational, but I'd really like to get my hands dirty and learn a little more and I figure this is a good way.




Go for it! Sounds like a good guinea pig. Let us know how it works out.
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#3308754 - 03/11/14 08:51 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
tswm Offline


Registered: 02/13/14
Posts: 55
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: andrewjoelpeters
Thanks for the guidance everyone! I picked up the tercel for a couple hundred bucks, but the engine's pretty tired: high mileage, burning LOTS of oil. I know a new-old engine might not be that rational, but I'd really like to get my hands dirty and learn a little more and I figure this is a good way


Because I have experienced a bit of the following process, though by no means an expert, let me render my comment:

When preparing to do the head gasket work, mechanic straight edge + feeler gauge. Diagonally, as well as length wise and width wise, over both the cylinder head side and the top of the short block; as far as removing the head bolts, very likely a cordless impact wrench may be necessary (if you use that method, initially pull the trigger little by little in short bursts, aiming to loosen it by hand tool such as breaker bar as much as possible); certainly a socket of the correct dimension and an extension ought to be of sufficient strength, doesn't have to be Craftsman, but something like it in quality or even better; hopefully, either no warpage or very minimal found, after that you have pulled the cylinder head. Useful to know whether it be an interference engine or a free running engine. I had been advised by an expert that for removing the old head gasket material, sharpening stone such as for sharpening knives is a wise method to remove the most stubbornly stuck material, rather than automotive sand paper. I researched it myself, and my findings corroborated his advice. Not saying that it really is valid substitute for a professionally done resurfacing of cylinder head at a machine shop, but if none or very little warpage, I suppose that it may be. It's a good thing you're going to train yourself by polishing iron rather than aluminum alloy, it should make your labor a bit easier and simpler. Hard and dirty work, but you will surely improve your automotive skill, which is what you appear to seek.

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#3308804 - 03/11/14 09:38 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
Propflux01 Offline


Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 3117
Loc: Arkansastan
I would check carb first. Then fill with oil and spin it over and see what it does. If you get pressure then give it a source of fuel and try to start it. If it runs, then you can spend $$ on seals and gaskets
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#3308957 - 03/12/14 01:29 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: Propflux01]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Propflux01
I would check carb first. Then fill with oil and spin it over and see what it does. If you get pressure then give it a source of fuel and try to start it. If it runs, then you can spend $$ on seals and gaskets


You might end up using the carb from your old Oil Burner.
But as above, it would be a good Idea to spin it over (Spark plugs out, a little oil down the bores) until you see some oil pressure, before you try to start it.

I read an article from a guy in Texas that used to buy old Tercels whenever he found them at an Auction, the Auction stipulated that bidders were not allowed to start the cars before bidding, so the condition of the engine was unknown. He stated he never bought a Tercel with a bad engine.

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#3309027 - 03/12/14 06:51 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: expat]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 4054
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: expat
Originally Posted By: Propflux01
I would check carb first. Then fill with oil and spin it over and see what it does. If you get pressure then give it a source of fuel and try to start it. If it runs, then you can spend $$ on seals and gaskets


You might end up using the carb from your old Oil Burner.
But as above, it would be a good Idea to spin it over (Spark plugs out, a little oil down the bores) until you see some oil pressure, before you try to start it.


+1 +2 ^^^

BTDT. Great low cost way to learn. Have fun!

Wayne
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#3309126 - 03/12/14 08:54 AM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
andrewjoelpeters Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 22
Loc: NM
Awesome, the advice will help a ton. I'm going to go pick it up on Saturday, so if you have any more thoughts I'd love to hear them. I'll be sure to take photos and post the process when I'm done.

I'll definitely try and start it before hand - and at the very least just turn it over to make sure it's not seized. It'd be great to check for compression too.

Pretty interesting expat, I'll hope that's the case for me to!

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#3309369 - 03/12/14 12:34 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
cptbarkey Online   content


Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 1229
Loc: texas
good luck, i started on a similar path of hobby repairs and it has been very satisfying.
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#3309682 - 03/12/14 05:39 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24159
Loc: ME
I don't think you have to go as deep as the head gaskets.

If the cylinder walls are rusty, you're going to pop the pistons out the top anyway, scuffing in the process. So you might as well scuff the pistons by trying to turn it over.

I would do the timing belt though and cam cover/ oil pan gaskets. Probably a distributor o-ring of some sort.

I bet the junkyard owner is tickled. "Someday my ship will come in and I'm gonna sell that tercel motor..."

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#3309765 - 03/12/14 06:57 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: expat]
TFB1 Offline


Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 2622
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: expat
Originally Posted By: Propflux01
I would check carb first. Then fill with oil and spin it over and see what it does. If you get pressure then give it a source of fuel and try to start it. If it runs, then you can spend $$ on seals and gaskets


You might end up using the carb from your old Oil Burner.


Agreed, I'd swap and then maybe try the orig after the engine is running properly... More than likely though, I'd rebuild it before I tried it...

As others mentioned replace/swap anything with rubber, if it has a mechanical fuel pump I wouldn't trust it as old diaphragms often rupture, that'll dump the crankcase full of gas and ruin a good engine in short order...

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#3310013 - 03/12/14 10:31 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: eljefino]
andrewjoelpeters Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 22
Loc: NM
Originally Posted By: eljefino

I bet the junkyard owner is tickled. "Someday my ship will come in and I'm gonna sell that tercel motor..."


I think you're probably right! At first he saw my out of state area code and told me he wasn't interested in shipping it because he likes to deal in person, but when I told him I'm actually nearby, it sounded like he was getting pretty excited.

Originally Posted By: TFB1

...if it has a mechanical fuel pump I wouldn't trust it as old diaphragms often rupture, that'll dump the crankcase full of gas and ruin a good engine in short order...


To the best of my knowledge 1st generation Tercels had an in-take fuel pump--would there be second one mounted to the engine itself?

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#3311139 - 03/13/14 09:33 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6899
Loc: Florida
Valve seals on Tercels were weak. Replacing them now makes perfect sense. I worked on a carb'd 1989 Tercel, and the camshaft driven fuel pump had to replaced. Typically you see a cam driven fuel pump on a carb engine but there are exceptions. It isn't common, but some carb engines do have an in tank pump.

I suggest replacing the water pump. The bearings might seize.

I am sure that your engine has a maze of vacuum hoses, since it is a carb engine with smog devices. You probably need to replace all of them, unfortunately, most plastic parts connected those hoses will crack.
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#3311204 - 03/13/14 10:19 PM Re: Junkyard Engine Cleanup -- Gaskets? [Re: andrewjoelpeters]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: ks, wichita
while its out in the open pop the old freeze plugs and replace with brass. and do a back yard clean out of the water jackets.

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