CC Outtake: The Church Of Toyota


Frequent readers of CC will know of my propensity for (mostly) ’80s Toyota iron.  However, my roommate, Jerry, who sold me my first Toyota years ago, is making me a bit jealous.

My little ‘83 Tercel hatchback  is getting crowded out of the church parking lot in which they graciously *cough* allow us one spot. He bought this ’89 Corolla AWD “Turbo” wagon off Craigslist (and for dirt) earlier this year, and a few weeks ago an FX, for $300. Although listed as undriveable with a “stuck” clutch, he was nevertheless able to drive it home. After he replaced the master cylinder, it was good to go.  And just last night, he bought an ’85 Tercel 4×4 wagon for $150.  Long story short, its owner had taken a train to Mississippi after, well, attempting to repair a fuel issue.  He didn’t really know what he was doing, and wound up bricking it…


…or not!  We spent a few hours replacing various bad vacuum hoses, then went through almost an entire can of carb cleaner, added some premium gas directly into the carb–and still couldn’t get spark.  Or so we thought.  And then we tried the “stick a screwdriver in the distributor and place the spark plug cable near the screwdriver and turn the ignition and look for spark” trick, and…spark!  When we pulled the timing belt cover back we found the likely culprit:  a camshaft pulley so severely bent that the new timing belt we’d put on just a few days earlier was slowly slipping off.

Stay tuned — pretty soon there just might be another CC back on the road (fingers crossed!).