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1987 Tercel suddenly sounds like a diesel!

2659 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Willy the Wagon
Hello, this is my first post. We have 2 tercel wagons, both 4WD. One is 5sp (350k) the other auto (270k) (my girlfriend's).
Yesterday I started my girlfriend's car and with no prior warning it sounded like my old diesel land cruiser - clatter, clatter.
Oil levels are very low. So put some oil in (and educated her, how to do that!). The noise seemed to subside but returned when engine load increased. Frequency of clunking is engine speed dependent. Engine power is reduced. It stalls when coming to a stop at a light.
Could a valve have dropped? Any other likely problems?
I was thinking I should get a compression tester first and check all cylinders.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Thank you,
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yes get a compression tester..sounds like a blown head gasket. oil should not dissappear rapidly like tht. the 3e & 3ee are known for having ring problems and head issues.
Thanks Kene. I'll try and do a compression check today. It's actually a 3A engine, and I think the oil didn't necessarily disappear - but rather it got low over time and my girlfriend didn't ever check it!
Definitely sounds like something mechanical... Is the exhaust from the car blue? Get a cheapie stethescope and try to determine if the noise is coming from top/bottom/center of the engine...

Is there any oil leaking out anywhere? oil pan or at the bottom of the transmission? Try topping the oil and rev the engine (in park or neutral) to high rpm and check for leaks.
I had a mechanic listen to it - apparently rod bearing gone.
So we have decided to donate the engine from my 84 5sp Tercel wagon into the 87 auto Tercel wagon. The 84 has a LOT of rust and is ready to retire anyway.
So the question is: Any problems in moving engine from a standard into an auto? Is everything just going to match up?
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