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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've been daily driving my 4-AF for a little over a week now. I'm loving the 5 speeds and nice heat (we had a blizzard today...on the 25th of March :ugh3:)

For some background on it to help diagnose my issues:

- 203,000km
- Stock exhaust except for Cat taken out and straight put in its place.
- Brand new battery and tie downs
- 5 Speed

This is my first manual car, and I had a bit of a rough time learning on it as the pedal play on the clutch was really out of line and the previous owner had those horrible 'Type R' floormats in there that would ride up and stop the clutch from pressing all the way to the floor (the pedal play was making it so you had to press all the way down...or the cable is stretched...haven't been able to look at that yet)

Anyways, my problems aren't that devastating (yet? :eek:) but the one I am most concerned about is sometimes randomly when I go to start the engine, it makes a noise like the battery is dead (kinda a high pitched electrical noise) and doesn't turn over. The radio/heat all come on fine when the key is turned when this happens, so there IS power. If I try to start it right away again it usually does it again, but if I switch gears and take the key out, then try again it's usually okay. Is this the car stopping me from starting it because of the neutral detect/clutch detect do you think? What could I do to find out? It still happens when the clutch is down and in neutral...maybe it's just picky or malfunctioning? Could it be something else?

My other problem (forgive me if it's dumb...standard newbie here still :ugh3:) but when I take my foot off the gas sometimes the car jerks around a bit as if stalling (I don't ride the clutch, and I know how to stop/everything fine as far as I know...I always put it into neutral at stops and refrain from clutch riding like I said) it's just right when I come off the gas the car goes 'VRRrrrrrr....' and I can feel the exhaust almost backfiring. Is this just a hole in the pipe or something, or does it have to do with the transmission/clutch?

EDIT: Forgot to add, I have no clue when the last time the fluids and controls were checked for the trans or the engine. I would expect them to be in 2007 as the car sat for quite some time with one owner sometime in '07 and wasn't really driven until I got it. This is high on my list of priorities for the car...yikes! I'm just waiting on my paycheque.

I know it's really hard to diagnose problems over the net. I've been helping people with their two stroke issues on internet forums for a while now...so I'm trying to be as descriptive as possible and would love some insight if you have some to share :)

Thanks for any help!
 

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Registered
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129 Posts
Anyways, my problems aren't that devastating (yet? :eek:) but the one I am most concerned about is sometimes randomly when I go to start the engine, it makes a noise like the battery is dead (kinda a high pitched electrical noise) and doesn't turn over. The radio/heat all come on fine when the key is turned when this happens, so there IS power. If I try to start it right away again it usually does it again, but if I switch gears and take the key out, then try again it's usually okay. Is this the car stopping me from starting it because of the neutral detect/clutch detect do you think? What could I do to find out? It still happens when the clutch is down and in neutral...maybe it's just picky or malfunctioning? Could it be something else?
Do you hear a click (from under the hood) when you turn the key
when the problem happens? Does it happen more often in cold weather?
If so, it's probably your starter selenoid contacts nearing end of life.
The contacts wear over the years and ultimately too much material
disappears, first noticable in cold weather. If this is the problem,
you could just replace the contacts, but it's easier just to replace
the whole starter.

BTW, in an emergency, you can heat up the starter by holding the
key in the start position for a few seconds. After you release, the
next attempt should work. I let mine go for a long time and I eventually
smoked the starter after holding it in start for 20-30 seconds.
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you hear a click (from under the hood) when you turn the key
when the problem happens? Does it happen more often in cold weather?
If so, it's probably your starter selenoid contacts nearing end of life.
The contacts wear over the years and ultimately too much material
disappears, first noticable in cold weather. If this is the problem,
you could just replace the contacts, but it's easier just to replace
the whole starter.

BTW, in an emergency, you can heat up the starter by holding the
key in the start position for a few seconds. After you release, the
next attempt should work. I let mine go for a long time and I eventually
smoked the starter after holding it in start for 20-30 seconds.
Ah yes, forgot to add that it clicks...and yeah, it does it in cold weather (though I haven't had the chance to guage it in warm yet...it's still full force winter here :ugh3:)

I had a feeling it was the starter, and yeah it does take a couple tries but then it works (I guess turning it warms up the contacts like you said)

Anyone got any ideas for the second problem? Thanks, Eric :)
 

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Vroom?
2003 Audi A4
Joined
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4,408 Posts
yeah it's really easy. Since either way you are pulling the starter. I have done it and completey disagree on replacing it!!!

As for the type R floor mats... My car came with the exact same ones lol. They stop riding up as they get older and form to the floor with the hot and cold from summer to winter.

I have yet to find the jerking problem solution, I have the same thing. I think it comes down to the carb aging.

As for the wierd exhaust noises... Check around for a hole. Also check the flanges are tight. For the longest time on mine the one at the down pipe and manifold would always come loose and made the car sound like it had a turbo.
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah it's really easy. Since either way you are pulling the starter. I have done it and completey disagree on replacing it!!!

As for the type R floor mats... My car came with the exact same ones lol. They stop riding up as they get older and form to the floor with the hot and cold from summer to winter.

I have yet to find the jerking problem solution, I have the same thing. I think it comes down to the carb aging.

As for the wierd exhaust noises... Check around for a hole. Also check the flanges are tight. For the longest time on mine the one at the down pipe and manifold would always come loose and made the car sound like it had a turbo.
Well that's nice to hear that someone else is having the same problem...at least it's not something devastating that's going to bite me in the ass really soon.

I'm sure there are still exhaust leaks causing the sounds too. I can't get under the car until the snow melts cause there would be no safe ground to jack up on :(

Thanks for the links guys, I'll check that out.
 

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Registered
89 corolla sr5
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108 Posts
What gear are you in when it jerks? I think I have the same problem as you with the starter and I actually pulled the starter when I was changing the clutch and the starter looked fine, and relatively new. Could the sound be something spinning?
The jerking could just be that you are letting off the gas in first or second gear, first gear especially.
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What gear are you in when it jerks? I think I have the same problem as you with the starter and I actually pulled the starter when I was changing the clutch and the starter looked fine, and relatively new. Could the sound be something spinning?
The jerking could just be that you are letting off the gas in first or second gear, first gear especially.
Yeah, it only happens in 1st or second...is this some dumb noobie standard thing on my part? lol
 

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Registered
89 corolla sr5
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108 Posts
Yeah that is normal. Just put the clutch in when you want to coast at the 1st-2nd-3rd gear speed. I don't know exactly how it works, but it isn't a problem at all. lol
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah that is normal. Just put the clutch in when you want to coast at the 1st-2nd-3rd gear speed. I don't know exactly how it works, but it isn't a problem at all. lol
Ah, that's good to hear. Thanks!
 

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Vroom?
2003 Audi A4
Joined
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4,408 Posts
I doubt it's something the car is supposed to do. Considering it was pretty mild when I got the car and 3 and a half years later it's really harsh. I know the car is getting older so like I said it's probably the carb, or possibly distributor related since the 4af has a vacuum advance where the springs will eventually wear out.
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I doubt it's something the car is supposed to do. Considering it was pretty mild when I got the car and 3 and a half years later it's really harsh. I know the car is getting older so like I said it's probably the carb, or possibly distributor related since the 4af has a vacuum advance where the springs will eventually wear out.
I honestly have no idea what it could totally be attributed to. I don't even want to try and wrap my head around vacuum lines yet with so much other stuff on the go.

I'm the type of person that obsesses over my stuff. When I do something, I don't care how much it costs or how pointless it seems. I'm really dedicated to my stuff, so in a year or two's time you will probably see my ride here still. I'm working on a totally custom mandrel bent stainless steel system (lots of snow and road salt here...want it to last.) for this car, and also working towards a Weber setup once I've gained enough experience with my engine to start dropping a new carb in. I know, I could get another motor and swap it in...but I'm not really into the complexity and possible high maintenance coupled with that (nor trying to even -find- a suitable motor for sale in this city...my city is hard enough to find even the simplest stuff, let alone something specific.).

Anyways, sorry for the long spiel...What I'm trying to say is hopefully I will know if that's the case once I get deeper into testing it myself and ultimately ridding it of the old carb.

Thanks for all the good advice...at least I have an idea of where to head now!
 

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Registered
89 corolla sr5
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108 Posts
When the car is driving the vibrations that the engine is making are uniform, in the sense that it is a relatively constant wavelength. When in 1st gear and you let off of the gas completely the force creating that uniform wavelength goes off kilter quickly. This beginning part is when the car kind of pitches forward and feels like it is slowing down. The car then needs to adjust to the quick change in rhythm so the engine actually shifts against the mounts until the rhythm is achieved. So the engine is actually pitching forward and backward against the rubber in the engine mounts. This pitching is the normal path that the engine takes while accelerating and decelerating, but you notice it because it is happening so quickly. That happens every time you take your foot off of the gas. However, it is more noticeable in the lower gears because of the power ratio. That is why it is intense in 1st gear while mild in 5th.

In conclusion, the only difference between the engines "jerking" and the way that the engine shifts when driving normally is the time that it takes to make these movements. It is not terrible, but it isn't great either. I always push the clutch pedal in in 1st-3rd and I decelerate in gear for 4th and 5th gears.

Edit:
I doubt it's something the car is supposed to do. Considering it was pretty mild when I got the car and 3 and a half years later it's really harsh. I know the car is getting older so like I said it's probably the carb, or possibly distributor related since the 4af has a vacuum advance where the springs will eventually wear out.
I believe that It is the rubber in the engine mounts that is making it more harsh. The engine mounts are made to provide dampening and give for the engines movements.
 

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Homer Lusk Collyer
AE92
Joined
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1,144 Posts
I think the shaking problem is mainly a combination of worn motor mounts and the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS). At least, that's what I suspect my shaking problem is. Do you have a Check Engine Light on?

Sound is probably an exhaust leak as has been suggested before.
 

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Rawr!
1988 Corolla Sedan
Joined
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think the shaking problem is mainly a combination of worn motor mounts and the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS). At least, that's what I suspect my shaking problem is. Do you have a Check Engine Light on?

Sound is probably an exhaust leak as has been suggested before.
Nope. No check engine light.

The motor mounts are rusty and ugly as shit though :ugh3:
 
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