RR of the Day: '87 turbo'd Toyota Tercel

Four-wheel fun on a budget is one of our favorite topics and is a philosophy dear to the heart of Flickr member buddyjsupra. His name would imply a different means of transportation, but instead he's the proud owner of this 1987 Toyota Tercel.

The EL31 chassis provided the perfect opportunity for buddy to swap out the feeble 3E motor and swap in a 135 HP, 1.3-liter 4E-FTE turbo mill, complete with five-speed cog swapper. Although it doesn't sound like much in the performance department, buddy insists that it's a fun daily driver and considering that the Tercel weighs just over a ton or so, we believe him.

A full account of the Tercel's transformation is posted after the jump, along with an engine bay shot and instructions on how to submit your own RR of the Day to our Flickr account.

This is an '87 Toyota Tercel EL31 with a 4e-fte engine swap from the JDM Toyota Starlet EP82. It was the first car I ever owned and I drove it all through high school and college before selling it to my roommate for a grand. I got it with 32k original miles on it. I sold it to him with 120k.

After a few years of driving it with the stock, anemic 3E carbed motor and automatic, the car's current owner saved up enough cash to turn it into a fun daily driver. DeathJester, the owner, sent it from Oklahoma all the way to Miami to Back Yard Productions where Trevor "GT Reva" and his shop handled the swap. Out came the crap 3E and auto, and in went the 1.3L 4e-fte turbo and 5-speed tranny. The swap is largely a bolt-in affair, but the conversion to EFI and wiring were complicated.

It went from the stock 78hp to a much more fun 135hp. Since the car's return home, it has been treated to a HKS Super Mega Flow Reloaded intake system, 3" downpipe back exhaust with a JIC muffler to replace the factory scooter choker system, and a few odds and ends. The factory steelies were replaced by 15x7 Buddy Club P1 Racing SF rims in the limited edition matte black finish and it now sports inexpensive but effective Fuzion ZRi rubber.

Not yet installed is a KSport full coil-over suspension, bigger brakes from a first generation Toyota Paseo, and an HKS adjustable wastegate actuator. A JAM Racing cast manifold is on order from Japan and future plans include an ARC top mount intercooler, HKS Super Sequential Blow-off Valve, and a Roadrunner Fabrications divorced downpipe from Down Under.

The car needs a respray and a subtle hood scoop molded into the hood for the TMIC, but for now, it's a fun daily driver and a bit of a sleeper to boot.

How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

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