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View Full Version : How's this alltrac?



thelaw604
02-07-2009, 06:49 PM
Hi there,

I am looking for an opinion of an alltrac here. I have owned an '86 Celica GTS coupe, '89 Celica GTS hatch, '92 Celica GT hatch, and currently own a '94 Celica GTS hatch. I know a bit about the 5sfe and the celica, but know absolutely nothing about the alltrac and its AWD and turbo.

So here I am asking for your help.

I am looking to purchase a 1992 alltrac. Here are some details. What do you think of the price? Keep in mind this is in Vancouver, BC, Canada so prices are naturally more expensive than in the US.

- Asking 7,500 CAD OBO
- 262,000 kms
- Local BC car (verified)
- Leather int, pw, pl, ps, a/c (standard right?)
- Clutch and turbo (rebuilt) done by previous owner 1.5 years ago (no receipts), engine was not. Tranny replaced with a newer LSD one (previous owner, no receipt, no idea of mileage)
- No rust that I can see on the frame, small surface rust in rear quarter panel from a ding, it got keyed, only first layer of paint I believe
- Recent work: replaced front calipers, wheel bearings, wheel speed sensors, suspension to tien coil overs, alignment, rear diff seals. All the work done shows parts receipts, says he has a toyota mech friend that did it for him.
- Went to see it and noticed an oil leak, I asked how bad, he indicated that he topped up 1L every month. He got it fixed, said it was the oil pump and front engine seals. Also changed timing belt (didn't say in email about water pump, I hope so) because I pointed out to him that it was due.
- Did a history check, 2 glass claims, and one collision in 1999 with no details
- Tires are balding and seats have a few rips.

Questions:
- When I drove it, everything seemed fine except the turbo was off it seemed. I don't really have an idea about turbos aside from their basic workings, but aren't they supposed to spool when you hit a certain RPM and the engine has a bit of load on it?

I pop it into 2nd gear and it spools when I get to about 3k RPM, but when I go into 3rd it doesn't at all, even when I hit 4.5kRPM and going uphill, is this normal?

Also, when I was driving my friend's MR2T, it always spooled at about 3.8K, but he has an aftermakret turbo control and the alltrac is stock.

Also, how do I confirm it's an AWD and not just a rebadged Celica GTS with turbo?

Finally, is it worth the money to bring it into a Toyota dealership to have a pre-sale inspection? Do they do a thorough enough job?

Sorry for all the newbie questions, I really don't know much about turbos.

T-spoon
02-07-2009, 06:57 PM
Stock alltracs should be well spooled by 3k. If you're driving like a granny it could be possible to keep it out of boost with gradual enough accelleration but... not too likely.

Easy to make sure it's really an alltrac. For one thing, you can get the VIN off door, fenders, etc. and have Toyota check it. Also visually you can check by looking under the car in the rear. First really noticable thing is that the alltrac gas tank bulges down under the rear bumper cover. Then you'll see a big differential in the center of the rear axles and a drive/propeller shaft heading to the front of the car to the tranny.

Depending on your dealership, yes it can be worth having them go over it. But any mechanic that is familiar with them could do it too, and it's a good idea.

MrWOT
02-07-2009, 07:02 PM
NO, not normal, I assume you gave it a healthy dose of right foot? Confirm by looking underneath, does it have a rear differential?

It will need the engine torn down and rebuilt if you want to get any serious numbers out of it.


edit: spoony beat me to it :P

T-spoon
02-07-2009, 07:05 PM
edit: spoony beat me to it :P


Work is dead dead dead today :hehe:

thelaw604
02-07-2009, 07:11 PM
Wow that was quick guys! Thanks!

Looks like there are several alltrac owners here afterall.

When you mean heavy foot, you mean pedal to the metal? I dont' think I did that, but I did rev it close to 5k going uphill.

T-spoon
02-07-2009, 07:20 PM
If you were in 3rd gear and trying to accelerate up a hill at that high of RPM, yeah, should have been spooled. Is there an aftermarket boost gauge in the car or just looking at the little stock needle? Did it feel like it went flat in 3rd gear or did it pull the same as it had been? What kind of gas is in it and what was the weather like (ok, gonna assume in Vancouver the weather was.. a lot like here, damp and cool)?

Corey Darling
02-07-2009, 07:27 PM
When my car was stock, i found it to be a bit of a dog. As soon as you put a boost controller, DP, and intercooler, it livens up very nicely. The stock system is pretty restrictive.

The fact that he say it has a new LSD tranny concerns me. For a 4WD celica, there is no such thing. But the MR2 had an LSD tranny.... not 4wd.

thelaw604
02-07-2009, 07:44 PM
No aftermarket, just stock boost guage. It didn't move while in 3rd but did in 2nd. When it moved, the guage moved to about the half way point in 2nd gear.

Power felt constant going uphill.

It was a dry day.

He said he uses 91 octane.

He doesn't seem too knowledgable about cars, might have been just what he was told. I for one didn't know the alltrac didn't have LSD. Did the JDM ones have LSD?

He also mentioned that he had a 3SGTE with tranny in his garage ready for a swap.

celica91gts
02-07-2009, 07:49 PM
look for a rear diff like mention or you can pop the hood and look at the chassis number on the back of the firewall. should say st185

grayscale
02-07-2009, 08:14 PM
l...or you can pop the hood and look at the chassis number on the back of the firewall. should say st185
:laugh: I can't believe WOT and Spoon forgot this. Good call.

Corey Darling
02-07-2009, 08:15 PM
He doesn't seem too knowledgable about cars, might have been just what he was told. I for one didn't know the alltrac didn't have LSD. Did the JDM ones have LSD?


No celica tranny came with LSD. HOWEVER, the Rear Differential came as either an Open Diff, or a Torsen LSD.

All RC, CS, GRP-A Celicas came with the Rear LSD. Some JDM standard GT-Fours came with the rear LSD.

kungFUBAR
02-07-2009, 09:28 PM
No celica tranny came with LSD. HOWEVER, the Rear Differential came as either an Open Diff, or a Torsen LSD.

All RC, CS, GRP-A Celicas came with the Rear LSD. Some JDM standard GT-Fours came with the rear LSD.

I'm calling bs on that one. I've got 2 lsd transmissions sitting in my garage right now, both out of celicas.

T-spoon
02-07-2009, 09:44 PM
For some reason I was thinking the RC tranny was LSD... I'm pretty sure Sean is using on in his swap, but could be wrong.

MrWOT
02-07-2009, 09:54 PM
The early JDM 165s have a locking center dif? rare though, doubt it.

cms-gt4
02-07-2009, 10:22 PM
They all have a center viscous coupling lsd except for the early jdm locking type for 165.

donteatbugs
02-07-2009, 11:07 PM
the is no lsd for the front of an alltrac.

thelaw604
02-09-2009, 12:20 AM
Thanks for all your input. I went to see it again with a mechanic friend. The boost is working fine now it seems. It might have been an oil issue because of the leak it had.

He told me he got the oil pump fixed, several seals, and the timing belt changed.

I'm going to get him to bring it into Toyota to have a look this week and go from there.

How much have you guys seen 92 alltracs go for? He said the lowest he'll go is 7k...

Freshnicity
02-09-2009, 12:27 AM
Thanks for all your input. I went to see it again with a mechanic friend. The boost is working fine now it seems. It might have been an oil issue because of the leak it had.

He told me he got the oil pump fixed, several seals, and the timing belt changed.

I'm going to get him to bring it into Toyota to have a look this week and go from there.

How much have you guys seen 92 alltracs go for? He said the lowest he'll go is 7k...

depends on the car i guess, whats it look like? Got any pics? Any other known problems?

7k seems steep in my eyes though. Maybe 5500-6000

Grot
02-09-2009, 01:48 AM
Fresh, Remember its 7k CAD, not USD.

So it will be a bit higher than we are used to seeing

Freshnicity
02-09-2009, 01:59 AM
Fresh, Remember its 7k CAD, not USD.

So it will be a bit higher than we are used to seeing

Ohhh ok

Sorry.

Yeah, still not sure, not sure what the CAD is worth now compared to the USD

Corey Darling
02-09-2009, 02:01 AM
about 1.20$ can = 1 us

thelaw604
02-09-2009, 05:15 AM
Someone on alltrac.net brought up a good point. Us Canadians do have the luxury of having imports at 15 years instead of 25 years... There are lots of ST205s popping up now in Vancouver. They are about the same price as what he's asking for with less kms.

How hard would it be to get used to the RHD?

k.beaty
02-09-2009, 12:58 PM
I've driven one, it's not too bad if it's just going to be a track car or something. But daily driver isnt the best. turning left and passing people sucks! But hey, I've got a friend who daily drives a RHD car and loves it.

T-spoon
02-09-2009, 06:25 PM
Someone on alltrac.net brought up a good point. Us Canadians do have the luxury of having imports at 15 years instead of 25 years... There are lots of ST205s popping up now in Vancouver. They are about the same price as what he's asking for with less kms.

How hard would it be to get used to the RHD?

For an ST205, I would get used to RHD. Period.

thelaw604
02-09-2009, 06:44 PM
It would be a daily driver which is why I'm a tad hesitant with the RHD. I will think about it over the next couple of weeks.

Do any of you have any comments regarding the Toyota dealership pre-sale inspection? Do you know (or have a list) of what they inspect? How thorough is the inspection (probably dealer dependant?)?

MrWOT
02-09-2009, 06:48 PM
For an ST205, I would get used to RHD. Period.

My father started teaching me about cars and driving them was I was like... 7? :laugh:

When driving me to school, I did all the shifting from the passenger seat by engine sound so he could drink his coffee and not spill it everywhere. I'm RHD ready :hehe:

celica91gts
02-09-2009, 07:32 PM
toyota's inspection.... i've had good and bad experiences with it. if you have a freind in the dealership i'd suggest going through him. a lot of my friends have gotten "problems" they they didnt even have before. and the dealership charges them out the ass for them. who knows for sure though. maybe they really we're going bad and needed it changed but then again maybe not.

T-spoon
02-09-2009, 08:07 PM
toyota's inspection.... i've had good and bad experiences with it. if you have a freind in the dealership i'd suggest going through him. a lot of my friends have gotten "problems" they they didnt even have before. and the dealership charges them out the ass for them. who knows for sure though. maybe they really we're going bad and needed it changed but then again maybe not.

In my experience dealerships don't make up problems. They DO want work and they do want to get paid, so they will usually let you know every little thing that could be replaced/fixed. It's up to you to determine if you want that done. A lot of the time it won't be an imminent breakdown kind of thing, but rather preventative because it's going to need fixing in the next 1000-10,000 miles, and really hard to say when.

Knowing the mechanic doing an inspection though and really trusting them and having reason to.. that's the only way to really be comfortable that you're getting all the right info. However, I know a lot of people have mechanics they trust that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, so it's just one of those things... Even if you know your stuff it's impossible to be sure you're getting all the right info, it's kind of a gamble but you hope you improve your odds at a dealership.

thelaw604
02-10-2009, 09:07 PM
So, I got the car checked out at the Toyota dealership and they revealed some things. I haven't looked at the whole report yet as it was faxed to my house. But the mechanic did give me a call and let me know of the problems.

Rear wheel bearings are a bit worn.
Bad oil leak on the oil pan and around the timing belt cover.

I told him that the seller replaced the timing belt and cam seals and he suggested that the seals were probably not seated properly and that the silicon for the oil pan can be quite tricky to do. He knows this because there is fresh oil all over the timing belt cover and on the bottom of the engine, so it's not an older small leak. He also said that because the timing belt is contaminated with oil now, it should be replaced because it'll significantly reduce its life.

I asked for a quote to fix these items and he said that he'll have to give me a formal quote later since they don't see too many alltracs and wasn't sure about the labour hours required.

I am going to let the seller know about the details of the report and go from there. Either to get him to fix it, or knock it off the price.

Now for some questions, based on some of your experiences, how long would it take to redo the timing belt and all the seals there (which seals are they?) by a mechanic? What about if I try to do it myself?

I'm trying to get a feel for pricing so I can negotiate better and see if he will budge. $7,000 is too much with the problems, I may just have to resist and wait it out.

k.beaty
02-10-2009, 09:38 PM
hmm, it took my about 2.5 hrs to do my timing belt and water pump on my 5sfe. I'd imagine it'll be roughly the same on an all trac. As for the seals, they shouldnt add much more time to the work since you'll already have it all apart.