81 Corolla Wagon PROBLEMS need assistance please


Old 07-07-11, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
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81 Corolla Wagon PROBLEMS need assistance please

I have a 1981 Toyota Corolla wagon 87,xxx original miles the car is a 5 speed with a 1.8l I believe. Ok so here are my issues : the car needs about $200 worth of exhaust work and and the "sensor" light in the console is on ...driven the car for 3 years like this and no problems, until recently. The car is becoming hard to start if it is either really hot outside or if it has ran for abit and the engine is warm (starts great when engine is cool) also I am getting run-on about 50% of the time when I shut the car off and the car smells like gas when i have to crank it for like 20 sec and pump the gas pedal to get it to start after it is warm. The car also run at a low idle and seems the have almost no power when trying to get over 45mph until it warms up and if I floor it the car cuts out, it still runs but it loses all acceleration....any suggestions, I really do not have the money to have it gone through to find the problems I want to have it narrowed down to a few things first. Thanks
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Old 07-08-11, 04:51 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
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That's quite a dinosaur. Since it's carbureted and not fuel injected, the carburetor comes to mind. More than one of the symptoms you list could be carburation issues. For starters, though, you might try changing the fuel filter. Very easy on the old Toyotas. Also, if that has the carburetor I think it does (we had an '86 Corolla long time ago; it was a 1.6L), you can check the fuel level in the carburetor float bowl by checking a little sight glass in the side. Fuel level should be in the middle of the glass.

Other tune-up items current? Plugs, wires, cap, rotor?

About $200 for a replacement carb if you needed one. Actually not as expensive as I expected. They can also be rebuilt with a kit, but it's a pretty complicated carb.
Old 07-08-11, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Everything that the Tow Guy said, and I would also add possible fuel pump pressure issue (mechanical in that year I think), and check the operation of the EGR valve. Without knowing what has and what has not been serviced/maintained makes it difficult to narrow possible causes further I think. Also as was said, start with the fuel filter and see what that might correct first. Is the air filter clean also?

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