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Advice for fellow starlet owners - Check your members!

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Just thought I would bring this to everyones attention in regards to potential rust issues

We are fortunate our starlets dont commonly suffer with major rust issues (unlike many other Japanese cars), except for rust manifesting around the vents behind the rear bumper and maybe a bit of rust on the arches.

However, our cars are starting to get on a bit now, and thanks to an oversight by toyota there is another area that is of concern and is becoming more apparent

The examples below apply to EP91, I'm not sure about EP82 but it worth checking anyway


By removing your rear passenger interior panels  


(it's not difficult, but can be a little fiddley getting back on with the clips)


You can look down from where the rear passenger side pockets would be into the rear of the sill (area in front of the rear wheels), if theres a block of foam in there (for sound deadening) then pull it out and this is what you may find:



If you get yourself a borescope (just a cheap one off ebay that you can plug into your phone - make sure your phone supports OTG on android) 

And look inside the square cut out in the picture above, and you may well find it looks something like this:



So what's the problem then?

Well as you can see in the picture above, there's an oval rubber plug that is supposed to stop water ingress, but because of an apparent oversight by toyota with the way the chassis is assembled, there are gaps in the metal work around where this oval plug is located which renders it a bit pointless.. 😐 (below you can clearly see daylight coming through) 



So everytime you've been driving your beloved through the wet and rain, salty dirty water is being sprayed up through these gaps which has been slowly rusting away from the inside. 


From the underside you will find where the oval rubber plugs are and you will also see the gaps surrounding where the plug is

(sorry for the low quality picture here) 



There is supposed to be one on each side so check they are there, as I have seen one example where they were taken out for some reason and not refitted! 

If you require plugs, the part number is 90950-01259 (x2), and can be found under 'Floor side member' on the parts diagram 



I don't quite know to deal with any rust that has already developed inside without cutting it all open, but at the bare minimum these gaps need welding up to stop any more. These gaps may also explain why our windows tend to fog up easily compared to other cars on the roads during the colder months

So if you can I would suggest to all that you check this area, and if it's bad it would be worth taking it somewhere to be dealt with professionally, then check it again to make sure they've done a good job


The rest of the areas inside the sills don't seem to be of much, if any, concern (except for a nice collection of dust & cobwebs lol) and they usually hold up just fine, but if your interested what they look like on the inside:



Sill section at the front (behind front wheels):



Just thought I'd let you all know to avoid any nasty & expensive surprises in a few years time ✌🏻️

Edited by Trevstar
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  • Trevstar changed the title to Advice for fellow starlet owners - Check your members!
11 hours ago, RoyalDutchie said:

Great writeup mate. I guess you need to do a bit more than pulling the passenger pockets out. By the looks of it they are held in with screws as well if I'm not mistaken.

Ah yes, you would be right 👍🏻 nice one!

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