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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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 Post subject: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
After many years I've decided to make a thread about our first Suzuki car.

It is the vehicle we bought from a family member in 2000, and we have been maintaining it ourselves.
Along the way, lessons have been learned, and a big thanks to Teamswift for the free flowing exchange of ideas which has greatly improved my ability to keep this car in tip top emissions shape.

First, an overall view of the car:
Image
The picture was taken in 2013, and the vehicle is not garage kept.

It is not a turbo.
It is not a rare 'MS' high fuel efficiency vehicle.
It is simply a basic 1987 Chevrolet Sprint 4 door.

One automobile manufacturer advertises its vehicles: "Love what you drive".
In our case, we say "drive what you have".
That's what we do, and we save a whole lot of money in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
Posts: 861
Location: Vancouver BC
California weather is so kind to Sprints!

I had a gold metallic 1986 5 door years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Today it fired up after sitting idle in the garage for over a year, waiting for work on the front of the engine.
First, I pulled the fuel line to the carburetor and, using a vacuum pump, brought fuel from the gas tank to the carburetor.
Then, using the fuel that the vacuum pump collected, I added fuel to the carburetor via the fuel inlet.
Once the fuel line was connected, it fired up without a big drain on the electrical system.
:alien:

In 2015, the overhead looked suspiciously clean:
Image

Hopefully, my next post will show how clean it is inside.
I am now a believer: full synthetic is the only thing I'll be putting in my engines from now on.
This is not an expensive car to buy, nor is it an exotic.
But synthetic certainly does a job keeping the inside of that engine squeaky clean.

This month, it is ready for smog tests.
It has a new air cleaner (over 6,000 miles on the last one), fresh oil and filter (2144 miles on the old oil), new timing belt and tensioner (10,000 miles on the old set) and finally a new front main crankshaft seal and camshaft seal - probably 7 years since that's been done.
I really took my time doing the job, and as usual, not a drop of oil on the ground.
That dirty valve cover got cleaned, but not painted.

The gas tank was almost empty, so it got driven to the gas station and filled, and computations come up with 42 mpg on the last tank.
This old bugger is sure inexpensive to operate, and even with full synthetic is cheap to maintain.
If you consider the long run, I would say that the synthetic oil has dramatically reduced the wear on the engine, and it gets less work done on it as a result.

After driving it out of the garage and hosing it down, the sheer SIZE of it came back to me.
It is pretty darn tiny!!! :oops:
But it sure feels good to have my parts chaser back on the road again.

There's a certain pride one gets from assembling a vehicle properly and having it operate according to specs.
Although this car will pass smog (probably), as I drove it today I made a mental note of some of the things that would help:
-valve adjustment
-new A/C compressor, drier and evaporator
-more modern radio
-new windshield
-fresh paint.
Considering its age, it is amazing the A/C still works.
Otherwise, it is a decent ride which has really helped us dig out of financial problems...kind of like a good luck charm.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Since I was working on the front of the engine (new water pump and timing set) it seemed logical to remove the valve cover.
I've pulled a LOT of valve covers off engines of many different makes and models.
This is what I found:
Image

Again, this is an engine getting Mobil 1 5W-30 EP, but having in excess of 75,000 miles since the last rebuild.
In fact, you can see the accumulation of sediment next to exhaust cylinder #3. My, my my! 8)

So many people buy these cars and boast, "I got the thing for $500, so why spend X amount to fix it right. I want to fix it as cheaply as possible."
What we've done is try to put it back to manufacturer's specs (with a few modifications to be mentioned later) and enjoy the ride.
If we had to spend a few bucks more on the correct parts and fluid, why not?
The car saves us money every time we use it, as you all know.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
There are several posts on this site where members ask what to look for when buying a vehicle.
Here's one to think about.
Above you see a fairly clean overhead.
What about after the combustion chamber?

This picture shows its tailpipe after 3 years:
Image
Not the best picture, but I assure you it is pretty clean.

So if you have NO mechanical experience, and simply look inside the tailpipe and don't see black soot, that's a good indication the vehicle is running a catalytic converter and is burning as clean as a new vehicle. Of course, if that short piece of tailpipe was just installed, that's an exception, but it should only take a week or two of operation to blacken the inside of the tailpipe if it isn't adjusted properly, doesn't have a catalytic converter, is burning oil/needs engine work, or all of the above.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:43 pm
Posts: 484
Location: Everett Wa
Good clean engine and tail pipe. :D :D :D

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Dale

1985 Chevy Sprint Mk1 G10 5 Speed Sky Blue


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:32 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Oregon
Mmmmm nice looking head. Tail pipe ain't bad either :wink:

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When I get that look in my eye its best not to ask questions 0.o
1978 Chevy monza 2+2, 74 step side Chevy, firebird,firebird,fake 91 firehawk in the making,trans am(dd),other trans am, n/a mk1 sprint, and my baby 1987 Chevy sprint turbo in red. How many run right now? Just the n/a sprint. It's not a collection it's my retirement plan.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
If you saw the vehicle in person, the tailpipe is much cleaner than in the photo.
It is due for a carburetor rebuild, but it still gets 41+ mpg at 70-75 mph and the A/C going.

Anyone who's ever driven these cars knows that one unavoidable problem is aggressive motorists.
Tonight, for example, we were coming home on the freeway, and some clown first decides to put the high beams in our rear hatch window, despite the fact that he had a wide open fast lane next to me, and I was following a car, so couldn't speed up. Basically, I was minding my own business at about 65 mph.
Next he pulls up next to us in the fast lane and he's a real fat one, but I could probably take him. I put up the index finger and tell him, 'no, no, no!' and he decides to flip me off and pull his car into my lane.
I was thinking about the new handgun the Wife had just bought about 2 hours ago under her seat (and the handcuffs under mine), but instead had her write down his license number.


5UWY792

...a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu...

Maybe someday he will get his.


Aggressive drivers see these cars in the dark and automatically think the operator is some weenie small guy who hasn't eaten in 6 weeks. That can be a fatal mistake.

He sped up and got between me and the car in front of me, and slammed on the brakes.
I avoided him by quickly switching to the fast lane and ran it up to 75 mph.
Probably amazed at how quickly our car reacted, because he was about 10 car lengths behind at that point.
If I didn't have the Wife in the car, it would have been a cinch to run it up to 90 for a few minutes and see how badly he wanted to destroy his POS car trying to keep up.
(This car has the 3.79 gears, so it can run at 75-80 mph all night long and do it very quietly.)
He took a while to catch up, and I got over a few lanes to give him a wide berth, but stupid kept insisting on dancing with us.
I backed down to 70 mph and 3 or 4 cars bracketed him in the fast lane. They had been watching the whole thing.
Then I backed down to 65 a few lanes away.
Fortunately he was distracted by the actions of the other cars, and I have no way of thanking them, but believe me, his road rage could have ended very badly.
Our car was no match for his if we had touched at the speeds we were traveling.

Moving on, if you plan on driving a car like this, prepare to eat some humble pie on the highway.
Expect it in advance and don't panic.
It is, however, VERY aggravating.
:oops:


Another thing people who have never driven MK1's don't understand is how light they are.
They get up and go quickly, whether they are aspirated or turbocharged.
But at high speeds, it helps to have a passenger on the other side to weigh down the car in turns.
Ha!

The 3.79 final drive in this car somewhat slows down the acceleration to 60 mph, but does spread out the power band.
Lots of people like the 4.10 gears, including me on some of our other cars.
In this car, the 3.789473684's are a perfect fit for my driving style and our wide open low population geographical region.
The engine doesn't have enough torque to damage the 72 ring and 19 pinion gears unless you do something really stupid.
I have no plans of changing them, and people who have ridden in the car don't even notice what gearset it has.
Of course, if you only drive within city limits or under 90 mph, the stock 4.0 gear set is wonderful.
Even Fainya, who rebuilds the later model transmissions does not think the transmission needs to come out.
It used to get GM synchromesh.
But now, it gets the less expensive Pennzoil Synchromesh.
I know others recommend different lubricants.
This is simply a report of what works in my transmissions.
None of mine have a 5th gear whine.
None need to be rebuilt.

It might be interesting to post the emissions test.
I owe wizewun :worship: my most recent test results, and when I post them, we shall see if he beat me this year.
:dunno:
The emissions test, of course, reflects what is under the hood.
There is nothing extraordinary under the hood of this car.
But I challenge anyone out of State not running a catalytic converter to produce a cleaner burning internal combustion engine Chevrolet Sprint.
If you find a Sprint for sale in California, take a look at the smog test results carefully.
That will tell you exactly the condition of the engine.
A clever individual can read the smog test history on line and learn a great deal about the car without even seeing it.

It feels real good to have the MK1 back on the road.
This car looks like it can barely make it in the slow lane, but really likes to run around 70 mph...or above (if no one's around).
:bump:


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 557
Location: alabama
Nice clean setup, would expect nothing less from my favorite sprint doctor!!

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Mike
Valley Grande, AL
1986 Sprint plus

Do you maintain a personal fleet like I do?
Why do we do it?
Because it's what we enjoy and because we CAN.
2011 camaro, 2005 Vibe, 2016 Outback, 06 Expedition, 87 Porsche 911, 87 Turbo sprint, 82 Brat, 73 gmc 4x4, 69 camaro, 99 Gl1500 Honda Goldwing, 12 Kawasaki klr650, 2012 Kubota L3200, and we wont even go into the small stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:54 am 
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Mk1 fiend
Mk1 fiend
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:37 am
Posts: 296
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Great to see ... a good car back on the road ..

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There are three kinds of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't :)


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 323
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Gentlemen, thanks for the kind words.

The new sticker came in the mail, and it is indeed on the road again - legally.
I'm not satisfied with it, but most people who drive these would think it is one of the best NA's out there.
However, the next thing that gets done won't be engine work.
(The new front main seal doesn't seem to be leaking, so that's nice.)

Right now, from L.A. to Texas, we're having a heat wave, so car work can wait until things cool down.

Almost forgot: Happy Father's Day to one and all!


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:42 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Santa Rosa, CA USA
Looking good Phil!

The heat is hitting us up here as well. It was 110 on Sunday!!. I'm tempted to take a sauna just to cool off. :sunny:


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