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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:56 am 
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Location: North Carolina
Sorry, this is a long one...

I have a 1996 Metro 1.3L 4cyl auto and it gets anywhere from 29-32 MPG depending on how I drive. I am usually pretty light on the pedal while commuting but I step on it a little more when I am delivering pizza at night. I am sure that I can get better gas mileage out of it.

The guy I bought it from put huge rims and tires on it. Currently running ugly "custom" 15" rims with 185/60R15's up front and 195/60R15's in the rear. They are large enough that every time I hit a bump in the road, they scrape inside the wheel wells and every time I turn the wheel (very specifically in reverse) the tires rub something awful.

I am going to buy stock size 155/80R13's and put the original rims back on very shortly to reduce weght and road friction...hopefully increasing gas mileage.

Oddly enough, you would think that larger tires would improve gas mileage at highway speeds, but in fact my gas mileage gets for worse cruising at 55mph vs driving around town. Not sure why that is exactly. I know that the auto only has 3 gears so it's going to be running at higher RPMs at that speed but 55mph should be the ideal MPG as far as I know. Any ideas what could be causing this?

*oh, and I have NEVER been able to get the Geo to go 60mph. 55 is about max speed even when flooring it. It tends to cruise happily right around 35mph. I read about people going 70mph in Geo's on a daily basis. Holy crap, what's wroong with my car? lol

I also wondering if the sunk-in sealed beam headlights on the older Geo's cause any signifigant amount of wind resistance when driving at highway speeds vs the newer compisite headlights. Would it be worth it to upgrade my headlights?

Currently, my drivers side CV joint is shot. When turning and under load, the CV clunks and pops and sounds terrible. I have new axles ordered and in the mail right now. Will bad CVs degrade gas mileage?

Finally, I was contemplating the idea of cutting a hole in the hood, putting some kind of makeshift scoop or louvre over it and redirecting my intake up to the hole for a "ram air" affect. Does anyone think this is a good or bad idea? Rain water might be an issue... Would it make any difference?

Thanks for reading through all of this and any suggestions you might have.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:25 pm 
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Location: Fort Atkinson WI
greetings!

I owned a 97 1.3L auto geo. It was ugly but ran great. I got 32mpg all the time regardless of how I drove it. sounds about right on the mileage. Ditch the rims though. I sold my 97 geo to a friend and he gets around 35-38mpg on the highway doing 65-70mph. It would do 75mph no problem. You might want to flush your tranny and change the fluid. The 1.3L is a smooth running motor.

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Just when I thought I was about to get back on my own 2 feet life kicked me in the shorts.

94 GEO METRO PARTS FOR SALE EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!!
94 XFI rust bucket
96 Honda Accord


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Ok so 32 is about average, that's good to know. Still not bad. Much better than my Jeep Cherokee that gets about 8mpg. But that's why I bought the Geo, so I can just use the Jeep on occasion for fun.

Pretty much the only thing I haven't changed in the geo is the tranny fluid. I will do that at the same time as I swap out my axles. New oil, plugs, wire, distributor, PCV valve, air filter, Sea Foam treatment...I'm sure there is other stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:53 pm 
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do a search for ram air, and then dont bother.

cvs wont decrease mileage, tires will increase mileage (actually. with the 15's if you were documenting mileage, you should be about 10% short due to longer rotating distance of the 15's) so while your odo might say 300miles, you probably went about 330. I didnt do the math to get the exact percentage, 10 is a guess.

headlight swap would be minimal, its obvious the new ones are more aerodynamic, not whether or not they are, but it probably wont matter much. the cost of the units vs fuel economy might not even be worth it. they sure look a hell of a lot better though

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1991 Swift GT Build G10 +25 psi + other goodies
1996 Metro Build QR25de swap, still undecided where to take it
the lolcar family


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:32 am 
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Those tires are too tall for your car but should improve mileage a little. Keep in mind you are traveling 5% farther and faster than your speedo and odo report. If you roll the inside lip of the fenders with a baseball bat, you can probably reduce the rubbing. I've got 195/50-15s on my 98 Metro, they barely scrape on huge dips and I saw no difference in fuel mileage at all.

Ram air, smooth headlights, and bad CV joints would have a very slight effect on your mileage, you have much bigger problems to sort out first. A 4 cylinder Metro should be able to go 100 mph, something's terribly wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:27 am 
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swift13b wrote:
do a search for ram air, and then dont bother.

cvs wont decrease mileage, tires will increase mileage (actually. with the 15's if you were documenting mileage, you should be about 10% short due to longer rotating distance of the 15's) so while your odo might say 300miles, you probably went about 330. I didnt do the math to get the exact percentage, 10 is a guess.

headlight swap would be minimal, its obvious the new ones are more aerodynamic, not whether or not they are, but it probably wont matter much. the cost of the units vs fuel economy might not even be worth it. they sure look a hell of a lot better though

Woodie wrote:
Those tires are too tall for your car but should improve mileage a little. Keep in mind you are traveling 5% farther and faster than your speedo and odo report. If you roll the inside lip of the fenders with a baseball bat, you can probably reduce the rubbing. I've got 195/50-15s on my 98 Metro, they barely scrape on huge dips and I saw no difference in fuel mileage at all.

Ram air, smooth headlights, and bad CV joints would have a very slight effect on your mileage, you have much bigger problems to sort out first. A 4 cylinder Metro should be able to go 100 mph, something's terribly wrong.



Keep in mind that those wheels and tires are probably alot heavier that the stock ones. The added weight can reduce milage--this happened to me with my metro.

Another example of this is when I put 20's on my old Nissan Hardbody. Gas milage went way down cause the wheel/tire combo was 66lbs/corner compared to about 30lbs for the stock 14's.

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1993 GEO METRO 1.0 lsi (xfi swap)
1995 Eddie Bauer Exploder
1983 CHEVY C-10--the gas guzzler
1997 VW GTI VR6 Turbo--dead as a door nail
1994 GEO METRO 1.0 xfi (retired and parted out)
1989 Suzuki Swift GTi (sold)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Have you linked over to http://www.ecomodder.com? A lot of good ideas over there, even to the extreme. One thing I don't see here is tire pressure. While I am only 3 psi over rating some drivers are 5-10+ psi over the max. rating. And try a diet. Junk-in-the-trunk. Even the spare timre swaps for a can of fix-a-flat.

http://www.suzukird.com/ is another good place for performance parts. Aluminum Underdrive pulley is a must have, Stage IV Turbo? "This turbo kit can generate from 180 HP to 350 HP. 180 HP we have seen when installing on a stock car with high mileage with no tuning. 250 HP levels with the upgrades of Stage IV and 350 HP on cars with lower compression ratio, better fuel delivery and ignition timing and more boost." But I don't think it helps gas mileage. :wink:

Go to synthetic oils. Without much more expense you can check out K&N air filters or some upgrade, platinum plugs of your choice, 8mm plug wires or even 3tech 9mm if you can find them. Check your grounding or just add heavy gauge ground wire.

I happen to like ram air and the sweet sound the engine makes with it. It runs smoother. Check out my album for pics. I have snow issues so the forward hood scoop was out. A reverse hood scoop is a thought, like NASCAR. But it's not ram air. Rotate your air cleaner top, bent the tube backward. Certainly consider disconnecting the resonator box at least.

I have seen opinion that lowering improves aerodynamics. Not springs per say but even going from 15's to 13's might help there. IMHO even the small percentages tires, headlights, synthetics, ram air, CV's, mirrors etc. "might" improve gas mileage are worth the effort. Four upgrades that add just 1/4 mpg each and that's 1 mpg more. 10.6 miles per tank. Is that a bad thing?

Power. Check out your "kickdown cable." It's an automatic trany thing.

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Bad Bent
'91 Metro, rescued from trip to junk yard. SuzukiRD Underpulley & Header. 3Tech 9mm plug wires & 218/350 cam +10 gear, Bosch Plat. +4s, FlameThrowerII, synthetic fluids. K&N, Optima, Catco, Jones glasspack, & KYB struts. Vortekx Generators, Air dam, 7mm ground system, Ram Air. No TBI bridge. No A/C - roof scoop works.
'96 Metro - The Wife's car: SuzukiRD Underpulley, 3Tech econo cam +10 gear, K&N, KYB, Bosch, Syn. & grounded. No TBI bridge.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:20 pm
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Location: Saskatchewan
could try a full tune up, use some seafoam and what not too, have your injectors rebuild (edit: its tbi right? maybe ignore this)

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1996 Metro Build QR25de swap, still undecided where to take it
the lolcar family


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:03 am
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Location: North Carolina
Thank you for all of your replies. I have had suspicions for some time now that something might be seriously wrong with the car. Hopefully nothing too expensive to replace. If I drive for a while and then let the car sit for about 30 minutes or so (when the engine starts to cool off) the car tends to hesitate when I start it up again. From around 10-15mph it tends to feel like there is no power, then it gets a little jumpy as if it was just getting short spurts of fuel. If I step on it, and rev up the engine it will go back to normal. Very strange. It does seem to have issues accelerating at times. there are times where it just doesn't want to accelerate and if I floor it, it just bogs down. I am wondering if I have a bad cat as I have seen cars act like that when their cat was clogged before. Most likely something more serious than that though. I plan on bringing it to AAMCO one of these days so they can run diagnostics/compression tests and check everything out for me.

Aside from the hesitation and not liking to accelerate at times, the car is awesome. Very dependable and saves me tons of gas.

It's about time for me to change out the oil and I don't know when (or if) the transmission was ever changed so I have to do that with a quickness. I will definitely toss in synthetic fluids when I do.

BadBent: Holy crap, I never knew there were actually performance parts for the Geo. That's awesome.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:55 am 
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Location: McCall, Idaho (Native: So Cal)
De nada. Glad you are enjoying your car.

Next. I go with swift13b and get a tune up and try Seafoam. Buy a can of Carb. spray cleaner and clean the TB inside and out. Follow directions. My '95s fuel filter is under the car/behind the drivers seat. A Dremel tool (brush) can clean dist. cap posts/rotor very well.

Just for general purposes, not knowing what shape the engine is in, after Seafoam, I use Lucas injector cleaner and/or Sta-Bul semi-regularly. Bought 3 gallons of Lucas on eBay.

Transmission, look at the linkage and spray it with WD-40. That's simple but it might help (and smell for a while when driving). You can use WD-40 on electrical connections, pop open, light spray, reconnect. Well, almost anything the directions say.

You had a 'check engine' light on but not now, then a $30 code reading might not show anything. They do have a 'pending' feature tho... They are $35 shipped (and up) to buy on eBay. You can reset codes to see if it's false. You might reset your ECM, more involved. You have different habits than Mr. 15"er.

The Cat? Get a hammer and bang (don't dent) all over the Catalytic converter a dozen times. That loosens stuff up. It might smell like rotten eggs. Maybe a temp. fix, was on the '95. Then replace it with a Catco or "Magnaflow Catalytic Converter 95 96 97 GEO METRO 23654." $141.02 shipped on eBay. Or maybe it's just the gas cap?

You have a Chilton manual. Not exactly the best but worth it. The forum is great for opinions on troubleshooting, eh. These little cars are worth our time and fun to play with.

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Have fun,
Bad Bent
'91 Metro, rescued from trip to junk yard. SuzukiRD Underpulley & Header. 3Tech 9mm plug wires & 218/350 cam +10 gear, Bosch Plat. +4s, FlameThrowerII, synthetic fluids. K&N, Optima, Catco, Jones glasspack, & KYB struts. Vortekx Generators, Air dam, 7mm ground system, Ram Air. No TBI bridge. No A/C - roof scoop works.
'96 Metro - The Wife's car: SuzukiRD Underpulley, 3Tech econo cam +10 gear, K&N, KYB, Bosch, Syn. & grounded. No TBI bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:28 am 
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MicroMachine wrote:
Thank you for all of your replies. I have had suspicions for some time now that something might be seriously wrong with the car. Hopefully nothing too expensive to replace. If I drive for a while and then let the car sit for about 30 minutes or so (when the engine starts to cool off) the car tends to hesitate when I start it up again. From around 10-15mph it tends to feel like there is no power, then it gets a little jumpy as if it was just getting short spurts of fuel. If I step on it, and rev up the engine it will go back to normal. Very strange. It does seem to have issues accelerating at times. there are times where it just doesn't want to accelerate and if I floor it, it just bogs down. I am wondering if I have a bad cat as I have seen cars act like that when their cat was clogged before. Most likely something more serious than that though.


Could be a bad MAP sensor. It can cause stumbling, poor MPG, etc.

_________________
1993 GEO METRO 1.0 lsi (xfi swap)
1995 Eddie Bauer Exploder
1983 CHEVY C-10--the gas guzzler
1997 VW GTI VR6 Turbo--dead as a door nail
1994 GEO METRO 1.0 xfi (retired and parted out)
1989 Suzuki Swift GTi (sold)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:33 am 
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Location: North Carolina
Got the stock rims and tires put on the car finally. Huge difference! Quicker acceleration, easier turning, and even seems to stop easier. I'm sure it all has to do with less rotaional mass / less friction on the road. Hoping to replace both front axles tomorrow. It's moving in the right direction, just want to run it by AAMCO and see what they come up with.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:02 pm 
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Tires are huge when it comes to mpg. The fatter the tires, usually the more friction. When you're driving, there's only really 2 forces acting on your car, friction (from engine and tires) and wind resistance. Can't minimize wind resistance, but smaller tires are always more efficient. You could have even went to 12 and gone further.

I think the most important thing is just driving habits. Turn your car off if you know you're at a red for more than 10 seconds. Easy on the gas, roll into reds, not drive up and jam on your brakes. The difference between your car accelerating from 10 to 60 as opposed to 0 to 60 is huge.

And kill your air conditioning!

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"Apollo 13", 436,600km | 89 Swift GTi -dead-
91 Pontiac Firefly.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:31 am 
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Location: North Carolina
Finally had a free day to replace my axles. What a PITA! there was axle grease all over the place from the busted CV joints, the boots for the ball joints and tie rod ends were all dried and cracked and shot juice everywhere when I forked the steering knuckles off. Had to drill out the stupid screws holding the rotors on because one on each side was practically welded into the rotor, and a couple of the bolts that mount the steering knuckle to the shocks had to be grinded off and replaced with grade 8 bolts because they were fused on there too. I guess PB blaster would have been a good idea but oh well, it worked. At least I had a good time doing it.

So 6 hours later I have brand new axles, transmission fluid, filter and gasket, new Brembo brake rotors and pads, stock rims and stock sized tires back on the Geo. That's what I'm talkin about :D Things are lookin good.

There are a couple problems left to figure out. I have sprung a pretty decent oil leak in the last week or so. There is black oil/dirt ooze all over the bottom of the engine and undercarriage. I can't tell where it is coming from exactly but I saw some drips hanging from the mount for the distributor cap. Any ideas where the leak may be coming from? maybe there are some common seals that give way on the Geo like rear main seal or something?



Quote:
I think the most important thing is just driving habits. Turn your car off if you know you're at a red for more than 10 seconds. Easy on the gas, roll into reds, not drive up and jam on your brakes. The difference between your car accelerating from 10 to 60 as opposed to 0 to 60 is huge.

And kill your air conditioning!


Yeah I usually shift the car into neutral every chance I get so I can coast to a stop light or on a downhill slope. If I can roll through an intersection and avoid a complete stop, I am all about it. I also refuse to use my air conditioning. It actually blows very cold but it absolutely kills any power the engine might have. It's almost impossible to get up to highway speeds with the A/C on. I would rather sweat it out than use it.

I have one final question for this post. I have been paying attention to the shift points on the Geo. It tends to shift into second gear around 10-15mph then into third (final) gear at around 30-35mph. So once I get it up to 55mph the engine is racing to keep that speed. if I put the car in neutral at 55 the car almost speeds up because it doesn't have to fight the transmission anymore. Should I be worried about this? lol Someone said in a post that the 4cyl Geo should be able to go 100mph...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:52 am 
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Location: Fort Atkinson WI
Did you drop the trans pan and change the filter when you did the fluid? If not do it! you never know what you might find and that way you can clean out the pan of any debris.

Oil leak if its on the dist. there is an O-ring I do believe that goes bad. Someone will chime in on that one. It's a common leak.

Now if your undercarriage is covered in oil you probably have a leaking crank seal. Gonna have to pull the timing belt and etc to get at it. If your car needs a timing belt, waterpump this is a good time to do this one. probably could do the cam seal for good measure.

Kind of a snowball effect with these cars once one thing leaks somehting else will and then while your in there do this this and that.... =) But then you should be good for awhile. :D

_________________
Just when I thought I was about to get back on my own 2 feet life kicked me in the shorts.

94 GEO METRO PARTS FOR SALE EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!!
94 XFI rust bucket
96 Honda Accord


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Yep, there's an o-ring on the distributor. I thought my messy leak was a seal at the transmission 'clutch release arm' (top of tranny) but it was dripping from the dist.

Mark the dist. position. Removed the cap, removed the 2 big bolts, slid the Dist. out. There is an off set camshaft slot and mating dist. pawl. Be sure to get that matched correctly. The o-ring is about 15/16 i.d. (.9375, 23.81mm), 1/8 dia. (.125, 3.175mm) Maybe a bit thicker, I'm measuring an old one. I got mine on eBay. Very easy job.

You did do the PCV, correct? If you built up excessive pressure in the valve cover you may have blown out the cam seal. I did. Thought it was the oil pan gasket. Thinkmetro may be more correct. And maybe you should disconnect the A/C belts. Still sounds a bit constipated.

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Have fun,
Bad Bent
'91 Metro, rescued from trip to junk yard. SuzukiRD Underpulley & Header. 3Tech 9mm plug wires & 218/350 cam +10 gear, Bosch Plat. +4s, FlameThrowerII, synthetic fluids. K&N, Optima, Catco, Jones glasspack, & KYB struts. Vortekx Generators, Air dam, 7mm ground system, Ram Air. No TBI bridge. No A/C - roof scoop works.
'96 Metro - The Wife's car: SuzukiRD Underpulley, 3Tech econo cam +10 gear, K&N, KYB, Bosch, Syn. & grounded. No TBI bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:58 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Quote:
Did you drop the trans pan and change the filter when you did the fluid? If not do it! you never know what you might find and that way you can clean out the pan of any debris.


I made sure to drop the pan and change the filter because I had no clue when it was done last. There was a ton of thick slimy goop clinging to the magnet in the pan. Not quite sure what that means but I cleaned everything out with brake cleaner and tossed the new filter and gasket on there. I used Castrol High mileage vehicle ATF and the trans seems much happier now.


Quote:
You did do the PCV, correct? If you built up excessive pressure in the valve cover you may have blown out the cam seal. I did. Thought it was the oil pan gasket. Thinkmetro may be more correct. And maybe you should disconnect the A/C belts. Still sounds a bit constipated.


I replaced the PCV valve a couple months ago because the tube that ataches to it would just fall of at random with the old one. Are there separate belts for the A/C? I thought it was just one main belt that controlled everything. With that idea in mind, I would think that I would have to buy a belt for a Geo without A/C...Am I mistaken?

I will have to clean all of the crud off the engine and run it for a while so I can try and get a good look at where the leak is coming from. Hopefully that will prevent me from tearing things apart that don't need to be messed with...yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:28 am 
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No, no you are correct. Never had A/C. I was thinking the two belt lower pulleys I've seen on the crankshaft did #1: A/C and #2: water pump/altenator. Yours uses just one belt (?), then yes, my mistake. Just thinking loose a little weight and a little belt drag. May not be worth it right now(?).

You are a great judge of what you need.

Speaking of "...yet." Before you tear it all apart, assuming you need to get to your timing belt/crank seal/cam seal, you get more pep by replacing the lower crank pulley (3.5 lbs steel) with an Aluminum single pulley. IMHO it does give you more response, faster accelleration, less rotational weight on the crankshaft and worth the $80 plus shipping. I had to buy a new belt with the smaller Aluminum pulley. So, if you are buying a belt anyway... If not, you may want a little extra later, they make great stocking stuffers. :)

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Have fun,
Bad Bent
'91 Metro, rescued from trip to junk yard. SuzukiRD Underpulley & Header. 3Tech 9mm plug wires & 218/350 cam +10 gear, Bosch Plat. +4s, FlameThrowerII, synthetic fluids. K&N, Optima, Catco, Jones glasspack, & KYB struts. Vortekx Generators, Air dam, 7mm ground system, Ram Air. No TBI bridge. No A/C - roof scoop works.
'96 Metro - The Wife's car: SuzukiRD Underpulley, 3Tech econo cam +10 gear, K&N, KYB, Bosch, Syn. & grounded. No TBI bridge.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:50 am 
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Location: North Carolina
Well this just keeps getting more "interesting". :thwack: The car started making this nasty clacking sound at idle. Thought it was a helicopter flying over at first lol. Turns out the cam pulley is just flopping around all loose. I brought it by Aamco and the guy there has 7 Geos of his own and he just got done fixing a similar problem. I guess it is pretty common for the pulley bolts to strip out and the the keyway to shear. I'm just going to let them tear into it and see what exactly is going on with that and they should be able to identify any other problems that it may be having. This is probably a good opportunity to replace the timing belt too. Ugh, this might get expensive... :roll: Odd coincidence that we started talking about belts and pulleys and the next day this happens. jinxed lol


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:57 am 
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Location: Lummi Island
You can find JDM engines for around $500 or less, I would re-engine the car if it needed anything more than a tune up!

MM


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