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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Location: columbus, ohio
a friend of mine has been looking for a metro vert for a long time and has been coming up dry. he got a lead on a guy who has his own personal junkyard of metros and i took a ride in the country to see what the guy had. there were 4 vert in various states of rot and a nice 93 hatchback with a blown engine. snake eyes again. :roll:

i got started on my welding around noon and snapped a couple pics whenever i stopped for a short break. i pretty much got everything tacked up.
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i spent a little while with the 4" grinder smoothing out welds but they don't have to be perfect. i'll skim them with bondo and sand the panels down but for the most part all the weld seams will be covered with the side skirts or trim.
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i did some quick sanding and shot some eastwood company rust encapsulator on the panels to keep them from rusting overnight. i had to put my tools up in a hurry as a rain shower moved through. here's where i left off.
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the right side is stable now and i can move on to the left side rocker. i'm leaving the floor repairs for last. the floor isn't as important for stabilizing the structure as the rockers so i'll make sure i have everything square and solid before i tie the floor patches in. if i can get a couple or 3 evenings in through the week i can be ready to weld the left side rocker in next weekend. the floor patches will go pretty fast after that and i should be putting the car back together in about 2 weeks.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Lookin' good.. Although I think you need to adjust the settings on your welder a bit.. I know out of position welding is a bitch but it kind of looks like you need to turn it up a bit and slow down the wire feed slightly..

Also how come you don't do rosette welds? After you grind away the globs you are left with only a little bit of weld material holding the panel together..

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:07 am 
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i was having an issue with the wire feed. this spool of wire is wound funky and the feed is jerky. this mig machine is dialed up all the way on heat and with the wire feed issue it has been difficult to get the feed rate correctly set.

i did rosette welds on the red vert but i took more time to prep the panels and the rot wasn't as extensive. i just tacked the bottom flange about every 6 inches. i'll grind the spots down and go back to fully weld the flange along the bottom of the outer rocker panel. i'll also pick up a couple new 2 pound spools of wire to try to get the wire feed problem resolved before i get back on it.

for now, i have the right side side in a stable condition. because i can use 2 hour sessions after work in the evenings to cut off the left side rocker, i'll jump to that and leave the continuation of the welding for when i have more light.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:26 am 
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Location: Pacific NorthWET, WA
I'm 2 pages and months behind, but I like my glass E codes a LOT ( though they are DEPO reproductions) for life in the rainy NW. Performance is almost as good as the Hella E codes I have in my VW.

BTW at the top edge of the lens where it turns horizontal and disapears under the hood, I put black tape all across the top surface. It reduces backscatter and glare off any precipitation in the air. Probably true for the stock plastic headlights too.

you're doing a great job (as usual) fixing this GT up!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:48 pm 
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and i've been away from my thread for a while, too.

the plastic dot approved plastic lens swift headlights came with the top edges painted black. the poor optics of the plastic lenses made them "scatter beams" as well.

my plan is to use black vinyl trimmed to fit the top edge and lay clear vinyl across the fronts to try to keep rock strikes from chipping the glass. i've been toying with the idea of doing some old school "eye brows" on the fronts of the lenses but it seems sort of counter productive to block light that is projected forward.

at any rate, since i have been driving my red vert to work in the dark i have grown accustomed to the improvement of the glass headlights with 35 watt hi/lo beam hids (although i never use the high beam.) i might spend the money to get another set of hids for this white gt. since this car will be my winter transportation i'm curious as to whether or not temperature has much effect on hid lamps. all the benzes and beemers seem to run hids in the winter without any problem but this is my first experience with them myself. it takes a while for them to get up to full output right now and they are fairly new and it's only in the 40s f these mornings. it takes them 90 seconds or so to warm up after i switch them on.

i managed to squeak in about 2 hours on the project this evening which basically gave me enough time to cut off the driver's side rocker. when i get another 2 hours of sunlight and dry pavement i'll get a good coat of rust encapsulator applied with a brush to the remains of the inner rocker, the intermediate rocker, and the remnants of the floor edge in preparation to install the outer rocker repair panel and the added channel.

this is way slower going than my vert project's chassis repairs but i'm not hitting it as hard, either. i'll have to pick up the pace, though, or i'll be into snow season before i get done. :roll:

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

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My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
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SAAB Sonett II


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 Post subject: 3M film
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:00 am 
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Location: Pacific NorthWET, WA
I put the 30 or 40 mil thick 3M headlight film on all the lights, even the corner markers.

Griots garage sells a 17 x 22" sheet for as good a price as any I'd found at the time, about 4 years ago.

Had enough leftover to do my bike too.

I don't think my stock headlights had the black masking, but the car was 12 when I bought it. Someday I'll pull them out of storage and look.

Yeah, boy the daylight goes away fast on the steep part of the sine curve. Crack the whip!

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t3 ragtop wrote:
it has been slow going so far. As usual, there's going to be an assload of work that nobody will ever see when they just look at the car.
...and so these are, the days of our lives!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:24 pm 
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monday, columbus day, is a holiday for the city of columbus municipal workers. i took today, friday, off so i could have a 4 day weekend during which i can put the jets on to get the car welded back together.

tuesday i had gotten the old rotted outer rocker dissected and thursday evening i got a heavy brushed coat of eastwood company rust encapsulator on all the internal rocker surfaces.
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today i got the left side rocker put back together.
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i can tell that the car has tightened up from the way the doors sound when i close them.
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tomorrow i'll be out there at 9 am cutting and welding patches for the floor and tying in the front corners. i burned all the .035 mig wire i had on the heavy guage steel. i ran up to the hardware store to get another spool of wire and some m4 cheese head a2 stainless steel screws to replace the ones on the windshield wiper motor's black plastic cover plate. i already had the m5 cheese head screws for the motor's bell and extras to put the wiper motor for the red vert back together when i get it's firewall mounting plate and bell back from the powder coater.

anyway, the hardware store only had .030 guage mig wire in 2 pound spools so i took that to finish welding in the rocker panel. it will be better to use the .030 wire with the heat turned down to weld the paper thin floor steel without burning through. i'm motivated and i'm on a roll. maybe i'll make my deadline.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Looking great as usual! Keep up the good work.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:31 pm 
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i moved back over to the right side of the car to finish it. i got everything set up and got a call from work for overtime. i hopped into my super hero suit and ran a couple emergency jobs and was back on my project in an hour and 40 minutes.

my first task was locating and welding the rail for the side skirt back onto the outer rocker skin. the rails are installed from the factory using pinch welds. i drilled holes where the pinch welds were and did rosette welds to re-attach it.
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i cut 28 gauge galvanized steel, folded it up to match the floor contours, and welded it in. then i used seam sealer and rust encapsulator to seal the welds.
[/img]http://www.teamswift.net/gallery/image_pic.php?album_id=1271&image_id=23590[/img]
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moving to the outside of the car i had to take car of the same floor holes on the bottom. i switched to 22 gauge galvanized for strength here as this stabilizes the bottom of the door pillar.
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my old welder and rusty base steel is giving me fits. i don't have time to waste on jacking around with it right now so i'm just pressing on.
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they are calling for rain in the morning and i can't weld when the ground is wet (welding current is optimum for electrocution) so i'll do whatever i can to move the project forward until it dries up. with the passenger side back together i can lay up the aluminum covered expanded butyl sound and heat insulation while i wait out the weather.

the reason i'm pushing hard this weekend is that the jet stream is supposed to move and bring down canadian air. the temps won't be great for painting and there's supposed to be a bunch of rain with front. i need to have this car back together to keep my fresh and clean red vert out of the slop.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:12 am 
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t3 ragtop wrote:
the reason i'm pushing hard this weekend is that the jet stream is supposed to move and bring down canadian air.


That'll be the freshest air you'll ever breath! You should take advantage of it stick it out! =)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:46 am 
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:lol:

for sure it's some of the coldest air we get. the only thing more frigid is when the arctic express winds drop far enough to put us in the deep freeze. :wink:

personally, i prefer warmer air coming up from the gulf of mexico. :D

no rain yet. i'm out to make more sparks.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:34 pm 
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i got about 10 hours in on the car today. it never did rain.

i hopped right to patching the driver's side floor. the rot was worse than the right side but it was easier to repair, if that makes any sense.

the left rear corner had rot.
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the left front had the usual hole.
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the left side skirt mounting rail got tacked back on.
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no breaks today. i jumped right into laying in the fatmat on the right side floor while the welds were cooling on the left side.
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before i rolled the fatmat onto the inner rockers i flooded them with eastwood company internal frame spray to catch anything i might have missed with the rust encapsulator. this project used up the last of my seam sealer, killed the quart can of rust encapsulator, and finished off the 80 square foot roll of fatmat. 2 floor restorations in one summer was a ton of work for me.

i have tomorrow, monday, off as a paid holiday. i'll head out to the hardware store first thing in the morning for white paint in rattle cans. i'll have to break out the bondo and skim the welds on the rockers, knock those down and paint them. i want to hang the side skirts, drill the holes for the push pin fasteners for the door sill trim and mount those, and kick the carpet back in. i may even get the seats and interior bits back in except for the door panels.

i have a lock set i need to install so i'll leave the door panels off for now. i also want to shoot truck bed liner on the bottoms of the rockers and that rail i added to keep rock chips (and rock salt) from knocking the paint off the bottom of the car. with any luck, i should have the wheels back on the car and get it off the jack stands by the end of the day tomorrow.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
It seems like a member was asking about these side skirt brackets a while back:
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So a second look might be worth mentioning.
I hope he finally got an answer to his question and is happily motoring as we speak.

Your work is coming along nicely; it is comforting to know that the work you are doing on this MK3 will withstand the salt and snow of your area.
I expect you to use this as a fun little Winter driver for many years to come, not to mention documenting your repairs will add considerably should you decide to part with it
(which we doubt, but no one knows the future).

In our area rust is not an issue, but watching and learning as you work is very motivating.
Weather in the Southwest has cooled so you probably will see more posts from those of us down here breaking out the tool boxes as you guys move indoors.

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DIY Broken Bolt Removal: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41042
DIY Clutch Adjustment: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=48281
DIY Wheel Bearings: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29003
DIY Shocks: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=45483
DIY Wheel Align: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42479
Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:02 pm 
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i really kicked in the after burners today to try to get the car done. i was all over the place with tasks that had to be done in a precise order to allow time for bondo to cure, paint to dry, etc.

i mixed the bondo hot so it'd cure faster. i was knocking it down within 30 minutes.
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before i shot the finish coat on the rockers i stuck the carpet back in the car so that i wouldn't drop any crap in wet white paint. i drilled the new holes for the push pin fasteners for the door sill trim and then i sprayed the rockers.
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i needed time for the paint to dry so i slid under the car and did some undercoating. i used truck bed liner on new steel i welded in and rubberized undercoating on the floor which already had the factory spray. i had scraped anything that was loose on friday and had wire brushed anything that had surface rust so it was ready to cover.

the paint had time enough to get dry to the touch so i leaned into the car to install the console and e-brake cover. i used a2 stainless screws and washers for that because the factory hardware rusts and looks like crap after a year or 2.
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i had ordered a bag of 125 of those push pin fasteners when i was restoring the vert so i'm using new ones on this old beater, too. the oem fasteners have dried out and hardened so badly after 20 years that they are brittle and break. new ones are they way to go!

it was getting late in the day and the paint had dried well enough that i felt safe to reinstall the side skirts. that's a pretty straight up job of fitting, drilling, and running in screws. of course the new screws and washers are a2 stainless saved from doing the red vert.
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you can tell from that last pic that i was losing my light. still, i painted the black spot at the front of the driver's side door and got the passenger side seat in. so at the end of a 4 day push i got the floor and both rockers finished, the fatmat laid in on the floor, and most of the interior back in.

i want to undercoat the wheel wells so i can bolt the wheels back on and drop the car off the jack stands. i should have the car back in service by next weekend and all set for winter use.

_________________
1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:22 am 
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Nice progress!

I need a task master like this in my garage.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:50 pm 
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i got the car all back together except for the coil. i sent the coil mounts from this car out to my powder coater to have them done up for my red vert and i managed to get my gt project finished before my guy had the powder coating done. i hoping he gets them done this week as i don't have a spare gt coil assembly in the garage.

i finished the interior assembly and popped the center caps back on. 3 of them had tabs broken off so i tacked them on with a little black silicone. i hope i don't lose any as i don't have replacements - yet.

i'd appreciate your comments on the wheel color and treatment for this white car. the white paint is pretty stark and i was hoping that the wheels would break up the white a little bit.
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i still need to clean up the car and spot in a few chips, nicks, and scrapes in the paint but overall the car is really very presentable. 6 weeks or so really turned the clock back on this old car.
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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:10 am 
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Richard, As usual, impressive and as usual, I think you nailed it. The red highlights go so well with the side decals and yes, it does look right. Better than right....

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:07 am 
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
Paint the hood and door handles white and sell it to a Physician's Assistant for $5k.

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DIY Broken Bolt Removal: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41042
DIY Clutch Adjustment: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=48281
DIY Wheel Bearings: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29003
DIY Shocks: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=45483
DIY Wheel Align: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42479
Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Phil N Ed wrote:
Paint the hood and door handles white and sell it to a Physician's Assistant for $5k.


:roll: :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:07 pm 
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my new outer door handles have arrived from taiwan. they will get painted white, get new door locks from a keyed alike set, and bolted on. the hood will remain adorned in carbon fiber vinyl - because i like it and it has become my signature mod.

no sale! i can't buy nice suzuki cars around here so i always have to build them. i have a blue million hours in this car and it's all for me. :-P

not to mention that this car was given to me by some dear friends and i believe that when they picked me as it's new owner it was because they loved the car and had a feeling i would return it to it's former glory. :wink:

i do these projects to relax. anybody who knows me sees my calm demeanor but underneath that i'm as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. working on the cars burns off all that nervous energy. :lol:

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:00 pm 
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when i got home last evening the vent visors i had to re-order were on my porch. the first set of wide visors from wade were made to fit a 4 door sedan and were about 3 inches too short for a 2 door coupe. i had a couple hours of daylight and it was 65*f so i fitted the visors to the gt. when i finished that task and did a few others it was too dark for pics so i waited until today. it's not even 50*f today and it's raining so i can't do too much on the car.
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the front turn signals on this old dog had rock checked faded white lenses and deteriorating plastic housings. i've ordered new depo replacements from ebay sellers before and have run into problems with the way they are assembled. the ground wires are held captive by the insertion of the lamp socket. the copper wires' contact with the wheat straw plated sockets quickly develop corrosion and the turn signal lamps stop working within a matter of months.

i ordered new front turn signal assemblies and immediately pulled them apart. this morning i got out my big weller soldering gun, used coarse sandpaper to knock the plating off the lamp sockets, and soldered the ground wires directly to the outside of the steel sockets. i'll give those a whirl to see if that takes care of the problem.

in the meanwhile i painted the inside reflecting surfaces of the housings white as an experiment. they come with some crappy silver paint on them and that give the lenses, even brand new shiney ones, a gray appearance. i want to see if the white reflector surfaces make the lenses blend in better with the white bumper.
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i also painted my new taiwanese outer door handles white to match the body color. i've done that before on a white vert and sort of like the way it looks. there's still a very thin black line around the handles from the vinyl gasket but it's not really very noticeable from 10 feet.
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with the bigger things finished on the car and maybe a little bit more time left of moderate weather, i'm down to smaller tasks that aren't really critical. i do want to get the locks replaced on the car, though. not because i'm worried about security as much as i want everything to be correct and functional on the car. anything i change on this gt from oem will be for my own personal pleasure. since i like a window cracked while i'm driving but hate the fact that water drips through the top of the window right onto my leg, i installed the vent visors. little things like that just make me enjoy driving the little cars more. this car won't be getting a bunch of mods. i have the turbine tech lower brace installed because those extend the operational life of the car. i'd like to find turbine tech upper strut braces for the same reason (but i won't use anything other than turbine tech braces.)

i've been seriously considering installing a sun roof, too. again, that's a matter of improved ventilation as the car doesn't have air conditioning.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:40 pm 
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i drove the white gt to work this morning. there was ice on the windshield so i fired up the engine while i scraped the ice, blower on speed 2 and full defrost. less than a mile up the road i had heat. with the driver's side window down an inch the vent visor pulled enough air through the defroster that i could feel the warm air on my face.

the car is solid and very quiet inside even with the louder exhaust. it's amazing what fatmat on the floor pan accomplishes. also, with no holes in the floor or rockers there are no more cold drafts.

this will make a great winter transport. as long as we don't get 2 feet of snow dumped in a blizzard this car will make it.

here are finished pics to bring the build thread to it's finish. thanks for reading along as i worked on the project.
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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:52 pm 
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I like those front seat covers bet they will be warm this winter.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Location: columbus, ohio
those seat covers are original suzuki accessory sheep skins that i've had for years. they fit the gt seats perfectly and, indeed, they are very comfortable - warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

one other thing i'll be buying for the car before winter comes slammin' in is weather tech floor mats. the carpet is too nice and i've put too much work into the floor to drag a bunch of snow, ice, and road salt into the car. the weather tech floor liners catch all the ice and snow and hold it like a bucket. you pull them out a dump the melted crap. that will help make the carpet last. :wink:

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 4998
Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
Nice presentation.

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DIY Broken Bolt Removal: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41042
DIY Clutch Adjustment: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=48281
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DIY Shocks: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=45483
DIY Wheel Align: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42479
Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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