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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:29 am 
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Location: Texas
I have finally joined the ranks of microcar owners after admiring their overall engineering excellence and design originality. Plus, I decided I ought to do something about global warming and burn less gasoline, and, lets face it, I don't have my ego wrapped up much in what I drive, hell, its just wheels. (With motorcycles, however...) ANYWAY...

I've got a '94 Metro 2-door hatch, 1.0 l, 140 K on the clock, doesn't run. I'm going to fix it up as my daily around-town driver. I will be pulling the engine this week to see if I go the rebuild route (I've got a very good automotive machinist I've used for years--Dennis at Precision Engine Services, Austin, 512-451-1663) or the japanese takeout route. No mysteries there. I've got questions about making the car handle better and be a more liveable daily driver. From my experience with cars, the two things most important are a good driver's seat and their handling right or you just are never satisfied with them, no matter how well they run. I plan on throwing some time and money at the car up front to sort out all the issues now rather than be irritated with them later, SO:

1) What sort of frontand rear suspension wear pieces should I think about replacing? From my experience, Mcpherson strut cars always need lower a-arm bushings every six years or so--rubber degradation is bad in Texas with heat and air pollution. Are the urethane bushing kits good? How fast do ball joints and tie rod ends wear out on these cars? Are there any suspension parts manufacturers to be avoided?

2) What sort of tire/rim package is worth putting on a 1.0 l daily driver? Currently it has the 12" rim package--don't mind going to the junkyard for some new rims, and springing for some new tires.

3) As fuel economy is a major consideration in my owning this car, are there any mods worth doing like a larger diameter exhaust system? I've heard that giving them more basic ignition advance is worth doing--with the integrated ign/fuel computer in a '94, is that still true?

4) Every vehicle I owned needed bigger swaybars than what it came with. Anybody got a good used set for this rig?

Thanks all--Dan White


Last edited by Dan White on Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:55 am 
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Hey Dan Welcome.

I will try and answer you questions. Be sure to use the search feature on this site. It really helps. There is a ton of info.

First off, see what is wrong with the engine you have before pulling it. Does it turn over? If so, why won't it start? And get yourself a Chilton manual for it. #(8424) 28700.

Some common problems with the G10 Metro's are:

Exhaust valves like to burn. Make sure your EGR system is not clogged and is working properly.

Lower ball joint/control arm. The ball joints like to wear out. It can only be replaced as a whole lower control arm assembly. These can be found for a reasonable price on e-bay. The ball joints are non-greasable.

Outside/inside door handles like to break.

Window regulators can wear out.

Modifications that work:
Engine: Install Suprf1y's http://www.teamswift.net/3tech advanced cam gear. I have a +10 on mine and it makes a huge difference in performance with out hurting MPG. You can also step up to his re-ground cams and ported cylinder head with stainless exhaust valves if you want. Also be sure to have a good quality air filter or even a K&N filter. If you are after MPG, Superf1y is coming out with a cam and head package for this.

Exhaust: 2" mandrel bent with a good high flow muffler. Again this helps with peformance big time. You may gain a little MPG too.

Chassis: You can use the bigger sway bars from a Suzuki Swift GT. You will have to weld in the body brackets to mount the rear bar.

http://www.turbinetech.ca has a front lower body brace that connects the lower control arms together. Liam Burr (murr) has a brace also. I have one and I don't know how I drove with out it.

Wheels: You will have to upgrade the brakes on your car because the 12" wheel brakes are small non-vented rotors on the front and have tiny 10mm studs. Find a Metro convertible parts car and use the front rotors and calipers along with the rear drums and you can use the 13" wheels from the vert or aftermarket. The vert has 12mm studs and vented rotors.

Seats: Find some seats from the Swift GT. They are awesome. Also get the steering wheel from the GT. You will have to modify it to work with the turn signal cam of the Metro but it is an easy mod.

MPG: So far the only thing I have done to increase my MPG is making a home made water/alcohol injection. Search for G10 water injection here on the forum for full details.

I hope I didn't scare you off. These cars are very durable and fun to drive. If you take care of them they will last forever. I have the +10 cam gear, 2" exhaust, water injection, and advanced ignition timing to 8 deg. BTDC and I just pulled down 49 MPG this past week on 87 octane. And I drive it hard.

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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:09 pm 
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A most useful and helpful post. Too late, I already yanked the engine and found what I am told are the usual problems--stuck rings from lack of oil changes and a burned exhaust valve. About what I expected.

I will be hunting a metro convertible parts car starting this weekend. Would a Suzuki Swift GT have the same upgraded studs/brakes?
Question on the aftermarket a-arms--the ones on ebay are retailed out of Canada, and there seems to be some dispute in the site on whether or not they are junk. Would anyone like to advise, junk or not?
Urethane suspension bushings--there's varying grades of urethane, as with any plastic--are SSGTI's urethane bushings holding up ? Thanks--Dan White


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:01 pm 
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Parts Source can get you OEM like lower control arms for your car I THINK for about $95cdn including tax. I recently ordered one for my 89-91 turbo sprint (and he did have listings specific to regular metros/fireflys/sprints). They are very high quality and I was quite pleased.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:40 am 
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SSGTI gets their urethane bushings from Whiteline in Australia:
http://www.whiteline.com.au

There are two North American distributors for Whiteline:
• Global Performance Parts (MI, USA)
http://www.globalperformanceparts.com

• PDM Racing, located right here in BC:
http://www.pdm-racing.com

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 Post subject: .....
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:47 pm 
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And remember to read the handling article about GTi's on Whiteline's site, as written by an Aussie car mag and posted there.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:31 pm 
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Suzuki Racing Development sells just the lower ball joints for $25/ea, which isn't too bad. Ordered two, will have my friends at Van's Imported Auto Parts, Austin's only major surviving independent auto parts retailer, crosscheck them against the Moog catalog, to see if Suzuki engineers robbed an existing ball joint. Advice I'd give to anyone installing a press-in ball joint on any vehicle is to weld the thing in with three 1/2" long tack welds, using stick or mig. Don't overheat the ball joint and cook it--have the icewater rag handy after each weld. Got them ordered, found a decent donor convertible, things are moving forward.

Next question is: Are 14" rims and tires worth the bother on a 1.0L Car? More rubber is nice, but is it worth the bother on a 55hp, 1600 lb car? What about the extra rotating mass and unsprung weight?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:46 am 
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Depending on tire diameter 14's may hurt a little. If your car was equipped with 145-80-12's like mine you are looking at a tire that is 21" tall. The shortest tire I can ever find in a 14" is a 185-60-14 which is 22.7" tall. If you do find a vert parts car, and it happens to be a 5-speed, use that trans in your car. It has a 4.39 final drive ratio which will help if you use 185-60-14's.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:26 pm 
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Well, I tore the front and rear suspensions all apart today, and was most surprised to find all the rubber bushings in excellent shape, as were all the ball joints. Will be doing a pass for the time being on the new ball joint install and the urethane suspension parts. Spend the money elsewhere.

I am still not clear as to the suspension differences between '94 and earlier and '95 and later cars. To wit, 1)is it necessary to use Metro convertible spindles or can I just use '95-up spindles? 2) If '95-up rear sway bars fit, with a bracket fabrication, what about the front swaybar? Looks a lot like it would to me.

Anybody looking for a convertible project car should contact me as there is a nice one in a junkyard here--'91--that I will probably be the first vulture on the first part of next week. Hell, there's an even better project convertible I found junkyard shopping, and that's a Ford Capri (Aus) TURBO that is all there and apparently just had a timing belt shellout. Didn't make many of those cars, and they are nice drives.

The saying of aeronautical engineers applies to cars as well--"Weight is the enemy, drag is the obstacle." Proof of that in this car of mine--can't believe the lack of wear I see, except on oil-change related parts--on parts everywhere. Suzuki's engineers did a damned fine job of weight control on this design, and about the only other people in cars who understand weight control are Subaru and BMW.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:56 pm 
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Dan White wrote:
Hell, there's an even better project convertible I found junkyard shopping, and that's a Ford Capri (Aus) TURBO that is all there and apparently just had a timing belt shellout. Didn't make many of those cars, and they are nice drives.


If you think they are a nice drive, you need to get out more...lol
The 100kW version was tolerable, I guess....but really they should be called Ford Bathtub, instead of sullying the Capri name.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:23 pm 
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Dan White wrote:
Advice I'd give to anyone installing a press-in ball joint on any vehicle is to weld the thing in with three 1/2" long tack welds,


My 1992's are welded 360degrees around to the arm from the factory. I didn't know the 1994's weren't. (have you replaced yours yet?)

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1992 Geo metro, 1.0L 5spd, 511,000miles on original engine & trans
- First time engine work at 456K miles, bad headgasket. Rebuilt head, Felpro gasket installed.
- knuckles/hubs/brakes/13" wheels from a 2000 Metro, running 175 70R13
- New bearings and 1st/2nd synchros at 440.5K miles.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:20 am 
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Dan,

You can use the 95+ brakes. They are the same as the vert. I am not sure if you need the spindles or not. I have not done this conversion yet, but hope to shortly. I know you can use your axles with the bigger brakes.
Also the front lower control arms are the same on all 88-99 Metros

The only thing that Capri Turbo is good for is to swap the motor into a Ford Festiva.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:30 pm 
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Yep, Jellybeandriver, the Metros do a 360 degree weldin on the lower ball joint. I was thinking more in general--US cars, Volvo's, that use press-in ball joint, which generally expect you to just press the old one out and the new one in and hope that the a-arm's metal isn't too bent or fatigued. Point still is critical on not overheating the ball joint on weld-in. As my ball joints are still in quite good condition after 140K, I'm going to run them for a couple of years more. May go ahead and weld the new ones into another lower control arm set before then, and if I do, will advise on how to get the old ones out, which looks to be something of a time-eater.

And for all of you trashing the Ford Capri Turbo, come on. First, the small car performance world generally stops on the US' shores, so there isn't that much like it available here. And besides, key point is it's a ragtop, which there aint many of. As the Chrysler salesman told my brother 15 years ago when he was buying his K-car ragtop (talk about a bathtub) convertibles are about putting the top down after a hard day at the office and giving yourself some convertible therapy. That Capri is as good a medicinal doseage as you can get.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:22 pm 
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Well, things are taking longer than expected, that's always the case with a project car, or any other serious project. Things I have found out are: 4-door Geo Metro's, 95+, have larger drums, rear bearings/hub assembly (separate from the drum), and larger diameter spindles on a larger rear knuckle. That's what I'm trying to put on my car. They are basically identical to Esteem drums and spindles EXCEPT the Esteem has a different bolt hole pitch so they don't interchange. DAMN. I need to turn up a good used set of the bearing/hubs, as the ones I got with my suspension complete package had been underwater at the junkyard and were consequently rusty and junk. QUESTION IS if the bearing hub from an ABS-equipped Swift will work on a non-ABS swift. The book shows them as not interchanging, but of course it would say that--one of those CWAWP* things--I would like to know if they'd interchange, if there is any difference other than the sensor ring. Had a set apart yesterday but didn't have the two side by side to find out, so I missed out on a cheap set at a U-Pull-It in Houston. Austin is not blessed with UPT's, so I am expected to pay $35/ea, or more, which is a little steep. But, it's better than the dealer, who wants something like $185/ea for new ones. Part unavailable from aftermarket. Clearly GM's resentment at having to sell this car and how little money it made its service departments is shown by its parts pricing policies. GM--a dinosaur looking for a place to die.

The easier and probably better--less weight, who needs bigger drums much anyway? is to use the 2-door drums, which are the same size as the 94-earlier drums, fit on the same (small diameter) spindles, all that, but have the larger studs for 13" and larger wheels. Live and learn. However, on my junkyard cruises, most all the later Metro's with the front and rear swaybar packages were 4-doors. Why?

Other suspension discoveries are that the 4-door 95-up rear springs are about 1/2"-3/4" longer than 94-earlier springs, and are made of .025" larger diameter wire. (.74cm versus .68 cm to all you in the metric world.) Same wire diameter difference in the front springs, but spring length unchanged. Urethane bump stops larger diameter and longer in later vehicles. Rubber spring isolator in the later Metros not present in earlier Metros. Had to use a special high-dollar wall-mounted spring compressor to change out the front strut cartridges, usual cheap generic spring compressor wouldn't compress spring enough. Suzuki Esteem front suspension knuckles look like they interchange, as do smaller parts like sway bar end links. Brakes look like they'd work, problem is with the different bolt hole pattern on the wheels. Other Esteem parts--suspension arms, for example--MIGHT work, but without having both side by side I would not venture to say. This is a research project that needs doing. I encourage someone out there to tear the two cars apart at a U-Pull-IT some Saturday and do a comparo and report. Moving Esteem parts over en bloc to an earlier Metro might well be viable, and would yield some different wheel rim choices. Useless dealer parts books tell nothing.

Have a hard time believing that I'm the first person out there to do a complete late to early suspension swapover. I will report the results as they occur. I will have a friend of mine, Hector Mendieta, do a report on my Metro versus a stock Van's Auto Parts Metro--Hector's been racing SCCA since he got his driver's license, and has lots of stock Metro driving hours, courtesy of work, under his belt. He'd be a good expert reviewer. Ride's apt to be rough, handlings apt to be pretty good.

*CYAWP--a bureaucratic acronym for Cover Your Ass With Paper.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:56 pm 
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Do the 95> springs have more or less coils in that distance?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:58 pm 
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M3 wrote:
You can use the 95+ brakes. They are the same as the vert. I am not sure if you need the spindles or not.


You'll need the whole knuckle assembly (hub, knuckle, caliper and caliper bracket) to do the swap on an Mk2/3 using Mk4 (95+) parts.

As an aside, I don't suggest pulling the hub out of the knuckle if you don't need to... the bearing used in the assembly is a pain to work with, since it'll split in half and won't go back together properly without some persuasion.

Quote:
I know you can use your axles with the bigger brakes.


This is definitely true. Mk2/3 spindles are the right size for the Mk4 hubs.


Chris

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:21 pm 
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Oz M---Yes, the springs, front and rear both, have the same coil count and winding pitch/pattern between the '94 and the '95.

Doing some research and San Antonio, Mexico's northernmost city, has a large U-Pull-It and I will be going there tomorrow. I will endeavor to find the appropriate cars and tear them apart and compare the parts side by side. Will report results next week. One thing I suspect but will be unable to answer is that Esteem front springs are the same as far as interchangeability with Metro springs. I'm not bringing a coil compressor to UPT tomorrow to tear apart struts in the dirt to find out, however. This does seem to me to be the solution to the question of extra weight on the front end from a 1600 conversion.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:54 am 
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Quote:
This does seem to me to be the solution to the question of extra weight on the front end from a 1600 conversion.

Or as a stiffer spring for handling. It would only get better after cutting a coil for lowering, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:36 am 
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Interesting Sunday in SA. First, the Pick-a-Part there has recently gotten in a '91 GTI that has 140K on it and has not been touched, with the exception of the air mass meter and the rims, both gone. Anyone wanting this engine should contact me, as P-A-P wants $150 for the motor complete, which is cheap. It'd cost you about $100 + gas for me to go there and pull it for you. Price includes all the underhood harness and electrics.

Definitive answers are: 1) Rear bearing hubs are interchangeable between late 4-door Geo's with and without ABS. 2) Rear bearing hubs do not interchange between Suzuki Swift 4-doors (96+, at any rate) and Geo Metro's as the Suzuki uses a larger diameter stub shaft. 3) Convertible front spindles and brakes are not identical to later (95+) Metro pieces as the convertible uses a 12mm bolt to secure the brakes to the spindle and the Metro uses a 10mm bolt. Otherwise are unit interchangeable, hydraulic internals interchange. 4) Suzuki X-90 seats, front and rear, interchange with Metro seats and are excellent seats--basically the same as Swift GT seats. X-90 carpet fits, too, although it will have a couple of extra holes. 5) Front brake rubber hoses do not interchange between early and late Geo front brakes. The early Geo rubber hoses are going to be a little too short to work on either 'vert or '95 up Geo calipers. More essential parts to grab at the junkyard.

Less than definitive answers are: 1) The only rear suspension parts that might interchange between an Esteem and a Metro are the rear springs. The only rear brake parts that interchange are shoes and holddown pieces. 2) Front brake assemblies might fit on a convertible spindle, but won't fit on a Metro spindle as the bolt sizes differ. (See 3 above) Esteems use a different brake pad but appear to use identical hydraulic pieces. 3) Esteem front spindle has differences between it and the Metro that make me doubt its interchangeability, at least without doing some monster wheel alignment changes. 4) Esteem front struts and Metro front struts vary significantly as to the Metro upper strut tower being smaller in diameter than Esteem's. Esteem front spring is not taper-wound at top as Metro spring is. Esteem spring wire diameter is larger, but so is spring winding circle diameter. It may be possible to fit Esteem front struts and springs into a Metro doing some interesting fabrication of/at the strut bearing at the top, hybridizing the Metro strut bearing to the Esteem pieces, but to get an answer to this would require the two assemblies apart side-by-side. I've got my doubts.


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 Post subject: Latest Discoveries
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:19 pm 
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First discovery is the EGR system. Cleaning up the throttle body and intake manifold led me to clean up the EGR passages in the intake manifold. They were completely plugged, which is to be expected in most any vehicle with 100K or more on the clock. Seeing as functioning EGR is pretty much essential in cars nowadays, particularly with OBD II control, it behooves us to make it work, something the GM factory, Chilton, and Haynes manuals all neglect to tell us.
Here's how: 1)Pull intake manifold with TBI off of car. 2) Remove EGR valve and clean it with small screwdriver and Berryman Chemtool. 3) Clean EGR intake passage with chemtool, screwdriver, and solid copper wire snaked thru passageway until things seem open, if not exactly cleaned again. 4) KEY DISCOVERY HERE. Take a long screwdriver and run it thru the center inlet port to the EGR output that is dead center in the back of the intake manifold in that port. Whack out the 5/8" expansion(freeze) plug at the back of the intake manifold, the one right next to the coolant hose and directly below the 1/8" vacuum line. With that expansion plug out of the way, you can snake a wire and blast chemtool thru the plug of carbon right at that point that is most likely blocking your EGR passageway. When done, beat the plug back in with a small socket.

Trying to put '89 Acura Integra seats in the Geo. Most objectionable engineering cheapness in Geo is the seatbelt in the door--seatbelts tend to work better securely attached to main chassis structure--at least GM didn't use those wretched and unsafe motorized seat belts that were in vogue then, prior to airbags. Seatbelt in door protrudes about 2 1/2" into the seat area. Makes it nearly impossible to fit any other seats--Acura seats are as small, narrow, and thin as anybody's worthwhile seats. What I figure I have to do is to fabricate up some sheet steel (16 ga or so) offset plates to offset both seats 2" inwards to generate enough room for seats to fit to where door closes. Bolt seats to plate, bolt plate to Metro seatrails. This will entail the removal of the plastic junk around the parking brake. No big loss there. Will put seat more in line with steering wheel, which is nice. Anybody out there who has done this, or something similar, or who knows more engineering than I do and can tell me that my plate design will compromise seat attachment safety, would you please post a response?


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 Post subject: Re: Latest Discoveries
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:30 am 
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Dan White wrote:
Remove EGR valve and clean it with small screwdriver and Berryman Chemtool.


be sure not to gawl up the seating area.i would use a wire brush. and be sure to get all loose deposits out of the entire egr system ,as the smallest piece of carbon that gets on the seat of the egr will cause a vacuum leak. and if you use a chemical to clean the egr, use it sparingly. the shaft seal is fairly durable, but the chemicals can take thier toll. a leak there will cause a vacuum leak as well, and i have seen them leak .

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 Post subject: Re: Latest Discoveries
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:53 am 
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Dan White wrote:
Trying to put '89 Acura Integra seats in the Geo. Most objectionable engineering cheapness in Geo is the seatbelt in the door--seatbelts tend to work better securely attached to main chassis structure--at least GM didn't use those wretched and unsafe motorized seat belts that were in vogue then, prior to airbags. Seatbelt in door protrudes about 2 1/2" into the seat area. Makes it nearly impossible to fit any other seats--Acura seats are as small, narrow, and thin as anybody's worthwhile seats. What I figure I have to do is to fabricate up some sheet steel (16 ga or so) offset plates to offset both seats 2" inwards to generate enough room for seats to fit to where door closes. Bolt seats to plate, bolt plate to Metro seatrails. This will entail the removal of the plastic junk around the parking brake. No big loss there. Will put seat more in line with steering wheel, which is nice. Anybody out there who has done this, or something similar, or who knows more engineering than I do and can tell me that my plate design will compromise seat attachment safety, would you please post a response?

I'm also trying to put MK1 Integra seats in my Metro. I want to bolt mine right to the floor to gain some headroom, but I'd lose the belt buckle on the Metro seat rail.

Get some Canadian market seat belts and door panels. Only the US was blessed with the retarded belts.

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1994 Metro - MPG project (getting an XFi G10)
1992 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1991 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1990 Swift - Parts car
1997 Metro - Parts car (gone)
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 Post subject: Stuck by Discoveries
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:39 pm 
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Location: Texas
Three areas I'm working on. First is the rear swaybar install. I had the bright idea of "Well, why fab up a bracket on my buddy's bridgeport when all I have to do is torch out the brackets and some surrounding sheetmetal from a 95+that already has them?" Did that, and discovered that the 95+ bodyshells are slightly different in the rear floor sheetmetal area, and one bracket (the smaller one, passenger side, if I remember right) works fine, but the other doesn't. The idea will still work, and is probably the best way to generate the necessary brackets, but you need two small brackets from two different cars. Someone's earlier posting stated that these brackets aren't that loaded a part of the chassis--could be, but the car I got mine from had a fatigue tear starting on its bodyshell on the driver's side bracket. I aim to use a lot of fenderwashers on the inside, and whump some sheet aluminum on the inside as well. Another learning experience.

Second is the engine. Dennis at Precision Engine Service has put me on the backburner, I should have never let on to him that this is a project car--and after 6 weeks is finally putting pistons on rods. Dennis' discovery is that there are two manufacturers sourced by ITK on Geo pistons, and their pistons aren't interchangeable. Dimensionally identical, but different in weight (8g) and valve relief machining. Contacted my parts source, Bruce Roller at PartsDinosaur.com, and he's shipping another set today. Can't argue with that--Bruce seems like a good guy. Won't be putting the engine together this weekend.

Third problem is the seat install. Original plan to fab up offsetting brackets might work, but would require appropriate seat belt anchors to floorpan center tunnel, which, um, I dunno. I'm not liking the looks of that, as I didn't see any other vehicles in the junkyard using that style of attachment AND had a seatbelt buckle the same pattern as a Geo. Everyone seems happy nowadays with seatbelt attachment to the seat rails. I'll leave that plan for someone else some other time to deal with--I think its viable, if you could find the right seatbelt anchors, and, reinforced the crap out of the floor sheetmetal where they attach. While Canadian vehicles might have had the right seatbelts, none of the seatbelt in door nonsense, that doesn't do me any good here in Texas, where Canadian vehicles never show up in junkyards. Went looking at a Suzuki Swift GTI, a '92 4-door Swift, an '89 Metro 2-door, a 2000 Swift 2-door, and a '95 Metro 2-door. Discoveries on seatbelts are that sometime AFTER '89 Geo's went to the (aptly described by others as retarded) seatbelt in door. The '89 and the GTI both had seatbelts in the B-pillar, as man, God, and the SAE all intended. All the post-'95 iron had the same type of seatbelt assembly, as did the '92 4-door Swift. I did not pull the seatbelt assemblies to physically verify interchangeability of early and late B-pillar seatbelts, or 2-door and 4-door, however. Problem arises as to putting these seatbelts in my '94. Three attachment points for the seatbelt assembly, top via weldnut in B-pillar, middle (attaches reel assembly to car) via hole in sheetmetal mid-b-pillar, and lower anchor in floor sill via weldnut about 8" ahead of B-pillar. The door-belt cars' sheetmetal has the correct lower weldnut, and the correct middle hole. The problem arises with the top hole and weldnut, which are missing. It seems as this was an item deleted on these cars on account of these cars having the clip in the upper door rear corner where the seatbelt-in-door's upper attachment is for an additional anchor to the chassis in case of collision. My SWAG* is that there is sufficient access to the interior B-pillar sheetmetal via the clip hole to put in sufficient reinforcing steel on the inside, and attach additional sheetmetal on the outside as well, of the B-pillar, to work around the lack of the weldnut and use just a regular grade 8 nut and washer instead. I am not the slightest bit happy to have to do this sort of home-grown engineering on what is from the safety side the single key structural point of the car, but I think it will work. The alternative is to live with the trashy Geo seats, which aint gonna happen. The ensuing problem is then what to do for doorpanels and rear seat side interior panels, both of which need replacing once the seatbelts-in-door go away. It looked to me like Geo and Suzuki both on their '95-up units took advantage of the extra room in that part of the interior to do some stylistic artsy jive on the doorpanels, giving them extra swoopy depth looking jive, to where the post-95 door panels, should they fit the '94 and earlier doors (something I don't know for a fact) still wouldn't work, as they would still impinge on the new seats. Both the '89 Metro and the GTI both had (normal) flat interior door panels, which would work, but the cars I looked at had total trash interiors. It looks to me like next week is a SA run again, this time to get the GTI down there's interior panels, which was the least kicked-apart part of that car's interior. What a nuisance.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck by Discoveries
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2003 11:31 pm
Posts: 2457
Location: New York State
Dan White wrote:
While Canadian vehicles might have had the right seatbelts, none of the seatbelt in door nonsense, that doesn't do me any good here in Texas, where Canadian vehicles never show up in junkyards...Three attachment points for the seatbelt assembly, top via weldnut in B-pillar, middle (attaches reel assembly to car) via hole in sheetmetal mid-b-pillar, and lower anchor in floor sill via weldnut about 8" ahead of B-pillar. The door-belt cars' sheetmetal has the correct lower weldnut, and the correct middle hole. The problem arises with the top hole and weldnut, which are missing. It seems as this was an item deleted on these cars on account of these cars having the clip in the upper door rear corner where the seatbelt-in-door's upper attachment is for an additional anchor to the chassis in case of collision. My SWAG* is that there is sufficient access to the interior B-pillar sheetmetal via the clip hole to put in sufficient reinforcing steel on the inside, and attach additional sheetmetal on the outside as well, of the B-pillar, to work around the lack of the weldnut and use just a regular grade 8 nut and washer instead. I am not the slightest bit happy to have to do this sort of home-grown engineering on what is from the safety side the single key structural point of the car, but I think it will work. The alternative is to live with the trashy Geo seats, which aint gonna happen. The ensuing problem is then what to do for doorpanels and rear seat side interior panels, both of which need replacing once the seatbelts-in-door go away.

But there's plenty of Canadians on this board, that's how I got my belts. I did recently find a Canadian market car in a junkyard and grabbed the belts and door panels. I'm not using any rear side panels, so I left those at the junkyard. I installed my driver's side belt using large washers and nuts, I think it's enough. :? I did pick up some lock nuts just to make sure nothing loosens up over time. The only problem I haven't figured out is the small screw that holds the top half of the belt reel to the body. There's no threads and no access to the back of the metal. Almost anything would be good enough there, it's only an M6 screw holding it down.

_________________
1994 Metro - MPH project (getting a DOHC G13B)
1994 Metro - MPG project (getting an XFi G10)
1992 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1991 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1990 Swift - Parts car
1997 Metro - Parts car (gone)
1993 Metro - Parts car
1989 Swift GTi - Parts car
1998 Metro - Parts car


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 Post subject: Still Grinding Away
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:06 am
Posts: 59
Location: Texas
Engine might go together tomorrow, at least in part. The interior fixup has been a dreadful chore--I suspect that there will be more time total in the interior fixup than in an engine rebuild. So far I have managed to successfully install '89 GTI seatbelts into the Metro. I had some 16 ga 7075-T-6 kicking around, and fabbed up and riveted in (using 1/4" al/al pop rivets) an external reinforcing piece about 9" long over and around where the weldnut should have been for the top seatbelt attachment in the B-pillar. Looks kind of industrial but it works. I also used a washer between the aluminum plate and the B-pillar sheetmetal as there was a dimple there that I didn't want to exist any more for structural reasons. Seatbelts use special bolts--note the shoulders on them--but either the bolts from the GTI or the bottom Torx bolt to door from Metro will work. DONT USE REGULAR BOLTS FOR SEATBELTS TO CHASSIS ATTACHMENT!!!!!! Can recall a GM recall for that. Bolts are 7/16 SAE thread, fyi, not metric. Structurally I like my design better than using a bunch of washers on the back nut. Another posting mentioned the problem of attaching the reel assembly to the bodyshell due to lack of access for a nut to replace the missing 6 mm weldnut on bodyshell @ top of reel assembly. SOLUTION IS the old trick of stripping a 2' or so piece of house wire--12 or 14 GA solid copper--out of a piece of Romax, and grabbing the nut thru its center with a pair of needlenose pliers and the wire and winding the wire hell tight one turn around the nut. Basically there isn't a nut that can't get put on a bolt using this trick, if you can see what you are doing. Here, there's plenty of visibility and good access thru holes in bodyshell channel to where it warnt that tough.

Still haven't got the seats in, but that doesn't look like a problem now that there is room for them in the car. Two questions for the group:

1) GTI doorpanels are coming apart top half/bottom half due to failure of odd plastic heat/meltover/rivet attachments. Anybody put a door panel back together neatly? I may do the crude and just PL-400 Construction Adhesive the things back together, and count on the door panel to metal attachments to keep everything together.
2) I'm wondering about filling body channels full of 3X expanding insulating foam sealer to increase structural rigidity and noise deadening. Anybody done that? I'm well aware of the crash sections of the bodyshell not getting this treatment, as doing so would most definitely queer the dynamics of sheetmetal deformation that has been engineered into the crush zones. Nevertheless, the door sills, B and A-pillars, front A-arm horns, all look promising to me. Anybody done it?


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