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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
phantomrt wrote:
I'm back once again. I just got my cylinder head back, and once again, new exhaust valves, once again.

I located a new set of STD bore Hastings rings. Did a hone job with 320 grit stones and roughly a 40 degree crosshatch pattern. Otherwise, I left the cylinders alone. They were visibly in very good shape. I've done this many times on other engines with great results. End gaps of the 1st and 2nd ring are larger than I'd like, but its somewhat to be expected with cylinders that have worn down a bit. Well within the wear limits of .0275". Gaps of the first two rings are the same. I installed the gaps of the first two rings are opposite each other, and 45 degrees relative to the crank centerline. Oil ring gaps are opposite of each other, and 90 degrees from the first two rings... just the same way I've always done this.

I just got the short block back together. No crank bind-up or anything. Thrust bearings are oriented properly.

I am going to buy an oil restrictor from that part number. The guy rebuilding the head these last 2 times also had another "virgin" 1.0 head in the shop, and no restrictor in that head, either. There must have been some years without them. Interestingly enough they both have threads there! He is convinced that oil pressure is pushing open the lifters enough to where its holding the valves open. I personally don't, but anything is possible. I obviously don't know what is going on. With a restrictor, it'll substantially reduce the oil pressure in the head and eliminate that possibility.

I know that the CORRECT way is to have it bored, get oversize pistons, get everything balanced, press the piston pins out and into the new ones, rebuild the crank, new bearings yadda yadda. I consider what I am doing to be a "mexican" rebuild.

I was unable to get any exhaust back pressure. It'd maybe nudge the gauge a bit.

There was no sludge inside this engine--it was quite clean. But the oil would dirty up FAST. Like an early 80's VW diesel would do. The head machinist commented on how icky black the oil was when he drained it out of the lifters. There's still the chance that both the rings and the lifters are culprits of my problem. The rings let the oil burn up and get black. That oil gets into the lifters. That causes mayhem. It should be running by the end of this week if I have enough time.


6 pages of updates and an explanation that he cured burning valves by properly installing some new Hastings Piston Rings makes this a thread to watch.
There is no need to race the engine to keep from burning valves and it certainly can't be attributed to using premium gasoline.
If you do a search on Hastings Rings you may find someone who doesn't like them and even says they don't last.
In our application (1.0L Suzuki NA) they not only work fine, they last and last and last.
As a matter of fact, the piston rings may well outlast his body and frame.
:-P
Having an '87 4 door Sprint which also has Hastings Piston Rings installed and similar results, I thoroughly enjoy the updates which seem to bolster the idea of Hastings quality.
Someone wishing to prolong his engine would do well to read carefully what he's done to this engine and how he arrived at his decision to install those particular rings.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...in advance.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Prairie to Pine Co. wrote:
My two Bits. Back in the day. I sold an older lady (A Friend from church) a new 91 Metro with the 3cyl. 5speed. at a little over 1 year, and with just under 9000 miles on it, the head had to come off, Burned exhaust valve in Cyl. #2.


That is very interesting. 5spds with burned valves and none with automatics. One thing I can say about my burning up two sets of valves in such short order is that I never drove the car any differently from one head build to the next and this last build has seen -18* fahrenheit winters and 103* summers. This car really seems to struggle more to maintain freeway speeds when temperatures get around zero degrees fahrenheit. I'm not sure if it is because the air is more dense, thus more wind drag, but it definitely doesn't cruise as well. Other than that, it doesn't seem to care.

Also interesting to note that we both had cylinder #1 as being the strong one. Cyl #1 never failed nearly like 2 and 3 did.

My head rebuilder really doesn't seem like a BS'er, and he says he has rebuilt hundreds of these heads over the years, and it is a common problem. He doesn't do nearly as many now as he used to, but he still sees them and knows them well. He is kind of one of those people who knows nothing about anything other than heads. He said that I was the first to have a head come back to him in such short order, and right away, neither of us were positive about what caused them to fail. He suspected abuse, but I told him I had other cars which were way more fun to abuse. We looked into plugged exhaust, and that wasn't the cause for sure.

I cannot see how engine lugging would do any harm to the valves, although the rod bearings definitely do not like it, and with the oil pressure being low as well, it can't do it much good.
But then again, I could never see how high oil consumption would burn up valves, provided it wasn't leaving deposits which would insulate the valve from its seat, which was not my case.

Here's more food for thought: In the last year and a half, I had two customers come to me with low compression issues due to bad valves. One was a 4 cyl non-turbo 1991 Dodge Daytona that has probably 300,000 miles on it now. The odometer quit at 223,000 many years ago. The engine in the car lived a really good life for its first 80,xxx miles (I swapped it in and knew all of that engine's history), and the valves gave out when the engine had an estimated 200,000 miles. She neglects the car, but does not abuse it if that makes sense. I just replaced the engine (it is now on its 4th engine) because it would be cheaper and faster than rebuilding the head. In retrospect, I installed the engine back in May? of 2011. I always write dates/miles on the oil filters I install now. She still has not changed the oil in that engine. But I did install a new filter just a few months ago.

2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. It had the exact same symptoms as my 1.0 Suzuki had, and I believe has the exact same valve train setup. High oil consumption which was probably caused by bad rings since there was never any visible smoke and burned up valves around 176,000 miles. He didn't change the oil because it consumed so much.

See a pattern? The Chrysler 2.5L 4 cyl has a different valvetrain setup (lash adjuster/follower) and is not particularly notorious for valve burnage, but I suppose the same principles could apply. People DO neglect their oil changes. And it is possible that with a failure in less than 9,000 miles, there could easily be a run of heads that didn't have proper valve margin or proper guide clearance.

>>6 pages of updates and an explanation that he cured burning valves by properly installing
>>some new Hastings Piston Rings makes this a thread to watch.

Well, I can't purely state I installed them PROPERLY. The cylinders had lots of taper, which is arguably a no-no and will increase ring land wear, and the cylinder hone I use is similar to what you'd get from Harbor freight. I started with the coarse stones and finished with the fine ones. I did this to a lot of engines with zero issues. I start coarse to clean things up a bit more effectively and then go to fine so the rings don't get beat up by rough walls. I even use my own ring gap orientation which differs from what at least some service manuals suggest to use. I always place all gaps my gaps at 45* from the crank center line, and within a pair, they are 180* from each other. Top pair is 90* from the bottom pair. I hope that makes sense. I am definitely a novice engine builder, but call it luck if you must, I only had one of my builds be a failure ever in my life, and that was because of sand in an intake manifold. (long, interesting story/lesson there) The machine shop also left steel blasting material in the oil passages, so it may have failed via other methods, too. I paid them to install the oil galley and core plugs, so they should've cleaned out the galleys.

>>There is no need to race the engine to keep from burning valves and it certainly can't be
>> attributed to using premium gasoline.

Some on the forum have told me to not drive these cars over something like 70 mph as they "weren't designed for that" or something to that nature. I've made quite a few 2 hour each way 75+ mph blasts to Duluth, MN and back with the car and it really didn't seem to care at all.

>>As a matter of fact, the piston rings may well outlast his body and frame.

From the way things are going, I think you are going to be right on that one. The rings have 60,000 miles on them with questionable installation conditions due to the wall taper. Heck, my piston ring compressor was barely small enough to use. I had to muscle them into their bores much more aggressively than I was comfortable doing. The pistons should nearly fall in, but I had to push down on the piston and wiggle the ring compressor around and tap on the piston simultaneously, but they eventually went in and are obviously working well. I remember it having a lot of crankcase vapors--like an oil fog under the oil cap for a few hundred miles, but it seems fine now and runs great.

Come to mention it, I DO NOT EVEN HAVE A PISTON RING INSTALLER TOOL. I never used one ever in my life. You don't need one unless you are a frequent engine builder. You just have to be careful as you peel them on and off of the pistons by hand.

>>Someone wishing to prolong his engine would do well to read carefully what he's done to this
>>engine and how he arrived at his decision to install those particular rings.

I made the decision on the rings simply because... I think it was because they were all that were readily available other than some cheap ones on ebay that I never heard of before. I can't remember for sure because it was so long ago. My head rebuilder had Hastings as one of his suppliers, so that is how I got them. They were reputable like Federal Mogul and I knew lots of people who have used them as a brand with no problems as long as they knew what they were doing. Piston rings are a place that gives people great opportunities to mess something up. Make sure you don't install them upside down, make sure end gap orientations are right, make sure end gaps are not too small, and don't break them while installing them, and don't force them into the engine bores like I had to do.

I am looking to get another 40,000 miles out of the car. By then, the rings/head will have lasted 100k. The only thing I haven't done with the car is take it on interstate road trips. The lack of cruise control makes me not look forward to it. It has been to the Lake Superior north shore many times, I've driven to Oshkosh WI, to Madison, to Monroe and back home again. I brought home the replacement engine for my 2003 Sonata with the car by placing the engine it where the passenger seat would go. It is nothing for me to do 100 miles in a day.

I must also add that if anyone has lots of time to spend and wants to try an experiment, find a solid lash adjuster engine and set the valve lash to zero. It'll run and sound just fine, but valves will burn up in time. I am still sticking to that being the cause of my valve failures.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:56 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
I finally rolled over 200k miles on Friday. I honestly think that the engine runs / sounds better than ever. It went from 196,6xx miles to 200007 miles without consuming any significant amount of oil. The exhaust manifold gasket seems to be leaking, but I don't exactly blame it because I did re-use it twice back when valves were burning up. If I get time, I will see if the manifold studs will still come loose, and if they will, I may just drop $15 on a new gasket.

The oil that came out with my oil change today looked just fine for 3400 mile oil.

I car pooled out of town with some friends last weekend and left the Metro sit in a Wal-mart parking lot from Friday afternoon through Monday afternoon. Temperatures that Monday afternoon never got above zero degrees Fahrenheit. It took three tries for it to start and stay running, but it did. Then since my dad's trailer snapped a leaf spring and axle, i had that taking up my entire garage for repair, so the Metro had to sit outside each night this last week. My thermometer read -13 degrees one morning, and like before, it took three tries to get it fired up, but it did. I wouldn't say that it is an incredible feat, but considering this thing cost like $7k brand new 20 years ago, it is doing quite well.

The only real problems that the car has is with the drivers' door handle. When it is really cold out, it doesn't like to pop the door open. Surely, it is a stiff linkage / worn mechanism issue. That, and the door switches aren't working well. The rocker panels are rotted out, so the switch is fully exposed to the elements. I long replaced it with a door switch from an early 90's Chrysler product, and although being more robust in design than the original Suzuki switch, it still doesn't like being exposed to the elements like it has been. I may try mounting the switch higher up in the door jamb. Anyone have suggestions on how I can get it working reliably? It is nice to have a dome lamp function when the door is opened.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
I did a compression check a couple days ago for the fun of it. This car REALLY doesn't like the cold weather. I swear it makes notably less power below 25 degrees and mileage has really took a dive--to the low 40's. It is normal for any car I've ever owned to have a significant drop in MPG during the winter, but I swear that it hasn't been performing quite right. The first symptoms of burnt valves was a loss of hill climbing power, (which I think I am may just be neurotic about and it isn't actually happening), hard starting, and the inability to idle. It starts fine and idles great.

Compression test results were around an estimated 160 PSI. My compression gauge is a POS and was bleeding down so I couldn't get accurate results, but they were consistent on all three cylinders. So, unless the valves on all three cylinders are burning up equally, they seem to be holding up fine. 201k miles now.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:02 pm 
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I may have determined why the MPG has dropped as it has and hasn't returned. For awhile, I noticed that while I was at a stop, I could let off the brake and the car wouldn't really roll anywhere unless you were on a significant grade. If going 1-2 mph, I could just let it coast to a stop and that's where it would stay. Every car is a bit different when it comes to this behavior, but I decided to investigate. When I got home late on Tuesday, I jacked up the front of the car and noticed the front drivers side brake was dragging and the passenger side spun really smooth. Figure that since this car is just a small step up from a go-cart and has just 55 horsepower, I figured that a moderately dragging brake could cause a significant loss of power and fuel economy as compared to what it would do to a much larger vehicle.

So, tonight I tore into it. I first released the bleeder to make sure the brake hose wasn't fubar, and it didn't make any difference. The calipers are not very old, and the fluid which came out of the bleeder looked perfect. I just removed the brake caliper and pads and put it back together and now I can't get it to drag anymore. The pads didn't look excessively worn, but it was definitely dragging and I could actually smell "hot brakes" if I stuck my nose down by the wheel. Perhaps there was a piece of foreign debris in the caliper and got wedged between the piston and caliper body? While I had the caliper off, I pumped the brake pedal a bunch of times to watch the piston come out, and when I pushed the piston back in with a pair of channelocks, the piston slid in as smooth as can be. So, I am not sure what was going on. But now the car rolls on the slightest grade.

I pulled the exhaust manifold off and did a leakdown test. As far as I can tell, the exhaust valves on all three cylinders are sealing perfectly. I could find no evidence of air leaking out the exhaust ports when I compressed the cylinders. Even leakage past the rings seemed to be very minimal. I then checked my base ignition timing to make sure that is still where I left it--right at 10 degrees BTDC. We'll see how the commute goes tomorrow. Perhaps a moderately dragging brake makes a BIG difference with these cars.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:16 am 
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5 bucks says its the piston. My mr2 is doing the same thing. Tear it apart, everything seems fine. Couple weeks later and its back. One of the pistons is sticking (dual piston calipers)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:03 am 
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It would make most sense to be an issue with the caliper piston sticking. Sometimes you can have the pads stick to the bracket, usually via rust, and have a similar phenomenon, but there are stainless steel slides on the bracket and the pads are not tight in there. My dad's '04 Ranger had the pads stick and the resulting excessive brake dust. I replaced the front brakes on that and pushed the caliper pistons in by hand with the bleeder loosened. He gained about 3 mpg with the truck after that.

But wow... what a difference that you can feel in a Metro! Hill climb power is back and after my first 100 miles, the gas gauge really seemed to move less during 100 miles than it did before. I'll see for sure in a week or so.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:48 pm 
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i'll wager that the car has an old, internally bloated rubber brake hose that let's pressure generated by the master cylinder go one way to the caliper but not return. that locks the caliper down until run out in the rotor makes a tiny bit of room by grinding the pads down.

if you don't have first hand knowledge of when the brake hoses were installed on a car of this vintage it's time to replace them. :wink:

the same goes for brake fluid. if i'm going to drive one of these old dogs, i go through them and touch everything. you can usually replace everything on the brake system for under $200. once you do it, you have peace of mind that everything is working correctly.

i never cheat on brakes. they are the major safety item on any motor vehicle.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:43 pm 
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t3 ragtop wrote:
i'll wager that the car has an old, internally bloated rubber brake hose that let's pressure generated by the master cylinder go one way to the caliper but not return. that locks the caliper down until run out in the rotor makes a tiny bit of room by grinding the pads down.




phantomrt wrote:
So, tonight I tore into it. I first released the bleeder to make sure the brake hose wasn't fubar, and it didn't make any difference.




already done. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:27 pm 
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t3 ragtop wrote:
i'll wager that the car has an old, internally bloated rubber brake hose that let's pressure generated by the master cylinder go one way to the caliper but not return.


YUP! I've seen that happen a number of times. But that is why the first thing I did was release the bleeder which would eliminate the hose as being a culprit, but it still stuck. There is also the possibility that a hose was kinked somehow, which will do the same thing. But again, the bleeder should've released the brake. I REALLY think that something internal to the caliper was jamming the piston in place. It has only been a couple days now, but the car definitely rolls better now that it has in a few months. The "hill climbing" power that I mentioned to be missing is now back. Gas mileage dropped to the low 40's: 41-43 or so. I am going to go out on a limb to say that it is back to 46 now. It should get even better when the weather warms up.

And yes, the hoses are PROBABLY original on the car, which would make them 20 years old now and I understand the risks involved in using them. But, truthfully, I am more worried about the metal portion of the brake lines. They are definitely rusty and I am more worried about them splitting open. But, I did make sure that I have good parking brake cables installed and working. If the brakes do go ca'put in such a way that the both parts of the split biased system fails, I still have the parking brake fully functional. That is a requirement on any car I drive. Brake systems are really quite robust with good fault tolerance. Total failures are from substantial neglect.

"How long as the BRAKE light been on?"
"Oh, about 3-4 weeks now."

I made a mistake a number of years ago on a PT Cruiser by routing a brake line incorrectly. When the vehicle was on the ground, it was fine, but when the suspension was extended, the brake dragged after brake application because the hose was pulled tight and kinked it. To this day, I don't know what I was thinking there. No real harm done though.
I saw a few cars over the years with improperly installed brake parts. One was a rubber hose rubbing against the tire (Tires Plus) and where a front brake line was... for whatever reason... routed right past the CV axle on a '93 Intrepid. Yes, the axle wore through the brake line and the brakes half failed. That was just stupid. Work was done by a ~18 year old kid. Even when I was that age, I didn't make those kind of boo-boo's. Also, things that come to mind are a Windstar with cross-threaded brake lines in the rear, and a brake line that was over-tightened and cracked the cast iron wheel cylinder. Neither of these last two items actually failed, but once it was time to tear into it again, the problems were very obvious.

I never cut corners on brakes on a customer's car. If they want cheap brake parts installed, I tell them to go elsewhere because I won't do it. If the cheap stuff doesn't make dust, squeal, fade, warp, it'll have a short life span at the very least. Not to mention that on the first 100 degree day, they are going balls out on the freeway and step on the brake and it feels like a rock and barely slows the car down. Yea... been there.

Flushing brake fluid has been done back when I put the new calipers on. I got a lot of very questionable fluid out of the rear wheel cylinders and the fronts weren't too bad. I am honestly amazed that the wheel cylinders are still holding up. They're not leaking and the pedal feels okay and the rear brakes are working. I think I got more water out of them than brake fluid.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Sounds like I may be throwing some more parts at it soon. That brake, like someone suggested, started dragging again a couple weeks later. Brake hoses are only about $11 each through Rock Auto, so I have them added a pair to my next cartload of stuff that I'll be ordering. I'll disassemble the caliper before I buy a new one to verify that there is something wrong inside. There isn't much in there to go wrong... a seal and a steel or maybe phenolic piston. This last time, I pumped the piston out and pushed it back in several times to see if that makes any difference. Never did it give me any abnormal amount of resistance. I could push the pedal, watch the piston come out, and then retract a bit when I let off. It would do this throughout its range over and over again. I do notice, however, that when the car is cold, it drags less if at all. I'll give it one last hurrah before I break down and actually spend money. The pads are definitely worn more than the other side. Why, oh why would a brake go a couple weeks before sticking again?

2 weeks ago, I was driving home on the freeway at 75+ mph for a good 20 mile stretch late one night and then started smelling something burning. Not sure if it was me or someone else, I slowed down and took it easy until my exit came about. The car kept running great so I figured it was someone else. Just yesterday, the same stretch of road, except this time it was during the day, it happened again and I saw a gigantic cloud of smoke behind me like an engine blew up NASCAR style. OH CRAP, so I let off and slowed down and the smoke went away very shortly after. It was definitely coming from me. It kept running fine without any abnormal noises and no overheating or oil light, etc, so again, I slowly worked my way home and it ran great as usual. I figure that dragging brake finally "caught fire" at the high speeds and made a bunch of smoke.

On a car of this scale, I cannot stress enough of how much of a difference a slight brake drag makes. Any other vehicle, and this amount of disc brake drag would be considered acceptable.

Also, the front passenger side ball joint is quite loose. Time for new control arms, too I guess.

Mileage is at 203,3xx now. in 3,000 miles, it drank about half a quart of oil. Not bad.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
75 mph?
I thought those cars maxed out at 55. Ha!
Seriously, 75 is no big deal if you've got the 3.79...
I ran ours at 65 mph Monday and got 47 miles per gallon.
But the car is a few years older than yours.

What kind of oil?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Haha. I get stuff like that a lot with this car. But it WILL do at least 90 mph and the 5spd has sufficient gearing for over 100. I'm not sure what the final drive ratio is. At 60 with the 155R12 tires, it is pulling about 3100 RPM. At 75, it is knocking on the door of 4,000. But it doesn't seem to care. I run it all over the place.

I bought some new brake hoses and control arms, but so far, no dragging brake has returned. And I still can't get over how substantial of a difference it makes. Most cars, you can't even tell until you get out and smell the brake. But this robs power, and is good for 3-4 mpg with just ONE moderately dragging brake. Imagine if there was two.

For oil, I use just 5w30 or 10w30 Valvoline dinosaur oil in both engine and transmission. Speaking of which, I think I should change the transmission oil. It only has like 60,000 miles on it. Anyone who says that 5w30 will ruin a manual transmission is full of it. I put it in all my manual transmissions and have run the snot out of them long enough now to legitimately say that it works fine. Now, unless there was some kind of heavy duty application where there is a lot of force and heat involved, that could be an exception.

Over the last month or so, I noticed that I could hear the fuel pump while the engine was running and I don't remember being able to hear it. Perhaps I am getting paranoid, but it seems to be getting louder. Its just a low pitched hummm that sounds pretty normal, but getting louder. It only has 20 years and 204,000 miles.

Every now and then, I hear a clunk that would correlate with what a bad CV axle would make. The boots are still tight.

When this chassis calls it quits, I am seriously going to consider finding another Metro of the same vintage with a good southern state body and then swap over all my "newer" parts to it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
This week, I will pass up 207,000 miles. The last two tanks of gas both yielded 51 mpg, which is a figure that I haven't seen on this car for quite some time. Each time, at 250 miles, the gas gauge (which is accurate and the most linear I've ever owned) was only at half. I guess that front brake was dragging a long time! I still have not yet replaced the rubber brake hoses and I think it has been over a month since the sticking brake was last "cured".

I had to toss on yet another set of control arms due to worn lower ball joints, so this would be this car's 4th set. There were the originals, then the previous owner installed a cheap set of new arms which did not last long. Then I installed another set of used ones (which still outlasted the new ones the previous owner installed), and now I went with a new set of Dorman control arms. Interesting note is that the ball joints on them are serviceable and greaseable. If these wear out, I'll undoubtedly do some research to find the specs of the ball joints and then hopefully find a replacement. But there supposedly is a lifetime warranty on these. hmmm

... and yes, the Hastings piston rings are working flawlessly. Great mileage, low oil consumption, no burned up valves for about 77,000 miles.

This car still has what appears to be its original CV axles in it.

With the rocker panels being heavily rotted away, the door switches are shot 10x over. I replaced them with Chrysler units, but they still don't hold up to the elements that get splashed up there. I will have to re-locate them higher up in the door jamb somehow. So, without functioning door switches, I left my headlights on and didn't get the reminder chime. The battery was drained to absolute zero volts. So, I had to put my MacGyver skills to work in order to pop start the thing. The only source of power I had was the 14.4v Makita drill batteries that I keep in the car most of the time for work purposes. I also had a cigarette lighter adapter for my portable tire inflater which has totally shot batteries. I jiry rigged the drill batteries up to the cigarette lighter, and with the ignition on, it backfed through the system to power up the PCM and fuel pump. Then with a quick push of the 1500-pound car, I was able to hop in and pop start it. WINNING!


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:09 pm
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
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Likewise, she turned over last month on the 24th.
Good job on the jump start.
There's only one door switch on our 4 door, and you're right - if you leave the lights on, it will remind you.
Mine the rear hatch wires are due for a little overhaul.
We're getting about 6-8 miles per gallon less than you, but the A/C may have something to do with that.
It's been HOT lately.
Did I say it's been HOT?

Pictures or it didn't happen...........

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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: Sat May 18, 2013 9:22 am 
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Location: Minnesota
The 207,xxx miles rolled over last night. Note the fuel gauge reading and tripometer mileage. I think I have 407 miles on this tank of gas now and there is still more to go.

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And the car doubles as a good way to test my dad's utility trailer. An axle rusted through and it lost a wheel, so I got the pleasure of re-fabricating new axles and hunting down 18" leaf springs. And no, this is NOT a car trailer, but the Metro fits on it perfectly.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:16 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Oil change time at 208,2xx miles. I put about 4400 miles on that last oil change and it drank maybe half a quart of oil. Coolant consumption is back to zero ever since I took a bit of time to fix some small pesky coolant leaks.

The last tank of gas: 396 miles on 7.6 gallons. Give or take a little depending on the possibility that I didn't fill it quite as much as I did last time. Since memorial day, I do not believe I got less than 49 mpg with it.

The thing that has me worried yet is that darn fuel pump. I swear it is getting louder, but since this last week I didn't drive it much at all (vacation and I took my Jeep) it could be a placebo effect. The humm it makes is constant--not a oscillating noise. I'm not sure what to think of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:09 pm
Posts: 4998
Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
208,000
:shock: :shock: :shock:
Wow.
It just hit me.
Man you put the mileage on...

We have a fuel pump which makes a weird noise when we turn on the ignition, but you can't hear it when going down the road.
It is in this car:
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which has 238,138 miles as of today.
Hopefully, you can turn back the hands of time during your next 30,000 miles on that body as you catch up to me.

Most people look at the mileage of a vehicle FIRST before buying it.
Maybe our cars are proof that mileage is not necessarily an indication of condition.

All these pages in this thread and you had me convinced that was a high mileage car.
She's just warming up!

Put some of that t3 approved Eastwood rust encapsulator underneath and see how long she'll go.

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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: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Yup. I put the miles on. Only about 23,000 a year or so, but most of them get put on this car for fuel savings and because I can load stuff into it for work and not care about scratching something or denting something. Its my beater.

The pump does humm like it should when you turn the key, which you can hear in pretty much any vehicle and that noise is undoubtedly more pronounced in a car like this since sound insulation wasn't a design goal. But I can hear it while the engine is idling which in itself is not the quietest running engine, but the road and drivetrain noise over-powers it when the car is moving. I just do not recall being able to hear it years ago while the engine was idling. If I could, it was not this pronounced. It has me a bit scared. Usually pumps in early stages of failure will quit require a good banging on the tank in order to get it going again, at which point it needs to be replaced pronto. Hopefully this is another one of those.

Your 238,000 mile car looks like it has 50,000 miles on it. Mine is in rough cosmetic shape, and most of its bad condition was there prior to me buying it something like 4 years ago. It was obviously in a massive hail storm, so half the car looked like a golf ball. It undoubtedly sat outside most of its life. The car was crashed and the front right corner was pushed in with a broken headlight, bent bumper and rail, destroyed fender, etc. It was beat up and simply not well maintained. With all this done, it was actually what I was looking for so that I wouldn't destroy something nice. I honestly wanted a car that I didn't have to worry about getting dinged up. In fact, I remember that the hood was held down with what a person would put on the door to their old storage shed. The transmission wouldn't downshift to 2nd gear either. Then there was the Minnesota road salts that have taken their toll on the body. All with a measly 126k on it.

I have a 98,000 mile Mercury Cougar in my garage right now that I am doing some work on. It needs front wheel bearings, starter switch, head gaskets (and resurfaced heads) an exhaust gasket, tires, windshield wipers, alternator, blah blah blah. The body has some surface rust starting on it, has numerous scratches in the paint, etc. That is a really low mileage car that isn't in good condition at all. It is all in how the car has been treated.

My Jeep Cherokee has 212,000 miles on it, runs great, and other than some interior stains, the only thing that would void it from "good" condition is the rusty rocker panel(s). One is completely cut off and waiting for me to get some time to install a new one. That rust isn't really preventable if it is driven regularly in salt.

The body of my metro is too far gone to be able to turn back the clock. It'd be easier and cheaper to travel to Phoenix and haul back one with a good body. The rockers are heavily dissolved, the rear quarters have holes in them, as do the fronts. A deer incident plagues the drivers side of the car. The windshield has a crack, there are now holes in the floorboard, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
I passed 210k miles and am well on the way to 211k. The fuel pump is still pumping fine, though the humm it makes is just loud. Perhaps I should just quit complaining and replace it.

The starter has recently began to intermittently click when starting it with no motor operation--undoubtedly a worn solenoid. If I work it a few times, it eventually will go. Worst case scenario is that I'll have to pop start it. That's a problem that is going to be blown off.

For the last couple months, this car has not yielded less than 49 mpg. My latest tank of 7.8 gallons lasted me 404 miles.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Well, the car has been out of commission for about two weeks. The said fuel pump just kept getting louder and louder and when I noticed that I could leave it running in my driveway and hear the fuel pump's noise overcome all the other noises that the car made from my front doorstep, it was time to change that pump before it left me stranded.

As I suspected would be an issue in the process, rust definitely hindered the operation. All the gas tank mounts are still solid and all those bolts came out with relative ease. Some metal fuel lines, however, crumbled. Everything from the fuel filter towards the front of the car seemed to be in good shape yet, but the metal lines near the tank crumbled, including the fuel filter's barbed fitting. There were no leaks, but the metal was less than paper thin in many areas and I found it to be amazing how they were still holding fuel pressure. The clamps holding the rubber fuel lines crumbled as well--they were not doing anything. The lines had to be less than pop-can thickness (which by the way is .004")

Also, once the tank was out, there was a dime-sized rust hole in the top near where the evap hose goes. A few of the screws that held in the pump assembly broke off as well. So, instead of trying to extract the screws and patch the gas tank hole with JB-weld, I decided to replace the tank as well.

Image

Image

The black you see is the fuel pump and sending unit's ground connection. It was very rusty, but once I amazingly got the nut off, the ground connection was in very surprisingly good shape. I still cleaned it up a bunch and installed a new nut on the small stud. Then i just spray painted that part black to hopefully thwart further corrosion.

I would've finished the project tonight, but I didn't have sufficient 5/16" fuel hose nor clamps of suitable size. The fuel filter mount was crusty as well, but it still has plenty of life left in it. And yes, a new fuel filter is installed.

The inside of the old tank? Spotless. Even with a rust hole in the top of it. When applying power to the old fuel pump motor, it made noise comparable to what you would get from a baseball card in bicycle spokes.

I ordered a replacement AC Delco fuel pump that was on wholesaler closeout from Rock Auto. The pump itself seemed fine, but the size of the strainer was not original, and I was not able to locate a strainer that would fit it. So, I get to send that back and I already re-ordered another AC Delco pump that came with a strainer. It turned out to be a Denso unit, which was what the original was, and it accommodated an original size strainer. That other pump? What good is it without the availability of a strainer?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:55 am 
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Location: Minnesota
With the new fuel pump, every time I turn the key to the RUN position, I get the sensation that the new pump has failed--simply because it is virtually silent and I hear nothing but the seat belt reminder. Starting with an empty tank (it was brand new) I added about 2.3 gallons of gas to it. Then I filled it up at the gas station and determined that maximum fuel capacity is 10.5 gallons.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
I recently passed 213k miles. I had over 4500 miles on the last oil change and it consumed just enough for the oil level to fall below the "add" mark a bit. The oil was also very reasonably clean. The only other problem I had was with the outside door handle. For quite awhile, it has been tough/tricky to open due to a bit of wear and mis-adjustment, so to no surprise, it broke. it probably would've lasted forever if I would've adjusted it 10 months ago. Dorman sells replacements for $31+shipping from Rock Auto, but I opted to try the salvage yard. All those handle assemblies are in just as bad of shape and thus were junk. So, I stole just the lever piece from a junk yard assembly that was shot to begin with. I don't feel bad for thieving such an item since there is an entry fee, I bought another item, and the piece I wanted needed more labor to make it work than it was worth to buy a new Dorman unit. I pieced it together and had to jirry rig some stuff, but now the door opens reliably.

Back when I bought the fuel pump, I also rolled the dice and bought a Rock Auto wholesaler closeout alternator. The old (original-appearing) alternator is still working fine, but it can't have much life left in it. Back at 126k I took it apart to grease its bearings and inspect the brushes. One brush was worn more than the other, and I also did a half-assed polish job on the slip rings, so whatever I did, I must've extended its life. In another 13,xxx miles, I will have driven this car 100k miles.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
Now up to 217,1xx miles, and another oil change. Same as usual, minimal oil loss over the last 4,000 miles. I let a customer borrow it for the majority of the last two weeks while I did repairs on his other vehicles. It required a $440 intake manifold from the dealer for a V-8 Mercury Mountaineer :shock: It must be a fairly common problem for the modular Ford V-8 engines since this is the 2nd one I replaced in the last year or so.

The customer drove it to go deer hunting with his buddies, and you guessed it--they all laughed their asses off when they saw him pull up with this car. But I think the car has killed more deer than they did in the last year...

While he had my car, I drove my Jeep every day. Well, it does not take long to realize the financial difference between 18 mpg and 48 mpg when you drive as much as I do. I was seriously considering getting rid of all my clunkers, including the Metro, and buy a brand new vehicle. But by the time I find something that makes my boat float, it was $37k later. I'll be sticking with the Metro and the Jeep XJ for awhile. They both are running good.

There's not much else to report on. It is running really well and I think I am close to running out of things to replace on it except for the chassis. The rear brakes must be overdue for servicing, but they seem to be working yet. Fuel mileage dropped as it always does when the weather gets cold. (High of ZERO degrees Fahrenheit expected this next Saturday).

Depending on life circumstances when this car finally does break in half, I will likely make a trip to Arizona and pick up another one that is still mostly composed of steel instead of iron oxide. It shouldn't matter how ratty it is--I have enough new parts on this car to make the steel car be super-reliable.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, WA
ive never replaced a 4.6 truck intake. what happened?


tons of car ones with the plastic crossover cracked

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