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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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  • alniteralniter Posts: 8
    Hi all,

    My serpentine (alternator) belt broke on my 2000 Metro 1.0Liter hatchback. I've read on other forums about three bolts to loosen on the alternator to slide it forward to facilitate new belt placement. The top bolt is obvious though hard to get to (socket set, here we go!), but the bottom two are hard to decide upon, there are about 6 or so bolts on various sides of the bottom of the alternator. can anyone tell me, or better yet post a picture, of the ones I need to loosen to put on my new belt?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Here's a link to four photos of this alternator; taken at different angles:

    (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=37261)

    The 2 bolts (it looks like 3; but the Metro uses a single, long bottom bolt, which threads into a nut on the back side of the alternator) that need to be removed are the ones which pass through the 3 triangular flanges that extend above and below the alternator body. The bolt which passes through the top flange presses it against a slotted slider bracket; and can be loosened to allow the alternator to be pivoted on the bottom bolt (when it is loosened), in order to adjust the belt tension. As you can see; both of these bolts are on the same plane; which is at a 90 degree angle to the plane of the drive belt.

    I usually find it easier to use a long handled 12mm box end wrench to loosen the top bolt; as there is scant room in that location for a ratchet driver. But I use a ratchet and a socket on a short extension to do the lower bolt. I don't recall whether or not it is necessary to hold the nut on the back of the alternator to prevent it from turning while the long bottom bolt is loosened. I believe that nut is permanently fastened in place; but it's been a long time...

    It will also be necessary to disconnect the power cable from where it attaches at the the back of the alternator. Be sure to disconnect the battery ground cable before working on the alternator.

    I usually use a long bar or a heavy screwdriver to lever the alternator when adjusting the belt tension, in order to adequately tighten the belt upon reinstallation. The belt tension needs to be significantly tighter than it would appear. I've seen inexperienced people cringe at how tight the belt has to be, in order to prevent it from slipping. Because of the tension; experience has shown that cheap belts will stretch and not prevent the pulley from slipping when an electrical load is applied. By far; the best belt for this application is a Goodyear Gatorback Poly-V # 4040320.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Two more points to consider: The air filter housing should be removed in order to facilitate greater access to the alternator. It is fastened with a wing nut in the center of the top, and a bolt into the valve cover. There are also three spring latches around the circumference of the filter housing, which should be released. The filter assembly can then be lifted far enough off the throttle body to enable access to the alternator. There will be an electrical connector at the intake air temperature sensor, and some vacuum hoses at the underside of the filter housing which can probably remain connected; but be sure to check that everything is still securely connected when reinstalling the filter housing.

    The fan belt (it is called a ribbed belt; not a serpentine belt, as serpentine belts are wider and much longer, since they have an idler wheel/tensioner which presses down on the belt in between pulleys to adjust and maintain tension, and serpentine belts typically go through several sharp arcs) may have broken from age; but it also could have been that the belt broke because the alternator or the water pump locked up. So be sure to turn the water pump and the alternator pulleys and check for looseness, play, friction and wobble before installing the new belt.
  • Hi I am now on my 8 & 9th metro.
    I love them. we currently have 1990 4 dr automatic and 91 convertible standard.
    the metro was not built for speed, how ever I just recently put a HHO unit from www.highperformancefuelcells.com on my 90 4 dr that joker was accelerating up the hills. The mileage for an automatic when the car is runing wright is 45mpg the standard will get you 55 mpg.

    If your struts, alignment or tires are out of sink your mileage can easily drop to 35 mpg. these cars are cheap to buy and you can do a complete over hall for what you paid for the car. They will run for ever if you maintain it.

    I had a 91 two door hatch that had over 400k miles and there was no reverse for over 100k. I gave it to a friend who was desperate for transportation to get to work. He drove it another 250k and sold it. He never had the reverse fixed. The car is still running. It take allot to kill a geo.

    The 2dr hatch is a great car but hard to get in and out of the back. The convertible is awesome! Boy is it a head turner. Lots of fun the trunk has good space. plus you can store stuff under the trunk from the inside of the car. There is a space that is 8" tall that fits tool and stuff you don't use much. The 4dr hatch is a great car if you need to transport people and stuff. Lots of room . The 4 door are hard to find. if you get one that is under $1500 jump on it even if you have to put work into it.

    Just know that if you are in an accident the small car looses. Always give the crazy's on the road freedom to get out of your space.

    I have always gotten the full amount of money back that was put into my geo's. With the gas savings and keeping good records on the work you have done, you can't loose.
    The money we save on gas, we are able to buy annual passes for our whole family to all 4 Disney parks. $2500 for the past 5 years

    Hope you enjoy the wonderful world of geo's
    stay blessed,
  • Hear, Hear !!!
    I'm with you all the way.
    I bought a 94 2 door. Installed an XFi cam in it, thenthe final drive from a 4 cyl. I get 62 miles to the imperial gallon.
    It's a 94, bought it with 40 thou. km on the odo. Now has 108 thou.
    I have a vert, original paint, and went the other direction by installing a Firefly turbo everything in it. Full sway bars and chassis reinforcement !
    They are not built for speed but for enjoyment.
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    I have a '97,4cyl,4door & love it. Paid 4G for it at a used car lot 6 yrs ago w/ only 60 thou miles on it. Am coming up on 200 thou. It drips a little oil & a little rain water gets in near my left foot,but i just throw towels down or cover the car w/ a tarp. Now that I've found the right combo of tires, sparkplugs,& lightweight oil I'm humming right along !
  • alan87alan87 Posts: 9
    Need help please.2000 Metro 1.0 must cool for 2 hours when hot, or just won't start. Crank, crank crank. Replaced coil, distributor, wires, cam sensor, crank sensor, coolant sensor, ignition sensor and plugs. Is this a computer problem? Also, timing checked. Ran a dummy coolant sensor making the computer think it's always cold. Starts every time Thank you for any help. Alan
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The air charge temperature sensor (also called intake air temperature sensor) shown here: (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=39914) is either shorted, or there is a short in its wiring. This is not a computer problem.
  • alan87alan87 Posts: 9
    Thank you for the info./ Question: If the I.A.T. Sensor shorts or is bad, would my obd2 scan show a code and put on the check engine light? Thanking in advance for your help. Alan
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    It may or may not throw a code or trigger the CEL. I would not expect a code in this instance.
  • Tried a new iat sensor, and still the same problem. Cooler days, after hot..restarted in about 1 or 2 hours. Now with the hot weather, won't start all day. Inside car, computer stays very hot, therefor, must be computer problem. I have done everything else. Any help, thanks. AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited September 2011
    In my first response long, long ago; I said that it was either a short in the sensor, OR IN ITS WIRING. You reported that you tried a new sensor; and added that you "have done everything else." Did doing everything else include testing all the wiring and other components (such as the throttle position sensor and MAP sensor) between the coolant temp sensor and the computer for shorts; which would be what is usually done to test the wiring; or just how did you test the wiring and what portion of the wiring did you test? It is not reasonable to conclude that it is a computer problem because the new IAT sensor didn't fix it. If it was a computer problem; your dummy coolant temp sensor wouldn't fix it; either.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Now that I've cooled down a bit, and had a chance to consider this issue; I realized that the stock coolant temperature SHOULD BE doing exactly the same thing as your dummy sensor (having between 5,000 and 8,000 ohms resistance); when the vehicle is cold. But since the car won't start with the stock sensor connected, but starts consistently with your resistor in place; this means that either the sensor has a manufacturing defect; or the wiring connector to that sensor is wired wrong. This is a 3 terminal sensor. It is intended to serve two functions at once: provide temperature signals to the gauge on the dashboard; and also provide temperature signals to the ECU.

    If you have rewired the sensor harness plug; it may be that you exchanged the positions of the gauge and ECU leads. This could conceivably put 12 volts battery voltage into the ECU; when it is only intended to receive a 5 volt signal in the coolant temperature sensor lead. That would throw the calibration of the ECU temperature signal way off. But when you hook up the dummy load; that connection would not also have the dash gauge wiring connected to it (or so I would imagine). If you are with me on this one; I'd like to see what happens if you connect the ECU section of the sensor to the wiring harness, in the correct polarity; but leave off the wire for the dash gauge.
  • Thanking you again for your help. Will conduct your recommended testing. Today, started the engine at 8 am, turned off after 10 seconds. Started at 9 am, off after 10 seconds. Again, started ok at 10 am...off after 10 seconds. Same at 11 am and most likely all day. Now I'm thinking Fuel Pressure Regulator and Fuel Pump. But again, how are they associated with HEAT? Thanks, AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited September 2011
    After re-reading your posts; just would like to add that the fuel pump relay would cause this heat related problem if it were going out; so I would definitely try exchanging the fuel pump relay with one of the other identical relays on the car; or just replacing it. BTW; if the fuel pressure regulator diaphragm was leaking or there was dirt under the needle; it could be flooding the engine. This would cause the motor to run way too rich; which would tend to make it stall as the temperature got hotter, or the motor ran for longer periods of time. If you used NGK spark plugs; which in my experience are grossly unsuitable for use in this motor; they would foul very quickly; which would possibly cause this problem. I would recommend Autolite # AP5224 plugs (which I know are not what the book says). These plugs require a 5/8" socket; but otherwise will fit perfectly.
  • Thank you again. Will follow your advice again and try the relays first. Fuel pressure regulator next. AJ
  • Progress...thanks to you. Switched the Fuel Pump Relay and added gumout to the fuel. Drove around for 1/2 hr...now it starts all day long hot or cold. Today, went up a long hill...heavy on gas. Motor went dead but restarted...no problem. Drove around again...easy, ran fine for 1/2 hour. Now I'm thinking fuel pump or fuel pressure regulator...any ideas. Thanks again, AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    In addition to a bad fuel pump or fuel pressure regulator; this could be caused by plug wires which have excessive resistance (should not have more than 1,000 ohms resistance per inch of wire length) a bad ignition coil, or spark plugs which are worn, or gapped too wide, or are an unsuitable choice for this motor, or a throttle position sensor that is out of adjustment. Only after determining that all the other items are not faulty; if the loss of power under heavy load continues; Try loosening the 2 mounting screws for the throttle position sensor; and turning the sensor just slightly clockwise (which richens the fuel mixture under load). This is a VERY sensitive adjustment; so first mark the sensor in a way which will enable you to return it to its original position if necessary, and then only move it in very small increments. Then drive the car and see if it responds better. This may require repeated changes before finding the best position.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
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  • Added 12 oz bottle of stp fuel injector cleaner and it started all day long....hot or cold all week long. Now after burning 1/2 tank of gas, it is doing it again...won't start when hot. Thanks again for all your help. AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Since this discussion began; I have given you many different suggestions about things to try to deal with this problem. You often thank me for my help; you usually say you'll try my suggestions; but you almost never give me feedback about what you ended up trying; what worked; what didn't work; and what you didn't try. In order to be able to work with you and help you effectively; I need to know what the results were of the things I suggested; even if none of them worked. Failures are just as important to know about as successes; I don't mind hearing that my suggestions didn't work; but I can only be able to figure out where to go from here if I know what worked and what didn't.

    There are some people on this site who don't like to be told what to do (I sometimes wonder why they even bother to write in and ask for advice) and there are many others who pick and choose what suggestions they will try and what they will ignore. I don't know what your feelings or attitudes are about following suggestions, nor whether you have all the tools or knowledge necessary to do all the stuff I suggest. So, after writing a bunch of suggestions and getting no feedback from you about those particular things; I am now in the dark, and feel totally out of touch with what you have done or haven't done to test the car.

    If you haven't been giving me feedback because you almost always try everything I write, and you of course would say so if you found bad plug wires or low compression or anything else that was not right; if that is what is going on here; please at least tell me that. That way, I'll know that you'll let me know whenever something I suggest uncovers a problem.

    It is probably hard for some people to accept that I know more than they do about the problems they write in about. But this is very true. And what this means is that when I suggest they test something; I do so because I know it could have an important effect on the problem. So, if someone decides not to test something that I asked them to test; because they don't see how that could affect this problem; they are acting out of ignorance and this puts me in a bind.

    The way I find the cause of a problem is to test all the possibilities, and eliminate them one by one. But today I don't know any more about your car than I did when you first started writing; because you told me almost nothing about the things I asked you to test.

    CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME BY GIVING ME A BETTER SENSE OF HOW CLOSELY YOU'VE BEEN CARRYING OUT MY SUGGESTIONS??? THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I CAN CONTINUE TO BE OF HELP HERE. THANK YOU!
  • Thank you again and again. Really, you have been a great help. I did try all your suggestions, however, same problem exists. When you mentioned fuel related, as I previously mentioned, I added fuel cleaner to the gas. Used up about half a tank and will run it down to empty. It runs better, and now starts hot or cold. Could be the cooler weather, not sure. With your great help and knowledge and advice, it's down to the fuel pump or fuel pressure regulator as you previously advised. I will continue testing it and see if there is more improvement. Many, Many thanks. AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited September 2011
    Sorry but I do not remember whether or not you changed the fuel filter. If you haven't changed the filter; please do so before anything else. I would also locate the ground point for the fuel pump wiring, take the ground bolt out and scrape it, scrape the body panel at that location, and file the wiring connectors until they are shiny clean. Reassemble and securely tighten the bolt.

    In addition; the battery ground cable clamp should have a second, smaller wire going to a bolt in the inner fender. If that wire is in place; remove the fender bolt and clean the body panel and wires as described above. If there is only the main battery cable coming from the negative post; make up a length of 12 gauge stranded wire with ring terminals on the ends; and connect it to the negative cable clamp bolt and to a nearby bolt in the fender (after scraping any paint off the fender at that point).

    Furthermore; locate the ground point on the back of the intake manifold, a little to the passenger side of the throttle body, which has several wires attached there. Remove and clean all the connectors and metal surface, and securely tighten the ground bolt.

    Let me know whether or not you find any problems in those areas. Thanks!

    Then, measure the voltage across the battery terminals with the engine off. Write the figure down. Start the motor and measure the voltage with the engine idling. Write that down. Then, with the engine idling; measure the voltage between the battery wire at the ignition coil and ground. Write that figure down. Please post all three readings here. Thanks.
  • Hi Fellow Metro Owners,

    I bought a 1996 Geo Metro a couple of weeks ago. The body is rough but it runs great, I bought this for the gas mileage plus it looks like a fun car to drive. The headlights did not work but after scouring this forum, I found a bad connection at the fuse box and corrected it. My new problem after driving it to work a few days is the oil consumption. It uses a quart about every 75 miles. It has no visible leaks so it must be burning it. I checked compression and #1 has about 60 psi while #2 & 3 have about 120 psi. A squirt of oil in cylinder makes no difference. Cylinder 1 has a cloud shoots out when the engine is cranked with plugs out. I have concluded a bad valve in #1 cylinder but can't imagine why that would cause my oil problem.

    Any advice or hints would be greatly appreciated. I am fairly handy around cars and have done almost every repair to my vehicles but haven't done a valve job in more years than I can remember. I have gotten prices for valves and gaskets from local auto parts store but have to wonder if I am being soaked a little on price. The parts are adding up almost to what I paid for the car.

    Thanks for your time and expertise.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    My oh my!!! Another Metro with a junk engine bought because the compression was never checked. WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN??? The stock compression on a 3 cylinder Metro is 195 PSI. The MINIMUM allowable factory compression spec on this motor is 165 PSI. If you read through this forum; you'll see post after post with the same sad story. These motors are EXTREMELY vulnerable to abuse; and all too many people are insensitive or uncaring about how to treat these cars right. This probably happens because they are so low priced; and people don't seem to respect things they get for cheap.

    The reason that oil does not improve the compression on #1 cylinder is the same reason it is consuming so much oil: There is either a big gouge in the cylinder wall (which is too deep to be sealed when you squirt oil into it) or the oil rings and compression rings are stuck; or else there is a warped head and oil is leaking from an oil passage into that cylinder. You have a major repair job here; and it most likely will have to include the bottom end as well as the head.

    Check www.rockauto.com for the best parts prices. www.hiperformer.com has the best prices and quality on premium remanufactured engines (with a 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty). They get about $1,600 for the complete Metro motor.
  • alan87alan87 Posts: 9
    Thanking you again...I shall conduct the tests you mentioned. AJ
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