Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    A cylinder compression test is the most valuable test you can run to determine the mechanical condition of an engine. The stock compression pressure on a '92 metro 3 cyl engine is 195 psi. The MINIMUM compression which can be expected to enable it to run properly is 170 psi and it must be at least that much in EVERY cylinder. But a really good engine will be much closer to 195. If your engine does not meet those compression specs; then it will not be possible to tune it to pass smog, or to run smoothly, no matter what you do to it. So that is the first thing to do. Considering how often people write in to this site, and eventually discover that they have bought a car with a trashed motor; I get the sense that practically nobody is running compression tests on Metros before they buy them. And that is just asking for trouble; particularly on a car like the Metro; which is extremely vulnerable to being overloaded, or driven in the wrong gear, and generally being driven unskillfully.

    If your compression turns out to be good, the next areas where the problem might be are in the EGR or the ignition system. If the EGR valve is sticking partly open; it can destroy the idle quality and cause hard starting. So I would remove the EGR valve, thoroughly clean the carbon out of it, and make sure the valve closes completely when it is released. If you are not up to doing this yourself; have a mechanic do it. The vacuum hoses which control the EGR system and the distributor advance (on non XFI models) can also cause problems is the hoses are connected improperly or are damaged or leaking.

    You said the car "sparks good" but this doesn't mean much, if the conclusion was arrived at by just looking at the spark. A spark which looks strong to the eye may actually be weak enough to cause many starting and running problems. The best way to service the ignition system is to measure the resistance of ALL the plug wires with an ohmmeter. Each wire (including the wire from the coil to the distributor cap) must have no more than 1,000 ohms resistance for each inch of length; so an 8 inch long wire cannot have more that 8,000 ohms resistance. If any wire exceeds that specification; replace the entire set of plug wires. The distributor cap and rotor can cause problems if there are any cracks, arc tracks or carbon deposits on the inside surface. Certain cheaply manufactured distributor caps can also cause misfiring, even when they are new and look clean. NAPA parts stores sell the best caps for Metros; under their premium quality line. Some brands of spark plugs (namely NGK) just will not run consistently in the Metro engine. Autolite # 63 and AC Delco # R42CXLS are the best performing plugs in this motor. And the plug gap should be set to .039" Many plugs do NOT come pre gapped; so don't assume the gap does not have to be checked.

    If your car is an XFI model (which does not have a vacuum advance on the distributor), the timing cannot be checked without first disabling the electronic advance by shorting the check connector; as recommended in the manufacturer's instructions for checking the timing. And if your Metro has the distributor with two vacuum advance diaphragms; the vacuum hoses for both those diaphragms must be disconnected and plugged; before you can properly check or set the timing. If you set the timing without disconnecting those advance hoses; it will end up being WAY, WAY too retarded.

    I hope this helps!!!
  • Just o let you know a "little trade secret with the Geo's or Metros, the Suzuki motors are so much more peppier on 94 octane. I learned this many years ago when I purchased my first Chevy Sprint convertible. A Suzuki mechanic told me to use only Chevron 94. its way more expensive but guess what, you get the added guts to go up hills with no problems and you get better gas mileage because this fuel burns slower than the regular, giving you more bag for your buck...keep on driving and repairing them..they are the most fuel efficient and reliable vehicles ever bought....I still have a 91 Firefly convertible and I will never part with it...just remember the Chevron 94 supreme will be amazed.....
  • I did, they were low profiles and really nice. they actually saved my life in an accident where I was broadsided and the only damage was the rim ...
  • I agree so very much indeed.
    Even if it's more expensive, when everything is tallied, I get 120 Km for free compared to using regular.
    My 94 sedan has the XFi cam and a final drive gear set from a 4cylinder. I get phenomenal gas "milleage".
    I also own a convertible, that I will never sell, but it now sports for the summer, the complete drive train from a turboed got to live a little....Hum....this sounds so right!
  • Hi all,
    I just replaced the back half of my Metro exhaust (from resonator to muffler). The replacement I found is in two parts instead of one: one pipe is flanged for the other to slide into it halfway back, just by the back of the rear tire. It came with a U-bolt type exhaust clamp, but every week or so I check it and the pipes are pulling out, the clamp isn't holding. I'm not sure I can get it tighter, but is it not tight enough? Or is there another way to keep the one from shaking loose and sliding out? I'd rather not have it come apart and cause my car to do a forward flip if I can help it.

    Any insight is appreciated, but go easy on me, I'm a newbie to this DIY thing....

    Steve in Florida
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If the muffler is not supported properly and isn't held in place by the factory mounts and hanger straps; this could cause the muffler to droop and the pipes to consequently separate. Similarly; there typically is a support bracket on the connecting pipe, which attaches to a hanger strap. If this strap has been left off, it can cause the same problem. In any case, the factory muffler support system should hold the muffler in place, even if the pipe becomes disconnected. So it sounds like the system on your car is not being supported properly. If the original muffler has been replaced with a generic one; it is very likely that the aftermarket muffler does not have supporting brackets. (The stock Metro muffler is unique, in its support bracket design). In that case; you'd either have to get a muffler shop to weld support brackets on the muffler, and install flexible hanger straps from the brackets to the mounting points on the body; or you could jury rig a supporting arrangement from heavy wire or sheet metal.

    The important thing about mounting exhaust systems is that they MUST be flexible enough to allow for movement of the pipe; which often becomes as much as an inch or two longer from expansion when it heats up, and also needs to swing from side to side as the engine moves on its mounts or the car body sways. For this reason; muffler hangers are usually made of a heavy woven material (sort of like an industrial strength belt). You can buy muffler hangers in a variety of lengths and sizes from most auto supply stores.

    The professional way to stop the pipes from separating would be to have them welded together; but you could also do it by adding a second U-bolt clamp next to the present one. In order to prevent sliding, those clamps should be tightened enough to slightly crush the flange. This may require a long ratchet handle and a socket; rather than using short handled open end wrenches. But please bear in mind that if the muffler or pipe is rigidly mounted; the sliding joint may be an indication that there is no other place to absorb movement or vibration. If you weld pipes together in such a situation; the stresses will then be applied to the internal welds or seams in the muffler; which will typically lead to the muffler coming apart.
  • is 650 a good deal for a 93 geo ac works
  • For the air conditionning? Too expensive.
    Of course after reading carefully the description of your car I would say: GO FOR IT!

    Just pour in some windshield washer and HIT the road.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited March 2010
    Ah; it would be so wonderful if you could just decide whether or not to buy a used car based solely on the price. But sadly; there is a WHOLE lot more to consider (especially if you are not able to replace engines yourself, like Vanillalatte does). If the motor needs replacement (which can only be disproven by running a compression check on all the cylinders and confirming that ALL the cylinders have more than 170 pounds of compression (and preferably 195 psi, like they did originally) a properly rebuilt motor will cost at least $1,300 plus shipping (from hiperformer engines in Spokane, WA). So if the motor was shot; it would bring the price of this car up to $1,950 plus shipping for the motor and the cost of having the motor installed. And then you'd need to see whether the brakes need repair; whether the clutch needs replacement (if it is a stick shift); whether the manual or automatic transmission is bad; or whether the alternator, the radiator, the water pump, or the shock absorbers are gone. Do you get the picture?

    That is why the only way to sanely determine whether it is worth $650 to buy a 17 year old Geo Metro is to first have it thoroughly inspected and evaluated by an experienced, honest, and qualified mechanic; or by a diagnostic center like the AAA has in most metropolitan areas.

    Even the most wonderful, economical model of car can become a dreaded albatross around your neck; if the particular one you buy has been neglected or mistreated badly enough. SO BE WARNED.
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    Lucky for you. I had bought a 1994 Geo Metro used from Enterprise rent a car
    for 5,995.00 back in 1996. It was son's car so I learned a lot. While in Med school
    in Berkley he had the same problem. It turned out that the "L"Bracket that holds on the Alternator with 3 -14 mm machine bolts was cracked. Thus the Alternator was not
    perfectly in line thus a whine and burnt rubber smell. Got a used one at Pick Ur Part
    Junk yard. Also grabbed the Alternator which turned out to be original actually
    MADE IN JAPAN. It was quick work to take the "L" Bracket off and replace mine
    had a hair line crack at the bolt area. Problem solved! Take yours off strong light
    give it a good visual get a T square and check it very carefully. It is made of thin
    sheet metal no wonder why it cracks!
  • jimmyv66jimmyv66 Posts: 2
    I have just recently had problems with my 92 Geo Metro XFI 1.0 liter to where it was blowing white smoke out the exhaust. I figured it was the head gasket and beings there was 280,000 miles on the engine I went and took the head to a machine shop to have it compression checked and the valves all replaced. After putting everything back together it is still pushing the water thru the exhaust. when putting water in there is no heat also, would the heater core cause this or what could it be? Any help much appreciated.
  • pipemanpipeman Posts: 58
    When you removed the head, how come and how you was able to check the compression?
    Did you check the compression before removing the head?
    What was the numbers from 1 to 3?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I don't know what kind of "compression check" the machine shop did with a head that was not attached to the engine; but it obviously wasn't accurate. There are two types of tests that they SHOULD have done. One is a test for cracks in the head. This test is usually called either Magnaflux or Zy-Glo. It will reveal cracks which are too small to show up on a compression test; but are still able to leak substantial amounts of pressure or water (particularly after the engine warms up). The other test they SHOULD have done is to check the head for warpage. This is done by mounting the head on an absolutely level plate, and running a dial indicator over the gasket surface to see how much variation in height there is. Another way to do this is to set the head up in a surface grinding fixture, and take an extremely light cut off the gasket surface (something like .002") If the head surface is true; the cut will remove metal evenly from the entire head. But if the cut does not clean up the entire gasket surface; then additional cuts should be taken, until the entire surface is flat. If the head is warped (which is extremely common, when checked precisely enough) a new head gasket is highly likely to leak. That is why resurfacing is almost a given in quality head reconditioning operations.

    The fact that there is no heat from the heater indicates that either there is a large air pocket trapped in the cooling system, which prevents the water from being pumped through the heater core; or that the water is leaking so rapidly into the cylinders that it cannot be pumped through the entire system.

    If the head has been resurfaced; and a substantial amount of material had been removed; the head bolts will then sometimes bottom in their threaded holes before the head has been tightened enough to compress the gasket. And that will cause massive water leakage into the cylinders. There are two ways to deal with such a situation: One is to remove all the head bolts, and run a bottoming tap into each bolt hole; to clean up the lower portion of the threads. The other way is to install a flat washer under the head of each bolt; which is thicker than the amount removed from the head surface. This will prevent the bolts from bottoming.

    And, of course, a torque wrench MUST be used to tighten the head bolts to factory torque specifications; in the recommended tightening sequence. And any trapped air must be bled from the system (either by opening a bleed valve; when there is one. Or by loosening the highest radiator hose connection and adding more coolant until all the air escapes.
  • wow I am amazed my 97'Geo metro only has 45,000 miles, and I was thinking about selling, but if it has that many miles left in it , guess I should keep it around a bit longer ! Good luck solving your problems..
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited March 2010
    Eighteen years ago, I bought a 2 year old 1990 Metro 3 cyl 5 speed with 58,000 original (mostly freeway) miles on it. The owner had used only Castrol full synthetic 5W-50 ever since it had been broken in. He also added an Amsoil super fine bypass oil filter in parallel with the stock full flow filter. I have religiously continued always using that same brand and grade of oil, changed oil and filter every 7,500 miles; plus changing the bypass filter every 22,500 miles. In the years since then, I have driven this car another 240,000 miles (making 298,000 miles total). The engine has never required any internal repair (except replacing a front crankshaft oil seal and 3 timing belts). The original clutch, shocks, struts and rear brakes are still on the car. The alternator has only been replaced once. The original water pump was replaced for the first time last year. And, with a little special tuning; the nearly 300,000 mile motor now has more power and is more responsive than it ever has been. This is absolutely the best, most reliable, and most economical car I have ever owned. I hope to keep it for the rest of my life.
  • Just want to start of saying Im a Geo Lover. Have had my 94 (2 door, hatchback) Metro since 96, and will not trade it till it finally dies-I love my little putter! :blush: My family calls it my roller skate. I need help tho. There is a black plastic piece on the rear of the car between the hatch and the bumper which has the "GEO" logo on it. Mine has finally cracked, again, and now I have been unable to find a new one. It would probably be easier if I actually knew what the name of the part was-does anyone know? I have already checked at all the local salvage yards, Which is where my last 3 came from, but no luck-anyone have any ideas?
  • Go hither:

    I'm sure that you will find one. In fact I'm going soon to a place that has loads of parts.
    For your info: Suzuki and Geo are the same. Austalia parts site have one with added brake lights. Expensive but.....nice.
    If I find one I'll contact you here. Keep visiting.
  • Wow, Thanks-That would be great! Ive been looking for one for over 6 months now with no luck, was going to give up.
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    I bought a 1994 Geo Hatch back for my son when he was 16 when he was 29
    we gave to Arnold for 1,000.00 . I too had the logo plastic crack. I super glued
    it together at first then after awhile it cracked again. Then I got a piece of wood
    and made a new logo by burning engraving it. :)
  • Yeah, I posted as a wanted item on craigslist and someone actually had it!-Thanks for your help tho.
Sign In or Register to comment.