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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Hmm...that won't work, man. The distributor on my '95 is on the end of the camshaft (that's where the plug wires come out of) and the coil is on the firewall. The timing is non-adjustable (see the label underhood and I asked my mechanic too) and computer controlled. This car has what is known as DIS. Distributorless Ignition System. That "distributor" is merely a big coil pack for distributing the ignition spark. If you advance the timing by say, turning the camshaft afew degrees, the computer will not advance timing AT ALL under any circumstances and most likely the engine won't even start or will run very poorly.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    You are absolutely correct, I wasn't aware when or if Geo went to distributerless ignition. You are also correct that there really isn't much of anything you can do to it.
    All I know is that my 1989 Geo still has a distributor. My guess is that the change was probably made sometime around 1994.
    My fault for not qualifying the information that I posted.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    Has anyone seen anything on the internet for Metro performance parts. I am in the process of retiring my '89 Metro with a '90 Metro. Since my '89 will be a spare I thought it would be a blast to goof around with it and try to squeeze some extra ponies out of the 1.0 liter. Nitrous anyone?
  • alextalext Posts: 63
    Hey, I'm looking myself. Unfortunately there's not much. The Suzuki Swift GT/GTi, which is basically a geo metro with a 1.3L twin cam, does have a number of performance parts, but I guess no company is willing to sell parts for such a small engine as the one litre since most people who drive them have speed as the last thing on their minds. The best you can do is a get a K&N air filter, a heavier-flow muffler and exhaust tip or try the timing fix from a few posts back (since it is a '90, as we have now determined to not have DIS). You might be able to pull 70 hp out of the metro if you're lucky. I really don't think it could handle NOS...but heck, you don't have much to lose if it blows up!
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    They scribbled my post so since I don't know what that means, I'll type it again.

    A local speed shop which caters shall I put this...young males with nothing better to do with $15K then spend it on a 10-year-old Civic Si...has parts for Geo Metros and Suzuki Swifts. But the throttle bodies and other parts they have fit only the Twin Cam 1.3L engine. Which means you must have a 1998 or newer 4-cylinder LSi Metro or a Swift to use them. I think a 1996-1999 Taurus SHO spolier would look good on the top of the hatchback. I also know 175/70R13 tires fit fine, and larger 185/65R14 tires should also fit if you get 14" wheels. My favorite (on the Tire Rack) is the Borbet Type M. I like the look of doubled 5-spokes. You can get a 2.5" exhaust made for your car with one of those Maxwell House sized chrome tips. You could get your car lowered 1-2" for I say "aggressive" stance?

    Thanks Maureen, I feel more creative now.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thank you very much, occupant1! ;-)

  • romicvaromicva Posts: 6
    Help! My Geo Metro91 started to give me troubles. Can't use AC 'cause fan stopped working. (I leave in VA). Checked power on the connector that goes into the blower motor - nothing is there. Checked all fuses that could find - all are fine. For some reason there's no power on the motor when tirn the fan on. :-(
    Maybe some relay is dead. Any ideas will be welcomed. Thank you all in advance.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I found a interesting company that converts geo metro motors to aircraft motors for ultralights. They have a bunch of different HP version and claim 85+HP in their turbo model. They also offer parts for the do it your selfer.

    Take a look. I'm interested in the headers right off the bat.
  • would the 3cyl engine stay together if i put sunoco racing fuel in it? There's a station in my hometown (next to the racetrack) that sells it. It's quitea bargain at only $4/gallon.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I'm assuming that the Sunoco fuel is 105+ Octane correct? If you have a metro with a distributor you should be able to crank up the timing advancement to somewhere around 15-17 degrees BTDC.
    Now one word of caution, if you do this make sure that you install spark plugs that are at least 1 heat range colder, preferably 2 heat ranges colder or you will melt the spark plugs rather quickly.
    If your metro has distributorless ignition system I do not know the upper limit of advancement the computer will allow. I still would install colder spark plugs. Otherwise you are going to have a meltdown.
    I would also add 4 ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil to the fuel tank before filling up with the racing fuel. This will help keep the valves cooler and better lubricated because the outer edges are going to get mighty toasty with that much advancement.
    I mean what the heck, I'd try it.

  • alextalext Posts: 63
    That's pretty cool Inuvik! Now I can turn my little 3-cylinder chevy metro into an ultralight airplane! I'll just buy some wings and a propeller and a look out L.A. traffic, I'm going where no metro has gone before...

    Seriously, though, the 85 hp turbo 3 cyl. sounds like a hot motor. You could probably pull at least 100 hp out of it in a metro with the right modifications (intake, exhaust, etc.). Now if only I had a few thousand dollars laying around to buy one. I think we could start our own suzuki-subcompact racing team pretty soon!
  • Just a word of caution!! Do NOT use any fuel in the 3-cyl. Metro engine higher that 87 octane. You'll end up with seriously burned valves and be looking at a replacement/rebuilt engine - I know from experience. I was fortunate to find a used Metro engine from Japan that I located over the internet & and have been very pleased with it! Other than this experience I've been extremely happy with my 94 Metro - and consistently get an overall 51 MPG.!!
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I must beg to differ jr. Fuel octane is representative of it's ability to burn at combustion temperatures. The higher the octane number is, the more heat it takes to get the fuel to predetonate (spark knock) before ignition occurs.
    In fact a higher octane fuel will run cooler in your combustion chamber because of it's resistance to predetonate. High octane fuels did not cause your valves to fail. The likely culprits were probably incorrect ignition timing, too hot of range of spark plug, or improper valvetrain lubrication. The most likely of all these are probably improper valvetrain lubrication.
    The 3 cyl Suzuki engine is critical when cold to have good oil flow to the valvetrain. Running too thick of viscosity oil can damage the cam, valves rather quickly. Also dirty oil can cause lubrication restriction to cylinder #3 especially because of lower oil pressure due to dirty oil filters.
    If your vehicle only requires regular unleaded fuel and has static timing like the 1985-1993 Metros the only thing that will happen when you run premium fuel is that you will spend 20 cents more a gallon for gas.
    Now of course if you run premium fuels and start to tinker with ignition timing to take advantage of the higher octane, then most certainly you have to be careful about the edges of your valves overheating and burning.
    I run 91 Octane in my Metro with 4 oz's of Marvel Mystery Oil per tank to keep the valves cooler. But the reason I do this is because although factory settings for ignition timing is 6 degrees BTDC (Before Top Dead Center) my timing is currently set at 12 degrees BTDC.
    If I didn't change my timing I wouldn't need to do anything to run premium fuel day in day out. I have run with these settings for almost 50,000 miles with no problems. This Metro had 112,000 when I got it and now has a little over 160,000 with no breakdowns.
    Sorry about your Metro engine going bad, but it wasn't due to higher octane fuels.
  • I was looking at MS Carpoint's website at the mileage figures for Metro's all the way back to 89. The 94 and older Metros have the high mileage 3 cylinder engines. There are 2 versions though- a 49hp I3 and a 55hp I3. The 49hp ONLY comes on XFI 2-doors. This engine is rated at 53/58mpg city/hwy. The 55hp engine that comes in all other models (non-XFI 2 doors and all 4 doors) is rated at 46/49mpg city/hwy. These figures are with the 5-speed. With the auto (only available with the 55-hp engine - can't get a 3 speed auto and the 49hp one) it's a lowly 36/39.

    Hope this clears up some of the mileage debates. I'm looking for a metro myself for less than $2k. Anyone got one for me? :)
  • Do they say XFI on the body somewhere? Anybody know what digit in the VIN tells which engine it is? And what digits signify what engine?
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    The XFi is easy to figure out. It is the one that has very old gas in the tank.

    Anyway back to all seriousness...the 1995-1999 models have the 55hp 3-cylinder as code 6 and the 70 or 79hp 4-cylinder as code 9. I also know that the 55hp engine is the fuel injected one and the 49hp engine is carbureted. Carpoint is incorrect. The only difference between the XFi model and the regular Metro is the final drive gearing. The XFi has lower gearing for lower RPM's at highway speeds. The base Metro I think is 3.2 something and the XFi is like 2.9 something. I could look this up but I am sleepy.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    And the carbureted engine was ONLY available in Canada for 1989-1990. The old Sprints and Fireflys had 49hp carbureted 3-cylinders and the engine remained in Canada but US models got the 55hp throttle body injected 3-cylinder. Like I was saying the XFi only has different gearing. The XFi Metros had Metro XFi badging on the doors and the hatch. The base models said simply "Metro" and the LSi's had their little chrome designations. The XFi was dropped after 1994. IT was reminiscent of the black faced Chevrolet Sprint Metro of 1988. I have never seen a Metro XFi in any color but white, black, or blue. Also they could not have AC, automatic, or cloth seats. I think they had a vinyl floor covering. Also the XFi had black bumpers rather than body color and could not be had with bodyside moldings.

    OK I have exhausted my photgraphic memory for the night...see ya...
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    The XFI also had smaller valves than the regular fuel injected models. Go figure.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    If you can take the noise, remove the round air intake tube that connects to the square connection on the air cleaner. I noticed a marked inprovement in acceleration and power but wow is it noisy. Sounds like a 4 barrel with the secondaries opened up.
    So if you don't care about the intake noise (which I don't) give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    This is because the round tube that connects to the filter...well...inside the other end of that tube there is a silencer that restricts airflow. I noticed this when it fell off accidentally. I leave it on, but that is because I don't want any splashed water to get into the engine. Water ingestion is fatal to an engine, especially one this small...and that air filter isn't very thick or absorbent.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    Wow, where are you driving your Metro that it would suck water on top of the engine? I live here in the Pacific NW and it rains 9 months out of the year and I have never seen any moisture on top of my Metro motor, my MPV, my Suburban, for that matter any vehicle that had fenders and a hood.
    I don't mean to razz ya about this but although it is fun to splash through big puddles, you can do engine damage.
  • patty18patty18 Posts: 1
    I am planning to buy a Metro today or tomorrow but is paying $9,250 @ 3.9% a good deal for a Metro hatchback?
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    The current incentive for Metro's is $1250 cash back or 0% financing. This promotion goes through September 30, 1999.
    Are you a college grad? You also would qualify for a additional $400 rebate.
    I don't know what the sticker is on your Metro that you are considering purchasing. But I would say that if that price is not at least $2000 less than sticker before any application of rebates then you are paying too much.
    Chevrolet is awash in Metro's. They don't make any money off of them and they have way too much inventory. It's a buyers market. Good Luck
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I have two Metro's, a'89 (great motor, body ok), and '90 metro (great body, sad motor). Just completed swapping the motors between the two yesterday. Went off without a hitch, there is no difference in emissions or any other electrical connections between the two years.
    So now I am again metro'ing along happily for my 121 mile a day commute. If anyone out there is looking for a complete metro for a parts car let me know. I don't want to piece it out, but I'll sell the whole thing super cheap. My email is in my profile.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    better be a used one...the profit margin for any new 1999 Metro Coupe is $699. That's the difference between invoice and retail. $9,250 would be a good price if the sticker is over $11,000 or over $11,400 if you have the college grad discount.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    Here in the Pacific NW dealers have been running loss leaders on their Metro's. MSRP $9990 sale price $6999. Maybe GM is running a regional promo?
  • they do like dealers in Indianapolis where the $6999 sale price requires a $1500 cash or trade equity to get that price. Say they advertise a Metro for $6999 that invoices at $8600 or so. Then they want that difference made up somehow. Read that fine print and make sure they aren't hiding their $1700 somewhere in an inflated interest rate or payment. 2% extra on $10,000 for 5 years comes to an extra $1000 of your hard-earned samoans, making a difference of about $17 a month!
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    Very well could be, I don't know for sure. You never know what these crafty dealers have rolled up their sleeves for "fees & financing kickbacks".
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    That's why it pays to keep an eye on our Incentives & Rebates info. Information is power!

  • pat56pat56 Posts: 11
    Greets to all from sunny Tampa, Florida...

    I just took delivery, Sunday (8/29) of my new
    LSi Coupe (5 spd/4 cyl). I think I'm going to
    nickname it "The Pocket Rocket". I picked it
    up at Nimnicht Chev, in Jacksonville. The people
    there are excellent, by the way. The only problem I had was trying to keep it under 85 mph on the Interstate, during the 3 1/2 hour drive home. :-)

    I met ANOTHER (go figure) Metro owner, at a rest/soft drink stop, on the highway. They have an '97 and swear they will never part with it, and they just bought their daughter a '95, which she loves, too. I gave the guy the "Chevrolet Racing" hat the salesman at Nimnicht had given me as an inside joke. He collects baseball caps, so he loved it. Another couple happy Metro owners. :-)

    I am missing one thing. I need to go to a knick-knack shop, and get a gnome figurine for my dashboard. I'm going to name him "Tick-tock", since he'll be my...

    (Are you ready?)

    Metro Gnome!


    L8ers, folks...


    Patrick E. (Pat) Peters
    Tampa, Florida
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