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Old 10-02-2014, 01:36 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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1999 Chevy Metro 1.0L 5spd ecomodding thread



I've been on the hunt for a car to replace the 1997 Sunfire I've been driving around for the past ~6 months. The stipulations were pretty strict as I was choosing to be cheap. ~$1200, manual trans, and better mileage than the Sunfire (better than 30 mpg, boo for automatic transmissions). Anyway, last night I found a 1999 Chevrolet Metro 1.0L 5 speed hatch with 120k miles on it. It fell right exactly into the price range (paid $1200), and of course it needs a little love. However, the low miles and great fuel economy lured me in.

As mentioned, the car needs some love. Its been taken care of okay. The interior is in great shape, but the road salt has taken its toll on the exterior of the car over the years. Some general and preventative maintenance is definitely in order. Here are a few things that it needs:
  • Fix rear sway bar mounts - they have rusted off the chassis
  • Weld up control arm mounts - driver's side has a couple holes
  • Fix sagging exhaust - its sitting and rattling on the front sway bar
  • Get 2 new tires - the fronts are nearly bald
  • Clean the EGR valve passages - prevents cylinder #2 damage if it clogs
  • Fix some other rusty areas and some rust prevention

These are things I've gleaned from reading other Metro stuff. If you metro owners have any other suggestions I'm all ears. I'll get some more pictures up soon of the car and the problem areas.

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Old 10-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Subscribed. Aside from that I have nothing to offer. :P
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just kidding!

I'm surprised to learn it has a factory rear stabilizer bar. Mine only has a front one. Ditch it and save weight!

I would definitely put rust repair & prevention at the top of the list ... before the salt trucks hit the road in the not-too-distant future. Once these lightly built cars start to rust, they go very fast. Fast as in: one day you're saying, "I'll look after that some day" and shortly thereafter, "I wonder if the junkyard will come and get this."
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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my saturn (sc1) doesnt have a factory rear roll bar, but the sc2 / sl2 gets them.
you could also let another metro owner put the car through its paces, see if they think there is a noticeable difference. my old monte carlo broke its front sway bar, but i couldnt tell the difference, just took out the loose pieces and drove it. probably helped that it had the lightest engine option (3.4L), i imagine it would be more critical in the same car with the heavier, supercharged 3.8L, engine. i've also driven a wrangler w/o the sway bars connected, it was hilariously scary at parking lot speeds, feeling like it was almost on its door handles, and would not have wanted to take it out on the road

on the exhaust, not that i have any significant metro specific experience, but when the exhaust has an issue up front on a fwd, check the motor mounts, as they may be the root cause
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ever tried the roll on bedliner, a little rustoleum then some roll on bedlinder, stop rust in it's tracks as long as it's not rusty when you paint it.

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mech
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000mc View Post
it was hilariously scary at parking lot speeds, feeling like it was almost on its door handles
Sounds like the new Mitsubishi Mirage!

(Only sort of joking... if there were ever a car that needed both F & R bars, that's it. Fortunately you can get an aftermarket rear bar for the wee Mitsu.)
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Looks like a great one sir! Hopefully you can get ahold of the rust issue quick and not have to worry about it again. What kind of MPG numbers are you shooting for?
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I remember somewhere in A Quest for 35mpg (Subaru Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L auto) that he upgraded his sway bars, which helped him hypermile, enabling him to maintain more speed through a corner.

I am very pleased that I remembered his name!

How much of a difference in economy would the weight make?
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Darin seems to think that I should be expecting 60+ mpg without any real mods with my commute. Going into fall, I'm not so sure. I think that might be a little work, but in summer that should be achievable. 60+ is where I'd like to be.

I'll most likely be fixing the rear sway bar. I like a tighter handling car. The fix shouldn't be a big deal anyways. FE wise, it won't be worth anything to remove a ~10lb bar.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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60+ is going to be a challenge in the winter. The other 3 seasons... achievable, no probs.

These are my "middle of winter" tanks through the years in the Firefly (not counting the first year, before I knew how to ecodrive it):
- 59
- 68
- 56
- 64
- 52 (last winter was frigid)

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