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Old 07-09-2011, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1991 Firefly all used up?

Someone asked me if I wanted a 1991 Firefly (Sprint/Metro), it's a 3 cyl, 5 speed, 2 door hatchback. It's not rusty, but there are no keys and it is assumed that it ran when it was parked a few years ago but no one is sure. The odo shows 277,xxx kms. Under the hood it looks like nothing has ever been touched/rebuilt. So I guess my question is is it likely at all that the 1.0L has any life left in it at that mileage, or would I be just getting a big pile of work? I don't want to pay to get keys cut if the lifespan of the 1.0L is usually only say 200k. Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2011, 01:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can't really know unless you or someone checks it out. We can't know either. :/
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just hot-wire the thing and lock the door with a chain in true redneck spirit.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know, no one knows for sure, but if it was a 2005 Freestar with 150k kms I would say it probably needs a trans, or a '96 Caddy with a Northstar and 120k kms it would probably need headgaskets, or an '04 Chrysler Sebring with 170k kms it will probably need a water pump (7 hour job). But when it comes to these 1.0L cars I have no clue what it's weak spot is and when it shows itself. MetroMPG I am looking in your direction here!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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IIRC johnnymullet is so into them he has a site which should explain
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The weak spot on the old Firefly/Sprint/Metros was thier frame. It is usually the frame that goes before the engine. If you don't know how to check it, the it should be gone over by a good bodyshop. The engines are all over the place with under 50K mileage because the frames didn't last. So if the frame is good, which is doubtful, than it's well worth fixing up.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The frame is in deed the weak spot on these cars, the part of the frame that you should check is where the front of the front suspension attaches to the body of the car, poke around with a screw driver and if it all seems solid then the car is worth buying.
The nice thing about finding a good body even with an engine that is locked up is used engines are cheap! $150 or so buys you a complete used engine from a scrap yard and there is so much space under the hood that it should take you just a few hours to do an engine swap.
As for the missing key, remove the door handle, take the door handle with lock in to a lock smith and have them make you a key from the lock, the last time I had this done it cost $9 for one and $15 for another although some charge as much as $50.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok thanks guys. The body and frame are fine, it was being moved with a wheel lift tow truck when I saw it so I got a good look at the underneath. I guess the next step is to make sure they can find the papers for it before I get too excited.

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