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-   -   Ecomodding my winter beater: a unicorn no-rust (*) 2000 Chevrolet Metro 1.0 5-spd (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/ecomodding-my-winter-beater-unicorn-no-rust-2000-a-34102.html)

MetroMPG 07-21-2016 10:02 AM

Ecomodding my winter beater: a unicorn no-rust (*) 2000 Chevrolet Metro 1.0 5-spd
 
1 Attachment(s)
Just sold the Prius, and look at the unicorn that popped up in my email alerts!

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469106333

Only 100k kms / 60k miles. 5-speed. [EDIT/CORRECTION: Ad was wrong! It's got 210k kms / 131k mi!)

No rust? Really?

Importantly: owned by a retiree in Montreal who spends winters in Florida, who says the car has therefore only been subjected to a few salty, slushy winters. Plus he says it has had multiple rust-proofing treatments.

Engine?

They don't say whether it's the 3 or 4-cylinder car though. I'm guessing it's the 4 because it's got "uplevel" stuff on it like a rear wiper, body side mouldings and cargo cover. But even with the giant, fuel-guzzling 1.3L instead of the 1.0L, I'd still consider it. [UPDATE: it's the triple.]

Asking $1500

But "a little bit negotiable".

I've been on the look-out for a doppelganger of the Firefly for a few years now. It'd be nice to have another working set of everything in the form of a functional winter beater, because parts are only going to get harder to find -- with 40k kms on it, I'll probably own the Firefly forever (or at least until interal combustion cars are outlawed).

I've left email and voice messages. If it hasn't sold already, I'll go see it today. A chance to utiliser mon francais.

---

The last one of these low-miles unicorns that I saw had an asking price of $3500: 1999 Chevrolet Geo Metro, 1.0/5-spd, 80k km (50k mi), no rust survivor. Oshawa, ON

Natalya 07-21-2016 10:27 AM

Better hope my cousin doesn't see this and get it before you. He lives in Montréal and drives a purple Geo.

Frank Lee 07-21-2016 10:31 AM

Too nice to be a winter car. There are plenty of pre-winterized turds to be had.

MetroMPG 07-21-2016 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Natalya (Post 519003)
Better hope my cousin doesn't see this and get it before you. He lives in Montréal and drives a purple Geo.

NOOOO!! I call dibs! :D

Anyway, I still haven't heard back from the seller. The ad went up yesterday and already has ~80 views. For that price, I suspect it's already sold.

That's the problem with relying on email alerts -- always late to the party!

---

I agree it's too nice to subject to the salt baths that are eastern Canada winters. But it also doesn't make sense for me to pick it up as a "spare" car just to have on hand. So if I got it, it would have to earn its keep on winter duty. But it would also get full rust-prevention treatment every year. I know these cars well enough that I could keep the body & floor in good condition for a long, long time even with salt exposure.

Frank Lee 07-21-2016 10:40 AM

Car hoarding doesn't have to make sense! As long as it's fun! :thumbup:

MetroMPG 07-21-2016 10:42 AM

How many in your fleet now, Frank?

IF I got that Metro today, I would be at a personal high: seven. (2 of which are junk/parts cars though.) Hopefully that's "peak-hoarding" for me.

But the Prius goes to its new home tomorrow, so in reality, currently five.

me and my metro 07-21-2016 11:51 AM

I hope hoarding is still allowed, I have 3 2002 Saturn L series cars in my driveway. Although all my Metros are gone.

MetroMPG 07-21-2016 12:25 PM

Legacy username, eh?

I should start a new thread with a poll. I bet there are more than a few hoarders around here.

---

Update! New thread: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...not-34104.html

MetroMPG 07-22-2016 10:23 AM

Sadly, no reply to any my messages left about this Metro yesterday.

The ad is still up and it was edited yesterday afternoon. But no answer this morning, either.

MetroMPG 07-28-2016 03:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
:) ........

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469730770

ChazInMT 07-28-2016 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 519494)
:) ........

Isn't that the car from post #1? My spidey senses tell me it's the same color and wheels. Congrats!!!! Is it 3 er 4 Cyl?

MetroMPG 07-28-2016 04:23 PM

Spidey senses are correct, sir!

The very same car. I finally heard back from the owner, and went to see it as soon as I could. Made a deal in the driveway.

It's a triple, 5-speed.

The ad was waaaay wrong about the odometer though: it's got 210k kms (131k miles), not 100k kms (60k mi). Too bad! But it runs well enough, and the synchros are OK. And that number of kms is still well below average for the year.

Also the year in the ad was wrong, but in my favour: 2000 not 1998. All the mistakes were because his neighbour posted the ad... the owner, retiree, doesn't have Internet.

Too bad about the odometer.

But here's the thing: it's cosmetically so ridiculously good it was impossible to pass up for $1k.

Mechanicall issues: it's got a CEL for an evap leak, and the front end needs work -- it's really noisy over bumps (ball joints or steering rack, or??).

freebeard 07-28-2016 11:02 PM

:thumbup:

You got $500 off?

Gasoline Fumes 07-29-2016 12:31 AM

I have a whole '98 Metro if you need parts. I'll give you the rotten thing if you come get it! :D

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 02:40 PM

Thanks, Fumes! I shouldn't need anything, now that I've got my doppelganger. You're still stuck with it. :D

Quote:

You got $500 off?
Yeah! It's funny: my opening offer was for $250 off, but he refused and countered with $500 off. :D I don't think that has ever happened to me before.

Not being mechanically inclined, he spent about $1400 on repairs/maintenance late last year - tires & front end work, and I think that plus the recent CEL was the last straw. Plus I pointed out it still had front end problems, and I suspect he may have had an estimate done. Thus the discount. That's my theory. He was a decent guy -- seemed honest. Nice house & other cars (Z3 roadster under a cover & brand new Buick Verano), condo in FLA. He didn't really need the car or the money.

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 02:50 PM

look Ma, no rust!
 
5 Attachment(s)
Metro owners will understand the importance of what these pics show, considering where this car lived:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469814252

Above: driver's side control arm mount. Only the tiniest amount of surface rust.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469814252

Passenger side. Also, shiny new control arm.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469814252

Rocker - the spots are road grime.

But both rockers have been re-painted (the rest of the car is all original). I asked if it was for rust repair, and he said: "no - because of damage that a tow truck driver did when it had to be towed to the garage once."

Given the lack of rust elsewhere, it's a believable story.

How could a 15 year old car from Quebec be so rust free?

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469814540

"Antirouille Metropolitain Rustproofing!"

Also, being a retired snowbird who spent winters in Florida, the car hardly ever saw snow (ahem, salt) after its first few years of life.

Ironically, despite this car rarely seeing snow, Quebec has a mandatory snow tire rule (Oct-March). So in addition to a 1 year-old set of "summer" tires, it also came with a like new set of winter boots & steelies:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469814989

Daox 07-29-2016 03:01 PM

That is unreal.

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 03:35 PM

Yeah, cosmetically, this Metro is in amazing shape. In some ways it's much better than the Flea, which has only 37k kms / 23k miles on it.

The Flea has a few more door dings & small bumper scrapes, and its black paint shows every single scratch & scuff. For its first 7 years, it was essentially used as a shelf to pile things on inside someone's garage.

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 07:20 PM

engine check-up
 
2 Attachment(s)
http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469829772


I did a quick 'n' dirty compression "test" when I checked out the car in Montreal:

1) Got a baseline: I know the Flea has spec compression, so I put it in 1st gear on level ground and released the parking brake.

2)
With the door open, I pushed against the A-pillar until the car moved a little. I had to push pretty hard -- hard enough that I found I was holding my breath to make it lurch through each compression stroke.

3) A few hours later in Montreal, I repeated the procedure on the Y2k Metro. It seemed like a similar (high) amount of effort, which I did 3 times (once for each cylinder), so I decided it must not have bad compression. Also it seemed to start up quickly, and had "normal" power (for a Metro).

Is that a valid way to check compression? I dunno.

But a pilot friend says he has used a similar technique to check propeller airplane engines.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1469830628

Actual compression test done this aft with a proper gauge... and it's great:

1st set: 205 / 185 / 210
2nd set: 210 / 195 / 215

Woohoo!

(As predicted by the the DIY method and the stack of maintenance/repair receipts in the glove box that includes lots of oil change bills.)

Also, I discovered one of the spark plugs was loose! And by loose I do not mean "finger tight" - it was loose. But all were otherwise healthy looking, and are only a few years old.

The distributor cap & rotor were disasters though: burnt/carbonized electrodes like you wouldn't believe. Last changed in 2003, if the stack of receipts is accurate. So I cleaned up the rotor, put on a new cap and it now it runs smoother & quieter (the tightened up spark plug might have helped too).

So now I'm even happier with this purchase.

Baltothewolf 07-29-2016 07:34 PM

Hey Metro, what wintertires are those? I'm building a mad max insight and I'm looking for some knobby tires and those fit the bill perfectly.

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gasoline Fumes (Post 519514)
I have a whole '98 Metro if you need parts. I'll give you the rotten thing if you come get it! :D

I should have returned the "offer": you need any Swift GT parts?

The engine runs (rebuilt). It's so rusty it's not even towable! I'm making a little room. Culling the herd!

MetroMPG 07-29-2016 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltothewolf (Post 519561)
Hey Metro, what wintertires are those? I'm building a mad max insight and I'm looking for some knobby tires and those fit the bill perfectly.

I shall go check and report back.

Watch this post...

Update: looks like...

Nordic Wintertrac
175/70R13
Made in USA
Sold under the Motomaster brand in "Canadian Tire" stores

Whichever company actually made them, I'd be surprised if they didn't make them for another brand in the U.S.

Baltothewolf 07-29-2016 08:36 PM

Awesome thanks! I need to see if thet make them in a 14 inch size, if not, I'll just buy 13 inch and get a huge tire.

Gasoline Fumes 07-30-2016 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 519562)
I should have returned the "offer": you need any Swift GT parts?

The engine runs (rebuilt). It's so rusty it's not even towable! I'm making a little room. Culling the herd!

Are you going to use the GT side skirts on your convertible?

MetroMPG 07-30-2016 10:21 AM

That's the eventual plan for the vert: GT face swap + skirts.

But I've got an extra set if you want 'em. Need anything else? Maybe we can plan a GT vs. Metro junk swap!

Xist 07-30-2016 03:34 PM

Somehow Metro GT seems to be a contradiction in terms. :)

ST2008 07-30-2016 11:36 PM

Do you have the history of the timing belt ?

pgfpro 07-31-2016 02:33 AM

Nice score!!!

elhigh 07-31-2016 11:14 AM

This is an amazing find. Congrats, man. If we can't have it for ourselves, at least we know it's going to someone who really appreciates it for what it is.

Gasoline Fumes 07-31-2016 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 519592)
That's the eventual plan for the vert: GT face swap + skirts.

But I've got an extra set if you want 'em. Need anything else? Maybe we can plan a GT vs. Metro junk swap!

A junk swap sounds fun! I have some vert parts too. I'm not sure what I really need, but I like hoarding car parts! :D

MetroMPG 08-01-2016 04:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks, pgf & elhigh.

I was hoping dreaming of ultimately chopping/reclining the roof, along the lines (pardon the pun) of this...

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1470079804

But it's soooo nice, I'm having a hard time with that idea.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ST2008 (Post 519643)
Do you have the history of the timing belt ?

Good question!

And no, there's nothing in the pile of receipts about the belt. But after going through the pile of records, I discovered a multi-year gap. I suspect he would have done it, but it's not worth gambling on (even though it is non-interference).

So that's on the to-do list for sure.

freebeard 08-01-2016 07:51 PM

:thumbup:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1470079804

:thumbup:

Did I mention Thumbup?

As I recall, that car had a mid-engine and relocated axle. Do you have any idea how many ways there are to chop a top? I could enumerate some if you like — forward/reverse slant vs level, how many inches, etc. Have you thought about grafting in a Buick Rivera boat tail? Or Corvette if you want to work in fiberglass.

Dodge Magnum hatch?

me and my metro 08-01-2016 07:59 PM

That white chop top belonged to Dave Cloud, it was an electric rwd conversion. It met it's end on a Seattle area drag strip wall.

MetroMPG 08-01-2016 08:08 PM

Oh! I thought that car went on to become the basis of his electric Dolphin...

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_7AHFbFOAexA/S9...7TN0/DD001.jpg

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...hin-13142.html

Wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong!

me and my metro 08-01-2016 10:10 PM

I actually saw the dolphin in Seattle several years ago, Dave Cloud is a very talented individual. He has done a lot for the electric car industry in the North West. He has promoted electric car racing, go carts with one lead acid battery, for years.

Gasoline Fumes 08-01-2016 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 519739)
Thanks, pgf & elhigh.

I was hoping dreaming of ultimately chopping/reclining the roof, along the lines (pardon the pun) of this...

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1470079804

But it's soooo nice, I'm having a hard time with that idea.

Looks like a CRXFi! :D

freebeard 08-02-2016 12:02 AM

I met Dave Cloud, but I didn't recognize the name at the time. His Electrathon transporter suggests another approach: stretch it.

http://i.imgur.com/nOLih.jpg

MetroMPG 08-02-2016 10:17 PM

MPG results = good! And... into storage it goes.
 
I think I would like to be reincarnated as Dave Cloud.

---

MPG results = good!

First (short) fill-up with confirmed odometer and fuel at the top of the filler neck from fill to fill = 3.7 L/100 km = 64 mpg US. Not bad considering no mods (other than a ScanGauge).

That's with gentle driving: probably 30% sub/urban & 70% rural highways with 80 km/h / 50 mph limit. EOC in town, DWL on the open road where practical.

The car is running much smoother since changing the cap, cleaning the rotor & torquing that really loose spark plug.

And that's all the driving it will see for a year or so. The travel permit has expired and it's going into storage.

The Blackfly is back in service! And next up: fix the rusty rockers on the 2004 Echo winter beater and prep it for inspection & for cold weather duty 2016/2017!

Xist 08-02-2016 10:38 PM

What if you find another fuel-efficient car for a great price? :)

freebeard 08-03-2016 12:36 AM

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