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Old 11-20-2019, 02:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's legal!

I did a few repairs since getting the car back from Toronto, and this morning dropped it off at my mechanic for the mandatory mechanical/safety inspection.

And...





It's legal! More or less! *

I did front & rear brake pads. Front was down to about 25% remaining, but check out the rear...



Talk about stopping on a dime! How about less than half a dime?

I believe they were original, too. The dust caps to get the drums off were corroded in place and had no pry marks on them. (They do now!)

The other repair I did was to unblock the driver's side windshield washer nozzle. (I think the check valve was just jammed... I didn't even know those nozzles had check valves.)

* My mechanic did catch one other problem that I sort of knew about, but it's worse than I thought: I knew the left headlight housing had a broken upper mounting tab -- casualty of the love tap that dented the fender and scuffed the bumper (see photo, post #1). But he discovered that ALL the mounting tabs are broken. The headlight housing is free floating, held in place by the bumper cover and the wiring harness.

But he issued the paperwork knowing full well I would fix this. Besides, the headlight still works, and it's generally pointed in the right direction.

Next up...

Let the ecomods begin!

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Old 11-20-2019, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Now you'll never have to change the brakes again!

Will you continue your tradition of putting a boat tail on every car you've owned with the Mirage?

If I had a Mirage I would definitely get the UK-spec final drive and use it with the US-spec gears - IIRC the UK is the one with the taller final drive and the US has the shorter final drive, but a taller 5th gear? But that would probably be expensive, sooooo.

I probably wouldn't go with taller tires, because RE92s. It would be interesting to see whether taller gearing + not as LRR tire or stock gearing + RE92s is best for FE.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Those brake shoes should have lasted a hypermiler like you another 50K miles. I bought my '02 Ford Escort in '08 with 80K miles it currently has about 195K and still has the same pads/shoes it had when I bought it. Guess maybe I should pull a drum when spring gets here again and see how they look. It's been awhile since I checked the pads but last time I checked they still looked to have about 50% of the lining left on them.
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Old 11-21-2019, 04:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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What if... you hold onto your lunchbox [no disrespect intended] until you find a good base model?

I liked my more recent rentals enough, but I was happy to be back in my Accord. I have not driven a Miata, though.

Is it that bad?

I would absolutely like to see a boattail, but if I ever found a Mirage that I could afford, I would loathe myself until I made one, but you already have the car, and the cheapest one that I can find is $3,900, although I saw it the last time that I looked, maybe a month or two ago.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
What if... you hold onto your lunchbox [no disrespect intended] until you find a good base model?

Which one is the lunchbox - the Mirage or the Metro/Firefly?


Quote:
I liked my more recent rentals enough, but I was happy to be back in my Accord.
Wait 'til you try a manual Mirage! Different beast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2016 Versa View Post
Those brake shoes should have lasted a hypermiler like you another 50K miles.

Ha! Probably. My biggest problem: front rotors rust from lack of use, which is typical for me.



Quote:
Guess maybe I should pull a drum when spring gets here again and see how they look.

I would at least jack up the wheels and spin 'em. The Mirage had corrosion on the edges of the braking surface that was touching the edge of what was left of the pads. The wheels were not spinning as freely as almost-perpetual-motion-drums should.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Will you continue your tradition of putting a boat tail on every car you've owned with the Mirage?
I would really like to do this. I might just do a taped-on box cavity for this winter though.



Quote:
If I had a Mirage I would definitely get the UK-spec final drive ... But that would probably be expensive, sooooo.
Yup. Aye, that's the rub.



Quote:
It would be interesting to see whether taller gearing + not as LRR tire or stock gearing + RE92s is best for FE.
Yes! I have a line on a set of hand-me-down 15 inch LRR Ecopias EP422's from a current generation Prius. 195/65's, though. I'll do a coastdown comparison against the OEM Enasaves, of course.


The other problem with the Mirage is there's no easy-peasy way to lower it, like a Metro (chop a coil off the constant-diameter springs. The Mirage springs are tapered top & bottom, so no choppy choppy.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

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Photo dump!




I pulled the car apart (pretty darned easy) to fix the busted mounting tabs on the headlight housing...





^ All 3 mounting tabs on the housing were busted. I scabbed them back on with wee screws and bits of sheet metal, then epoxied over the works.



I wasn't planning to do any cosmetic stuff to the car, but while I had the front end apart, I figured I might as well pull the quarter panel and try my hand at a bit of paintless dent repair.



The metal is barely thicker than tinfoil, so I just bent the panel by hand & mostly used wooden kitchen appliances to work the creases out:





It turned out OK. Good enough that the average person might not notice the small ripples left behind. I dabbed some touch-up silver where the factory paint cracked off from being bent too sharply.

Before & after!








The bumper cover is still a bit of a mess... I'll look at that in the spring. It only takes a couple of minutes to take off the car.


If the previous owner had put this through insurance, it would have been a $1500-2000 bill.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice job on the light and fender!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
My biggest problem: front rotors rust from lack of use, which is typical for me.
I started using semi-metallic pads for their rotor cleaning properties. I'm hoping it works!
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I started calling the Mirage a lunchbox when I first rented one. Way back when I always reserved Metro-class cars, but I never got one. For a while there wasn't anything that class. I usually got free upgrades, but occasionally was stuck with a Kia Rio or a Hyundai Accent.

Have you ever driven a manual Accord?
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 55.99 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,004
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I still think I should spray WD-40 on the rotors if I'm leaving the car parked for more than a week.

But I remember the uproar last time I posted that idea. So, nevermind. I didn't say that.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 55.99 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,004
Thanked 5,887 Times in 3,052 Posts
I owned a manual Accord! Ancient history though. 1989 model. Pop-up headlights!

__________________
Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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