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Old 11-12-2016, 07:51 AM   #31 (permalink)
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It'l end up being a scratch built, carbon fibre electric, before you are finished fixing all the faults you find in it.

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Old 11-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Shame it's in such bad shape. I know quite a few guys who'd be interested swapping cams with you, 90 hp Euro grind for whatever is left of his American market cams!
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #33 (permalink)
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^ I'll be wanting to learn more about that Euro grind. I've read the auto transmission engine here also has a different grind that may be more MPG friendly.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:57 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
^ I'll be wanting to learn more about that Euro grind. I've read the auto transmission engine here also has a different grind that may be more MPG friendly.
All I know is the Euro cars have just 88 hp. Supposedly different cams, different ECU tune and lower compression to meet emissions... Our local ones came with this tune of engine, somewhere between 1996-1997 (Mazda folded locally after that, so we never got the NB).

I know a few guys who might be interested in swapping cams, if ever... if the shipping cost is not too big an issue.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:31 AM   #35 (permalink)
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found the key!

Message received via smoke signals from the owner:

Found the key. When do you want it?

Woo! Now I can find out -- first hand -- how it runs. Hopefully tomorrow.

Ironically, he says he got this car to save gas... proving that fuel efficiency is relative. He said he had been commuting in a thirsty Volvo sport utility.
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Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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Old 11-15-2016, 10:34 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:37 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Message received via smoke signals from the owner:

Found the key. When do you want it?

Woo! Now I can find out -- first hand -- how it runs. Hopefully tomorrow.

Ironically, he says he got this car to save gas... proving that fuel efficiency is relative. He said he had been commuting in a Volvo sport utility.
tripled its value now
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:48 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
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it runs! it drives!



I picked the keys up from the owner's mailbox (I still haven't either met or spoken to him) and got a chance to take it for a spin.


Keepin' the dream alive...

-
The engine fired up surprisingly easily, after about 8 cranks of the starter, on a weak battery that I brought. Considering it hadn't been started in over a year, that's not too bad. I was prepared with quick-start spray and everything.

- An alarming amount of valve/lifter noise at first: hydraulic lifters devoid of any oil! It resolved itself reasonably quickly, and after that there was no ticking on re-starts.

- No unusual exhaust smoke. Exhaust pipes/muffler are intact.

- I watched for crank pulley wobble and couldn't spot any at idle or when revving the engine.

- Brake light on the dash was on (looks like low fluid level -- didn't have any to confirm).


Road test!

- The engine stumbled a tiny bit when cold (missed a little), but was fine once it started to warm up. It pulled strong; no odd noises.

- Transmission shifts nicely (the stubby shifter is so fun to use). Though it was a bit balky in 1st & 2nd for the first minute or two when cold. No synchro issues.

- The clutch felt good; I did a number of full throttle accels in higher than normal gear to test for slippage.

- THE GEARING IS ATROCIOUS and / or fun. 1-3-5 would be a very workable MPG strategy for this car. A taller final drive/rear end swap is an option. But why can't we just have fun 1-4, then a big overdrive for 5th?

- Steering felt tight. I actually chuckled at how nimble it makes the car feel. Before I headed out, I checked for tie rod & ball joint play and didn't find anything significant. But once or twice I heard a mystery clunk in the front end on left turns. Control arm bushing? Shock mount?

- A bit more body roll than I remember.

- Brakes were very noisy, while progressively scraping a year's worth of rust off the rotors with each stop. But aside from that, they seemed fine: it stopped straight with a few hard pedal stabs from ~80 kph / 50 mph.

- Tires were flat-spotted after a year of sitting with 20 PSI in them. I pumped them up to 40. They got quieter/smoother as I drove, but still weren't quite round by the time I got back.

- I put the top down on this grey but unseasonably warm (~10 C / 50 F) November day, and returned with a smile on my face.


Dun dun dunnnnnn... the only surprise discovery...



The temp gauge increased relatively quickly towards hot, and I found the coolant was very low. I topped it up, and when I got back from the test drive saw seepage from this hairline crack in the radiator top tank.


Other minor annoyances:

-
Rattly exhaust heat shields.

- Ignition key/seatbelt/headlights buzzer was on CONSTANTLY. No matter what I did, I couldn't get it to shut off!




To sum up:

Honestly, I did not think it was going to start, run, shift, drive & stop as well as it did. I guess I was expecting a crap drive to match its crap cosmetic condition.

If I can get in touch with the owner again, I'm going to find out how negotiable his price is...

..
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Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
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www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:02 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Sweet Miata goodness. I bet the radiator is an easy fix, though not super cheap. Perhaps one from a salvage yard?
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:17 PM   #40 (permalink)
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