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Old 11-07-2010, 01:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MG Midget + Geo Metro 3cyl = MGeo

Hello, let me introduce my MPG project, a '71 MG Midget, getting a Geo Metro 3-cyl engine (Suzuki G10).

The MG folks like a restoration, the Suzuki engine guys want more power,
so I've come here to show my project.

I'm trying to achieve a pretty high MPG with this little car.
I stripped out a Metro quite a while back for its trans and suspension for another EV project, and have had this engine collecting dust for a while.
Thought I might just use it for a backup generator, or maybe an air compressor, but I acquired a '71 MG Midget unfinished project at a great price and have decided to put the G10 motor in it, and build it for super high MPG. The Midget is a very small and light car, stock it is only 1500lbs.
The G10 engine is about 100lbs lighter than the iron 4-cyl that was stock.
And its has some pretty heavy sheet metal, so I think I can get its weight down to maybe 1200lbs.

I just got the engine running on a stand, going through all the wiring to strip out just what is needed to run the engine.

I'm trying to figure out how much time I should spend modifying the engine before I put it in the car. Been thinking I should just throw it in and get it running, but I really want to modify the G10 motor to make it lighter and get better MPG.

I want to replace the TBI fuel injection with my own system, convert it to port injection and distributerless ignition (coil on plug). Raise the compression significantly, and use water injection. Then tune it to maximize efficiency at around 2,000 rpm for 65mph cruising.

Make it hybrid -- removing the starter and alternator, and add a more powerful electric motor that will spin it as an assist, with a small
battery pack that can recharged from a socket (Plugin Hybrid).

Any comments or suggestions?

Jack Murray
Nimble Motorsports

Last edited by nimblemotors; 11-09-2010 at 11:59 PM.. Reason: added car picture
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This sounds the the worlds most awesome project, I've always wanted to convert a Midget!!

Honestly I would just chuck the engine in. I don't know how much effort it's worth putting in to modify that engine. I think the time/money would be better spent buying a 1l diesel smart engine or a 660cc japanese kei engine if you want to go nuts with it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds cool, I was just on craigslist looking for a spitfire chassis. Awful nice of these folks to build lightweight cars for us to mess with isn't it?
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My first car that I bought was a 70 Midget. It was a lot of fun but I spent a lot of time and money on it. The first new car that I bought was a Chevy Sprint. Back then, I bought it after riding a motorcycle with no car for two years. I looked at the 3 cyl Suzuki motor and saw a nice big 1000cc motorcycle motor and thought it was awesome. I drove the Sprint as if it were a sports car, and it was a great motor and great handling car. I would buy another today, if it were available.

So I think your matchup is a very good one.

Which transmission will you be using?
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've always liked the little sports cars, the TR6 was my favorite, eventually owned one, which I drove across the country. The TR6 is pretty rare today and not cheap when restored. They had a powerful straight 6. The MG midget isn't quite so valuable.

The real joy of the cars is rowing through the gears with the top down, hearing the growl of the engine!
So of course it has a 5-speed. The Suzuki Samurai is a RWD with the 1.3L engine,
and the trans bolts right up with the 1.0L. It fits into the MG, but my plan is to enlarge
the trans tunnel so I can run the exhaust through the trans tunnel to streamline the undercarriage.

For the Geo owners, what muffler should I use? I want it to be very lightweight (like everything going into this car)
I have a glasspac on the test stand, but these are actually pretty heavy mufflers.
Perhaps a motorcyle muffler? Of course, lightweight AND CHEAP, need both features!
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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...my first 'new' car was a 1965 MG Midget, the first year with rollup windows.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This sounds like a great project.

Is it really going to happen? No offense intended, but so many people's eyes are bigger than their stomachs when it comes to ambitious plans like this, if you know what I mean.

Are you documenting the build anywhere (web)?
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Is it really going to happen? No offense intended, but so many people's eyes are bigger than their stomachs when it comes to ambitious plans like this, if you know what I mean.
For this reason I'd recommend stuffing the 1.0L in there and locating a second one to modify. That way, you'll start enjoying the car right away.

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No offense taken! Typing in ideas is about 100000 times easier than getting it done in the real world!

The Midget + G10 motor is definitely building built!

Here is where we removed the stock engine,
and trial fitting the G10 motor:
And here is the engine running on a stand, after I figured out the wiring!
(IF you look to the very left, you'll see my extra engine)

The current question is whether I just put the stock motor in it now,
or do all the trick work to it for maximum efficiency, and make it a hybrid.

I have another G10 engine that I can do all the tweaks to and put this high mileage one in the car now. But once its running, THEN you ask if I'll ever really get to the tricked-out engine part! That is why I think I should do the engine work now, cause it might not get done later.

I was posting to the team swift site, but was planning to document it here instead. Of course I have my own website, and i'll show it off there once its done.

I was working on the brakes today, the stock master cylinders are toast.
I'm putting in some Wildwood cylinders and will have to tweak the pedal assembly to make them work. Pulled the stock gas tank. I want to replace it with a plastic tank to save 10-15lbs. Spent hours researching alternatives, all the race tanks are not the right size. I'm thinking of using a pair of 2.5 gallon HDPE containers ahead of the rear axles just behind the seats, which is the safest place for the gas tanks (and also move the weight inboard). I'll see if that will work once I get the containers.

This also frees up the under trunk area for some batteries.

Last edited by nimblemotors; 11-08-2010 at 03:22 AM.. Reason: add image links
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The current question is whether I just put the stock motor in it now,
or do all the trick work to it for maximum efficiency, and make it a hybrid.
Unless you don't have much of a work (something you do to make money) or barter/trade schedule, I'd expect this to take a while. If it were me, I'd fool around with everything you're planning on doing BEFORE you pop the engine in unless there is enough real estate in the engine bay (like the vast plains of engine bay space available in my CRXFi project) for you to have room to fiddle around with the starter motor and the TBI.

I obviously think it's a great idea for a project considering my own project inclinations :P

Depending on how broken in your head gasket is by now, I'd consider trying this out. I did it, but I don't have anything to compare it to. Others have reaped positive results.

I'll be watching this project very closely, especially if you start fooling around with replacing the TBI... definitely on my list.

Some questions: how are you going to deal with the axles? I think the midget might actually have a smaller track width than any metros and may have completely different hub/splines. MGs are RWD too, right? What are your plants to deal with these thhings fitting together?

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