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Old 06-25-2018, 03:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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sc1 - '98 saturn sc1
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90 day: 43.17 mpg (US)

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rans - '97 rans tailwind

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Modding the Geo Metro

I bought a 98 Geo Metro from Craigs List. The add said the head was cracked, no compression does't start. No rust. 140k miles. $700. I texted the owner and made arraignments to meet him and tow it home, which was kind of crazy, since I lived 160 miles away from North Webster In, and never towed anything before and never drove the Honda Odyssey on the Interstate. The plan was to buy a tow bar in Warsaw in, 16 miles away and some how attach it to the front of the car. I brought a tool box and my flux core wire welder. The van is rated for 3500 lbs towing.

After finding my way there, meeting the owner an hour late ( forgot the time zone change) I agreed to buy for $600. He would go not down to $500. I drove to walmart and found the towbar that was advertised for $52 labeled $99. The lady at the customer service said I have to bring it to the register, show the ad, get the manager to approve it, and by the way the add has to be for this store. I replied, If there was a Harbor Freight hear Id go there and not deal with this bs. The service lady in the next counter over said Oh, there's one just east on Rt30. Off I went to HB. I bought a towbar, hitch ball, magnetic tow lights and hitch pin for $118.

Upon returning, we transferred title, took off the rear tail light and hooked up the wires and tested the lights. No turn signal, different circuit then brakes, It needs 2 diodes each side to work. We removed the front bumper. I forgot my welding helmet at home. I borrowed the owners grandfathers helmet that was sitting out in the weather for a year. I wiped it out the best I could and could see through, use a long extension cord and I welded on the two brackets to the cross member in front and under the radiator. I blew through the thin metal a few places and wasn't sure it it would make it home without pulling off. The bracket, though, was over 1/4 thick. I rigged up some safety chains and was ready. All I needed was a route home.

I decided to take back roads the whole way home. The Grandfather advised against US 30 at there were too many stops. I started off going the first few miles at 20 mph, then 25, them 30, holly cow. Something was making a loud scraping noise and I pullover on the side of the road. It was the inner fender rubbing on the tire, I tie strapped and duck taped it away front the tire and resumed.The tow bar is too short and I could feel it tugging on the minivan over bumps, and making a clanking noise. On the smooth straight flats I got up to 50 then 55 as I zig-zagged my way home. Hardly and traffic. I made it home around 9:30, just after dark.

The next day I took the timing cover and valve cover off ad found it OK. The owner had just change it. I sprayed ether down it and it didn't start. I Took the spark plugs out, almost new, and did a compression test, 140, 120 , 115 or so. Good enough to run. When I took the distributor cap off I found a rats nest if hair thin wire inside. I went to Advance auto parts , $100 for the pick up coil, and they didn't have it. None of the auto pats stores had it. Some on Ebay for $95. I checked two local junkyard, no metros. I drove to Aurora, 20 mils, no metros. i found a pick up coil on ebay, not the same one but maybe could be modified with a #10 torqs for $12. I ordered it. I checked one more junk yard and they had two metros , a 92 and a 97. I drove there and found the 92 in the 97 spot and the 97 in the 92 spot, It was 4 cyl but I took the part anyway. $5.68. Upon returning home, I cleaned the wire out and installed it. It runs! Ha needs a muffler. So thats where Im at.

Wire under dist cap:


Brackets welded on:


Horn, was rustproofed:

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Last edited by arcosine; 06-25-2018 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write up. Subscribed to see what happens next. Great luck with that distributor too.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 06-25-2018, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice find and fix.

What are you looking to do mod wise?
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
Master Ecomadman
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,103

sc1 - '98 saturn sc1
Team Saturn
90 day: 43.17 mpg (US)

Airplane Bike - '11 home built Carp line Tour

rans - '97 rans tailwind

tractor - '66 International Cub cadet 129

2002 Space Odyssey - '02 Honda Odyssey EX-L
90 day: 28.25 mpg (US)

red bug - '00 VW beetle TDI

big tractor - '66 ford 3400

red vw - '00 VW new beetle TDI
90 day: 58.42 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 287 Times in 194 Posts
Everything, maybe not so wise, more vise.


I had a dream, and in my dream I said "A man is nothing without his dreams".
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Last edited by arcosine; 06-25-2018 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master Ecomadman
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,103

sc1 - '98 saturn sc1
Team Saturn
90 day: 43.17 mpg (US)

Airplane Bike - '11 home built Carp line Tour

rans - '97 rans tailwind

tractor - '66 International Cub cadet 129

2002 Space Odyssey - '02 Honda Odyssey EX-L
90 day: 28.25 mpg (US)

red bug - '00 VW beetle TDI

big tractor - '66 ford 3400

red vw - '00 VW new beetle TDI
90 day: 58.42 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 287 Times in 194 Posts
cam advance or retard

This is my take, Ive never played with cam timing.

Advancing the cam is good for putzing around at 1000 rpm in top gear. This gives the best gas mileage, since engine friction varies as the square of rpm. But if the engine is limited by pre-ignition, then the ignition timing would have to be retarded, thus reducing engine efficiency. At highway speeds, though, the engine is throttled back so advancing the cam has no benefit, if it gained torque, the engine would run with higher manifold vacuum. Advancing the cam with a 3.5:1 final drive would be good.

Retarding the cam reduces MEP at low RPM. If the engine is old and has hot deposited on the exhaust valve or it otherwise limited by preignition the ignition timing could be advanced or the static compression ratio increased. The extreme case would be the Akinsion cycle used in the Prius with 13:1 expansion ratio. Thus this engine would actually be more efficient than advancing the cam, even though the torque and HP is lower. Retarding the 1.2 4 cylinder engne to where its is expelling 20% of the charge back out the intake with 11:1 static expansion ratio would be more efficient than the 3 cylinder engine with cam advance.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Winsight - '00 Honda Insight
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If I was you I would not mess around with cam timing, only ignition timing. I would advance 2-3 over stock and leave that be. Advancing the ignition timing just moves the torque curve lower, it doesn't make any extra power. I would also change every single fluid in that vehicle and every other wear part. You are only what, 800 into it after registration fees?

I fear cyl 2 and 3 are way worn. You should run Restore engine lubricant and restorer, link here: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/r...saAmeIEALw_wcB

Project farm on YouTube had great results with it.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
Master Ecomadman
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,103

sc1 - '98 saturn sc1
Team Saturn
90 day: 43.17 mpg (US)

Airplane Bike - '11 home built Carp line Tour

rans - '97 rans tailwind

tractor - '66 International Cub cadet 129

2002 Space Odyssey - '02 Honda Odyssey EX-L
90 day: 28.25 mpg (US)

red bug - '00 VW beetle TDI

big tractor - '66 ford 3400

red vw - '00 VW new beetle TDI
90 day: 58.42 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 287 Times in 194 Posts
Ive already played with the ignition timing, that's simple by ear. It had a ping so I backed it off some.

I am thinking of lowering it. It looks lie some people just cut the springs. How do they seat in the strut without the flat end?
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Posts: 2,084

Winsight - '00 Honda Insight
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Uhg please don't cut the springs. The ride quality will be absolutely terrible. The bafoon I bought my Miata from did that and it was awful. I understand I'm cutting down all of your ideas, I'm just trying to help.

A front air dam will have the same effect as lowering it, without the ride quality change.

Also removing your side mirrors (if legal) or swapping them with tiny motorcycle ones will also be fruitful.

A warm air intake would also be advised, but be careful because timing advance + hotter intake temps = pinging. It's a game of balance.

Rear wheel skirts would also be a cheap, effective way to boost some FE.

Swapping to 14 inch rims (insight or civic HX rims specifically) on Re92's will also help. (if they will fit).
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
Master Ecomadman
 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,103

sc1 - '98 saturn sc1
Team Saturn
90 day: 43.17 mpg (US)

Airplane Bike - '11 home built Carp line Tour

rans - '97 rans tailwind

tractor - '66 International Cub cadet 129

2002 Space Odyssey - '02 Honda Odyssey EX-L
90 day: 28.25 mpg (US)

red bug - '00 VW beetle TDI

big tractor - '66 ford 3400

red vw - '00 VW new beetle TDI
90 day: 58.42 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 287 Times in 194 Posts
Ive already played with the ignition timing, that's simple by ear. It had a ping so I backed it off some.

I am thinking of lowering it. It looks like some people just cut the springs. How do they seat in the strut without the flat end?
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcosine View Post
Everything, maybe not so wise, more vise.


I had a dream, and in my dream I said "A man is nothing without his dreams".
There's already a car that looks like this.

And I don't mean the G1 Insight.


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