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Old 03-04-2009, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Geo - '89 Geo Metro
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Modifying an 89 Geo Transmission

Background: Bought a 1989 Geo Metro, rebuilt the engine (I also painted it for extra hp!) and now it's a hoot to drive. Only problem was the third gear was tricky to get into -- push it in and press up-and-left -- and I can't downshift into third. Then I noticed the clutch was slipping -- it looked alright when I put the engine back in, that and I can't get one for under $200 made me decide to wing it. And, last but not least, both the CV joints are bad, and '89 joints are hard to come by. I replaced the worst one, and the transmission oil came out looking like mercury! Bad sign!

Now: Thinking ahead to the summer (when I am out of school for a while) and finally being able to work on the Geo, I had an idea: '89 parts are hard to come by, and Geo parts are fairly modular, so why not slap a '94 transmission, clutch, and CV joints on instead?

Anybody see a problem with that? I am already probably replacing the transmission because the third gear issue, and I need new parts all the way to the wheels, so why not?

Then, I was thinking, I thought I heard somewhere that there is a slightly different transmission you can put in, one that is a little stronger. Any ideas?

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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The transmissions came with the same gear ratios, but different final drive ratios. You could install a transmission with a taller final, which would lower your RPM in all gears for a given road speed. = slower acceleration, potentially slightly more clutch wear, and better fuel economy.

Project 'nerd gear': taller tranny transplant nets +5.2% MPG - MetroMPG.com
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #3 (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: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
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PS - I don't know about the '89s -- if they're fully compatible with the later years. My '98 has the transaxle from a '93 in it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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WonderWagon - '94 Ford Escort LX
Last 3: 51.52 mpg (US)

DaBluOne - '99 Ford Escort SE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
PS - I don't know about the '89s -- if they're fully compatible with the later years. My '98 has the transaxle from a '93 in it.
Wikipedia - so who knows how accurate - but FWIW this page indicates:
  • Geo Metro was based on Suzuki Cultus
  • 89-94 were GEN-II
  • 95-97 Geo Metros & 98-01 Chevy Metros were GEN-III.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you drain that trans after getting it warm and refill it with Synchromesh, you might get that gear back. It's worth a shot. I got 2nd gear back on my old transmission this way.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #6 (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: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,235
Thanked 6,089 Times in 3,155 Posts
That's good advice, Mullet. 2nd gear stopped grinding on my first Firefly when I went from owner's manual-recommended 70w90 to Synchromesh.

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Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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