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Johnny Mullet 08-24-2009 01:40 PM

Reviving another Metro
This will be a "DIY" on purchasing and rebuilding/repairing a used Geo Metro for a budget of $1000 including the purchase price of the used car.

I was hoping to get the wife a really nice Metro since she wants another one, but we found an ad on craigslist for a local Metro for sale and the price was cheap. We visited the guy who was about 4 miles from our house and checked it out. Using my own info from the Metro Buyer's Guide I was armed with the info I needed. Right away, I noticed the rocker panel rust and rear fender rust. First thing I did was inspect the front control arm mounts and they were actually in better shape then the ones on my other Metro. I inspected and tested all the other items and figured it was worth saving. Here it is when we first got it home.........

The car only has 69,000 miles on it, but surprisingly, the #3 cylinder was dead. I was aware of this when I test drove it. We got the car for the same price we paid for Christine. This car has a decent frame, a good transmission, a decent interior, nice dash and un-molested stereo, and no dents on the body.

After my inspection I got a list of what the car needs.

Head rebuild (bottom end inspection)
Oil pan (repaired at one time with fiberglass)
Front pads and rotors (The front brakes are toast)
Exhaust repairs (cat, resonator)
Tires (2 are bald)
Body work (see pics below)

So the plan is this. I am going to tear down the engine and rebuild the head. The oil pan will get replaced, but I will also inspect the pistons. With 69K, I might get away with just the top end. I am going to fix the exhaust, brakes, tires, and all the other minor mechanical issues. After it's roadworthy, the car will be getting some body work done by a guy I work with who is pretty good at it. We will use factory matching paint. The window tint on the car looks horrible, and all the tint will be removed and professionally installed.

I will keep you all up to date!

Total invested = $450.00 (purchase price)

MetroMPG 08-24-2009 02:15 PM

Doh! I opened this thread thinking we were going to see the start of a thread about a "skunkworks" Metro - as in: you've already got the nice red one, and this was going to be the crazy modded one!

(Not that there's anything wrong with fixing up a car for the missus !)

Johnny Mullet 08-24-2009 03:44 PM

I was going to do the Singh grooves on the "Detailed Head Rebuild", but never did. I think I will do this on blue.

So this morning, the head got removed and placed on the bench. I always remove the head with the intake attached since it's so much easier that way..............

Here is why there was no compression on #3 cylinder...........

So I removed the intake and set it aside.............

I then removed the cam, lifters, and valves keeping it all in order.............

Now on to the block. Notice the head gasket holes on the upper left and right sides........

Someone has been in here before. Anyway, it's time to perform the block prep and testing. I cleaned the block surface with a mild roloc disc and blew out the head bolt holes........

Then to check the bottom end, I used cleaning solvent used in shop parts wash tanks and poured it into the cylinders to see if the solvent runs through the cylinders............

No leakdown there, so I can trust the bottom end since there was no smoke or noises. Using a brush, I cleaned the top of the pistons with a brush using the solvent already in there........

Next steps will be doing the valve job and cleaning the lifters.

Johnny Mullet 08-24-2009 06:49 PM

Cleaned out the EGR port through the head.............

Piston tops came out nice. The rest of the carbon will be removed with a kitchen teaspoon and then I will rotate the crank to bring each one up, remove carbon, and used compressed air to clean around the sides of the pistons on low pressure, but since I'm dropping the pan, I might just go ahead and re-ring it............

Tomorrow, I need to bring my cutting wheel to hack the darn exhaust downpipe bolts. The heads are totally rounded off and I will have better luck cutting, extracting, and re-installing. I will also swap out the 2 bad tires with a good pair I took off of my Metro. I still have to get those lifters apart and cleaned and clean up the intake valves. I am getting stainless steel exhaust valves from 3Tech and they should arrive shortly.

swede 08-27-2009 09:31 AM

Nice work.
A quick word for the less experienced though, when you use roloc discs on an aluminum head or block you must be extremely careful not to over do it or you will end up cutting into the soft aluminum. This will result in a poor headgasket seal and you may end up needing to get the head or block refaced.
Ive seen this done in my shop a time or two and its not pretty.
Done right however the rolocs are amazing for gasket removal and sealing surface prep.!!

Christ 08-27-2009 12:01 PM

Yay Johnny!

I'd still love to find a 3cyl/5 speed in even half decent condition... then having time/money/a place to do this. Then again, I'd probably want to swap a small diesel into it for the money.

bgd73 08-27-2009 01:24 PM

that is great work. if I was to choose a geo, it is model of engine in photos. great find. I see the back end has high fuel mileage physics. there is even special tires for this. (thicker "edges"). The egr..if legal where you live, block it off and conform vacuum valves and carb to not having it...hypermiling begins there, and that also stops strangeness on body and exhaust.headgaskets stay sealed, studs stay studs, pipes stay pipes, paint stays paint, tires stay tires...and the cabin is a natural cool and odored by nature, no strangeness...and of there is a leaking acetone truck in front of the car to suck on..guess what? it is no longer A BOMB waiting to happen.:confused:

Johnny Mullet 08-27-2009 09:39 PM

Cleaned the rust scale from the rims after getting decent tires on it...........

Paint and tire shine............

have you given any thought to this procedure?

What the hell.............

Die Grinder tomorrow :)

Christ 08-27-2009 10:18 PM

Singh Grooves

Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet (Post 124265)
Cleaned the rust scale from the rims after getting decent tires on it...........

Paint and tire shine............

What the hell.............

Die Grinder tomorrow :)

I'm not disputing the validity of the claims for Singh Grooves, but damn, it seems like something that helps as much as the claims represent, you'd think it'd be a little more precise than that image... Just sayin'... ;)

Johnny Mullet 08-27-2009 10:53 PM

Precision is for picky people :)

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