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Old 05-26-2019, 03:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Jimmy - '00 GMC Jimmy SLT
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Sorry to have been away so long. In late 2013, I lost the transmission in the White Gnat, so haven't driven it since. I was fully intending to replace/repair it, but then I learned that those things are apparently RARE and EXPENSIVE to fix. I was going to do it - had the money saved-up and everything, but then my wife (as well as the transmission guy) asked if I REALLY thought it was a good investment spending nearly $3000 to rebuild the transmission in a car that wasn't even worth that.

My first response was, "Of course! It's the Gnat, and I can get 60 mpg in it." But eventually I came to my senses and realized that money could probably be better spent on something else. (It didn't help that my wife had always hated that car...)

So since then, the poor Gnat has been sitting in the back lot of the parcel next door to my mom's house (that she also owns) with a great running engine, but shot tranny. :-(

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Old 05-26-2019, 07:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A used transmission shouldn't be more than about $100. A parts car with a good transmission shouldn't be much more than about $100.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had the same thought. I regulalrly see transmissions for $100 - 250 in my classified email alerts for Swifts & Metros.

Anyway, welcome back, wmjinman and thanks for the update. What have you been driving while the Swift is out of commission?
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Jimmy - '00 GMC Jimmy SLT
90 day: 21.18 mpg (US)

The White Gnat - '99 Suzuki Swift
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I admit I didn't do a "thoroughly exhaustive" search for a transmission, but I checked a couple sites that are supposed to be linked to a network of salvage yards as well as my local Pick N Pull, who claimed to also search their other locations and couldn't find any in their system, either.

Then I went to the local Aamco transmission joint (who has an ok reputation around here) to see about having it fixed, and that's when the guy told me the problem with them. ...Since Suzuki has stopped selling cars in the US, there isn't the option of a local parts support, either. Then he went on to tell me that those 5 speed transmissions are the "weak link" in them, and they aren't in junk yards because that's either what's wrong with them in the first place, or someone has beat me to them. He did a search of his sources anyway, and said the only thing he found were "cores".

Then he said he knew a guy in - I wanna say Beverly Hills - who used to rebuild them and that he could check with him. That's where I got the $2700 quote - the local Aamco would take it out, ship it down there, then get it shipped back and installed. So...

I don't know - maybe it's a bunch of bull****, but when I couldn't find any either, I thought maybe he was telling me the truth... ?
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Anyway, welcome back, wmjinman and thanks for the update. What have you been driving while the Swift is out of commission?
With both the Jimmy AND the Swift out of commission, we were down to my wife's '97 Buick Riviera. She doesn't believe in hypermiling, so it made no sense to try when she'd get in it next and just waste gas left and right. Then that poor car got old & worn out, so we got a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. THAT was a nice car! And I could get 30 mpg without even trying! But in December, I wrecked it. Turns out it was totalled. :-(

Fortunately, I'd JUST gotten my Jimmy running again in November - maybe October, so there was that. The wife got an '18 Hyundai Tucson, so that's her primary transportation now and the Jimmy's mine.

I put some slightly larger, slightly more aggressive tires on it to make it a better 4 wheel drive to get up into the mountains with, so that hurt the mpg. I'm doing good to get 18 with it now. But maybe I could still do an air dam or something. I still drive it using many hypermiling techniques and still like to see how good I can do...
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Jimmy - '00 GMC Jimmy SLT
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Thanks: 236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I regulalrly see transmissions for $100 - 250 in my classified email alerts for Swifts & Metros.

Anyway, welcome back, wmjinman and thanks for the update.
Oh, and thanks for the welcome back, MetroMPG! It's nice to be back!

You're in Canada, aren't you? If you ever get wind of a Suzuki 5-speed manual that's a little closer to me (Nevada, USA), I'd love to find one!!!
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm not surprised they had no luck tracking down a trans via the junkyard network - the NEWEST Swift is now 19 years old. They don't keep around little econobox cars that old.

You'd have better luck finding someone local who has a parts car. Post a want ad on craigslist. Ask on Geometroforum.

I have a couple of spare ones, but shipping from Canada would be stupid expensive... buy local!
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Jimmy - '00 GMC Jimmy SLT
90 day: 21.18 mpg (US)

The White Gnat - '99 Suzuki Swift
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I saw an ad for one in Reno awhile back, but he wanted like $3000, and I don't remember how many miles he said he had on it, or if he said, but just like the Aamco route of shipping it off, it would be the same amount of money, AND it would be a used transmission, so how much life would be left in it? And of course, I didn't just have $3000 laying around with nothing better to do with it.

One thing that irritates me is that I got an almost new engine for it back around 2012 or whenever, and it's in AWESOME shape. An automatic transmission came with that engine, but we discarded it because I had my own 5 speed manual, right? So now I have a good, nearly new engine, but no tranny. UGGHHHH!!!
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder if there are any other cars whose transmissions would be swappable..
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Jimmy - '00 GMC Jimmy SLT
90 day: 21.18 mpg (US)

The White Gnat - '99 Suzuki Swift
Team Suzuki
90 day: 51.87 mpg (US)
Thanks: 236
Thanked 109 Times in 87 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
I wonder if there are any other cars whose transmissions would be swappable..
I wondered about that. And also about whether I could even swap in a whole different engine/transmission drivetrain. The hot rodders/race car builders do it all the time. But to get better mpg? It would have to be something at least as good as stock though. Maybe something out of a motorcycle? I saw a video once of someone testing out a Metro with, I think, a 650 motorcycle engine and and transmission.

Of course, it also seems really weird just replacing that nice, almost new engine it's got in it now.

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