Feedback and expertise/experience requested, please
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Author:  Lihtan [ Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Still Grinding Away

Dan White wrote:
2) I'm wondering about filling body channels full of 3X expanding insulating foam sealer to increase structural rigidity and noise deadening. Anybody done that? I'm well aware of the crash sections of the bodyshell not getting this treatment, as doing so would most definitely queer the dynamics of sheetmetal deformation that has been engineered into the crush zones. Nevertheless, the door sills, B and A-pillars, front A-arm horns, all look promising to me. Anybody done it?

I'd done a little bit of research into this, and you don't want to be using the aerosol foam you get from the hardware store, it's too soft once it cures. You want to get some two part polyurethane foam. The higher the density, the better. More info in this thread:

Author:  Dan White [ Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Second Best Tomorrow

Foam in question was unavailable in Austin, near as I can tell, so using Tizard's truly excellent motto, "Second Best Tomorrow"* I went off to the big box store and bought 20 (yes, twenty) 14 oz size cans of the household triple expanding foam and filled in. I wound up filling in all the body sections except the windshield header. There may be a section that I missed in the dash area. I also shot some at the web intersections of the underhood reinforcing panel, which I figure will alleviate the usual problems of adhesive failure that most all cars experience with this part, as well as help reduce noise transmission via oilcanning. As the beast isn't running yet, I can offer no feedback as to noise reduction (primary goal) or body chassis/handling improvements(secondary goal). I used some 3/16 clear vinyl tube to give me more reach, which worked, but damn, that foam sealant acts like a high-pressure lubricant when it is wet and I had a couple of blowoffs, despite my best efforts, to where certain parts of my car now look like they were sneezed on by some terribly ill giant. Got some cleaning up to do--glad the interior was out, glad the car is going to see a repaint one day.
For additional sound control, I went out and bought a one-gallon kit of pickup truck bedliner, which I plan on painting on the interior sheetmetal in useful places. Net weight gain of all this sound deadening will be +- 35 lbs, which isn't too bad.

One more question concerning G-10 engine flywheels. They weigh a ton, and have that extra mass in the flange at the outside. Has anyone machined them for street use, and if they have, were they happy with the results?
*Tizard was the British scientist most responsible for Britain having a working radar system at the start of WW II. His nemesis was a fellow by the name of Cherwell, who was a crony of Churchill's. Tizard won the day in the radar battles with Cherwell, largely on his above motto of "Second Best Tomorrow". Tizard wanted technology that was working now, imperfections and all, while Cherwell, like most gadgeteers and software engineers, was entranced at the technology that would beat all that was just around the corner, honest. Cherwell wound up screwing Tizard careerwise, with his Churchill connection, for the rest of the war--rather a sore loser. C.P. Snow tells the story in his truly excellent book "Science and Government", which not only is a great read, but also has the singular virtue of being short.

Author:  Metropwr [ Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

I used that Home Depot shit once before in my van that had 2 - 15's. It is indeed urethane but it needs air to cure. I filled in every damn nook and cranny that I could to find out that it only formed a skin when it cured. Even two years later I could poke at the skin of it and the foam was still active. On some hot days I would go out to the van to find out a new active pocket of that stuff became active and got crap everywhere.

I think the triple expanding stuff you are taking about cures with moisture.

I would rather spend my money and mail order the two part urethane foam so I know for sure it is doing it's job right and curing properly.

Author:  Gasoline Fumes [ Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Still Grinding Away

Dan White wrote:
Another posting mentioned the problem of attaching the reel assembly to the bodyshell due to lack of access for a nut to replace the missing 6 mm weldnut on bodyshell @ top of reel assembly. SOLUTION IS the old trick of stripping a 2' or so piece of house wire--12 or 14 GA solid copper--out of a piece of Romax, and grabbing the nut thru its center with a pair of needlenose pliers and the wire and winding the wire hell tight one turn around the nut. Basically there isn't a nut that can't get put on a bolt using this trick, if you can see what you are doing. Here, there's plenty of visibility and good access thru holes in bodyshell channel to where it warnt that tough.

Thanks for posting that! It worked! :D
But it did take a while to get the screw to catch the threads on the nut.

Author:  Dan White [ Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Much aggravations, mostly small

Several discoveries since last post. First, it seems that the 1.0 l flywheel has this really gross extra mass in a flange at its circumferance. No doubt put there for making it easier for Granny to drive the car, but the saying is 1 lb on the flywheel is like 5 on the chassis, and extra mass at the end of a rotating crankshaft is in general a bad idea. Weight being the enemy, I figured to machine it off, but the flywheel is just a little too big for use on my buddy's lathe. THEN I was advised by 3Tech that the 1.3l flywheel is a bolton, lighter, and takes a bigger clutch. Trip to San Antonio, get the flywheel, run it by Dennis' and have it resurfaced in exchange for the earlier resurfaced flywheel (Thanks, Dennis, but I am still a little red under the collar about the 25% bump on the machine shop ticket). Get a new clutch exchange from Van's, and on building the engine discover that Van's clutches are no longer Aisan, but are some semi-solid piece of digestive endproduct from China, and don't fit quite right. Looked like a decent enough clutch otherwise, but hell, if I want a Chinese POS clutch for cheap, I'll buy one of the $25 numbers off E-bay. Vans is still working on a clutch, should have it tomorrow. Good news is that the clutch disc is something like 15% larger in area, so this might mean that I will never have to do a clutch on the car, provided I don't lend it out to bozos who can't drive a stick. Done that before.

Additional delays due to missing hollow guide dowels lost in machine shop. Seems to have gone missing a couple of the cam tower bearing guide dowels and the cylinder head to block dowels. Lesson learned--much as you yourself are responsible for wiring together all the parts that go into a cleaning tank to where they don't get lost, you yourself are responsible for pulling all the hollow dowels on every part you send to the machine shop. Pull all the sensors, too. Whatever the aggravations are in the yanking and wiring together and sorting out are, they are less than the aggravations caused by arguing with the machine shop and waiting on them to make things right, which of course occurs on their schedule, not yours. For those of you who don't know the trick on pulling hollow guide dowels, which tend to be a royal bitch to pull at times due to electrolysis, what you do is go off to your drill index and find a drill bit that is the tightest fit possible inside the dowel. Hold the drill shank in the dowel, grab the dowel with your Vise-Grips, and twist and pull. Having the drill bit inside keeps you from crushing the guide dowel, which will likely as not happen if the thing is any stuck in at all. Any Vise-Grip hickeys on the dowel can be polished off with sandpaper.

Finished up the foamin, finally. Used a total of 22 cans, of which 1 might have been the total weight of leakout and wastage. Maybe 1 1/2, counting some interesting spoogeout that occured from the sills into the rear quarter cavity. Facts of automotive life concerning small cars is that they all suffer greatly from too much cost engineering, as they all are loss leaders, sold at a loss, by the Big 3. Ford has never made a cent on the Escort, GM's J-bodies all are money losers, and word I hear is that contrary to the PR when it came out, Chrysler loses money on every Neon. But every Escort sold allows the sale of an Excursion without paying onerous EPA mileage penalties, and the SUV's and giant pickups are so damned fat that there's quite some room for continued losses in small cars in Detroit. A small car nowadays simply has smaller parts, not fewer parts, and it just doesn't cost that much less to manufacture than any other vehicle. First round of import cars--Beetles, for example, that wasn't the case.

This leads us, the automobile-y knowledgeable, to act on our car projects to correct as best we can the engineering deficiencies when we decide to do a car project. On this beast, all the early substandard brakes and suspension have gone away. Bigger wheels and tires, to where the thing will be an actual four passenger vehicle--Metros aren't, not in my book, not from how they squat down and dogtrack going down the highway with a full passenger load. Correct NVH deficiencies--foam and bedliner paint--Detroit has the general idea that if you buy a small car, you deserve a tinny and noisy drive. Once I finally get the thing running, it'll be interesting to see how much results my efforts have yielded.

I'm curious to the extent to where I went by UT's automotive engineering Friday drinking gettogether and talked to a couple of profs I know slightly about it. They seemed interested some in my idea to instrument up my car and a comparo vehicle or two--say a stock MK2 and a stock MK3--and looking at the results. Braking, handling, and noise levels are the investigatory targets. Library research in the SAE archives concerning use of foam in vehicle body cavities is interesting, but is lacking in actual vehicle test results. Foam of course blocks noise transmission down the cavity itself, but how much noise reduction this actually yields doesn't seem to be investigated, probably on account of the difficulty and variances that exist in different vehicles. There's also a documented benefit caused by increasing structural rigidity and a consequent reduction in low-frequency noises due to reduction in body flex and boom. The places where it did the most good aren't necessarily the intuitively obvious places, either, near as I can tell from the limited literature--Chrysler foamed up a Cherokee BIW (Body-In-White) and found the most benefits coming from the areas in the bodyshell aft of the rear axle. No SAE data to speak of on chassis rigidity yielding handling benefits. There is definitely a call for some vehicles to get foamed and instrumented and tested--no one ever seems to have done the actual fieldwork. I suspect that Detroit et all are not too enthused about foam in general on account of the problems it causes in the paint process if so much as a single speck goes astray onto the body, and there's also the time factors involved in foam curing, even for the two-part catalyzed stuff, which would distinctly cause problems in current assembly line operations. Nevertheless, Lexus, Infinity, and now Ford (F-150) are using foam to some extent or another in their vehicles for NVH/structural reasons .

Will it happen? I was advised by a buddy of mine, ME PHD from there, author of the only real invention UT's ME department ever made, that they might be curious, but they aren't going to be curious enough to do anything unless I give them money. He thought that $5k should get their attention and a grad student for a semester. UT's motto really should be "Money Talks", as opposed to the Bible verse about the truth setting you free. I'll see what I can do. It is worth doing. I have already given UT enough money in my life for the useless liberal arts degree I got from those wankers to where I am not going to give them any more ever. But the ME profs are a good bunch, so something may happen. Will keep all posted.

Tried installing the one true piece of go-fast excrement I bought--the front suspension brace I bought from Turbinetech. Didn't fit. Much communication with Jess in Quebec, which all went well, and the upshot is that there seems to be something wrong with the distance between the two front a-arm to body attaching bolts. It is off by 5/8" from what the suspension brace says it should be. Factory manual does not give a dimension for that distance--Thanks GM!--and the illustration in the GM factory manual for body dimensions is a true atrocity of CAD and cheap low-budget printing. Thanks again, GM! I suspect that either the car hit a good sized pothole or was simply built wrong. I'd go with the latter. Looks like once it is up and running it is going off to Ed's Frame Shop for an alignment and bend back into place. Another unplanned expense, one that ironicallly if I hadn't bothered with the improved and better part one I may have never found out about. One thing about running a vehicle thru a good repair facility's frame machine after a wreck--sometimes it drives better after than before, as a good frame man can do a better job than the assembly line does on getting everything in alignment. It does cost, though.

Author:  Woodie [ Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Much aggravations, mostly small

Dan White wrote:
Tried installing the one true piece of go-fast excrement I bought--the front suspension brace I bought from . Didn't fit. Much communication with Quebec, and the upshot is that there seems to be something wrong with the distance between the two front a-arm to body attaching bolts. It is off by 5/8" from what the suspension brace says it should be.

Mine was off by about 1/8" and the holes weren't big enough. Luckily I had sprung for the aluminum, so it wasn't hard to address both problems at once. I just reamed out the holes in the direction it needed to be. My problem was not with the car, as it has never been in an accident and has never had any alignment issues. 5/8" is a completely different story.

Author:  Dan White [ Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Another pointer worth passing on to everyone concerns what to get done at the machine shop. Most everyone knows to trust their local automotive machinist's opinions on valve and valve guide replacements, rebore versus hone, and so on. One thing that most people seem to be overlooking is checking the manifold faces for flatness. Everything metal that goes thru a heat/cool cycle a bunch of times is going to warp sooner or later. There's a slight possibility, but one that needs checking, of the intake manifold warping, as the EGR part of it gets fairly warm. Chevrolet 350's are notorious for this. Bigger problem is with the exhaust manifold, which gets a bunch hotter. I'd say it is certain that every Swift exhaust manifold needs machining back to flat at overhaul time or any time the head gets pulled. Mine was out of flat by .030, which is way too much to correct by gasket and a tight wrenchdown. Dean, Van's in-house Geo mechanic of a decade's standing, points out that from his experience on these cars that the commonest engine fail on a maintained vehicle (one that isn't run out of oil, water, or has a t-stat failure) is an exhaust valve burning. Dean says that almost always that exhaust valve burns after the exhaust manifold starts to leak at that branch at the head. $25 got mine flat again--money well spent.

Author:  Calrenman [ Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Just a quik Q. Are the springs from the front and rear four door (Metro/Corolla?) Thicker but interchangable? Thanks.


Dan White wrote:
Well, things are taking longer than expected, that's always the case with a project car, or any other serious project. Things I have found out are: 4-door Geo Metro's, 95+, have larger drums, rear bearings/hub assembly (separate from the drum), and larger diameter spindles on a larger rear knuckle. That's what I'm trying to put on my car. They are basically identical to Esteem drums and spindles EXCEPT the Esteem has a different bolt hole pitch so they don't interchange. DAMN. I need to turn up a good used set of the bearing/hubs, as the ones I got with my suspension complete package had been underwater at the junkyard and were consequently rusty and junk. QUESTION IS if the bearing hub from an ABS-equipped Swift will work on a non-ABS swift. The book shows them as not interchanging, but of course it would say that--one of those CWAWP* things--I would like to know if they'd interchange, if there is any difference other than the sensor ring. Had a set apart yesterday but didn't have the two side by side to find out, so I missed out on a cheap set at a U-Pull-It in Houston. Austin is not blessed with UPT's, so I am expected to pay $35/ea, or more, which is a little steep. But, it's better than the dealer, who wants something like $185/ea for new ones. Part unavailable from aftermarket. Clearly GM's resentment at having to sell this car and how little money it made its service departments is shown by its parts pricing policies. GM--a dinosaur looking for a place to die.

The easier and probably better--less weight, who needs bigger drums much anyway? is to use the 2-door drums, which are the same size as the 94-earlier drums, fit on the same (small diameter) spindles, all that, but have the larger studs for 13" and larger wheels. Live and learn. However, on my junkyard cruises, most all the later Metro's with the front and rear swaybar packages were 4-doors. Why?

Other suspension discoveries are that the 4-door 95-up rear springs are about 1/2"-3/4" longer than 94-earlier springs, and are made of .025" larger diameter wire. (.74cm versus .68 cm to all you in the metric world.) Same wire diameter difference in the front springs, but spring length unchanged. Urethane bump stops larger diameter and longer in later vehicles. Rubber spring isolator in the later Metros not present in earlier Metros. Had to use a special high-dollar wall-mounted spring compressor to change out the front strut cartridges, usual cheap generic spring compressor wouldn't compress spring enough. Suzuki Esteem front suspension knuckles look like they interchange, as do smaller parts like sway bar end links. Brakes look like they'd work, problem is with the different bolt hole pattern on the wheels. Other Esteem parts--suspension arms, for example--MIGHT work, but without having both side by side I would not venture to say. This is a research project that needs doing. I encourage someone out there to tear the two cars apart at a U-Pull-IT some Saturday and do a comparo and report. Moving Esteem parts over en bloc to an earlier Metro might well be viable, and would yield some different wheel rim choices. Useless dealer parts books tell nothing.

Have a hard time believing that I'm the first person out there to do a complete late to early suspension swapover. I will report the results as they occur. I will have a friend of mine, Hector Mendieta, do a report on my Metro versus a stock Van's Auto Parts Metro--Hector's been racing SCCA since he got his driver's license, and has lots of stock Metro driving hours, courtesy of work, under his belt. He'd be a good expert reviewer. Ride's apt to be rough, handlings apt to be pretty good.

*CYAWP--a bureaucratic acronym for Cover Your Ass With Paper.

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