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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:57 pm 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Sounds like you've got it all figured out. I only know from my own experience, and in my experience i have never seen a lifter go bad. It can happen for sure.
I do know that when i do a refresh all at once(rings, bearings, valves) that if i get done to fast the engine has no compression because of the lifters getting pumped up when they are removed and set on the bench. It used to worry me, but now i know that there is nothing wrong, if i come out in the morning it will fire up and run perfectly. If i am in a rush i pull the offending cylinder plug and light it up on two cyls. As soon as it is running the lifter settles into position and it all seals properly.

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1995 Gt Mustang "Boss Shinoda" package.
1999 F150 4x4 Supercharged
1967 Mustang 428 auto, never ending expensive project
1993 Civic si h22a, fell in my lap, couldn't resist!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Location: Victoria BC
Pulling a plug wire, i will remamber that just in case. I know my lifter siezed going up a long hill at full thro. i felt it serge and loose power .maybe if i pulled over and tried your idea it may have saved me some work. :) I didn't know what the serge was till I checked my compression but if there is ever a next time....

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:45 pm 
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Location: Utah
Stopped by a machine shop on an errand for a friend today. The guy happened to be holding a metro 1.0 head when I walked in the door. Said he does plenty of them. Said that the lifters are over-sized for this application and when oil weight is at all heavier than specified, the lifter holds the valve just off the seat so that it cannot cool off. He didn't think plugged EGR was ever a factor.

He recommended running the lightest oil possible to prevent this failure. When he rebuilds one, he also uses a stronger exhaust valve spring.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:28 am 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Its all theory, discussed over and over. I can't prove him wrong, as im sure his heads work perfectly after. But having done a rather large number using original springs and lifters(no idea really how many anymore maybe up to 200-300+) and only having one come back to me, i just don't buy any of these theories. The one that came back used oil right after the head job and went about 30,000kms and burnt one of my new valves. I did new valves, rings etc when i fixed it and can be certain it won't burn again for a long time. I don't know exactly how far these heads are going after i'm done but i have seen quite a few go 100k past my work with no sign of problems. If springs were an issue they would be weaker as they got older and valves would burn that much faster. With no oil getting at them and ignition timing set at a good point they seem to go for as long or longer than they did when they were new.

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1995 Swift w/16V 4.39s, 3tech cam, Esteem t-body, Header, needs more.
1995 Gt Mustang "Boss Shinoda" package.
1999 F150 4x4 Supercharged
1967 Mustang 428 auto, never ending expensive project
1993 Civic si h22a, fell in my lap, couldn't resist!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
All I know is that the new rings did a couple things; 1.) virtually eliminate oil consumption, 2.) keep the oil much cleaner for much longer and 3.)stopped the valves from burning.

I'm coming up on 9,000 miles on this last "rebuild" since just last fall when I got it running again. So yeah, I drive a lot of miles. Got it running again at around 138,7xx and now it has 147,0xx miles. This final rengine build had *zero* changes than the previous one with the exception of new piston rings and a glaze break job.

In some cases, if the lifters really are causing this problem, something as simple as not changing the oil could result in this lifter malfunction... weight of the oil may not be important, but as it became really gunky like mine did, I could see it happening. My oil got quite gunky in 700 miles and I'd have to add a quart of fresh oil in 500 or so.

So, if someone just decided to go 8000 miles without changing oil, boom, burned valves. New head, new oil and regular changes later, and no more valve burning. I think about this every day and am more and more thinking that it is, indeed, a lifter issue. I never had any visible carbon buildup on the valve stem or the seat. And the cylinder #1 lifter may have been just a little bit more worn out than the others, and just happen to bleed down better.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:33 am 
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Still running fine. Lots of highway miles and the valves haven't acted up at all. Oil consumption still negligible.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:43 am 
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born2pdl wrote:
Said that the lifters are over-sized for this application and when oil weight is at all heavier than specified, the lifter holds the valve just off the seat so that it cannot cool off. He didn't think plugged EGR was ever a factor.

He recommended running the lightest oil possible to prevent this failure. When he rebuilds one, he also uses a stronger exhaust valve spring.


Not sure about this one. Could be but the only thing that makes me doubt it is that the GTs use the same lifter, IIRC, but the recommended oil is 10W30 instead of the 5W30 for SOHC engines. This would mean that the DOHC motors would burn valves faster, according to his theory. But that, from reading on here, is not the case.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:55 am 
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phantomrt wrote:
I think about this every day and am more and more thinking that it is, indeed, a lifter issue. I never had any visible carbon buildup on the valve stem or the seat. And the cylinder #1 lifter may have been just a little bit more worn out than the others, and just happen to bleed down better.


I used to burn exhaust valves in my MK1s. I learned a bit about the EGR systems here at Teamswift and decided to make sure my passages were open, and not blocked. Not sure if it's the EGR passage cleaning, but I haven't burned an exhaust valve in several years.
...and the MK1 engines don't have hydraulic lifters :?: :?: :?: The rings are quite important; if you can afford Hastings, I wouldn't hesitate to put them in.

Your experience with the Hastings Piston Rings seems similar to mine. That engine hasn't burned an exhaust valve since I went .020 over and used their rings, however...the other engines that I've been using NPR rings are doing good, too. We aren't putting quite as many miles on our engines as you, but you get the idea. :thumb2: :thumb2: :thumb2:

Maintaining a couple of these Suzuki econo-subcompacts has loosened up our wallet. Now, if I want to buy some nice things for the car - under body brace, reground cams - we can afford it. Years ago, that wasn't the case.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:21 am 
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Location: Minnesota
Gas mileage dropped as low as 42 in the Minnesota cold in recent months, but now the temps have been in the mid 30's for highs and mid teens for low and I got 48 mpg with my last tank of gas.
I don't think I ever drove it in ~80 degree weather with all 3 cylinders working at full strength. It'll be fun to see the 50 mpg mark repeatedly once the weather warms up even more. It makes me want to go the reground cam route for fun.

As far as economics go..

$600 purchase price (back when values were inflated due to gas prices)
$75 title transfer and vehicle registration
$200 new radiator (original was trashed)
~$150 in some replacement body parts since it was crashed when I bought it.
$44 2nd gear synchronizer ring
$35 new water pump
$120 gasket set
$300 head rebuild
$300 next head rebuild ***
$70 2nd head gasket ***
$160 third head rebuild ***
$42 3rd head gasket ***
$65 set of Hastings rings
$108 in wheel bearings
$5 for passenger side hub
$30 timing belt
$20 coolant
$other stuff I'm forgetting

So, ~$2320 wrapped up into this car. Wow. But figure the *** items didn't have to be done, it would be $1730 or so. The *** items were more educational costs. For awhile, I was driving it at about 33 mpg when it was running on 1.5 good cylinders in very cold weather.

So far, it went from 126,700 to 150,032 miles under my ownership. That is 23,332 miles. If fuel averaged $2.50 a gallon, and my other car averaged 28 mpg, and the Geo averaged 44 mpg, it equates to $758 in fuel savings. The car cost me $1550 or so.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:37 am 
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Location: Minnesota
Still running great! I didn't have to touch the oil at all for about 3300 miles and I just changed it and it still looked good. Last tank of gas netted 51 mpg. Late last week, I bumped the ignition timing a bit (without using a timing light) and if it was at 7 degrees before, it is guestimated at 9-10 degrees now. I also turned down the idle speed for the summer. The hastings piston rings are obviously working great, and valves are not burning anymore.

Also got two very new-looking tires from the junk yard for $32 with rims.

If its frying valves and consuming oil, re-ring the darn thing (properly) like those other members told me to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:44 pm 
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Location: Alberta canada
there is a lot of good advice here. i am a tech with 10 + yrs g.m. and in the early days of my career i owned and worked on a fair number of 3cyl 1.0's The plugged exhaust was always blamed for burnt exhaust valves and i was never sold. Almost every engine with hydraulic lifters that i saw had been abused with 10w30 and very long service intervals. My local machine shop at the time used to put the lifters in a press and compress the old oil out of them. if new lifters were not used they would burn valves again in very short order. i always took the lifters apart and totally cleaned them with brake cleaner. I took the check ball and spring apart and cleaned them too. I found that slight heat allowed the plunger to come out of the main housing easier. i only did one at a time to keep from mixing internals. Once reassembled the lifters could take up to 30 minutes to bleed completely. I just recently bought a 91 firefly and a 91 chev turbo sprint to try and build a nice turbo out of. There are so many nice cars on here! i missed driving these cars and i had no idea that they had such a following until i found this site and 3cylinders.com.


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:18 pm 
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So if this valve burning issue comes down to 2 problems, via general consensus, how is it that the number 1 exhaust valve never burns?
has anyone seen one go? i have not found one on this site, any other site, or in my personal experience.
Is it not possible that there is a basic cooling problem with cylinders 2 and 3 on the head?
how could there not be a problem if the number one exhaust valve never burns, Ceteris Paribus? (this means all other things remain the same)
any thoughts on this?

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 12:35 am 
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I have seen all valves burn. I have two cars sitting waiting to be done that have 0-60psi on all three cyls. They all take the same punishment, there may be subtle differences in heat, but they all work equally hard. When I remove both these heads all the exhaust valves will look equally bad. Sometimes they all just seal for quite a while then its just over, as is the case with these two little engines. New rings, rods, and valves and they will be on the road again problem-free for years!

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1995 Swift w/16V 4.39s, 3tech cam, Esteem t-body, Header, needs more.
1995 Gt Mustang "Boss Shinoda" package.
1999 F150 4x4 Supercharged
1967 Mustang 428 auto, never ending expensive project
1993 Civic si h22a, fell in my lap, couldn't resist!


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 1:16 am 
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Location: Olympia, WA
Dust Bucket burned the #1 and #2 exhaust valves and then sat for 7 years before I bought it:
Image

Full story with close-up shots of the exhaust valves here:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=43561

Here you can see what worn rings did to the kid's spark plugs and valves before they had a chance to actually burn:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42797
Note: I can't remember now, but I believe we swapped in 3Tech's stainless steel valves in and the problem just ended up repeating its self... His car has been sitting ever since. At the time I was wondering if he was running too rich, but if that's the case, I don't think the deposits on the spark plugs would have been white. Cars belch black smoke when they're running fuel rich.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:25 am 
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G-Whiz wrote:
Dust Bucket burned the #1 and #2 exhaust valves and then sat for 7 years before I bought it:
Image

Full story with close-up shots of the exhaust valves here:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=43561

Here you can see what worn rings did to the kid's spark plugs and valves before they had a chance to actually burn:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42797
Note: I can't remember now, but I believe we swapped in 3Tech's stainless steel valves in and the problem just ended up repeating its self... His car has been sitting ever since. At the time I was wondering if he was running too rich, but if that's the case, I don't think the deposits on the spark plugs would have been white. Cars belch black smoke when they're running fuel rich.


as far as numbers go this could easily be a fluke, and does not entirely refute my theory.
anyone else see number one valves burned, along with the other 2 or 3 exhaust valves?
thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:56 am 
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Many times.
No fluke there.

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:45 am 
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Ditto

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Location: Alberta canada
i think it depends on valve guide clearance and wear etc also. I have seen any and all valves burn too an d now that i am driving my poor rusty half a turbo car i am waiting to see how it holds up. The engine sat for a long time and i should really just rebuild it but it is running awesome for it's age. 1991 with a new turbo and overhaul 5 yrs ago and then parked. I plan on changing the oil every 1500kms for the first few months. i drive 160 km per day so.....


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
After another 2 month absence, I (the original poster to this thread) am just giving an update on things.

Its still running good. Mileage is up to 155,000 which is ~17,500 miles on the new piston rings. Oil consumption is down to seemingly ZERO! I am at 3500+ miles on my last oil change and its still quite clean and FULL. And no, coolant isn't replacing the oil. In fact, coolant consumption is nearly zero as well. I bring this thing to (est) 5500-6000 RPM at least once a day, and it sees lots of interstate miles. Still getting over 400 miles between fuel fill-ups.

This engine has been through a lot and has been disassembled and re-assembled re-using the old rod and main bearings pistons, etc and of course surely still has the .004" cylinder wall taper. Basically, as expected, it just doesn't sound like brand new. But that wasn't a concern of mine with this car. If you've seen this car and its multi-color, body rust, and golf-ball-like hail damage, a person can see why a bit of high-mileage engine noise is no big deal. It also has many exhaust leaks and an exhaust manifold gasket that has been re-used 3 times and needs to be replaced. So, it sounds like a beater and it is.

I also never, ever had a problem with the exhaust valve on cylinder #1. It was always the strong one. But, that could be because of coolant flow? Its just a theory that may or may not hold true. The coolant goes downward through the radiator and bottom-up in the engine, which means it's going to enter the block at the water pump. That side of the engine could be just a dozen degrees cooler, and just so happens to be enough to save the valve a bit longer. Or maybe the head casting has a little less meat between the coolant jacket and the #1 valve seat, so it just lasts a bit longer? Who knows. I doubt it is immune to the same destiny of #2 and #3.

One strange thing I wonder if someone can help me out with. When I am at highway speeds and let off the gas down a steep hill, I can smell oil-burning-like exhaust. It is only noticeable when the windows are open. I can never see a trace of blue exhaust behind me Now, the exhaust system does have many leaks, and the catalytic converter is gutted. Weird. Any thoughts on this? Not uncommon for a worn-out engine to burn oil after decelerating at high RPM.

Oh well. This car just has to save me another $1000 in fuel in order to pay for itself. That should happen in the next 30,000 miles.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:33 pm 
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There's not enough to be said about this car. There's almost no such thing as a "bad" parking spot with it, U-turns can be done anywhere, 51 mpg fuel economy, parts are pretty plentiful... the list goes on.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:09 pm 
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To those who may still be subscribed to this thread... Engine still running great. Probably better than ever. 22,000 miles on this last head rebuild and Hastings piston rings still doing their job. Oil consumption is still minimal. I finally bit the bullet and bought a new exhaust system. All new except the muffler which was in good shape. Also just bought 2 new tires. 155R12 tires aren't easy to come by!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:38 pm 
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That sounds great, question: where did you get the tires and the cost,

Thanks, :D :D :D :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:02 am 
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phantomrt wrote:
To those who may still be subscribed to this thread... Engine still running great. Probably better than ever. 22,000 miles on this last head rebuild and Hastings piston rings still doing their job. Oil consumption is still minimal. I finally bit the bullet and bought a new exhaust system. All new except the muffler which was in good shape. Also just bought 2 new tires. 155R12 tires aren't easy to come by!

Yep, I'm still subscribed.
One of our engines has those same rings and it also has 'minimal' oil consumption.
This guy just got a shade job:
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=48845
and we're waiting for the update.
But his engine is a bit older than yours.
Looking back over this thread several things come to mind:
It would appear that this first reply:
Quote:
Its the oil burning coupled with the late ignition timing.
The oil rings are likely stuck, due to poor maintenance.
Do the rings, install new exh valves, set the timing to 14 degrees BTDC, and call it a day.

was right on the mark. Shocking! :lol: :lol: :lol: Who is that guy, anyways?
I'm beginning to think that guy knows what he's talking about.
:dunno:

Next: No mention was ever made of the YEAR Model of the car.
Not that it's important, but it was mentioned that it's a Metro.

What kind of oil are you running these days?

Next: You mentioned in March a rundown of your costs. For less than $2000 you brought your car back up to factory specs. Considering the current mileage, has your initial investment been returned? (Gas mileage is still up there, right?)

Next: Transmission - what are you running in the tranny and how did it work through the Winter? Have you considered a different gear ratio?

Last: Exhaust - since replacing the exhaust, have you noticed an improvement? (no smell/fuel consumption/no more gutted cat/fumes inside the car)

I'm beginning to get the idea that your hard and careful work is paying off in the long run, even though originally you were stumped. And it's funny - earlier in the thread you bought 2 junkyard tires, but now you're buying new tires...almost like you can afford new tires/prefer new tires because the car has proved itself to be 'worth it'.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:20 am 
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The 155R12 tires I got from my cousin-in-law who runs a tire shop. He charged me $159 mounted and balanced for two. They were made by Goodride. Not Goodyear, but Goodride. They were the only ones HE could get. The other pair I have currently on the car are made by ???? I’d have to go out and look. Old tires on the car were Kumho Power Stars, which by the way, are absolutely useless in the snow. The other pair of tires were Arizonian tires, which worked good in the snow. I’m awaiting the day that I see how well these new ones do. The junk yard tires mentioned are still on the car right now. They couldn’t have had more than 1,000 miles on them. I only bought two NEW tires. The ones that were on the car when I got it were the Kumho’s and the Arizonians. They were out of balance, flat spotted, and cupped. The Arizonians held up pretty well though. The Kumho’s were garbage.

The “late” ignition timing, in my opinion, has nothing to do with it. Its only base advance, which the manufacturer can put wherever they say fits and may provide best engine starting or something and have the engine computer later advance to something much more energy efficient. I was already at 8 degrees, 3 more degrees than the factory 5 degrees, and still burned up valves twice. Lots of Japanese cars seem to have a base advance of only 5-8 degrees. Detroit always did it right around 12 degrees. Who knows why. I’m still not running 14 degrees and everything is fine. I may try it some day. What we need to know is how many degrees of advance it goes to when at something like 3500 RPM and half throttle. But having so many people done it with no ill effects, the question is, why the hell not?

The oil consumption was DEFINITELY related somehow and was DEFINITELY being caused by the piston rings.

None of the piston rings were stuck though. They all had good tension, ring lands were clean, and the inside of the engine was quite clean—no sludge or buildup, etc. Cylinder walls, aside from the .004” of taper, were in excellent condition. The technical reason the old rings caused oil consumption still remains a bit of a mystery to me.

For oil, I am just using the conventional crap from Carquest or Valvoline. 5w30 or 10w30. Same that I’ve always ran in this thing since the first day I bought it. 1993 Metro. 1.0 / 5spd. Bought with 126k, went through 2 sets of valves in the first 11k miles, and now has 161k on it. 24,xxx on these piston rings and last head job. Averages about 49 mpg.

I’m estimating about $2550 TOTAL invested into the car now including the car itself including purchase price and registration, etc. Its very tough to calculate precise fuel savings unless I saved EVERY gas receipt. But I estimate about $1150 in fuel savings over a 29 mpg car with the fuel price averaging $2.75/ gal. The higher the average, the more the savings. It needed frame reinforcement, piston rings, head job, head bolts, water pump, gasket set, alternator belt, timing belt, a few wheel bearings, a clutch, exhaust, new hood, new fender, 4 new tires, 2nd gear synchronizer ring, CV axle seals, wheel seals, wiper blades. It would easily have been $600 less if I didn’t have to re-do the head those extra 2 times. There’s very likely a lot more that I am forgetting right now. But I see that $600 as education. Some was regular maintenance, but most wasn’t. The new control arms that were on the car when I got it already have worn out ball joints. Those will need to go soon.

I have just the factory stock 1993 Transmission. I use 10W30 engine oil in it year-round. It works great. I use it in all my manual transmissions. With the 80w90, you may as well just not use the clutch for the first mile and a half of driving because it wouldn’t synchro with that thick of oil in it. If I were to change gears up, I’d get a bit taller 1st gear and a bit taller 5th. The rest feel right about where I think they should be for a car of this caliber. Even with an extra 5 mpg, it’ll take a long time to save the money invested in new gearing, unless I score an XFI transmission for free or real cheap or similar. What are my options?

With the new exhaust, NO exhaust smell whatsoever. Burns clean and everything. New catalytic converter. Re-used the old muffler, which was in good shape.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:37 am 
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Image
Recently we've tried some of this in our Metro, with favorable results.
I'm mulling the idea that the tires may have had something to do with those premature ball joint failures?

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Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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