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GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?
http://teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=63161
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Author:  threno [ Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

My '89 Swift GTi has been my daily driver for years. It's getting tired and needs help. Here's the problem. It will take more expertise than I have. The resources that were available ten years ago seem to be gone. I don't want to get into the project and find that I can't finish. Is help still out there?

The car is still solid. Some rust. Mechanically solid. Well maintained. Makes me smile every time I drive it. In short, it's worth restoration.

If I do the project, I'd prefer to strip it down to a shell and rebuild from there. I don't know parts availability. Not sure if a project like that is currently practical. Not sure who's still out there building these little beasties.

Terry

Author:  instant_shine [ Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

Sounds like your GTi is still in pretty good shape.
You can do a lot yourself. Check out youtube for diy...

Any pics of the car?

Author:  CMA [ Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

everything except bodykit, and engine (and maybe tranny and starter) are same as geo metro parts.



Anyway I would recommend you to check for rust area first...

Author:  TheINCRide [ Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

threno wrote:
My '89 Swift GTi has been my daily driver for years. It's getting tired and needs help. Here's the problem. It will take more expertise than I have. The resources that were available ten years ago seem to be gone. I don't want to get into the project and find that I can't finish. Is help still out there?

The car is still solid. Some rust. Mechanically solid. Well maintained. Makes me smile every time I drive it. In short, it's worth restoration.

If I do the project, I'd prefer to strip it down to a shell and rebuild from there. I don't know parts availability. Not sure if a project like that is currently practical. Not sure who's still out there building these little beasties.

Terry


A lot of parts are still readily available on RockAuto.com so I wouldn't worry too much about sourcing replacement items.. Yes some parts are getting harder to come by, but for the most part you shouldn't have any trouble.

Author:  suzukitom [ Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

Mechanically solid.

If 'some rust' means rockers and floors and not frame horns and suspension mounts...

If both true your car is unlikely to die unless you let it.

In my experience cosmetic body restoration is not as rewarding to Swift enthusiasts as just keeping up with mechanical work and maintenance.. and not letting the car sit for too long.

Try to pace any restoration tasks to keep your car drivable and running... otherwise it could turn into an unfinished project ad on craigslist 5 years from now

If doing an engine rebuild get a spare engine core and do it in your home or garage during winter evenings.

As for getting help from those who truly are helpful... they are still reading here even if not posting so much...

Author:  t3 ragtop [ Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

My last project work, 3 years ago, entailed a full conversion of a Metro vert to GT running gear along with a bunch of custom features. I was able to find a full GT car that was rusted beyond recovery and I used that as the basis for donor parts.

At that time I was even able to find 2 complete GT cars, one of which was returned to service after replacing the floors and rocker sections. I was able to use non-rusted floor panels from a Metro along with new, old stock rocker repair panels to repair a 92 GT.

I won't tell you that any of this was easy. It requires a certain dedication to the project and many hours of planning and execution. The ability to weld this steel and plan fabrication tasks are very important as hiring this type of work out is expensive. In many cases you might be further ahead to use a non-rusted Metro chassis and re-fit it with the GT components from your car. :wink:

Any way you slice it, the work will be a labor of love and will reflect your dedication to saving a GT. In the end, you will have so much time and money in the restoration that you will never completely recover your expenditure. :blackeye:

Author:  threno [ Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to respond to all comments.

The GTi has some rust on fenders, rocker panels and floor pan. Frame horns still have original paint on them. There are no problems with it other than the starter not wanting to engage on occasion. (That's another story.)

I have a Metro xfi which has a bad body. This may have to become the donor car. The engine is different as are brakes, half shafts, some suspension bits and other miscellaneous pieces. I have most of the unique GTi parts from a friends donor car. All he needed was the trans. I have a spare G13b in the garage waiting for its winter rebuild.

It's good to know that parts should be available. I wasn't aware of Rock Auto. The local parts stores don't seem to have a lot. It was nearly impossible to find the top bearings when we replaced the front struts this summer.

It looks as though agressive maintenance may be a better route than full restoration. My big worry now is rust. The car currently sits out in the weather since there is no space in the garage. The Metro is in there now since I can't park it on the street without the city declaring it a "derelict vehicle."

That brings up the issue of the Metro. It was parked because the suspension started to pull away from the frame horn. It ran great, but there is barely a good body panel on it because of rust and severe hail damage. From what I read, it probably needs to be scrapped for parts.

When I got the car in 1999, there were some online vendors who offered everything from spare parts to suspension upgrades and turbo kits. Are any of these folks still around? Are repair panels available, or are body repairs a salvage/bend it yourself deal?

My wife and I team up for the mechanical work. We do everything from oil changes to engine swaps. I've done no metal repair before. My welding skills are poor.

Finally, I haven't figured out how to post photos. My computer skills are as bad as my welding.

Terry

Author:  threno [ Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to respond to all comments.

The GTi has some rust on fenders, rocker panels and floor pan. Frame horns still have original paint on them. There are no problems with it other than the starter not wanting to engage on occasion. (That's another story.)

I have a Metro xfi which has a bad body. This may have to become the donor car. The engine is different as are brakes, half shafts, some suspension bits and other miscellaneous pieces. I have most of the unique GTi parts from a friends donor car. All he needed was the trans. I have a spare G13b in the garage waiting for its winter rebuild.

It's good to know that parts should be available. I wasn't aware of Rock Auto. The local parts stores don't seem to have a lot. It was nearly impossible to find the top bearings when we replaced the front struts this summer.

It looks as though agressive maintenance may be a better route than full restoration. My big worry now is rust. The car currently sits out in the weather since there is no space in the garage. The Metro is in there now since I can't park it on the street without the city declaring it a "derelict vehicle."

That brings up the issue of the Metro. It was parked because the suspension started to pull away from the frame horn. It ran great, but there is barely a good body panel on it because of rust and severe hail damage. From what I read, it probably needs to be scrapped for parts.

When I got the car in 1999, there were some online vendors who offered everything from spare parts to suspension upgrades and turbo kits. Are any of these folks still around? Are repair panels available, or are body repairs a salvage/bend it yourself deal?

My wife and I team up for the mechanical work. We do everything from oil changes to engine swaps. I've done no metal repair before. My welding skills are poor.

Finally, I haven't figured out how to post photos. My computer skills are as bad as my welding.

Terry

Author:  suzukitom [ Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GTi Restore it or drive it into the ground?

On a global basis, the mk2/3 swift/cultus chassis was built and sold from 1989 to 2016.. The last Cultus production was just recently ended in Pakistan. This lengthy history means there are a lot of new or aftermarket replacement parts supply still available. Suzuki new parts are still available online or through a dealer (many North American Mitsubishi dealers still service and sell OEM parts for Suzuki cars)

If your Metro is a rustbucket, strip and sell good parts to help fund your Gti rehab. You may discover that superficial appearances aside, a lot of mechanical and electrical components are totally incompatible with parts on your GTi. So free up space in your garage for your Gti work.

To protect the body from rust, many folks strip out the carpets out as they are sponges for moisture which eats our poor cars thin lower body panels. The lower skirts both hide and promote rust on the GT. Get your favorite anti rust fluid and coat any metal (painted or not) surfaces under the car, or boxed in cavities inside the car.. rockers,wheel housings, behind the fenders, inside the windshield cowl drains, frame horns, suspension mounts, etc. I like using Fluid Film.. also used by military and farmers as it is environmentally friendly and not flammable.

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