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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:57 am 
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yeah. That was strange...
Running ratty and blowing smoke this morning but it fired up without trying to fumigate us this evening. Even the flat sided tires didn't wobble the car too much despite cranking it up to 60mph on a short stretch of I-5...

All in all, a pleasant maiden voyage for maybe an hour, just tooling around town. :)

The seats... they're revolting... they gotta go...
Maybe we can find a good used carpet to replace the worn out one...

No, except for maybe the faded paint job and crinkley hood, this is going to be a nice ride when we get ready to sell.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:29 am 
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Good going!
To clean the vinyl inside the car I use a wet sponge and Dove soap. Then I rinse a lot. Don't bother getting a used carpet, new ones are inexpensive and it will clinch a future sale.
Singh grooves should give you great " elasticity". I just did the exact same thing on a Triumph Spitfire and for now I noticed that I can travel down to 8 miles an hour in 4th gear and pick up again with NO stumbling whatsoever.
The head design of the Geo is almost the exact same copy of the Spitfire. I had the head off anyway (blown head gasket due to the fact that nobody from the previous generations of ownwers ever bothered to change the studs...ARP are on now).
I don't know how much I will save on fuel because....the starter broke three days after I installed the head. One day of driving with these cars and 6 in the garage, BUT I am Americanizing it! Delco alternator. Degeared starter made in Ouza.....
Electronic ignition made in Wisconsin....etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:04 am 
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I was using the Meguires (sp?) products in my Jeep...they are not nearly as greasy and shiney as Armourall. They have wipes which are really convenient.

For my Metro, I just used Armourall because it was cheaper! I used the cleaning wipes, and they do not leave a residue, and worked really well.

Good luck! Take pics of the before and after!

You are so lucky to be driving yours...mine is still in pieces!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Dad took some pictures of me demonstrating how to use the buffer. I'm sure he'll post those sometime. I tried to get the paint to buff out, but it's too far gone. What did shine up is amazingly beautiful in the light, but there's too much sun damage and spots of clear coat missing. It should be repainted.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:07 am 
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OK, the last-ditch effort to salvage Dust Bucket's rag top apparently didn't succeed (http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=44006).
I'm looking for folks who have already been down this path, their collection of tips, tricks, and traps involved in this journey, and most importantly, referrals on the rag top manufacturers/sellers that they had great success with.
The expectation is that Cell Damage & I will be replacing the top ourselves, so any detailed "grizzled veteran" advice would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:05 pm 
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the top is a snap to replace. you can do it in half a day without spilling your favorite, ice cold beverage. :D

my best advice would be to pull an easily reachable screw from the flange at the rear of the top, under the trunk lid, and buy replacements just one size bigger (to make sure that they bite) and a like number of plastic washers. use a little smear of silicone on the screw threads to seal the holes. you should also pick up a small tube of adhesive suitable for use with vinyl for the front edge by the header. there is also a strip of self adhering medium density foam that serves as a weather seal along the header that you need to replace.

the installation is really straight forward. i fit the rear first, then the front, and the side quarters last. you don't have to remove the frame but you should take care to thoroughly clean all the abrasive dust and dirt from all the bows and the tub around the back.

check the tension cables and the pulleys at the upper rear corners of the side windows. frayed cables and broken pulley reels will cause damage to the vinyl. it runs around $20 -$30 for cables and the pulleys but that's not a place to try to save a buck.

try to do the job on a warm day and out of direct sun. after the top is on, put the top up and park it in the sun to help work out the puckers and wrinkles. work slowly and try to think ahead.

have fun. :D

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Good to know, but there'a one minor detail i'm still looking for...
Who did you purchase your top from?
One outfit selling on Ebay says I'd have to be comfortable with using an air powered staple gun. Another recommends letting professionals install their top.

Just trying to find and follow the footsteps of someone who has already been there with a particular vendor.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:39 am 
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Hi there...
You say:

"I'd have to be comfortable with using an air powered staple gun"

I didn't notice any staples being applied when I had my top done.

Contact cement yes, staples? I dooooon't think so....

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:04 am 
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yeah, no staples, just a small amount of adhesive.

i'm sort of reluctant to offer advice on a supplier. based on my experience with a seller, i suggested the merchant to another member who subsequently had a less than satisfying transaction.

even members who dealt with aabestco have had problems so it's a matter of "you pay your quarter and take your chance."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:26 am 
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See guys??!? This is exactly why I'm asking!
These guys have obviously done their homework in developing their web site, but the air powered staple gun?? Well, that threw me. I should have called them this week but I've been too busy at work and now they're closed for the weekend. :(

http://www.convertibletopguys.com/cgi-l ... gi?cat=655
Installation Instructions:
This top has a modular design for its attachment and is easier to install than most. Our installation manual is an illustrated step by step set of instructions. Some tacking or stapling is required as well as the use of contact cement. There is no sewing. If you are comfortable using an air driven staple gun and using contact cement then you are a likely candidate for do-it-yourself installation.



http://www.convertibletopguys.com/morei ... ml#install
Tacking Strips are embedded into top frame bows in most cars from 1950 until the present. They replaced the wooden tacking forms used until about 1948 in American convertible top frames. Incidentally, Mercedes and Volkswagen used wood bows until much later. The old Beetles of 1979 had wood rear top bows. And the 2004 Rolls Royce has wood tacking forms too! Modern convertible tops are installed with staples and contact cement and the stapling is done into embedded "tacking strips" in the frame bows. Usually these are in the front (or 'header') bow and in the rear top bow (over the rear window.) We offer replacements for these tacking strips. We can also usually provide replacement tacking strips for the rear (base line) tacking strips to which the lower rear portion of the top is often stapled. Tacking strips, where used (usually in the front and rear top bows) usually last for two tops.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:30 pm 
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those instructions are very general but largely correct. the small size of the metro make it an exception.

the rag floats on the bows. it is attached to the body at the trunk and side quarters by an aluminum flange. there is a plastic bead molding on those edges with pre-punched holes that align the rear of the rag. the tensioning cables pull the vinyl tight around the side windows up to the header panel and the header has another flange that holds the top captive at the front along with a light smear of adhesive from one side to the other. there's a seam sewn across the front edge of the vinyl with the bitter edge or tail that returns under the header which is held down by the flange. you just have to align the seam with the header for the correct reveal so take a real good look at the old top before you pull it off.

the only other tricky thing is that if you replace the cables, they are held to the header by rivets that terminate into the fiberglass header. you have to be extremely careful not to expand the replacement rivets into the fiberglass or you'll crack out the holes.

there's an awful lot of the top replacement info floating around in various posts that could be consolidated by key words in the search feature.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:27 am 
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Placed an order overnight for a new carpet to replace the worn out one in Dust Bucket.
This afternoon I unlatched the rag top and checked it to see how it was doing. Sure enough, the top is no longer too tight. :)
Mrs. G-Whiz eluded to the possibility that she might be agreeable to letting me keep Dust Bucket if I agree to her upgrading from her 2000 Corolla to something with more bells and whistles and a cushier ride.
Oh, how she tempts me!! :lol:
I'll consider it only if I can remodel the 1 car carport into a 2-car garage... a tricky proposition at best, but an absolute must for any convertible here in western Washington!
I was so caught by surprise, I didn't mention at the time that she has my support for an upgrade no matter what I decide to do with the vert.
For now, Dust Bucket is over in my parent's garage, at least until the new carpet arrives (about a week and a half). It was such a nice half hour drive with the top down (for the first time)... it's the next best thing to riding a motorcycle.
With the vert out of the way I can focus on car shopping and investigating a potential garage remodel! ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:46 am 
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G-Whiz wrote:
Placed an order overnight for a new carpet to replace the worn out one in Dust Bucket.
This afternoon I unlatched the rag top and checked it to see how it was doing. Sure enough, the top is no longer too tight. :)
Mrs. G-Whiz eluded to the possibility that she might be agreeable to letting me keep Dust Bucket if I agree to her upgrading from her 2000 Corolla to something with more bells and whistles and a cushier ride.
Oh, how she tempts me!! :lol:
I'll consider it only if I can remodel the 1 car carport into a 2-car garage... a tricky proposition at best, but an absolute must for any convertible here in western Washington!
I was so caught by surprise, I didn't mention at the time that she has my support for an upgrade no matter what I decide to do with the vert.
For now, Dust Bucket is over in my parent's garage, at least until the new carpet arrives (about a week and a half). It was such a nice half hour drive with the top down (for the first time)... it's the next best thing to riding a motorcycle.
With the vert out of the way I can focus on car shopping and investigating a potential garage remodel! ;)



Where did you order your carpet from? I need new carpet too....let me know how it goes...

I need to have c4boom check my top....it is really stiff I guess, but the fabric doesn't seem too tight as it gives to the touch. I have never had any experience with a convertible vehicle before this one!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:10 am 
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This is what I purchased from the Auto Carpet Professionals web page
on Ebay 2 days ago and it's already on it's way.
Scheduled to arrive on the 7th via UPS.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1989-1994-GEO-METRO-SPRINT-CONVERTIBLE-MOLDED-CARPET_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZQ7c301Q3a1Q7c293Q3a1Q7c294Q3a30QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14Q2el1262QQhashZitem3a4f4a08a9QQitemZ250438355113QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

Mrs. G-Whiz shook her head and rolled her eyes when I showed her their
Flaming Fuchsia color selection on a now defunct web page...
Attachment:
FLAMING FUCHSIA.jpg
FLAMING FUCHSIA.jpg [ 55.19 KIB | Viewed 1848 times ]


I hate to say it, but it's a really close match to Dust Bucket's sun-faded metallic
paint job. :-P
Fear not... I just wanted to see her reaction. :twisted:

The stock color is apparently "dark gray" - or at least that's what they're
sending since I told them that I want it to match the carpet section in the trunk.
I came this close to ordering maroon, but since I haven't decided
whether I'm keeping Dust Bucket, it's best to go stock. I was thinking that
would go great with a metallic candy apple red paint job and chrome rims.

Shipping from North Carolina is $23.13 (ouch)
Total cost: $141.58

And stay away from the Jig-a-loo unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt
you are going to replace the top! Now that I think about it, if I had had been
warned before spraying the whole top I might have done it in a piecemeal fashion...
only applying it across the top in one or two sections at a time, staying away
from the seams, and scrubbing the stuff off with Goop hand cleaner after 4 or
5 hours.


Last edited by G-Whiz on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:56 pm 
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G-Whiz wrote:
It was such a nice half hour drive with the top down (for the first time)... it's the next best thing to riding a motorcycle.


quite possibly the reason why my motorcycle hasn't had a valid tag on it since 2003. =)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:25 pm 
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t3 ragtop wrote:
G-Whiz wrote:
It was such a nice half hour drive with the top down (for the first time)... it's the next best thing to riding a motorcycle.


quite possibly the reason why my motorcycle hasn't had a valid tag on it since 2003. =)

LOL!!
Gotta ask. What kind of mileage did you get with it back in the day?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:45 am 
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I am 99% sure I am ordering floor mats for Squishy in the Royal Purple carpet color! I have color samples on the way as I can't decide what gray color I want exactly...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:41 pm 
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G-Whiz wrote:
t3 ragtop wrote:
G-Whiz wrote:
It was such a nice half hour drive with the top down (for the first time)... it's the next best thing to riding a motorcycle.


quite possibly the reason why my motorcycle hasn't had a valid tag on it since 2003. =)

LOL!!
Gotta ask. What kind of mileage did you get with it back in the day?


it's a 98 buell lightning. 1201cc 90 degree v-twin making over 120 hp. i was lucky to get 30 mpg with it. i get 50mpg with ol' blue - and it has a great stereo system.

really, i take a lot of heat for letting it just sit in my garage. i figure it's not eating anything and it'll be there if i ever want to ride it again. in the meanwhile, sunny days are for my turbo3 vert. :D

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My Turbo3 Project
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SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:29 am 
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Crap....I hope I still ride my bike when I get my vert going! My bike already sits too much as it is! Course my bike gets 75mpg....but still. Vert is a lot easier to deal with than a motorcycle!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:22 am 
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Hit the wrecking yards and bought another fuel pump and float sensor. Cell Damage swapped it in a couple weeks ago:
Attachment:
Out with the old.jpg
Out with the old.jpg [ 145.2 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Isn't it purdy? :lol:
Attachment:
Dust accumulation under the carpet.JPG
Dust accumulation under the carpet.JPG [ 135.75 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Next, I brought home some seats from a '99 Metro hatchback, but I'll have to drill and tap a hole in the front outer edge seat mounting tab:
Attachment:
96 seat mounting point doesn't match.JPG
96 seat mounting point doesn't match.JPG [ 103.51 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Cell Damage took a shot at the paint job on the trunk with the Griot's combo pack that MetroMike told me about at the Southcenter car meet:
Attachment:
Griots Paint Cleaning Clay.JPG
Griots Paint Cleaning Clay.JPG [ 91.03 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Notice the color of the clouds (shot around sunset) reflecting off the top corner of the trunk after he finished applying the clay and before he took car wax to it:
Attachment:
After the Paint Cleaning Clay was applied.jpg
After the Paint Cleaning Clay was applied.jpg [ 72.9 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Unfortunately, all that work did nothing for the clear coat where it came off the deck:
Attachment:
Dang pitted clear coat.JPG
Dang pitted clear coat.JPG [ 84.73 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Here's a couple shots of the seats and carpet. Pretty obvious why I said they had to go. Looks like I'm going to be spending time cleaning the door panels while I'm cleaning out the insides of the doors:
Attachment:
Gross seats 1.JPG
Gross seats 1.JPG [ 154.36 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Attachment:
Gross carpet.JPG
Gross carpet.JPG [ 122.95 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

With the carpet finally out, I found there was a fair amount of dust dust that had accumulated under the carpet. I vacuumed, realized there was still a lot of dust that was caked onto the paint, in cracks, and crevices, and after brushing it out, took a second pass with the vacuum cleaner.
Attachment:
Solid floor with lots of dust even after vacuuming.JPG
Solid floor with lots of dust even after vacuuming.JPG [ 147.63 KIB | Viewed 1850 times ]

Michael is right though... we're going to have to wipe everything down with damp cloths. He wants to run amplifier and speaker wires before we install the new carpet and the replacement wrecking yard seats.

Finally, when the carpet came out, I found two unused blue and green connectors next to the stick shift. Does anyone know what they are for? Maybe something to do with automatic transmissions?
Attachment:
Dust accumulation under the carpet.JPG
Dust accumulation under the carpet.JPG [ 135.75 KIB | Viewed 3236 times ]

Baby steps. Baby steps...

Oh... and what's the trick to get the [img ] tags to work with my album picture URLs? :?
I put these photos in my album, but I can't get them to display from there using the image tag. Am I assuming to much from the forum software?


Last edited by G-Whiz on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:02 am 
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Couldn't sell Mrs. G-Whiz on a canvas top... :( ... so, I ordered a generic black vinyl top and replacement cables for $270 today from Topsonline.Com.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:40 am 
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Wow... I wasn't expecting it to show until sometime next week but the top came today.
I expected it to be heavier than it is. I won't really know if it is lighter weight than the existing top until I get the old one off. That could be a while though. We stil have to finish installing the carpet and get the '99 metro seats installed.
Attachment:
Top and cables straight out of the box.jpg
Top and cables straight out of the box.jpg [ 88.6 KIB | Viewed 1849 times ]


New carpet going in over the stick shift:
Attachment:
New carpet going in.JPG
New carpet going in.JPG [ 416.37 KIB | Viewed 1849 times ]


The new carpet doesn't have as much padding as the original so I may use some of the padding from the old one to fill in around the outer edges...
Attachment:
Prepping the new carpet.jpg
Prepping the new carpet.jpg [ 161.47 KIB | Viewed 1849 times ]


Work has me putting in extra hours this week so progress is going to be sporadic at best. We have the stereo and carpet installation to work on so we probably won't get to the seats and top until this weekend.


Last edited by G-Whiz on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:16 pm 
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Looks like we're up to the same kinds of things right now. I just finished installing new plush carpeting and had my fabric panels in the seats replaced. I did the carpeting, trunk, and door panels myself, but paid to have the seats redone.

I have pictures in my album.

Enjoy your project.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:49 am 
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Nice job on the seats and doors! :)
Love the smooth seams on the seat panels especially.
The 1999 wrecking yard Metro seats have more blue in them where the old seats - and my door panels - emphasize the red, but for $16 each, it's hard to complain.
Got any detailed pics/tips/instructions on how to re-do the cloth on the doors?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:50 am 
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Dumb question, why didn't you swap the seat rails across?
I just got through the task of swapping over the frame rails onto some gti seats.
The only thing not straight forward was that the lever to send the seat forward adn backwards bound a little on the gti seat pan. An easy fix packing out the rail with a washer at the front rail mount pont.

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