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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Location: TX-USA
Got my vacuum gauge and water temp gauge in:
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And here's a shot of my new stereo, and my sub box:
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Did some more installation today...
I got the GT door cards in with the metro top parts. I wasn't sure about this, I tried to find the GT (dark gray) upper parts but have had no luck, so I just put the Metro ones on and I really like the 2 tone look to it:
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I got the mk3 power mirror switch in, along with finally mounting my cruise control arm:
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Here's the sub in the daylight, it was pretty cheap, but resonates really well in the 'vert trunk, and puts a lot of bass forward through the pass-through to the drivers seat :D
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Another piece of good news: while i was in TN I took inventory of what parts survived the wreck of my other 'vert, the lower bumper cover(GT part) and fog lights are OK and I'll be grabbing them for this car on my next trip.

Here's a shot of the GT tail lights:
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Here's a shot of the GT tail lights turned off:
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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


Last edited by Mcmancuso on Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:46 pm 
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My big project for the day is replacing the crappy rear end arms:
Image

Replacing these with tubular aluminum and heim joints is pricey, as much as $100 per side, that was out of my budget. Last year I was over at my local Tractor Supply, and I noticed the tractor end links, they go between the tractor and an accessory being run behind it. I found some in approximately the right size online for $10 each. I bought 2 reverse thread nuts since the end link only came with 1 lock nut.
Image

The inside of the fitting on these is approximately 5/8" I had some urethane end link bushings I had picked up very cheap, so I machined them to fit:
First I drilled the center to 1/2" which ends up snug on the 12mm bolts used in the suspension. Then I cut the outside down:
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put it back on the drill bit and used a rasp to smooth the radius:
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Pushed the bushings into the heim joints, and ran the 1/2" drill back through the hole to clean up the diameter:
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And installed the completed unit back in the car:
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These weigh ~3lbs each, more than the original, but well worth the added rigidity.


Also today: here's a shot of the honda rims stock ride height, 195/60R15's on them:
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Rubs a little bit on hard turns, sway bars would probably fix this.
I'll have to drop down to probably 185/60R15 at least for the tires to clear in the front for turns.

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:14 pm 
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the tractor end links, especially at that price, are a stroke of genius. :D

that's sprung weight, so it's not much of a penalty.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:17 am 
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Quick update: the new bars in the back have gotten rid of all my rubbing in turns/bumps with the 15" wheels Clearly the old bar was flexing even more than I had thought.

Here's where I got 'em you'll have to pick up some 3/4" left and right hand nuts for them as these just come with that little wedge thing $10.95 each:
http://www.agrisupply.com/product.asp?pn=33344&sid=&eid=
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You could also probably find some bushings already the right size (1.5" long and 5/8" OD, 12mm ID or 1/2" ID for a slightly less exact fit but may be easier to find)for them on the internet, I was just in a hurry to get them on with what I had on hand :D

This is where I got my 3/4" jam nuts, stainless steel of course, can't have the nut rusting on that nice zinc plated surface: http://mmsacc-stainless.com/ very nice people, a locally owned shop in Georgia.

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


Last edited by Mcmancuso on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:30 am 
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I am totally gonna buy four of these for both my cars! Nice find and write up.

Thanks Chris

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:01 pm 
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I made a trip to the local self service yard today and got some goodies. A set of sway bars off a '98 sedan for my 'vert for $8 each :D . Also a unbroken radio trim bezel for my '99 and a new passenger mirror for that car, it hasn't had one since I bought it :)

I've been getting various parts ordered for some more work, 4-wheel disc brakes with the GT rotor/disc front upgrade, Accord alloy wheel swap, GT body kit, convertible top fix etc...
I'm also going to be switching the car to an RFID key and pushbutton start :D here's my wiring diagram:
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I'm going to run the starter relay off the oil light so when oil pressure is up(ie. the engine is running) the starter cannot be engaged(grrriiinnnnd) I confirmed last night, the oil light remains lit while cranking, and until the engine reaches ~300+ RPM so until the starter stops needing to be run.

Drop the keys in the cupholder, push the on button then hit start :D

on another note...I wonder if I could widen the stance of the car by swapping on '95+ control arms and axles...

Got the sway bars on, and all 4 accord wheels... sway bars made a BIG difference in tire rubbing, much less body lean in turns, its all good :)

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 10:23 pm 
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I got some goodies in the mail this afternoon:
Image
new tie rods an exhaust flange and a distributor blanking plate :D
Tie rods went on tonight, the rest is for later :twisted:

Here's some shots of the car and the new rear suspension setup:
This is with stock springs and 195/60R15 wheels
Image

ImageImage

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:56 am 
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Adding the Sway Bars is the best investment I made in the handling upgrades to my Vert and my 91 Firefly FE Hatchback. Everything being tied together makes for more lively and agressive cornering, and a more solid feeling over bumps. :D :D :shock: :shock: :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:07 am 
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Larry S. Oxenham wrote:
Adding the Sway Bars is the best investment I made in the handling upgrades to my Vert and my 91 Firefly FE Hatchback. Everything being tied together makes for more lively and agressive cornering, and a more solid feeling over bumps. :D :D :shock: :shock: :oops:


I like the red on those sway bars, I am thinking about painting mine blue

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:57 pm 
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have them powder coated blue with a clear polyester chip protector. they'll never rust. :wink:

that'll save you from painting them every year. :lol:

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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.

My Turbo3 Project
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My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Mcmancuso wrote:
Image
I'm going to run the starter relay off the oil light so when oil pressure is up(ie. the engine is running) the starter cannot be engaged(grrriiinnnnd) I confirmed last night, the oil light remains lit while cranking, and until the engine reaches ~300+ RPM so until the starter stops needing to be run.


thanks for this tip.

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Silver 2000 Firefly 4DR; 16V SOHC, 3 to 5 speed swap, install PS and AC, remote and auto start, PL, PW, kill and start switch, Valentine 1, behind-bumper CAI, 55MM TB with coolant-bypass, polyurethane-fill engine/shifter mounts, modified to short shifter, upgraded electrical system, CS130 alternator, 90/160W headlights + relay mod, ceramic H4 plug/harness
To do: finish stereo, 4000K H4 HIDs, short block replacement
'sponsored' by Captain Crunch, Lordco, Felpro, Permatex, Royal Purple


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:33 pm 
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Welded up a new front brace since I bent the last one, and added a lower section to my rear brace:

Image

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Threaded holes are already present in the tire well under rubber plugs here.
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I run a full size (155/80R13) spare in the trunk, fits perfectly with the new brace, looks like a donut compared to the 195/60R15's on the car now ;)

I bent this one, both the flanges at the ends, and the bar itself were pretty bent:
Image
The new front brace is 1/2" hardened steel with 3/16" plate on the ends, I shouldn't be able to bend this one.
Image

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Side skirts and rear disc brakes were on the agenda this afternoon, gotta get her spiffed up for the meet on Friday :D
Disc brakes serviced and ready for installation
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On and ready to go
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My new suspension setup and SS brake lines from Canada
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The disc setup in the rear necessitates new brake lines and different E-brake cables.

Side skirts on
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I attached these at the ends of the pieces with screws and the middle is all put on with foam body tape.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:37 pm 
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don't forget the dust caps on the rear hubs.

that texas grit will eat the wheel bearings. :twisted:

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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.

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:20 am 
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I'm heading to my local farm and garden shop to see if the have these in stock.If not i will place my order this week.

Your vert is really coming along keep up the good work.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 3:23 pm 
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I had to zip tie the E brake ables down to the control arms because they kept moving out against the tire rims :( I also zip tied the brake lines down to the replacement toe rods through the center hole :) This car doesn't see rain so I'm not worried about water getting in there.

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:49 am 
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There are specific tie downs in that area if memory serves me correctly. Zip ties are good. Mine were rubbing also I have 15 inchers on Vanilla latte with 195/50 rubber.
Your project looks good.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:34 pm 
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Hit the junkyard again today picked up a RX-7 jack :D
Image

Also grabbed some Honda Accord ('92 EX 4-cyl) calipers seen here beside the GT brake caliper which is slightly larger than the regular 13" metro caliper:
Image
These are going on the 'vert soon :D
Honda civic and accord brake calipers have the same bracket bolt spacing as the 89-94 metro 'verts and GT's (not 100% on later car brake spacing) The discs will probably need to be swapped for the GT ones (I'll see when I install them) I'll post a thorough how-to on the swap and get rid of some of the ambiguity on the honda brake swap :D

I also grabbed a 1.6 Esteem TB for my 16v SOHC
Image

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'99 Metro Sedan Auto 4cyl, '91 Metro Vert 3/5, '91 Metro 5dr 3cyl auto


Last edited by Mcmancuso on Sun May 22, 2011 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:09 am 
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how big is the throttle body opening. when i got mine out of a 1.6 esteem it was 45 mm. that looks a lot bigger.

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Silver 2000 Firefly 4DR; 16V SOHC, 3 to 5 speed swap, install PS and AC, remote and auto start, PL, PW, kill and start switch, Valentine 1, behind-bumper CAI, 55MM TB with coolant-bypass, polyurethane-fill engine/shifter mounts, modified to short shifter, upgraded electrical system, CS130 alternator, 90/160W headlights + relay mod, ceramic H4 plug/harness
To do: finish stereo, 4000K H4 HIDs, short block replacement
'sponsored' by Captain Crunch, Lordco, Felpro, Permatex, Royal Purple


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Nope its 45mm:
Image
must just be the camera angle

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 11:51 am 
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My "Top Links" are in the mail. I looked high and low i could not find any one selling them local. It’s a good deal they are 10.95 ea. and shipping was 12.00 UPS. Now i need to go back to the junk yard and pull the sway bars off the 97 i found.
Good times.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Location: BC Canada
Mcmancuso wrote:
My big project for the day is replacing the crappy rear end arms:

Replacing these with tubular aluminium and heim joints is pricey, as much as $100 per side, that was out of my budget. Last year I was over at my local Tractor Supply, and I noticed the tractor end links, they go between the tractor and an accessory being run behind it. I found some in approximately the right size online for $10 each. I bought 2 reverse thread nuts since the end link only came with 1 lock nut.


I just tried to order a pair of those arms/links for my eFly, ( http://pontiacfirefly.com/ecarGallery/ ) but although their order form has a drop down country list it only drops down the USA... :(

I've tried to locate a similar item in Canada, does anyone know of a source? (Or could anyone here order a set and post them on, I could pay you by paypal...)

Great car, thanks for the pictures and info!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Do a search for "top link cat 0" you're looking for something 11" closed to about 16" open. The one I used is 9 3/4" long body.
I did a quick google search and it looks like john deere in SK can get you some if you call them: http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=52609

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
colinmcc wrote:
Mcmancuso wrote:
My big project for the day is replacing the crappy rear end arms:

Replacing these with tubular aluminium and heim joints is pricey, as much as $100 per side, that was out of my budget. Last year I was over at my local Tractor Supply, and I noticed the tractor end links, they go between the tractor and an accessory being run behind it. I found some in approximately the right size online for $10 each. I bought 2 reverse thread nuts since the end link only came with 1 lock nut.


I just tried to order a pair of those arms/links for my eFly, ( http://pontiacfirefly.com/ecarGallery/ ) but although their order form has a drop down country list it only drops down the USA... :(

I've tried to locate a similar item in Canada, does anyone know of a source? (Or could anyone here order a set and post them on, I could pay you by paypal...)

Great car, thanks for the pictures and info!


try TSC

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Location: Wacked, BC
Hows the car coming along? Did you manage to get the push start set up successfully? Where did you get the rfid transmitter/reciever?

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