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 Post subject: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
After many years I've decided to make a thread about our first Suzuki car.

It is the vehicle we bought from a family member in 2000, and we have been maintaining it ourselves.
Along the way, lessons have been learned, and a big thanks to Teamswift for the free flowing exchange of ideas which has greatly improved my ability to keep this car in tip top emissions shape.

First, an overall view of the car:
Image
The picture was taken in 2013, and the vehicle is not garage kept.

It is not a turbo.
It is not a rare 'MS' high fuel efficiency vehicle.
It is simply a basic 1987 Chevrolet Sprint 4 door.

One automobile manufacturer advertises its vehicles: "Love what you drive".
In our case, we say "drive what you have".
That's what we do, and we save a whole lot of money in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
Posts: 878
Location: Vancouver BC
California weather is so kind to Sprints!

I had a gold metallic 1986 5 door years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Today it fired up after sitting idle in the garage for over a year, waiting for work on the front of the engine.
First, I pulled the fuel line to the carburetor and, using a vacuum pump, brought fuel from the gas tank to the carburetor.
Then, using the fuel that the vacuum pump collected, I added fuel to the carburetor via the fuel inlet.
Once the fuel line was connected, it fired up without a big drain on the electrical system.
:alien:

In 2015, the overhead looked suspiciously clean:
Image

Hopefully, my next post will show how clean it is inside.
I am now a believer: full synthetic is the only thing I'll be putting in my engines from now on.
This is not an expensive car to buy, nor is it an exotic.
But synthetic certainly does a job keeping the inside of that engine squeaky clean.

This month, it is ready for smog tests.
It has a new air cleaner (over 6,000 miles on the last one), fresh oil and filter (2144 miles on the old oil), new timing belt and tensioner (10,000 miles on the old set) and finally a new front main crankshaft seal and camshaft seal - probably 7 years since that's been done.
I really took my time doing the job, and as usual, not a drop of oil on the ground.
That dirty valve cover got cleaned, but not painted.

The gas tank was almost empty, so it got driven to the gas station and filled, and computations come up with 42 mpg on the last tank.
This old bugger is sure inexpensive to operate, and even with full synthetic is cheap to maintain.
If you consider the long run, I would say that the synthetic oil has dramatically reduced the wear on the engine, and it gets less work done on it as a result.

After driving it out of the garage and hosing it down, the sheer SIZE of it came back to me.
It is pretty darn tiny!!! :oops:
But it sure feels good to have my parts chaser back on the road again.

There's a certain pride one gets from assembling a vehicle properly and having it operate according to specs.
Although this car will pass smog (probably), as I drove it today I made a mental note of some of the things that would help:
-valve adjustment
-new A/C compressor, drier and evaporator
-more modern radio
-new windshield
-fresh paint.
Considering its age, it is amazing the A/C still works.
Otherwise, it is a decent ride which has really helped us dig out of financial problems...kind of like a good luck charm.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Since I was working on the front of the engine (new water pump and timing set) it seemed logical to remove the valve cover.
I've pulled a LOT of valve covers off engines of many different makes and models.
This is what I found:
Image

Again, this is an engine getting Mobil 1 5W-30 EP, but having in excess of 75,000 miles since the last rebuild.
In fact, you can see the accumulation of sediment next to exhaust cylinder #3. My, my my! 8)

So many people buy these cars and boast, "I got the thing for $500, so why spend X amount to fix it right. I want to fix it as cheaply as possible."
What we've done is try to put it back to manufacturer's specs (with a few modifications to be mentioned later) and enjoy the ride.
If we had to spend a few bucks more on the correct parts and fluid, why not?
The car saves us money every time we use it, as you all know.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
There are several posts on this site where members ask what to look for when buying a vehicle.
Here's one to think about.
Above you see a fairly clean overhead.
What about after the combustion chamber?

This picture shows its tailpipe after 3 years:
Image
Not the best picture, but I assure you it is pretty clean.

So if you have NO mechanical experience, and simply look inside the tailpipe and don't see black soot, that's a good indication the vehicle is running a catalytic converter and is burning as clean as a new vehicle. Of course, if that short piece of tailpipe was just installed, that's an exception, but it should only take a week or two of operation to blacken the inside of the tailpipe if it isn't adjusted properly, doesn't have a catalytic converter, is burning oil/needs engine work, or all of the above.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:43 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Everett Wa
Good clean engine and tail pipe. :D :D :D

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Dale

1985 Chevy Sprint Mk1 G10 5 Speed Sky Blue


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:32 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Oregon
Mmmmm nice looking head. Tail pipe ain't bad either :wink:

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When I get that look in my eye its best not to ask questions 0.o
1978 Chevy monza 2+2, 74 step side Chevy, firebird,firebird,fake 91 firehawk in the making,trans am(dd),other trans am, n/a mk1 sprint, and my baby 1987 Chevy sprint turbo in red. How many run right now? Just the n/a sprint. It's not a collection it's my retirement plan.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
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Location: Palm Springs, Calif
If you saw the vehicle in person, the tailpipe is much cleaner than in the photo.
It is due for a carburetor rebuild, but it still gets 41+ mpg at 70-75 mph and the A/C going.

Anyone who's ever driven these cars knows that one unavoidable problem is aggressive motorists.
Tonight, for example, we were coming home on the freeway, and some clown first decides to put the high beams in our rear hatch window, despite the fact that he had a wide open fast lane next to me, and I was following a car, so couldn't speed up. Basically, I was minding my own business at about 65 mph.
Next he pulls up next to us in the fast lane and he's a real fat one, but I could probably take him. I put up the index finger and tell him, 'no, no, no!' and he decides to flip me off and pull his car into my lane.
I was thinking about the new handgun the Wife had just bought about 2 hours ago under her seat (and the handcuffs under mine), but instead had her write down his license number.


5UWY792

...a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu...

Maybe someday he will get his.


Aggressive drivers see these cars in the dark and automatically think the operator is some weenie small guy who hasn't eaten in 6 weeks. That can be a fatal mistake.

He sped up and got between me and the car in front of me, and slammed on the brakes.
I avoided him by quickly switching to the fast lane and ran it up to 75 mph.
Probably amazed at how quickly our car reacted, because he was about 10 car lengths behind at that point.
If I didn't have the Wife in the car, it would have been a cinch to run it up to 90 for a few minutes and see how badly he wanted to destroy his POS car trying to keep up.
(This car has the 3.79 gears, so it can run at 75-80 mph all night long and do it very quietly.)
He took a while to catch up, and I got over a few lanes to give him a wide berth, but stupid kept insisting on dancing with us.
I backed down to 70 mph and 3 or 4 cars bracketed him in the fast lane. They had been watching the whole thing.
Then I backed down to 65 a few lanes away.
Fortunately he was distracted by the actions of the other cars, and I have no way of thanking them, but believe me, his road rage could have ended very badly.
Our car was no match for his if we had touched at the speeds we were traveling.

Moving on, if you plan on driving a car like this, prepare to eat some humble pie on the highway.
Expect it in advance and don't panic.
It is, however, VERY aggravating.
:oops:


Another thing people who have never driven MK1's don't understand is how light they are.
They get up and go quickly, whether they are aspirated or turbocharged.
But at high speeds, it helps to have a passenger on the other side to weigh down the car in turns.
Ha!

The 3.79 final drive in this car somewhat slows down the acceleration to 60 mph, but does spread out the power band.
Lots of people like the 4.10 gears, including me on some of our other cars.
In this car, the 3.789473684's are a perfect fit for my driving style and our wide open low population geographical region.
The engine doesn't have enough torque to damage the 72 ring and 19 pinion gears unless you do something really stupid.
I have no plans of changing them, and people who have ridden in the car don't even notice what gearset it has.
Of course, if you only drive within city limits or under 90 mph, the stock 4.0 gear set is wonderful.
Even Fainya, who rebuilds the later model transmissions does not think the transmission needs to come out.
It used to get GM synchromesh.
But now, it gets the less expensive Pennzoil Synchromesh.
I know others recommend different lubricants.
This is simply a report of what works in my transmissions.
None of mine have a 5th gear whine.
None need to be rebuilt.

It might be interesting to post the emissions test.
I owe wizewun :worship: my most recent test results, and when I post them, we shall see if he beat me this year.
:dunno:
The emissions test, of course, reflects what is under the hood.
There is nothing extraordinary under the hood of this car.
But I challenge anyone out of State not running a catalytic converter to produce a cleaner burning internal combustion engine Chevrolet Sprint.
If you find a Sprint for sale in California, take a look at the smog test results carefully.
That will tell you exactly the condition of the engine.
A clever individual can read the smog test history on line and learn a great deal about the car without even seeing it.

It feels real good to have the MK1 back on the road.
This car looks like it can barely make it in the slow lane, but really likes to run around 70 mph...or above (if no one's around).
:bump:


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 557
Location: alabama
Nice clean setup, would expect nothing less from my favorite sprint doctor!!

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Mike
Valley Grande, AL
1986 Sprint plus

Do you maintain a personal fleet like I do?
Why do we do it?
Because it's what we enjoy and because we CAN.
2011 camaro, 2005 Vibe, 2016 Outback, 06 Expedition, 87 Porsche 911, 87 Turbo sprint, 82 Brat, 73 gmc 4x4, 69 camaro, 99 Gl1500 Honda Goldwing, 12 Kawasaki klr650, 2012 Kubota L3200, and we wont even go into the small stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:54 am 
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Mk1 fiend
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:37 am
Posts: 296
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Great to see ... a good car back on the road ..

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There are three kinds of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't :)


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Gentlemen, thanks for the kind words.

The new sticker came in the mail, and it is indeed on the road again - legally.
I'm not satisfied with it, but most people who drive these would think it is one of the best NA's out there.
However, the next thing that gets done won't be engine work.
(The new front main seal doesn't seem to be leaking, so that's nice.)

Right now, from L.A. to Texas, we're having a heat wave, so car work can wait until things cool down.

Almost forgot: Happy Father's Day to one and all!


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:42 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Santa Rosa, CA USA
Looking good Phil!

The heat is hitting us up here as well. It was 110 on Sunday!!. I'm tempted to take a sauna just to cool off. :sunny:


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Temperatures are hot. As in record breaking hot. Palm Springs hit 122F over the weekend which broke the former high of 120F set in 1970.
People who have not experienced this kind of heat often point out humidity figures.
A Father and Son, hiking in this heat last week, were found expired, victims of the heat, so if you visit, try and confine physical exertion to early morning or late evening. Trust me, you don't know any heat like this. It is a killer - people AND cars.

Therefore, it was time to concentrate on the vehicle's cooling system. A tiny leak, left unmonitored, will strand you if you aren't careful.
It had a persnickety leak, visible by a decreasing level in the overflow tank, and some coolant on the top of the radiator last year.
Changing the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, and front main seal...and one of the leaks was fixed. (Water pump had a seep.)
But the radiator, that was a two pronged approach.
I picked up 4 new radiators on line, and installed one. Still, it had a little leak on the top of the filler neck.
So $7 and a new radiator cap later, and all is well.
Overflow tank holds steady as a rock, but here's another thing to watch out for:
The tube which runs down into the overflow tank from the cap can get soft when you have high outside temperatures.
I pulled the overflow cap, and the hose remained in the tank.
That's bad because you can lose your suction.
So make sure that tube is connected firmly to your overflow cap.

The new radiator made a slight but improved difference in the reading of the temperature gauge. You cannot hear the radiator fan going at speed because of the noise of the air past the windows, but it is easy to figure out that the fan kicks in at about 1/2 way up the gauge.
Previously, the gauge would creep up to the half way point on the freeway at 70 mph, the fan would kick in, and then the gauge would drop to about 1/4.
Thus, it was time to roll up the old sleeves and give the radiator fan a break. After all, it is 30 years old!
Here we go:

First, the new radiator -
Image
It is a APDI 8011256 and has a transmission cooler for an automatic transmission if the car is so equipped.
Rather than run it open, I connected the two cooler ends with an old piece of tubing, as you can see above.

Now on to the radiator fan -

1- When you remove the shroud, you will also remove the fan and electric motor. By removing the plastic fan, you get to see this:
Image
the stem of the electric motor, needing a quick toothbrush to remove all the sand.
Doing so will get you to this step

2- Exposing the circular clip
Image
This piece needs to be carefully pried up so you can remove a small plastic washer underneath.
Apply full synthetic grease, replace the washer, circular clip, slide on clip (not shown), fan and fastening nut and you are done with one side.

3- Oiling the rear of the fan
There is a circular cap on the back of the radiator fan motor. You carefully pry it off and this is what you see:
Image
You can see the cap - it is placed to the left in the picture, and has no evidence of 'mechanics removal torture'...ha!
I used a 3/4" Craftsman end wrench, turned sideways to pry it off, a little at a time, working my way around the diameter and it came off no problem.
You put a few drops of high grade oil - I used some Mobil 1 full synthetic left inside an old quart jug - and then you can button it up.
The felt absorbs the oil, and will lubricate the shaft for quite some time. Indeed, the shaft was fairly well oiled when I removed the cap.

That's how you lube an MK1 radiator fan...or at least how I do it. Somewhere there's a more detailed version by Phil N Ed, but this shortened version probably gets you a few more miles on an already old fan.

Bottom line?
Vehicle doesn't overheat even at high speeds during the heat of the day (it didn't before), and fan comes on much less than previously, saving wear and tear all the way around. I found that slowing down to 65 mph will allow the radiator to do its job without the fan coming on at all during hot afternoon commutes.

Heat is the main enemy of any engine. You've got to keep them within factory specs if you want your car to run a long time.
Our Suzuki products don't really have a problem functioning in the heat, but you have to make sure everything is right: hose connections, radiator, thermostat, water pump, O-rings, coolant. Once you've got it right, then you can pretty much forget it for a few months, only looking at the overflow, and watching the temperature gauge now and then. But once the car is running right, you certainly want to make sure it cools properly for reliability reasons.

Now that it stays pretty cool inside the engine, it is time work on the interior (sounds & A/C), because it is nice to travel listening to something besides the wind in your ear, and arrive at your destination as cool as a cucumber. =)


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Wow.
What's up with Photobucket?
It looks like they want a $400 annual fee for you to see my pictures.
Has anyone else had this problem -
Seriously?


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:59 am 
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Island Inbreeder
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Location: Emerald city Washington
Image


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 Post subject: Re: On the road again!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 335
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
Here's your weather update:
Image


$400 a year is out of my range, so you might not get any more photobucket links in this thread.
You Tube is probably an option, because some of the things I post are made credible with a video.
(Too bad you can no longer see how clean the synthetic has left the engine after many years...)

It was a quiet Sunday, and time to check the fluid level in the transmission.
For the uninitiated, the MK1 has a built in dipstick, so checking the level is a 5 minute job.
The level is okay, but the fluid looks a bit dark.

While checking out the fluid levels, I also got a good look under the engine.
No seeping around the oil drain plug, and the same around the area under the front main crankshaft seal.
Using the special tool to install the front main seal didn't hurt.

The coolant overflow tank level is pegged to the correct mark.
This indicates that, after 2 months, any leaks in the cooling system are non-existent.
That's good news as well.

Scheduled maintenance will be:
-changing the transmission fluid
-rebuilding another carburetor for it.

Gas mileage has been in the mid 40's, even with A/C use.

That's your positive update in Mid-Summer; time to go for a drive or a cool dip in the pool!

8)

Image


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