1997 Geo Metro LSi 1.3 aem sprchrgd from North America
A great car at any experience level (not too hard to work on and you can't beat the initial cost!
Head gasket was changed at 42,000 miles (replaced with steel-reinforced gasket)
Distributor and Coil changed at 60,000 miles.
Brakes changed every two years since purchase (rear brakes are not self-adjusting, so if you use the park brake, especially while moving, they will stick and ware quickly)
Bumpers have both been replaced more than once. It seems as though they are designed poorly or made of cheap materials. They just seem to crack after a while.
Got tired of replacing O.E.M. batteries under high loads (i.e. headlights, windshield wipers, and radio all on at the same time) found that two yellow-jacket deep-cycle battery packs fit perfectly in the rear floorboards (in protective battery boxes, of course) at 40,000 miles.
O.E.M. headlight housings replaced with 2001 model housings (the old ones fogged over and the plastic turned an ugly brown color) at 100,000 miles.
My metro is a 3dr and handles very well, especially after dropping it on stiff springs and 15 by 6.5 inch wheels on p225/35 tires.
Swapping factory plugs and cables with Bosch platinum plus2 plugs and Arrow Spiro-wire ignition cables. I have had no luck finding an upgrade for the distributor cap itself, though.
Wheels are 4 x 4.6 inch lug pattern. They are very hard to find in chrome, and I've only found three companies that make billit aluminum upgrades.
The factory seats are not very comfortable, but what can you expect in a car that retails for under $10,000. Unfortunately, if you're going for weight reduction, you'll be hard-pressed to find a suitable seat with five point harnesses without adding at least five lbs. (yeah, laugh it up... five lbs.,big deal.)
I've dropped over 100 lbs. including rear seats and all internal paneling (useless plastic that covers the framework in the car) along with all of the a/c components and airbags. (they weigh in at almost 15 lbs. together) This along with an Atypical supercharger with a compression ratio of only 1-2.3 changed the quarter-mile times from low 22 sec. runs to 15.5's according to Kansas City International Raceway.
It is very hard to find performance parts to work on these small Suzuki engines without massive amounts of fabrication and a fair amount of compromise.
One great process I've found is cryogenic treatment of internal engine parts. This method does require complete dismantling of the engine, but it makes these "cost effective" parts strong without having to replace them with aftermarket parts that you'll have fun trying to fit right.
Another very simple (but scary) modification involves cutting a hole in the sheet metal hood right in front of the intake. This means that you gut the entire factory cold-air-intake under the right front wheel well, and then spin the cover directly above your air cleaner so that the port points forward. Then you cut a hole between the support joists in the hood directly before the air cleaner. This helps acceleration dramatically, especially off of the line.
Since they don't make a performance or "p" chip for these cars, adjusting the computer settings for air/fuel mix, and rev limit settings must by done by plugging up directly through the port under the driver kick panel. Countless programs are made for this task; find one that fits your PC and your budget.
The plastic capped radiators are worthless, but going much bigger means losing you're a/c (if you have it). Make sure your flow rate isn't going to over cool at high speeds or you'll be putting duct tape & cardboard over it to heat up your car.
Last thing, splurge a little every time you change your oil and filters. Synthetics will not only make your ride last longer, but they will also boost your performance because of their lighter weight (less drag from internal engine components sludging through thick oil). K&N high flow air cleaners are a quick and easy way to get more air into any engine. They're also cleanable and reusable.
You should treat people like you want to be treated, right. Well, maybe more people should treat their cars like they would like to be treated. I think that there would be less scrap in junkyards and more Geo Metro drivers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2004
14th Apr 2004, 16:16
Where did you find the new rims? What company's do you know of that manufacture them?
2nd Jan 2008, 01:25
Original issuer, American Racing now makes a few different sizes, but I have found that fourteen inch wheels are a better fit because of an annoying grinding in lock to lock steering with fifteen inch wheels.