31st May 2007, 02:43

The link I provided works if you don't copy the period at the end. Just a habit of mine. The page has a full list of vehicles and marks that are interference. I couldn't find your reference right away, but stumbled on Gates.com's PDF file of the interference engines.

And yes, it IS listed as interference:

Prizm 1989-92 1.6L 4-Cyl. (DOHC, VIN 6) * - The star indicates an interference engine. This plain listing should be for the LSI model, which is the subject of the review listed.

The difference is the GSI says it's non interference in that list: Prizm GSI 1990-92 1.6L 4-Cyl. (DOHC, VIN 5).

On the other hand, there is no consistency. Checking its twin Toyota, they DON'T list the interference, and some websites are quite sure it's NI. Why the heck do so many sources list the Geo as interference? They're the same motors, the listings make no sense. The belt part number is the same, so I'll have to abide that the rule that a Toyota mechanic goes with on Toyota vehicles is true: If it's a belt, it's NI, if it's a chain, it's an interference.

I would've saved my money had I known that. One of my first repairs was the timing belt "just in case." I hate the web sometimes, answers can be impossible to chase down in some cases. I should've cross checked the Toyota info when I was looking for the interference listing of the Geo.

25th Sep 2007, 17:15

Yeah I know what you mean about the internet. I ran into some of the same problems during my initial research. When I tore everything apart I manually turned the crank/camshafts and found that there was still plenty of clearance. Not a FUN job to do, but it could be worse. It's good to see that Toyota has gone back to timing CHAINS on most of their '98 & up engines. The chains might not be as "smooth" running, but will generally go well past 200,000 miles.

23rd Jan 2008, 07:40

According to the gates.com PDF file available at http://www.gates.com/downloads/download_common.cfm?file=428-1466_web.pdf&folder=brochure

BOTH the VIN 5 (4A-GE) engine and the VIN 6 (4A-FE) engine are NON-interference.

The same goes for the listing of these same engines for Toyota Corollas. Check it out -- no asterisks designating interference engines.

30th May 2008, 00:12

I am about to go on a BC to VT road trip in my 1991 Geo Prizm (VIN#6) with 109K on it. I bought it for $400 with 84K and all that has gone are the brake lines and the long exhaust pipe on the bottom. In all it cost about $200 to fix. I think there was a wheel bearing in there too. Anyways, I was about to get the timing belt done, but it looks like that won't be necessary. I have AAA and plenty of time to kill, so a breakdown wouldn't be a disaster. Thanks for verifying this model amid all the confusion of the Internet. I'm glad I looked it up before asking a mechanic.