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Terry Wiegand

1996 CHEVROLET GEO METRO

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I know that this is not quite an antique vehicle yet, but guys, I need some technical assistance with my wife's '96 Geo Metro.  For those who may not know very much about these little cars, they are really something else.  They have a three cylinder, 61 cubic inch engine in them.  This little car has 66,964 actual miles on the clock.  We are the second owner and it had a tad over 37,000 actual miles on it when we bought it over a year ago.  I had to put a new timing belt on it and this is where my questions start.  We had our local Chevrolet dealer do this because I do not have heat in my shop building yet.  The engine still runs what I call rough.  I put a new distributor cap, rotor, plugs, and plug wires on it a short while back and at that time the engine ran just perfect.  Can anyone shed any light on just why the engine might still run rough after the timing belt installation.  Could the technician have bumped an electrical or vacuum hose connection?  I am at wit's end as to what to look for.  I am not joking when I say that a person could pull the engine out and put it in a medium sized suitcase.  She regularly gets from 58 to 60 miles per gallon on the highway and we keep this little car in top condition.  Need some help please.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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I would take it right back to the Chevy dealer and tell him exactly what your symptoms are - how the car ran great before but does not after the work performed.

 

I do my own timing belts on my cars. On my 1986 Toyota Camry, if I get the timing belt just one cog off, the car would run like crap. The valve timing was off. When I carefully reinstalled the belt again everything would be great.

 

The technician screwed something up - either the belt placement or knocking something awry. Be forceful. 

 

And let us know what happens.

 

 

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Well said, Eli! 

 

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The car is back at the dealership and they told me that they would go over it and find out what the issue is.  Their shop is really well respected in our area and I am confident that they will get to the bottom of things for us.

Thank you guys.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Maybe the timing belt was installed off a tooth, so the cam timing is off. 

Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)

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The guy in that video I posted says some things which are not correct. He seems to think that if you install the timing belt and are off a tooth on the timing marks you can compensate for that by adjusting the timing at the distributor.

 

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Also some of the later Metros may have more than one mark on the upper pulley. Older Metros have a vacuum port on the runner to #1 cylinder that if leaking will cause a miss. It was connected to the distributor on the old ones. You probably have electronic timing on that car, but your manifold might still have the port.

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Those 3 cylinder engines were noted for cracked valves.  I got really good at changing them back in the day!

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The thing that keeps bringing me back to the timing issue is that last Thursday afternoon the engine was running just fine.  Friday morning at startup it ran like crap.  I have heard of the timing belts breaking and I have been told that the timing belts will stretch and jump a tooth, or maybe two, and the engine will barely run.  Thanks for the suggestions.  I must admit, this is the first time that I have ever heard of a cracked valve.  Will keep you guys posted as to what turns up with this.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas 

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6 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Maybe the timing belt was installed off a tooth, so the cam timing is off. 

 

My suggestion, as well

 

hope you have a good outcome-

Let the dealership's OWNER know that 

You plan to publicly praise his operation-

once the car runs as well as before his technician worked on it

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Interesting. Was also a Pontiac Firefly that was badge engineered but the engine was a Suzuki Swift. Model line stared in the late 80s so some are eligible. Used to see a lot as TOADs since so light.

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19 hours ago, mike6024 said:

The guy in that video I posted says some things which are not correct. He seems to think that if you install the timing belt and are off a tooth on the timing marks you can compensate for that by adjusting the timing at the distributor.

 

 

Something that a random person posted on the interwebs is wrong?! I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

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Did you ever find out what was wrong with the Metro?

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