Short Main Question:
Is a 92 Geo Metro Lsi 1.0 Liter engine manufacture in Japan free-spinning as my dealer puts it? This meaning that it can jump time without the piston hitting the valve and bending it.
The timing jumped on my 92 Geo Metro Lsi convertible made in Japan. At least the driver door plate lists Suzuki as the manufacturer. The local dealer said I would need a new timing belt and valves for $1000-1300. Now no one there ever told me the car would trash the valves if I waited too long to put a new timing belt on it. I had a Nissan 300TT and they told me that every time i took it in for anything.
So I knew that could happen, but that it didn't always happen. I called back and asked them what it would be to only put a timing belt on and got a price of $550. They also told me that engines were either free-spinning or not, and that if it was, the belt might be all it needed. Mind you the mechanic who would be repairing the car is the one who passed along this information. I have never heard the term free-spinning but there are a lot of terms I've never heard of. But I can understand how valves could survive this if the engine were set up certain ways.
I would have called a dealer's shop to see if the engine was free-spinning, but I was talking to the only local dealer! I started searching the net and found this group and read some related post and the job doesn't sound all that difficult. I found a timing belt as low as $16.95 and a (sp?)tensioner for $47.95 and that may be all it takes. I have always replaced the (sp?)tensioner. $550 sounds like too much to me. Plus the mechanic sounds a little shaky when he doesn't even know the car well enough to know if its free-spinning, and obviously the shop is not willing to look it up without being asked. They didn't even recommend a new water pump which is usually virtually parts cost only while doing this. The car has 90,000 miles and darn near nothing done to it.
I will ask here but I'm pretty sure I'm going to just get the car out of there, even if I have to just watch it rust away. Would you let this place work on your car?
All the people I used to have do work for me are dead or don't do it anymore. I have a bad back and usually can't do much with cars because of all the leaning. Rather hard to support your weight with one hand and do what needs to be done with the other one. But I am ready to take a stab. But I want to know one thing first. Is it free-spinning or not? Will my valves definitely be damaged or not?
There are two types of engines, interference and NON-interference engines.
Synonymous to free-spinning and non-free spinning. The latter is less
used to describe the type of engine as far as I have heard. It all has to
do with the valve train and how it was designed and how it's rotary 360
degrees of rotation fit in with the bottom end, IE) the pistons and crank.
If the valve train is capable of a free 360 degrees of rotation while at
the same time the bottom end is moving in it's 360 degrees of rotation and
there is no bind up at any point in either rotations, it is a
non-interference engine. The opposite is true for interference. It's all
in the engineering.
From what I found, the Geo Metro 1.0 liter 3 cylinder for 1992 is an INTERFERENCE engine. This means that if the timing belt breaks, you CAN damage the valve train and pistons/connecting rods. MOST likely you will if this is the case because of the movement of top and bottom end during engine operation. Take a look at the following site and scroll down to GEO and look at yours. This site shows cars with INTERFERENCE engines and that run timing belts as opposed to chains. Your Metro appears to take a T166 belt and recomended change mileage is at 60,000 miles. If the car just jumped one notch of time, it may be ok. If the engine is running now, you'd best go ahead and slap a new belt in it before it does break or skip anymore which could essentially trash the engine and totally devalue the car to the point it is not worth fixing. Good luck.
Thanks for your helpful reply. The link is great and I will pass it around
to those I have made curious by asking if they knew about mine. The way I
read it was that my engine was not an interference engine as there was no
asterisk beside the engine designation, the asterisk signifying that it was
an interference engine.
You said however that from what you had found out it was an interference engine. Now I'm confused. Did I read the chart wrong? Would you please post where you saw it listed as an interference engine?
If Suzuki or GM says it is I would pretty much have to accept that. But it would seem to be in the belt manufacturer’s self interest to err in favor of saying it was one instead of saying it wasn't. They would then 'scare' more people into changing the belt and sell more of their product.
The car was traveling on the Interstate at c. 65mph when it stopped running and I have attempted to restart it several times. It turns over fine with no unusual noises. Seems to me if there were valve damage there is a good chance there would at least be a little clicking.
I take this as a good sign and the belt chart as well. I'm strongly rooting for non-interference.
You know something Ron, I did not even look at the chart that way but in reassessment I think I screwed up and mis-advised you. :doh: I went back and looked again and I think you are correct about the NO asterisk issue. What happened was that I was under the impression for an age old issue in this forum months ago that this listing was all interference engines for some strange reason. :doh: I must have had a brain fart. Odds are then you just broke the belt and she's intact just fine. YES if valve train damage occured you crank that think over and hear all kinds of noise possible. So you'd think that everything that you are telling me should have clicked but I am sorry, I mis-spoke LOL. I think you're good. I am sure you like that news. You'll, of course, want to re-evaluate this and make sure the diagnosis IS the timing belt and then go from there, but I dont NOT think you have an interference engine now after re-eval. Good luck, let me know what happens!!! :mrgreen:
I meant: I DON'T think you have an interference engine, LOL. I did not
mean I DONT NOT think.........I can't type either. LOL I must have been
fried by the sun today as I was up a ladder painting my house all day.
:screwy: Hi this is that old red neck lol just wanted to say run a compression test and that will tell you if there is a bad or bent valve .Cmese.try painting a house out here in Az talk about HOT 7:20 am and its 92 now have a great day Slim
The compression test sounds great. I'll use it to verify the lack of valve
damage. The car is 'hopefully' being towed back now. I went by the dealers
last week and paid them their $69 for hooking up 'THE MACHINE' to the car,
but the tow truck just went today because of the holidays. They called me
back a few minutes ago and said the dealer knew nothing about my car.
Luckily I knew the man's name who I had been dealing with and gave it to them. Hope he remembers! lol
Good luck on your houses. Its only 90 here at 1:00 PM. But my son is working in Kuwait and gives me a hard time if i complain, saying its a cool day there, only 120! At least we are not there. :laughing:
Oh I know about heat, been in the mid 90's all week here and it's 93 today. YUCK!
My great thanks to everyone on this. :clap: After a nights work by two people my Geo is back on the road with a new timing belt and water pump. :thumbs: The old pump looked ok but i was there, it was just too easy to replace to not.
Without everyone's help I would have thought I was looking at a professional repair at around $1300. And the car would still be sitting.
Well next up is a 91 Cutlass Supreme with a bad hesitation problem, not that bad for 198,000 miles. And also a 76 Buick that has an electrical problem and won't crank but only 38k miles.
Guess I'll be searching threads for a while to try and find if someone else had these problems with these cars.