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WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/22/11 9:20 a.m.

my first car was an auto 95 4dr metro 4cyl. but that's about as much as i know about the entire line. i found ssgti.net and found pdf's of original brochures, and the GT looks kind of interesting.

i see more than a couple have one here, what do they drive like? how would they compare to a say 91 crx or civic or mk2 golf? are parts available for that engine for DD use? looks like it could be a good little autox/dd car with good mpg too.

i dont know that i've ever seen one in person, so if theyre that rare is a clean one like this black 94 worth the $2500 asking price?

purplepeopleeater
purplepeopleeater Reader
1/22/11 11:11 a.m.

Worked on them in the late 80s don't know how they've held up since but as new was as fast or faster than a CRX SI. Handling was similar, maybe a tad stickier. Didn't have the torque of the SI, was maybe faster but not as easy to drive, you have to keep them on the boil.

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
1/22/11 11:16 a.m.

I've only had a tiny bit of experience with my friend's turbo'ed Swift GT. I'd describe it as "canned heat". As in, it felt like a tin can, overheating. At least compared to my EG Civic hatch I had at the time. Derogatory jokes aside, it was much faster than it had any right to be and a lot of fun to drive, just kinda scary. That particular chassis felt like it was going to fly apart while accelerating. I drive a mk1 mr2 as a dd and this is not a car I would like to drive daily, but that's just me. I'd gander it might make a fun autocross car though.

edit - that push button start on that linked example must add at least 40hp

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
1/22/11 11:29 a.m.

You can see mine in my garage

Forget about ssgti.net Check out Teamswift

Although the 95+ cars were a little wider, heavier, sturdier, and drive much nicer, the GT it is the same platform. That's not a bad price, if the car is that good. Lot's were sold in Canada, so they are more plentiful, and cheaper here. Parts are generally available, and now is a good time if you wanted to build one up, as many are now at the end of their lives, and being parted.

They are fun, and quick, but not particularly fast. The handle OK, but not great. Fun autocross cars, but you won't likely win with it. A CRX Si should be faster. I commute with mine, and feel safe in it, but it is much smaller than what most Americans feel comfortable in. They are light, but not light enough. Take out the rear seat, spare, and jack, and it wakes the car right up. Tire size (gearing) is very important. This should give you an idea how little torque they make. A turbo GT would be insane.

Another option, if you're looking for a cheap, fun commuter/project, is the 98+ 16V cars. See the green one in my garage. They can be had for under $1000, and drive MUCH nicer than the GT. Not the same power wise, and they don't have the same explosive, sport bike like power, but they can be made to be fairly entertaining for not much money

HiTempguy
HiTempguy HalfDork
1/22/11 12:08 p.m.

You know whats surprising? My 96 Civic CX hatch rattles more than my '90 Swift GTi (and my 93 Civic CX hatch did as well). If the GTi was bone stock (mine has massive cams, standalone, headwork and what not) I would be daily driving it right now over the CX. Having driven a bone stock CRX Si (and the price they collect for finding one under 200,000kms) I'd definitely consider the swift ;)

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Reader
1/22/11 1:17 p.m.

I've got one, and the engine is just about my favorite mill of all time. The car itself is a metro, but the brakes and engine are great. I'd just call it "balanced". The handling is good, with some chassis flex, and bushings, struts and springs are mandatory for autocross IMO. The downside is the trannies are made of glass. the Drivers door regulator always screws up. The fit and finish are mediocre at best, and the specialized parts (axles, brake rotors, etc) are expensive and rare. I just had a local shop do a 3 angle valve job on my spare head, and they were able to find valves. Again, the engine is superb. The 3-cyl trannies bolt in, buy have minor exterior and (I suspect) interior differences.The 3cly convt. trans I put in my car has 4.44 instead of 4.10 final drive gearing, but just feels cheaper than the factory Gt unit. I think $2500 is fair for one of these in great condition. You'll love the ample performance and near 40 mpg fuel consumption. The trans problems and expensive $1200 LSD keep making me think this should be a donor for say a Starlet RWD thing, but the Swift is just so right. I'm done rambling. I will only say, that I do recommend one, just skip the turbo, unless you like rebuilding and swapping transmissions. Oh, and 120k miles isn't bad. My transmission went to about 260k, and the engine was still running at 250k with a burnt exhaust valve when I pulled it. The PO abused this thing extensively, too.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
1/22/11 1:45 p.m.

You now have the 4.39-1 trans. (vert/95+ 3 cyl) The only internal difference between the GT/non GT trans are the final drive ratios, and the size of the diff., and it's not significant.

I sell 1 pc SS swirl polished, oversize GT valves for probably about what you paid for stock replacement. Parts are out there. You just have to know where to look.

How do you like the new ratio? I'm putting one in mine over winter.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla Dork
1/22/11 5:24 p.m.

I liked mine, it was fun and unique. The G13B is an amazing engine and the sound when uncorked at 8krpms is...well...surreal. But when a Toyota Matrix passes you and it looks like a Highlander... well, it's not exactly big. Tire selection sucks. Suspension parts are non-existant. But it is a unique car for sure.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
1/22/11 9:35 p.m.

Neat cars. I have the seats from one in my Mini.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/22/11 9:41 p.m.

so overall, its an early geo metro with better parts and a glorious but small engine

Matt B wrote: I drive a mk1 mr2 as a dd and this is not a car I would like to drive daily, but that's just me. I'd gander it might make a fun autocross car though.

a mk1 mr2 is on my list too. i'm a car salesman's nightmare. my criteria is literally anything under $5k, "DD reliable", and not a nightmare to work on.... and not much else. seeing youre in the south, have you (or anyone else reading) driven the mr2 in the white stuff? my biggest criteria is that i can get to class in the northeast and that what i buy is a new automotive adventure for me.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Reader
1/23/11 10:19 a.m.

Z Woof- I stand corrected, was going from memory instead of fact on that ratio. I like the ratios okay, but as an interstate cruiser, it did get a bit buzzy. One of my potential plans is to make a bit more power, and go back to the 4.10 trans with a rebuild, maybe a locker. You don't happen to sell those, do you? Got a link for parts? Are you involved with one of the "BIG" shops that comes up on google. I'd always give my hard earned cash to a GRMer, so let me know.

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Reader
1/23/11 1:44 p.m.

I have had 3 GT's over the past 10 yrs. or so. I echo the others comments. Fun cars, engine is awesome, loves to rev. Harder to find now.Watch out for rust on the front end pieces.

AquaHusky
AquaHusky Reader
1/23/11 2:21 p.m.

I've seen vids of guys spinning those G13B engines to 10K. They do sound awesome. I had a plain Swift once, and a 4 door Metro. Both of the '93 variety. I enjoyed them both really. For a DD, I would buy it.

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla New Reader
1/23/11 2:42 p.m.

I built a '96 for ice racing this year and swapped in a 13b with cams,bored TB and a chip mostly for the higher rev limit of 8600 and used the 3 cyl trans for the shorter gearing. This is my 1st suzuki anything but the engines sure seem robust,my engine came out of a car thats been parked for years and then a barn fell on it,has a little over 200k on it.Doesn't show any signs of oil consumption and revs like a sport bike.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/23/11 6:40 p.m.

wow, thats really cool! makes me wish there were more 2g hatches around to look at.

alright, i gotta go check that black one out, i'm interested to see what they drive like. plus it's only half of my total budget so i'd still be able to correct or improve some things. even though my tolerance for being in cars without nice interiors (think gutted challenge car type) is extremely high, i will be spending a bit of time in whatever i buy so not being grating is a good thing. but cool/fun+reliable trumps comfy/quiet every time.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/23/11 7:20 p.m.

ok, info seems a bit hard to find, so i have a couple questions.
what's the difference between a US spec GT and a GTi?
do all 98+ 4 cyl metros have the 1.3L 16v?

Lugnut
Lugnut HalfDork
1/23/11 8:31 p.m.

The GTi and GT are the same. VW raised a stink when Suzuki came out with the GTi so they just changed it.

I have a '94 myself. I love it! It's way faster than anything that looks like that has any business being. It's really an inappropriate amount of fun. Do not underestimate the level of cheapness in these cars, though. The seat rails are flimsy, I think the window regulators are made of low grade aluminum foil, the front a-arm suspension points rust out catastrophically, the sheet metal is thin like prosciutto, the ducting for the heater vents is a thin accordiony plastic that is easy for a passenger's foot to knock out, the lift tab switches for the cable-operated hatch release and gas door are bendy...

But even with all of that, the car is absolutely delightful to drive. I can't speak to the 95+ cars - Swift GTs stopped in the US after 1994, along with the convertibles and five door hatchbacks. It's quick and fun and it makes all the right noises. With my worn out, stock, floppy suspension, it three wheels a lot even on the street. My transmission is missing 2nd gear, like so many of them are, but the car came with another trans that I haven't tried putting in yet.

Everything is easy to reach and easy to work on. Most of the interior is attached with those little plastic clips that you push the pin in the middle to release. I grab a handful every time I'm at the junkyard.

Mine doesn't have AC, and even my white car gets hot and stuffy in the summer. But the rear quarter windows do open outwards... it's not so bad. I keep thinking about picking up a parts car with AC and swapping it but it's more weight and frankly, I don't have the patience for that kind of work.

I've had my GT since May and everyone is shocked that I have kept it this long. I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/23/11 9:02 p.m.

you guys keep picking up these for like $500, which makes the thought looking at that $2500 kind of stupid feeling, unless its in fantastic shape.

what areas should i look at for walk-away type rust issues?

HiTempguy
HiTempguy HalfDork
1/23/11 9:43 p.m.
WilberM3 wrote: What areas should i look at for walk-away type rust issues?

rockers and front a-arm mounts. Of course, to truly check out the rockers, you have to remove either the carpet inside, or the plastic sideskirts (and if they've never been removed, you'll probably wreck the plastic square clips they screw into).

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
1/23/11 10:57 p.m.
WilberM3 wrote: a mk1 mr2 is on my list too. i'm a car salesman's nightmare. my criteria is literally anything under $5k, "DD reliable", and not a nightmare to work on.... and not much else. seeing youre in the south, have you (or anyone else reading) driven the mr2 in the white stuff? my biggest criteria is that i can get to class in the northeast and that what i buy is a new automotive adventure for me.

Not to derail the thread, but you asked.

Apparently, the main issue with dd'ing a first gen mr2 in the winter is rust. They're kinda susceptible to it. This also makes finding a decent one hard in the great white north.

The handling probably wouldn't be a huge issue, as long as you had the right tires and a healthy suspension (read: replace all bushings, balljoints, tie-rod ends, and possibly struts). That said, I haven't tried it myself, as owning snow tires in Georgia is kinda unnecessary. (well we did until this year, lol)

As far as reliability, they're great as long as they're maintained. The problem is their age and general cheapness - and we all know what that leads to. As with all cars that age, I wouldn't suggest one to someone who doesn't like wrenching. Besides what some service managers might have you believe, they're not a nightmare to work on despite their mid-engine layout. Stuff like the timing belt and water pump are a not easy to get to, but if I can do it with hand tools in my garage it's not that big a deal. The good thing is that when you work on them, they actually stay fixed (when your not a total noob and do it right the first time, unlike me).

Hope that helps.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/23/11 11:12 p.m.
Matt B wrote: Not to derail the thread, but you asked.

heh, derailed is about as focused as i am for the cars i'm looking into... i'm literally looking at 4 decades, flat4/awd, i4/mr, i4/i6v8/v6/rwd, i4/fwd.... i'm a salesman's worst knightmare.

btw, where do i look for rust on mk1's w/ttops?

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Reader
1/24/11 4:07 p.m.

Pseudo bump, but I'm really enjoying the thread. Wilber, I had an AW11, and the only spot rusted through was where the hood hinges mounted to the tub. Also, Kevlarcorolla, Are those Celica/Supra wheels? That is the coolest looking 3rd gen I've ever seen. Looks hellafun

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla New Reader
1/24/11 6:30 p.m.
wheelsmithy wrote: Pseudo bump, but I'm really enjoying the thread. Wilber, I had an AW11, and the only spot rusted through was where the hood hinges mounted to the tub. Also, Kevlarcorolla, Are those Celica/Supra wheels? That is the coolest looking 3rd gen I've ever seen. Looks hellafun

Thanks,yes those are supra wheels and the offset required the box flair treatment which we all know makes things more better right?.

This angle shows them off a little better,

Bobzilla
Bobzilla Dork
1/24/11 6:37 p.m.

I will say the engines are bulletproof. Mine had 200k rough miles on it and ran great. The transmissions on the other hand are a bit fragile. Built much power out of one and you'd better shift like your granny on her way to sunday church.

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
1/24/11 10:18 p.m.
WilberM3 wrote: btw, where do i look for rust on mk1's w/ttops?

Rear quarter panels - rear arch of the wheel wells. Even without obvious bubbles, you can look under the trunk carpeting to see if there's rust back there. Also look under the "frunk" lining for rust, as it can be caused by leaking brake master cyl & clutch hydraulics. I would also assess how much of PITA it would be to work on one with a rusty suspension. The rest of the common stuff applies.

T-tops are known to be leaky unless the seals have been replaced, so run a hose over your prospective purchases. Not sure how much the seals cost though (I have a sunroof). kbox.com has most of the rubber needed to maintain them.

If you're interested in more, mr2oc.com is probably the best mr2 board.

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