Have a Ragtop question? Post it here!
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By pilkguns
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Since I am back tracking through some old forums looking for Vert info, for a new build that involves one of Richard's T3s, I thought I would start compiling all the great posts from him that are sprinkled throughout the various forums and post them here, to be a more useful reference for those of us who love these little ragtops.

they will be put up in no random order, so just read through them.

here is the first

you use the wikipedia (and in my opinion incorrect) designation of generation 2. more precisely, the vert was produced in the mk2 type, 90-91, and the mk3 type, 92-93. the hood, front fenders, and lights (the lsi trim level composite type as all verts were lsi trim) are the same as the comparable year hatchbacks. the mk2 had the lower (more masculine) dash and charcoal interior. the mk3 had the later style dash with the half moon gauge cluster and interior plastic in a light gray. the airbag type steering wheel was the same across all years as were the seats.

there was a very minor production change in the top which pretty much goes unseen. there's a strap that supports the floating bow above the rear light (window) which used a steel loop and a snap on the earlier verts. that changed to a plastic compression clamp on the later verts. the plasic parts would break, the snap was more robust.

the headlights are the kind with the flush mounted lenses, not the recessed type that used the sealed beam lamps however those can be retrofitted to the vert. some people like them better.

the verts had small styling changes to the front and rear bumper covers. the front bumper mounting had a very small change between the mk2 and mk3. the rear bumper had a major difference in mounting between the mk2 and mk3 body types which makes a direct swap of the bumper covers a no go. the mk2 used a different tail light assembly which had the license plate located between the tail lights which provided illumination for the license. the mk3 had the license plate mounted low in the bumper cover with a plate illumination assembly separate from the tail lights. also, the mk3 had a filler panel or reflector between the tail lights.

a swap of the rear bumper and lights is a major undertaking which requires swapping the steel bumper support and welding to the rear valance panel between the tail lights to fit the rear parts between the mk2 and mk3 verts. also, the dash mounts and wiring harnesses don't interchange between the mk2 and mk3 types.

the doors are considerably different from the hatchbacks as the top window frame is removed on the verts and the a-pillar is made in such a manner as to mesh with the fronts of the doors. also, the side window glass and lift mechanisms as well as the windshield are vert specific.

the dash, console, and door panels are similar to the hatchbacks in lsi trim. the interior door pulls are a little different.

there are more differences in the chassis than it appears from a quick look. since the verts lack any mechanical support from a roof, the insides of the rocker panels are considerably more busy. under the rocker skins there are trusses that are fabricated to provide extra stiffness and they actually tie the front of the car to rear. that's why rusted rockers are often the demise of a vert. the chassis will actually fold in half if the trusses, or beams, rot away. the inner rockers of the hatchbacks are straight up and down, the verts' inner rockers are at about a 45* angle to cover the fabricated beam that runs the length of the rocker. look at the outside rocker skin on a vert and you'll see a weld seam almost to the rear of the door. the hatchbacks' rocker skins are seamless.

the rear of the chassis behind the doors is much different, too. the b-pillars wrap into a cowl that crosses from one side to the other and the step, or ledge, behind the seats provides a stiffner in the floor pan.

pretty much everything else on the chassis - suspension, engine, exhaust, etc. can be exchanged with the hatchback. the verts came with upgraded, vetilated front disc brakes that use a rotor over hub design with larger wheel bearings. the front knuckles are vert specific as well to handle the upgrades to the brakes. the verts also came equipped with a "sir" system (supplemental inflatable restraint or air bag) on the steering wheel with that supported by the ecu which also makes that vert specific. the verts also had 12mm wheel lugs and 13" wheels. all verts used the 4.39:1 ratio manual transmission, the automatics were the same as the base model with changes made to the atcu to control shift points based on engine rpm. all verts (lsi trim level) came equipped with tachometers.

that's pretty much the extent of the differences to that specific model. as a variant of the suzuki platform, the verts will pretty much accept any swift or swift gt parts and drive trains with some modifications. i've swapped manual transmissions to automatic cars, swift gt dohc 16v engines into factory g10 cars, turbo3 engines to them, 8 valve g13 engines, gt suspension components, 4 wheel disc brakes, gt bumpers, side skirts, head lights, hoods, grilles - all that stuff and it's a pretty straight forward deal to mix and match.
Last edited by pilkguns on Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By pilkguns
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t3ragtopMar 28 2012, 06:21 PM
"....as a variant of the suzuki platform, the verts will pretty much accept any swift or swift gt parts and drive trains with some modifications........ swift gt dohc 16v engines into factory g10 cars........... gt suspension components, 4 wheel disc brakes, gt bumpers, side skirts, head lights, hoods, grilles - all that stuff and it's a pretty straight forward deal to mix and match....."
If I swap a Suzuki GT 1.3 DOHC for the stock 1.0 Geo Metro vert engine what mods are required?

Suspension stuff, body parts, and brakes I get.... :news

But Wire Harness? ECU?

you change the ecu for sure. you use the engine wiring harness, 89 - 91 gt will fit the connectors on the 89 - 91 vert, 92 - 94 gt will fit the 92 -93 vert. you have to do a few wiring mods, pull a connector pin on the main power connector, run a new wire for the oil pressure switch/ idiot light, splice a snip from the gt front chassis harness to get the gt coil and ignitor working, and run a short jumper wire from the gt engine harness at the ecu connectors to the tach circuit wiring.

you also swap the gt instrument cluster as the tach is calibrated for 4 cylinders and the red line marking on the tach's face is higher than other models.

on the engine mounts you have to make the transmission mount fit the chassis. the vert's mounting holes are moved back about 2" on the left side. i have an easy trick for that.

you have to swap the shifter linkage from the gt to the vert, too.

that's about all the business. it's an easy swap once you understand what's going on. ;)
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By pilkguns
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1994 Verts? REALLY?

it's a glitch!

dealers who titled new verts in 94 gave a 93 car a 94 title date. some 92 model cars had that happen, too.

a 94 title could very well have a 92 build date which further confuses things.

if a car was built for the 93 model year in 92 it could have sat on a dealer's lot growing whiskers until 94. it would still be a new car in the dealer's name and if it sold in 94 it got a 94 title. it wouldn't matter much, about the only thing different with the very last cars is that they have a rear mounted window guide screwed to the aluminum top frame.
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By pilkguns
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i have been preaching this for many years - a top which has shrinkage breaks parts worth more than a new top.

vert owners are penny wise and pound foolish by not paying attention to a shrunken, brittle vinyl top. break a latch mounting block and that'll set you back dearly. break the fiberglass header and you will pay even more.

a shrunken top puts enough tension on the top frame that i have seen some with warped forged aluminum bows. i have seen some top frames bent all to hell by snapping a latch block and catching the wind at highway speed and blowing open like the chute on a rail dragster. :shake

a pinpoint vinyl top costs $179 and might take a day to replace. they are generally guaranteed for 6 years but in reality last about 2 years before they start drawing taut and causing you to put undue strain on the header bow.

i got tired of installing a vinyl top every 2 years and started buying the sail cloth tops costing closer to $300. less than twice the cost and they last 10 times longer. for a special "keeper" vert that you plan on enjoying more than a couple years, what you save in labor becomes a significant number.

again, metro guys, even vert guys, are famous for being cheap sons-of-guns and almost to a man will opt for the cheapest part they can find. :whistle everybody wants to jump on that shitty $179 vinyl rag and pass on the $279 cloth top because it's $100 more. i did that until i got tired of installing another pinpoint vinyl top every couple of years. i will recommend the cloth top every time now.

a canvass or sail cloth top looks much better and last much longer. ;)

http://parts.nalleygmc.com/images/parts ... 14-015.JPG
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By pilkguns
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Miata roll bar conversion kits?

yep, the important thing to remember is that these hoops added to a metro vert will only be cosmetic and will not provide any safety in a roll over.

they will complicate operation of the top and they would neuter the side wings of the boot cover (tonneau cover.)

the best adaptation i have seen in 12 years required removal of the oem seat belt retractors and belts and replacement of the belts with approved competition style 4 or 5 point seat belts.
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By pilkguns
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How do i stop the windows on my convertible from getting more scratched

part of the trim has 2 microfiber/ hair pads that push the side glass outward. those pads collect a lot of grit.

clean those pads. ;)

pull your door panels off and give the window tracks a tune up. B-)
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By pilkguns
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top latch breaking

almost every woe you will have with the top stems from a need to replace the vinyl rag. it shrinks and when it does it stresses the latch blocks. they break, the screws come out, or at the very least the header starts to whistle or roar.

while we are on the subject, frederick has completed a new batch of cast aluminum latch blocks as of 12/22/2014.

http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php? ... 36#p438836
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By pilkguns
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rusted vert door latch

that may or may not provide enough clamping force to keep the latch in place. closing the door puts a fair amount of pressure on that particular point.

the factory used a steel plate that was drilled to accept the screws which when tightened drew the plate on the latch and the receiving plate on the back side together. that spread the clamping force over a wider area.

you should also remove that welding slag with a grinder. clamping will be concentrated on the high spots resulting in a fraction of the force actually being applied to hold the latch in position.

i'm pretty sure that the latch and backing receiver are the same parts used on the hatchback so you could probably pick up a used oem part instead of trying to use the washers. ;)
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By pilkguns
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on sanding/polishing yellowing headlights

that's a bunch of sanding and polishing.

a light wipe with a cotton rag saturated with mek does about the same thing. ;)

don't get any on your paint.
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By pilkguns
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replacing just the vinyl window

that's the rub. if the top is old enough for the rear light to be trashed, the top is too old to remain in use. a shrunken top will cost you more in breakage of other parts than the new top is worth.

another issue is that the rear light on a vert top is a listed, dot approved item. replacing it with a generic bit of vinyl doesn't really qualify the repair as legal. check out a vert with a good top sometime and you will see the dot approval stamp in the clear vinyl.

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