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By pilkguns
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fender flares

suzuki sport had fender flares but they merely cosmetic adornments and didn't do anything to increase clearance.

for additional clearance for wider tires, lowering, etc. you can roll the fender lips, but only a little bit like enough to get you 1/4". to get anything substantial you have to cut out the fender wells.
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By pilkguns
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hood scoop
actually, there is a difference between the real turbo3 hood and a standard metro. the hood support ribs on the bottom are spaced differently.

if you cut a metro hood to install the turbo3 scoop in it's proper position, you will have to cut through a support rib

Someone over on TeamSwift provided a template for when I have the scoop...

Just need to find out what they meant by "This is a bracket formed in the hood"

that someone would be chris dreyer. he took the measurements for me to cut a metro hood to fit my first hood scoop.

it'a a little more involved than the sketch indicates because the hole has to line the bottom outlet of the hood scoop and it's rubber seal to coincide exactly with the top mounted intercooler on the turbo3. the intercooler is mounted on a tube frame that bolts to the end of the transmission and the engine block and suspends the heat exchanger over the transmission.

the intercooler is pretty small and you have to get the scoop outlet spout mounted in the bottom of the hood so that the air is ducted through the maybe 8" x 8" area where the hx fins are.

it helps to have the engine/ intercooler loaded in position when you begin to chop the hood.

the statement "this is a bracket formed in the hood" means that when you cut the hole you have to leave some steel that gets bent, formed into the bracket that you bolt the scoop to. remember that you'll be working in 3 dimensions, there is a slope to the hood, and there is depth to the scoop. getting the mounting bracket bent into the steel left in the cutout without kinking the hood is tricky, too.

i used a combination of tools to do the job. a 3" cutoff wheel on a pneumatic die grinder, good wiss aviation metal shears (right and left hand,) an end of a hacksaw blade clamped in small vice grip pliers. and some good, sharp files. you need a good drill motor and several sharp drills (drill a very small piot hole and work up to the correct size for the studs in the scoop so you don't tweak the steel hood.)

lay up wide masking tape on the hood to protect the paint and use that to draw on when you are laying out the hole for cutting.

the more precise your measurements are, the better the scoop will fit and the better the completed job will turn out.

i've used the measurements from that drawing to do several hood scoop installations but keep in mind that the dimensions are more of a guide than an accurate road map. :D
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By pilkguns
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i've pretty much specialized in metro verts for about 10 years. i've replaced a bunch of tops, too.

if you are going to do this yourself i would recommend that you cut your teeth on the task by using a replacement pinpoint vinyl top from EZON. that will have all of the mounting holes pre-punched which makes them a quick installation. the haartz pinpoint vinyl tops are guaranteed for 3 years against material defects and you can expect a 3 to 5 year service life if you keep the top clean, don't use anything like armor all on it, and don't raise or lower the top in temps below around 60* f.

there are also tops which are described as sailcloth which are fabricated using a slit and woven vinyl material laminated over a rubber substrate. those have a longer service life, a better appearance, and are slightly harder to install. the guarantee for those is 5 years.

the top of the line will be the canvass tops. those use a tightly woven fabric over a rubber substrate with an inner liner laminated to the bottom. the canvass tops are probably the most handsome of the bunch but they are absolutely the hardest to install. they require a bunch of stretching and fitting. there are no holes, you punch those as you go. they fit up really nicely but you really have to fiddle with the installation. when they are installed and finished, the canvass tops are very, very good looking. you can also choose from a wider selection of colors for those. they are guaranteed against material defects for 6 years.

to give you an idea of what you are getting into, a pinpoint vinyl top installation including removal of the old rag, figuring on 2 or 3 of the hold down screws' heads stripping out, cleaning the body tub and top frame, and installing the new rag, will take an average of 6 hours.

i just installed a canvass top this past weekend, had 2 stripped screws, dealt with a considerable amount of dirt and dust along with a little rust remediation, and got the job done in just over 12 hours.
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......and i pretty much know what i'm doing. :D

right now there is a seller on ebay who is doing a super deal on black EZON or Germanex canvass tops for the metro vert at $269 plus shipping ($25 from california to ohio.) that's about $130 less than any other auto trim outfit sells them. the ebay seller's handle is -diamondmall - david daoud. he was really good with his communication during and after the sale. i recommend him. it takes about 2 weeks from paypal transmittal until the top is at your door as they are custom cut using a $1.2 million laser die cutting machine in lots of 5. custom color orders are $70 higher due to the fact that the manufacturer cuts those 1 at a time instead of 5 at a time so the extra cost is a machine set up fee.

you will also want to line up some new hardware for the installation. i use m4 x 25mm stainless steel button head allen screws (one guy here who asked me about the screw size came back and hammered me, telling me that they were some sae fractional size. believe me, the oem screws are m4.) you'll also want to find some stainless flat washers to fit the screws and some rubber or vinyl sealing washers. there's a total of 16 fastener sets, 3 on each side under the quarter trim and 10 along the rear flange. the hardware will set you back about $15 at a good hardware store.

consider ordering a new set of tensioning cables, too. some cars i've done had frayed cables and those need replacement. you never know until you peel the old rag back whether the cables can be re-used or whether you need new ones. also, there are plastic roller guides under the top, now unavailable from the dealers. i found replacement rollers for screens in sliding glass doors that had ball bearing centers that i was able to adapt for my new top. that would depend on your local hardware store's stock and your level of ingenuity.

that's the run down. good luck, and above all, have fun.
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By pilkguns
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there are really only a few manufacturers of the tops. i gave the names of the best ones - EZON and Germanex. those are the ones that diamondmall sells for $269. i'm not sure how long he'll offer that price but it's $130 cheaper than the other guys who peddle the same brands.

personally, i'd stay away from the Acme brand. i got one of those 6 years ago and i sent that back as soon as i pulled it out of the box and requested an EZON.

every top has to meet usdot specs for the rear light (window) with the standard being 40 mil vinyl. the vinyl rear light in the canvass top i just used actually has a dot approved stamp in the lower left corner. the oem spec was a pinpoint vinyl (japanese) with heat welded seams and a fixed rear light. the old top i removed was the original top, 21 years old. you can tell if it was an oem top because they had 3 velcro pads at the bottom (under the trunk lid) that the oem window protector was attached to. the protector kept the folded rear light from scuffing when the top was stowed.

there's nothing in the top frame that would cut the rear light when the top was stowed. typically, the top folds into itself automatically. i use a cotton bath towel laid on the back when i fold the top down and that works like the factory protector for the rear window.

the zippered rear light option was something that the aftermarket guys did, not oem. that option runs about $75 extra but don't think that the rear light zips all the way out. the zipper runs on 3 sides and just lets you unzip the window so that it hangs down into the fabric cradle in the boot, an option for better air circulation with the top up. you would still have to remove the top to replace the rear window and you'd have to find a trim shop to remove the panel, replace the vinyl light, and resew the panel back into the top. the labor charge for that would probably be around the same cost as a new top.

if the top rips or the window splits after installation, i'd have to say that the installation was done wrong. i've replaced a bunch of metro vert tops without any problems and they gave years of service until they finally shrank enough to make closing them a 2 person undertaking.

the canvass tops use a rubber lamination instead of a single layer of vinyl and they are much better about shrinkage and cool weather operation. as tight as my top is, closing it is pretty easy. it comes down to about an inch of the windshield frame and a steady 2 handed pull brings the alignment pins into position and close enough for the cam latches to operate smoothly. you can feel the rubber substrate pull into place.

also, i think that the wind noise is less with my new top on the highway. it rained the day after i installed it and the water beads up like it's on freshly waxed paint and rolls off in big drops.
Reformed Elitist Prick!
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By pilkguns
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rusted rockers

i did floor and rocker replacement this past summer on my blue vert. there are some good pics in my "monster turbo3" thread located in the first thread section (top of the page.)

i have my repair panels, patches, and steel thicker than about 14 gauge bent at a fabricating shop where they have hydraulic shears and press breaks. then i trim things up and piece the rockers together.

inside the rockers there are several assemblies that create a structural beam. if those a very rotted, you'll have to go beyond just replacing the skin. i just picked up a red vert that will need a more extensive repair ro the rockers. i plan on using a 2 1/4" thin walled pipe from the front corners to behind the rear doors, stitch welded to the inner rockers and the lower door opening frame. when i attach the rocker skins, i'll drill holes in the panel and fill weld the outer skin to the pipe and then grind the welds smooth. that ought to make the chassis stiffer than it was when new.
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By pilkguns
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top replacement screws

i used M4 fine thread self tappers with button type allen heads in stainless steel with nylon washers and a smear of silicone on the threads.
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you're better off going with bolts that are a little bigger than the originals there. that lets them cut new threads instead of fitting into rust enlarged holes. get them about the same length as the originals, too. i like to fit the top to the front header so that i can align the seam first, then i latch the header and use the length of those bolts at the back to pull the top taut as i draw them down. that lets you adjust the fit as you run those bolts in.

clean, clean, clean and give the tub under the trunk lid a good waxing before you put the top back on. ;)

those little bolts are a bitch when they rust themselves to the body, aren't they? :P
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By pilkguns
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Previous owner put a new top on the convertible metro, the problem is the window seals aren't tight and are going to leak when it rains. When the windows roll up, there is just not a tight seal happening.

first i'd try to adjust the door striker plates to see if the doors would pull in a little. you can completely adjust the doors at the hinges and the strikers.

if there is rust at the fronts of the rocker panels and/ or bottoms of the door posts all bets are off. you would have to repair the structural damage before you could make any attempt to adjust the gaps out of the windows.
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By pilkguns
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seal status in 2012
i bought the very last full set of top seals from the gm parts inventory 4 years ago. i looked high and low to get them and the parts guys verified that the upper straight seals were all gone.

gm had just recalled all metro vert specific parts from dealership parts rooms to consolidate them at their central parts warehouse and i lucked into them. all of the remaining vert specific parts were bought in one lot at auction by a guy in wisconsin and he pretty much peddled them on ebay - all gone now.

aftermarket tops that are listed to include weatherstripping actually describe something other than the seals you are looking for. all you can manage now is to find the best pieces you can and use a good adhesive to patch up the separations and tears and put them back into service.
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By pilkguns
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dash- replacing the steering wheel

i prefer silicone grease to squirting anything to lube controls, especially the little plastic arms on the heater controls.

the vert has that pesky air bag steering wheel and the screws aren't really torx heads, they're some safety hardware. i've found that a certain size (i don't recall which size) will fit well enough to break them loose.

honestly, i pull the sir (air bag wheel) and clock spring off and use a ralley 3510 wheel adapter (geo metro spline) and a 5 hole aftermarket steering wheel to replace it with. you have to go to the junkyard and pull the brass horn ring contact off a hatchback's combination switch, press it into the vert's combination switch, and connect the green horn wire. the verts' clock spring took the place of the contact and when you unplug it's harness and connector at the fuse block you lose the wire for the horn.

if you are going to remove the air bag steering wheel for any reason, disconnect the battery a day ahead of time to lessen the chance of igniting the air bag when you disconnect it. the sir system uses a capacitor to store the spark source in the case the battery is disconnected in a crash and you need to allow enough time for that capacitor to bleed off it's charge.

always handle and carry the remove air bag steering wheel pointing away from you and don't scuff your feet so you don't build up a static charge. when you set the wheel down, do it so the air bag points up so it doesn't launch if the air bag pops.

if you remove the steering wheel and replace it with a non-air bag aftermarket wheel, there's a crash sensor bolted to the bottom of the upper radiator support about in front of the number 1 spark plug. disconnect that. i usually remove it.

removing the vert's ecu to mount the turbo3 ecu effectively disables the sir system (which is an integral part of the vert's ecu and not the turbo3's ecu.) to be safe, i'd ditch the air bag wheel anyway just so it doesn't spontaneously deploy. :D

this is the correct adapter.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3510-CHEVY-GEO- ... es&vxp=mtr

use at least a 2" spacer to allow clearance between the wheel and the turn signal stalk. i think the sweet spot is 3" to give you enough height to account for deleting the clock spring airbag coil.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-5-hole-Steeri ... 3a66ada090

you can find these in black or polished aluminum and with different horn buttons.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Hole-Flame-Ho ... 3cbddbf050

all flavors of grant steering wheels. pick one in the 13" or 14" range. if the wheel diameter gets too small it makes you scrunch up at the shoulders. look for the 5 hole type. i like the gt type wheels. you'll have a wide range of grant, pilot, and aftermarket steering wheels.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... ring+wheel

other than parts, you'll need to open up the hole in the plastic steering column trim for the spacer and do the little brass contact thing on the combi switch for the control wire.
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By t3ragtop
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wow! :shock:

3 pages of quotes. i'm honored that anyone would read my words let alone transcribe that many and consolidate them into a thread.

thanks. :geek:
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