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THE PHOENIX Lives AGAIN ! - It's Alive, It's Alive !

03-14-2010, 05:26 PM
Holy Mackerel !

The little bugger is BACK.

She is working fine - the Exhaust Manifold is smoking because I got oil all over
it and some Gunk - but that is burning off.

Something interesting - after the exhaust manifold (EM) and intake manifold (IM) got hot,
I tried to tighten the bolts on both of them.

They were fairly loose ! I tightened them while hot - both the EM and IM.
I had tightened them in the cold, but figured they'd need tightening down later - I was right.

I'll bet the Head Bolts will tighten down some more in a couple of days while the Block
is warm....

The PITA oil leak from the Valve Cover Gasket seems to be gone - so far.
I think that the Grey RTV Silicone fixed that - now I'll have a clean engine !

She is quite peppy again. Lot of pickup like it had when I first did the Head and Rings
a couple of years ago !

I hope I get more than 30,000 miles out of her before something goes TU again....


03-14-2010, 05:38 PM
Congrats Doc! I've can't recall having seen a torque spec that indicated it should be done when the engine was warm, I believe they are all cold. It will be interesting to see where you stand in a few days.

03-14-2010, 06:43 PM
Don't tighten the head down while warm. If you do retorque the head, wait 500 miles or at least after it's gone through a few thermal cycles. And do it on a cold engine.

03-15-2010, 06:54 PM
Rooy - Why not ? Because the metal expands and everything tightens up when she's hot ?

I guess, if that is true, that it is not good to drive with a cold engine.

Maybe that is why I blew the head gasket at 30,000 miles on the Head Job...

Maybe the metal hadn't warmed enough and the Head Gasket was too loose for the pressures of driving...(?)

In any case - The Phoenix ran like a top to work today - 70 miles round trip.

NOTED - the Temp Gauge fluctuated a lot from somewhat hot back down to midway.

After I got out of Classes (5 hours), I checked the Coolant - had to add about a cupful.

Then it ran steady as a rock at about 1/3 up from cold (180 New Thermostat) all the way home.

BUBBLE in the system - I am sure.

It takes a long time for these Metros to get all the air out after one drains the Radiator...

It needs an Air Bleed - like my Nissan Pathfinder has up high on the engine block !
The bubble appears to reside in the Water Pump - Thermostat region.

General Thought -

If one could pull a vacuum on the Radiator Filling Cap, one could suck the air out of
the line and have it come to the top of the radiator.

Alternate suction and release (no wiseass comments, please http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon10.gif) would "pull" the
air out from deep inside allowing coolant to get in there.
The bubble would expand - rise to the top - then contract, pulling Coolant back where the
bubble had been. Repeated Vacuum and release would work it out...

Is there a port somewhere high up in the Throttle Body where one could put a vacuum
hose and suck the air bubble(s) out - then cap it off when Coolant comes out the hose ?
All the while adding coolant in the radiator....


03-15-2010, 10:58 PM
Heads are always torqued cold, and retorqued cold. I don't know of any manufacturer that specs torque when hot. You may not even be able to add any extra torque when hot, because as you said, it will probably be tighter when hot.

To get the air out of the cooling system, you just need to let it run without the radiator cap for a while. Might take a half hour. Raising the front end as high as you can get it helps. One of these is handy to have, but not necessary: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001A4EAV0/ref=oss_product

03-16-2010, 04:52 AM
Did the machine shop have any theories as to why the head gasket failed? Was the head surface true? I am getting ready to do mine and I want to know what to watch for.

03-16-2010, 12:24 PM
The Head Shop "Big Boss" had no idea...
The Head is trued up when the rework it - so it had been when I last had it done.

One old grizzled mechanic who worked there asked me if I had "retorqued the head?" -
after the Boss left the counter !

I asked what he meant - he said he always retorques the head after the engine
has run for a while (he was not specific).

So that is why I had asked in my first thread:

To summarize - it is a controversial topic !

I find that if you advocate doing anything 'outside of the box', that you meet
resistance to "change".
In the case of our current "Leader", I agree 100% - resist to the death !

But here - don't know enough to judge.

It would be fun to get all these guys into a bar and after an hour's heavy drinking, bring
up the question of retorquing the Head Bolts - might get a really good Bar Fight going !

Here is an article I "Googled" up with "torquing bolts"....there was a Butt Load of them !


Metro Mighty Mouse
03-17-2010, 04:27 AM
Here is the difference Doc,

The old bolts (and the ones you have now) are not designed to stretch. The first heat cycles can allow/ cause everything to loosen up. So the bolts need to be re-torqued to account for that.

The factory bolts for our cars are torque to yield. Consider them as being springy, so when you torque them correctly, the spring stretches and the heat cycles are compensated for by the spring action of the bolt. Because of this they don't need to be re-torqued.

The bolts you bought are not torque to yield so they need to be re-torqued.

All clear now?

03-17-2010, 10:54 AM
So the Bolts I bought are hardened and don't stretch. OK...

Was it worth it to buy them, then ?

Are they likely to break more easily ?

So far everything is going fine.

The engine still has a slow oil leak - but not from the valve cover.

I will re-tighten the pan bolts when I can get at them...

Engine is noisy - as always.

Either the Fan Belt, the Water Pump or the Alternator makes a lot of noise.

Crvett69 suggested I take off the Fan Belt and run the engine for a minute
to see if it is any of those I just mentioned.

Again, will try that when I get the time.

It is so nice to get back to my little Metro and get 45 - 50 mpg !


03-17-2010, 03:06 PM
feel under the distributor where the distributor goes into the housing, if your finger comes out oily then the dist o ring is leaking again

03-17-2010, 08:01 PM
My Distributor O-Ring has a flat outer surface.

Is that the way they come - or are any even available now for old Geos ?

If you (or anyone !) knows the dimensions for the Geo Metro Distributor O-Ring,
by telling us here and now, you would save many, many people the ridiculous problems
of trying to find one !

In Googling this problem - not one person knew the size - it was always "take the
old one in to a store and buy something of the same size..."

That is the HARD WAY and leads to the wrong sizes being used - as the Google'd links all say.

Many people have hard and/or broken O-Rings, so they cannot buy comparable sizes....

THE CORRECT DIMENSIONS is what is called for - for all to read about.

Metric or English ?

To buy O-Rings, you need ----> ID and OD and Cross Section Diameter.

If you have one in a drawer, please get out the calipers and measure it for us !

Post it here and I will enter it into the Indexus Metrogloditus link at the top of the Forum.

Please - somebody enlighten us !

End this ceaseless and aimless wandering around begging for O-Rings...


03-17-2010, 08:17 PM
ok, went out and got my pack of the ones i buy, card is marked 1/8" dia. I.D. 15/16"
O.D. 1 3/16" schucks part # 64213 for the 5 pack but you can buy one seperatly out of the pack

03-17-2010, 08:32 PM
The post here http://teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36592 indicates

Dorman part #64213 or
Carquest GSK #72213

Hope this helps.

Metro Mighty Mouse
03-18-2010, 05:53 AM
The bolts you purchased are not likely to break unless they are over torqued, (the bolts will be the least of the problems if you managed to break them). The big difference is you can reuse them if you have to pull the head again.

03-18-2010, 07:54 PM
Metro Mighty Mouse -
"The bolts you purchased are not likely to break unless they are over torqued,..."

Given that the Manual says to torque them to 54 ft lbs, what would you GUESS that they would
break at - in ft lbs - were one to go to the limit ?

I'm asking just for the grins of it.

The bolts go into the Aluminum Block - Yes ?

Would the Aluminum threads strip out first ?

If I retorque the Hardened Steel Bolts, I would set the Torque Wrench
to the 54 ft lbs specified and turn until I get the click and stop there.

I plan to watch for the estimated degrees the wrench turns - should
the Bolts tighten further at that time - and report it here just for FYI.


Johnny Mullet
03-18-2010, 10:22 PM
Screw the re-torquing idea, make sure the timing is advanced to 8-10 degrees, change the oil regularly, and enjoy the MPG's

You stated the engine is "noisy" in the past. Is this a rotational noise like a bad pulley or a tapping or knocking noise? Bad lifters can make a Geo Metro engine make a rattling noise because they do not pump up properly and can contribute to burnt valves.

Metro Mighty Mouse
03-18-2010, 10:27 PM
I have no clue what their break point would be, and yes, you would likely strip out the block threads before breaking them. You would also likely warp the head and possibly break out the area around the bolt holes in the head. As for how to re-torque the head, yes, I would set it to spec and follow the normal pattern, but I wouldn't turn more than 15 degrees at a time, (it really should not be that loose regardless).

03-19-2010, 12:06 PM
The Distributor area was oil-free.

I wiped it with a paper towel - came away clean.

Drove a couple of miles to the Post Office, came back - wiped again.
Again clean....no oil seal O-Ring leak.

No leaking around the Valve Cover Pan - that gray Permatex RTV worked well.

Probably from the oil pan seal. Will check that.

Hate to go under any car anymore ! Too old and stiff and crotchety !


03-22-2010, 10:54 PM
Congratulations on your repairs, Dr. Bill.
A couple things I note about your account:
1. You said you torqued the cam pulley to 96 ft-lb. I'm pretty sure that is way tight and it's no wonder it was hard to do. I think you read an adjacent line in your (Haynes?) manual, which called for 96 in-lb for some other component. Many of the smaller fasteners call for 96 in-lb, but the cam pulley goes to 44 ft-lb, according to Haynes.
2. Bleeding the cooling system is a pain, but far less so if you use the factory (Suzuki part, also sold by GM dealers) thermostat, which has a hole with a "jiggle pin" to allow air to escape into the top radiator hose. The factory 'stat also has the correct (92 C) temperature. Cooler stats from the auto parts store probably reduce the fuel efficiency of the engine. In lieu of the jiggle pin, you can remove the temp gauge sending unit from the stat housing during initial fill, until coolant comes out. That will make bleeding a bit faster.
PS: Cross-sectional diameter of an O-ring can be derived when you know only the ID and OD.

03-23-2010, 01:06 PM
"You said you torqued the cam pulley to 96 ft-lb.
I'm pretty sure that is way tight and it's no wonder it was hard to do.
I think you read an adjacent line in your (Haynes?) manual, which
called for 96 in-lb for some other component." SchlockRod (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=387578)



I don't believe it is going to come loose.....


03-23-2010, 03:45 PM
section you highlighted is all talking about the crankshaft bolt, he is talking about the camshaft pulley bolt

03-23-2010, 07:41 PM
Ahhh...so....I be wrong then !

Next page has it and it is at 44 ft lbs.

Camshaft Timing Sprocket !

You were right SchlockRod (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=387578) and I was wrong.

What a pecker head I am !

Oh well - it won't come off, will it ?!

I will highlight the item on page 3-15 so that if this ever
happens again, I will not be so blind.

I saw "...Timing Pulley" and just moved on !

Assign it to "getting old and half blind and...."

So far, everything is working fine.

I still have that oil leak and will tighten the pan bolts someday.

I'd like to have the underside STEAM CLEANED up on a lift so
that I could tell where the leak is coming from.
Metros are so close to the ground !


04-02-2010, 01:41 AM
Went thru my first tank of gas - filled it today.

44.1 mpg in 28 to 55 F weather.

Not bad !

One Butt Load better than 18 mpg I was getting on my Nissan pathfinder !

I suppose it is about time to re-torque the Head Bolts.


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