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Old 04-26-2008, 11:41 PM   #1
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Fabio's amazing low mileage Geo Metro XFI: w/ rusted axle frame supports - Pics

Hey. I apologize for bringing up a topic that I'm sure has been brought up time and time again, but I really would like some feedback here. I recently (as in yesterday) became the proud owner of a Geo Metro XFI. The engine, transmission, clutch, body, paint, front end are all flawless; it looks and drives like a new car. I even received 57 mpg at a constant 60 mph on the 90 mile trip back home.

Obviously I am very happy for finally having an XFI within my grasps, but the usual metro rust has come back to haunt me. Before buying the car I looked behind the front wheels at the frame support that crosses between the axle and control arms and saw this:

Passenger side:

Driver's side:

Inside the rust holes of the frame there appears to be a huge amount of this very thick, nasty grease. What is this; is it there to help the rust, or is it just some sort of sound deadening?

Anyways, the car handles fine, it makes some noise over bumps, but I believe that to be some other front end part. It steers straight and there are no alignment issues; I do not believe the frame has started to flex or buckle. So, based on this fact, and these pictures, how many more miles and how many more potholes can my XFI's frame take before doomsday? And finally, what can I do now to fix it. How much should I pay a welder to do it for me? Any rough estimates?

Okay, that's all I got for now. Thanks for reading!!

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Old 04-27-2008, 07:40 AM   #2
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Grease may have been thrown from bad CV shafts.

Looking to trade for an early 1988 Honda CRX HF (Pillar mounted seat belts)
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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That wouldnt even remotely pass Inspection in my state. I guess if you could get the arms out of the way and weld in some box tubing and weld it back up. Is the steering rack leaking? Brakes dont look that hot either.

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Old 04-27-2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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Yea, I was going to mention the brakes, but that frame does not look safe at all. I don't know that I would trust that to keep the control arms connected to the car, but I could be wrong.

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Old 04-27-2008, 11:55 AM   #5
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What state do you live in? Do they require safty inspections? I would just find a local weld shop and have them put some new good metal over it and fix it better than new.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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I live in Northwest Ohio; there are no inspections of any type required here. It is interesting to note, however, that the title was rebuilt, and recently at that, so somehow this rust was sneaked through the salvage/rebuilt inspection.

So any other Metro nuts have any opinions on this; I mean should I even drive it somewhere to get it fixed or should I get it towed? I know this is a super common problem, so I guess I just have to wait for someone who has been through this to respond with how I should go about fixing it.

And as a side note, the body and interior are just about perfect, I have no intentions of transferring the guts of this car to a different Metro. I really want to fix this one.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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It shouldn't take a whole lot of work to fix that, about 10 hours on the high side for a bodyman with some fabnrication and mig welding experience.

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Old 04-27-2008, 08:57 PM   #8
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Once the rack is out of the way, it shouldn't take long to clean/strip/grind/patch the frame. I wouldn't drive it too long in that condition.

I would go over the brakes/suspension 100% since it does look like it say and rusted-up a lot.

Good luck.

On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:03 AM   #9
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Maybe someone filled the deep rust holes to the top with grease and smoothed it out so it looked like all of the metal was still there- this could be how they passed the rebuild safety inspection. IMHO, grease thrown out from a bad CV boot would not end up in the tie rod channel.
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:43 AM   #10
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THAT Looks WAY worse than mine and mine snapped off really quick with the application of the brakes a couple of times hard. I would not drive that at all except at speeds less than 25mph. The bottom A Arm will rip right off. If your toe in alignment is still good then grind all the metal down to clean steel and get to a welder to reweld metal over everything while the alignment is still good. Chances are the bottom pivot pin that is used to adjust the alignment will still be ok but if it is not you may want to BEND it back into alignment before you start welding because afterwards the bolts holding it into the frame are not going to be removable. I would also take a grinder to those brake rotors while they are spinning in first gear up in the air and level off the rusty surface then check to make sure the brake pistons are moving freely. My brother worked on mine for about 3 hours to make it somewhat safe to drive around the yard but the feel was all wrong so I know it was way out of wack - this was after mine broke loose and skidded to a stop 90k miles . . . and a nearly FULL tank of gas too! After sitting for 6 months the fuel lines rusted out and leaked a lot of the tank onto the ground so check your fuel lines for rust too.

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