Considering buying a Geo Tracker (and making the first Tracker XFi)
Well a chance to get a nice looking Geo Tracker has presented itself. I can get it for $3-400 and it looks real solid and in good shape. It is rated for 21/24mpg with a 1.6L 4 cyl. I have had no luck finding a solid 94 or under Metro so I am thinking of buying the Tracker.
If I buy it I would strip it down, Convert to 2wd/maybe fwd, remove practially everything not required to make it street legal, and put the 3 cyl out of my xfi into it. If I can get the final drive ratio to be the same or better than what my Metro is now and get some decent lrr tires what does everyone think I could do for mileage on it? I know the aero on a Metro isn't that great but I figure a Tracker might actually be worse. I have no idea about what type of aero mods work on a tracker considering I just looked at it while driving by doing 60mph today and talked to the guy who has it a little while ago. If I do try and build it I will most likely build the tracker up over the winter and not actually swap motors and drive it till spring sometime.
Anyway I am just throwing this out there. It would be an easy swap considering I have no problems cutting and welding on a otherwise perfect car. This would solve the Metro rust problems and get me in a nice running convertible a lot easier than trying to build a Triumph Spitfire XFi.
They seem to be about the same size so they probably have similar frontal area. Anyone got any ideas about it? I will probably buy it tomorrow either way because it is a good deal for a solid car and I know I could always resell it for more if I need to. I guess the best thing to do is pick it up and then I can actually measure it and take my time figuring out what would actually be required for the swap.
Well I didn't get it. The guy sold it out from under me
But anyway does anyone think sticking the Metro drivetrain into a Tracker or Samurai would still get me decent mileage or do you think that would be a bad idea? They are not that hard to find really and seem to be in a lot better shape than any of the Metros I have seen around here.
I think the drive-train power loss would be detrimental to a small motor, (as I can attest since my mom drives a 4 cylinder tracker, and it is VERY slow compared to my VX), so that might give you some worse mileage than with the geo, but other than that, and the obviously worse aero of the tracker, it would probably be a do-able swap and well worth its weight in MPG.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
Well after digging around here are some numbers I have came up with:
Metro Samurai Tracker
Weight lbs 1753 2094 2480
Overall Width 62.7 60.2 64.2
Overall Height 49 57.5 57.5 (ground clearance subtracted)
Overall Length 147.4 135 142 all measurements in inches
Cd .38 ? .48(top up) samurai is prob same as tracker
So from that little bit of digging it looks like I would want a samurai to build. It is a frame on body design so I am sure I could get it's weight down some but not quite as low as a metro. I figure totally stripping it down similar to my metro might get it around 1400lbs if I can totally remove both solid axles and replace with metro suspension. A metro is 3072 square inches front area, samurai is 3461. assuming it is similar to the tracker going from .38 to .48 Cd would really be the only bad part of this whole idea. I don't really think that would be that bad though and probably only drop me back down into the 50mpg range. I could always do aero mods on it and get some of it back. But with the 205/75-15 tires and the 3.78 xfi gears It might get about the same mileage on the highway as the 145/12 tires it has now since the rpms would be way lower ~22%.
the samurai engine has the same bolt pattern as a metro so if I keep it's trans and rear end it would be a few hour job to just mount the motor. If I start with a 4wd I would have to convert it to 2wd first before I do the motor swap. I figure another plan would be make a fwd samurai by just welding a metro front clip inside the engine bay and calling it done
What I was thinking was that since they are all made by Suzuki it would be an easier and much faster swap than going to some totally different car. Really I figure if I am going to build a whole frame and everything then I might as well go for broke and make it a full kit car like a Lazer 917 or Spitfire. I am going to have to do something though because my metro is really rusted out pretty bad and is going to have to have something or another done to it by next summer at the latest. That still gives me time to plan something good though.
Maybe we should start a list of all the aerodynamic car bodies that are commonly available so anyone who is really wanting to build a good mileage car will know what to look for. I would be willing to give up a bit of mileage to get a body that does not rust out as fast as a metro and be something I could drive for a few years without having to weld on or fight rust all the time. But as far as I know a metro is pretty bad aerodynamically.
an Ultima GTR XFi would be pretty cool even if it would be hugely time consuming to create. A Spitfire XFi would be really awesome but it would require a huge amount of time and effort to make it work reliably.
I really am not concerned with the cost of making the car good, it is the time. This spring I will be running all over the place and not have time to tear the car down and build something complicated and this summer after school is out I will be heading to England for 2-3 weeks and then off to Alaska for the rest of the summer and prob only get back a week or 2 before school starts back up.
I could probably do a chopped metro and really, if I keep the metro body I probably would do it that way but I always try and think big so that is why I am looking for a new body to fit the drivetrain into. Just right now having enough time to build the car properly is my limiting factor