Introduction: Fixing Geo Metro Stick Shift Problems

The 1990 4 Door Geo Metro with Manual Transmission.

It's a good little car, but as with any vehicle, the Metro has it's ups and downs. One of the major ups to this little car is the fact that I average between 45 & 50 MPG and it can travel over 300 miles on a single tank.

Some of the downs include the fact that my little Geo doesn't have Air Conditioning (In 1990 it was optional I guess), and that there are some weak parts that can fail. One of those parts is a clip that helps hold your Stick up where it is supposed to be.

This Instructable will be about how to replace this OEM clip with something much more durable.

Step 1: Tools and Parts

You need:

  • A Jack Kit
  • 2 Jack Stands
  • Soap (and water)
  • A Scour Pad
  • Metal File
  • J-B Weld (or J-B KwikWeld if you are like me and don't want to wait until this time tomorrow)
  • A 2" (or less) x 4" piece of metal to form the replacement part
  • A Measuring tape, to check and double check dimensions of the replacement part
  • A round piece of metal about 3/8" in diameter
  • A Hacksaw (or Dremel tool)
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Anything ~1 ft. long (in my case PVC Pipe) to support the Stick Shift while the J-B is curing.

Optional Tools and Parts:

  • Disposable Gloves (if you want to keep the J-B off your hands)
  • Drill
  • Bolts & Nuts (for more permanent hold)
  • Spraypaint (for rust prevention)

Step 2: Forming the Part

I took a 2" x 4" piece of metal from the side of my Small Form computer (I added Liquid Cooling) to create the replacement part I need. The holes are a bonus because they make it easier for the J-B to bond the piece with the body of the car.

First, we need to create the J shape. Use the Pliers for this, Regularly Checking the size of the bend with your rod/punch tool.

Then, using your beastly strength (or a vice if you are unsure of your strength), Make the 90° bend, being careful to leave the J section at least 1 1/4" long. If the J section is too short this piece will wear out too fast and likely break off or become a recurrence of the offending part displayed in the intro.

Step 3: Getting Under the Car

First off, make sure you are on a level surface.

Second, Yank hard on the E-Brake.

Third, Jack the care up.

Fourth, And This is Not Optional, Place your car on Blocks or Jackstands.

Do Not underestimate the weight of the Geo. Like any car, it is heavy, and it Will Kill or Maim You if it slips off of a jack and onto you.

Step 4: Prepping the Underside

Putting it Short, Sweet, and To The Point.

First, use the Needle-nose pliers to remove the original clip. I simply wiggled it back and forth near the Tack Weld until it broke free.

Then, I cleaned up the mounting surface, before noticing that there is some sort of covering on the actual metal.

I scratched a decent deal of the covering off, scrubbed it down again, and scratched into the metal with the tip of my file to provide more surface area for the J-B Weld to hold onto.

I then lowered the side of the car I wasn't working from and used that side's Jackstand to help hold the Shifter in place while applying the epoxy and allow it to set.

Step 5: J-B Weld

Simple, Wear gloves if you aren't already and don't want the epoxy and hardener on your skin.

Follow the instructions on the packaging, Mixing an equal quantity of Epoxy and Hardener together. I mixed on the cardboard, using the printed cross as a reference guide for quantity.

It sets really quick, so when it begins to thicken you need to apply it to the mounting surface of the replacement part. and press it tightly against the surface of the car. Holding tightly for about 5 minutes.

Mix a little more J-B Weld and apply on the upper surface and around the edges of the piece, pressing through any holes in your part to enhance the epoxy's grip on the car's surface.

After all this, I allowed the J-B Weld to completely set before beginning to lower the car, substituting the Jackstand (too tall) with a piece of PVC pipe at an angle (was also a bit long).

Leave the car alone for between 4 & 24 hours depending on the instructions of your J-B Weld to permit the Epoxy to finish Curing.

Step 6: Optional

If you want to, use a drill to punch a hole through your part and floorboard so you can add some nuts and bolts to strengthen the connection.

You can also Spray paint over this area (I will after the epoxy cures and then I'll update the Instructable) as rust prevention.

Step 7: Enjoy

Now that you have replaced that clip with something of a more sturdy caliber, feel free to take off and enjoy the roads.

Comments

author
greenwoodcreations (author)2016-02-26

very nice instructive, and with the added hardware as backup should be a lasting repair. My family has 10 of these roller skates, but all start at 93 and go up to 97.

So I have never had this happen on any of our geo. On a Datsun yes. And it Doesn't have A/c because you get 50 mpg, some of the lean machines had no heater too, and no radio was common. Less body weight, better mpg.

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