Eco Crush - Student Budget Version of Fast & the Furious

Introduction: Eco Crush - Student Budget Version of Fast & the Furious

About: See some of my work here and as always accepting orders for custom design and fabrication as featured on Discovery Channel, Wired Magazine, Gizmodo, Engadget, Geekologie, PCWorld, CNet and many more - Pinter...
What started off as a 700$ grocery getter became one of those "what was I thinking" projects.  This is really more of a gag car, but some people really thought it was some crazy Japanese import, not recognizing it for what it was.  Here is a list of things I did to it, keeping in mind, total build cost was less then 100$ with everything scavenged from the local scrap yard. - Think of it as a learning exercise, as in a lesson in what if - by all means though, not the best instructable I've done, i hate doing photo instructables - it seems to go against the purpose of this site.
  • Night rider steering wheel
  • Side skirts
  • modified front and rear bumper
  • EVO style fog lights - (6" PVC plumbing pipe had even a local body shop guessing)
  • Aluminum wing
  • Beetle back hood scoop - inside the scoop in the engine bay i had mounted a rotating red emergency light.  At night coming through the cracks it had a pulsating look - was actually quite proud of how cool it looked, still am!
  • Under lighting
  • Interior lighting
  • Custom molded gear shift
  • hand sewn neoprene seat covers
  • One piece rubber floor - cut from a old Russian water bladder used on ocean vessels, it had a drain in the rear that was from an old claw foot tub.  To clean the inside of the car you just took a pressure washer to it, then pulled the rubber stopper to drain it.
  • Most of the body was replaced piece by piece with used stainless steel motor guards pounded into shape from where I work.  These motors are almost as large as the car itself, to give you an idea of the size of the guards!
  • And the orange crush paint of course, the paint booth we built in the front driveway drove the snooty neighbors across the street nuts.  love it
When I had the budget to buy a better car, I did.  I have to admit it was a sad day when I sold this little car for several reasons.
  1. These cars had a 3 cylinder high compression motor, what that means is when gas was about 1$ dollar a liter, i could fill the the 30 liter tank for about 30 bucks and drive just under 700 kilometers or about 430 miles.
  2. On one of my many road trips i found myself in Edmonton Alberta in the dead of winter.  Stopped at a stop sign on a icy street, I noticed in my rear view mirror a brand new Honda accord spinning out of control on the ice, about to hit my little car.  It hit me so hard, that the steering wheel i was bracing against - bent.  I got out of the car and discovered the only damage was the left rear corners light was shattered and the plastic cover on the bumper was cracked and bent into the rear wheel well.  I got out and bent the metal back into place.  I was able to drive away with minor repairs.  The Honda though, had its left front wheel now horizontal, the front end was smashed and the motor was sitting on the ground still within the confines of the engine bay.  I drove away and went for tacos
  3. I bought it for 700, back then it had about 120k on it, when I sold it for 500 almost 5 years later the speedo read just under 600k.  The cars life span was rated to about 180k.  Only big repair was I replaced the first exhaust valve and head gasket, they always go on these engines. 
  4. It was just plain fun, so peppy and great in the snow - (look up where I live) If you have a chance - BUY ONE, have fun and save at the pump!  By no means is this a green vehicle, but its was able to pass air-care "a strict air quality regulation we have here" you used less gas then almost any car on the road at the time, and instead of sending it to the dump when most people would have, i instead rebuilt it myself with other parts from the dump.  Sure this does perpetuate driving a car and consuming toxin emitting gas but... less so then most cars available on the market.  How bout we call it greenish environmentally wise instead.
  5. Technically this car even fits in the 3 R's of recycling
    1. Reduce - Engine mods I performed actually reduced the emissions that this car is rated to put out - as per the air-care exam proved
    2. Reuse - Rather then buying new parts, I used parts salvaged from the dump, both municipal and personal that would have been slated for recycling.  Mind you, the heavy industries process behind recycling these parts is purely financial.  Its cheaper for them to recycle the steel, but processing the used steel outputs more toxins then when originally forming it.
    3. Recycle - what couldn't be reused or mended was recycled properly.  Even the broken safety glass found in quantity in the back seat when I bought the car was mixed into concrete by a local maker, makes for sparkly concrete counter tops!



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    23 Discussions

    nice one , i currently have a suzi swift ,i gave my first car a citroen ax the budget custom makeover ,top speed 104mph

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    silly Alberta drivers forgetting its winter *shakes head* ( I know all about that living just south of Edmonton) I had a 2001 suzuki swift as my first car practically the same design as this, it had soo much character an pep from just a .9 liter engine. that thing was legendary I got that baby up to 99mph at one point... (Down hill) lmao
    hows that gear knob? personally I find a nice round one best.
    now I drive a classic mini instead :D

    Would not worry about the green/emissions part of this. It costs 40K miles worth of driving to build a new car and you stretched this one about 3 new cars worth for an agverage driver so that is hugely green. I'm the same way - buying a new car is insane and getting rid of one before there is at least 275K miles on the clock to be junked (assuming they are not totaled) is a environmental crime so I buy used "salvage" cars from a guy i trust and drive them at least 200K miles more before cycling them. But The important thing is you made that car fun to drive so it was kept in the drive pool and you could sell it so it kept on being fun for someone else for a long, long time. Bravo!


    1 reply

    Certainly worth a chuckle! Though I guess you could almost say it's an import. The metro's were a joint venture with Suzuki.

    I made it, took a regular steering wheel and bucked off a section from the top and bottom, added bike grips, with switched epoxied into copper tubes, finished with black vinyl dye and a momo insert. They do sell things like this on fan sites for knight rider

    keep in mind, if it is a close quarters vehicle, getting in and out can be painful. Plus they are illegal in parts of the world, so be careful. If I were to do it again I would keep the grips slightly more rounded. all three switches were routed to the horn function.

    Oh, no worries. Many people have stopped and asked what is it? Known as a Pontiac Firefly. Chevy made basically the same car and called it a sprint, Also known as a Geo Metro or a Suzuki Swift. Most models used what was called the G10 motor. 3 cylinders high compression motor. Because they were so incredibly light you could get away with the smaller motor. Incredible zippy little cars, just don't throw a a huge hill in front of it. I used to get almost 700km out of a 30$ fill at the gas station

    I have to say that this is one heck of an instructible. Bravo!! Nice job

    Looks pretty good. I like the steering wheel, but where I'm from it's illegal to not have a complete "round" steering wheel. Stupid crazy laws ;)

    1 reply

    The steering wheel was fun, until you forgot it in a sideways configuration while parking and the steering wheel locks. Getting out your leg catches it, the horn goes off and you've jammed your inner thigh into basically a pipe unexpectedly...