|1990 Geo Tracker|
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This is the start of a new adventure. In July of 2004 I got this new ride. 1990 Geo Tracker, 4x4, auto tranny. Had 15x8 American Racing steel wheels on it, as pictured above. It had no radio, but had all the A/C stuff on it. Other than that, it is essentially a base model. It is now November, and I just made new friends with another wrecking yard. I located and obtained a used ProComp 2.5" lift for my Tracker, and a complete power steering assembly. All totalling... $120.00, which is a steal! I also gutted the useless stereo and installed a JVC CD player. 6x9's are in the rear, and some low cost 4" speakers are in the lower dash. They need some high-pass x-overs in them... and I'll get to it later.
I have installed the lift and the power steering. It drives great. At this point the front swaybar is not connected. I don't like the angle of the links. I have intentions of working out new links that will disconnect. I am driving it without the swaybar... and there is very little body roll. If I continue with a body lift, though... I think there will be a grerat need for the swaybar. Once links are made, I'll post full details. Below are the post-lift pics. 2.5" looks pretty good on this old rag!!
It seems kind of funny to me that the Tracker didnt get driven much last fall, and most of the winter. Just a bit funny. The Tracker did start up with a very high cold idle in mid winter. As the engine warmed up, it went from idling around 2500 RPM to a surging idle from 2000 to 3000RPM. I did some searching on a few Suzuki forums and found that its a common problem on high mileage Suzukis. There is a wax pellet in an assembly that is under a cover on the throttle body. The wax pellet is supposed to govern a "controled vaccum leak" when cold and seal it as the engine warms up.
As they get older, they dont work as advertised.;-) What the other guys had done was use a piece of rubber hose (the hose that runs off of the radiator overflow bottle is the perfect size) to plug a hole under this cover. On the font of the throttle body, towards the passenger side, there is a round cover with 3 screws holding it on. It is sealed by a rubberish gasket, that did not tear and I reused. Under that cover, there is a large hole that runs towards the throat of the throttle body. The hole is in front of a round disk-like object. It is threaded and can be screwed in to get better access to the hole. I only tunred mine about 1/4 of a turn clockwise. There were no ill effects. I used a bolt that fit inside a 1 inch piece of the rubber hose I cut from the overflow bottle. The bolt was just a little shorter than the hose. I stuffed the hose into the hole, leaving a small bit sticking out. I then stuffed the blot inside the hose.
The cover was replaced. I then sat down in the Tracker and crossed my fingers. The engine was cold. I turned the key, and she fired right up and climbed......... to a oerfect idle at 1000RPM. This fix cost me $0.00 and about 15 minutes... most of which was used to find a blot in my shop that was the right size. I'll remove the cover later and take a couple of pics of what I did.
Something else that the Tracker suffered from was the "CLICKY STARTER" syndrome. Apparently, Suzuki manufactured the Sidekick and Tracker with an ignition switch ill prepared to handle the current needed to switch the relay for the starter. I replaced my ignition switch, and just like everyone who has experienced this before, the symptom has returned. There is a fix using a standard 30 amp relay that I will be doing in the very near future. ..And likely since the engine is in need of a rebuild, I will do this all at once. Several places sell a relay with wiring harness that has terminated ends so all you have to do is undo some screws, add the wiring harness in with a minimum of wiring hassles. I will do my own (since I have 5 or 6 replays laying in the shop) and post some semi-simple instructions. ;-)
Here are a couple of pics I took on two different days after playing in some mud with the new 30-9.50 ATs that I put on it. They have an open tread and seem to have good offroad characteristics.
If you look, you will notice that the spare is a 31-10.50 on the original wheel. Fits tight.. but it is to get me home. Also, to get it to fit without hitting the rear bumper, I had to grind the welds on the stock spare tire mount and move the outer half up and tilt forward slightly. I also removed the rubber snubbers that the stock tire rested against. The 31" spare sits snug against the gate.
Doing the shopping now to get a new exhaust header. I intend to clean the exhaust system up some and help the engine breath better. Below are some pics of where I was at the other night.
I finally got everything together and road tested. The engine is tight. I have only put about 5 miles on the engine at this point. I didn't want to, but I had to cut the catalytic converter out to get the exhaust routed from the new Calmini header. I didn't mention it at the time, but I also ordered and installed a Calmini midrange cam. The exhaust needs replacement anyway... so I will have a new (less restrictive) cat installed when I have the new exhaust bent up. I still want it to be somewhat respectable in noise. Right now, it isn't too bad. You can hear the engine and tell that the note is deeper. I revved it up... probably tagged 5,000 and it sounded pretty good. Gonna go with a quiet muffler since this is a rag top and will be seeing some highway time. Since it was in the shop anyway, I went on and installed a home-brew body lift. ;-)
This is with the "new" body lift...
I recently got tired of the stupid transmission not wanting to shift. I got sick of it and removed it, and did a "basic" rebuild. I changed out all the piston seals, clutch packs and such. I also fabbed up a new exhaust since mine was kinda rotted. Just a simple turbo muffler and some pre-bent pipes from AutoZone. Worked great! It is still very quiet, but still sounds like a dang Model-T at idle.
The aggrivating part is that the tranny didn't work so well. It shifts fine. I immediately noticed a super hard shift into second and third. With some miles on it, it softened up a bit. The BIG issue? The tranny "drags". If you pull it into 1st, it (at first) has no engine braking. Once below 10mph, there is engine braking. Then when you speed up, once over 10mph, you can feel it "binding" or "dragging" as if it is trying to engage two gears.I have since aquired a new tranny. I had asked for a 3spd auto to replace it. I paid the guy and ended up with a 4spd. Neither one of us knows how... but I got one. Now there will be a 4spd swap on the ole Tracker. This has necessitated a gear change as well due to the overdrive. Face it.. the Tracker 8v engine isn't a powerhouse with gobs of torque. I just pulled the rear 3rd member in anticipation of swapping in a set of 5.12 gears. :-)
I finally began looking into the wiring. This is nuts.... half the wires that are supposed to go to the ECU dont match in coloring... so I'm stuck for now. The 5.12 gears are in, but due to the fact that the tranny drags, there is absolutley no improvement in anything. The Tracker is being driven only short in-town trips to the stores and such. ---AAAARRGH!!!---
The Tracker has not gotten much attention at all lately. I had taken a couple of extra days off work this week. I actually found myself outside doing a little bit of tuning on the engine. Whatever I did... it worked. The Tracker is pulling a lot better... but the fuel injector is still noisy as a blown engine. I'm dealing with it at this point. I was bored and took it out on a little trip to see how high or low the river was... and took Cody with me. He's about 11 years old at this point and the longest living family pet ever. Got a little bit of offroad time on it. I also seem to have confirmed that the CVs are shot. Here's Cody, enjoying the ride.
So. Easter Sunday... we came home from the usual family trip. Here is the story on my 3 hour project: