Geo Metro XFi Convertible Project Page

Latest Updates

21
Feb

Start of the Electric Drive Project

So I have been debating on how to build an electric drive “hybrid” setup to the Metro. I think from the talking on that link that I have a good starting point for the project. I don’t know exactly how it is going to work but I will more or less figure it out as […]

14
Nov

Throttle Body Spacer Made

I am getting ready to go back to a stock head on the car. Shaving the head seems to make the car run worse so I can’t recommend anyone ever shave the head on these engines. But while the car is apart I might as well do some other work that normally helps out any […]

28
Sep

Front Inner Fenders Sealed and Chapmanville Car Show Pics

Forgot to bring the camera in and get these pictures off the other day, better late than never. I sealed up the front inner fenders much better than how they were before. This time instead of using plastic to seal them I used aluminum flashing so it would hold it’s shape much better. I put […]

23
Sep

New Exhaust and Battery Moved to Trunk

Been a while since the last update. After getting the car put together good enough for the show I pretty much quit working on it so I could get some house work done. I had other things needing completed before fall and the car had to wait. The last few details have been taken care […]

05
Jul

Logan County WV Car Show Pictures

Here are pictures from the car show today at Logan. The car is looking good and runs really well other than out of alignment but I will fix that soon.        

04
Jul

Last Minute Details Before the Car Show

The car is more or less done and I just had some details to tend to. The only major thing was to repair the broken headlight cover on the passenger side. It was pretty easy just using some scrap acrylic I had from making my window. Just duct tape it to one edge firmly and […]

02
Jul

Fixed Wheel Bearings and Inner Fenders

Took the car out and drove it over the weekend and the only real problem was one of the wheel bearings was bad. I had to order the bearings and wait for them to come in. They are on the car now and everything else is good for now. While It was up in the […]

27
Jun

Belly Pan Complete

finished up the belly pan today. I still need to cut a door into it for access to the bottom of the engine but I can do that when I remove it to clean up the engine bay. I used a good bit of bracing on the front to make it fit properly. I had […]

26
Jun

Side Skirts Painted and Belly Pan Started

First thing today was painting the side skirts. I had them prepped yesterday so other than covering the tires with garbage bags and wiping the car down they were ready to paint. Now the car looks real good from the sides. The pictures don’t look that good but I will get it out and get […]

25
Jun

Side Skirts Installed and Ready for Paint

Made up the mounts for the side skirts and belly pan down the sides of the car today. Going to paint them first thing tomorrow then I can start mounting the underbelly pan. The main parts of the framing for the belly pan are in place I just have to go around the wheel wells […]

Click here for a complete list of all posts for this project

This is the project page for my Geo Metro XFi Convertible Project. My old XFi hatchback body was rusted out badly, and the unibody was starting to flex. I was planning on repairing it well enough to make it last for another year, but I ended up finding a convertible for next to nothing. I decided that instead of patching the stock XFi body to make it last a while longer, I would just go ahead and build the convertible body into a good car. I wanted to build a metro into a Triumph Spitfire body initially, but I gave up that idea since I just don’t really have the time to do it and there were some problems with fitting all of the Metro parts into a Spitfire without having to resort to a lot of custom-fit parts to make it work.

The cars I started with

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The convertible car was purchased locally for next to nothing. It had some major problems, and nobody else was willing to take on a car like this. The car was sitting beside a house that burned down, so the entire driver’s side of the car was scorched and melted. The fuel pump was bad, so the car would not start. It was less than a mile from my house, so I just got my neighbor to pull it homeIMAGE009 after putting tires on the driver’s side that would hold air. Once I got the car home, there was no point in trying to start it, so I just started stripping it down. I didn’t plan on using anything from the convertible except the back half the body, so its overall condition didn’t matter that much.

100_0251 My old XFi was the second half of this project. It had some serious rust issues. The drivetrain was still in perfect condition, and there was nothing mechanically wrong with the car except for the rust. I could have repaired it and kept driving it as it was, but any repairs would have taken some serious time and would have not actually improved the car beyond the 70 mpg per tank it was able to get before.100_0252 I have several other junk metro bodies here since the cars used to be cheap, but I didn’t use many parts off the other cars. Mainly I only used a part off them if it was in better condition than the one on the XFi.

How the car was built

I started by totally stripping the convertible down while I was still driving the XFi. It was still running fine, and there was no need to park it for the first part of the buildup. I started by cutting away all the rust and bad areas off the convertible body so I could plan how to lay out a tube frame.

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I did it by only cutting away what I had to so I could run the new tubes. I used the existing mounting points for the suspension. It looks bad compared to making whole new suspension mounts, but I was going for speed and quality, not looks. The factory mounting points were easy to attach to the new frame and saved a lot of time re-making things that were already there.

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After the frame was built, it was time to start assembling the new car. Assembly was fairly straightforward since it was still basically a Geo Metro and all the parts would still bolt back on with only minor fitting. I had to quit driving the XFi about a week before I reached that stage in the project due to frame rust, so it was ready to tear down and start moving things over to the new body.

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The way I did it was to take one thing off the old car and move it directly over to the new one. So first was the engine, then the wiring harness, then the rest of the electrical systems, and so on. Transferring everything over into the new body didn’t take long except for some customizations I made.

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This car will actually have music. I didn’t put a radio in it but instead put a mini-itx computer in the dashboard. It is a 1.2Ghz Via system with 1Gb of RAM and a 120Gb hard drive. I also put in WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a USB AM/FM radio. The computer is hooked to the Megasquirt EFI computer, so it can auto tune the car while I am driving. The screen is a 10.4 inch touchscreen LCD.

One of the most unusual parts of how I built this car is that I raised the floor of the car 5 inches. I will also have a smooth panel sealing the bottom of the car. The bottom of the car will be totally sealed from front to back so all the air entering the grille will pass through the channel under the raised floor and exit the rear of the car through the grille openings I cut in the back bumper. The idea is that most of the aerodynamic drag from a car is from having to break through the air in the front and having a wake off the back of the car as it drives. The duct captures the high pressure air from the front of the car and directs it out the low pressure area behind the car. If this design actually works, it should make a major improvement in the aerodynamic qualities of the car. In the following pictures you can see the enlarged front opening and the rear exits.

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After getting all that worked out, I am nearing completion of the car, and it is now able to drive around and even has paint on it. I am hoping for having it complete and ready to see what kind of mileage I can get out of it by July.

5 Comments

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  1. I own an 1991 Geo XFI too, I normally get 67 MPG, lots of fun in the little car.

  2. I have two ’92 xfi’s. One is a parts car at the moment and I am thinking of copying your idea of making a convertible via parts swapping. Is it really as straight forward as finding a ’92 convertible body and swapping everything (sans frame modifications)? I like the idea of having backup transportation and a winter and summer car at that!

    Thanks for any advice.

    Patrick

  3. Yep, the convertible and hatchback share the exact same drivetrain and dashboard. So you can swap everything out of the xfi into the convertible and be set.

  4. HOLY MOLY WHAT A JOB>

  5. Hello I was wondering if you knowing where I can find side skirts for a 1991 Geo…Thank you so much for everything!

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