Category Archives: Modded

Factors That Limit Car Modifications

car painter preparing car for new paint

Ah… car modification! It is something you do to make your car feel more like it’s truly yours. The car mods you have done will represent your preference.

Do you like speed and improved performance? Then you should focus on more of what’s under the hood. Do you want to make your car look a certain way? Add some wow factor or just stick to the classic? Then you can modify your interior and exterior. 

As for me, I’m a simple man who loves his Geo Metro but I love modifying my car too. Did I tell you I reupholstered the car seats? Those seats were killing me back then. They’re definitely more comfortable now that the job is done.  

Aside from that, there are still other things that I wanna do. But alas, there are things that are preventing me from doing that. Just like most of you, my pockets don’t run deep as well.  

However, lack of moolah isn’t the only thing that can limit what modifications you can do to your car. Wanna know about the others then continue reading below.

Modifying Your Car

When you think about car mods, it’s like making your dream car come true. However, you also have to make sure that your dream car is still within the realm of possibility. There is only so much you can do to modify your vehicle plus the ones below could also limit the mods you do to your vehicle.

Money

Car modifications will need money. Depending on the car mods you want, it may or may not require a lot of money to do so. Remember my previous post on engine swaps. That’s doable but only if you have a fat bank account. 

You’ll need the money to buy the parts, to get the service done if you are not doing them on your own. For most, lack of funding is what could restrict them from getting the car mods that they really wanted.

Time

If you’re like me, then you’ll love spending time in your car. I just want to tinker with it and try to improve it as much as I can. However, not all of us have the luxury of free time. In fact, I would even want to spend more time modifying my car but I can’t always do that. 

Experience

Let’s face it, not all car owners know exactly how their cars work. That is why they can’t modify them just like they wanted to. They just don’t have the skills and experience to do so. 

Sure you can hire someone to do those for you but you have to spend money on that as well. Most take this route because they don’t know how to tinker with their own vehicle and that is perfectly fine. However, take it from someone who has modified their own car, there is something satisfying when you’ve successfully done it yourself.

Legal Issues

Do you like loud exhaust or low rides? Sure some shops can do that for you or you can also do that on your own. However, before you start your modification, it is best to do research. 

There are car mods that are illegal in most states. There may also be some that could be legal in other states but not yours so best check local rules and regulations when it comes to modifying your vehicle. 

Availability Of Technology

Do you want your car to fly? Ha! I’d want that too but there are some modifications that aren’t available yet. Let’s get realistic here okay. 

But apart from obviously futuristic mods, there are some mods that can’t be suitable for your vehicle. For example for Geo Metros, engine swaps are possible and a pain in the ass but doable. However, there is a limit to how powerful an engine you can fit in. 

That will also depend on the size of your vehicle. The Geo Metro isn’t a big one and there isn’t a tiny engine that has the same power as the other big ones. Well, not yet…

To Reupholster The Seats Or To Get New Ones, That Is The Question

reupholster car seats

How’s everyone doing amidst this shitty pandemic?

Me? I’m still here, contemplating about far more important things in my life as if I should reupholster my car seats or simply get new ones. As I’ve said before, uncomfortable seats is probably the top problem I’ve been dealing with my Geo Metro.

My smallish ass has been uncomfortable on these seats for far too long, and it’s time for some action.

Maybe you too have been contemplating updating the seats cushioning or re-upholstery, and thought to yourself:  “Why the f would I spend any more money on this tin shitbox?”

Let me take you down the very logical steps on why, at least for me,it just made sense…

Think About The Car Value

When it comes to the value of a classic car, the car seats are best restored than swapped for new ones. If it is a rare one, you better think twice because you’ll certainly decrease the value if you swap it with any other seats. You can also reupholster the seats to maintain the stock appearance. In that way, the style of the seat remains the same but is just more comfortable because of the new foam. However, you should carefully select the materials to use especially if you want to make sure its value doesn’t degrade.

If it’s not that rare, then you can change seats for comfort and practicality’s sake. However, you should remember that replacing the seats with non-genuine products will greatly devalue the car whether it is a rare one or not.

Your best bet when it comes to replacement is sourcing original and top condition seats. It may take you quite some time to find them but if you really want to retain the value of your car, then that is exactly what you should do.

Where To Buy Classic Car Seats?

If you decide to replace the seats with original classic car seats, you need to find them first. You can start your search online but be careful because there can be fakes out there. You can also try your local car shops. They might have some or they might know someone who has a stash and is willing to part with it at a price.

Reupholstering Car Seats

If you choose to take the reupholstering route, you can either have it reupholstered in a specialty shop or do it yourself. The good thing about hiring a professional is their experience and knowledge in various techniques like the stitching to use. They also help ensure that the form of the seats is even and similar to the original.

How damaged the car seats are will greatly affect the cost of the repair, restoration, and reupholstery. Those that have a few rips are naturally going to cost cheaper than those that need the reshaping of the seats because they have already been disfigured. The best way to figure out the actual cost it’s going to take is to ask for a quote. Some ask questions and give estimates while others will require you to bring the car to the shop to quote the price of the reupholstery service.

On the other hand, you could also take on this as a DIY job. If you’ve got plenty of time stuck at home, might as well make yourself busy and useful. You just might learn a thing or two. Who knows you might even make a profession out of it.

With my research, I’ve also come across some people who suggest getting custom car seat covers instead. This is an option if you don’t want to spend a lot on reupholstering your car seats but I think it is just like putting a band-aid over a wound. In some cases, it can work but in others, it’ll just look good but won’t feel as good as reupholstered or replaced car seats.

As for me, I’m still contemplating on what to do. I’ve got the time.

5 Tips To Improve The Geo Metro’s MPG

fuel economy

You all know I love my Geo Metro but it’s current MPG is only at 52.  While that’s would be considered quite high for most car models, for my money, and considering it’s a blue tin can on wheels – it sucks!

But fear not.  I’ve done research on the “inter-web” and sleuthed some handy-dandy ways to improve the fuel efficiency.

I’ve done my research, I’ve stalked forums, and I’ve talked to my fellow Geo Metro lovers and come up with my plan to succeed no matter what. If you own a Geo Metro and want to improve its MPG like I do, here’s a list of things that we can do:

  • Cover Grille Openings – The grilles should be covered, except the one from in front of the radiator, to ensure there are no openings. A tough plastic will suffice in this situation. Additionally, the gap between the hood and bumper should also sealed. Doing this isn’t costly at all. You can do it for as low as 10 bucks depending on the materials you choose to use.
  • Reduce The Car Weight – Reducing the total weight of any vehicle will certainly improve a car’s MPG. Everything that isn’t necessary should be left out of the car. If you spending time alone with your car and don’t plan on any passengers, you can rip out the seatbelts and the back seat as well. Take it a notch further by removing the carpet and floor soundproofing. All these additional weight aren’t necessary and you’ll soon feel better acceleration because of the lesser load on the engine.
  • Adjust The Ignition Timing – Advancing it a few degrees is a safe adjustment but you still have to make sure to listen to your engine to prevent from damaging it in the long run.
  • Change To Flat Bumpers – Bumpers in the early 90’s have a round bottom. If yours still has one, time to change it to a flat one. Best place to find that is in the junkyard.
  • Change To Larger Tires – A low rolling resistance tire with a larger diameter can also improve the mileage of the Metro. If you decide to do this, change your speedometer too so that measurements are accurate.

Lovelock Speedway: Keep Your Hands Off Of My Metro! – Part 1

Lovelock Speedway, Lovelock NV

I grew up in Reno.  It’s a great little town on the California and Nevada border situated on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  By “great”, I mean it’s got great fist-sized river rocks for throwing at passing motorists on I-80.

I don’t live there anymore, and don’ really have any interest in visiting it, so last month I was surprised to find myself $200 down at the penny slots of the Golden Nugget Casino in downtown Reno.

As I was searching my memory banks on the timeline from my couch in Los Angeles to my current coordinates, I noticed an acquaintance by the name of No-Joe sitting to my right, and figured (correctly) that he had something to do with it.  While his presence was by-no-means reassuring (No Joe can be a serious asshole), the realization was enough to call off the synapses in my brain to investigate any further.

Later on I’d come to find out it had something to do with a self-imposed sabbatical from my writing career – more on that later.

While the story of my excursion to Reno is quite funny now that enough time has passed, this post not about how I got there, this post is about what happened next.  This article is about how my little sabbatical almost caused the demise of my precious garage-kept 1989 Blue Geo Metro Hatchback.

Part 1:  The Plan

Was I was 100% sure of my whereabouts, and had run out of money to plink in the Crazy Eights slot machine, I mosied down to No-Joe who was standing (swaying) at one end of a $15 Craps table and seemed to be talking loudly to a young lady who was looking the other way.   From afar she looked a bit like a young Frida Khalo.  As I got closer, the similarities grew even more pronounced, right down to the unplucked unibrow.

I knew by the sour look on the young Frida Kahlo, that my friend was dangerously close to getting kicked off the table, and maybe out of the casino, so I grabbed him bar the arm and said,

“Hey amigo, there you are – you’re missing your 1:00 Luncheon appointment!” (I had no idea of the time BTW).

He gave me a faint look of recognition, and then annoyance as I quickly escorted him away from the table just long enough for him to grab his $40 worth of chips off of the table.

“Wha the hell ju do that for?”

Now normally I’d give him time to sober up before I started asking questions, but I really wanted to know what the hell I was doing in this pig-sty.

“What the hell are we doing in this Pig-Sty?”, I said.

“Aw yeah, donja remember?” he said, looking at the top of my forehead rather than my eyes.  “We’re taking your Metro over to the speedway to race!  Now lego a my arm you bastard!  I think that girl waz goina give me ‘er number.”

“What do you mean ‘taking my Metro over to the speedway’“?

“Yeah, you had mentioned how’s you wanted to race the car for once.  Said you could beat any other car in it’s class.”  he said matter-of-factly “So I signed you up to race at Lovelock tomorrow.”

Dammit.

For the uninitiated, he was referring to Lovelock Speedway, a dusty oval dirt track where Western Nevada’s gearheads get together to race their modded Stock-Cars while blowing the eardrums out of the spectators.

Situated about an hour east of Reno on the outskirts of Lovelock, I’d gone there quite a bit as a teen, mostly for the $1 beers and non-existent ID verification.  Problem was, I couldn’t remember them having a race for amateurs, well outside of the demolition derby.

Before I had time to think further, a large mustached security guard grabbed No and I by the shirts and hoisted us off our feet like rag dolls.   30 seconds later I was staring at hot pavement outside one of the casino emergency exits.

Continued in Part 2..

Gerard Pfeffer and Bobby Kruse Metro Mod

Just poking around the web I found this cool article from the Wall Street Journal about THIS:

Some of you may say, “This man has too much time on his hands.”, others might say, “Why didn’t he pick a better looking car to mod?”, or “Why the color yellow?”

To them I say two things:

  1. What’s wrong with the color yellow and…
  2. STFU

Now I like my cars clean and stock and nothing is stock in this car aside from the dash and the body, but damn – do it look mean!

Congrats Mr. Pfeffer and his late friend Bobby Kruse on this sweet Metro mod…