Bob's 92 Geo Prizm - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 60 Old 08-27-2018, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Bob's 92 Geo Prizm

I've been on here off and on for over 3 years now, but never posted any kind of thread, and only some limited pics (usually in someone else's thread). I figured maybe I should start a new thread just for my own car, even though I haven't really done a lot to it over the 8 1/2 years I've owned it, besides doing rust repair work and driving it, along with some maintenance. When I first got it, I was mostly using it as a winter car, as it had the usual "salt belt" rust. But after a while, I found I liked the little beasty, and as I kept repairing the rust, it just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny. I ended going to Texas for business back in late 2013, and picked up a set of front fenders for it. They were off a Gold Prizm, which seemed odd after talking with Prizdog, as he commented that my Teal (Dark Turquoise Metallic) Prizm was odd. While a little bumped and bruised, they were rust free, which IS what I wanted. And yes, that Gold Prizm was very picked over and was basically a skeleton (especially after I got the fenders off it). Once I got back, I swapped out the fenders, and faked up some rocker skins out of some screen door metal I had laying around here. That's the thing about this car, I've been patching it together with whatever I can find ever since my son owned it, when we re-skinned the lower part of both front doors with metal from a GM hood, and made new wheel well arches from a Chevy Astro fender.

Over the years the front end got rebuilt, in that my son (the PO) replaced the front struts and front hub bearings (well I helped him do that), but later on, I did ball joints, calipers and rotors, tie rod ends, along with brake hoses. About 4 or 5 years ago, I did the rear struts, and sway bar links, along with doing the rear brakes. I also for a time ended up going with 15 inch rims on it (for summer use), so it got 95 Land Cruiser lug studs installed in the rear (44.5mm long) and 10 mm spacers, to push the 15 x 6.5 wide rims with 40mm offset out and away from the struts (I have a thread on that on page 30 or so in this forum). Yes, eventually the rims and tires (195-55-15's) will go back on it again, as I like the look of them on it. Here's some pics of it with them.






Fast forward almost another 4 years, and I'm rebuilding the rockers. This time I'm using the top cap sections from a Chevy S-10 pick up box fro the outer skin metal. I cut it 64 inches , so I could trim it if needed. Here's a before pic.


This was before I started cutting into it. Boy, did I open up a can of worms once I opened it up. I say that because I knew there was some rust in there (from 4 years ago), but I didn't realize the support structure was going as well. Here's a couple of pics after opening it up.





Not very good, and pretty bad when you get more toward the rear of the car. So I cut and cleaned up as best as I could to find out what was left that was still solid.



This had just become a much bigger project that originally planned. Needless to say, I was this far in, and it still needed to fix it. So I studied what I had to work with, went out back and brought some metal up, to see if it would work, and started working on a plan, only to revise it twice, while sitting there staring at it while drinking a beer. I knew I needed to add some strength back in, but I also needed to add a lip for the rocker skin to attach to. Remember, whatever I do on this side, I need to do on the other side as well. I separated the outer skin from the inner skin of the bed rail metal, as the outer portion was going to be the outer rocker skin. I needed to bend the lip 180* so it would give me the bottom lip, then it was just a matter of shaping the metal into what I could use. The outer part would be the easy part of the job, but I still needed to do the inner. For that I used a piece of thick (16 gauge) metal that was 4 inches wide, and had a 1/2" lip bent on both edges forming a "U" kind of shape. This would give me something to tie the rear control arm bracket to, and also tie it to the floor, along with the metal around the lower seat belt mount (all strong sections). After that, I cut a pocket out of piece of perforated angle iron (I can't remember what it's real name is) checked the fit, then figured out where I wanted to bend a lip (for the outer skin mounting lip) in it. Please note, that I don't have a press brake, or anything like that. I just have a 5" vice, a 4.5 inch angle grinder (Dewalt) that I use with a Metabo cutting blade, and an old Black and Decker 4.5 inch grinder that I use grinding discs on. I also have a HF 90* die grinder with Roloc style discs, and a 30 year old Mig welder w/gas. Anyway, here's some pics of the "new" structure part that doesn't get seen.



Needless to say, this took longer to figure out, than build it. It does what I want, which was help tie both ends back together, but adds strength at the same time. Plus, with the lip at the bottom, I have a place to attach the rocker skin. I added the small boxed section at the rear to give me something to plate to (above and behind). Now it was time to bend up the long piece of metal, and tack it into place. First 1 bend, then a 2nd got the upper part done. A couple of test fits later, and a trim of about an inch off the top and it was ready to be tacked.





Then it was a matter of finish welding it, and re-making the rear corner and fender section. This was mostly cut and weld patch pieces to make up the parts of it. Once that was done, it was a matter of grinding down the welds, adding a little All Metal, then sealing it up in epoxy primer. Here's a shot of that.


After being welded and ground, it got primed off.




Then it got 2 coats of paint, followed by 2 coats of clear.



Then yesterday, I put the doors back on, and turned the car around so I could set up for doing the passenger side. My son thought it looked pretty good, until I pushed on it it and poked a hole right thru the skin. I already knew it was pretty thin, as I rolled my fingers up, and pushed right thru the bottom of the skin. No need for a screw driver or a hammer, as it's gone as well. Didn't get anything done on it though, as I was helping him diagnose a no start problem on his 98 Civic (we had just rebuilt the engine in it, and never fired it off yet). He was looking over my repairs pretty hard, as he needs to do something along the same lines for the rear of his Civic.
Anyway, I'm done with the left side, and I'll probably take shots of the right side while I'm in there.
Sorry about the links, as I'm not really computer savy as I work with my hands.







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92 Geo Prizm 4 door sedan "stock" with 175,000 miles and still going

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post #2 of 60 Old 08-28-2018, 08:55 PM
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This thread is awesome! Your car is looking great and it's great to see you saving your Geo! I completely forgot your car bieng an LSi. Does it have any LSi specific options?



91 Toyota Corolla- 4A-FE, C52 - 265K
92 Geo Prizm GSi- 4A-GE, A245E - 135K
03 Mazda Protege- FS-DE, G15M-R - 179K
04 Ram 1500- Magnum, NV4500 - 135K
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post #3 of 60 Old 08-29-2018, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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This thread is awesome! Your car is looking great and it's great to see you saving your Geo! I completely forgot your car being an LSi. Does it have any LSi specific options?

Actually it's just a plain jane Prizm. My son added the LSi emblems when he got the trunk lid piece from the junk yard (which is closed and cleaned up now). It's 3 main options were AT, Pwr Steering, and AC. Manual everything else. Around here (where I live) nobody pays any attention to the LSi emblems. In fact 1 of my son's friends saw me getting out of it and come into the O'Reilly's he works at, and asked me, "oh so you still have it", I told him yes I do still have "that" Geo.

Yeah, it feels like I've been patching thing car for 10 years. Oh wait, I have been. He owned it for 2 years before he bought a Civic to replace it. Then he sold it to me for 500 bucks 8 1/2 years ago. Lately, I'm mostly redoing some or most of those original repairs we did on it so long ago. But, it's been such a damn good car, that I can't get rid of it.
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post #4 of 60 Old 08-29-2018, 10:50 PM
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Very nice & awesome work.

You don't have to try too hard for images. Just copy path to picture: http://i64.tinypic.com/so6e02.jpg . Leave out the [ url] [/ url] tags before& after

Then click PICTURE button above editor, the yellow square with mountain range. And paste path to photo. Add an "o" before the "i64.tinypic.com" section so it looks like this: http://oi64.tinypic.com/so6e02.jpg

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post #5 of 60 Old 08-29-2018, 10:55 PM
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Hmm, maybe not, that site is not very good.



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post #6 of 60 Old 08-30-2018, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, maybe not, that site is not very good.




Yeah, it does leave a little to be desired, but with the photobucket fiasco, trying to find places that host for free has become a job of it's own. I'm on 2 other websites, and they host their own pics, as it keeps build threads and such complete. On 1 of them, I've got a build that I started back in 2007, that's still complete other than where others were commenting using their own site for pics, or pb for pic hosting left a hole or 3 in. But everything I posted up is still there 11 years later.I haven't tried using their "direct" links yet, so that might be worth a try. Like I said, I'm not very tech savy, as I work with my hands. Well that, and I didn't want to keep adding pics of my stuff to others threads.
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92 Geo Prizm 4 door sedan "stock" with 175,000 miles and still going

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post #7 of 60 Old 08-30-2018, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so from what Danno was saying I basically needed to drop the IMG tags to make the picture be visible. So I'll try it with these. They're supposed to be "direct links", but we'll see how that works out too. These are from the right side from earlier this week. Gotta make it look worse before you can make it look better.

This is the right front section, It looks worse than the left side.

This is the right rear section. About the same as the left side.

Here's a close up of the right front section. You can see that some of the support metal is gone that was present on the left side. Also, the lower part is rusted out and holey (will need a decent sized patch), which means more repair work later. The left side has 3 spots that need floor work too, but I've gotta get the seat and carpet out first, so I can get that sound deadener stuff off.


I did have some time out there today (Thursday), so I did some "prefab" stuff. Got the plates made up and drilled for the 2 ends of the inner structure, along with getting the bend in the dexion (the perforated angle stuff), and a cut out for the seat belt box in it too. Straightened out the bend in what will be the outer skin, and bent it 90* in the direction I need it in, along with adding the 2 upper bends. Unfortunately this section of metal had some rust in it, so I've got to patch the patch metal before I can use it. I'll get to that Friday afternoon, or Saturday.

Well it is 62 inches long (the opening), which makes just going out and buying a single piece of sheet steel kind of tough, as most places only have 48 inch lengths. Then you add in that you're working with 20 or 21 gauge steel (instead of the 24 gauge they have in stock), which is pretty thin, so most fab shops won't have it in stock. Add in you need a piece (or 2) about 7 inches wide by 62 inches long, and they'll look at you funny, hence the reason I got the donor metal from a parted out S-10 bed rail section.

That truck was gone (worse than George), I mean both front and rear cab mounts and 8 to 10 inches of floor, both rockers, both cab corners, both rear wheel well areas, across the front of the bed, the bed supports, the tail gate, the hood, the inner front fenders... the amount of rust read like a grocery list. The left bed rail I was able to cut above the rust, but the right side I had to cut thru it to get a large enough piece. I'll probably use some inner bed rail metal to do my patching, since I still had a little left over from the left side.

92 Geo Prizm 4 door sedan "stock" with 175,000 miles and still going

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post #8 of 60 Old 09-02-2018, 11:30 AM
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Yeah nobody recognizes my GSi badges either. Whenever people ask what my project car is and I tell them a Geo Prizm GSi all they say is "A GEO???" They never ask why I emphasized GSi, or what it means. All they hear is Geo. Then they say: "Does it have the 3 cylinder?" That's usually when I give up lol



Let me give this picture thing a shot....


I went to your photo and right clicked on the actual picture and selected "copy image location". Now I'm going to click the little picture icon and try it out!




Hey it worked! So yeah once you uploaded the pic to tinypic right click the pic itself and select copy image location.



91 Toyota Corolla- 4A-FE, C52 - 265K
92 Geo Prizm GSi- 4A-GE, A245E - 135K
03 Mazda Protege- FS-DE, G15M-R - 179K
04 Ram 1500- Magnum, NV4500 - 135K
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post #9 of 60 Old 09-04-2018, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah nobody recognizes my GSi badges either. Whenever people ask what my project car is and I tell them a Geo Prizm GSi all they say is "A GEO???" They never ask why I emphasized GSi, or what it means. All they hear is Geo. Then they say: "Does it have the 3 cylinder?" That's usually when I give up lol



Let me give this picture thing a shot....


I went to your photo and right clicked on the actual picture and selected "copy image location". Now I'm going to click the little picture icon and try it out!




Hey it worked! So yeah once you uploaded the pic to tinypic right click the pic itself and select copy image location.
I'll have to give it a try later today, as I have some more pics to dump.
In talking with my son last week, he suggested I put the LSi rear folding seat into it, as I have ALL of the parts for it. At least it would make it more LSi ish.
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post #10 of 60 Old 09-04-2018, 09:42 PM
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I'll have to give it a try later today, as I have some more pics to dump.
In talking with my son last week, he suggested I put the LSi rear folding seat into it, as I have ALL of the parts for it. At least it would make it more LSi ish.

That would definitively make your Geo more LSi ish lol Now if anything your Geo will be like an LSi with just the automatic as an option with the folding rear seat!



91 Toyota Corolla- 4A-FE, C52 - 265K
92 Geo Prizm GSi- 4A-GE, A245E - 135K
03 Mazda Protege- FS-DE, G15M-R - 179K
04 Ram 1500- Magnum, NV4500 - 135K
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Ok, so here's a pic dump. This is the right side inner rocker structure being built. There are 2 sections of plate about 20 inches long at the ends to give me something to tie into. Both to the car body, and to my piece of dexion (perforated angle). They are also for replacing the thicker sections that rusted away. Yes, the inside of the rocker skin is Chevy orange. I used a spray bomb on it to help seal the metal.I had it around, and there is a bow tie on the grill emblem, and the ign key does have a GM logo on it.








Now that we got some structure back in it, it was time to close/cap it off. These next 2 are test fitting and adjusting the outer skin.



Now it's time to fine tune the fit, and start tacking.



Now it's time to work on the corner piece. This side was marginally easier here, only because I didn't have to replace both layers like I did on the left side.I finished capping the area between the rocker skin and the wheel arch too. I also started welding the front in place too.



The front got welded in place.
This is where some of the real work started. A good portion of this was rebuilt 10 years ago when my son owned the car. It was never sand blasted or anything like that, mostly just cut and weld, then grind and fill. Unfortunately, it was also rotted, and need some immediate work. This was an extra day plus of work to get it to look decent.





And finally we got to this point last night...primer. Naturally I had a bug or 2 land in it while it was still wet. While I like priming while it's 70 something degrees,(versus 85+) I don't care for the bugs, as they seem to like fresh paint/primer.This is PPG's DP series epoxy primer (DP50 gray). I've been using it for years. In fact it had some DP black underneath some of the original repair work.

So today was color and clear coat. First the color coat. Two coats of color to get it even , followed by 2 coats of clear. This is Axalta's Nason brand paint and clear. It's fairly cheap (35 a pint for the color), but looks good and seems to last a while.






So tomorrows job will be putting the doors on, and maybe giving it a bath. If not, blow off the dust, and let the rain wash it off. Then clean up the mess I made.

92 Geo Prizm 4 door sedan "stock" with 175,000 miles and still going

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post #12 of 60 Old 09-05-2018, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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That would definitively make your Geo more LSi ish lol Now if anything your Geo will be like an LSi with just the automatic as an option with the folding rear seat!
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, as I just can't seem to get pics to load here. At least I added the links so ya'll can see the progress.

Yeah, it's a 60-40 folding rear seat too, which is kind of cool. Just gotta dig it out and see about installing it. It even matches the existing upholstery (I think).

92 Geo Prizm 4 door sedan "stock" with 175,000 miles and still going
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post #13 of 60 Old 09-05-2018, 05:08 PM
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