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Geo Prizm
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello from Maine :)

I had a white 1996 Geo Prizm and I totally loved it. But it was rotting away on the underside and had so much wrong with it I sold it rather than getting it fixed.

Then with the money I bought another 1996 Geo Prizm, this one was green, it had very little wrong with it and low mileage (124K) and I had the rust on the underside fixed, along with the fuel and brake lines (ouch it cost me $700). Now it's stickered and running but I have some questions :

1. It has no tach! My white one had a tach why doesn't my green one have a tach ?

2. The green paint is faded badly. Can I touch this up ?

So I bought a parts car, a blue 1994 Geo Prizm, like the green one this has no tach.

All 3 cars are manual transmission but 2 have no tach ?

3. My green car has dust shooting out when I turn the vents on, is it easy to clean out the vent tubes ?

4. The green car idles very high, how can I turn that down ?

Thanks :)
Craig
 

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1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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Welcome to the forums! I can only answer a couple of your questions as I haven't had experience with touching up faded paint or vent cleaning, but I'm sure others will be able to help out.

1. It has no tach! My white one had a tach why doesn't my green one have a tach ?
Typically only higher spec models had the tachometer. We don't get Geo Prizms here in NZ so I can't tell you exactly which models do and don't, but it's the same story on Corollas and many other Toyotas.

4. The green car idles very high, how can I turn that down ?
The idle is controlled by the ECU. The reason it's idling high is most likely due to the idle air control valve (IACV) being clogged. These are prone to carbon build up over time, which causes problems with the idle. Simply remove the throttle body, take off the IACV unit and give it a good clean with carb cleaner.
 

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Geo Prizm
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you :)

I'll look that up in my repair manual :)

I am a total n00b but I bet I can do some things using the repair manual :)

Is there a 3rd party tach that's easy to install ?
 

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Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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Thank you :)

I'll look that up in my repair manual :)

I am a total n00b but I bet I can do some things using the repair manual :)

Is there a 3rd party tach that's easy to install ?
No problem :thumbsup:. There's a lot of information available here, so you'll no doubt know all of the ins and outs of your car in no time.

As for the instrument cluster, if you can find one with a tach from a higher spec model (by visiting a junkyard or wrecker) then it should simply be a case of 'plug-and-play'. People do this with their Corollas all the time.
 

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I think only the LSi Versions had the tach. Even tho there are some LSi that ive seen with no tach. I think the tach only came with the power options package.
 

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my LSi came with no tach, I swapped clusters to gain a tach and simply just swapped the odometer/speedometer assemblies between clusters to keep the correct mileage. HOWEVER your fuel gauge goes from a 1/2 sweep to a 1/4 sweep SO it will read differently. the last 1/2 indicated tank is more like....1/3-1/4 tank.
 

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The tach was an option for the Prizm and Corolla sedans and Corolla Wagon with manual tranny. Curiously it was not offered as an option or standard on the Auto Corolla Wagon.
 

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2. The green paint is faded badly. Can I touch this up ?
Give the car a thorough wash by hand.
You could try a paint cleaner to begin with. Then a wax coat and it should be a noticeable improvement.
I used TurtleWax Color Back product with good success on a red car. These do fade badly and become more pink than red. The product is not color matched.
In the beginning you should notice quite a bit of color on the polishing rag. Depending on how badly the paint is faded, it will take 1-3 applications of Color Back. Follow instructions on the bottle, basically use it just like wax, apply on a smaller surface, rub it a bit and wait until it dries to a matt surface. Then polish off. Repeat if necessary.
Then a coat or two of wax and it should look much better.

I did not try a lot of different products, TurtleWax just happened to be the first one I got my hands on. It worked allright so I decided to stick with it.
 

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Geo Prizm
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the replies :)

my LSi came with no tach, I swapped clusters to gain a tach and simply just swapped the odometer/speedometer assemblies between clusters to keep the correct mileage. HOWEVER your fuel gauge goes from a 1/2 sweep to a 1/4 sweep SO it will read differently. the last 1/2 indicated tank is more like....1/3-1/4 tank.
I guess I'll use some type of 3rd party tachometer.

Have fun!
Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Give the car a thorough wash by hand.
You could try a paint cleaner to begin with. Then a wax coat and it should be a noticeable improvement.
I used TurtleWax Color Back product with good success on a red car. These do fade badly and become more pink than red. The product is not color matched.
In the beginning you should notice quite a bit of color on the polishing rag. Depending on how badly the paint is faded, it will take 1-3 applications of Color Back. Follow instructions on the bottle, basically use it just like wax, apply on a smaller surface, rub it a bit and wait until it dries to a matt surface. Then polish off. Repeat if necessary.
Then a coat or two of wax and it should look much better.

I did not try a lot of different products, TurtleWax just happened to be the first one I got my hands on. It worked alright so I decided to stick with it.
Regarding the paint, well I didn't notice at first but my green car is a blue car!

It is a layer of factory blue (presumably) then a layer of primer and a layer of green.

(click any pic to enlarge)





This car has low mileage and runs well, but it has a bunch of little irritating problems :(

Like a funny odor when I turn the heat on LOL

I am not good at fixing cars but I study the repair manual and am learning. Thank you all for the replies :)

Have fun!
Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No AC, I think only the Lsi version had AC

So I guess I'll need to remove the dash ... that seems very time consuming LOL
 

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1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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No AC, I think only the Lsi version had AC

So I guess I'll need to remove the dash ... that seems very time consuming LOL
It's not too bad if you've got the manual to guide you, but it's still a pain to do. As an alternative, you could clean the middle and driver's side vents by removing a couple of the plastic panels. If the interior is anything like the Corolla's, the centre vents/stereo surround will come straight out and allow you access to the middle ducts. The driver's side one would simply pop out too. You wouldn't be able to clean them as thoroughly as you would be taking the dash off and removing the entire vent, but if you put a rag down there and pulled out as much gunk as you can then it might help a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I was able to get an LSi cluster with tachometer for $40 shipped off of fleaBay

Is that a good price ?

Looks like I will know the joy of removing the dash :)

(click pics to enlarge)



 

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Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
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^ Nice! Congrats on getting one. You shouldn't have to remove the dash to install it. I've never been inside a Prizm, but to use a Corolla as an example, there should just be a plastic cover around the instrument cluster that comes off by removing the 2 screws up the top and pulling it towards you. You should then be able to see the screws for the mounting tabs. Undo those and then you'll be able to pull the cluster out enough to get your hands behind it so that you can unplug the connectors. Press firmly on the tabs for the connectors and push away from you until it unplugs. There'll be three of them in total (use your new cluster as a guide to get an idea of where they're located). Your manual should explain the procedure in more detail :)
 

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^ Nice! Congrats on getting one. You shouldn't have to remove the dash to install it. I've never been inside a Prizm, but to use a Corolla as an example, there should just be a plastic cover around the instrument cluster that comes off by removing the 2 screws up the top and pulling it towards you. You should then be able to see the screws for the mounting tabs. Undo those and then you'll be able to pull the cluster out enough to get your hands behind it so that you can unplug the connectors. Press firmly on the tabs for the connectors and push away from you until it unplugs. There'll be three of them in total (use your new cluster as a guide to get an idea of where they're located). Your manual should explain the procedure in more detail :)
identical.
 
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