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Discussion Starter #1
So I noticed something last week as I was driving my Tracker. It seemed to be louder while accelerating, but as we all know, the car is a bit underpowered and can struggle to build up power anyway, so I wasn't too sure.

But I also noticed the vibration coming through the floor pan to my feet also seemed to be stronger than before.

Leaving the car idle and rolling down the window to listen to the car while driving were inconclusive.

All I know is that it just seems to me that when I hit gas, the winding noise seems louder and I can hear the "putt, putt, putt" noise more clearly.

Before I bring it to my mechanic, I just want to know what you all think.

Thanks.
 

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You didn't list all your engine info in your sig. I'll assume you have 1.6, 16v; they're notorious for cracked exhaust manifolds. Pull the heat shield and look it over, especially between the #3 and #4 runners.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My car's engine is 8 valve. 8th letter in VIN is a "U"

4 Cylinders U 1.6L TBI SOHC (found in 90% of 1994 Geo Tracker 4WD), 8 valve

I think I'll monitor the situation for now. I'm about 750 miles til my next oil change and this is another thing to add to the list.
 

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Believe it or not, Geo (GM) used the same code (U) for both the 8 and 16 valve motors.

Yes, it was kind of dumb.

The last time I needed to look for a exhaust leak I found a new trick. I took the hose from my compressor and put a quick disconnect on the end so it would flow air... just a few PSI. I stuck this up the tail pipe and "sealed" it with a shop rag. Then I could feel along the COLD muffler and pipes for the leaks. Found and fixed a loose header flange and didn't burn any fingers! ;)
 

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Believe it or not, Geo (GM) used the same code (U) for both the 8 and 16 valve motors.

Yes, it was kind of dumb.
Yeah, I have a 94 FSM and that's how they list the 16v "1.6 Liter L4 VIN Code U (RPO L01) yet the only '94 16v I've ever seen had an 8th digit VIN of 6.
 

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From how I understand it, Geo only sold the 16v in the "upscale" models and in markets that required the "cleaner" motor. Suzuki did the same but used the 16v in all the 4 door models. (Other than '91, the first year for the 4 door.) So most Geo's will have 8v motors, up to 1995.

Then with the '96 model year changes, that included OBD2, both Geo and Suzuki dropped the 8v motor in the US market. That was also when Geo dropped the 2 door hard top in favour of the "new to them" 4 door.... That left the US market without the "small hard top," as Suzuki had dropped it sometime in the early 90's. Sadly because, I like the little hard tops.

I'll have to keep an eye out on the VIN codes, it is quite possible that the FSM is in error.
 

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From how I understand it, Geo only sold the 16v in the "upscale" models and in markets that required the "cleaner" motor. Suzuki did the same but used the 16v in all the 4 door models. (Other than '91, the first year for the 4 door.) So most Geo's will have 8v motors, up to 1995.

Then with the '96 model year changes, that included OBD2, both Geo and Suzuki dropped the 8v motor in the US market. That was also when Geo dropped the 2 door hard top in favour of the "new to them" 4 door.... That left the US market without the "small hard top," as Suzuki had dropped it sometime in the early 90's. Sadly because, I like the little hard tops.

I'll have to keep an eye out on the VIN codes, it is quite possible that the FSM is in error.
I have a 2 dr TT, and believe it or not, there are 2 at the local boneyard, the 90 won't be there much longer though. They're pretty rare around here (rustbelt).
 

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I think that the 'U' deals with the engine size, rather than valves - 1.6L regardless of valves.
Anyway, if you find that the exhaust manifold is ok, chances are you have a hole in your muffler, exhaust pipe, etc. or loosening of one of the exhaust pipe connections. Loud, perhaps - a bit smelly on the 8v, too.
And I would question your timing/tuning regarding your car being underpowered or slower than you feel a 1.6 engine should be. Of course, it's not a 4L engine, but my car is fairly peppy, and I have enough power for most situations I encounter....????
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: Mechanic diagnosed it as a exhaust leak in the pipe that connects the catalytic converter to the muffler. It also looked like once upon a time previous work was done where sections were chopped and then replacement parts were welded into places. So since I intend to keep this car awhile, I sucked it up and ordered a brand new Bosal muffler assembly + all the small parts that are needed for installation.
 

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Good, a new exhaust system....but this won't change your power issue, which you may want to investigate. This car, while not a V8 engine, should not be sluggish.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update: Muffler assembly installed. I just want to know from everyone's experience if what I paid was fair. I got all the parts myself (Bosal) for $147.50. My mechanic today charged me $70 for installation (labor). I was really expecting higher than that. Thoughts?
 

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Presumably this repair did not include the catalytic converter, which is the most expensive component of the exhaust. And unless one of these components was throroughly blocked, I'm not sure if you will see any result regarding your power issue. As I'm in Ireland, I can't comment on the cost of your repair, as everything in the US is ridiculously cheaper than it is here.....:(
 
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