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1994 Geo Tracker 4WD 3spd with a 1995 PINK Body
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a little pink tracker for my wife as a beater car and we’ve been working together to fix it up for about a month. Everything we’ve dealt with up to this point hasn’t interfered or really hinted at a body swap having happened. However lately we’ve been having all sorts of trouble finding a new convertible top that fits. None of the clips or retainers seem to be in the right places. After receiving the THIRD top from a different company, my father, who was over, decided to lend us a hand at installing it. After we gave up he joked about a body swap having occurred. I figured it was worth double checking the door sticker and comparing to the title and windshield VIN. The door sticker was completely different. I searched up the VIN and it was for a 1995 Geo Tracker. Upon redoing some things like the door panels and carpet, we saw some sharpie writing with the date: 1-18-08 (January 18th, 2008) which we then assumed was the last time things had been replaced, but is more likely the rough date the body swap happened.

What sort of repercussions can occur if the body VIN is dirty? And what sort of mechanical or cosmetic conflicts might there be when making repairs or upgrades?

Anyone here do a body swap on a pink 1994 4x4 tracker?
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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Welcome to the FORUM.
There's always been a lot of discussion about "body swaps" -- but that means a lot of different things. Usually it's putting a nice engine from a trashed out vehicle into one with a nice body and a dead engine.
Who knows what it was for you? Any way to tell?
Is the VIN on the driver's side of the DASH different from the one inside the driver door on the bottom? If so, there might be something strange going on -- not necessarily illegal. That means the entire dash was changed. Maybe because of a engine swap -- so it might be OK.

Others will jump in soon.
 

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I may be wrong, but I believe that the VIN is meant to correspond with the chassis. The original VIN number on the title will correspond with the chassis number and not the number on the dash.
One of the more noticeable differences between the 94 and 95 top will be the way it attaches to the front bow which sits over the windshield. In the 89 to 94 the bow and top use sliding clips. On the 95 to 98, the bow and top has snaps. Additionally, there is a difference at the rear of the car. The earlier tops do not have zip out side windows. The 89 to 94 rear window piece will be slightly longer, as it attaches to the car with a fiberglass rod, while the 95 to 98 have an additional plastic bracket that runs on top of the tailgate.
 
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1994 Geo Tracker 4WD 3spd with a 1995 PINK Body
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the FORUM.
There's always been a lot of discussion about "body swaps" -- but that means a lot of different things. Usually it's putting a nice engine from a trashed out vehicle into one with a nice body and a dead engine.
Who knows what it was for you? Any way to tell?
Is the VIN on the driver's side of the DASH different from the one inside the driver door on the bottom? If so, there might be something strange going on -- not necessarily illegal. That means the entire dash was changed. Maybe because of a engine swap -- so it might be OK.

Others will jump in soon.

It appear to be a 1995 body-only swap. Engine is an 8v cast #60A. Interior is 1994. The windshield is honestly held on by clumps of silicone sealer and cut up pieces or normal windhsield trim. Looks like they kept the 1994 windshield/dash with the VIN on the title. But the body has been resprayed pink over teal 1995 with a different VIN.
 

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1994 Geo Tracker 4WD 3spd with a 1995 PINK Body
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I may be wrong, but I believe that the VIN is meant to correspond with the chassis. The original VIN number on the title will correspond with the chassis number and not the number on the dash.
One of the more noticeable differences between the 94 and 95 top will be the way it attaches to the front bow which sits over the windshield. In the 89 to 94 the bow and top use sliding clips. On the 95 to 98, the bow and top has snaps. Additionally, there is a difference at the rear of the car. The earlier tops do not have zip out side windows. The 89 to 94 rear window piece will be slightly longer, as it attaches to the car with a fiberglass rod, while the 95 to 98 have an additional plastic bracket that runs on top of the tailgate.

That's why we kept buying different soft tops- the snaps on the front/top panel, mismatched rear Velcro systems, snaps on the bars, zip out side windows, etc. We kept buying tops for a 1994 but this car has 1995 snaps and bars which arent compatible. Found a few YouTube videos showing the installation of 1994 vs 1995 soft tops that confirmed it. Unless the previous owners did a full soft top conversion with new hardware and placed a different VIN sticker on the door panel, I think it is a genuine body swap. Initially we just thought the vendors selling the tops were mislabeling or putting the incorrect years for models it fits.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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I may be wrong, but I believe that the VIN is meant to correspond with the chassis. The original VIN number on the title will correspond with the chassis number and not the number on the dash.
On my '91, the VIN on the side of the dash & the lower door & the title & registration are all the same.
 

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I have the 91, and while I was ‘learning’ about my car, bought a top for a 95. Fortunately, it came with the front bow, so I was able to switch that out. But while I was able to kind of get the zip out side windows to work ok, the rear window never fit properly and I couldn’t get the slides on the rear corners to slide in properly. I also had to sew extra material on to the rear window so it would reach down low enough to attach to the tailgate.
 
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On my '91, the VIN on the side of the dash & the lower door & the title & registration are all the same.
Look at the chassis. Your VIN is the chassis number and should be etched into the chassis. Obviously, your car didn’t have a body swap, as all numbers are the same. Daniel’s title should indicate the VIN that’s on the chassis, if I’m not mistaken.
 
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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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It appear to be a 1995 body-only swap. Engine is an 8v cast #60A. Interior is 1994. The windshield is honestly held on by clumps of silicone sealer and cut up pieces or normal windhsield trim. Looks like they kept the 1994 windshield/dash with the VIN on the title. But the body has been resprayed pink over teal 1995 with a different VIN.
Sounds like you have a '95 body -- now what's the engine, and why did they do it? Was it just because the '95 engine died and they wanted an '94 dash to match the replacemnt '94 engine?
 

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Look at the chassis. Your VIN is the chassis number and should be etched into the chassis.
On mine, the VIN is etched into two plates -- one on the drivers side of the dash -- and the other on the chassis itself, on the bottom where the driver's door meets the chassis.

I doubt that anyone could successfully replace a chassis plate, and see no reason why they would replace the dashboard plate to a different VIN.

I've got to assume that the chassis VIN is original and the dash VIN is original.
 

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1994 Geo Tracker 4WD 3spd with a 1995 PINK Body
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like you have a '95 body -- now what's the engine, and why did they do it? Was it just because the '95 engine died and they wanted an '94 dash to match the replacemnt '94 engine?
engine and dash look like they match. It’s been a rough 173k miles… It’s got an 8v and the ECM wiring looks like the definition of chaos, so probably just stuffed everything into the 95 the best they could. Although, the 1995 was a 2wd (I looked up the VIN) and it could be the engine that’s in there, since those came with an 8v. Not really sure how to check which engine it is though.
 

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This might help. See if the ENGINE ID matches up to the DASH VIN. I bet they do. If it is DIFFERENT than the CHASSIS VIN, you might have a different problem. The engines are stamped with the assembly plant, month, day produced, and the engine type code -- see lower right on the photo.

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the rear window never fit properly and I couldn’t get the slides on the rear corners to slide in properly. I also had to sew extra material on to the rear window so it would reach down low enough to attach to the tailgate.
gee man, that sounds like your car is not only "horribly rusty" but also sawn together as well :);) :rolleyes:

pics or it didnt happen :D
 

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This might help. See if the ENGINE ID matches up to the DASH VIN. I bet they do. If it is DIFFERENT than the CHASSIS VIN, you might have a different problem. The engines are stamped with the assembly plant, month, day produced, and the engine type code -- see lower right on the photo.

View attachment 107816
Your chart is a decode of a General Motors VIN, the engine doesn't have any of that information stamped on it.
 

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engine and dash look like they match. It’s been a rough 173k miles… It’s got an 8v and the ECM wiring looks like the definition of chaos, so probably just stuffed everything into the 95 the best they could. Although, the 1995 was a 2wd (I looked up the VIN) and it could be the engine that’s in there, since those came with an 8v. Not really sure how to check which engine it is though.
The VIN on your title should indicate the original VIN for the car (chassis number), and, if a body swap was done, will be different than whatever you see on the dash. If you are checking just by the dash number, that 2wd would presumably be the car that the body was taken from. Does the dash VIN coincide with the VIN on the title/reg??
The ECU may be mashed back under the dash as taking it out is FAR easier than getting it back into the stock position. From the factory, it would be neatly bolted to its bracket, but surrounded by harness wires, etc. If the ECU looks different than that, I wonder if it was removed at some point to change the capacitors in the ECU, like many of. Us have had to do.
 

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gee man, that sounds like your car is not only "horribly rusty" but also sawn together as well :);) :rolleyes:

pics or it didnt happen :D
Ha, that was a long time ago, and my top and body parts have been replaced. Aside from the dirt, it’s looking better now!!


Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car
 

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The VIN on the dash will tell you what engine went with the body (and frame from the donor vehicle). He’s got the 8v engine, which he knows.
Engine number is level with the oil filter, at the rear of the engine just in front of tranny bellhousing. Tranny number is on top of tranny, just behind the bellhousing, if you’re interested in checking that.
While it may be a matter of curiosity, there is no difference between the 94 and 95 8v engines, IIRC.
 

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Love the bird emblem on the bonnet, a touch of class!
LOL…you like that? It’s actually illegal now to have them. It’s a flying seagull, donated from a neighbor’s ashtray. If nothing else, I am classy…..lol!!
 
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