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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well here it is... Project Tetanus. A 1995 Geo Tracker 16V manual 4WD with a clean title. I figure Geo trackers are pretty common but this little truck not so much.

Originally this car came from Canada, the dash is still in kilometers and the owners manual in French. No power steering or A/C but has alloy wheels. Regardless an interesting combo of options. When I picked up the project it was a running driving vehicle. The only issue was the rear brake adjusters had no teeth (likely due to a monkey mechanic) and the rear axle seals packed up. New axle seals, brake adjusters, brake shoes, diff oil and one brake line later all is well with the brakes.

I went ahead and tossed in some spark plugs, timing belt, upper and lower rad hoses, thermostat, air filter and fluid change the vehicle would be good to drive in to the ground.... but I'm not wired that way. If I'm going to spend money on a daily driver I might as well fix it right... so then began the tear down.

As for direction. I want a solid, small daily driver that is going to save me some money on fuel but is cheap and 4 wheel drive. Why do I think this is worthy of a thread?



















Probably one of the rustiest, rotted out trackers ever to be brought back to life. Yeah it would be easier to just part it out and crush it but what the heck is the fun in that?

If you aren't squeemish I invite you to follow along. She might not be a show car when I'm done but by god she will be a solid driver.
 

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You didn't replace that left rear brake drum? Hey, look at the brite side, last piece of exhaust still look clean, and still has sticker. Didn't have A/C but looks like it gets plenty of outside air flow thru the cab. Never would have guessed it spent some time in Ohio ;)

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Haha yeah it spent time in Canada and Ohio... Being from the Jeep community I know a thing or 2 about rust... 2 of my best friends are chassis saver and hurculiner. $200 bucks will get me a gallon of each which will be more than enough to rust proof the entire vehicle.

For metal I have an almost rust free hood from a wrecked 3rd gen Camaro. I know it's strange but the metal is still in great shape and there is plenty of it to take grafts from.



I did go hunting for some parts recently. I got everything in the pic for $160.



don't worry everything was gathered up after taking the picture :p

I also picked up a clean titled 1996 tracker just yesterday just 2.5 hours before it was going to be crushed. It has the complete dash, frame, wheels and tires, suspension, brakes, power steering, drive line, good windshield and engine. Best of all it has most of the sheet metal I need without me having to fabricate! yahoo! Sorry no pics of that yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While the big things are important... sometimes taking care of little things really helps move the project along. Always remember this or you will get discouraged during a large project.

I may spur off into a random post/repair right in the middle of the major surgeries so please bear with me... Case in point; This is mildly amusing.... One of the many issues was the horn didn't work. I could hear the relay click but no sound.

So I pulled the horn module out...


Well there's your problem!


$10 later and here we go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is another issue I ran into. The fuel filler neck was missing the cap... well when I say cap I mean it was missing for a reason. Another filler neck and cap was one of the parts I picked up.



I don't think the 20oz top is factory....I like the new part better don't you?


Needless to say draining the tank will be in the future.
 

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I love this! And really thank you for posting (along with photos). I don't weld (sadly) and have been doing some rust repair with fiberglass, for the most part. Small stuff is ok like that. However, I just picked up an unregistered Suzuki Vitara over here for about $700. I now have a 'Suzuki auto parts store' in my shed - the body on it is great (to say nothing about replacement parts, sensors, etc.). A couple of years ago, the passenger side wheelhouse on my car bit the dust:
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki...eo-tracker/42354-my-beautiful-wheelhouse.html
Damage actually more from a bad battery than from rust. The replacement part and cost of the repair was more than what my car is actually worth, I reckon. I have also had my chassis welded twice. My car has always lived by the sea, and rust is my enemy. I suppose it would be sensible to learn mig welding.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Glad you checked in Bex! I know you feel my pain... Must be a common rust place on these things :lol:



The pic of the wheel well is the same side you had to replace. I did pick up a whole section that is rust free from a wrecked tracker. I think I'm going to work from the back to the front. All I have is an angle grinder and reciprocating saw then of course a mig welder. Might pick up some tin snips also.


I'm going to probably go pretty fast for the first few days because I am going to catch everything up. After that posts might slow down a bit...
 

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I see now why you are calling this Project Tetanus. Just out of curiosity, what kind of welder, settings, etc are you using? I have been reading about welding on the internet - its really the way to do this right, and your work looks pretty darn good, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's just a simple flux mig. I use .030 wire on setting 3....ish. It only has 2 power settings min and max. I use it on the min setting for sheet metal.



Forgot to mention I pulled the fuel tank after patch#3 because the other patches are right over top of it.
 

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So when your done patching there you should come over and patch mine! lol
Looks like your turning her into a nice rig!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I forgot to take a pic of the panel still in so here...




Patch#6 with tack welds



Removed the nasty front fenders...






Windshield frame is rusty but still seems pretty solid. I'm thinking treatment, filler and paint.




Picked this up a few days ago...

 

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Are you going to pull the body off to apply this to the frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So when your done patching there you should come over and patch mine! lol
Looks like your turning her into a nice rig!
Thanks man welcome to my carnage

Watch out for flying rusty metal parts :p

Are you going to pull the body off to apply this to the frame?
Not sure yet. I don't have the capability to pull the body off. I may just apply it as I can. But yes it's going on the frame too
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After snipping the zip ties that was holding the airbox clamshell together I found this...air filter?







I would laugh if it wasn't so sad...

The airbox I picked up had only 1 broken screw and luckily for me my old airbox happened to have 1 good screw... well put 2 and 2 together and presto!



Add in a new Wix and some anti seize.... all is well in candy land

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The center dash looked a little bare when I got it...



Time to fill in the blanks!

HVAC controls first...


Now add a radio


Moving along to the steering wheel... I didn't get a before picture but imagine the horn button being held on with electrical tape...

Step 1 strip it down...


Step 2 gather parts


Step 3 assemble


Step 4 finish!



Combined with my new horn module I have a functional horn! Yippee!!!
 

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Just a thought, If you have access to shop air you may find an air shear more efficient than aircraft snips on the sheet metal....

Your weld look OK...

I have been trying to get BEX welding for the past couple of yrs.... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just a thought, If you have access to shop air you may find an air shear more efficient than aircraft snips on the sheet metal....

Your weld look OK...

I have been trying to get BEX welding for the past couple of yrs.... Philip
Welcome to my thread of iron oxides, I do have air I will look around for a shear. Thanks for the suggestion

I've had my share of bird poop looking welds in the past :eek: When I got my welder I found #1 the ground clamp that came with it was junk... I replaced it with a good 3 contact jaw you can see it in this pic



The other thing was to make sure the metal is relatively clean and replace the tip when I change out the wire spool. I've had good luck so far. A simple flux welder is so great to have.... very little maintenance and is forgiving. Might be messier and I can't weld really thick steel but I don't have to worry about shielding gas and it's very portable. ;)
 

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Looking good! :)

But you DO have your work "cut out" (pun intended) for you. :eek:

Work like that IS rewarding though.

Max (a Metal Fab & Machine Shop owner / operator and Auto Restoration hobbyist )
 
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