Kia Forum banner

1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I "picked up" a driveway gnome kia rio with a good body almost a year ago. the engine wouldn't start because the MAF was bad and the previous owner parked it for 2 years. the car was disgusting. long story short, i brought the car back to life to turn it into my "racing beater" for summer and winter auto/rally cross events, and after much work the engine gave out completely... still unsure as to why except it locked up with the t-belt intact.

fast forward to now, i've documented the wiring harness and removed everything but the block and trans from the engine bay. going to pick up a spectra motor before too long and give it the college try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Hi folks, long time lurker first time poster.

i picked up a driveway gnome kia rio 1.5 dohc 5 speed for $free.95 . went through it to get it road worthy...

replaced the front interior with 1Gb stuff, seats steering wheel
replaced the radio and front speakers / removed a "karkey" style immobilizer alarm
gutted the rear interior except for trim pieces covering existing wiring
replaced the front control arms and rods/big bushing with 1Gb stuff
kyb shocks and h&r springs
swaybar bushings and arms replaced
front brakes refurbished
removed AC components and wiring

and other bits/odds/ends.

unfortunately after getting it registered/insured/inspected the engine locked up around 150 miles in. i was backing into my driveway :) no good reason, just locked up a bunch of valves munched and some pieces embedded in the pistons.

i'm going to swap in a spectra motor. i've labelled all the harness i've disconnected... picking up the motor once i have a chance to finish removing the block from the car and de-grease the engine bay.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
going to scout a motor this weekend using a rio dust plate. unfortunately, im not 100% this works.

looks like the spectra motor has a different bolt pattern than the rio trans. and you can't use the spectra trans because it is much larger and requires a hydro clutch conversion. in fact, the spectra slave cylinder is in the same spot as the trans mount. plus the spectra requires a 225mm 8-bolt flywheel with a 22 spline disc where the rio is a 200mm 6-bolt with 20 spline. using a smaller disc, or something alike with 20 splines would probably work but the trouble is with the mating of the engine and trans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Doubt you'll get away with a spec engine in a Rio without alot of engineering. Sucks that the T-belt broke that quick.

You can use any of the 1.5 or the 1.6 1G Rio engines, auto or stick, pretty much the same engine. I was forced to swap the 1.5 from my 5 speed 2002 into a 2004 automatic. The 2004 of course had the 1.6L. Just about everything fit without any hassles, only the fuel rail was an issue - they were both the same, but the 2004 has a different wiring harness on the fuel rail.

Lots of frustrations, but fun job overall. If you're going to do it, do it right. Replace the t-belt and timing kit, replace the rear main seal at a minimum. I'd be doing the clutch at the same time to be honest.

Have to say, I do miss that little 02 Rio, had alot of fun modding and driving it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
well i'll know 100% tomorrow if that guy in the other thread was bullshitting us. with pictures :) im taking the dust plate from my rio with me to check out the spectra motor. i can get around most of the other crap...


another option i'm seeing is a mx3 1.6 or escort gt 1.8 . a friend of mine races them and has a ton of spares. my biggest worry is if it will actually FIT in the bay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
i bought another kia rio, running/driving with spare parts. its a 2004 so it has the slightly bigger motor, and it has fifty four thousand miles on it. $300 parts car for the win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
i have the donor home! its a beautiful light blue, fully loaded. sad that its so rotted underneath. stripping starts tonight.

excited for "fresh-ish" front bearings, and better brakes :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yeah! what i've spent in parts now I could have picked up an 02 Si , or another mitsu mirage lol. but i would have to refresh everything still. hoping to have the refreshed motor in the green car by the end of the month.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
the automatic axles won't work for the manual. the long one is 1/2 inch longer overall and both inners have more splines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So we’ve hit some snags. I was going to swap the trunk, but the lights and bumper have to go as well, and I couldn’t get the rear bumper off the car.

Front end, the core support is too different I didn’t bother after removing the lights off the green car. Not even close however the bumper and fenders would have fit fine. If I had more time and space I would have moved the core support. I put all the panels back on so it still looks like a real car.

The suspension is all very loose, the plan is to block the front end once we roll it on the trailer and then remove the axles, hubs, and control arms complete so I can work on them in my spare time.

So the blue car is ready to go to the junkyard sans it’s gas tank. Tomorrow I’ll attempt that and it should just “fall off”.

With some luck the car will be gone next weekend 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Got the tank out and put the wheels back on. Put the mint rear seat in my greenrio. It’s now “street class” legal for autocross lol

I have everything I need to “refresh” the new motor and a spare IM to port out. Hope to see what other throttlebodies and MAFs I can fit on the car in the future.

One other neat thing I figured out is the escort knuckles I’m hoarding are alike the 01-02 knuckles while there is a newer escort with the same “dimensions” but 03-05 style. When the blue car is gone and I have the knuckles I’ll determine if it’s 100% and we will have a solution for these fucky wheel bearings. The escort runs a different style hub but the axles are the same length / spline count so I am hopeful... it would be a standard 1 piece bearing instead of the dual tapered bearings with a spacer.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top