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I have a 1999 Geo Tracker. I live in Costa Rica Central America and the challenge is to find parts for this, specifically a Rear Differential (used).

I am told that what I need to know in order to get the right part - IF I can find one - is the gear ratio or the number of teeth in the gears (I'm not a mechanic and know very little about this, so assume I'm a dummy). But I can't find this info anywhere. Can anyone help me?

Also when checking the VIN # on various sites on the net, one site says my car has a 2 liter engine and the other says it's 1.6. How can I tell which it is?

Apparently there are many types of Trackers here in Costa Rica and it's very hard finding parts for THIS one which was built at CAMI in Ontario Canada and it may have been built for the NY Market. I have the codes that are in the glove compartment and it says the following based on the code decoder I found at this site:

VIN#   2CNBJ1865X6905626
CANADA (CAMI)/ GM   December 1998
1YL USA (?) What does this mean?
B1A   Port of Entry CAMI (Canadian Automotive Manufacturing Inc) - owned by General Motors (GM)
 "From 1991 on the Geo Tracker sold in Canada was identical to its US counterpart." - Wikipedia - ANYONE KNOW IF THIS IS TRUE ?? If so then any American made 1999 rear differential will work in my Canadaian made Chevrolet Tracker??
L01   GAS, 16 Valve 4 CYL 1.6 LT, MFI, OHC


So, does anyone know how I find find the gear ratio or pinpoint the right used differential without taking it apart and carrying it in hand to a parts place to compare?
NG1   NEW YORK?? (This entry had question marks after it. Has it been confirmed that this does mean it was made for the NY market?)
PG2   Wheel - 15 x 5.5 STEEL
QCE   TIRE    P205/75R15/N BL R/PE ST TL  ALS

door panel sticker.jpg

VIN # info.jpg

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jimmyjames...I like your thorough approach, you gave this a good go.  Short of removing the 3rd member (center section of the axle that contains the differential and gear set, the easiest way to note the ratio is as follows:

1)  Safely jack the Geo's rear axle off the ground and set safety stands beneath the axle housing at each side.  Place wheel safety chocks in front of the front wheels/tires.  This can be done on a vehicle hoist, too.

2)  Place the transmission in Neutral (manual or automatic transmission) and release the emergency/parking brake.

3)  Mark a rear tire sidewall in an obvious clock position.  Hold slight pressure on each rear tire to keep the tires rotating evenly.  (This may require a couple of friends.)  Sometimes you can do this by applying light and even pressure on each wheel/tire by setting the emergency brake for a slight drag.  The goal is to keep one wheel from spinning faster than the other; with an open differential and uneven pressure at each wheel, one wheel will spin faster than the other, or the opposite wheel may rotate backward.

4)  Rotate the rear driveshaft very carefully, noting exactly how many turns of the driveshaft are required to rotate both rear wheels/tires a full (one) turn.

The rest is simple math.  If it takes approximately 4.1 turns of the driveshaft to turn a rear wheel/tire one turn, the axle ratio is 4.1 (4.10:1 or 4.11:1 typically).  If it takes approximately 3.75 turns, the ratio is likely 3.73:1.  If it takes slightly over 4.5 turns of the driveline, the ratio is likely 4.56:1.  Just beyond 4.8 turns would likely be 4.88:1.  And so forth.  There were only specific ratios available for the Geo Tracker, and careful measurement will be close enough to determine which ratio you have in your vehicle.

All Geo Trackers are Suzuki Sidekick design.  Canada and the U.S. built to the same standard, G.M. worked with Suzuki to meet EPA emissions and CAFE fuel standards.  The 1.6L versus 2.0L engine should be easy to identify if you search online for pictures of each engine type.  Compare the pictures with your engine.  Canadian (CAMI) vehicles and North American market Suzuki Sidekicks should be very much the same under the hood.

Trust this helps...Let us know what you discover!


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Thanks for the info. I lucked out before receiving this reply and ran into a mechanic who happened to have a used differential laying around and he was able to install it and it seems to work fine.

However I'm still hearing a click-click-clicking noise coming from the right rear or center rear of the car. Someone said it may be the "cross" that is loose, not sure what that means. Hopefully it's simple and cheap as I'm already down $320 on this, replacing brakes and seals etc. due to leakage.

Good to know about them being built to the same standards but it's been my experience that parts are hard to find for this here in Costa Rica. That is SOME parts. Apparently the differential and other things are not hard to find. But we ordered 2 different brake master cylinders both of which didn't fit when we got them, and the parts places (4-5 of them) gave up  on finding one. Luckily another mechanic swore we don't need it so we went with that. Seems like the brakes are okay but a little soft.

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jimmyjames...The "cross" comment is likely the cross-member support for the transmission/transfer case.  This is possible, though more details on how and when you get the clicking noise would be helpful.  It could be a U-joint or other driveline/powertrain issues.  Something loose is always a possibility.

Glad your Tracker is rolling again.  Sorry that parts availability is tough at Costa Rica.  One way to work around this is to get the part numbers on your own.  I see that you are thorough and resourceful with searching online.  Take the casting number from your OEM (original equipment manufacturer) master cylinder and do a search from there.  The VIN and casting number information should narrow down your search.  There are Suzuki as well as GM parts sources, and once you have the right OEM part number (GM or Suzuki), you can cross that over to aftermarket parts if necessary.  Of course, forum members can likely help find parts...

Soft or spongy brakes without any loss of fluid or leaks can be air in the system (needs bleeding), pad/shoe and rotor/drum wear, or contaminated brake fluid.  If the fluid is dirty, consider a thorough bleeding of the system with enough brake fluid pushing through from the master cylinder to force out the bulk of dirty fluid.  Use the correct brake fluid (DOT 3 or whatever type the master cylinder cap indicates).  If leaks or a falling pedal occur under pressure, you need to rebuild or replace hydraulic parts.

Note: When bleeding the brakes, the best way to purge the system of contaminants is vacuum bleeding.  If that is not available, use the conventional brake bleeding method or a pressure bleeder with plenty of fresh brake fluid.


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