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ratghia
ratghia Reader
7/27/12 10:32 a.m.

After the self destruction of the civic I owned for a week I ended up with this. It's a 2003 Cavalier LS Sport. It has the 2.2 ecotec and straight line acceleration isn't that bad. It's not quick, but it isn't the slowest thing I've ever driven either. It feels about the same as a miata but with a little more torque. The interior is pretty bland and plasticy, but seems to have help up well.

After owning the car for about I year I decided this summer I should get back into autocrossing. With this being my only car and no money for a toy it would have to do.

My first step was addressing the mushy cardboard feeling brakes on the car. Once I had it apart it turned out the calipers were so rusty they were no longer floating and seized on the car. I went with porterfield r4-s pads and blank rotors. I ended up needing calipers as well

After that I took it to it's first autocross. I finished 70/90 overal but was 50/90 in pax. I also won my class for the first time. My initial impression was that the car seemed to understeer heavily and wanted more grip then the all seasons could give it. I founded a set of 16x6 wheel that I got for free at some point to put better tires on. I ended up finding a good deal on dot slicks and got them for less then star specs would have cost.

I also decided to try to treat of of the undeersteer to get an addco 1" rear sway bar for the car.

yamaha
yamaha Reader
7/27/12 10:43 a.m.

Considering my experience isn't with cavi's, but Cobalts and Ions, they are very similar(beam rear axle, independent macstrut fronts) In G-stock my redline never needed a rear bar, but if it started to understeer I tapped the brakes mid corner to make it oversteer.

Just a heads up, if you're auto-xing in SCCA, that rear sway bar will punt you out of the stock classes.....

So I suppose, what sanctioning body and what class are you looking at going into?

moxnix
moxnix Reader
7/27/12 11:47 a.m.
yamaha wrote: Just a heads up, if you're auto-xing in SCCA, that rear sway bar will punt you out of the stock classes.....

Not true. Starting this year (2012) you can do a front or rear sway bar in stock (But not both). Now I don't know what size the stock wheels are so those other wheels might not be stock legal.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo PowerDork
7/27/12 11:57 a.m.

Weight reduction:

Duke
Duke PowerDork
7/27/12 12:22 p.m.
moxnix wrote:
yamaha wrote: Just a heads up, if you're auto-xing in SCCA, that rear sway bar will punt you out of the stock classes.....
Not true. Starting this year (2012) you can do a front or rear sway bar in stock (But not both).

I was just going to say that. This is actually one of the more sensible rules adjustments in recent memory.

Rxbalt
Rxbalt New Reader
7/27/12 1:32 p.m.

Is it wrong that I really like those Cavaliers?

ratghia
ratghia Reader
7/27/12 1:32 p.m.

I got the bar because of the new rule. I always wanted one for my old gti, but couldn't and when I saw the rule I figured I'd get one to see if I'd like the way it drives since it feels like it could use it. The wheels are the same size and within the .25" offset so I'm good there too.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH PowerDork
7/27/12 1:41 p.m.

You know I like the '90s-ish proportions and styling of this car, it's not a big modern jellybean like most cars of the same age.

jstein77
jstein77 Dork
7/27/12 2:19 p.m.

After you mount up the slicks, you might find that you need a bunch more damping. Sport struts would be my next investment if I were in your position. Tire Rack lists Koni Sport and KYB AGX for the Cav.

ratghia
ratghia Reader
7/27/12 4:30 p.m.

I was planning on struts being next. I have 2 events left before I leave for school so hopefully I'll get see feedback there as to how it handles. I've actually never had slicks before (always ran azenis) so I'm excited to try them out. I wasn't really even planning on going that direction, but got a good deal

psteav
psteav HalfDork
7/27/12 5:17 p.m.

I've been oddly drawn to the Sunfire GT as a beater....after you get past the GM mouse-fur interior, they're not bad cars and they're dirt cheap.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
7/27/12 5:39 p.m.

keep fresh oil in it. the timing chain oiler clogged up on those early ecotecs. if you didn't already know.

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
7/27/12 6:07 p.m.

Love this build.

Always thought that a Cavalier would be a great DD/ entry autoxy car. Plenty of em. Simple cars.

I approve

jstein77
jstein77 Dork
7/27/12 8:12 p.m.
CarKid1989 wrote: Love this build. Always thought that a Cavalier would be a great DD/ entry autoxy car. Plenty of em. Simple cars. I approve

Plenty of them, true, but only a very small percentage with a stick like Mr. Ghia's.

yamaha
yamaha Reader
8/2/12 1:36 a.m.
Duke wrote:
moxnix wrote:
yamaha wrote: Just a heads up, if you're auto-xing in SCCA, that rear sway bar will punt you out of the stock classes.....
Not true. Starting this year (2012) you can do a front or rear sway bar in stock (But not both).

I was just going to say that. This is actually one of the more sensible rules adjustments in recent memory.

Ahh, I haven't been in Stock this year.....and I agree, that is by far one of the rules that actually makes sense, did the SCCA rules committee get abducted by aliens or something?

ritu
ritu
8/2/12 3:35 a.m.

Todos nuestros apartamentos están situados dentro de la Urbanización de Marina dOr y están totalmente equipados, con plaza de parking incluida. Tenemos apartamentos en casi todos los edificios de la urbanización tanto en primera línea de playa como en segunda línea de playa.

http://www.apartamentos-marinador.com/

mrhappy
mrhappy HalfDork
8/2/12 3:47 a.m.

I thought you left. Its good to see you! How's school going?

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UltraDork
8/2/12 4:39 a.m.
jstein77 wrote:
CarKid1989 wrote: Love this build. Always thought that a Cavalier would be a great DD/ entry autoxy car. Plenty of em. Simple cars. I approve

Plenty of them, true, but only a very small percentage with a stick like Mr. Ghia's.

Actually, there are a lot of 5 speed cars out there, more than you'd expect, especially the Z24's.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair PowerDork
8/2/12 10:42 a.m.

i think there's a member of canoedo up there

canoe es no muy bueno or something

ratghia
ratghia Reader
8/2/12 7:16 p.m.

I'm still around just at school don't have as much car time. Besides that schools going well. I've had decent grades and still on track to get my bachelors in history.

I got my tires mounted and threw one on the car to test fitment. Hopefully tomorrow I can scrub and cycle them.

ratghia
ratghia Reader
8/6/12 6:33 p.m.

I got the r-comp tires on my car and love them. I can say though that they might be dot, but we're never intended for street use. I drove about a 1 mile round trip and that was enough. I did get them to heat and then pull them off in a big parking lot and the extra grip was amazing. I can see why I've been told they're addictive and will leave you wanting to run on nothing else. Hopefully this week I'll be able to get my rear bar installed. I leave for Vegas Monday and I have 2 autocrosses the day after I get back so my goal is to have the car ready by Saturday (Sunday is the gf's birthday).

ratghia
ratghia Reader
8/7/12 8:26 a.m.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
8/7/12 8:35 a.m.

nice!

ratghia
ratghia Reader
8/8/12 12:22 p.m.

Today I finally had time to put the rear bar on. From fooling around a little in an empty parking lot I can say it feels much more neutral. It was oversteering a little, but with slicks out back I'm sure it'll keep in check. On Friday I'm going to move the holders for the bar further apart. I didn't realize how close together they were when I was under the car. I also started making a camera mount. I need to find something better then zip ties to mount it but it doesn't look bad for free.

sanyarcosean
sanyarcosean Reader
8/10/12 11:33 a.m.

Little tiny U clamps from Ace.. not free, but close!

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