Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant) - General Forum

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Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Saturday, February 12, 2011 1:51 PM
After some winter hibernation, I've decided to crawl out from under the rock I've been hiding under and show my face on JBO once again. I'm going to be posting a pic thread for some suggestions for my '04 cavis 7th year of life. Anyway, on to my actual question.

Has anybody ever heard of anyone doing a diesel motor/trans swap in a cavalier? I did a search of this site with no results, so hence this post. I understand something like that wouldn't be easy (I'm an amateur, far from my skillset), would need new electronics and fabrication to make it work. Maybe something like a VW TDI motor/trans? I know I'm probably gonna get grilled for my overall lack of knowledge on the subject, but I want to prove to my engineering professor that it would be possible to do on a J. Or better yet...

Dear American Auto market,

Can you guys please stop cramming lithium battery hybrids and full electric cars down our throats? The facts are, most Americans expect a certain degree of performance out of their cars. That being said, why haven't you taken a page from your European partners and developed a small, clean diesel motor for the American market? The fuel is readily available and can be made from any lipid. Diesel motors push more torque and whp in most cases, and will last longer under routine maintenance than its gasoline cousin. While you guys keep giving us glorified golf carts and hybrid batteries that consume more energy and resources in refining than they produce, we are all stuck cursing the continual rise of gasoline prices. The answer is right there, if you guys choose to put more R&D into it. Think about it.

Yours Truly,
Cavaclysmic04


Okay, this probably went on longer than it should have, and a little OT from my original question. My opinion is that diesel should be our future, and though a re-released Cavalier Z24 diesel is a wild wet dream of mine, I know the reality will be more Volts, Leafs and Priuses. You're gonna feel really old when you have to explain to your kids that back in your day, with the right tuning in the hands of a competent mechanic, a crappy commuter car we used to call "Cavalier" could do a 13 second quarter mile.

Just my thoughts, feel free to disagree.





Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Saturday, February 12, 2011 2:59 PM
you put a lot of thought into this thread didn't you.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Saturday, February 12, 2011 3:52 PM
blucavvy wrote:

you put a lot of thought into this thread didn't you.


Jay, I think we should all start looking for solutions to get around using gasoline. We could make diesel fuel in America by Americans and no longer have to get repeatedly raped by OPEC. I won't go too much further with this, unless this gets moved to war forum.

I would like to know if a cavalier diesel conversion has ever been done, and if the final cost would be worth doing? I would consider doing it to my cav, if I could get similar mileage and efficency of a TDI.




Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:25 PM
Cavaclysmic04 wrote:

blucavvy wrote:

you put a lot of thought into this thread didn't you.


Jay, I think we should all start looking for solutions to get around using gasoline. We could make diesel fuel in America by Americans and no longer have to get repeatedly raped by OPEC. I won't go too much further with this, unless this gets moved to war forum.

I would like to know if a cavalier diesel conversion has ever been done, and if the final cost would be worth doing? I would consider doing it to my cav, if I could get similar mileage and efficency of a TDI.


if it were so easy as to just use our own oil, don't you think we would do that already? The problem is the oil is much easier to refine from the middle east than it is from here. The cost difference in refining offsets the cost of just buying it from the middle east.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Saturday, February 12, 2011 4:31 PM
Converting a Cav to a diesel would require a bit of work. IIRC the Mercedes OM617 turbo diesel is small enough to fit into our engine bays. The one problem is the intake and exhaust manifolds sit on the same side and would be facing the firewall. Not to mention the cost of making an adapter plate for the transmission.

Those snags can be dealt with though. The major thing that I think for that particular motor that would work for me is that its the old fashioned indirect diesel injection. You have a lift pump and the injection pump which keeps everything very simple and low maint.

I would try to stay away from any of the newer diesel motors as the direct injection and computer stuff will be a nightmare. The old mechanical style injected motors are just as efficient and are able to make just as much power.
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Sunday, February 13, 2011 12:16 PM
can it be done? i'm sure it can...

would it be a cost effective solution? probably not. you'd likely sink more money into putting the engine in the car and making it work than it would cost to go buy an older tdi...



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Sunday, February 13, 2011 5:00 PM
Because the automotive market today is not about actually solving energy problems, its more about feeling lile we are. Your electric car doesnt use gasoline. Cool. Ever thought where that electricity comes from? Burning fossil fuels. We're just stepping responsibility from ourselves to some nameless faceless corporation that sends us our electricity. Im not killing the Earth. That evil corporation is.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2:00 PM
DroptopPaul wrote:

Cavaclysmic04 wrote:

blucavvy wrote:

you put a lot of thought into this thread didn't you.


Jay, I think we should all start looking for solutions to get around using gasoline. We could make diesel fuel in America by Americans and no longer have to get repeatedly raped by OPEC. I won't go too much further with this, unless this gets moved to war forum.

I would like to know if a cavalier diesel conversion has ever been done, and if the final cost would be worth doing? I would consider doing it to my cav, if I could get similar mileage and efficency of a TDI.


if it were so easy as to just use our own oil, don't you think we would do that already? The problem is the oil is much easier to refine from the middle east than it is from here. The cost difference in refining offsets the cost of just buying it from the middle east.


People do make their own Diesel and it is not that hard to do and you could do it with very little cost and actually get the supply for free. This is no secret and people have been doing this for years. There are a few types of diesel vehicles, one of which would run off vegetable oil which you can actually get paid to take from most restaurants and food chains. People were converting gas motors to bio diesel back in the 70's during the gas crisis.

Not only could this be done but you can convert a normal motor to a bio diesel vehicle. You may loose some of the performance here but it's cheaper then slapping a new motor in a car and dealing with that whole mess. The outcome would still be better than a current day electric car. This is of course depending on the motor being converted and what your needs are.

This may have opened a door for arguments but I thought it was on topic to what you are looking for.




Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2:26 PM
If Davidsfarm was still on youtube i'd share a link, but since he's not i'll explain.

He had a plymouth mini van he stuffed a vw 1.8 turbo diesel and tranny into it... point is.. it was stupid simple on that van.


- Your not-so-local, untrained, uncertified, backyard mechanic. But my @!#$ runs
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 4:28 PM
This guy did a TDI swap into a saturn:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=193909

Also, there were diesels built for the Cavalier in Europe, so why not just import one? I have an Ecotec diesel from a 1998 Vectra (Saturn L series) that might even work.

As far as the American Market rant - why are people "shoving electric cars" down your throat? Did anyone show up with a gun and force you to buy one?

I want to buy an electric car and can't, so I would say that I am the one who gets an ICE "shoved down my throat."

Why do you think that electrics are slow? This 1970 Datsun would smoke your "13 second quarter mile": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLjnRj2Dhwk&feature=related

Truth is we need electrics AND hybrids AND diesel AND natural gas AND ethanol AND gasoline. Stop hating on the electrics! They have their place and their market.

SunDownFire - fossils fuels are not the only source of electricity. Also, if you are looking at reducing dependency on oil - electricity is NOT produced by foreign oil. Even with (American made) coal fired plants, electrics are still cleaner.
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 6:52 PM
Not the only but in most parts of the country its one of the largest sources of it. Not to diminish the role of water power or wind power etc but at this point in time it doesnt produce near enough electricity to offset the amount produced by fossil fuels.

Show me a time when an electric or hybrid car saves enough gas to justify the extra cost of purchasing one and Ill gladly buy one. I remember talking to my father when Honda started big with the Civic Hybrid a few years ago. He said that the Hybrid saved enough fuel to offset the cost of the car in 10-11 years. The average American doesnt keep a car that long. As far as Im concerned, hybrids and electric cars are just a way to make us feel better about driving.

Look at the CR-Z it gets the same fuel mileage as a late 80s Civic and is a Hybrid that has a slight increase in power and a continuously variable transmission. Is the hybrid really necessary at that point? All Honda as done since the beginning of the CR-Z is wave around the Hybrid/Sport flag. I guarantee that 89 Honda Accord I beat around in for months got the same mileage as that CR-Z and felt damn sporty.




Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 7:47 PM
TheSundownFire (GME Chat) wrote:

Not the only but in most parts of the country its one of the largest sources of it. Not to diminish the role of water power or wind power etc but at this point in time it doesnt produce near enough electricity to offset the amount produced by fossil fuels.

Show me a time when an electric or hybrid car saves enough gas to justify the extra cost of purchasing one and Ill gladly buy one. I remember talking to my father when Honda started big with the Civic Hybrid a few years ago. He said that the Hybrid saved enough fuel to offset the cost of the car in 10-11 years. The average American doesnt keep a car that long. As far as Im concerned, hybrids and electric cars are just a way to make us feel better about driving.

Look at the CR-Z it gets the same fuel mileage as a late 80s Civic and is a Hybrid that has a slight increase in power and a continuously variable transmission. Is the hybrid really necessary at that point? All Honda as done since the beginning of the CR-Z is wave around the Hybrid/Sport flag. I guarantee that 89 Honda Accord I beat around in for months got the same mileage as that CR-Z and felt damn sporty.


I think Sundown hit the nail on the head here. Electric and hybrid vehicles are just not at the point to be truly economical. Right now, it is a niche market aimed for people who care and want to make a difference as far as energy consumption and the environment. This doesnt include people who need their vehicles to get to work AND drive 150+ miles for other purposes. I know that they make the Tesla Roadster as far as looking for performance, but it is far from any normal persons price range.

I am not opposed to electric or hybrids as an alternative, they should be made available to the people who want them. Someone who needs basic transportation to work and to the grocery store would benefit from an electric car. In this way, I agree with Brad. There is no "magic bullet" to this problem, and diversifying our energy consumption across all the forms would do a lot of good for us. But as far as immediate changes we could make TOMORROW if we wanted to, diesel is at the top of the list. We already have the technology, Europe has been producing high mileage diesel passenger cars for years.

Copter already made the point I was going to make about being able to make energy in the US from our own waste. In addition, there are farms that utilize the methane emitted from bovine waste to create energy for their farms. Now I severely doubt we'll be running our cars on cow pies, but its just proof that we can create energy at home if we are smart about it and not leave it up to the corporations and big brother to set energy prices artificially high or low depending on market projections. We need to eliminate some of the laws that restrict the use diesel fuel. Why is it that I can heat my home with fuel oil (diesel for those of you who don't know), but to use that same fuel in my truck is considered illegal, because diesel from the gas station is the same thing, only dyed red? (and considerably more expensive)

Thanks to everyone for all the input so far, all valid points and some stuff I'm going to research further. Honestly, I dont know if I'd be able to do a cavalier diesel conversion. Like I said in the OP, I'm an amateur as far mechanical knowledge. I've never done an engine swap or rebuild, only helped a few times with my neighbor, and I do all my own routine maintenance. Theres still a lot of life left in my cavi before she gives up the ghost, but I still think it would be an awesome thing to do. Being on JBO for a little over a year, I've learned that there is lots of things you can do to J bodies, so why not a diesel conversion?




Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:13 PM
Again, even producing electricity with the dirtiest fuel available - coal - electric cars are still cleaner. Natural gas electric plants are cleaner still. Nuclear is rather debatable - that is another topic in itself. All of our fuel for electric generation can be produced here.

Also, you will see more alternative energy as the technologies improve. There are already ahead of us in Europe.

There are many reasons to own a hybrid, an electric, or a plug-in hybrid. Maybe you want to be green, maybe you just like the newest technology, maybe you want to not be dependent on foreign oil, maybe you like the quiet ride, maybe you hate going to the gas station, maybe you like the idea that you can produce your own fuel, maybe you like the acceleration - whatever. Why not let those who want to buy them buy them? Why think someone is "shoving them down your throat"?

Yes, they are more expensive now. That is true of any new technology. Just think of the first cell phones, LCD TVs or whatever.

If you just want to save money on gas that is currently not the best way to do it. As the price of gas goes up and the price of batteries come down, that will most likely change.

Again, with the "sporty-ness": the Tesla is really really really fast. Zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds. Electric cars ARE sporty! You are thinking golf carts. That is wrong. Go drive an electric. You will be surprised.

If everyone would buy a plug-in electric vehicle the next time they buy a car, pickup, van, or SUV, the USA will be off foreign oil in 10 years. Think about that.

That does not take away from diesel in the slightest. Diesel should also definitely be part of the mix. I love the idea of growing our own fuel.
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:20 AM
^^^^did you watch the top gear with the teals? They had 2 of them and both broke, there not reliable.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:59 PM
Quote:

Dear American Auto market,

Can you guys please stop cramming lithium battery hybrids and full electric cars down our throats? The facts are, most Americans expect a certain degree of performance out of their cars. That being said, why haven't you taken a page from your European partners and developed a small, clean diesel motor for the American market? The fuel is readily available and can be made from any lipid. Diesel motors push more torque and whp in most cases, and will last longer under routine maintenance than its gasoline cousin. While you guys keep giving us glorified golf carts and hybrid batteries that consume more energy and resources in refining than they produce, we are all stuck cursing the continual rise of gasoline prices. The answer is right there, if you guys choose to put more R&D into it. Think about it.

Yours Truly,
Cavaclysmic04


Diesels are a lot more popular in Europe mostly because of the tax credits that governments give you for buying one. Another thing that Americans will look at is the price of the fuel, as you know diesel usually costs more than premium. Regular unleaded at a local gas station for me is about 91% of the cost of diesel is. I know diesel cars are 25-30% more efficient than a gas car, so it would definitely justify 9% difference in fuel cost, but most people won't see it that way. They'll just see what price is on the pumps.

As far as your torque numbers. Electric motors make a @!#$load of it, and that make it at a massive 0 rpm. Most electric car conversions the guys lock a manual trans car in 3rd gear and it's left that way, not something your diesel could easily cope with. The other thing is efficiency. Gas/Diesel engines convert a lot of the fuel's energy into heat, electric motors do not. Our forklifts, at work, even with heavy use you can touch the motor with your hand when it's been recently used. Not so with gas powered engines. Though there's still a ton more energy available in a full tank of gas than a full battery pack, that's why you can go a lot farther.

Yes your performance be down on most electric cars. But lets say we ran electric cars primarily for the last 75+ years, and gas was the new entry. Which would have more performance value? What has more performance value now, a modern engine, or one from 75 years ago? It is in fact, all about R&D.

Electric cars, like it or not, are the future. They'd probably be more practical for probably half the drivers out there. Figure in how many cars are in the big cities during rush hour just sitting and not going anywhere. How much liquid fuel is wasted because the engine continues running during that time in all of those cars. And that happens several times a day on a daily basis. That's where electric's really shine. Because when your car stops, the motor stops. And when the motor stops, it doesn't use power. And then the wonder of regenerative braking.

I just with GM would start calling the Volt a hybrid, like it really is.






i find it amusing that SHOoff has nothing better to do but follow me around & be an unhelpful dick in even cross-forum. - Jon Mick
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Friday, February 18, 2011 5:44 PM
CrAzY Z24 wrote:

^^^^did you watch the top gear with the teals? They had 2 of them and both broke, there not reliable.


Don't believe everything you see on TV: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/24/jeremy-clarkson-top-gear-tesla-electric-car
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Sunday, February 20, 2011 11:58 PM
Cavaclysmic04 wrote:

Why is it that I can heat my home with fuel oil (diesel for those of you who don't know), but to use that same fuel in my truck is considered illegal, because diesel from the gas station is the same thing, only dyed red? (and considerably more expensive)

its illegal bc red/off-road diesel isnt taxed like highway diesel fuel is. if everyone was using it in their commuter or work vehicles, the gov'ment would lose alot of tax money. its the same reason why marijuana is illegal - the taxation of it. it the gov'ment cant profit from it, you aint usin it. end of story

if you want a diesel-powered Cavalier, import a Vauxhall Cavalier from Europe. it'd probably be cheaper than jamming a VW TDi into your engine bay



R.I.P. JessE Gerard 7.11.87 - 1.25.08
The Radiation Nation Facebook Twitter Twisted Metal Alliance
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Monday, February 21, 2011 11:13 AM
Evan Undead (The Black Pearl) wrote:

Cavaclysmic04 wrote:

Why is it that I can heat my home with fuel oil (diesel for those of you who don't know), but to use that same fuel in my truck is considered illegal, because diesel from the gas station is the same thing, only dyed red? (and considerably more expensive)

its illegal bc red/off-road diesel isnt taxed like highway diesel fuel is. if everyone was using it in their commuter or work vehicles, the gov'ment would lose alot of tax money. its the same reason why marijuana is illegal - the taxation of it. it the gov'ment cant profit from it, you aint usin it. end of story

if you want a diesel-powered Cavalier, import a Vauxhall Cavalier from Europe. it'd probably be cheaper than jamming a VW TDi into your engine bay


No I actually believe its due to the higher sulfur content. I have friends who use the red stuff. Its terribly illegal because it violates EPA law but it makes their trucks sun a hell of a lot better.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Monday, February 21, 2011 11:41 PM
meh, from what the mechanics at the heavy equipment place I worked at told me, its the same exact @!#$ just dyed red so in case you get pulled over, they can run a dipper and see what color the diesel is



R.I.P. JessE Gerard 7.11.87 - 1.25.08
The Radiation Nation Facebook Twitter Twisted Metal Alliance
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:23 PM
TheSundownFire (GME Chat) wrote:

Evan Undead (The Black Pearl) wrote:

Cavaclysmic04 wrote:

Why is it that I can heat my home with fuel oil (diesel for those of you who don't know), but to use that same fuel in my truck is considered illegal, because diesel from the gas station is the same thing, only dyed red? (and considerably more expensive)

its illegal bc red/off-road diesel isnt taxed like highway diesel fuel is. if everyone was using it in their commuter or work vehicles, the gov'ment would lose alot of tax money. its the same reason why marijuana is illegal - the taxation of it. it the gov'ment cant profit from it, you aint usin it. end of story

if you want a diesel-powered Cavalier, import a Vauxhall Cavalier from Europe. it'd probably be cheaper than jamming a VW TDi into your engine bay


No I actually believe its due to the higher sulfur content. I have friends who use the red stuff. Its terribly illegal because it violates EPA law but it makes their trucks sun a hell of a lot better.


I'll have to look at our tank at work and see what it says. We have a bunch of it for the trucks, which I know are set up differently because they don't go on the road.

I've heard of farmers using it in their trucks, since they can get it for their farm equip. Though, i've also heard stories of newer trucks that stop running on the red stuff. Also heard horror stories of farmers getting stopped and getting their tanks checked. And when they find red in there the gov't just "estimates" how much tax they owe.





i find it amusing that SHOoff has nothing better to do but follow me around & be an unhelpful dick in even cross-forum. - Jon Mick
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:37 PM
Red Diesel has a higher sulfur content.

The PPM of Sulfur in red diesel is above the EPA regulated level for automobile use. Just like any other EPA law it comes with a heavy fine.

Ive also been reading that red diesel is taxed differently than automotive fuel so its a little bit of both but not just the govt out to screw everyone over.




Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:53 AM
TheSundownFire (GME Chat) wrote:

Not the only but in most parts of the country its one of the largest sources of it. Not to diminish the role of water power or wind power etc but at this point in time it doesnt produce near enough electricity to offset the amount produced by fossil fuels.

Show me a time when an electric or hybrid car saves enough gas to justify the extra cost of purchasing one and Ill gladly buy one. I remember talking to my father when Honda started big with the Civic Hybrid a few years ago. He said that the Hybrid saved enough fuel to offset the cost of the car in 10-11 years. The average American doesnt keep a car that long. As far as Im concerned, hybrids and electric cars are just a way to make us feel better about driving.

Look at the CR-Z it gets the same fuel mileage as a late 80s Civic and is a Hybrid that has a slight increase in power and a continuously variable transmission. Is the hybrid really necessary at that point? All Honda as done since the beginning of the CR-Z is wave around the Hybrid/Sport flag. I guarantee that 89 Honda Accord I beat around in for months got the same mileage as that CR-Z and felt damn sporty.




how much did the first vcr cost? how much did the first flat screens cost? electrics and hybrids are just coming out, of course they are more expensive. as more and more get made they will find cheaper and better ways of running them. ive had my sunfire for 10 years. if the concern is getting off of gasonline why is the issue of cost the only peoples concerns. no one said getting away from fossil fuels would be cheaper or has to be cheaper. compare the late 80's civic to the new cr-z sure the milage is the same. but i could problaby fit in the new cr-z versus the late 80's civic which ive been in. it was a tiny bare bones piece of junk. imo also a big reason the fuel milage isnt that much diffrent because gas from the 80's and 90's was cheap so nobody cared about fuel econemy. gas was cheap so nobody pushed fuel econemy. and if nobody is pushing for it, the car manufacturers arn't going to be concerned with it. i mean for someone who doesnt drive far (soccer moms) or hell me for example. i drive around 8-10k a year. my drive to work is 7 miles. for the most part i could buy an electric or hybrid/electric car and almost never have to go to the gas station again. the more they get out there the more intrest will be generated and manufacturers will get into high gear to really outdo each other. that is when you will see the progress. u wont see it on the first models out to the public. and most electric cars have 100% of there torque instantly. they are torque machinces. there are a few guys that race them that are if i remember right down in the 10 second range with electric cars. so the power is there and in time would become available to the masses. but you wont see that on day one. well except if u want to drop money on like the tesla type models.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sndsgood/ https://www.facebook.com/#!/Square1Photography
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:40 AM
I really doubt you would fit into a CR-Z. Honda has been lacking in the room department lately.



Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:54 AM
TheSundownFire (GME Chat) wrote:

I really doubt you would fit into a CR-Z. Honda has been lacking in the room department lately.




well i was more meaning to just point out the diffrences. gas milage may be the save but the crz probably weights twice as much. and is problaby allot safer. id bet just the platic door panel on a crz is thicker then the door panel and door itself on an old civic. those things felt like sitting in an aluminum can.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sndsgood/ https://www.facebook.com/#!/Square1Photography
Re: Cavalier Diesel? (and a American auto market rant)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:14 AM
A fully loaded late 80s Civic weighed in at around 400 lbs less than a brand new CR-Z depending on the model of Civic.

I still think the CR-Z is a piece of crap excuse for a "sport" hybrid. Call it what it is. A slow N/A car or a slightly faster Civic Hybrid.



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