Have a shot at a slightly hail damaged 04 cavalier coupe with the 2.2 ecotec for just under $1500. Car looks clean, haven't driven it yet and don't know the mileage yet. I've heard that any ecotec in a cavalier is junk and that they all have timing chain and chain tensioner issues as well as water pump and head gasket issues just like the old 2.4 LD9's. I want to hear from people who have owned an 02-04 cavy with the 2.2 ecotec. Are the rumors true and is the early ecotec plagued with these major issues ?
funny all those rumors you claimed for either Ecotec or the LD9 are false. (somewhat)
They did have a tensioner issue. Only a couple years, I'm not sure what years. Still good motors. Like anything take care of it and it will be good.
Our Ecos are a hell of a good engine. As Addicted said the only thing is that they early ones had a crappy timing chain tensioner. I believe it was 05 when they revised it to a better design. If you are really concerned then just swap to a 05+ timing chain tensioner and you'll be set as long as the previous owner didnt neglect the car.
02 and early 03 ecotecs had a bad timing chain oiler. The port was too small. It helped cause premature failure. You can change to the revised oiler if you want.
Timing chains on our cars seems to be the only real weak point.
The tenioners have had many variations over the years but the newest design seem to be a winner. The design came out with the LNF in 2008. Its always a good idea to change to this design asap. The timing front guide likes to cause issues. The top bolt likes to break or back out and the bottom of the guide likes to break.
Overall they are a good motor that last many many miles with little to no issues...
My vehicle has 124k on it, I've owned it since it had 7k. Yes, the vehicle has had some problems here and there, but every vehicle will. This vehicle is the most dependable one I have ever owned.
- 2004 Cavalier - 124k, owned since new
Had an '03 Ecotec and another '03 Ecotec and Supercharged and never had any issues! Really good engines!
2002 CHEVROLET CAVALIER VL BASE SEDAN.
I had an 02 ls sport that I bought with 10k on it in 03 and sold it with around 130k on it a few years ago. I ran the hell outta that car without any problems. I don't think the check engine light even came on once. The only things I replaced were the window motors and fuel pump (typical gm stuff), and couple sets of spark plugs and brakes.
If taken care of, the Eco should be a very low maintenance motor. Like everyone said, replace the timing chain tensioner as a precaution and you'll be good to go. The L61 in my coupe went 135k with absolutely no major repairs, and I believe it would still be going strong (being boosted), had a lash adjuster not failed, which I think was due to the big cams I threw in.
My beater is also an L61, currently just under 140k, no major repairs to date, and a very healthy motor.
I know a few local guys who have been supercharged for at least 50-60k miles on their L61's, run them pretty hard, and are still going.
apparently every GM has head gasket issues just because 1 person doesn it doesn't make it a problem. apparently 2.4s have that issue i have yet to have one do it and i have had 3 of them 1 was blown due to rods.
2.2ohv i have seen multiples with head gasket issues
JBO since July 30, 2001
No issues with my Ecotecs here....
i've got 140k+ on my eco and it's still running like a champ. i've had some other issues with the car such as window motors dying, but other than that this is probably one of the most dependable cars you could own. as far as the engine goes there are no issues. i'm completely confident i could run this car for another 100k+ without any issues with the engine.
2003 CAVALIERS WEAK POINT IS THE FUEL PUMP = CRAP
HOWEVER ,2004 AND UP CAVALIERS = GOLD ! MY 2004 BASE MODEL CAVALIER STILL RUNNING STRONG AS A DD WITH 260000KM ON IT !! AND NO TIMING CHAIN TICKING EITHER. ALTHOUGH I MUST ADMIT I ALWAYS GAVE THIS CAR THE BEST . SYNTHETIC OIL CHANGES EVERY 10000KM ON TH NOSE, AND RUNS 91 OCTANE EXCLUSIVELY...
About 200,000 miles on my L61and it's still going strong. Oil changes every 3,500 - 5,000 miles and it'll be golden. Only thing I've ever had to replace on the car is the fuel pump.
Yes timing chain and chain tensioner issues but at hogh miles. if u change them (they come together in a kit) and at the same time change water pump it will do u right for miles to come. And dont overheat it.
I had a 2003 ecotec sunfire... heard all the stuff, tensioner is junk, oil jets are defective, plastic timing chain parts on the guide will chew up the chain and fill engine with shrapnel...upgrade this and that...blah blah blah...just traded it in for a 2013 focus and it only had 140,000km on the engine but I drove it like a raped ape, mounts, header, exhaust, 2.4l intake man swap, level zero tri flow cams, etc...bolt ons nothing crazy... no engine issues, compression was still close to 200 across all cylinders, worst one was 189....did the fuel pump, the fpr started leaking like they all do on the ecotecs...but yeah, super impressed by the ecotec engine..too bad I was never able to take it farther (cams were a custom grind (did not know, thought they were stage 1 cams) and closer to a stage 2...idled rough and threw codes, made it impossible to pass emissions testing so I had to pull the cams out...was going to run bigger fuel injectors, and get lots of tuning done
Don't buy from MANTAPART!!
There is no easy ways to get HP, no magic box or gizmo... And if you get more hp, there's no way to make your car still behave and sound like a stock one. More hp usually makes your car louder, more vibrations and harder to drive...but still people hope or think maby there's some magic way to have it all, comfort, stock sound and drive.
Ive owned 3 different 04 cavys of varying trim and they have been some of the most reliable vehicles ive ever seen. Now i own a yellow base model with 160k and a silver ls with 119k. Both are strong running and have never had any timing or head gasket issues. Good cars.
I bought my 02 LS SPORT 3 weeks after my girlfriend bought the exact same model, but automatic.
I'm the kind of guy that always warms up my car before driving, puts the best oil ( no matter the price - spent $25 a quart on Amsoil years back), changes the plugs often, air filters and pumps only 93 octane (im tuned for it now anyway) etc..I have redlined the crap out of my eco only for the COIL PACK to go bad and my FUEL PUMP due to that constant spirited driving, I'm sure. She never did that any of what I did ; always 87 octane, regular oil, never warmed up her car etc. She has 180,000 miles in 13 years. Only thing that has gone bad was the fuel pump and that was at 175,000 miles. Nothing has been done, not even the water pump. Her car is so freaking reliable, it's ridiculous. She has changed the brakes, battery, fuel pump, window motor and THAT IS IT!!
I have 68K with those issue I mentioned. Nothing else. Yes, the 2002 has a crappy tensioner. Can be changed for under $40 in no time.
"FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRIVE STOCK"
Another common issue appears to be a leaking clutch line. Apparently it rubs on an electrical harness and/or brake line.
Anyone experience this issue?
My internally stock L61 is still going fine with a HTV 1320-LSJ supercharger on it and having the piss beat out of it. I will however swap saw ping in a freshly built L61 just so I can pulley it down and make more power.