I have been on here for at least 6 months now and I have noticed everyone on this site has helped one another and it seems to be like one big family. Id like to start off by telling my story. My name is Matthew Mims and I have a 1984 Cavalier Convertible that my Dad and I are restoring. What started it all was my Dad bought the car in 1999 with a locked engine and didn't get it in his possession till around 2004. (The car got lost) After my Dad got it back the car started to get in rough shape and he never got to it. Around 2006 he came across a 1984 cavalier wagon with a bad TPS. Well both cars sat in the yard and then eventually got put in the back in the brush were they sat for almost 6 years. It was early 2011 when I was 16 he said I will give you the cars if we restore the 84 convertible which I agreed to. By then the 84 cavalier convertible was in terrible shape. The top was destroyed, rats made a nest in the throttle body/air cleaner housing and all but one window would work. It was a year later in 2012 when my dad and I finally started to work on the car and diagnosed the engine was locked and probably overheated. We got our spare engine out of the 84 cavalier wagon cleaned it up and painted it with GM flat black engine paint and put it in the convertible. This was done by March of 2013. Since then I have found while replacing the fuel pump my floor rusted out and the project was put on hold for a few months. Just recently we have pulled the carpet and seats out to attend to the rusted floor and welded in new panels and got it sealed up, working on right now on putting the carpet and seats back in and getting the car running smoothly. But I wanted to share my story on what I have plus all the excitement I have going on. In the last 6 months I have been on this j-body organization I have noticed three true dedicated first gen owners. Ron Love, 84conv (I think his name is John) and Orlen Brown. You three I have seen on your forums have taught me a lot of information about my car and have been though the same trouble I have had in putting mine back together. I have read many of your forums you have put up and everyone I read concerning the first gen j-bodys makes me appreciate my car even more. I am glad that I am a proud owner of a first gen j-body vehicle. I have pictures of the car but I will upload later.
Sounds like your 'Vert has just about been trhough it all and then some!
Your story is a great example of just what a positive attitude and good ole fashioned perseverance can accomplish. Having a wagon donor (...sniff) has really come in handy and as you've probably read parts are ever harder to come by. There are some great folks here and everyone pitches in from time to time.
I'm just the ole country bumpkin of the bunch, and my rides aren't the stuff of legends. I have managed to keep them running over the years which is testiment to the soundness of their design....along with everyones help here from time to time too...LoL
John (84Conv) is the best source here for your particular year model and bodystyle - he got 2 of them and pretty much knows them upside down and sideways.
Ron is the big man in town and deserves a medal if one was ever awarded for dedication to the cause!! If he can fix you up he well. If he doesn't know what is going on, he'll tell you that, but don't be too suprised if he goes off and finds out!
Paul94Z28 is the brains behind the OHC Brazil machines! He can be a wiz at the turbo technicalities ! He's been very helpful to me with my ole Pontiac. Seems like I drew a wild card and wound up with both engines - so at least I can see up close and personal the differences between the two types. You would be suprised how much does not swap between the Pontiac and the Chevy too!
I often quote Paul along- saying: "it's not the destination, but the journey along the way!" My advice is to never plan to finish your project.
Keep it fresh and interesting and you'll always enjoy yourself
Welcome aboard again ! Look forward to some photos of your Vert, and (....sniff) Wagon..LoL
Welcome to the site! I can truly say that I am happy to see another 1st gen saved. Keep up the the good work. If you need any help or parts throw it out there on the forum. Usually one of us will have the part or know where to get the part. When it comes time to replace your top don't be afraid to install it yourself. Just leave the old one on until you are ready to replace it because it is a lot easier if it is still fresh in your mind when installing the new one. I also have some detailed instructions for the do it yourself top replacement that I could send over to you. Keep the pictures coming. Also remember that as of right now these cars do not have a lot of $ value, so keep that in mind when doing the resto. It is also a good idea to constantly search Craigs List for donor cars. I've gotten two good low millage (old man and old lady) parts cars in the last 7 years for a combined total price of $525 and have gotten priceless parts from them.
Glad you're here, always good to grow members and know more of these cars will live. My knowledge is limited (unless you want to know the capital of some obscure African country), but expanding all the time because of the guys here, it's a good board on this vast internet.
There's no limit to the pics you can post if you use a photodump like facebook or google plus to host the pic. Then to display here is easy, except when I'm on my mobile so you'll have to wait for me to sit at a real computer to type those instructions.
Nice story there.A car sitting on the ground is def not good for long periods as you know first hand.While the car sits you might want to put 4 jack stands under it to raise it high off the ground to prevent moisture from being a problem.I would also place some plywood under the stands so they do not sink down.I also suggest going on ebay and buy a waterproof cover for around 30-50 bux depends on brand,style,and seller.I see your just in the beginning stages and with any restoration job it takes awhile especially if the car sits outside.I am soon to start some updates on my own car for a change this year.This will focus on the rear end new wheel bearings,new brakes and drums and e brake cables and I have to drop my fuel tank (bad sending unit) and will do a tutorial on these steps and would like to do a video focusing on the specific things I am doing.As for your rear end you probably need new shocks and I would go NEW on the springs and these are specific like coupe,wagon or sedan(I do believe the sedan/coupe use the same tho)I have long since restored my rear end axle,new springs,shocks,FIXED my spring perches that holds the spring in place and sure with that rust yours are toast.I just went way to long on that sentence.I could literally talk about all the resto items I already did for hours.However I will keep it shorter today since 530 miles is kicking my rear(I drive a tractor trailer) 4 days a wk.If you need to ask ?s but too long to type and I might know the answer I would be willing to PM my cell phone # to you so you can just call me direct versus posting a mile long simple thing if need be.I would def buy a waterproof cover 1st on ebay just type in 1984 cavalier waterproof car cover it will pop up easy.Really most of the 1st gens are the same in general in size with 1 odd with is the hatchback a touch different and the wagon of course.As for wear out items it varies on store choices on who carries what,brand,cost,best oem application etc.I do know a touch about these cars and even to this day still learning on the specific things like the rear defrost option(I am reading up on that to learn it and assist)Nice car and I totally got carried away.In some respects I am a walking library on these cars(not the pro) but pretty good.I def can take them apart in a junkyard for sure!
How to post pics, unlimited:
post the pics to facebook, google+, etc. one of those sites.
notice those are brackets around the letters img, above your return key without hitting the shift key.
open a new window or tab with the site that has your picture posted. right click on the picture and capture the image address; you might see an option such as copy image address.
then come back here and paste after the
after your link is pasted in there, type [img/]
be sure to click on the preview button while making your post to ensure the image comes through.
I haven't tried it yet since our forum got the new GUI, but you can also use ctrl+p and just paste the url in there.
Great to see another drop top on here