A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens. - First Generation Forum

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A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 09, 2014 2:08 PM
Here are some photos of the 94 Cavalier RS Sedan I recently picked up. I was so suprised how difficult it was to simply find a decent running non-3rd generation J-Body around here. They are virtually non existant! I happend to remember one that I had spotted many months ago at one of the local auto dealers of a "lesser reputation" as I might describe it. It had popped up on his lot around August of last year and indeed it had an August Inspection sticker on it . I don't believe this Sedan had hardly been driven since that time.
Upon inquiring about the car the dealer informed me it had belonged to his son and that the young man had finished college and went in the military and was stationed in Afganistan. I could tell by a few various aftermarket stick ons that a young person had owned this at some time.
After a week of finding absolutely nothing local and nothing on Craigslist I decided to finally take a look at it. It indeed looked good enough to serve me as a backup for the workhorse wagon that has faithfully been good to the cause for these past 11 years.
Yet even later I decided to stop by and see if it ran ( remember the "lesser reputation description"). The battery was dead from setting so long and the hard cold weather we have been having. Using a jumper he soon had it turning over and the Sedan fired off - I was watching closely to see if the cooling system was still intact after some below 0 freezes we have had around here. Engine warmed up without any fuss and ran fairly smooth considering how long it must have been since it has been running.
About a week later I decided to take delivery of the car. Haven't had it out but one time but most everything is working fine. A few bugs but what old J-Body doesnt deserve a few. It isn't clean and I will certainly get around to maintance and tinkering when the weather gets warmed up and springtime comes around. I'm just grateful to have found something I can use to putter around in and not have to depend so heavily on the wagon as I have been having to.
Each car I have is similar yet different, and I really enjoy the variety!! I now have experience with the 1.8 OHC, 2.0 OHV and 2.2 OHV in these bodystyles. My sweetie has a '98 3rd gen with the 2200 and I've also owned a Sunfire with the 2.4 LD9 which covers a pretty big spread. Obviously my favorites are the 1st gens. It is a shame they are getting to hard to find.

You know those hubcaps are gonna have to go when I get the money to get a decent set of factory ones.
























You fellows know me well enought by now to know there HAD to be something BLUE somewhere!! That practically sold the car by itself!!

I peeked under the seatcovers and the seats look to be in pretty good condition but are very soiled.

Anyone have any idea where I might source one of these skinny little armrests for the console at?







I was enthusiastic anout the milage until I saw on the Title that it is "Not Actual". Only God knows what it really is. No CEL but Antilock is glowing. The daughter has same problem on her 94 Skylark. It is all but impossible to decode these early Antilock systems and costs for parts for these units are horrific and I've simply learned to pull the bulb.

I get a laugh out of the "Cavalier" on the IC. Never forget that you are in a ............

Also this was the last year without the airbags!!





Interesting note here - I've read that the 1st and 2nd gen doors are a swap but as this photo shows I think there is a bit more to it since these have the seat belt in them and another catch hardware to lock the door in.





Here is a good photo to show the facelift that the 2nd gens were given. You can clearly see tha the sheetmetal was still punched out to the old 1st gen design where the original hood latch would be bolted on. The 2nd gen latch is simply an extension off the front end alowing the need for a longer hood and front end components whch stretch the length of the car a bit. I now can understand why many refer to the Cavaliers as really being just 2 generations instead of 3. This really looks to me like a heavy facelift. I guess the totally reworked Coupe was what really turned the page.








This car turns out to be the Hot Rod of the bunch of base 4's. 1994 the Engine was tuned up to 120Hp, but emissions regs required it to be cut back to 110 in 1995. The 2nd gen sedan was roughly 150 lbs heaver than the 1st gen...... (Most of that was the longer hood)..... Interesting output when you consider the early 2.8's ground out 130Hp! I had this up at 80 and it had plenty of pedal left. I can feel a big difference between the 1.8OHC and 2.0 OHV. Also in 1995 the redesign 3rd gen. added another 500 pounds to the car.

......Looky!!! No cold air intake conversion by the young lad!! Glad to have the original configuration.





Well I am having a hard time relearning where the switches are compared to my beloved 1st gens. I still think you can put the light switch anywhere you want to , just as long as it also one on the dash! I'm always turning on the windshied wipers too. Still, this car still has one of these!!





....and one of these!!





I've got some learnig to do too - could this be the ECU???





All in all it is just a Sedan - nothing special. Still it seems finding nothing special these days seems to be getting .....well, kinda special!!



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Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 09, 2014 2:49 PM
I had a '91 Coupe, a '92 Z-24 AND an '89 Wagon.
The '89:


The '91:

The '92:

All were terrific cars. The '89 I rebuilt from the ground up (including engine and tranny) just for the heck of it. I ran it for years until the previously rotted body rotted through a second time. The '91 had a 2.2 that was a terrific engine, but it rotted away as well. The '92 Z I won on Ebay out of N Carolina. It was sick fast with a 3.1 and a 5 speed, but sat under a pine tree for a good part of it's life and unbenounced to me had a rotten firewall that split causing me to get rid of it.
Mechanically, these cars are virtually bulletproof, unfortunately, in northern climates, they are simply just rot buckets.
I continue to expose my '85 to the elements and salt up here, but I had her Ziebarted and have been very diligent in keeping the salt washed off on a regular basis, and so far, she hasn't bubbled or rotted....yet.
There is practically nothing on these j-bodys that can't be fixed mechanically, but the rust is something that you can hold back for a while, but can't keep away forever.




~ Mike ~


Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 09, 2014 3:01 PM
Great find!
I bought my girlfriend a 94 4-door last year and I'm driving it now for a daily driver during the winter haha.
Great little car for just a little 4cyl automatic car.
You should pick up some z24 bumpers to throw on yours, as it really changes the look of the car haha
Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 09, 2014 3:22 PM
I don't know about hotrod, but that car is one of my favorite beaters.

Drove one 10 miles with no water at all. Blew the head gasket, took it all apart and put it back together. Drove it another 40k (up to 220k) before the kid I sold it too slammed into 3 people.





Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 09, 2014 9:39 PM
I see it needs some tlc for sure.I am guessing that is still a OBD1computer.Maybe this spring I can roll up your way with my actron scanner(it is big) and can do more than the plug in and guess or small units.I am not familiar with the abs setups on the 2nd but,with my books and scanner may be able to get things narrowed down and fix it.Your headlights need polishing bad.I can help there as I do that on my free time and for you it will be FREE if I can make time to come up on a free day off to spend two or three hours with you and so forth.As for the arm rest I can probably find one here in my area and if not color matched you can buy some SEM paint to paint it.This paint is designed for upholstered items and plastic.Kind of tired so done for now.



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 10, 2014 3:08 AM
Thanks Folks!!

This one has the early OBD 2 which some people refer to as 1.5 since it isn't a fully readable system. As for the antilock system the daughter has a 2nd port to read that computer off of and most scanners don't have the proper plug to use. I have yet to learn this one though but it is the same year. Worse yet the power unit for these early Antilock systems sells for a whopping $1200.

On the plus side this early OBD 2 computer isn't nearly as bad at lighting up a code for every little thing!

If I am lucky enough to keep this one as long as the old Wagon I'll definately have lots of time to give it that TLC!


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Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 10, 2014 5:07 AM
Nice find If it didn't come with an Owners Manual here's one http://www.vadengmpp.com/owners-manual/chevrolet/1994-Chevrolet-Cavalier.pdf . Those '94 LN2 2.2's had some pep compared to the old 1.8's & 2.0's lol. If the headgasket hasn't been replaced yet I'd recommend it.








Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 10, 2014 6:12 AM
I have always loved that steering wheel. Those wheels on the dashboard for the lights is just weird.
Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 10, 2014 10:48 PM
Ok orlen but I do have a actron scanner I bought back about month and half ago and it has the ability to read ALL codes including abs!I may double check my scanners specs but pretty sure it would hook up to your port.I bought this unit so I could read from my wifes accord a 04,mother n laws 08 civic and primarily the two nephews cars especially.Just got in and def worn out long day.I am working tues and off wed thru Friday whoo.I am ready for spring like two months ago already.I am just waiting for my fuel sender for sunny hopefully this week so I can reinstall the tank.



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:57 AM
Good score Orlen! Looks just like my 84 year old mother-in laws car that I junked back 09. Ran fantastic and only had 101K on it. Only problems she ever had with it were Alternator, Head Gasket (I did it for the cost of gasket) and TCC solenoid. But rust killed it as you can see in the picture. The control arm-subframe rusted out and separated. I tried selling the motor with the car for $200 and only got calls from scrappers when I specifically said no scrappers. Ended up junking the car at my local yard and it was still there two years ago.

These are the pictures I had on CL when I tried to sell the motor.



















Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 16, 2014 2:44 PM
Thanks to everyone for their photos , stories and information!! Sorry I have been busy playing with my snow shovel but finally got things around here rather ship shape.

I like those wheels on Mikes '89 Wagon, think they would be a nice addition down the road. I remember seeing those on a lot of 2nd Gens running around all over the place years ago, but had forgotten all about them. I just have this thing for center caps and beauty rings. Think they are very classic looking.

Thanks for the owners manual Spike!! No this one didn't come with anything in the glove box. I found the manual wonderfully informative and a handy little reference till I get myself a Shop Manual.

Appreciate the photos John - helps confirm everything is lookin' as it is supposed to . You never know what all gets changed around in 20 years.

Ron you keep pluggin' away on ole Sunny - it is well due!! Sunny has been very patient waiting for it's turn of the wrenches. I know you will be making the wait all the worth while!! Knowing you it is hard to tell what all you will be doing before finishing up this year.

As for my limited experience so far with the Sedan, most everything works which is amazing. The TCC locks in. Cruize works. Rear Defroster still works - as both still do somehow on my 2 - 1st Gens too. No CEL.Remote Trunk Release is good. Tilt Column isn't loose. Interior Dome light even works.A couple of dash bulbs burned out inside. Seat belt latch keeps loosing the plastic cover exposing the sharp mechanism - I gotta get that fixed. All the power windows roll down but the rear drivers side doesn't roll up. It got stuck when I tried out the car, but I never asked the Dealer what he did to get it back up. Worse offender on this model is the doors auto lock when you go into drive. The front passenger door will then not unlock from the inside using the power switch nor the manual slide - I have to walk around and unlock it with the key. Most annoying for the passenger up front - but I'll need some warmer weather and time to get the door panel off to see what is going on in there.

Really looking forward to springtime so I can crawl underneath and get a good look around....and most especially getting that oil changed. I hate driving around with old oil!! I remember an old sayin' " Any oil is better than NO oil." Relative to the 1st Gen Forum is the fact that I now don't have the Wagon on the front burner. It is super nice not needing the Wagon to run around in all this mud , snow and salt! Placing the Wagon on back burner status really relieves the Sunbird of being used unless the day is pretty and the birds are singing. I want to be getting a Waterproof car cover for those days I'll need to pull it out of the garage for a spell so I can get some other needed work done when I am pressed.

It is a good day for the 1st Gens!!






Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 16, 2014 11:35 PM
Well seems you have done some general checks on the newer ride.I am having a issue getting that fuel sender as I speak.I will have to phone the place to find out what the problem is on shipping.In short they put a credit back on my card for the part? Idk why and they did confirm the order so,I hopefully will get this straight bc I def need this part to get my car back up to do that safety inspection.I am super tired as they are running us ragged on catch UP deliveries due to the storm this past wk.Short tonight as I am whooped.I did come closer to you Charlottesville then over to crozet va then to one of our vendors in mt Crawford whitewave is the place for some poultry or what ever they do.I def can tell I am tired.



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 17, 2014 4:36 AM
Orlen Brown wrote:

Thanks to everyone for their photos , stories and information!! Sorry I have been busy playing with my snow shovel but finally got things around here rather ship shape.

I like those wheels on Mikes '89 Wagon, think they would be a nice addition down the road. I remember seeing those on a lot of 2nd Gens running around all over the place years ago, but had forgotten all about them. I just have this thing for center caps and beauty rings. Think they are very classic looking.

Thanks for the owners manual Spike!! No this one didn't come with anything in the glove box. I found the manual wonderfully informative and a handy little reference till I get myself a Shop Manual.

As for my limited experience so far with the Sedan, most everything works which is amazing. The TCC locks in. Cruize works. Rear Defroster still works - as both still do somehow on my 2 - 1st Gens too. No CEL.Remote Trunk Release is good. Tilt Column isn't loose. Interior Dome light even works.A couple of dash bulbs burned out inside. Seat belt latch keeps loosing the plastic cover exposing the sharp mechanism - I gotta get that fixed. All the power windows roll down but the rear drivers side doesn't roll up. It got stuck when I tried out the car, but I never asked the Dealer what he did to get it back up. Worse offender on this model is the doors auto lock when you go into drive. The front passenger door will then not unlock from the inside using the power switch nor the manual slide - I have to walk around and unlock it with the key. Most annoying for the passenger up front - but I'll need some warmer weather and time to get the door panel off to see what is going on in there.

You wouldn't like those wheels when you try to source tires for them these days Not cheap.

The doors auto locking when you put it in drive is actually a good feature especially when you are driving thru questionable neighborhoods. As for the passenger door not unlocking I'd have to guess the lock/unlock bar is either broke or loose on the back of the slider.

What my cousin used to do for a stuck power window is open the door and put a hand on each side of the window and push/pull it up. He was too cheap to get it fixed lol.








Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 17, 2014 5:09 AM
The auto lock feature was part of the GM compromise on automatic seatbelts. Your car technically has automatic seatbelts and you should get an insurance discount for that. The way those are supposed to work is you keep the seat belt latched at all times and you open the door while the seat belt is latched. It was known as the spider web. the auto lock is there because the seat belt is attached to the door instead of the pillar.
Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 17, 2014 7:05 AM
Orlen-

Sorry, late to the party on this, but have you checked the brake light bulbs? On my 94 Camaro, if a light burns out, I get the ABS inop light. That circuit looks for a certain amount of resistance and if you have a bad bulb or socket sometimes that can trip the light.

Paul




Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Saturday, February 22, 2014 6:18 PM
Finally some nice weather for a couple of days , Thank God!!

Dismounted the mismatched pairs of different sized tires(Frnt - 205 70 14 Rr - 205 75 14) and mounted up a matching set of 195/75/14's with like new tread to cope with any snow I might be unfortunate enough to deal with during the rest of the winter. I did just for kicks try install a 13" wheel on the front while I had an oppurntunity and just like the folks in 2nd gen said, it did not fit. So I can vouch for that being a fact.

I always desire to check out a vehicle throughly when I get one ASAP because you never know what you may have getting ready to go bad on you. Here is one of those examples! No one that hangs out here would dare let a Brake Pad go to these extremes. It is amazing what some people will do. This was the Passenger outboard pad - all the pad left was about the thickness of a DVD..... It only cost $16 for a set and just a few minutes to replace while I had the wheels off. The brakes worked great and who would have ever known.... I wonder if the car ever had the chassis lubed - the fitings were so incased in grit I had to dig around to find the nipples. Needless to say all is much better now - and I know what I am driving.

I did check those back lights Paul and they are all A-Ok.








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Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Saturday, February 22, 2014 11:18 PM
Well orlen at least you have enough good mechanical know how to check the obvious wear out items.I can say ALOT of people are just plain stupid(yes this word) when it comes to car maintenance.In the tire shop yesterday this couple were dropping off there ride and did not even know what model of jeep liberty they had?Goes to show you people are that ignorant.When I talk to others about cars and things I have done,or do and etc they are like wow you know how to do that,check this,and really.I think the younger generation of people just rely on shops to know,do,and be honest.I personally will say I have always been very inclined mechanically and learned how to do things all by myself with get this a chiltons or Haynes manual.Granted I have asked questions to those superior to my know how about certain things,but still do my own work.Not side tracking on your post just pointing out how you take the step forward to do what you know should be done with out someone holding your hand or advising and pay to have it done.Btw those pads are good for another 10 minutes not miles!



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 5:37 PM
Finally got the misc. stickers and glue off the body where the younger buck had this car before me.Removed the Big chrome exhaust tip.Rediscovered just how much dirtier and difficult it is to remove that dirt - on a white body today. All that effort along with the slightly smaller white walls, now kinda leads the car full circle back to the Family Sedan status it was originally built for.

I removed the inside door panels and pulled the rods that run from the power lock assemblies to the manual sliders. Now the passenger door works as it should. Never quite understood the purpose of placing a power door switches 2 inches from the manual lock sliders. Maybe the drivers switch is a tad more useful since it locks all the doors, but I am just fine using the sliders as needed anyways - been "getting by" with them in the wagon for over 11 years.

I guess I should have placed this post over in the 2nd gen territory but all my friends are here. Most of my posts will probably be geared to the differences from the 1st gens anyway. Like those door panals above were Way more difficult to remove that the good ole fashioned ones in our beloved 1st Gens. New isn't always better

I just gotta do something about those dog gone "Bling Bling" Hub Caps.......














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Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 10:42 PM
gradual improvements are easier than trying to do it all at once.Nice updates one at time.long day and def tired.



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Monday, February 24, 2014 4:33 AM
Looks Great White is a bitch to keep clean, my brother in law had a big old white Caprice, he gave up trying to keep it clean all the time after a while . Now he has a silver Chrysler Concorde, never looks dirty from 20 feet away, just unfortunate it doesn't have a reliable GM powertrain. Seen a mint Chevy Corsica yesterday, looked like it just came out of the showroom, not a spec of dirt or dust. What'd look great on that car of yours would be a set of Berretta Crosslace rims.








Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:16 PM
Orlen from my experience with ABS codes on those cars if the Brake light comes on with it its normally an issue with a wheel speed sensor. If both the brake and ABS lights are on then its normally with the master cylinder or brake actuator. Nice addition by the way.




Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 1:42 AM
You can still find quite a few of these earlier 90's Cav's around here... finding one in good shape is another question!
Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 11:15 PM
I reread the post regarding the arm rest.If I can get my rearend up and moving I may hit the pull a part for get this 1st gen parts!I will keep the part in mind as I think this is doable to find.I am not sure if I will go this week or next but IF the yard has 2 first gens there I will be all over that like gravy on mashed potatoes.Just too much going on and trying to get my sleep clock back in order after the tues workday and yeah up late pm to counter and get back on my norm.Keeping your part idea in mind at low cost of course!



Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Thursday, March 06, 2014 6:11 PM
Thanks for keeping me in mind Ron.

Ease up on that throttle and take care of yourself. Try to get plenty of rest. All kinds of nasty bugs going around these days. We've had quite a few down sick at work and today the Grandson came down with nasty stomach virus. I have been eating plenty of apples and oranges this winter and this seems to be the best winter I've had in years.......well, so far.

Found that Pick n Save down in Roanoke and I have been very eager to get in there and see what they have. I swear if it ain't the snow it is money or time. Soon as the weather clears and the snow and mud dries up I gone!!



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Re: A companion for my 2 - 1st Gens.
Thursday, March 06, 2014 10:52 PM
OK found the center console with the automatic and arm rest? Yes and get this same year,color BUT someone broke it in HALF? The arm rest was shotty peeling back and a lost cause buddy.I will try my local yard here maybe next week if the inventory shows something online only.I was really stoked to see the right specs and then the tragedy of bad part removal and well worn out part wanted.I did find some other goodies and DID find a solid front bumper cover for the cav wagon in white I specified in my parts find thread if your interested.I can always go back and take pics to justify the part,price and this cover has some marks it could be fixed and painted low cost and the lower valence seemed good in a quick look to me.I had some caffeine drink earlier but that is wearing thin,as I am winding down with some wine to relax after some freezing toes,and junkyard smell showered off,and getting the sleepies.I tell ya I was fine in my thermal shirt,t shirt and sweat shirt plus a light jacket but man my toes started to get numb out there in the junkyard today at 5:30 that is when I packed it in and the sleet started and paid my tab for parts and headed home.If you find you need something for the new ride just say so and I will keep a eye out!



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