1983 convertible cav - First Generation Forum

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1983 convertible cav
Thursday, August 07, 2014 12:10 AM
Just bought a first gen cavalier with a brand new 122 engine looking to turn it into a stick shift. Top has a small hole but I'll fix before I sell it. Paint is in decent shape as well as interior, will post pics when all done.

Re: 1983 convertible cav
Friday, August 08, 2014 12:03 AM
1st welcome to the site.I can understand you wanting to swap the automatic to a manual however I would like to point out some things before you attempt this endeavor.first the things you would need is some what long.You would need a ecm yr specific (example a 83 that has a manual) also the clutch pedal full assembly,clutch master cylinder reseviour,possibly a different speedo cable as the auto/manuals may use different versions(IDK exactly but something to consider.You then would need the center console as the auto versus manual use a different console period.Shift cables and a the mounts for the auto/manual are different.That is just a short list of the things required and honestly not to deter you with this swap with your year model and the need to change all those items would be a task even for (ME) to find all the parts.In short the 1st gen parts are very scarce these days and finding year specific items like a ECM and some of the trans mounts are literally obsolete.I think your best option is just keep the car stock on the engine and trans side and appreciate it for it's original build as doing a swap like this with a 83 in my opinion would be pointless.I am not kicking the idea just sharing my knowledge and things that have to be considered and the locating parts for 31 year car In any junkyard or pull a part is in today's time super scarce.So hope this gives you the general idea and any more questions just ask we all contribute here to help or find answers to our beloved first generation j bodies.

Re: 1983 convertible cav
Friday, August 08, 2014 4:51 AM

Welcome! Ron is spot on with the complexity of the swap. It is one thing when you have parts available, but given that the newest of the first gens is coming up on 30 years old, the parts availability is not what it once was. We hoard where we can, but pickings are slim and unfortunately, getting slimmer. If you are thinking of fixing it up a bit to resell it, you may want to skip this as you will not get your money back.

You may find that doing a bit of research on your swap may lead to a much better result. There are some people on v6z24.com that have done swaps that may be more up your alley with a different engine and transmission options. Many of the parts are interchangeable from the first and second generation cars - that opens up more options. This forum is a great place to start.

We look forward to helping you however we can.


Re: 1983 convertible cav
Friday, August 08, 2014 12:03 PM
Welcome to the site Cory!!

The trans swap at this point is going to be tough as far as locating parts goes. Your best bet would be to locate a complete donor car. I have two 84 verts, a blue one that is all original and is a 5 speed and tan one that is a work in progress with a 2.2 auto (someone swapped this motor in years ago). I have been searching for 3-4 years for a donor 2.0 5 speed first gen and have had no luck. Or least one that was local and made sense to get for the price. I have most parts for the swap but still need motor mount brackets, a shifter console bezel and who knows what else. Also the 5 speed trans I have is from a second gen with electronic speedo. You will find a lot of info here if you plan on keeping it stock. Or like Paul said the V6 Z24 site has a lot of info if you plan on doing a complete engine upgrade 3100 or 3400. The upgrades are going to cost some serious money to do and for the true value of an 83 you would never recoup your $$$ just in engine parts.

Post some pics!!

Re: 1983 convertible cav
Friday, August 08, 2014 1:15 PM
Welcome Aboard Cory!

Just my 2 cents worth...Hahaa that sure ain't much!!

As we often discuss here on J-Body many a seller tries to get way more than the average buyer is willing to part with. While getting really darn rare - the J-Bodies just don't carry a lot of value in the market. While I agree a 5 speed would be appealing to the enthusiast the stock Automatic would cover a broader range of buyers and enhance your chance of sale. I would think a 2 bucket original Convertible would also be more desirable than a modified one too. Also the kind of profit you'd be looking for after all costs incurred with this swap is going to evaporate.

So my vote would be to concentrate on appearance and drivability and keep expenditures to a minimum. You'd also make more profit flipping a stock 5 speed Z24 as well since they are getting rare too.

Most of us will admit to spending more on these autos than we would ever hope to get back out of them....Hahaa!

Wishing you a prosperous flip on your 'Vert Cory!

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