I picked up a sweet little 1983 Cavalier 2.0 a while back. Motor knocks a bit. I was wanting to do some tinkering with it. I cannot find a Haynes Manual for it. I'm not too worried about the mechanicals; these are about as complicated as a toaster. My concern is wanting to dig into some suspect wiring from rodents and hot spots around the exhaust. There is no check-engine-light on so far, but it would be pushing my luck to travel on it as-is.
I also have a few questions of the roadability of such an old car:
1. Can it cruise at modern highway speeds -if I were to repair the engine? Probably needs a crank/rod-bearing rebuild.
2. Do newer engines fit into these older J bodies? I understand wiring a multipoint injected engine would require a different ECM.
3. Is there an easy overdrive swap for these? Auto or Manual?
4. Are there any turbo-4 or 6 cylinder options?
5. What is the wheel bolt pattern?
I love the old boxy body style, and the interior is really great.
Cruise at highway speeds all day with 4 cyl.
Best swap is GM 3400 with 5 speed manual.
4 Cyl Sunbird turbo can also be done.
Most of us here on the 1st gen site are stock guys running mostly original cars.
Post up pictures of your car.
As for can these old j's move down the highway Well Yes they can.Next yes there are the 1.8 ltr turbo engines but extremely rare to find whole and a engine harness to match it.The Jbodies used two V6 engines the 2.8 and 3.1.If you did a engine you would need the entire engine wiring harness and ecm and maybe tough as the dash wiring does vary based on the engine.Being you have a 2.0 OHV engine code P I would just get it refreshed as the 2.0ohv are tough and easy to work on.I could not find the wheel bolt pattern in my two simple manuals but my shop manual I would have to pull out to find.Just some general info to not bore you.We will do our best to answer your questions.