Picked up my 1st gen cavalier - Page 2 - First Generation Forum

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Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:30 PM
Orlen Brown wrote:

Yeah Matt - I LIKE that!!

Got the dual sport mirrors and looks like you are running 14's wheels with old Tempo wheel covers. I ran some 14's myself back in the day when no one else did - Hahaa....now everyone runs wide and low so it isn't fun anymore.

There was a lot of items on the '79-'80 that didn't inerchange with the earlier models - Most notably the front fenders, grill & bunpers. If I remember they changed the electrics some too so that the voltage regulator and alternator didn't swap either. That was a PIA back in the day when I had all kids of pre- '79 cars and spares. Nowadays it is just a pleasure to see any of them. Like I said - Sure does bring back a lot of fond memories!! I sure do appreciate the trip back - lots of smiles!!

Just simple - easy to maintain transportation. If it broke down you had a darn good idea what was wrong and it wouldn't take much to get it going again. Not even a Check Engine Light to ruin your day


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Thanks the car is a lot of fun. Although those are actually still 13Ē wheels. Got those wheel covers from an 85 tempo for $12 on eBay. The car had alloys from the factory but I have them off the car to recondition them. Iím not a fan of the square front end but it grew on me a little bit. My first was a 78 and then got a 77 but retired due to severe structural rust. This 80 is clean although crusty compared to the cavalier. It is so easy to work on though. Only issues are a couple fluid leaks and bad suspension. Thatís half the fun. Itís been put on the back burner to the cavalier since I need to use that when my Chevy Cruze is in the shop for some warranty work.

Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Sunday, July 15, 2018 5:03 AM
Pulled the headliner and had a cracked panel. Had to do a repair and thanks to a suggestion on the first generation j body Facebook page got it fixed with fiberglass
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Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:39 PM
Drove the car to Northwest Ohio to check out a source of some parts for the car. Total bust, but the trip wasn't a complete waste. The car comfortably cruised and drove great. A little bit of a vibration but that might be due to a tire out of balance, or old suspension on the front end (OE struts). I filled up before and after the trip. Based on the calculations I got around 31 mpg. Did have a little whistle from the passenger side of the engine compartment, as well as an alternator that has some bearing noise, but both issues will be addressed. The original alternator is doing well so I will get new bearings for it, and new brushes while it's apart. As for the whistle it seems to be a vacuum leak, and only whistles when the car is in gear. I will have help diagnosing the issue later, when someone can be in the car with their foot on the brake while I check for the leak under the hood.
Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 6:12 AM
Fixed the driver seat up by sewing the tear in the fabric and painted with blue fabric paint. Itís not perfect but a lot better than gray.
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Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 6:48 AM
I'm enjoying your progress!

Nice repair on the headliner - you might think about making a post on here to share your method with us

Very nice job on your seat too - proof that you don't always have to settle for a replacement and can make the best use of what you have to work with. I can't even see where you have sewn the material in the photo.

It's nice to see follks doing some old school tinkering - I think that is a great aspect of owning these old cars. Everytime you complete a little project like this it make one feel a little better about their cars, and perhaps about their life too in general. Most people just buy something to get around in and watch year after year as it detoriorates.....Scratches dings dents fading and tears don't just take their toll on the vehicle but the person driving it too. One litte eyesore after another simply adds up and makes people feel like they are in a rut. To me that is a big part about what owning these cars is all about. Keeping the little projects going and feeling good about what you can do for yourself. It doesn't matter if you get it right because in every mistake there is a learning experience. What better place to make a mistake on than in these simple old cars to spend some time with. This ole world has gotten way too complicated and stressfull and I am very thankful to have the little fleet I have to pass some time on in a positive way.

Keep up the good work and giving us your updates!



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Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Sunday, August 05, 2018 6:28 PM
Orlen Brown wrote:

I'm enjoying your progress!

Nice repair on the headliner - you might think about making a post on here to share your method with us

Very nice job on your seat too - proof that you don't always have to settle for a replacement and can make the best use of what you have to work with. I can't even see where you have sewn the material in the photo.

It's nice to see follks doing some old school tinkering - I think that is a great aspect of owning these old cars. Everytime you complete a little project like this it make one feel a little better about their cars, and perhaps about their life too in general. Most people just buy something to get around in and watch year after year as it detoriorates.....Scratches dings dents fading and tears don't just take their toll on the vehicle but the person driving it too. One litte eyesore after another simply adds up and makes people feel like they are in a rut. To me that is a big part about what owning these cars is all about. Keeping the little projects going and feeling good about what you can do for yourself. It doesn't matter if you get it right because in every mistake there is a learning experience. What better place to make a mistake on than in these simple old cars to spend some time with. This ole world has gotten way too complicated and stressfull and I am very thankful to have the little fleet I have to pass some time on in a positive way.

Keep up the good work and giving us your updates!

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Thanks! I'm in the process of locating parts such as the front bumper assembly, and also driver seat. The headliner isn't perfect, but much better. Saw a couple places where I think I stretched it too much, and it let go but it's fine for now. I'll worry about it *IF* it lets go. A buddy of mine suggested a polish that works well on older finishes, and I am also going to take the time to detail the engine compartment. For the bumper on it currently I went ahead and touched up the stripe so it looks better than it did. One thing at a time. I also got the replacement driver side sill plate. It was gray, so I painted it. The color isn't perfect but close
Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Monday, August 13, 2018 5:46 PM
My 86cav headliner backer was similar with corners broken off.
I used modelers 12 minute epoxy and its lasted solidly for years now.
Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:55 AM
That 12 minute epoxy sounds like something I could try Ray! I have torn off the material from the headliner of an old A Body I am tinkering on. Just trying to remove the trim from the sides to drop it for repairs is usless because the old plastic trim is just breaking off in pieces. I had hatched an idea to cover up the interior and just paint the top in place. I know I am going to have to patch some places here and there and the epoxy sounds like a great 1st step! Not quite sure what kind of paint to try , but not really wanting to use oil based because I not looking for a shiny gloss finish up there. I will be brushing and rolling because I definately don't want to be spraying in such a confined area! The old car is just a winter beater so I don't mind experimenting.......



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Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Saturday, September 29, 2018 1:50 PM
Well, I been silent lately but active with my car..

I went to a car show, which I actually won an award. When I was there I met a guy talking about an old wagon he had. Said its been sitting and wanted it gone. I could come and have it for free. All I'd have to do is cut it out of the bushes. Well, I got it, and it's a total loss. I thought of saving it until I pulled it out. Rust galore, but it has lots of parts I can save for my sedan.

So far I've pulled the chrome front wheel well mouldings, dash and shifter trim, instrument cluster, wiper motor, chrome trim grill, and had three out of four wheel covers. I will pull the steering column with sport wheel, cruise control assembly, dashboard, a/c components, and the wiring harness needed for all parts. I had to pay to rent a truck and trailer so I have $140 in the car. Three wheel covers is about $50 shipped, dash trim is $35, cruise components an unknown price, same with a/c components. An added bonus is the three spoke steering wheel which seems impossible to find. My headlight switch is also tempermental and has a bad dimmer, so I will try the one on the wagon. The rocker panel trim and wheel well trim is an added bonus. Chrome trim grille is about $40 shipped. For the dash trim, wheel covers, and grille the total is $125. Not including anything else I am almost at the break even point.

As for my car it's not doing the greatest. I have an unknown whistle that happens sometimes in gear, and is a bit down on power. I noticed when cold the car takes a bit to start, and also developed a misfire at idle. When I rev it the misfire disappears, and as quickly as it starts misfiring it clears up. I don't think it's ignition but possibly fuel. We'll see.
Re: Picked up my 1st gen cavalier
Thursday, November 29, 2018 7:29 PM
Havenít done much to the car lately. I did start it up and drive her to the store and back but noticed a bit of a rattle and low power until itís warmed up. I noticed the oil was a bit low so I topped it off but think itís got an issue with low oil pressure. I need to put on an oil pan gasket anyway so I will check out the pickup and oil pump for any issues. Since everything is ok when warmed up I donít think itís anything serious but want to fix it before I drive it.
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