88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24 - Second Generation Forum

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88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:41 PM
I'm trying to decide to either purchase a 88-90 Pontiac Sunbird GT with a 165hp 2.0L turbocharged engine or a Chevy Cavalier Z24 with the 140hp 3.1L engine. Definitely will get a 5 speed. But before making my decision I would like to know the fallowing questions:

1. Which one of them have better aftermarket performance parts support?
2. Which is better to handle a 50 shot of nitrous (don't know if it's wet or dry yet)?
3. Which one is more reliable?
4. Which one is better to maintain?

Let the inputs come.

Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:46 PM
If i were you i would go with the sunbird gt already turbo and if irrc forged pistons dont quote me on that though and as for aftermarket really there is none for the second gen. your best bet on the anwser to this question would be at v6z24.com
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:09 PM
based upon your questions you will be more comfortable with the z24. It will be easier to work on and is most likely has more aftermarket support. I have an' 86 sunbird se turbo though and I know I wouldn't trade it for the world. If you know a few tricks and basic fabrication skills it would be a great car but not as basic or simple as the cavalier.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:08 PM
if you don't want that SGT, then take out the engine wiring harness for me. from the ECM to the engine bay, and i will pay you $200
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, November 26, 2009 8:33 PM
buy the Z. SGT's are wicked cool but there's ZERO aftermarket, and you can't even hardly tune the things. i mean, you can, but it's a bigger deal than tuning the v6 cars.

with a v6 car at least, they make plenty of replacement parts for cheap, and you have a whole world of engine swaps to mess with. i have a 3500 in my 92 'bird and just ran a 13.7 this year ; ) you won't do that with a 2.0T


14.84 @ 92.04mph

Outdated sig pic FTW!


Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Friday, February 26, 2010 6:46 PM
Ha ha ha ha, oh yes you can!






Tony
1987 Sunbird GT turbo convert
Ported intake, Fiero 53 MM TB, 52 lb inj, ported and flowed head, tube header, Mitsu TD06, ARP rod
bolts/head studs, adj cam sprocket, 4" x 12" x 31" FMIC, Paxton AFPR, modified 125 trans/LSD
unit/3.42's, custom chip tuning, Alky Control Methanol injection
13.61 ET at 101.44 mph, 262 WHP/350WTQ

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP roadster, 2.0 turbo w/GMPP exh, CAI and turbo upgrade, 290 hp/325 ft lbs

1969 Olds 442 convert
400 Eng, 200-4R trans, 3.73 posi, power everything, OAI


Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Monday, March 01, 2010 10:08 PM
Lol Building a 2.0 is the most worthless thing to do. They are horrible motors which are better suited as a paper weight after the head gasket blows. I'd rather spend 1,000$ on a 3500 swap to get 13s than put 5 grand into a @!#$ motor. I have a 3500 in my 88, haven't touched the motor, and I can run High 13s/low 14s no problem.


I hate snakes in the grass who just wait for the weak
and then pounce.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Monday, March 08, 2010 9:52 AM
The 2.0 is a worthwhile build.
But its a build, not a plug and play like the 3500.
You'll need a bunch of extra parts and such to use a turbo 2.0 and there actually is an aftermarket for them since most turbo parts are universal, it would depend on what you're looking for.
And I guess it is a @!#$ty engine, since all the FWD cars in europe are still using them and having great success.
The only reason you think they're @!#$ is maybe cause you had a bad experience with one?
I had mine for 6 years, over 150k on it, only changed the HG once.
I just sold it for $200 to somebody who'll probably put another 150k on it.
An engine is only as good as the person maintaining it.
Put @!#$ in, get @!#$ out.
Put good in, get good out.
You don't need to spend $5K on a 2.0 to make it fast; probably the same amount as a 3500 swap.
Forced induction > Natural Aspiration
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Monday, March 08, 2010 8:23 PM
Plug and play huh? Are you including the tuning needed on the ECM at all? Custom exhaust? Motor mounts/brackets? Coolant system? Its a little more involved than you would think.

The original 2.0 in a 2nd gen is junk, straight up. And you shouldn't need to replace a head gasket at 150k miles, and most people change it at 50k. There is no maintenance for a head gasket besides babying the hell out of it.

I think they are bad motors because if you've ever been on V6z24, you'd see the numerous horror stories about them ( the 2ns generation cavalier ones ) If you want to actually have a good motor, get an ecotec

And there is no way you can spend 1k$ on a 2.0 and get the same out of a NA 3500 and be as reliable. I spent under a $1500 for a fresh transmission, sensors, wiring, 2 3500 engines, a new clutch, steel braided lines, etc etc. If you want to go fast, there is no replacement, for displacement.

Dynoed at 200 WHP (with a poor tune and the original 2.8L log manifolds) and 225 Ft lbs torque.


I hate snakes in the grass who just wait for the weak
and then pounce.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 5:15 AM
I am from v6z24.com
i just did the LT3 swap.
If you do this swap, you can keep all the same mounts, brackets, trans and cv's.
Sure the 3500 needs tuned, but so does the turbo 2.0.
Mine is running 12 psi.
This is going to be in the 200's as far as horsepower is concerned.
And I have a custom exhaust made too.
2.5" from the turbo back.
I'm not bashing the 3500, but since he has a 2.0, if he can find the parts, a turbo block will be much easier for him.
Going from a 3.1 v6 to a 3400/3500 is probably the same price as going from a NA 2.0 to Turbo 2.0.
Ecotecs are great engines, but they won't swap easily into a 2nd gen.
And besides, the new turbo ecotecs, they are turbo 2.0..
What does that tell you?
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 8:01 AM
lol hey jowek. I've been reading your thread. hahaha.

But the eco 2.0 is leaps and bounds different than the 2nd gen 2.0 isn't it? As in the original 2.0 is SOHC whereas the eco is dohc?

I'm just saying the older 2.0 isn't a great motor if you want crazy power with ease and reliability without breaking the bank. You can find a donor v6 Z a dime a dozen with all the parts you need for a 3500. I can't personally say I've worked on 2.0's, but I have on the 2.2.


I hate snakes in the grass who just wait for the weak
and then pounce.

Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:19 AM
I dunno about the new ecos, but yes they are dohc, but still its a 2.0 4 cylinder.
They are the best engines to boost.
Making any car powerful isn't cheap.
Its going to cost the same either way you do it, but with the turbo bird, you're starting out with your engine, on the Z you have to get a new engine and the parts.
Which is easier vs. which will produce more, its a tough argument.
In the end, it comes down to the buyer.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:19 PM
wasas9 wrote:

lol hey jowek. I've been reading your thread. hahaha.

But the eco 2.0 is leaps and bounds different than the 2nd gen 2.0 isn't it? As in the original 2.0 is SOHC whereas the eco is dohc?

I'm just saying the older 2.0 isn't a great motor if you want crazy power with ease and reliability without breaking the bank. You can find a donor v6 Z a dime a dozen with all the parts you need for a 3500. I can't personally say I've worked on 2.0's, but I have on the 2.2.


That 2.0 was available as a DOHC, just not in a Sunbird. I know Daewoo used the 2.0 DOHC engine in some of their vehicles and it's possible to swap the DOHC Daewoo head on a SOHC Sunbird. Blocks are the same.




Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, March 18, 2010 11:21 AM
Wow, lots of bashing especially the 2.0. I have an 89 Sunbird GT Turbo with 156,000 miles. It has survived 2 previous owners, me (I prefer V8) and 2 of my older kids through high school and after. It's only problems have all been with the antifreeze/water leaks. I use only Castrol Syntec oil and change every 3000 miles. It has survived being driven with no water 4 times and low water several times. I actual love driving it. It's fun and quick and maneuverable. I have a 2008 G6 GT that will beat the Sunbird off the line but after 45 mph, the Sunbird has much better response and pick up without downshifting. I drove it to work today and hit 6000 rpm a couple of times, 11 psi boost many times and still runs great. I have six cars (4 newer than my 89) and prefer the 89 for everyday usage back and forth or with just me. I use my others with my kids mostly because of safety reasons for them. My older car is an 81 Turbo Trans AM with 157,000 miles. The engine is very good as long as you do the scheduled/preventive maintenance on time. Newer engines are better as technology drastically improves them and makes them lighter.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:08 PM
Exactly.
Any engine will last forever as long as you take care of it.
And the Sunbird GT was one of the fastest production GM cars to date, for 4 cylinders.
My friend has a 3400 swapped cavalier that I will be running against when my swap is done.
That'll be the true story eh?
Not bashing the v6, but if you have a chance to get a turbo bird, I'd go for it.
They are rare, fun and with a few mods you'll break 200 horses easy.
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Saturday, March 20, 2010 9:30 PM
As almost everyone here has said, the V6 is the way to go. Don't get me wrong, the Turbo 'Birds are great cars, but for what you want, the Z24 is the right choice for you. There's a lot more parts to get your hands on, will handle nitrous quite well stock, virtually bulletproof, and cheaper and easier to find parts for when it comes to maintenance. Gm stuffed that 3.1 in everything in its day, so you can still get pretty much anything you need to keep it running. I'm surprised it wasn't an option on the Chevy Sprint/Geo Metro.


2010 Honda Fit LX
Re: 88-90 Sunbird GT vs 90-94 Cavalier Z24
Thursday, July 08, 2010 7:00 AM
hey, ive have both the z with the v6 and i own the gt 2,0 and there both good engines which have up and downs, the v6 is a more ll around engine, but if u want the power and speed go with the turbo, ive done a ground up build on my turbo and im now running 20psi boost with nos, no problems, diff is that a v6 is cheaper to maintain and cheaper to fix, but there is less parts for a v6, where the 4 banger has cost me thousands to do a full build, which is rods bearings pistons rings bran new head cam lifters bran new turbo u name it high flow oil pump, liek i said 20 psi, took me 3 yrs to get it running properly, where when i had my v6, polish and port and ahave th heads, cold air intakem and an aftermarket exhuast and it waxs quite.
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