89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2 - Second Generation Forum

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89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2
Sunday, April 10, 2016 12:19 AM
I have a 89 Cavalier 2.0 Base with 93,000 miles, couple years ago I had the transmission serviced (flushed) for what I believe was the first time. a couple months ago the transmission started shifting hard, I removed the transmission pan and changed the filter and the fluid with Dextron 6, the filter was nasty, tiny bit of fuzz on the magnet, the fluid was not so bad. It seemed to be fine until this week when it really started shifting late while accelerating and too soon when de-accelerating, 2 days ago I could start to smell very hot tranny fluid and today it was really strong, today when I drove to work on the freeway at 65 MPG it stayed in 2nd gear (wouldn't go in to 3rd), I slowed down and nursed it in. the transmission fluid level is correct.
I have made an appointment for Monday morning with a local transmission shop, and I suspect I'll be quoted about $1000 (if I'm lucky) to overhaul the transmission.
any ideas what might be wrong? (yea, I know, smoked tranny)
If its turns out to be a about grand to overhaul the transmission, I think I may want to park it, buy a daily driver, and spend the next couple months building a engine and find a replacement (rebuilt) transmission and do swap on a long weekend.
I believe the 89 2.0 engine was rated at 90 HP, and I know there are zero after market parts available to increase the HP.
I have tried to find some type of cross reference on what engine/transmission combinations will fit in a 89 Cavalier, but I have been unsuccessful.
Id like to put a later model 4 cyl like a 2.2 and maybe 3 speed automatic with over drive or 4 speed automatic, (I would love a manual 4 speed but my wife can not drive a stick).
What I have been unsuccessful in finding is what will mechanically fit in the car with out major modification such as motor mounts, bell housing pattern.
The electronics of the engine swap does not concern me such as converting it from ODB1 to ODB2 as long as I can get the diagrams.

thanks for any help or assistance

Bill

BTW, you'll think im crazy, but I have always thought it would be cool to make it a V6 rear wheel drive, but I don't have that kind of time to do that kind of project, but it would be cool.

Re: 89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2
Sunday, April 10, 2016 8:57 PM
I am fairly tired in thought so bare with me.It could be something as Simple as the TCC switch is sticking (torque convertor control) or your torque converter is the problem.Just my take with a car with such low miles I find it odd for a trans issue.Dexron 3 is the fluid to be used by the way.If you just unplug the TCC switch and it corrects itself that is the issue.I will say if your tcc switch has gotten hot over time it does affect the shifting mostly in reverse and or in gear and the car cuts off.Keep in mind I am tired and in my opinion most Js trans for the 1st and 2nd hold true for years with durability.I think the shop IF honest will not say a cooked trans but a bad TCC switch or torque convertor.Just my take.



Re: 89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2
Monday, April 11, 2016 7:32 PM
thanks for the input.
turns out it was the cable from the Transmission to the Throttle Body, its dry rotted and had fallen off.
Once I connected it, shifts perfectly. I have been unable to find that connection, looks like I will have to replace the cable, $13 at Orielly.

I would still like to know what newer engine/transmission combination will fit without major mechanical modification. at some point in the future would love to replace the 2.0 and 3 speed with a 2.2 and 4 speed automatic.

thanks
Bill
Re: 89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2
Tuesday, June 07, 2016 3:07 PM
Bill Gremler wrote:

I would still like to know what newer engine/transmission combination will fit without major mechanical modification. at some point in the future would love to replace the 2.0 and 3 speed with a 2.2 and 4 speed automatic.


The LM3 (2.2 TBI) and LN2 (2.2 MPFI/SFI) should fit in the engine bay without mechanical modifications The LM3 should be close to a direct swap--just the engine and the ECM. LN2 would be more work--engine, harnesses, fuel pump, ECM, etc. Those engines both used the same transmission: the TH125/3T40 (3-speed auto). A 4-speed auto (440-T4/4T40) has the same bellhousing pattern, but may not physically fit in the engine bay without modification. Not sure what kind of electronic modifications you'd need to make one of these work, if any.


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Mike

Re: 89 Cavalier 2.0 to 2.2
Tuesday, June 07, 2016 3:13 PM
Mike Goggin wrote:

A 4-speed auto (440-T4/4T40) has the same bellhousing pattern...


The 440-T4 and 4T40 are different transmissions. They have the same bellhousing pattern, though. Not sure why I included them together.


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Mike

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