2001 Cavalier - First time owner - Any DIY mods/projects? - Third Generation Forum

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2001 Cavalier - First time owner - Any DIY mods/projects?
Tuesday, April 07, 2015 8:31 PM
I recently came into a 2001 Cavalier with a 2.2L engine with only 113,000 km's on it and couldn't pass it up. My previous car was a 96 Camry and I was able to learn with a lot of DIY's like for changing oil, transmission fluid, coolant etc but also some little "mods" like removing the silencer for the air filter, adding in a cabin filter even though it didn't come with one stock. So I'm looking to see what I'm able to do. As far as brakes go, I was able to directly replace a single piston caliper on my Camry with a dual piston from an 1992 LS400. Is there anything like this I can do? I also have a few questions:

1. I have an automatic and the shifter is very awkward.. the button is on the top and it's just weird to push down on it. Is it possible to replace with something that has the release button on the side of the knob?

2. Should I replace all the fluids, ie transmission, power steering, brake, and engine coolant? As far as I know, the Cavalier uses Dextron 3?

3. Can I take a rear sway bar or a front strut brace from a different vehicle (j-body) that has it stock?

4. Any cheap way to get a CAI? I'm just looking for something to sound a bit nicer. Coming from a V6, I miss the sound.

5. The stock muffler is falling off due to the bracket being broken. Any recommendations? Apparently the bracket is a common issue with Cavaliers?

6. Any other preventative maintenance I can do or fun little DIY projects?

Thanks

Re: 2001 Cavalier - First time owner - Any DIY mods/projects?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015 11:28 AM
I too noticed the lack of how to threads on this forum. ..but still the ppl here I been finding out are very nice n helpful.
Re: 2001 Cavalier - First time owner - Any DIY mods/projects?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015 12:45 PM
1) grab a knob off any other 3rd gen jbody that you like. sunfires have the button on the front and some cavs have a t handle iirc. (in my sunfire I cut the shift handle down also and got a boot from a manual car. That made it look pretty decent)

2) only if they look bad or they are due for replacement. Yes dex3 should be the 4t403 fluid iirc

3) yes. but no 3rd gen J came with a rear sway. Only front sway's were factory on some. convertibles had front strut bars.

4) ebay; or pipe and filter of the correct size

5) Depends on whether you want stock/silent or aftermarket. dynomax super turbo muffler sounds decent but ive only heard it on 100% header back exausts

6) depends what your idea of fun is. Not much fun to be had with an Ln2 auto lol.


"A car just isn't a car without a little blood, sweat, and beers." -- Shadowfire
Re: 2001 Cavalier - First time owner - Any DIY mods/projects?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015 2:32 PM
Mike Williams wrote:

As far as brakes go, I was able to directly replace a single piston caliper on my Camry with a dual piston from an 1992 LS400. Is there anything like this I can do?
Unfortunately, no. The only bolt-on brake upgrade for our cars using OEM components requires changing your bolt pattern from 5x100 to 5x115. See the NFW sticky.

Mike Williams wrote:

I also have a few questions:

1. I have an automatic and the shifter is very awkward.. the button is on the top and it's just weird to push down on it. Is it possible to replace with something that has the release button on the side of the knob?
Off the top of my head, I'm not familiar with any simple swaps you can do, but my gut instinct is there are compatible swaps from other GM vehicles. You'll probably just have to modify the mounting of the whole unit.

Mike Williams wrote:

2. Should I replace all the fluids, ie transmission, power steering, brake, and engine coolant? As far as I know, the Cavalier uses Dextron 3?
It never hurts to flush and replace all of your fluids, especially if you don't know the history of the vehicle.

Mike Williams wrote:

3. Can I take a rear sway bar or a front strut brace from a different vehicle (j-body) that has it stock?
Get a front strut brace from a convertible. The only modification you'll have to do is to drill a hole or two (depends on the version you find) on the firewall for the bolt(s) there. The ends bolt right to your strut towers as you would expect them to. As for the rear, there are aftermarket ones, or you could try to find a rear axle from a Z24/LSS as they have a welded in stiffening bar.

Mike Williams wrote:

4. Any cheap way to get a CAI? I'm just looking for something to sound a bit nicer. Coming from a V6, I miss the sound.
You have CAI, but if you're just looking for sound, search (removing bong) in the forums. There is a muffling device inside your drivers side fender behind the bumper. If you remove this, you will hear a difference.

Mike Williams wrote:

5. The stock muffler is falling off due to the bracket being broken. Any recommendations? Apparently the bracket is a common issue with Cavaliers?
I'd get a Thrush or Dynomax turbo muffler, a tail pipe, and a new hanger, and you'll probably be happy with both the fixed exhaust and a slight increase in volume.

Mike Williams wrote:

6. Any other preventative maintenance I can do or fun little DIY projects?

Thanks
There are plenty of little DIY projects for our cars, but most of them are cosmetic.



I'm cleaning out my garage!
Billet upper mount for 3rd gen V6 swap!


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