New member, looking to build up a cav. - Performance Forum

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New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 12:03 PM
Hey guys, I have been trolling this site for a few years now. I am on my second cavalier, my first was an 01 z24 ld9, I bought it brand new and drove it up until last year when I was t-boned in it at 185,000 miles. So this year I bought a used 2001 base model 2.2 LN2 with about 200k on it and I am going to be replacing the clutch soon so I was considering buying another engine as a builder and i was wondering what mod suggestions anyone had.

A little about me, I am a certified motorcycle mechanic, with almost 10 years of experience. I am well versed in engine building including performance mods, have dynojet dynomometer training, flow bench training, and I now work on heavy equipment (better money) and do a lot of bike building and fabrication. I do not have the time or money for trial and error, so I was wondering what has already been done and produced good results.

what I would like to do with the car:
a little better top end power, torque never seems to be an issue for these little 4's
throttle response
keep the engine smooth,
reliable ( I do not wish to push the limits of the motor so it will fail quickly)
and still pass smog.

oh... and I do not wish to turbo or supercharge, it really kills gas milage.

I read through the performance faq's so I would just like to hear the consensus.

Thanks in advance

Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 12:16 PM
Not sure why this isn't a sticky, but Id go this route if it was me(see link below), I do like the LD9 but I am not looking forward to the day I have to replace the water pump or something. Plus I think the aftermarket support is stronger for the Ecotec. Plus its still easy to find fairly low km eco's. I still have the LD9 but may lean in this direction if I ever need to replace my motor. Plus if you get bored and decide you want boost down the road, M62 superchargers are easy/cheap to find used and I think turboing the ecotec would be easier.

Ecotec Swap in 2000-2002 cavalier







2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 1:16 PM
so are you saying you think I should swap out the LN2 for an Eco? I was simply looking to purchase a long block LN2 from my local picknpull and build it up. I can get a long block w/head for about $160 If I go the swap route, now I am looking at spending quite a bit more with the purchase of the ecm and intake, and a tranny.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 3:46 PM
Mike LaScola wrote:



oh... and I do not wish to turbo or supercharge, it really kills gas milage.



You lost me after this... You only lose gas mileage if you can't keep your foot out of it.

An N/A 2.2L won't get you much... you want more power and reliability... eco swap like he said.



Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 4:39 PM
Eco swap and a supercharger setup will be much more powerful be cheaper. While retaining stock fuel mileage if you stay out of it.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 06, 2014 7:19 PM
you could probably run a low mile eco stock or with light mods instead of rebuilding the ln2 and yield better, cheaper and still reliable results. Something to think about and I agree with a supercharged eco still getting good mileage if you stay out of it. depends on your power goals though, if your happy with a reliable 140-150hp plus, just run the stock eco if your planing to do motor swap anyways. If you want more, then supercharge it. But add up the price to build the LN2 the way you want it, probably cost a bit to get it to make over 150hp. Id go eco route, since it is pretty easy to do on 2000 and newer jbodys. I think that's where that swap has me sold. You can put it in stock if its low mile, no rebuilding or if you want, maybe pull the head off and clean the motor up a bit and put new gaskets/timing chain/water pump and that on. Its up to you but I think eco is the way to go.


2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 11:40 AM
Mike LaScola wrote:

what I would like to do with the car:
a little better top end power, torque never seems to be an issue for these little 4's
throttle response
keep the engine smooth,
reliable ( I do not wish to push the limits of the motor so it will fail quickly)
and still pass smog
Based on what you want to do, and cost is an obvious concern, your best bet is to swap to a DOHC engine. The Eco swap will give you a better result with no mods, but will require more changed in the car. An LD9 swap in that car will be simpler, since you can just pull an engine, tranny, ECM, and wiring harness from a similar year.

If you want more top end, you'd end up spending just as much, if not more, on the LN2 that you have now, just to get it to barely keep up with the DOHC engines. If you're staying N/A, your only option to keep up with your goals is to swap to a better engine.

That being said, in that car, you have the perfect candidate for a 3400 V6 swap, which is what I would do, but it depends on your wants. With the 3400, you wouldn't change the transmission, just the engine, ECM, and harness. If this interests you, check out the V6 swap sticky in the 3rd Gen forum. 00-05 cars with 5-speeds happen to be the best for this swap, because there are no transmission issues, and all factory gauges will work.





Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 9:51 PM
I think the consensus is to swap to a new motor. I myself have a 01 2.2L and I can feel yea there. My opinion and it's only my opinion, but I would Eco swap it as it's a 2000+ which makes it easier. What Mr. Quick said, go for a DOHC engine if you want that top end power. The OHV just won't be able to create it without the assistance of boost.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 2:39 PM
You lost me after this... You only lose gas mileage if you can't keep your foot out of it. .

A turbo simply forces more air in an attempt to increase volumetric efficiency. Unless you wish to run your engine incredibly lean, this means you must also increase fuel to match the abundance of air. So basically, you are increasing the amount of fuel injected into the cylinder per revolution. Yes, you are increasing the size of the explosion inside the cylinder, which will increase the power output of the cylinder, but unless you re-gear the transmission so that the gear ratios are wider, and your covering more distance per revolution of the engine, you are wasting fuel.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 4:56 PM
Mike LaScola wrote:

You lost me after this... You only lose gas mileage if you can't keep your foot out of it. .

A turbo simply forces more air in an attempt to increase volumetric efficiency. Unless you wish to run your engine incredibly lean, this means you must also increase fuel to match the abundance of air. So basically, you are increasing the amount of fuel injected into the cylinder per revolution. Yes, you are increasing the size of the explosion inside the cylinder, which will increase the power output of the cylinder, but unless you re-gear the transmission so that the gear ratios are wider, and your covering more distance per revolution of the engine, you are wasting fuel.

im getting better mileage with the turbo than before when i was without turbo. Its all how you drive it and how its tuned.



Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Thursday, January 09, 2014 9:02 PM
BuiltNBoosted wrote:

Mike LaScola wrote:

You lost me after this... You only lose gas mileage if you can't keep your foot out of it. .


A turbo simply forces more air in an attempt to increase volumetric efficiency. Unless you wish to run your engine incredibly lean, this means you must also increase fuel to match the abundance of air. So basically, you are increasing the amount of fuel injected into the cylinder per revolution. Yes, you are increasing the size of the explosion inside the cylinder, which will increase the power output of the cylinder, but unless you re-gear the transmission so that the gear ratios are wider, and your covering more distance per revolution of the engine, you are wasting fuel.

im getting better mileage with the turbo than before when i was without turbo. Its all how you drive it and how its tuned.

http://www.gencoupe.com/engine/191202-saving-fuel-ecu-tuning-article.html

Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Friday, January 10, 2014 3:50 AM
SMH
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Friday, January 10, 2014 2:22 PM
That forum is irrelevant...

I guarantee you that my mpg's INCREASED after putting a turbo on and cruising at highway speeds. My car is retuned, making almost 3x the factory power level and I am getting better mpg's than when I first bought it. Air is going in AND out of the engine MUCH easier. No restrictive air box, not a stock restricted head, no restricted exhaust, 1 off custom tune = increased mpg's while cruising...



Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Friday, January 10, 2014 2:32 PM
Just curious, what kind of mileage are you getting? On my supercharged cobalt, I never got very good mileage but I think the keeping your foot out of it was the problem. I bought it when I was 19.... The supercharger whine was kind of addicting. I lent the car to my aunt before it it got like 35mpg or something, I usually got around 20mpg....



2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Friday, January 10, 2014 4:12 PM
Normally I got 30mpg, turbo went on... tracking mileage and staying out I was upwards of 35+



Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 8:46 AM
That's really impressive. I have a close friend from high school that now owns his own performance tuning shop and he always warns customers about losses in fuel mileage due to turbo installation. The only turbo upgrades I have personally done were to motorcycles, a busa and believe it or not, a buell blast. Both had great power gains, but lost fuel milage. Are you by chance running oversized tires? because I do know that increased power and torque does mean less effort to turn the wheels, so by increasing tire size, you can cover more distance per revolution, which means you are now covering more distance with less revolutions of the motor. This is how my brother in law gets 25mpg out of his lifted dodge diesel. And also, are you running an auto trans, or a manual?
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 8:51 AM
Mr. Quick, I am becoming increasingly interested in the v6 swap. Any idea what the power numbers are on those engines, and what the weight difference is? After reading through the other forum post about it, it seems like a great way to go. I think If I were to do the v6 swap, and figure out a way to change my gear ratios a bit, I good get great power and some gas mileage out of it.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 10:31 AM
Mike LaScola wrote:

That's really impressive. I have a close friend from high school that now owns his own performance tuning shop and he always warns customers about losses in fuel mileage due to turbo installation. The only turbo upgrades I have personally done were to motorcycles, a busa and believe it or not, a buell blast. Both had great power gains, but lost fuel milage. Are you by chance running oversized tires? because I do know that increased power and torque does mean less effort to turn the wheels, so by increasing tire size, you can cover more distance per revolution, which means you are now covering more distance with less revolutions of the motor. This is how my brother in law gets 25mpg out of his lifted dodge diesel. And also, are you running an auto trans, or a manual?


A lot of performance mods do help with mileage, the reason people don't see them, for example, intake or exhaust, is people are on the gas more because of the new "cool" sound.... same with a turbo or supercharger, most people are on it more... if you stay out of the boost and drive normal, you can get good mileage, then when you want that extra power, its there.
Also, with the diesel, I'm pretty sure if anything, with the bigger tires, he would lose a little mileage... he probably has a tuner. My friend has a 2012 Cummins, 4" turbo back, intake, EGR delete and H&S tuner. He puts down over 500hp and can get +20mpg while still getting on it a bit and around 10-15mpg towing over 30000lbs. then runs 12s in the 1/4mile on 33" mud tires.


2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 11:46 AM
Rick wrote:

Mike LaScola wrote:

That's really impressive. I have a close friend from high school that now owns his own performance tuning shop and he always warns customers about losses in fuel mileage due to turbo installation. The only turbo upgrades I have personally done were to motorcycles, a busa and believe it or not, a buell blast. Both had great power gains, but lost fuel milage. Are you by chance running oversized tires? because I do know that increased power and torque does mean less effort to turn the wheels, so by increasing tire size, you can cover more distance per revolution, which means you are now covering more distance with less revolutions of the motor. This is how my brother in law gets 25mpg out of his lifted dodge diesel. And also, are you running an auto trans, or a manual?


A lot of performance mods do help with mileage, the reason people don't see them, for example, intake or exhaust, is people are on the gas more because of the new "cool" sound.... same with a turbo or supercharger, most people are on it more... if you stay out of the boost and drive normal, you can get good mileage, then when you want that extra power, its there.
Also, with the diesel, I'm pretty sure if anything, with the bigger tires, he would lose a little mileage... he probably has a tuner. My friend has a 2012 Cummins, 4" turbo back, intake, EGR delete and H&S tuner. He puts down over 500hp and can get +20mpg while still getting on it a bit and around 10-15mpg towing over 30000lbs. then runs 12s in the 1/4mile on 33" mud tires.


oh, yeah, he definitely has a tuner, he is running the edge juice, with fast fuel, and a built tranny. same thing though, he is putting down 800+ hp with ungodly amounts of torque so turning those huge wheels is effortless. he cruises 80mph and the truck sounds like its barely off idle, torque is key for milage.
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 1:19 PM
That is true with the torque, I have heard of people with mid/full size cars with bigger engines getting similar or better mileage than some compact cars.
Here's some specs from Mazda.
Mazda 2 1.5L MT 2300lbs 29/35 MPG
Mazda 3 2.0L AT 2980lbs 30/41 MPG
Mazda 6 2.5L AT 3200lbs 28/40 MPG
The Mazda3 and 6 have sky active technology and 6 spd autos, the 6AT also got better mileage than the 6MT. The Mazda 2 comes with 5MT or 4AT so that might also play a part with fuel economy.

I heard of guys towing with the F150 V6 ecoboost ended up trading them in for V8s and got better mileage towing. The V6 was also in boost and working all the time, where the V8 had power down low and didn't have to work as hard. They said the V6 was quicker and had more power, just the V8 had more bottom end torque.


Will you get better mileage with a V6 swap? not sure, I've browse through the V6 sticky but never really interested me much. I am sure you would be happy with a stock/modded ecotec though. But who knows maybe the V6 will give you good fuel economy too? If you can get your hands on HP tuners too, maybe you can tweak the computer a little and get a little more power/fuel economy.




2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Monday, January 13, 2014 1:24 PM
Manual trans, wheel tire combo is the same overall size as stock.

Its all about how you drive and how its tuned.




Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:35 AM
well, I was on a short hiatus with some other things, but I have come back to this project. The clutch went out a month or so ago. I was able to change it in about 12 hours. I think that I would like to keep the original power plant although it is the less desirable engine model. I just don't feel like changing all the electronics, injectors, etc. So back to the original question, has any one done mild mods to the 2LN with good results? I think it will be rather easy for me to go to my local pick n pull and yank a 2LN and build it up and then quickly swap it out for my tired one with 230k miles on it
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:41 AM
LN2 sorry
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:24 AM
What's your budget like? A guy posted a stroker kit for the 2.2 for $1700 few threads below this one, not sure if that is worth it but it was on this site here Chevycavalierworld They have other stuff as well, Go to the #6 HP kit. There is other stuff on there too, cyl heads, etc, all depends how much you want to spend. If you do too much, you will probably need tuning, although, tuning may help free up some power as well.

I still think a stock low km eco or even ld9 swap would give you better results for less money but its up to you, with a stock or near stock eco, just swap pcm and off you go, if you go too crazy on LN2 build then you will need custom tuning anyways.(more work IMO) but sounds like you pretty set on the LN2. If thats the case, it all depends on budget but higher compression and cyl head work will probably help the most along with bolt ons(intake/exhaust). With high comp, you will probably have to use higher octane so not sure how that will affect MPG and that.

This might be a good read Build a better LN2 Have you search "LN2 Build" quite a few threads popped up, may be worth reading while you wait for others to reply.

Check out some of our vendors for parts to TTR has rods, pacesetter header, etc for 2.2 TTR





2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires
2005 Mazda 3 GS Auto- Wifes car
2006 Cobalt SS/SC - Intake, 2.5" Exhaust, GMPP Brakes, Solid Mounts, Ported S/C - Sold
1991 GMC Sierra - Lifted on 38.5" Swampers, Too much to list off. For Sale
Re: New member, looking to build up a cav.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:58 PM
BuiltNBoosted wrote:

Normally I got 30mpg, turbo went on... tracking mileage and staying out I was upwards of 35+


Ecoboost is an example of turbocharging to save gas you use a smaller engine with more power because of the turbo and don't need v6s or v8s. Depending on how you drive turboing a engine can save gas for example if you tend to drive with a heavy foot the turbo will give you more power at lower rpms because the extra gas used is marginal compared to say having double the rpms (and using double the gas) it will net you better gas mileage if you stay out of it


2002 Pontiac Sunfire SE Sedan 2.2l Ecotec 4 Speed Auto.
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