Hello, my name is Patrick and I'm currently living in Northeast Georgia. Over the past couple of years I've been looking into getting myself into a Chevy Cavalier for the primary purpose of a track day sleeper and a fun mountain car. I know absolutely nothing about this platform, the aftermarket support, and what these cars are capable of after considerable modification. I currently own a 1993 Mazda Miata that I purchased completely stock and over the last two years have since poured thousands of dollars into building it, so I'm no stranger to working on and modifying cars. The main reason why I'm looking to one of these cars is because I want to build something that you often don't see at the track setting decent lap times. I'll be looking into the forums here for what has already been done and what not but if I can get some pointers on what the best year is, best engine, etc that would be awesome.
Check out strat81 build on Photos and Media, og on here with an amazing sedan built for time attacks and track racing.
Which do you want, a track car or a mountain car?
"In Oldskool we trust"
While these cars can be built to handle relatively well, they are definitely rudimentary. I only say this as you mentioned a built Miata.
Having run my SMF sedan and an ES classed na Miata on the same day and same autox course, the Miata does everything better when it comes to handling hands down.
If youíre still bent on building a cavalier... BC racing is pretty much the best coilover option available for these cars. Sway bars are hard to come by as most manufacturers have discontinued them. Fe2 package 03-05 cars have a 24mm front sway bar. (Older cars had 22mm, 18mm, or no front bar at all depending on the vintage). Couple that with poly endlinks and bushings and itís within 1mm of the aftermarket bars. Rear will likely have to be acquired 2nd hand. Verts had a 1 pc factory front strut tower bar with provisions to also mount to the firewall. (1 or 2 tabs depending on the bar). Imo, it works better than the 3 pc aftermarket bars. Rear will have to be a 3 pc design as very few aftermarket options were 1 piece and none are still being made. Should be able to still find the 3 pc on eBay. Turbo tech racing sells a k-brace that helps stiffen up the subframe. Aside from that upgrade the brakes (Nwf is a popular swap, info is in the suspension forum... wilwood makes a big brake setup as well) and throw some sticky rubber on it and have fun.
Welcome to the gang Patrick. How's your project now?