What engine can i drop in a 96 Cavalier

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I'm looking to hook up a 96 Cavalier that I bought for $600. I want to turn this car into a street racer and I'm wondering what kind of engine i can drop in it. I really don't know the first thing about cars :banghead: and I would apreciate all the help that I recieve.

posted by  Super_Rican

hey ..... i wouldnt really waste my time if i were you......if you want a street racer buy one :2cents: ....the cav is not the way to go....... i have a 96 sunfire gt and wanted to turn it into a racer .... lets just say that a faster engine wasnt in my price range....i hooked it up and it looks good, sounds good but its not that fast....it would cost you so much money to put ...lets say .....a gsr in there.....the 96 frame would need a lot more support..... you could always go with a stock engine and add a turbo......the most cost efficient way would be to buy a faster car and use that one for a work car :thumbs:

posted by  krazysunfiregt

go with a stock 2.2L, ported head, aftermarket cam(if you can find one), supercharger or turbo kit a big exhaust with an auto trans and shift kit(street/strip). But plan on going through axles constantly...the sky is the limit if your funds are plentiful. the comment about a f*ckin gsr motor in a domestic...that's a disgrace to both manufacturers :banghead: . that sort of thing really pisses me off. My advice...keep it chevy...I'm sure a 3.8L grand prix GTP(supercharged) engine would fit with enough time and money. At that point, you'd be better off converting to rear drive. That would be one bad ass cavilier.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

Well, I guess if you're saying it's just a waste of money..... I've seen some nice Cavaliers that are fast as hell, without spending too much money. All I'm looking to do is make it a bit faster and make it look and sound nice as you said about your sunfire. i just want to add some horsepower for now.

posted by  Super_Rican

3.8l grand prix GTP..... what do you mean with enough time? Like I said I don't know the first thing about this stuff. I appreciate the advice there buddy. :thumbs:

posted by  Super_Rican

I'll tell ya what, drop the car off to me with 30g's cash, and I'll give you one hell of a custom...You'll have the only 320+rwhp, rear-drive cavi's...lol.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

:fu: have you taken a look at the cavs/sunfires although american they are built like an import, which is why many people turn them into ricers :fu:

posted by  krazysunfiregt

Hey, forget Sick88TBird's offer. Drop off your cavy and 30 Gs at my place and i'll turn it into a 2005 WRX STi for ya. Then you can truly race and get respect without being a ricer. If you want my address, give me a call.

posted by  MILFhunter

wow, MILFhunter, you really are quite daft...a wrx IS a ricer...so he WOULD get called a ricer....a GTP series III engine will fit in a custom rear drive configuration quite nicely...plus the interchangability of GM parts should keep maintenence and repair costs down...With the wrx idea, he'd be getting made fun of from both chevy and subaru guys. I'll knock the price down to 25g's :mrgreen: ...and that's not just an engine conversion..that's engine/trans, rear axle, ecu, wiring harness, custom floor pan fabrication, custom exhaust system, wheels/tires, and interior. You'd be ready to start doggin Z06 vettes...lol.

Originally posted by MILFhunter...
If I wasn't a mechanic, that would sure make me wanna take my car to someone to get customized...lol.

My completed projects to date...Bolt-in 5.0L rear-drive conversion in '97 focus wagon, 5.0L HO conversion on '88 T-bird(my ride), 349ci small block ford stroker eng. in a dedicated drag strip truck('87 Mazda B2200).

MILFhunter's completed projects to date...installation of card-board box body kit on his sable wagon, installation of bmw badges on sable wagon(disgraceful), and last but not least, half-assed removal of exhaust system on sable wagon...lol. He's one HELLUVA custom car builder.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

I think if I had 25g's i wouldn't be driving a cavalier right now. Like I said I bought it for 600 and i don't have all the funds to completley remodel this car. I just wanna put a better engine in it than i have right now. Just need some advice on what to do. WITHOUT spending too much.

posted by  Super_Rican

I've got a 97 Sunfire I'm working on right now. So same thing basically.

If you want to swap motors you have quite a few options. The GM 2.2L 2.4L 3.1L 3.4L and 3.8L will all fit, in the standard FWD configuration. All will bolt up to the stock transmissions (the auto trans will not hold up to high HP, but the '00-'02 5 speed stick is pratically made of titanium and known to hold 300+ HP for a good lifetime). A different flywheel/harmonic balancer is required, and will have to be custom made; there are companies that will do this. Any change will need the matching computer, and you'll have to splice the wiring harnesses.

If you go with any of the V6s (3.1+) you will need the matching guage cluster (on the dash, behind the steering wheel) and you need to "rework" the engine mounts. This is not hard for someone with a bit of experience, a welder, and some steel stock. The 3.1 and 3.4 are not good choices to be highly modified, the 3.8 is a much better choice to superchage, turbocharge, or add NOS to.

There is even a company in Canada that will drop a 3.8L, superchareged and tuned (somewhere around 260 to 300 HP), in you exact car for $10K USD. If you pickup a motor or any of the other parts it would be cheaper, of course. Doing all the work yourself would be the cheapest, and can be done with enough commitment.

To anyone who says this can't be done: you need to google it up a bit more.
I have seen a couple Cavaliers with 3.8L engines; 2 with Stick Trans, and 1 with Automatic. All had superchargers putting them around 300HP, one had functional ram-air too.

posted by  SirCyn

go to www.j-body.org they will have your answers. i have a Z24 with a catback exaust and and intake, and i can beat gt stangs

posted by  eclipsed420

3800 Series II Supercharged :thumbs:

posted by  speedy266

Only? Actually, I know of a RWD tuned-port 350 powered Cavi Z/24 that looks basically stock on the outside, other than wheels (and cost vastly less than $30k to build. I could do it for under $5k)

Or you could simply do like this:



posted by  ChrisV

What the hell is that a 350? Haha, thats badass ChriV. Although I think the drivers vision might be just "tiny" bit flawed with chrome valve covers and the intake hood. Just a tiny bit :laughing:

posted by  DSMer

350? Good lord, no. it's a big block, possibly a 454 or 502...

Yeah, it's just a cartoon caricature of a car. It apparently runs, but I'd not wont to drive it too often...

posted by  ChrisV

Woah, thats a big ass engine to put inside of a car thats meant to obtain nothing larger than a V6. 454 as in LS5/6 454? The ones that came in El Caminos, Chevelles, and Vettes? Hell I don't even know what the 504 came in, or even that Chevy produced them.

That guy is crazy. I bet that car could spin out like a tempere tantrum baby..

posted by  DSMer

Hey eclipsed420, youve obviously spent more time 420'in than you have racin. Theres no way on this planet or any other you'd outrun a GT with a weak ass Z24 with nothing more than exhaust and intake. Complete BS dont waste anyones time with that. And if youre ever around Charleston, West Virginia look for a green 93 and we'll see if you can for a little $$$.

posted by  MT3277

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