November 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm #232808
My son and I are almost done with a VW kit we have been working on for about a year. When we stumbled upon a CMC chevette based kit that was never started some of the pcs are missing but about 90% of it is there so we bought it, I guess we didn’t learn the first time through. Anyway we just picked up a 1983 donor chevette with 94,000 miles and are ready to start our new adventure. Any advice or help that any one could throw our way would be great!
1969 VW Daytona Migi
1983 CMC ChevetteNovember 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm #240118
washington will ; Good luck and have fun my only advice is REBUILD the engine first, when i bought my TD who ever built it put a worn engine in it
DanNovember 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm #240119
We have gone through our VW the original builder had not done a very good job so we re did some of the body assembly, steering, brakes, exhaust rear bumper, most of the wiring and installed a hardwood dash to replace the fiberglass one that was in the car. We rebuilt the front beam and added adjusters which allowed us to drop it considerably We have been driving it as is when weather allowed and we just got our new seats carpet and top. we are going to repaint and replace the interior with the new stuff and hope to have it in some local car shows by spring. now we are looking at taking it to the next level with this one. Plus already having one drivable car gives us a chance to take our time with the next one. Is yours a Chevette also?
WillNovember 29, 2009 at 6:08 am #240120
Just a tip,the Chevette should have a catalytic converter,I would not put this item back on.But DO NOT throw it out.These GM cats bring some nice $$ at salvage yards.Last year I was getting $150.November 29, 2009 at 10:55 am #240121
Will ,,I have a chevette TD with a 1.4 with a 4 speed not much power ,,I had to rebuild it ,but great cruising on a sunny day . if the price of gas goes up we will need to get a King Midget !! I kept my cat on the car I don’t know why but I removed the muffler I like the sound!!
Dan RNovember 29, 2009 at 12:30 pm #240122
I noticed when I drove the chevette home from the seller’s house it didn’t have much power off the line but when I got it out on the highway it drove just fine. I have been speaking with a local gentlemen who is a chevette expert and he has given me some tips on changing the carb, removing the smog equip. and possibly using a high output head to get some more power. I also found an off road header on one of the chevette sites which is legal in areas, where there is no smog requirements. Mine is a 1.6L with, unfortunately an automatic. According to everyone I have been able to talk to, the manual trannys are very difficult to find. Did you have to do much modification to the floor pan to accommodate the 4speed trans?
WillNovember 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm #240123
Thanks for the tip, I can always use a little extra cash and $150 would be great. There is always something more to buy for these projects.
WillNovember 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm #240124
Will mine came with a manual 4 speed but if the floor pan needs to be reshaped remember it is fiberglass easy to work with as the carb goes 1.4 came with a one barrel easy to rebuild.. the shift linkage ,was the trouble!! I wanted a stick all my other vehicles are automatic boring to drive and my wife won’t/can;t drive a stickI think you can find a stick shift, down here they were very common 30 years ago!!! The off road header sounds interesting where did you see it ?? …………DanNovember 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm #240125Bob Gielow & Paula SullivanParticipant
“Wash Will”: We bought a nice Chevette based GrandDuchess with 4 speed
this past year. Love it….will need some more fine tuning in Spring…very cold
start-up, but just purrs on the road. Handles much nicer than rear engined
VW systems…and just feels more “legitimate” !!! It also looks very “TD”
authentic. You’ll love the results and the feeling of ‘original’ with front
engine and 4 speed. I’d have to say the Pinto 4 cylinder might be just as
good, but we didn’t have the opportunity of the option. So, go for it….enjoy
and play out your pleasure with the TD. Bob & PaulaNovember 29, 2009 at 9:08 pm #240126James CochranParticipant
Mine runs on a 2.3L Ford engine with manual four speed. It will peel out easily in first, and very rarely into second (but did burn a bit of rubber once hitting second ). My problem is the engine does not strain and I get over the speed limit before I know it. It is wonderful when passing someone, you can feel the acceleration when you push it down. A friend of mine has a VW version and he has not had any problems with a zippy ride. He does have me beat with all the trunk space that I do not have and his antifreeze purchase is one hundred percent less than mine. I do love the front engine, probably because I am more used to that, but my friend prefers the rear engine, probably because he is used to that.November 29, 2009 at 10:20 pm #240127
Dan, Here is the link for the header.
Hope this helps,
WillNovember 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm #240128
The 2.3 sounds fun. I had thought about modifying the chevette kit to accommodate the 2.3 or even the 2.8 V6, but I was worried about the rear end holding up and if I change that to a ranger rear end then the bolt pattern won’t match unless I use adapters on the front. It seems like the changes could start to snow ball.
so we’re going to put it together the way it was designed and see how it goes we can always upgrade later. As for the VW ours performs nicely now that we put the adjusters in the front beam. It the chevette handles that good or better I will be quite happy.
WillNovember 29, 2009 at 10:34 pm #240129
Bob and Paula,
I’m glad to hear you like the chevette performance I’m looking forward to having both cars done and showing them in the local shows with my son. I can’t think of a better father and son thing then both of us driving TD’s
WillNovember 30, 2009 at 7:29 am #240130
To change over to a stick should not be that bad.All the small cars from 1980’s GM,chevette,vega,monza,pontiac 1000,astra,olds starfire.all used the same drive line.The 4 spd tranny should be a common item.The bell housings may have different bolt patterns per engine maker.The rearend should hold up just fine,as most of these little 4 bangers had under 90 horse.You may recall GM was putting V8’s(150 horse) in the monza’s and starfires,and using the same rear.There are a couple guys around town here that have V8 vegas,300 horse,and still running the original rearend.A possible donor for a 2.8 with stick would be the S10 S15,chevy gmc 2wd pickups from the 80’s.And the nice thing about these is you have a better chance at finding an OD tranny.Also these trannys have no shift linkage as the shifter is mounted directly into the top of the tranny.December 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm #240131Mark HendricksonParticipant
The Chevette and Pontiac T-1000 DO NOT use the same driveline as the Vega, Monza, etc.
The original ’76-’77 Chevette drivetrain (1.4L/4 speed manual) was from the Opel Kadett. In 1978 the engine displacement was increased to 1.6L and the head was redesigned internally for more low-end, but did not flow as well at higher RPM’s. So, the older, rarer head is the “performance” head. It also changed from a Rochester 1 barrel to a Holley-Weber 32/36 progressive 2 barrel.
The Chevette is the first completely metric car produced in the US. The Vega/Monza variants are not metric cars and never were. They used Borg-Warner light duty T-10 that had external shift linkage. Nothing in their drivetrain interchanges with a Chevette/T-1000.
These transmissions will not bolt up to a Chevette motor (bellhousing) and no bell housing is made to do so. Later Chevette’s were available with a 5 speed unique to the Chevette. They were the Borg-Warner T-5 that has the internal shift linkage.
The Chevette manual 4 and 5 speed transmissions use a 360 degree integral bell housing. It bolts up to the Chevette engine only. The input shafts on these transmissions are shorter, smaller and have a different number of splines than the Borg-Warner T-10 and T-5.
The car’s rear is also not the same as the Vega/Monza variants that used a 7.5″ ten bolt. The Chevette rear is a 6.75″ rear if I recall correctly.
“The” man for Chevette parts and knowledge is Rick Drake in Everett, Washington. His phone numer is listed on many threads in this forum.
Pink MG40148.5785069444December 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm #240132
Thanks for the info, I actually live and work very near Rick Drake and thanks to some of the old threads you mentioned, I have already contacted him and enlisted his help. We had a very long talk about chevettes last weekend and he has invited me out to his shop. This is the great thing about this group, it is so valuable to have folks such as yourself to bounce ideas off of and share contacts, processes, trials and errors. I actually spent quite a bit of time in the photo gallery yesterday, checking out everybody’s cars and picked up some ideas as well as new inspiration!
PS. my donor is a 1983 w/ a 1.6 automatic I did find a 4 speed yesterday through one of the chevette sites and I talked to Rick about stripping off all the pollution gear and adding a header.
WillDecember 2, 2009 at 6:33 am #240133
I stand corrected on the chevette,and T1000.December 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm #240134Greg StickneyParticipant
Like JasCochran, I too have a 2.3L ford, which is VERY quick. I owned a new Chevette, and would not need to experience that again. See if a 2.3 will fit, and if you are going to rebuild an engine anyway, why not go for the best four banger? Just a thought.
GregDecember 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm #240135GeoffreyParticipant
I agree with Greg. I also have a 2.3 and love it. It is easy to work on, parts are always abundant, and the performance mods are endless. Mine is wicked fast now, and I love working on such a user friendly power plant. My 2 cents
GeoffDecember 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm #240136Mark HendricksonParticipant
Pacesetter used to make a Chevette header, but it’s discontinued.
If you try the Chevette forum, http://members.boardhost.com/Vette_Man/ , there’s a guy that hot rods these motors for the dirt oval classes that run these cars in the TN, KY, IN area. It’s called Fields Performance. If I remember correctly. There was even a local cam grinder who’s name escapes me right now.
There was also a guy in TN that once a year makes headers for these race cars. If Rick can’t find a header, maybe Fields Performance can.
I always wanted to use a Toyota C-20 (late 70’s to mid 80’s) 4 banger. They were actually little 2.0L hemi’s. The engine was in everything from a RWD Celica to their pick-up. The engines used to be plentiful in boneyards, left over from the Legend Cars (oval racers). They used modified RWD Celica rears, spindles, driveshafts, brakes, etc. The engine and trans were left after the rusted bodies were crushed. Legend Cars use a 4 cylinder motorcycle engine.
The Chevette drivetrain/TD Replica is about as close as you’ll get to the way a real MG-TD drove…not exactly a bullet.
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