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Old 08-09-2023, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any one up on Chevette/H bodies?

To make a long story shorter, I was able to pick up a 1980 Pontiac sunbird formula hatchback rather inexpensively. It came factory with the iron Duke and a 3-speed automatic. The whole top end of the motor is gone only the block remains. Of course, everyone has their opinion on what the replacement engine should be. I used to have a very nice rust free 75 Chevrolet Monza hatchback that someone had put in Isuzu diesel in it. It had oil leak issues and other things going on, and I kind of needed to sell that car anyway. The person that bought it couldn't wait to get it home and like put a 350 in it. So now here I am, years and years later, and fuel prices are absolutely insane here in Washington state and I'm sure it's not likely to get any better. So, I went out and bought a 1984 chevette diesel that has the 1.8 Isuzu with a manual 5-speed. I would like to swap that into the sunbird, and just wondered if anybody had experience with how the full pedal setup might be way different. I can understand where the accelerator linkage might have to be custom cobbled up? I am hoping that once completed, I could sell the decent two-door chevette shell to somebody who wants to drag race or drift etc. I don't think they're too many forums dedicated to chevette's, not much love towards Chevettes. It kind of looks like both the sunbird and the chevette have a torque tube type of drive shaft arrangement? Any experts out there? I was pleasantly surprised at how well the chevette accelerated in the pre-purchase test drive as compared to a Mercedes 240D and some old Volkswagen quantum wagon I used to have. Though the sunbird is a little heavier than the chevette, I plan on putting a fiberglass type front end on it, and maybe fiberglass doors and rear hatch as well. I welcome your comments, opinions, . The chevette even has a tilt wheel! I was not expecting that at all! When completed I certainly would like to see at least 50 miles per gallon. The longevity of the 1.8 I've read is pretty remarkable. The bottom end of this engine has been completely rebuilt. Yes I still like my insight, and I picked up another 87 Honda CRX, but I've always liked the h body hatchback body style especially how the roof line looks. So I just want an easy going cruiser that's looks a little different than everything you see out there everyday.

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Old 08-09-2023, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Agreed on the 1980 Pontiac sunbird hatchback body. Post a pic for the lurkers. I like it for the sweep on the bottom of the Daylight Opening. It's a nice reflection of the roofline.

It seems comparable to my 1979 VW Dasher diesel. It was good for 45MPG. The only thing I didn't like was the rough idle. The whole hood shook at traffic lights.

What do you plan for wheels? Why not 19s with BMW i3 tires?
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Old 08-10-2023, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Probably stay w snowflake Wheels or the cosworth type mags.Love to share picture,but am challenged.
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06 Chev MonteC JG#24tribute car 30mpg 00 Honda Insight 63MPG 98 Buick Park Ave3.8 33MPG 89 Toyota Corolla wag 53MPG so far 81 VW Rabbit diesel pu 50MPG+ 80 Mercedes 240D stick 30-ish 90 vette 6-speed,29ish 07 Honda ST1300 55MPG 83 Honda 650 GL 64MPG 19 Suzuki dr200 88MPG23 HondaGrom?+Tow K10D Sub 26mpg NEVER,NEVER GIVE UP!
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Old 08-10-2023, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure what are those. I was just noticing the wheels on KITT, the TV car

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?...&ipo=images

Those appear very aerodynamic. Would they bolt up?
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Old 08-11-2023, 09:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I still see a reasonable amount of Chevettes, daily-driven, but none is Diesel.
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Old 08-13-2023, 04:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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50-mpg HWY Chevette

I had an '82 model, and had progressed as far as cardboard mockups at the time a Southwest Airlines stewardess decided to dive her Rabbit through it, running a stop sign.
So I never got to find out.
Dr. Gino Sovran, of GM Research Labs had published an SAE Paper outlining the aerodynamics that would get a Chevette to over 50-mpg at the old double-nickel national speed limit.
I think it's a no-brainer.
Ironically, it was on a Southwest Airlines flight where I first saw the CIVIC CRX HF, which I immediately got on the list for, and bought within a month.
It was the 49-state car, with lower gears, and only good for 52-mpg, which would ultimately get over 65-mpg as Spindletop.
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Old 08-14-2023, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That is a blast from the past. Growing up in Michigan there were a lot of kids in my high school driving Chevettes in the early 90's. (or as we would call them vettes as no one in my working class neighborhood was making enough money to buy their kid an actual Corvette for their first car)

It has been more than 25 years since I've wrenched on one so I can't help with the pedal question but your post brought back some memories. I also don't know how much the H-body and T-body overlap.

For those that don't know this is what Larry bought. (I think Pontiac missed the target audience with this ad)
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Old 08-14-2023, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Didn’t the Chevette convert to FWD about that time (1984)

I remember the FWD Diesels were the most efficient.

Considering the bell pattern almost anything should mount in there, sadly exhaust and motor mounts will suck . Linkages will always need customization


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Old 08-14-2023, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
Didnít the Chevette convert to FWD about that time (1984)

I remember the FWD Diesels were the most efficient.

Considering the bell pattern almost anything should mount in there, sadly exhaust and motor mounts will suck . Linkages will always need customization


Good lord
https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/gene...hevette-96025/
The Sunbird switched from the RWD H-Body to the FWD J-Body platform in 1981.

The Chevette was built on the RWD T-Body platform and was made from 1976 - 1987 in the USA. It continued on for Latin America until 1998
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Old 08-14-2023, 07:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing the picture. Yes those are the snowflake Wheels. I once had a driving job for a bank and had to drive my supervisor between two different Bank branches
In the bank fleet were Vega wagons couple of Nova sedans with 350 v8s and a couple of lowly chevettes that were automatics. I was prewarned by other co-workers if you were to go up a hill with this older supervisor along when the car automatically downshifted to help it go up the hill, the supervisor would feel that jerk of the shift down and assumed that whoever was driving was spinning the tires at that moment. So I was on eggshells driving him around and had to go up to San Francisco type Hill, but somehow got through it without him noticing anything. Never dreamed in a million years that I would be buying that kind of car for myself, but I really just want the engine and the transmission from Isuzu. I'm hoping eventually the sell the remaining shell to somebody who is a drag racer or a drifter! By the way, one of my co-workers at the time was driving one of the Vega wagons and the starter literally came out and fell down on the pavement!

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06 Chev MonteC JG#24tribute car 30mpg 00 Honda Insight 63MPG 98 Buick Park Ave3.8 33MPG 89 Toyota Corolla wag 53MPG so far 81 VW Rabbit diesel pu 50MPG+ 80 Mercedes 240D stick 30-ish 90 vette 6-speed,29ish 07 Honda ST1300 55MPG 83 Honda 650 GL 64MPG 19 Suzuki dr200 88MPG23 HondaGrom?+Tow K10D Sub 26mpg NEVER,NEVER GIVE UP!
PUMP THOSE TIRES UP!
DRIVE IN YOUR SOCKS FOR SENSITIVITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SLOW DOWN AND SMOOTH UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![SIGPIC]
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