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Author Topic:   '89 Cavalier 2.0L "Doggy" Engine
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted September 06, 2005 11:05 AM  
My '89 Cavalier has the 2.0L 4 cyl engine & I'm being outrun pretty bad in the straights by a lot of other cars. I am keeping up with most other cars in the turns & even making up lost ground but too many cars are pulling away from me down the straights. I switched to Turboblue racing gas the last couple of races & car is running very good but still not good enough. I've worked with my tire size to where I'm able to maintain pretty good rpm's out of the turns so I don't think I'm losing a lot of momentum here.

I talked to an oldtimer at the track last week (his car won track championship this year & finished 2nd that night). He told me that almost every car at this track had 2.2L & most had some performance mod's done to them & I needed to get a 2.2L myself to keep up.

Can't I do anything with the engine I've got instead of buying another one? Does anyone know if this engine can be bored out & re-fitted with oversize pistons? Does anyone do this? Also what about headwork? Anyone have experience with doing this type of mod or can you point me in the right direction?

And before you ask the question, yes this is supposed to be a stock engine class so anything I do to my engine cannot be so extreme that it would be caught right away.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm clearly just a beginner & hopefully haven't said anything above that is too dumb.....

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 372
posted September 06, 2005 04:17 PM  
go with the 2.2, you'll be better off in the end,

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted September 06, 2005 07:41 PM  
Lighten your car as much as you can. Get rid of the alternator and replace it with an idler pulley. A good quality fully charged battery will last you all night without an alternator charging it. If you have power steering, get a manual box. Remove everything from the engine and under the hood that you don't need to make it run. Stuff like windshield wiper motors and linkages, heater fan and housings, unused brackets on the engine for AC and other such parts. Remove any parts that are left inside the doors like window cranks and door latch linkage. Go over every inch of your car and remove anything that is not needed. The lighter the car, the faster you will pick up speed down the straights. Make sure none of your brakes drag at all. Our car can be pushed with one thumb on a level garage floor. Make sure all your wheel bearings are in good condition and adjusted properly. Run full synthetic oil in your transaxle. Put tubes in your tires to avoid flats from getting hit in the rim or breaking the bead seal on a hard corner with low tire pressure. This won't make you faster, but you'll be there at the end of the race instead of in the pits with a flat. I'm not familiar with the Cavalier's distributor, but if it's possible to run it without the computer controlling the timing, then crank up the timing and lock it.

Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

Darren Scott
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted September 07, 2005 12:40 AM  
All of the above, plus take a good hard look at your exhaust pipe. Is it dented? Are the bends smooth? Is the muffler too small/too big? Too open an exhaust can cost you horses as well as too small. Check that when you push the gas pedal, you really are getting the butterfly wide open. Are you feeding the motor cold air or hot? And spend a little time looking for the simple things, vacuum leaks, low fuel pressure, fuel lines not protected from engine heat etc etc....

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 284
posted September 07, 2005 03:46 AM  
make your car as lite as you can get it or as lite as the rules allow remember if you get it to lite you can put the lead where it will help your weight percentages.get all the head work done,your biggest hp gains will be found the biggest motor you can use,if you can crossbreed think about a ford engine,or a rice rocket,there is plenty of speed equipment on the market allready for them.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted September 07, 2005 12:20 PM  
Do you have a tach and know exactly how many rpm's your turning. Those 2.0's should spin over 6000. If the rpm's aern't there you could try changing your final drive with different tire rollouts. Is it an auto or manual trans? If an auto I've read somewhere that changing the gears is really straight forward and can be quite rewarding. If it's the acceleration you're lacking see about having some weight machined off of your flywheel. I've heard with just 5 lbs removed, it feels like a shot of nitrous off the corner. Deffinately try everything these other guys have said first before you start tearing into things might be more simple than you'd think.

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