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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's some details about my car, that has not been broken for spares as the previous owner suggested, has been rescued from the crusher at 94K and is actually still going strong as my daily driver.

Car:- Early Facelift Cavalier Diplomat 2.0 C20NE registered in Nov.1992 so theres no pointless airbag to blow up in your face, nasty things. Lovely (apart from where some scumbag keyed it) spectral blue pearlescent paint.

I bought this from eBay as a project, a fixer-upper really, it was gonna be scrapped/broken for spares by the seller because of a few silly faults, most of which we fixed within days or on the drive back home. Most of the bits I have put on it are from eBay too. I bought it to use just for commuting 90 miles a day to work really, instead of piling up all the miles on my other car.

This was a dealers demo car from new, so had all the available options. Now it has almost everything else too:-

The 2.0 8V engine was doing fine to start with for the first 2 years i owned it, but after a new radiator, a new heater matrix and the top hose blowing off every week kinda pointed towards a problem that turned out to be a cracked head, so we decided to do the decent thing and sort an XE for it. Could have gone for a LET, or just bought a manky Cav turbo, but as I also have an modified Lotus Esprit Turbo, so another thirsty turbo car was far from ideal. One is quite enough.

Modifications from std. spec. :-

Engine:- Astra GSi C20XE-LN late coil pack engine, lightly ported head, Lightened early flat type flywheel, decent quality clutch, pocketed Mahle forged pistons (so its a bit lower compression ratio, done for wilder cams and NOS (by the previous owner) later on maybe), ARP H/T rod bolts, ecotec sump/seal baffle plate, V-Tuning top hat/ecotec inlet pipe (came out of a Nova see) with Samco breather hoses and the ICV relocated for ease of access, stainless decat pipe with std late Cavalier Sri/V6 centre exhaust and rear sections - painted black, Omega cruise control. All the usual bits replaced/sorted to make it reliable.
Rolling roaded at a healthy 176 hp at only 5800rpm, 160 Lb/Ft at 2500 rpm rising to 173 lb/ft of torque at 5000rpm on 99 octane fuel. It sounds just right.

Transmission:- Std fitment 2.0 8V F16 wide ratio, lovely ratios! 70 something in 2nd, bout 110 in third. Equal length driveshafts. Still does 38-40+ MPG cruising if need be.
5 stud Calibra front hubs, Vectra B abs 5 stud rear hubs.

Suspension:- Lowered on a set of -50mm uprated springs, knackered Bilstein uprated gas front dampers, new front arms. Factory fitted optional pump up height adjustable rear dampers reinstated, valve in boot.

Front Brakes:- Vectra B GSI 308mm discs and calipers, EBC ceramic red stuff SAAB 9-3 pads, with wear indicators, braided hoses.

Rear Brakes:- Vectra B 286mm discs with std. 35mm cavalier calipers and larger Vectra B pads , with the pad pin holes filed out to bring the pad right to the edge of the disc and so that they also fit the different spacing of the pins, with larger spaced out Vectra B back plates (so the caliper sticks out to match the disc) redrilled upside down and swapped over to fit the opposite side to make the handbrake levers come to the top. Dot 5.1 fluid, braided hoses.

Wheels and Tyres:- Reconditioned Cavalier Turbo fan alloys fitted with 205/50/16 Pirelli P Zeros, or STD white Vectra Supertouring 7" by 16" wheels fitted with 205/45/16 Toyo T1-S, complete with home made flat alloy wheel centres finished with recessed Corsa B tailgate centre badges.

Exterior:- Cavalier Turbo front bumper, with cut down facelift Diplomat chrome strips fitted to match the rest of the car, with anti pheasant mesh in the radiator intake, GSi front grille (sometimes), SRi prefacelift boot spoiler with no badges or decals (leave them guessing I say) Poxy speed bumps down the road to work removed the mudflaps the day after we slammed it.

Interior:- Cavalier Turbo heated front leather seats on std saloon pretensioner subframes, std split/fold Diplomat leather rears and door trims/wood etc. Omega preselect electric sunroof/electric windows/mirrors etc, Lotus Elise S2 steering wheel, new gaitors and mats, optional keyless remote deadlocking with window closure, recalibrated fuel computer and outside temperature sensor, red needle turbo dash clocks with 8k rev counter and original 140mph (not enough numbers) speedo head, Calibra Turbo centre dash oil pressure/voltmeter gauges, Omega/Vectra cruise control/fuel computer stalks, centre rear headrest conversion, tiny Diplomat badge from Carlton, on ash tray. nice.

Lights:- 6000k HID dip/main conversion, LED front sidelights, new front indicators, new 95 model year rear light clusters/new matching rear panel.

ICE:- Kenwood MP3 CD tuner with Nokia MP3 player/phone in hands free kit.
Infinity Kappa Reference 6.5" rear speakers, Std component front speakers/tweeters. Kenwood steering wheel remote.

Performance:- Superb. Really pleased I went for the XE swap, it runs so well and it pulls like a train.
I'm glad i sorted the brakes first though. It goes very well and out handles almost everything i can find to chase and of course it stops really well now too. Because of the long ratio gearbox, it also seems to be indecently useful off the line at the traffic light grand-prix. I love surprising 50K sports cars, to55ers in hatchbacks, scoobys and MR2's etc, it's very hard not to hand out the punishment when you have built it all yourself....
I must say that I prefer driving this day to day than my Esprit really, they are a very under estimated and unloved car by many and a nice-ish one is a rare sight now. Not a tow-bar or a caravan in sight......

Coming soon, time permitting!:-
Looking at the ratios, maybe a rebuilt F28 box/clutch, remake/reshape the air con pipes to reconnect that up for the summer. New front dampers, as it seems to eat them.

cheers for all your help guys (South Central Miggers)
Heres a bit of a start to finish time line in pictures:-


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