This car’s been needing one repair after another to keep it roadworthy. A simple brake job turned into replacing hardlines and my shifter cable went the way of the dodo. Classic Cavalier charm i suppose.
I’ve had the rear drum and shoes on my to do list for awhile now. I cracked her open and saw the brake cylinder was leaking, not a big deal. I go to the store and get a fresh set of cylinders for $24. Fun fact, later J-body’s had a bigger drum and brake cylinder setup than my ‘97. Mine is 200mm and the later ones upgraded to 230mm.
Looking sharp if it wasn’t for the fact that all my hardlines are mega rusty after 22 yrs of service. The brake fittings no longer spin freely, can’t take a flared wrench without crumbling and are fused to the hardline, so it’s a colossal pain if not impossible to remove them cleanly. Things tend to get broken at this point.
Whatever, we have the technology...we can rebuild! I buy some new hard and softlines. I bend the hardlines to have some sort of semblance to the originals.
I call that a success. Ironically I had to do the same thing to my ‘98 Cavalier Z24 when it had 70K on it. The rear brake lines and quarter rockers are a weak spot on J-body’s, they’re just moisture traps and tend to disintegrate very quickly.
[The Z24 in question, notice how the front bumper paint is stripping off, it’s a GM alright....]
My ‘97 base wouldn’t shift into 2nd gear yesterday, concerning but something I’d look into this weekend, So I was shifting from 1st to 3rd everywhere I went... Then today, It decided to stop shifting period while I was out and about. My shifter’s articulation went off and floppy and the car was stuck in 3rd as I was driving . I was 8 miles from home and I got every red light imaginable.
Starting from 3rd gear without stalling the motor was rough. I had to rev up the motor and really slow down on the clutch engagement to make the magic happen...the whole trip smelled liked burning clutch from the standing starts, but I made it.
So naturally, I went on to investigate. At this point it was clearly a shifter cable issue, so I took out its guts.
And there you have it, one of the cables is bad. It’s an easy fix, I just have to buy new ones and cram them in there and I’ll have my gears back. Never a dull moment with the Savvy Cavvy.
BONUS: Smart car took a punch to the face, but it’s safety cell did a jolly good job keeping the important bits intact. It doesn’t have vented discs and it’s suspension components are so tiny and toy-like. Neato!