Significant Model Years

Detailed Specification for major model years, 1982-1994

1982

Series J: Introduced on May 21, 1981 as an early "82 model, the new front-drive four passenger Chevrolet was described as subcompact on the outside, with compact roominess inside. It was also called a "high-content vehicle" with an ample load of standard equipment, including radio, power brakes, reclining bucket seats, stabilizer bar, and remote trunk/hatch/tailgate release. Four models were offered: two-door and four-door sedans, two-door hatchback, and four-door wagon. Cavaliers came in three series: low budget Cadet, base and CL. Sole engine at first was a transverse mounted 112 cu. in. (1.8 liter) four, rated at 88 horsepower, with four-speed (over-drive) manual transmission. EPA ratings reached 30 MPG (city). A 2.0 liter four was announced, but arrived later. Cavaliers had a low, horizontal-style grille with bowtie emblem in the solid panal above. Single recessed rectangular headlamps flanked vertical park/signal lamps. Taillamps were split into two sections by a horizontal devider. Base Cavaliers has integrated bright bumper systems with black/argent rub strips; Plastisol R lower body stone chip protection; black wipers: amber rear turn signal lamps; bright hood molding and grille bars; a styled black outside mirror; body color wraparound bumper end caps; and bodyside moldings. Rally wheels held trim rings. 'Cavalier' nameplates were on front fenders. Hatchbacks came with a flush mounted back window, soft-fascia front end panel, wide base Rally wheels, and flush-mount windshield; plus black grille, headlamp and parking lamp bezels. Body colors were white, black, light yellow, biege and red; plus metallic silver, light or dark blue, bright blue, light or dark jade, gold, marron, or charcoal. After its first half season, Cavalier got several power train changes (mainly in axle ratios and electronic control module) by the time the 1982 model year began. Carburetion and ignition calibration for models with air conditioning and automatic transmissiongot a 3.18:1 final drive ratio, while manual-shift Cavaliers switched from 2.96:1 to 3.32:1 after the start of the full model year. Automatic transmissions were modified too. As the model year began, Cavalier also got a full width, three passenger back seat (with optional split folding back), becoming a five passenger vehicle rather than a four. A bigger (2.0 liter), 90 BHP four was announced, but arrived later. Cavalier's standard equipment included four speed manual trans. P175/80R13 GBR tires on rally steal wheels, AM radio, electric side/rear window defoggers, lighter, digital clock, reclining front bucket seats, trip odometer, console, day/night mirror, color-keyed carpeting, locking glove compartment, front stabilizer bar, body-side moldings, and bumper rub strips. Hatchbacks also had a gauge package and fold-down rear seat; wagons had the fold-down seat and air delector. Cavalier CL added power steering, AM/FM radio, whitewall tires, sport wheel covers,sport mirrors, (left remote), tinted glass, rear stabilizer bar, gauges, intermittent wipers, leather wrapped steering wheel, and halogen headlamps. CL hatchbacks had a tachometer and rear wiper/washer.

Engine Data: BASE FOUR (Cavalier): inline. Overhead valve. Four-Cylinder. Cast iron block and head. Displacement: 112cu.in. (1.8 liter). Bore & Stroke: 3.50x2.91 in. Compression ratio: 9.0:1. Brake Horsepower: 80 at 5100 R.P.M. Torque: 100 lb.-ft. at 2800 R.P.M. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: 2Bbl. Rochester E2SE. Vin Code G.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.2 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cav. Cpe.) 170.4 in.; (Cav. Hatch) 173.5 in.; (Cav Sed.) 172.4 in.; (Cav. Wgn.) 173.0 in., HEIGHT: (Cav. Cpe.) 52.0 in.; (Cav. Sed.) 53.9 in.; (Cav. Wgn.) 54.4 in., WIDTH: (Cav. Cpe.) 66.0 in.; (Cav. Sed./Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: (Cav. Cpe./Sed./Wgn.) 55.4 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cav. Cpe./Sed./Wgn.) P175/80R13 GBR.

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Four-speed floor shift on four-cylinder Cavalier: (1st) 3.53:1; (2nd) 1.95:1; (3rd) 1.24:1; (4th) 0.81:1 or 0.73;1; (Rev.) 3.42:1. AUTOMATIC TRANS: (1st) 2.84:1; (2nd) 1.60:1; (3rd) 1.00:1; (Rev) 2.07:1. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Beam axle, trailing arms, variable-rate coil springs. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 14 Gallons.

1986

Series J -- Z24, RS--V-6: After nearly a year's delay, Cavliers new Z24 performance package (obviously inspired by Camaro's Z28) finally arrived to become a highlight of 1986. Offered in either two-door coupe or two-door hatchback form, mit carried a 173 cu. in. (2.8 liter) V-6 with multi-port fuel injection, four speed manual transaxle, 14 in. Eagle GT radials on Rally wheels, and sports package with all-around ground-effects skirting similar to Z28. A cockpit-style instrument panel displayed "Star Wars" electronic instrumentation. Control pods sat on each sid of the steering wheel. The simple Z24 grille had four horizontal bars, with bowtie emblem at the center. Park/signal lamps sat at bumper level, below the quad rectangular headlamps. Also new this year was the sporty RS series (replacing the former Type 10). This one had standard F41 sport suspension, power steering, All-Season radial tires, and a distinctive exterior look. 'Cavalier Z24 and RS' engine identifier badges were in red. Five different RS bodies were offered; four-door sedan, four-door wagon, two-door coupe and hatchback and convertible. Base and CS Cavaliers came in four-door sedan and wagon, as well as two-door bodies. A new electronic control module reduced current drain when the car was idle, and included improved self-diagnostic features. New options this year were a decklid rack (for notchback coupes and sedans), plus new seat cloth and door panal trim for the CL custom interior. Base Cavaliers had standard power brakes, color-keyed bumpers with rub strips, full console with storage, side window defoggers, an argent grille, black left-hand mirror, day/night mirror, compact spare tire, two-speed wiper/washer, vinyl reclining bucket seats, and front stabilizer bar. Styled steel argent wheels held P175/80R13 SBR tires. Cavliers had bright belt, drip, door and window moldings; plus black windshield and back window moldings. Cavalier Cs added an AM radio and fixed-mast antenna, lighter, locking glove box, bright grille, and black body-side moldings. RS models had black bumper rub strips with red accents, a cockpit style console, poer steering, black sport steering wheel, sport suspension, wheel trim rings, red-accented black bodyside moldings, and a set of black moldings (drip, rocker panel, belt, door, window). Convertibles lacked some of those moldings but included a boot cover, tinted glass, and front/rear courtesy lights. Z24 added an air dam, electronic instrument cluster, tachometer and trip odometer, dual black sport mirrors, and black bodyside and drip moldings.

Engine Data: BASE FOUR (Cavalier): inline. Overhead valve. Four-Cylinder. Cast iron block and head. Displacement: 121 cu. in. (2.0 Liters). Bore & Stroke: 3.50x 3.15 in. Compression Ratio: 9.0:1. Brake Horsepower: 85 at 4800 R.P.M. Torque: 110 lb.-ft. at 2400 R.P.M. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Throttle-body fuel injection. Vin Code: P. OPTIONAL HIGH OUTPUT V-6 (Z24 & RS): 173 cu. in. 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Cast-Iron Block. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 2.99 in. Compression Ratio: 8.5:1. Brake Horsepower: 130 at 5100 RPM. Torque: 155 lb.-ft at 3600 RPM. Vin Code: Wor S.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.2 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cav. Cpe. Conv.) 172.4 in.; (Cav. Sed.) 174.3 in.; (Cav. Wgn.) 174.5 in. HEIGHT: (Cav. Cpe.) 52.0 in.; (Cav. Conv.) 52.7 in.; (Cav. Sed.) 52.1in.; (Cav. Wgn.) 52.8 in. WIDTH: (Cav. Cpe. Conv.) 66.0 in.; (Cav. Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in. FRONT TREAD: (Cav.) 55.4 in. REAR TREAD: (Cav.) 55.2 in. STANDARD TIRES: (Cav.) P175/80R13 SBR; (Cav. RS) P195/70R13 SBR; (Cav. Z24) P215/60R14 SBR.

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Four-speed over drive manual shift Standard. (1st) 3.53:1; (2nd) 1.95:1; (3rd) 1.24:1; (4th) 0.81:1 or 0.73;1; (Rev.) 3.42:1. AUTOMATIC TRANS: (1st) 2.84:1; (2nd) 1.60:1; (3rd) 1.00:1; (Rev) 2.07:1. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Semi-Independent with beam axle, trailing arms, variable-rate coil springs, stabilizer available. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 13.6 Gallons.

1988

Series J--Z24,RS--V-6: The Cavalier's formerly lengthy model list shrunk this year to base, RS and Z24 levels. Fresh sheet metal gave the subcompact a more aerodynamic appearance, with a new grille and composite headlamps in a rounded front end. Back end changes included a new decklid, taillamps and bumper. Coupes even got a new roof profile. A 2.8 Liter V-6 engine was standard in the sporty Z24, which came in coupe and convertable form, but optional only in the station wagon this year. Other models came only with the 2.0 Liter four. The former RS convertable was dropped, as was the hatchback coupe. Analog instruments (including a tachometer) were standard on the Z24, with electronic instruments optional. All models came with a standard five speed manual gearbox or optional three speed automatic.

Engine Data: BASE V-6 (Z24 & RS): 173 cu. in. 2.8 Liter 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Cast-Iron Block and Aluminum Head. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 2.99 in. Compression Ratio: 8.5:1. Brake Horsepower: 130 at 5100 RPM. Torque: 155 lb.-ft at 3600 RPM. Vin Code: Wor S.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.2 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cpe. Sdn.) 174.5 in.; (Conv.) 178.7 in.; (Wgn.) 177.9 in., HEIGHT: (Cpe) 50.2 in.; (Conv.) 52.7 in.; (Sed.) 52.1 in.; (Wgn.) 52.8 in., WIDTH: (Cpe. Conv.) 66.0 in.; (Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: 55.4 in., REAR TREAD: 55.2 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cpe. Sed. Wgn.) P185/80R13; (Z24) P215/60R14

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Five Speed Manual Shift Standard. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Semi-Independent with beam axle, trailing arms, variable-rate coil springs, stabilizer available. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 13.6 Gallons.

1990

Series J--Z24,RS--V-6: All Cavaliers had a solid top this year, as the convertable fadded away. The standard four-cylinder engine grew from 2.0 Liters to 2.2 Liters (133 cu. in.) adding five horsepower in the process. At the same time, the V-6, optional under station wagon hoods and standard in the Z24, grew to 190 cu. in. (3.1 Liters), for an increase of 10 horsepower. Both the VL (Value Leader) model and the step-up RS option package now were offered in all three body styles: coupe, sedan and station wagon. All except the VL had standard tinted glass and power streering. Each engine came with a standard five-speed gearbox, but the four-cylinder version was built by Isuzu, the V-6's by Muncie-Getrag. Three-speed automatic remained optional. Exhaust systems were made of stainless steel.

Engine Data BASE V-6 (Z24 & RS): 191 cu. in. 3.1 Liter 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Cast-Iron Block and Aluminum Head. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 3.31 in. Compression Ratio: 8.8:1. Brake Horsepower: 140 at 4500 RPM. Torque: 180 lb.-ft at 3600 RPM.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.2 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cpe. Sdn.) 178.4 in.; (Wgn.) 174.5 in., HEIGHT: (Cpe) 52.0 in.; (Sed.) 52.0 in.; (Wgn.) 52.0 in., WIDTH: (Cpe.) 66.0 in.; (Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: 55.8 in., REAR TREAD: 55.2 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cpe. Sed. Wgn.) P185/80R13; (Z24) P215/60R14.

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Five Speed Manual Shift Standard. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Semi-Independent with beam axle, trailing arms, variable-rate coil springs, stabilizer available. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 13.6 Gallons.

1991

Series J--Z24,RS--V-6: In January 1991, the RS Convertable joined the lineup, which again consisted of VL (Value Leader) and step-up RS series and a Z24 coupe. The VL and RS series each consisted of coupe, sedan and station wagon. Standard equipment included stainless steel exhaust and an electric tailgate release on wagons. New for 91 were the Z51 Performance Package, a Z24 appearance package, all new interiors, and revamped front end panals, headlamps, fascias, grilles and taillamps. The J-car Cavalier (a platform shared with the Pontiac Sunbird) featured a 2.2 Liter four-cylinder engine in all VL and RS sedans and station wagons. A 3.1 Liter V-6 was the standard powerplant of the Z24 coupe and RS converable, and was optional on the station wagons. A five speed manual transmission with overdrive was the base unit while a three speed automatic was optional across the board.

Engine Data: BASE V-6 (Z24 & RS): 191 cu. in. 3.1 Liter 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Hydraulic valve lifters. Cast-Iron Block and Aluminum Head. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 3.31 in. Compression Ratio: 8.8:1. Brake Horsepower: 140 at 4500 RPM. Torque: 180 lb.-ft at 3600 RPM.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.3 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cpe. Sdn.) 182.3 in.; (Wgn.) 181.1 in., HEIGHT: (Cpe. Z24.) 51.3 in.; (Sed.) 52.9 in.; (Wgn.) 52.8 in., WIDTH: (Cpe.) 66.3 in.; (Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: 55.9 in.; (Z24. Conv.) 55.8 in., REAR TREAD: 55.4 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cpe. Sed. Wgn.) P185/75R14; (Z24) P205/60R15.

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Five Speed Manual Shift Standard. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Trailing crank arm with twist beam axle and coil springs. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 13.6 Gallons.

1992

Series J--Z24,RS--V-6: After a two year absence, the Z24 convertable returned to the Cavalier lineup. The Cavalier lineup now offered two ragtops: one in the RS series and the new convertable in the Z24 series. Anti-lock brakes and power door locks were now standard equipment in all Cavaliers. The base 2.2 Liter four-cylinder engine recieved multi-port fuel injection this year and its horsepower rating increased from 95 to 110. Cavalier agian offered three series. The VL series consisted of coupe, sedan and station wagon, while the RS series had those same three body styles plus a convertable. The Z24 series offered the coupe and the aforementioned ragtop. Standard equipment included the 2.2 Liter engine and five-speed manual transmission (except on the wagons, which had the three-speed automatic as standard). The Z24 was powered by the 3.1 Liter V-6, which was the option engine for the RS and wagon.

Engine Data: BASE V-6 (Z24 & RS): 191 cu. in. 3.1 Liter 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Hydraulic valve lifters. Cast-Iron Block and Aluminum Head. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 3.31 in. Compression Ratio: 8.8:1. Brake Horsepower: 140 at 4200 RPM. Torque: 185 lb.-ft at 3200 RPM

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.3 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cpe. Sdn.) 182.3 in.; (Wgn.) 181.1 in., HEIGHT: (Cpe. Z24.) 51.3 in.; (Sed.) 52.9 in.; (Wgn.) 52.8 in., WIDTH: (Cpe.) 66.3 in.; (Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: 55.9 in.; (Z24. Conv.) 55.8 in., REAR TREAD: 55.4 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cpe. Sed. Wgn.) P185/75R14; (Z24) P205/60R15.

Technical Data: TRANSMISSION: Five Speed Manual Shift Standard. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Trailing crank arm with twist beam axle and coil springs. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 13.6 Gallons.

1994

Series J--Z24,RS--V-6: With an all new Cavalier due the following year, 1994's lineup was much like before with the exception of the discontinuance of the VL (Value Leader) series station wagon. The VL series consisted of coupe and sedan, while the RS series with an updated appearance package offered: coupe, sedan, convertable and station wagon models. The Z24 series again offered a coupe and convertable. New standard equipment included tinted windows, automatic door unlock with ignition turned off, right-hand outside mirror and more durable rear brake drums. The upgraded 2.2 Liter four-cylinder engine was again the standard engine, but offered 10 more horsepower over the previous year. The five-speed manual transmission was the baseline offering except on the station wagons, which again had the three-speed automatic as standard. The Z24 was powered by the 3.1 Liter V-6, which was the optional engine for the RS series.

Engine Data: BASE V-6 (Z24 & RS): 191 cu. in. 3.1 Liter 60 degree, overhead valve V-6 Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Hydraulic valve lifters. Cast-Iron Block and Aluminum Head. Bore & Stroke: 3.50 x 3.31 in. Compression Ratio: 8.9:1. Brake Horsepower: 140 at 4200 RPM. Torque: 185 lb.-ft at 3200 RPM.

Chassis Data: WHEELBASE: 101.3 in., OVERALL LENGTH: (Cpe. Sdn.) 182.3 in.; (Wgn.) 181.1 in., HEIGHT: (Cpe. Z24.) 52.0 in.; (Sed.) 53.6 in.; (Wgn.) 53.6 in., WIDTH: (Cpe.) 66.3 in.; (Sed. Wgn.) 66.3 in., FRONT TREAD: 55.8 in.; (Z24. Conv.) 55.8 in., REAR TREAD: 56.6 in., STANDARD TIRES: (Cpe. Sed. Wgn.) P185/75R14; (Z24) P205/60R15.

Technical Data TRANSMISSION: Five Speed Manual Shift Standard. STEERING: Rack and Pinion. FRONT SUSPENSION: MacPherson struts, lower control arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar. REAR SUSPENSION: Trailing crank arm with twist beam axle and coil springs. BRAKES: Front disk, rear drum. BODY CONSRUCTION: Unitized. FUEL TANK: 15.2 Gallons.

Some of this information was acquired through InfernoZ24.
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