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Frequently Asked Questions

General info

  1. How much horsepower does my car make?
  2. How do I post messages to the messageboard?
  3. How do I find the answer to my question on the messageboard?
  4. I sent you an email, why didn't you reply?
  5. Who runs this site, anyway?
  6. What is a J-body?
  7. What does X Sensor do?
  8. Does my car have a 4 speed automatic?
  9. What is rice?
  10. What do you mean by "Phase I" and "Phase "II"?
  11. What is my wheel bolt pattern?
  12. What is the stock exhaust size?
  13. What are the differences between the 5 speed transmissions?
  14. What do all the numbers on the side of tires mean?
  15. What does X part weigh?


How much horsepower does my car make?

Your answer lies on this page

How do I post messages to the messageboard?

First you need to register on the site. If you still have questions after that, check out the Messageboard FAQ

How do I find the answer to my question on the messageboard?

First, use the search feature to see if your question has already been answered. If you don't find your answer that way, post your question and wait for people to reply

I sent you an email, why didn't you reply?

I get a lot of email everyday, and usually don't feel like replying to it right when I get it. Because of this, your message may be pushed to the bottom of my inbox, and I may forget about it. You have a better change of hearing from me if you post your questions to the Messageboard

Who runs this site, anyway?

My info is at the bottom of everypage, Sherlock. Wake up.

What is a J-body?

J-Body, or J-Car as GM likes to refer to it include the following cars:
Chevrolet Cavalier
Pontiac Sunbird/Sunfire
Cadillac Cimarron
Buick Skyhawk
Oldsmobile Firenza
Pontiac J-2000

GM just uses the letters to refer to a certain platform, since they generally span across their different divisions. There is no real meaning in the name "J-Body", besides all of the J-bodies are basically the same car made by the various GM divisions, in which the only major difference is the trim items.

As for some of the other body styles, the Beretta is an L-Body, along with the Corsica and the Pontiac Tempest. The Firebird and Camaro (sad to see them go) are F-Bodies. The Grand Am is an N-Body. W-Bodies include the Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Lumina, Olds Cutlas Supreme and the Buick Regal. The Corvette is a Y-Body

Sometimes the cars change "Bodies" when they switch generations and such. The Monte is one example of this.

What does X Sensor do?

There is a list of the major engine sensors on this page in the specs section

Does my car have a 4 speed automatic?

Unless you have a 3rd gen (95 - 2003), the answer is no. The 4 speed was never an option in the 2nd gen J-bodies. We got stuck with the 3 speed. Don't try to argue and say that you can hear a 4th gear when you drive, as that is the the TCC locking up. The TCC solenoid locks the torque convertor and the tranny in 3rd gear, which prevents slippage and lowers the RPM's to improve gas mileage. This is not a 4th gear or an overdrive gear.

What is rice?

Rice is a term origionally given to modifications done to Asian cars. It has now expanded into defining any modification that a person doesn't like on sombody elses car. I don't agree with this definition. My definition of a "ricer" is a person who does only appearance mods to their car, thinking that this actually makes their car faster. This typically includes huge "grapefruit shooter" exhaust tips, 2 foot tall wings and stickers for products they don't actually have on the car. Rice is a really controvercial subject, so I will not get into it any further. For more information, check out RiceBoyPage.com

What do you mean by "Phase I" and "Phase "II"?

These are the 2 versions of the 2nd generation J-bodies.
Phase I: 1988-1990
Phase II: 1991-1994

What is my wheel bolt pattern?

All J-bodies use a 5x100mm bolt pattern

What is the stock exhaust size?

under construction

What are the differences between the 5 speed transmissions?

We have a great informational post on the 5 speed transmission offered in the second generation j-bodies. View the thread here.

What do all the numbers on the side of tires mean?

This information was provided by Eirik.


eg: P205/55R16

This first letter, or in some cases set of letters notes the type of tire. the most common are "P" for passenger tire and "LT" for light truck.

This first number is the measurement of the width of the tire from shoulder to shoulder in millimeters. A 205 tire, as in the example has a width of 205mm.

This second number is called the 'Aspect Ratio'. This is your tire's sidewall height as a percentage of the width. In this example the Aspect Ratio or height is 55% of the tires width. So the height is 55% of 205mm.

The "R" here simply means that this is a radial tire.

This is the rim size in inches. In this case, this tire if for a 16" rim.

Other Markings:

Speed Ratings: Often appear as (eg.)"98S" directly following the tire size, where we can see that this tire has an "S" speed rating or specifically 98 mph. Also you may find speed ratings in the size itself as P205/55ZR16 where the letter "Z" denotes that this tire has a "Z" speed rating.

The following is a list of common tire speed ratings:

N 87 mph 140 km/h Temporary Spare Tires
P 93 mph 150 km/h
Q 99 mph 160 km/h Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
R 106 mph 170 km/h H.D. Light Truck Tires
S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
U 124 mph 200 km/h
H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
V 149 mph 240 km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars

Weather Conditions: Some times seen as "M" "S" or "M+s" etc... these examples denote "Mud and Snow"

DOT number: This is the tire's serial number, I'm not entirely sure howto decode all of it, but I can tell you the last 4 numbers tell you when your tire was made. If the last for are "4004" you can see that the tire was made in the 40th week of 2004. All street legal tires must have a DOT number.

"BLEM": This marking means the tire is "blemished". It has damage, but was re-sold. "blem"'s arent always safety approved everywhere.

Tire plies: These are generally self-explanitory on the side of the tire. tires often will say "Tread Plies: 2 polyester plies + 1 steel plies Sidewall: 1 steel" or something similar to this.

Going from one size tire to another:

When going from one size tire to another (eg: going wider) you must always remeber that you must keep the tire height the same, else it will throw off your vehicles spedometer. When you go wider on a tire, you must lower the aspect ratio. The rule of thumb is that for ever 10mm wider go down 5%. Since tires widths go up in mm's in 10's, aspect ratios in 5%'s, and rims sizes in inches by 1"'s (sometimes 0.5) you rule is that for everyone one value you changed in one area, you must change another area one value the opposite way. so a 10mm wider tire should be 5% shorter to keep it the same height.

Also, there is going to larger rims. if you were to goto a 16" from a 14" rim, you would again need to make the aspect ratio smaller, in this case by 10%, because we have moved two values larger on the rim size, we need to go 2 values smaller on the aspect ratio.

This is a great tire/wheel calculator to help you determine the proper tire size for non-factory tire or wheel sizes.

What does X part weigh?

I am starting to compile a list of various weights of parts found in 2nd gen j-bodies. I use a very inaccurate method that will be accurate to + or - 2lbs. All of the measurements are in pounds. I will be adding more as time goes on.

Back seat: foam bottom (10), foam back (10), padding (5)
Z24 hood: 38
3rd gen 5-spoke wheel and tire: 39
1991-1994 stock 15inch rim and tire:
Subframe (including sway bar and control arms): 60
Front 30mm sway bar: 16
3x00 gear reduction starter: 8
1992 NVG manual transmission: 110
3.1 alternator: 10
3.1 battery (this will vary by brand) 35

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