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Mark one Cavalier 1600 project.


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Well I cant be stopped can I ? I have gone and done it again, I spotted a mk1 cav for sale on e-bay and i thought it needed a second look so i e-mailed the seller and he replied with his number and some photos, it looked very good in the pics and the seller was a really nice bloke so i thought about it for a bit (a good day or so) and then phoned him back to see if he would do a deal, he would !! so i did.

Only problem was that the car was in East Grinstead, about 320 miles from me in sunny cornwall, so arrangements were made for Saturday and i got hold of a trailer and my fathers pick up truck, With the wife in the passengers seat off we went up the A30 and then the A303, we arrived after about 6 hours solid driving to meet Graham (the seller) and see the car.

The car was dusty obviously had been unused for a very long time, Graham told me it had been in his barn for at least 10 years and it looked like it, after a good poke around including a VERY detailed look around the chassis legs, inner wings, battery tray sill ends and the bit behind the headlights i concluded that the car was RUST FREE !!!! no really, there is none, at all. I did the deal, loaded the car up on the trailer and after tea and a chat we set off for home, we stopped a few times and finally got back to Cornwall at 1.45am, very tired we just went to bed and left the car to unload in the morning.

Well i say morning, i didnt emerge from my hammock till gone midday, and of course was curious t have a good poke about the new car so went down to my garage, I took it off the trailer and proceeded to give it a really good wash to get all the grime and dust off, once that was done i opened all the doors to air the inside out a bit and I had a look at all the fluids and condition of the engine and brakes etc, it all seems very good, i gave the engine bay a good going over with the TFR truckwash and the hose too as this was lagged in old oil and dust, the old oil seems to have been used all over to preserve the car and it really has worked.

Fast forward to a slack half hour this afternoon and i drained out all the old engine oil and took the filters off, whipped the plugs out and sucked out the brake fluid reservoir, I did nt really want to start it up with the old oil in it so best to get it done now.

I have a bit of a list of stuff that i need to make it a bit tidyer as the bodywork is a little battered around the edges, no rust but a few dings and dents and the bumpers have been "used" The front badge is missing and the clutch is slipping (discovered this while pushing it into the workshop, it was in gear and i was shoving it about on my own no problem) I dont suspect it will need much to MoT, maybe a few brake pipes and a fuel pipe i spotted that is suspect, get the lights working (they might work, i have not tried them yet)

Other jobs include painting the wheels and giving it a deep clean inside and out. not going to get into the realms of bodywork as i am planning on selling this car on with Mot, it would be nice if i can get it to a condition that someone can use it and enjoy it, and if i can make a few quid on it then it helps to get my other projects done too.

There are a few pics in my camera that i will try and get off the camera and up on here !

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Had a day at the garage today and got a few little bits done to the Cav, I have fitted the front badge (thanks 1900sr) and have cleaned the interior, this was an in depth clean with the carpet and headlining getting washed and the door card cleaned,all the plastic scrubbed and windows polished, after applying the dash black potion and putting the new mats in it all looks brand new, no tears in the seats or other nastyness so i am fully happy with it.

I have done a complete service to the engine now and it is running like a dream, no tappet noise or missfiring. not bad for a car that last ran in 1994 !!

The rear bumper is now swopped over for one with no rust or dents and the front is getting done soon. I also polished most of the dor shuts and inner door edges and waxoyled the rubber seals round the doors to make them supple and rubbery again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well after a saga involving losing the only keys for this car which cost me a fortnight of looking and faffing then a plea to Andy Clears to get me new ones (thanks andy, perfect mate) I have finally got the cav into the workshop and up on the ramp.

A quick look around showed the brakes to be seized and the clutch shot, so new rear wheel clinders were ordered and the rear brakes stripped and cleaned and then popped back together all set up and working, Then the front calipers came off, were stripped to all their components and cleaned and put back with new seals and plenty of grease. Once we had bled the brakes and adjusted the handbrake it was like new.

Then the Clutch, after a good 1/2 hour taking it all to bits the box was ready to take off from the bellhouing, (I took the box off the bellhousing because i didnt want to disturb the exhaust at all and if you take the box off first then the bellhousing you can get better access to the bolts and the whole lot is not as heavy to remove.) once it was all n the floor i took the clutch off and found it had eaten most of the flywheel, the rivets in the friction plate had dug grooves in the surface, nasty, luck i have a few spares hanging around, a good flywheel was taken from stock and cleaned and fitted with new bolts and threadlock.

re-fitting was indeed the reverse of removal as they say.

It drives like a dream now, smooth and quiet.

MoT on monday........update to follow.

And one of my tenants had his young son with him down at the container he rents, the lad found the keys to the cav on the floor in the yard, rusty, so they were there the whole time, I had checked the area as well, not well enough though obviously.

....Been stuck in airports, terrorized

Sent to meetings, hypnotized

Overexposed, commercialized....

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Glad the clutch was Ok for you Paul!


1984 GTE Coupe 2.0XE16v - B623RWW - currently being reshelled...

1988 GTE Exclusive Coupe - E862BAO

1996 BMW 328i Touring Alpina Cosmetics Hartge Power - Parts Chaser/Manta Tower/Daily Driver

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Clutch fits perfectly Carl, many thanks for that mate.

slight delay on the MoT, the V5 still isnt here and i want to make sure its registered to me before i go putting it on the MoT computer.

....Been stuck in airports, terrorized

Sent to meetings, hypnotized

Overexposed, commercialized....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well the V5 arrived this week, and i have done a bit more cleaning/tidying/checking to the Cavalier in readyness for Mot and tax and then selling it to fund another project.

I have quite enjoyed doing this car as it has been nice and quick and easy, a simple mini restoration.

Now i have the ability to post photos on here i will get some taken soon and post them up.

Till then if anyone wants a nice genuine original Cavalier Mk1 then send me an e-mail.


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  • 6 months later...

I seem to still have this beast too.

Its now in my rapidly filling monster workshop.

I am fitting the good Solex carb from my Ascona on to the Cav to cure a problem i am having with it not idling at all anymore. I suspect chicken poo has blocked up the carb that is on this car.

Apart from that shes a good un still.

Have an old pic, i have done the bumper and the car is all complete now:



"Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels"

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quote:I suspect chicken poo has blocked up the carb that is on this car.


Sorry, had to chuckle, not that often you get the chance to use a statement like that[:D][:D][:D].

If what I say can be taken in 2 ways and one of those ways get you angry....I meant it the other way

e-mail : mark_gunning@yahoo.co.uk


OMOC 5817

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