Project MK1 Cavalier: Build Pics

Ok, so some of you guessed it. In fact, Guy even posted a picture of the exact car! Well, before I throw up some pics of the whole car I thought I would get the boring build stuff out the way.

The car was minter than mint when I bought it.  It had even won a trophy, so I can’t take any glory for just how nice it is.  Mountains of cash had been spent on things like a new Vinyl roof, fresh paint, suspension..the list was pretty endless.  What it didn’t have, was stance.

First off was wheels: BMW Mini banded steels in 15×8 and 15×9 with 185/45 and 195 45 tyres.  The wheels needed painting so I gave them a coat of gloss black:

I gave the car a full service: All fluids, set the tappets, new thermostat and temp sender:

Then it was onto what really counts; suspension!

New ARB drop mounts:

Shortened the springs:

Rear converted to MX5 adjustable platforms:

So, the car was on the deck.  And that’s pretty much where it settled!  After a short drive it was sat on the bump stops at the front, even though they had been cut in half.  This called for some pretty drastic action as it was pretty much un-drivable.

I swapped out the front dampers as they were bottomed.  I used Mini rear dampers as they used the same mounts and were about 2.5″ shorter:

To solve the bump stop issue and get some travel back I had to modify the subframe:

I removed the rubber bump stops and cut the bump stop towers:

I then cut the end I removed down to it fit inside the cut-off tower end and welded it back together. This effectively raised the stop 50m. Here it is back together:

The car is now dropped around 120mm and has loads of plush travel; no crashing, no bone shaking, just a smooth ride like you would expect from a big saloon car. Oh yeah, the car?

Well here’s a pic of how it arrived:

It’s a 1980 MK1 Vauxhall Cavalier! Stay tuned for “after” pics!

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