Posts Tagged ‘MK1 Cavalier


Project MK1 Cavalier: SOLD.

I was really looking forward to rocking around in this car over summer;  Hittin’ up shows and having something I could actually get some camping gear in.  It’s a full-blown windows down, steering with one hand mobile.  Alas, I had to let it go; I really need to get a place!

The good news is I still have the banded steels as the new owner took it without them…I might have to throw them under the Roadster for a giggle.


3 More from NYD

Just a final 3 shots I took on NYD in Swansea.  I  Just got myself a 7D, so I’m still getting to know it!



This year I was down in Swansea, South Wales, for NYE & NYD: 368 Mile road trip in the Cavalier, fireworks on the beach and a day at the Marina: Awesome!

Hope you all had a good one! All the best for 2010!  Right, onto some car content!


Project MK1 Cavalier: Tune up, look sharp – 30+ mpg club here we come!

Remember this?

Well, after many hours of cruising (and scraping) I decided it was time for a tune and an electric fan to help the old girl into the 30+ mpg club.

Out with the old fixed original fan…

and in with the new… I’m not the most savvy when it comes to wiring and electrics, so wiring in a fan and it actually working was a result!

With that done it was tune-up time; old-skool style!

Gas tester plugged in the back

Color tune up front

If you’ve not seen one before, it’s a spark plug with a viewing window in it so you can see the colour of the combustion: White-ish = lean, Rich Blue = Stoich, Rich = Orange.  This is retro tuning at its best!

Here’s a pic of it running looking down the viewing tube:

Runs much better now!  Should be less juicy too.


Project MK1 Cavaier: Blair Waldorf on 9s

Here’s a couple of lame pics from today:

I’m all about this interior:

The truth according to 8380 Labs:

Future plans? Well, I’m just going to enjoy cruising round in it. When it settles I’ll probably drop it a bit more, but beyond that I’ve no real plans.  There is a kinda perverse side to me that would love to see it tucking Bentleys but….


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!