Coming to a Close, Project Chevette.

After the event, I took a moment to think about the next steps I would be taking on the Chevette to get it sliding a little better. I realized that the cost of getting the car to a point to where I would like it to be would be way too much of an investment. It would be better to get a chassis that is a lot easier to modify and much more capable for spirited driving… or even take the money I would be spending on it and put it towards finishing up the Z. It’s not that it can’t be done or its a bad platform…there are just better options.

Either way, I was able to meet the original builder of the Chevette and I found that the Chevette had quite the history.  Built from the ground up, it was truly an enthusiast’s car. Here’s some history, the build was all well documented.

I’m honored to have picked it up and contributed to it. Turns out he sold it, not because he wanted to, but because of tough times. He was more than enthusiastic when he found that I was thinking about selling it. He offered to buy it back. Maybe I’ll build another one. I’ll miss the challenge.

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First Meet

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Twins Almost

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Back at Home

Stay Tuned… I got cashed out. >:)

Reno Drift #2 Super Update… ONE Month Later

There was a Reno Drift 8/16… so this is a late posting but its been busy.

Again, the Chevette and the Buick V6 proves to be a durable match for drifting and the combo is sufficient for some sliding. The new suspension set up also proved to work extremely well. Turn-in was great and the car handled flat. I was able to hold and control slide much better on a much better dampened and sprung car. However, the more and more I dug into tossing it the more I found that I wasn’t getting that far with it.

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The Grid

 

grand ovation

Bravo!

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Waiting…

 

Despite that, I was able to get almost 20 runs in and learned how to handle the Chevette fairly well. For preparation of the event, I took the hood off and had a sprayer on hand so all the troubles I had with the car with overheating my first time out, for the most part, were taken care of. A spacer and heat shielding on the fuel lines were also added to battle vapor lock. The Chevette ran cool and consistently the whole day.

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Cooling mods.

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After shock from the event

The event itself was, again, amazing filled with good people, grassroots fun, and tons of driving time. Here’s a video made on a quadracopter at the event. Check out his channel when you can! See if you can spot the Chevette!

Stay Tuned for a history lesson !!

Chevette budget suspension set up

After some researching, measuring, and theory crafting, I’ve put together what I think is a nice budget suspension set up for the Chevrolet Chevette. I’m not sure If it will work for all the variations of the T-Body but it should be applicable to them all. Upon tearing it apart, I found that my car had cut springs(and a set of blown shocks). After installing the set up, it was the same height as it was before. I would say it would lower a stock Chevette maybe 1.5″ to 2″. Do note this is a budget set up. You can always improve/get better parts than what I have. anyways..

Front Set up:

Shocks: Bilstein AK5555F – W/ proper lower bushing installed.

Seems like these shocks had the most reasonable valving of the “AK” series of shocks from Bilstein and their sizes matched my set up. Length can be an issue without lowering ball joints. Stock:15″ Bilstein: 13″

Springs: Monza front Springs  Moog #CS-6490 w/ 2 coils cut (estimated spring rate: 7 kg/mm)

Rodney Dickman Fiero 1″ lowering ball joints – These allowed me to use the Bilstein shocks because it pushed the upper control arms up by one more inch. Stock Shock :15″ // Bilstein + Lowering Ball Joints: 14″  Plus, without the lowering ball joint my front height would be too high for the rear so another coil would have to be cut or a different spring would have to be used.

Slotted upper ball joints – For camber. – Gives camber adjustment to correct the suspension from the lowering ball joints. Modifications could be made for more static camber.

Prothane Fiero front urethane bushing kit. (not installed) – It looked like it would fit.

Rear set up:

Shocks: 1976 Ford Thunderbird rear KYB Gas adjust. KYB #KG5519

Springs: Chevette front springs. 2 coils cut. (estimated rate: 5 kg/mm) – a better spring could easily be used.

S10 19mm sway bar.

UMI Monza adjustable rear panhandle par. (Not installed. It’s 3 inches too long)

Total: Roughly $350 in parts.

Notes: An additional coil can be cut from the front and proper springs + camaro agx or qa1 shocks in the rear would give you another .5″ or so but can get you into the F: 8 kg/mm  R: 6kg/mm range.

Front shock mounts need to be changed and springs need caressing to fit properly. Upper control arms need to be modified for more camber out of the slotted ball joints. Lower control arm, where the ball joint is, needed to be ground down to clear the brake disk during suspension movement. GM ball joint separator tool highly recommended.

Rear sway bar mounted like the camaro. Sway bar link mounts were fabricated and nissan quest front sway bar links were used. The difference was huge. Sway bar, however, may be too large. Thunderbird Rear shocks fit on the stock cantilevers on the axle axle.

Overall the set up was phenomenally good compared to the cut spring/blown shock set up in the car before. The suspension inspired a lot more confidence during braking, and initiating turns.

Stay tuned for a August 16th Reno drift event update. The suspension was definitely tested there :)

Chevette Auto-x recap and a Gemini, Vauxhaull, Chevette photo dump

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Vomit bags located in the seat pocket…

Reno SCCA holds autocrosses at the Stead Airport in Stead fairly often.  The airport is 15 mins away from my house in Reno. I’m used to events that are 45 min+ away from my house. It’s a nice change to have something so close. It was short as well only lasting 4 hours for my group. They even had free runs after 4 pm. Such a club up here. Small gallery set:

I’m still having troubles with my fuel cutting out, vapor locking, and overall killing the driving experience. Made some mods since the last drift event to help but it still seems to not be enough. I have an interesting solution coming soon… I did get a new battery. XS Power 680. Its basically a copy of the odyssey batt. Works for me. The car starts consistently every time now. 

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Size matters… yata yata…

I’ll be installing some new suspension on the chevette soon. There’s another Reno drift on August 17th. Gotta get it straight by then. For the front, it looks like I will have some issues with the sway bar and steering arms. Lowering in general also scres me because of how low the torque arm is mounted… Something might have to be done there. Everything else looks straight forward. Stay Tuned on these upcoming mods!  Gallery: 

Now.. Some of that there inspiration.

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So many styles, varieties, and flavors. There is no set path. I don’t think too many cars have that about them. 

THE America, Independence Day, Super Drift Style Update!

I’ve been working on getting the Chevette drift ready. Given it is a Chevette, I’m trying to build it up as cheaply yet effectively as possible. Remember the goal is to keep it as fun, streetable and ‘Merica as possible.

 

First was provisions for a “tire explosion guard” The Chevette’s fuel tank inlet is right next to the driver’s rear tire and unprotected. If a tire exploded while drifting it would most likely take out the fuel inlet.

Next was a welded diff. What’s drifting without some sort of diff? I was told that I had a posi-trac….It doesn’t. After looking at positrac and after market prices. I decided to just get it welded. I could work on getting a better geared rear-end in the future.

Reno Drift’s first event this season was out at Fernley-Reno Raceway on the 29th. It wasn’t a large event by any means but the showing at this event was huge! The Chevette continues to