Sunday, September 29, 2013

2k: 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, w/ 3.5L V6 Swap

The second generation Chevrolet Cavalier was launched in 1988 as Chevrolet's compact economy car, following in the footsteps of the Monza, Nova, Corvair, etc.  It isn't old enough to be collectible and its front-drive chassis was built more for economy than for performance, but at least the Z24 version had pretensions of being sporty.  Fortunately, the builder of today's feature fixed the performance issue with a 3.5 liter V6 swap from a 2005 Malibu.  Find this 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 w/ 3.5L V6 swap for sale in Suffolk County, NY for $2,200 via craigslist.  Tip from Cory.

The Z24 was the highest trim level of the Cavalier and added a painted body kit, adjustable seats, Z24 emblems and a CD player.  Of two engines available, the 3.1 liter V6 was the one to get, but it only put out 140 horsepower and was mated to a 3 speed automatic or 5 speed manual.

This Z24 is now powered by a 3.5 liter V6 from a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu which makes 200 horsepower and 220 ft-lbs of torque - and the owner installed a 5-speed manual. The full build thread can be found here on forums.

It is always interesting when a seller includes a self portrait...this is a good one.  He looks like he has got a little bit of the Captain in him.

See a better Z badged Chevy for less than $2k? email us here:


  1. Awesome project. It is always cool to see a tasteful conversion that helps a car live up to its performance package. As was the case with almost all GM FWD cars of the 80s and early 90s, they were all slower than they looked.

  2. I have fond memories of the previous generation with the sealed beam headlights. A very cute high school friend of mine had a Z24 with the 2.8 and an automatic. It was slow but it sounded fantastic. It was always a bit of a cognitive-dissonant experience because my cute friend (I never got to date her, but my friend eventually married her) was far more librarian in appearance than her car would have suggested.
    This kind of swap sounds perfect, $2.2k sounds like a good deal if it everything works.

  3. Interesting project! The modern engine should make this scoot. The coolest thing about the Z24, though, was the checkerboard wheels. Too bad those are missing.


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