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Chevy Chevette

79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
What a complete and total disaster that chevy turned out bearing the name Chevette. What was the Horsepower rating on those things? 2,3, maybe 5??? In the rolling hills of the pedmont on a fairly shallow hill you have to floor it before you get to the hill keep flooring it up hill and even than you would only have 29 mph. My Huskee riding mower can do better than that!?! Taking those things out on the highway is bad too. You better like going 45 mph, becausemuch over that and you are trying to keep the thing in the lane, because the steering wanders so bad. I beleive the only role in which the Chevette would be an acceptable car would be in the city in stop and go traffic. If that was the case Chevy should have emphasized that and not tried to sell it to all sections of the country. I beleive Chevy has improved on that over the years with cars like the Aveo, and the Cobalt, but Back in the '80s, compacts weren't worth the lot they were sitting on.

Yawll, never tell you're girlfreind your gonna pick her up in a 'Vett and show up in a Chevette. Don't ask me how I know. All i can say is that you'll be single again soon.


  • chevettemetchevettemet Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1960 Nash Metropolitan that we are giving serious consideration to putting a Chevette drivetrain in. I'd be interested in hearing how of if it's possible to boost the horsepower of the engine. I'd like to have about 100hp. The engine is out of a 1979 Chevette and is the HO version.
    I'd appreciate any help! And thanks! :)
  • 79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
    The whole problem with the Chevette as far as acceleration goes is that it is a derivative of a bigger Chevy car just scaled down with a tiny, tiny engine crammed in. Modern compacts are built solely around small platforms built for the power the engine can produce. I do not know much about the Nash Metropolitan but just scanning over it the Chevette powerplant would probably be an acceptsional powerplant. As far as cranking the hp up I'm not the one to talk to but the building block engine will probably work in a car of that size. Also, be happy the Chevette you have is a HO version. The base engines are burdened to say the least.
    BTW is the Nash you own a convertible or a hardtop? :)
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I thought the Chevette was a pretty good car. I have always heard of these cars in jokes but have known a few people who had them trouble free. Never knew anyone who had problems with one. We inherited one from our grandmother that lived out in Salton Sea, California. The only issues we ever had with the car was every few years the one barrel carburator would need to be replaced. This was a known issue with the car. The car got descent mileage being in the low 30's mpg on the highway and was very reliable and would start after sitting more than a week in sub below 0 weather.

    The car eventually went with my sister when she got married and moved to Cincinatti. It had 80,000 some miles on it after 18 years and still ran, but it was in bad body condition (accident) and was kind of sluggish. The 1976 model supposedly was the most problematic year being the first, but our was good. Only thing I disliked was the auto transmission, lack of AC, and AM radio.
  • randydriverrandydriver Member Posts: 262
    My mother owned a 80 model and it was the 5-door hatch with the automatic and had a/c....which in Texas you need. Any way she drove it about 120 mile commute to Dallas from our house in Gun Barrel City. She was getting 31-33mpg in it and never had any problems till she bought a 1984 Old 88. Very dependle car.
    Oh the horse power in the car was 70hp for that year if I remeber right. It was up from the original 55 hp in the first engine which was a 1.3liter then went to a 1.6liter.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    The Chevette was designed in Europe by GM's Opel division. It was marketed there under the Kadett nameplate and in the UK under GM's Vauxhall Chevette name. Under the Vauxhall name there was also a two door sedan and four door sedan. Odd that they were never marketed in the USA. In south America the Kadett styling was used but badged a chevrolet chevette. It was designed at a time when most of its competitors were about equal in power economy. Back then zero to sixty times in the upper teens was the norm. Some VW's were way slower yet sold like crazy. We have been spoiled by fast cars with modern technology. I have three cars right now. one with just under 200 hp, one with 130 hp and one with about 80 hp. I find the car with the 80 hp just as fun to drive as the 200 hp car.


  • randydriverrandydriver Member Posts: 262
    Those are cool pic. I was given a Automobile book when I was in high school .....some time back and it had the Vauxhall and Chevrolet version in pictures and the history of the car. It is in the attic in a box ....somewhere.
  • bmcauliffebmcauliffe Member Posts: 1
    Underpowered yes but tough little cars! I learned to drive in a 77 chevette and drove it through college. It certainly wasn't the fastest car on the highway but I managed do better than 45! With gas prices today, I wish I had it back again!
    By the way, I never had complaints picking up the girl friend in my vette! (I guess that going back to the condo on the water helped out a little) :)
  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    Yes, I think they were honest little cars. They gave what they were designed for. They were dependable if not fast. From what I have read the UK versions suffered from poor assembly and workmanship. Imagine that ;) . They were nicknamed the Shove-it.
  • randydriverrandydriver Member Posts: 262
    I would like to have one for just about town driving. :)
  • chevy_boychevy_boy Member Posts: 1
    Well I myself own a 1977 Chevrolet Chevette 1.6L (oooh the big engine lmfao) with the 3 speed auto, manual steering and brakes, no ac, 2 door.

    I find the car is actually quite good... i paid nothing for it.. it was a "haul away" and all it needed was a leak fixed in the gas tank and a tune up... runs great, in fact.. perfect, has original 86,000 miles on it, and as far as handling and power... well... the first time i drove it the spedometer was sticking and my friend was following me and informed me that i was going 90+ mph... so it's go go... although i do have it geared differatly since i am running p185 70 r14's instead of the stock P155 70 R14's, free tires.. can't complainge..

    as for my mileage.. hell i'm getting about 38 mpg with it... so wow... at 3+ mpg i can't complain.. oh... something i needed to add.. the 90 mph trip was done on a hilly road.. anyone who knows the rual highway of 201 in montana konws it's not a flat by any means haha
  • quentin741quentin741 Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 1981 chevette with 1.8 liter diesel engine it needs a flex plate Ive tried to find this part with no luck. The size of the flex plate is 11 5/8 and 3/8 thick and it has 115 teeth. Does anyone know where I could possible find this part.
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    i have owned only chevettes since 1991.they range from 77-87.i currently am driving a 1980 chevette is not very badly underpowered.i do agree that most chevettes are underpowered.they can however reach and exceed the speed limit,the steering is not bad at all.i have taken many chevettes on trips and they have experienced no problems,they handel very well and the cornering is only surpassed by the corvette.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "...and the cornering is only surpassed by the corvette."

    You had me going there for a second.

    At first I thought that was a somewhat serious (if misguided) post in support of Chevettes - but now I realize I was reading satire.

    Excellent job! ;)
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    hi rorr:the chevette is a great little does so many things well,however it does need more power.

  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "...the chevette is a great little does so many things well,however it does need more power."

    I really don't want to debate whether or not the chevette is a great little car. You've owned nothing but chevettes; obviously you've found some redeeming value to them.

    However, when you post stuff like "...and the cornering is only surpassed by the corvette" then you need to prepare yourself for NOT being taken very seriously.
  • quentin741quentin741 Member Posts: 2
    sorry to bother anyone that reads this but im desperately looking for a flexplate for a 1981 chevette.Ive looked everywhere,napa autozone carquest checkers junk yards,i cant get help nowhere.i know the car is underpowerd and gutless but its just what i need for my 16yr old daughter.If anyone knows how to find this part or willing to sell theres,i'll pay top dollor for it.thanks for any help........
    [email protected] :confuse:
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    i don't know where you live,however i live in regina saskatchewan and i would be more than willing to take you for a ride to display my cars' handling,and it is stock.
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    i've owned many cars previous to my chevettes,they include a'57 pontiac[canadian chev]with a corvette 283,'56 chev 283 with a 3 spd. manual trans.,a'66 chev with a 350 hp 350 with a th-400,'68 nova with a 450hp 350 with a th-400,'74 nova with a 600 hp 350 with n2o and a th-400,and a '77 olds with 403-4v and a as for experience with gm cars i've got it.i am also a mechanic and i have done all the work on these cars the future don't open your mouth unless you know what you are talking about.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Hey turkey3:

    You've GOT to be kidding, right? I mean, this is satire, correct?

    What STARTED all this nonsense was your assertion that the Chevette's handling/cornering (STOCK Chevette's handling) is, quote "surpassed only by the Corvette". unquote. We're discussing the HANDLING qualities of the Chevette, right?

    And to back up your 'qualifications' to making this assertion, you post that you've owned a bunch of GM land sleds (powerful sleds, yes.....but still sleds).

    Your claim was to the handling of the Chevette. Have you ever autocrossed it? If you had, would you expect that the only thing to beat your Chevette (your STOCK Chevette) would be a Corvette?

    Are you claiming that you could out-handle a Miata? An MR2? A Mazda3, Celica, GTI or RSX? Look, if you want to be a fan of the Chevette, fine - have at it. But the SIMPLE FACT that the Chevette was NEVER known as a good 'handler' (even by 1980 standards; it's DIRECT competition in the late 70's/early 80's, the Ford Fiesta, was a better handler) simply makes me slightly incredulous that NOW, nearly 30 years later, you would feel that even NOW, the Chevette is "second only to the Corvette".

    Get a grip, turkey3. And your first hand knowledge of powerful 1/4mile-centric GM sleds doesn't mean squat when it comes to the point of this issue; ie. the HANDLING qualities of a late '70s Chevette.
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    you sir are an idiot.the chevette will outhandle any of the cars you mentioned.i have also owned many non gm cars and the handling of the chevette is superior to all,it is however deficient in the power department.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Let's drop the personal comments now before this turns into a full blown spitting contest.

    You don't need to be disagreeable to disagree.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Saying that a Chevy Chevette (a STOCK Chevette) will outhandle a Miata, MR2, Mazda3, Celica, GTI or RSX doesn't make it so.

    I've participated in SCCA sanctioned autocross off and on since 1985. Autocross events are typically low speed events which stress handling over power. When I began, there were MANY cars from the 70's still competitive (MG Spitfires, X1/9's, even Ford Fiesta's). In the 15 years (off and on) that I've been tinkering with Autocrossing, I think I've seen 2, maybe 3 Chevettes entered in competition. Of course, I've also witnessed a VW Bus as well as an Olds Delta 88 entered (purely for the hell of it I'm sure).

    Now, either you are right and the Chevette was the absolute PARAGON of handling prowess at a bargain basement price which has languished UNDISCOVERED by 10's of thousands of SCCA members over the last 30 years or..... are considering the Chevette through rose colored glasses.

    And yes, turkey3 - occasionally I can be an idiot. And attempting to discuss this rationally with you is probably one of the more idiotic things I've done lately.

    Have fun with your Chevette.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Sneakers -

    Everything's fine on my end......turkey3 DID refer to me as "sir"..... ;)

    However, if you think I'm goading turkey3 a bit too much (and I probably am), I'll tone it down a bit. :blush:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
    Having been around this track for more than a few laps, I'm somewhat familiar with the signs that the tires are about to fall off and the engine is about to explode :P

    Not looking fro the Summer of Love, just trying to keep that edge from getting too sharp!

    Carry on!
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Fair enough....

    ...Summer of Love? Hey, isn't this the 40th anniversary? :sick:
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    i'm sorry if i offended anyone,however i only mentioned the cars i've owned,not the cars i've built for other people.i have 30 years experience as a mechanic,i've also done my share of stock car as well as drag racing.all of the mentioned cars were not only street legal,they were also daily drivers.although i didn't do any autocross or rally racing,i did build a few cars for that type of racing for customers and i've had no complaints about chevette will corner at .92g's and after i modify a few things i am looking for it to corner at 1.05-1.1 g's.
  • turkey3turkey3 Member Posts: 7
    i haven't done only one type of racing and badmouth all other have obviosly not driven any chevettes.i have raced and beaten many mg's,spitfires and festivas.the problem with chevettes is not their handling ability,but their lack of power and the ability to get any speed parts for them.the only way to go is to supercharge,turbocharge or run n2o,all of which are illegal in scca racing.i can't get a better crank or rods so i'm left doing the best i can with what i've got.i still stand by all of my previous comments.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I was one of the original posters here with my parents inherited 1976 2-door that was very reliable and economical. It did drive like a go cart especially with no power steering and the handling wasn't too bad, but it was no Pontiac Feiro. I would imagine that you could fix it up to handle pretty good though.
  • mgbehrendsmgbehrends Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me what year of chevette engine I have?? The numbers on the engine block are 1FA105817. Thanks for any help.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I am sure there are books with that information but I don't have one. There should be a website out there somewhere that can convert that into a year?
  • lbrookerlbrooker Member Posts: 2
    Does any one know where I can get a 5 speed transmission for a chevette?
  • lbrookerlbrooker Member Posts: 2
    To my knowledge there should be a date code casted somewhere on the block right next to the casting numbers. This date code should tell you when the engine was built and in most cases up to 6 months later give or take from when it was installed in the car. Also, it's been a long time since I have worked on Chevette's.
    Also, a knowledgeable GM dealer should be able to pull up this information for you.
  • ls6454ls6454 Member Posts: 11
    I had a 1981 Chevette that I bought for $600.00 in 1991, it had apprx. 80000 miles at the time. It was a gray 4 door with a 4 speed trans and A/C. I drove this car 60 miles round trip to work and back for 4 years with no major repairs.I sold this car in 1995 with apprx 150,000 miles for $500.00.
    So my Chevette only depreciated $25.00 A year.
  • chevyluv1chevyluv1 Member Posts: 4
    lookin to drop a chevy six banger in my 82 any advice would be great thanks
  • chevyluv1chevyluv1 Member Posts: 4
    ok i also wanna stuff some big rims under there what kind can i use and how big can i go?
  • steveb14steveb14 Member Posts: 1
    Hey heres a pretty good site on everything you need to know to drop a 2.8 in there it's real easy and makes tons more power
  • roadracer1907roadracer1907 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know of high performance parts that could be added to a 1984 chevette? Like a super changer or even a turbo? I would like to bust the HP form 70 to well over 170. The engine can not handle nitrous, but has any one had luck with other mods?
    Or should I pull out the engine and go all electric. With the light weight of the car and the High torque of the motors that might be the way to go.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    There are V8 kits available for this car but you would have to seach on the internet for the company. A co-worker had a Chevette fixed up a little with chrome wheels and stereo, and it looked alright.
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    to troll... but the Chevette is an unsafe car that should not be allowed on the road.
    Several years ago a Chevette was rear ended by a Kia Sephia ( a small car)... not that hard... on Long Island.

    The Chevette exploded and 3 young people were burned to death.

    It should not have exploded... it was not hit that hard.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    The Ford Pinto was known for the exploding gas tank not the Chevette. Small cars like this don't have all the safety built into them like they do now. It wasn't until the late 1960's before seatbelts became standard..
  • snipsnip Member Posts: 1
    I have a kit car with a chevette engine. I believe it to be a late 70"s or early 80"s and a 2bbl carb. Probably a Holly, number 14004464, CLA 0580. Problem, it runs fine with cold and always good at higher rpms. Stalls out completely after warming up and sitting at a couple of stop lights. It restarts fairly easily and with a couple of pumps of the accelerator. It is a three speed auto tranny.

    Does this sound like the accelerator pump? or the fuel pump?or is it related to and electrical problem as it sometimes idles rough. All of the smog stuff is removed except the egr vlave.

    Any help will be more than welcome.
    By the way, It has a fairly food amount of power when mounted in a 1600 pound chasis.

  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    Sorry it was a little late in getting back to you if you see this. Our pretty much trouble free 1976 Chevette had the automatic unfortunately. The car for its size was pretty peppy but the automatic dragged it down a little. The only problems we had with the car was the single barrel carborator. Every few years the one barrel would have to be replaced. When it was going bad you had to feather the gas foot pedal to get it past its low speed stumbling problem. The carb was cheap and we just replaced it to solve the problem. I think the carborator is the main problem with these cars otherwise they seemed pretty reliable.

    Ours was the first year of production and supposedly the most problem. After inheriting it from my grandmother who lived in the desert of California, we had real good luck with the car especially in the winter in Illinois where it sat outside and always started even after sitting a week or two in sub- zero temperatures where others were having problems. The car lasted 18-years and was still running when my sister and her husband finally got rid of it because it was in pretty rough body shape and had less power.
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