My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

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My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:31 pm

As some of you may know, I really needed another car to abuse on a daily basis. This will save my Beretta from wear and tear and the winter wonderland that should be coming up in a few months. Plus the Beretta keeps scorning me and I at least need a back-up so I'm not stranded and car-less every few weeks.
A.K.A the Beretta killed itself again when I stopped to get gas on my way to work. It didn't start because the clutch neutral safety switch module went bad and I ended up walking a half mile to get to work in dress shoes. I finally put a new module in and now good as new!

So, for my cold winter daily, I picked up a convertible! The choice was obvious to get a convertible for winter polar vortexes, no doubt about that. It's a one-owner automatic 1998 Cavalier Z24 vert with only 77,000 miles. The body is in solid shape. The known rust problem areas on the j-bodys (the rear quarter panel near the wheel well) is non-existent. For a rust belt car, I was like score! I also paid just $1100 for it, because there are reasons since no car that's 16 yrs old is ever perfect.

The top is a hot mess and in need of an entirely new covering and seals. I expect to drop a good chunk of change on that in next month. It idles and runs really good. I am going to say it, I love the LD9! I've always like those engines but now I officially have one. The engine obviously produces ballparking 150 hp/150 tq which in itself is a 25% bump in hp/20% tq to what I'm used to with the LN2. Unfortunately, it does get worse. This car I bought has an issue that can bring stoic grown men to their knees. A condition that a sensible person would have "passed" and moved on to another car. A condition known as a bad water pump. For the uninitiated, the water pump is connected to the timing chain. It requires a whole ton of disassembly to reach it and even then, there is practically no space to maneuver so removing some engine mounts would make your life easier. A shop would probably charge 700-1000 bucks to fix it because I thing book labor alone pegs it at a 6-7 hour job +parts and such. Most people change the tensioner and chain while everything's apart so yeah.

Now for some pics:

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The troubled top:

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As for my Beretta: I did get a new moog control arm for the passenger side with the FE3 bushings. Seeing how a ball joint and upright bushing went bad, It's easier just to replace the whole thing at once.
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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Money pit Beretta » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:08 pm

That is one of the things I hate about Quads. That ticking time bomb that is the water pump and all that goes into changing it.
Tell me how you like that control arm, I could use at least one if not both.

Good looking Cavy there man!


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:18 pm

^^Thanks!! MOOG products are like the pinnacle on quality in my book and you truly get what you pay for. I haven't installed the control arm yet as I'm trying to get the Cavi all sorted out before I put my car out of action to address much needed repairs and storage but the control arm in itself is extremely well put together.

Now, sorting out my Cavi, I bought a whole plethora of parts!
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to include a new timing chain+tensioner, water pump, gaskets, rear rubber brake hoses, and a complete rear drum brake kit to include shoes, cylinders, and drums.

BUT, before the magic happens, I need to patch up sections of the rear brake hard lines to hold me over until I get all new hardlines installed on a TBD date.

Look at it disintegrate before your very eyes!
Passenger side:
see that little puddle of DOT 3
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It's wayyyy worse on the left side:

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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby 1988GTU » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:18 am

Brings back PTSD for brakes of many MI vehicles I've had.


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Money pit Beretta » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:41 am

Damn that is worse than my rears on the Beretta. Mine keep me up at night. That and what looked like tea(with chunks) coming out of the ABS bleeders.

I'm looking at the Delco and Moog arms right now. Going to check for sure, but I think the Delco are FE1 bushings. Not sure if I want that or not.

Man, you need some new shocks too. Rock Auto is making a ton off of us. Just got in the last of two orders!


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby themixer » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:33 am

You should be able to get a factory line set at the dealership



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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:57 pm

Damn that is worse than my rears on the Beretta. Mine keep me up at night. That and what looked like tea(with chunks) coming out of the ABS bleeders.

I'm looking at the Delco and Moog arms right now. Going to check for sure, but I think the Delco are FE1 bushings. Not sure if I want that or not.

Man, you need some new shocks too. Rock Auto is making a ton off of us. Just got in the last of two orders!


hahaha, So true on the Rock Auto part! The struts still have some life in them, they still have a firm rebound when I push the car up and down, so that rust is just superficial. I'm just trying to do the bare minimum to get this puppy going.

You should be able to get a factory line set at the dealership


There's always the chance I could, I'd just be surprised if they had them. There's really no money to be had to stock and sell complete hard brake lines for a specific car when anyone, any shop, anywhere, can just buy a roll of that stuff and make it themselves. Cut, shape, put fittings, and flare...just a PITA lol.



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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Cliff8928 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:25 pm

That's how I replaced them on my GT. The dealer had to order the whole bundle from Vintage Parts, but it was so worth it. Just drop in and go. It included both brake lines, fuel supply, return and evap.


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:18 pm

That's how I replaced them on my GT. The dealer had to order the whole bundle from Vintage Parts, but it was so worth it. Just drop in and go. It included both brake lines, fuel supply, return and evap.


Well, I guess I'll just look into that...I won't lose anything by trying. It sure as hell would make like a lot easier to just plug and play every hard line at once!


So my temporary bandaid on the hard lines has started. I just bought a hard line from Advanced Auto and bent it to fit. Took care of the passenger side for the most part.
Pics of it test fitted, still got to go back and replace that brake hose and tighten everything down.

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The driver side's plan of attack is going to be a little more trickier as it's all one piece. I'm going to turn that into two pieces just so I have a removable section for that notorious trouble spot versus replacing the entire line.



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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Money pit Beretta » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:06 pm

Damn those Cavy fuel lines! Had to cut the filter off the GF's car. Freaken filter had too short of a pipe to get a quick disconnect on.

The minimum is all I seem to do, little here and a little there(on three cars).

Now I really hope you like those control arms! I just orders some and some Wagner Thermo Quiet pads for a friend here. Spent a ton of time looking at the Moog and Delco. Both had FE3 bushings, but the Moog had what looked to be better ball joints. The Delco looked to have their 10 buck ball joints. Guess putting their 40 buck ones on the arms was asking too much. By the way, the top of the line Delcos are made in the USA.


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:36 pm

Damn those Cavy fuel lines! Had to cut the filter off the GF's car. Freaken filter had too short of a pipe to get a quick disconnect on.

The minimum is all I seem to do, little here and a little there(on three cars).

Now I really hope you like those control arms! I just orders some and some Wagner Thermo Quiet pads for a friend here. Spent a ton of time looking at the Moog and Delco. Both had FE3 bushings, but the Moog had what looked to be better ball joints. The Delco looked to have their 10 buck ball joints. Guess putting their 40 buck ones on the arms was asking too much. By the way, the top of the line Delcos are made in the USA.


At this rate, you'll probably end up installing yours before I get to mine lol!

Operation Brake Line is done and the Cavi is pretty much all gravy on that front. All that's left is to adjust that driver side so it's not so damn close to the exhaust. Here are the final pics:

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Looks alot better than before:
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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Money pit Beretta » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Kind of funky on the route.....not to say I would do better. Never done it and need the tools to do it. Sure need to do it though!
Well not too sure on beating you to an arm install. Way too much to do and the parts are stacking up. Now the rain is starting, the cold is coming and then snow.
LOL it's the same for you now. Guess we are getting close to the end of work season.
Oh, don't forget to bleed the ABS too. Oh wow man(bit off topic) I did mine the other day and it looked like tea.


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:28 am

The other day, I was all geared up and ready to swap out that water pump. I opened up the hood and literally stared at the engine bay for a good 5 minutes, contemplating why god hates cavalier owners. I mentally started running through all the steps I would need to do before I got to the water pump removal and just started shaking my head in disbelief. That moment, I closed the hood, said that it would be less traumatic for me and less scarring to my well being to take it to my local mechanic shop to do it.

I just picked her up today at the extremely reasonable cost of $500 to get her back on the street.

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Now all that's left is to reskin on a new top!



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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Money pit Beretta » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:24 pm

Man that is dirt cheap! I sure don't blame you, made me crazy just reading the manual on how it is done. No way that would go well for me.
Knowing what that red VW is makes me feel old. Lets just say my aunt had one when I was young. No it was not new, but still.


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Re: My Beretta's sacrificial lamb/ '98 Cavi Z24 Convert

Postby Amateur » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:51 pm

^I was drooling over that karmann ghia! Those cars are beautiful to look at IMO




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