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Got the LX a week ago. Drove it back through horizontal driving rain for 170 miles. Where new SUVs & MPVs swayed precariously in the truly awful driving conditions, the Cavalier cut through it like a knife through butter. Having promised myself a slow drive home from the seller's location, I soon found myself to be the fastest vehicle on the motorway with confidence building all the time.
It has spent much of the last week sitting in the garage surrounded by 2 dehumidifiers which have been very productive though I have been out for a couple or runs yesterday and today. Gradually getting used to its good points, bad points and quirks.
Completed my first improvement job: made a new spare wheel cover (under carpet). Used original grade industrial rubber sheet and glued neoprene rather than original yellow sponge. The old cover had completely fallen to bits but I managed to arrange them like a jigsaw in order to use as a template. Very pleased with the new cover.
Couldn't reverse out of the garage yesterday morning. Offside brake drum seized on. A quick Google and I reckoned it was frozen water in cable and or drum as it was sub-zero yesterday for the first time this winter. Got a fan heater on to the wheel and 30 minutes later, problem solved. I am leaving the handbrake off now when parked in the garage. There were a couple of new brake drums thrown in with the sale so I am adding that to my list of things to do.
Managed to download a pdf for the aftermarket CD player from the Panasonic website so now I will know what button does what and set it up the way that I want.
The major source of frustration in the first week has been the sunroof. Tilt OK. Slide very stiff and only 3/4 of the way. Also the visor disappears completely into the roof lining but can be persuaded to come out again with a bit of fiddling. Also, sunroof will not close fully - snagging on the black visor that pops out from under it - unless I push the visor down with one hand. Anyway, having read comments on this site, I've been fiddling with it from time to time. First thing was to clean out the masses of grease applied by my predecessor. This also contained chunks of rust. Having de-greased the cable and channels, I applied liberal amounts of WD-40 and it now slides back and forth smoothly, retracting all the way. Still catches on the front visor most of the time. However, I think I did jump a couple of gear teeth somewhere along the way and now the roof sits low at the rear on the right hand corner when closed - so much so that it creates a lot of wind noise and will definitely let in water. So, need to work out how to get that straight again.
Other than that, there are lots of bits of bodywork to do when the weather gets a bit warmer and a few bits of trim missing here and there.
Engine pulling well. The previous owner said it had done 138,000 miles (shows 38K on clock). However, I've got all the bits of documentation together and it is possible, but not certain, that it has done 238,000 miles. I don't mind either way because it runs so well. Only used about 1/4 pint of oil on that tough 170 mile high-speed run last Saturday night.