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Chevrolet Citation Questions by apehead
Started on: 03-17-2022 07:15 PM
Replies: 3 (165 views)
Last post by: weaselbeak on 03-30-2022 01:29 AM
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Report this Post03-17-2022 07:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for apeheadSend a Private Message to apeheadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I've come across a very clean, relatively low milage (52k) 1980 Citation for sale near me. Not being familiar with the model, I've discovered they are widely regarded as one of the worst cars GM ever made. The upside is that it has the first gen 60* v6 and a TH125, a curb weight of 2450lbs, and the most important aspect for me, it is repairable by a shadetree mechanic, and has no electronics in it (EMP proof).

Having said that, the car has known issues involving torque steer, and the rear drum brakes failing/locking up.

It is affordable enough to be worth it to me to buy it and invest pretty serious money into it, let's say $3k in addition to the purchase price of $1.5k.

It is the X platform, which as far as I can tell is body on frame. It is also related to the later A platform and the Fiero's P platform.

I've been mulling some modernization while retaining the ability to drive without computer chips:

Upgrade braking system to 4 wheel disc, larger booster, alloy rims and lower profile tires

Reduce torque steer (how?)

somewhere between 180-200 RWHP

My questions are as follows:

Would the 3900 LX9 block drop in? I'd like to obtain a complete engine, lock the VVT at +10* advance, and drop it in stock, removing the upper intake manifold and replacing with a fabbed 4bbl dual plenum.

What options do I have to strengthen the TH125? I was considering installing a 4T60 with manual lock up, and maybe using the crank hall sensor or some other RPM signal as an automatic TCC defeat. As far as I can tell, this circuit can be designed without semiconductor components. Is this a direct drop in physically?

What options might I have to use performance-oriented suspension components from later derivative platform vehicles? Macpherson struts, coil-over suspension, etc.

Thank you for your time,

- Jack

[This message has been edited by apehead (edited 03-17-2022).]

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Report this Post03-19-2022 09:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I believe it's unibody, as opposed to BOF. Like the Fiero, it utilizes a removable engine cradle / subframe.
There was a performance version, called the X11. You might be able to find springs and sway bars for one of those.
The 3900 (LZ9/LGD) block is essentially the same as the 2.8, so it should pretty much bolt in, unless they have redesigned the motor mount bosses. It makes 240 HP at the crank, so that should pretty much meet your goals. Also consider the 3.5 (LZ4/LZE) engine. It gives up 20 HP for ~220 at the crank.
I have also heard rumors that the cam in the Equinox 3400 (3500?) V6 has the same bearing journal size as the VVT cam, and will drop right in. I have never verified this, however. I have also heard that, without all the VVT hardware and its associated front cover, the timing cover from a "regular" V6 will bolt right on with very little drama.

The deal with the rear brakes is that they couldn't design a parking brake that would work as required. In order to make the parking brake work better, they just made the rear brakes "grab" better.
Unfortunately, it screwed up the bias of the regular service brakes.

Hope that helps some.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 03-19-2022).]

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Report this Post03-26-2022 10:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FormulaGTClick Here to Email FormulaGTSend a Private Message to FormulaGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My parents had 2 Citations back in early to late '80's. 1 was an '80 4 cylinder and the other was an '81 6 cylinder. I took my driver's test in the '80. Between the 2 I preferred the '81 but other than that I don't remember much to rave about them. They served a transportation purpose and I do recall the '80 needing more work than the '81 as far as repairs. If you like them have fun with it! I do actually kinda like the X11 model though. My friends mom had one and it was a manual trans.
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Report this Post03-30-2022 01:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for weaselbeakClick Here to Email weaselbeakSend a Private Message to weaselbeakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
No, they were not bad cars. They weren't exciting or anything, most people just drove them with minimal care until they wore out. Standard economy car scenario suffered by many models from all manufacturers. See a Fairmont or K car lately?
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