Corsica 2.2

A friend found a '91 Corsica with only 72K miles on it, to buy for a daily driver, can probably get it for $900, which is book value. He wanted to know about the 2.2 litre four cylinder in it, which I realized
I don't really know much about.
I tried to find a link with an overview of these engines and didn't really find anything. Are these pretty much similar the old 2.5's that they put in Citations, etc?
Timing chain or timing belt? OHC? Are these interference engines? Aluminum head, and are they prone to head or gasket failure? Any other problems to be wary of with a car like this? I presume most of these cars which have the 4 bangers were fleet cars of some sort, since practically anybody ordering one of these for themselves would opt for the mpi V6
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (James Goforth) wrote:

Nope. it's a larger displacement version of the 1.8/2.0 used in the Cavalier

Chain.
Nope, pushrod engine.

Yes.
Yes.
None other than they were some of GMs worst cars.

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Any other problems to be wary of with a car like this?
****************************
None other than they were some of GMs worst cars.
******************************************
Worst cars, with regard to what? Since they were sort of the 'economy model' they wouldn't be the best, of course -- but the main concern here is if it could reasonably be expected to get someone around town for a few years. It wouldn't be my first choice, but the low mileage is the main thing that makes it appealing.
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On Sun, 21 Jun 2009 22:31:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (James Goforth) wrote:

I have a '90 with a 2.2. Paid $2500 for it about this time in '97. Very clean. Had either 57k or 67k miles on it, and it now has 104k miles. All city driving. I took a 300 and 600 mile trip and my ass was hurting as the seats are lousy after a couple hours. They're fine for shorter trips though. Softly sprung.

Engines seems closer to the 2.0 I had in a Cavalier. But a 2.2 is a 2.2. My '90 has throttle body injection. Probably the same in the '91.

Chain and OHV. Typical pushrod. When I got mine home I read about some head gasket failures. Saw a small rust streak under the head. Not sure if that indicated the head had once leaked. But when I did the cooling system flush, coolant, hose and belt replacements I always do when I buy a used car, I added the GM cooling system tablets. That was 12 years ago. Haven't opened the rad since.

Though I bought mine from a student, I think his dad had bought it for him from a fleet. Had a fleet sticker on it. GM I think. The car was a good value for us, as we used it for years as our short commuter, and I still use it as a grocery getter and local car. Starts every time, and is pretty good on gas. Goes fast enough. Here's the other damage. 1. Needed struts when I bought it. @350 bucks. And I mean it needed struts. Tires would sometimes hit fenders 2. Ignition switch broke. About a $150 repair bill with the tow. My mechanic said it wasn't the first broken switch he had seen on the Corsicas. Bad factory part, new part fixed.. 3. Alternator. About 90 bucks. 4. O2 sensor. 20 bucks and wrench I had to cut short. 5. Torque converter lockup quit about 5 years in. I just unplugged it. BTW, when that worked I got about 34mpg highway. 6. Headliner is hanging. I live with it. 7. A/C went out about 5 years in when the condenser sprung a leak. Spent maybe $250 for a new evap, but the compressor was apparently shot and I didn't throw more money at it. I open the windows. 8. Brake line rusted out a couple years ago. Maybe 10 bucks. All in all it's been cheap to drive. Ignition switch was the only stranding. Body has surprisingly little rust, but clearcoat is peeling on one side.
I think $900 is too much to pay for a '91 Corsica now. Just too old. It's not a safe car in a collision either. Maybe if you got it for $500. It's only good for local use, IMO. IMO better to boost in $2500-4000 for a 8-10 year-old car with a 3.1 and < 100k miles. Plenty around with minor stuff wrong. That's what I do, but I can fix or get stuff fixed real cheap.
--Vic
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Vic wrote, "I think $900 is too much to pay for a '91 Corsica now. Just too old. It's not a safe car in a collision either. Maybe if you got it for $500. It's only good for local use, IMO. IMO better to boost in $2500-4000 for a 8-10 year-old car with a 3.1 and < 100k miles. Plenty around with minor stuff wrong. That's what I do, but I can fix or get stuff fixed real cheap." *************************************** As far as the price, I know what you're saying, but you could buy similar cars all day long for $500 -- but they're going to have at least twice, or even three times as many miles (rural area here). You're not going to buy something with 72k for the same price as you'd pay for something with 180k -- you'd expect to have to kick in a little more. And like you, I personally would opt for the higher-mile, cheap car because I can keep it running; but this guy is in failing health and hence doesn't have a lot of money, or ability to wrench on things. In other words, this car wouldn't be my cup of tea either, but it has low miles and hence I thought it would be one of the simpler and less expensive cars to drive and keep running, with a TBI 4 cyl and 3 speed auto. It also doesn't have any bells and whistles to go wrong -- no power windows, cruise, or tape deck (good sounding AM/FM though) -- but it drives down the highway fine, looks decent and the A/C is cold. Why is it "not a safe car in a collison?" I think I read that the '91s had a standard airbag (driver's). Also, what are the radiator tablets for? The guy wanting to buy a car is kind of looking to me for recommendations (I know, that kind of sucks) and so I am open and appreciative to any input about this. TIA
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 09:04:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (James Goforth) wrote:

I detailed what went wrong with mine. Your friend might not have those issues. Think I redid the entire exhaust once too, including cat. Maybe cat back twice. Not sure. Add @$300 to my previous. All I can say further is you take your chances. If you drove the car and all seems well, it might be worth it. Not too much to lose if you don't throw a lot of money after it. Not trying to talk you out of it if your friend can't afford more car. As to the safety, my '90 doesn't have airbags. And according to my kid GM dropped the Corsica platform because they couldn't beef up the sides to new side impact standards. That's hearsay. I don't care, but I don't think I would supply my kids with one, since I've heard that. The tablets are a GM coolant sealer solution. Don't know the details, but I think they put them in at the factory for some cars. Insurance against head gasket/manifold gasket seepage. You can get them at a dealership. @10 bucks I think.
--Vic
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