Vega World tech page
The informtion you see on this page is from maintenace manuls for the stock Chevrolet Vega. This information does not apply to any modified Vega
Some info you might need
|Curb weight||2,190 lb.|
|Maximum length||169.8 in.||172.2 in.||175.4 in.|
|Maximum height||51.2 in.||51.9||51.9|
|Wheel base||97.0 in.||97.0 in.||97.0in.|
|Track, Front||54.6 in.||55.2 in.||55.2 in.|
|Window Area sedan||3,635 sq in.|
|Fuel capacity||11 U.S gal||11 U.S. gal||11 U.S. gal|
|Air conditioning compressor||Frigidare||Frigidare||Frigidare|
|Engine model type||L-4/ohc, 4cyl||L-4/ohc, 4cyl||L-4/ohc, 4cyl|
|Displacement||140 cu. in.(2300cc)||140 cu. in.(2300cc)||140 cu. in.(2300cc)|
|Bore||3.5 in.||3.5 in.||3.5 in.|
|Compression ratio||8.50 : 1||8.50 : 1||8.50 : 1|
|single barrel/rochester 25mv||single barrel/rochester 25mv||single barrel/rochester 25mv|
|double barrel/rochester 25gv||double barrel/rochester 25gv||double barrel/rochester 25gv|
|Transmission||3- or 4- speed standard||3- or 4- speed standard||3- or 4- speed standard|
|Turbo drive(semi automatic)||Turbo drive(fully automatic)||Turbo drive(fully automatic)|
|Powerglide(fully automatic)||Powerglide(fully automatic)||Powerglide(fully automatic)|
|Brakes||Disc(front) Drum(rear)||Disc(front) Drum(rear)||Disc(front) Drum(rear)|
|Tires||6.00 x 13,a70-13 or a78-13||6.00 x 13,a70-13 or a78-13||6.00 x 13,a70-13 or a78-13|
|Maximum length||175.4 in.||175.4 in|
|Maximum height||51.8 in.||51.8 in.|
|Maximum width||65.4 in.||65.4 in.|
|Track, front||55.2 in.||55.2 in|
|Track, rear||54.1 in.||53.6 in.|
|Fuel capacity||16 U.S. Gal||16 U.S. Gal|
|Air conditioning compressor||Frigidair||Frigidair|
|Engine model/type||L-4/ohc, 4cyl||L-4/ohc, 4cyl|
|3.5 in.||3.5 in|
|3.625 in.||3.625 in.|
|Transmission||3- or 4- speed std |
|3- or 4- speed std |
Chevrolet Vega is introduced. Body styles are notchback sedan, hatchback
coupe, and kammback station wagon. The front end has single headlights,
round parking lamps, egg-crate grille, and a wraparound bumper. The rear is
concave with two lamps on each side. The nameplate reads "Chevrolet Vega
2300." The sedans and wagons get front manual discs. Also standard are a
three-speed manual transmission with floor shifter and 6.00x13 tires. The
standard engine is a 140ci (2.3l) 1bbl inline four, OHC, 3.501" x 3.625"
bore and stroke, 8:1 compression ratio, producing 90hp @ 4700 RPM. An
optional 2bbl carb gives the engine 110hp. Horsepower figures are pre-SAE.
Options: four-speed manual transmission, automatic transmission, power
steering, A/C, and Vega GT package for the coupe.
Vega's grille changed slightly. There is a new emblem on side of cowl. Tires
are now A78x13. No substantial engine changes were made.
The Vega gets a new front bumper. The emblem reads "Vega by Chevrolet." A
four-speed manual transmission is now standard. Under the new SAE system,
the 1bbl engine is 72hp @ 4400 RPM, and the 2bbl is 85hp @ 4400 RPM. The new
bumper makes the car 3" longer (173" total). New options: Estate Wagon,
custom interior, and a GT package for wagon.
The Vega gets a new slanted nose with a horizontally slotted grille. The
bumpers were made larger and have rubber guards, lengthing the car another
3" to 176" total. The taillamps are a single-unit style. New option: vinyl
Vega gets a catalytic convertor and improvements to the engine and front
suspension. The 1bbl 2300 engine makes 78hp @ 4200RPM; the 2bbl makes 87 @
4400 RPM. New options: power brakes, tilt steering, and a luggage rack. LX
model gets 2bbl engine.
The Cosworth Vega is introduced. See "special or rare H-bodies."
The 7.5" rear is a new option (6.5" standard).
The 2300 engine gets new hydraulic valve lifters and other engine
improvements. The Monza's torque arm rear suspension replaces the old
four-link rear suspension. The Vega's grille is changed so that the parking
lights are hidden behind the grille slats which run from headlight to
headlight. The taillights were changed to have three sections on each side
top-to-bottom. The rear drum brakes are larger (9.5" x 2").
Standard equipment: 1bbl 2300 engine (70 hp), 13x5 steel wheels with A78x13
blackwall tires, three speed manual transmission, electric fuel pump,
heater/defroster, and front bucket seats.
Options: Five-speed manual transmission, automatic transmission, GT package,
Freedom battery, Cabriolet appearance option.
This is the final year for the Cosworth Vega.
The four-speed manual transmission and 2bbl engine are standard with the
five-speed manual or three-speed automatic optional. Slight changes are made
to emissions equipment. This is the final year for the Vega
Some interesting Vega History
The block was high-silicon content aluminum, with the bores acid-etched to remove the aluminum, giving a mostly silicon bore. The pistons were either iron or tin plated depending on what reference you use; Chevy probably experimented a bit.
The engine only lasted a few years, with a horrible service record.
Chevrolet finally went to iron liners and conventional pistons, and
replaced the oddball taper-screw valve adjusters with hydraulic
followers. Chevy claimed the service problems (scored cylinders, scored
walls) were mostly due to improper maintenance; ie Americans typically
don't *ever* change oil. Most American cars probably hit the junkyard
with the same oil they left the factory with. There's nothing wrong
with the basic materials and manufacturing process - Porsche and
Mercedes, among others, do the exact same thing nowadays.
The block itself was designed in partnership with Lotus, who wanted to
use it as the basis for a cheap racing engine. To the best of my
knowledge Lotus never used the Vega block or anything similar. The
high tech aluminum block had cast iron main caps (really!), a cast iron
crank (normal), and an enormous cast iron cylinder head that weighed
almost as much as the whole short block. Why? Baud alone knows why.
The tall, topheavy, long-stroke Vega motor had some pretty bad vibration
problems, "cured" with huge rubber motor mounts. If you opened the
hood when the engine was idling, it would be rocking and bouncing
around like it was trying to escape. Damnedest thing I ever saw.
Performance-wise, it was about the same as Ford's 2.3 Lima engine.
Chevrolet made the 2300 Vega in one barrel and two barrel versions, and
then the destroked 2000cc Cosworth Vega, double overhead cams, four
valves per cylinder, five speed, fuel injection. They were expensive
and not much faster than the standard Vegas (300cc short, plug smog),
and Chevy only sold a few. There's moderate collector interest, though
prices are still pretty low and don't show any sign of going up soon.
The Vega engine itself was a bastard project. John Z DeLorean (you've
heard of him?) brought it with him from Pontiac to Chevrolet. The
design was only half-finished when handed over to a new group of
engineers who evidently suffered from the "not invented here" syndrome.
DeLorean ordained the new four would do into Chevy's new small car, the
Vega. The Vega was originally to use an Opel engine until the GM Rotary
Engine (Wankel) came online. The Vega body itself had problems -
according to DeLorean himself ("On a Clear Day You Can See General
Motors") the chassis of one of the prototypes collapsed on the proving
grounds. Whoops. Back to the CAD stations...
The Vega limped along on the aluminum block, iron head, OHC four for
several years, then got the Buick 231 V6. The OHC four got iron
sleeves, then was replaced by the 2.5 "Pontiac" OHV four, which was
actually a resurrected version of the old Chevy II four cylinder of the
'60s. The Vega became the Monza, which got the 262, 305, and (for '75
only, California only, automatic trans only) the 350 V8. The GM Rotary
Engine's delivery date kept slipping, first due to reliability problems,
then due to fuel economy problems, and finally GM couldn't make it pass
the smog tests. In 1978 the prototype plant was turned over to GM's
Delco division, which converted the plant to make power seat mechanisms.