10th Apr 2012, 18:55
I recently tested my 03 Sunfire at the track, and with a 4 cylinder 2.2 Ecotech, I was able to hit 5.798 sec for my 0-60.
All I've done is change struts and springs for lighter weight performance, ram air intake custom, iridium plugs, synthetic oil, performance air, oil filter, strip unnecessary garbage out of the entire car, i.e. extra plastic covers, spare tire (actually everything out of trunk), Pirelli tires, and cleaned all fluid systems.
Oh, and I keep all fluids at just above minimum. Washer fluid only has 1/4-1/2 gal at a time. And I weigh 196 lbs with 13% fat.
Dyno tested out twice, once with premium fuel at 163 hp, and one with 110 octane at 175 hp. It was also much colder in the evening when I ran the higher octane fuel.
Thinking of taking out the cat and possibly running leaded fuel. But looking into turbo after cleaning out the head next week. A supercharger is a little out of my price range, and seems a waste on a grocery getter.
12th Sep 2014, 00:15
The 03-05 Sunfire weighs about (a little more, sometimes a little less) the same as a 1994-2001 Integra LS/SE, matched weight whether auto/manual, and they have the same horsepower at 140 HP, and roughly the same gearing even at 3.92. Exclude the 170 HP GSR and 195 HP Type R. The Integra LS or SE 0-60 ranges from 7.3 to 8.4.
The 2003-05 Sunfire has tons of tuning potential. The 2.2 140 HP Eco is one of the best 4 cylinders ever produced. They can be race cammed, and installed with 12.5 comp pistons on pump high octane gas, and see 230-270 BHP. Or turbocharged with a stock engine to see 300 HP daily use, or built to see 1600 HP. The 2.2 Eco is a legend.
As far as a kid budget racer goes. Get a lower mileage 2005 Sunfire. Gut the interior; HV/AC, carpets, seats, door panels... everything. Leave only the driver's seat. The car weighs 23xxlbs now. Get 2 inch drop quality lowering springs. Get quality performance struts. Install. Get an alignment.
Buy a high flow header. Install a straight pipe 2 1/4 from the header back. Install a cold air intake. MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS PERFECTLY RUNNING AND SOUND. Buy some nice mild street cams. Before installing, send off your ECU to any Eco tuner, tell them you have headers, straight pipe, street cams, CAI. They'll tune for you, and even raise your redline/fuel cut to 7400 RPM; you might need retainers.
Install drop in street cams, and see if the springs/retainers/guides need replacement. Install the ECU. Drive subtle for the first couple of days.
Congrats, you now have a 200 HP, 180 lb/ft torque, 23xxlb Sunfire which will run a mid 13 seconds 1/4 on street tires... don't die.
Am I lying??? Hmmm... take a 2400lb Civic. Add a stock 200 HP K20A2. Go run mid 13's on street tires. "BUT THEY REV TO 8000RPM. THEY'RE FASTER CAUSE JDM MAGIC"... I know the 8000+ RPM hampers 1/4 performance in some aspects. Makes it harder to launch and requires Honda to use 4.7-4.9 gear ratios to launch off the line. The Honda S2000 sucks at the 1/4 for this reason. This is reason why you see a lot of 2JZ swaps in S2000 when doing the 1/4.
Cool Beans Kids
20th Sep 2014, 06:36
I just bought a 2005 Sunfire with the auto trans. It only has 71,000 miles and it runs, handles, and looks great. It will cook the tires from a dead stop, and I definitely believe it runs less than 9 seconds 0 to 60.
My other car is a 2005 Dodge Magnum Hemi. It runs mid 5 second 0 to 60 times. I have owned several vehicles that I timed 0 to 60, and by seat of the pants this car feels to be in the 8 second range.
Also, I did find the Motor Week magazine road test of a 2003 Cavalier with the 2.2 Ecotech and 5 speed manual. Motor Week got a 7.9 second 0 to 60 time, so all you doubters look it up.
1st Oct 2014, 04:35
I own a stock 2005 Sunfire with auto trans, and I posted the previous comment. I believe it is quite possible the 2.2 Ecotec is underrated at 140 horsepower.
Tonight I raced a 2014 Chrysler 200, which has a 283 HP V6 and weighs 3950 pounds. This equates to 13.96 HP pounds per HP. My Sunfire has 140 HP and weighs 2600 pounds. This equates to 18.57 pounds per HP.
The Chrysler and I took off from 70 mph, and I was 2 car lengths ahead when I shut down at 100 mph. Some of my performance may be from favorable gear and axle ratios, but as the owner of several high performance cars, I can tell you it feels like this little motor puts out more than 140 HP. This is my daily driver, and I don't think it is a "race car", but I don't buy any vehicle that can't "get up and go".
I have also owned a 1996 Grand Am with the 2.4 twin can, and I also agree the 2.2 Ecotec is more powerful.
2nd Oct 2014, 16:08
With all due respect, as the former owner of a Pontiac Sunfire (slow & dreadful as it was) I would suggest the possibility that the driver of the Chrysler 200 was unaware that he/she was in a race. A good rival for a Sunfire would be a Schwinn, not a Chrysler 200.
4th Oct 2014, 03:25
With all due respect, you were not there. The Chrysler driver was clearly annoyed, as he kept his foot into it after I let up at 100.
The Sunfire has a 3.63 rear axle ratio, and I am fairly sure the Chrysler has a 3.0 or lower. If both cars were ungoverned, the Chrysler would walk away from my car soon after 100 mph.
4th Oct 2014, 19:30
With all due respect, it is dangerous and foolhardy to race on public streets. Please drive to the nearest police station and ask them to shred your driver's license. You are endangering innocent lives by street racing.
12th Dec 2014, 04:40
I'm the original poster. The Sunfire died last year at 241,000 miles - leaking coolant from the gasket. The paint faded so bad it was embarrassing to drive --- but it was a good car while it lasted. I own a 2014 Civic now - nice, and getting 40+ MPG consistently.
I'm absolutely amazed at all the comments this thread has gotten. Yes, as a kid I was a dumb ass and was stupid - since getting married and slowing down, I've wised up a lot and shake my head at my younger self (as many of you did rightfully so).
Felt compelled to comment... the 2004 Pontiac Sunfire manual transmission was a 140hp 2.2L Ecotec engine. Not sure where the 115hp came from. My sister had a 2005 (?) automatic Sunfire and it was considerably slower - about the speed of my Civic (high 8s or 9s). The manual transmission Sunfire at sea level (we're talking California) was under 8 seconds easy. Now if you live in Colorado or somewhere else in the USA, that can all change.
The Sunfire was my first car - I babied that thing, waxed it a ton, put synthetic oil in it, and washed it every week. The paint still faded half way through its life, and at 200,000 miles it fell apart - A/C died, doors stopped opening, vents stopped blowing air, etc... I still look back at it with a smile - driving that 5 speed manual transmission was a blast - I miss it. Driving a CVT Civic now just puts me to sleep :(.
Wish you all safe travels.
9th Jan 2015, 20:03
Well I'm sorry to say that my 03 Sunfire is quite fast compared to all the others in my class, and cars that should beat me easily. Haven't lost yet. I think they just get a surprise when they think oh it's only a Sunfire. LMAO.