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229 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the beginning of the official series summarizing the life of my Cruzen 2.0, a 2014 Cruze powered by a 2.0T LHU mated to a f40 6spd manual trans. If you haven't seen the original thread, the reason for the name was that I nicknamed my first Cruze (a 2012 ECO) Cruzen, so this was the second Cruzen and it has a 2 Liter. As for why I started with the Cruze that I used, my ECO was worth too much to modify ($7k) and the one I used was about $1500 delivered and supposedly had a clean Michigan title and I saw an oil change sticker for 28k miles dated end of 2016.

The two cars used:
2014 Buick Verano Premium, 2.0T, 6MT, 17k miles, salvage- runs/drives, $3k (Purchased 5/18/18)
2014 Chevy Cruze LT, 1.4T, 6AT, 28k miles??, STRIPPED- interior and glass intact, $700 +fees +transport (Purchased 6/7/18)

The Buick arrived at my house at approximately 9am on 5/30/18, I spent most of that day stripping the front end of the car to find out what parts were damaged and needed replacement. The main parts for the buick were the radiator, the ac condenser, an intake fitting, and not much else that I knew of at the time without having a Cruze to check against. The only remaining thing I knew I would need was a set of wheels and tires.

I will spare you the tire saga and just say the ones that came on the Buick were trash, I got the wrong set of wheels the first time, this error eventually saved me $100, and I eventually realized I got the wrong tires as well and those are still on the car.

The following are pictures from the first day of having the Buick.
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Once the thing had useable wheels and tires it made a few trips around my neighborhood and then across the street to have the ac evacuated properly instead of just cracking open the lines. These wheels required a pair of 3mm spacers on the front to add a bit of clearance to the brake caliper, and they are the same wheels and tires that are on Cruzen2.0 now. I'm planning on getting the correct size winter tires for these wheels and then a set of the biggest tires I can fit on a set of aftermarket 18x8 wheels for the summer.
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Then came the beginning of the end for this car, stripping the interior in preparation for its eventual gutting.
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No wheels, no front bumper, no rear bumper, no headlights, no taillights, no hood, no decklid, no engine, no trans, no radiator, no ac condenser, and a few other miscellaneous bits missing. As for the damage; crushed rocker panels, dented fender, broken mirror, flooded trunk, and looked as though someone had attempted to break into the car. The white wheels on the Cruze in the below picture were the winters from my ECO, just to make life easier.
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First step was to get the cradle and drivetrain out of the Buick

229 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Then rip the dash out to get to the pedal box and the body harness firewall passthrough (dash stayed out for a long time while the car was rewired). 3 pedals are a must!
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Then all the exhaust, heatshilds, fuel lines, rear brake residual pressure valves/blanks, fuel tank, rear suspension, and shifter cables got transferred over to the Cruze. Exhaust tips were changed twice from original, and may yet be changed again...
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And after a bit of trimming and fishing the engine side of the harness through the firewall, the engine could go in!
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First round of exterior parts purchased.

Cruze Cluster vs Cruze cluster body with buick guts.

Quote from 6/12/18:
"Spent most of the time working on it today modifying the wire harnesses to make up for the "small" diffrences between the cars. Mostly that involved relocating some of the connections behind the dash and figuring out how to make the lights actually plug in to the verano harness. There are quite a few "minor" differences between the "sister" cars, mostly where and how things are wired, hooked up, attached, mounted, or shaped.

TLDR; Cars not identical, problems ensue, fix problem, scream, fix next problem, car should drive by end of week. (fingers crossed)"

6/14/18 saw another pile of parts acquired as well as some excitement.
Quote from 6/14/18:
"IT'S ALIVE !!!!

D*mn near every possible warning light and error message is on right now, and the exhaust isn't connected, but all these things shall be taken care of in time."


Moved under its own power, still needs driver headlight and rear lights wired, and the brakes need re-bleeding, and then theres the problem of at least 2 broken fittings for the vacuum lines to the power brakes.... But Movement!"

Quote from 6/16/18:
As of right now all four doors on the cruze have modified verano harnesses and the following is the status of their functionality.
Drivers window goes up and down properly
Rear driver window goes up and down but backwards
Neither passenger windows work
Only rear door speakers work
Have yet to test power mirrors
Need to take lock and latch from verano driver door and install in cruze so I have a key to it, this has been done to the other 3 doors already

Other things
Need to wire up driver headlight
Need to wire rear lights +camera
Bleed brakes again
Mount rear deck speakers
Finish reassembly of interior
Change park brake cables
And the rest is just cosmetic and reassembling the front end"
-Electrical gremlin was partly caused by a missed ground.

And on the 16th, that marked the end of the major parts of the swap and also NINE DAYS from when I had the shell sitting next to the Buick. The red upper radiator support was bent and later replaced.
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Many complaints were made about the subtle differences between the cars as the project progressed

Quote from 6/22/18:
"Park brake cables are in and working
the rear lights and decklid wiring is finalized
repaired brake booster vacuum line fitting
installed T for boost gague if/when I get that far
married the buick shifter and boot to the cruze boot trim and bezel
bled rear brakes AGAIN
replaced busted battery tray from buick with a good one from the junkyard
fixed some of the wire routing
started looking at how to install/rewire cruze start button"

More complaining about differences

229 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Front end on, hood (came off my ECO) painting, exhaust heat shield brackets, and start button installed (note dented fender)
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Down the street, first wide shots with the front fully together. Last pic is after it got back in the garage.
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Then the proof of life vid (accidentally deleted original recently and just re-uploaded it)

The fitting of the Buick radio controls into the cruze dash, and the badging
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Wiring up wipers for multiple speeds
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