1978 Malibu Barn Find

gearheaddrew

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Oct 29, 2019
33
18
Bay City MI
I have been lurking on the forums for a while and regretted selling my old Monte Carlo SS for many years. About 2 years ago one of friends mentioned he knew of a Malibu that had been setting in a barn at his buddies house and he said he would try to see if they guy would sell it. After 2 years of asking the day finally came where he was ready to part with it. I have been looking for a roller for about a year but have been holding out for a chance at this one.

Last winter my cousin smashed his 2011 2wd Silverado and only had PLPD on it. I agreed to buy the engine and trans and a few other trim parts and column for my DD. So I have had this powertrain for about 6-8mths now and at one point tried to sell it but nobody wants to part with any $.

The engine is:
2011 L20 4.8 VVT engine - DBW
4L60E 2wd transmission
Intact stock harness/ECM/Throttle pedal/Accessories

The car:
1978 Malibu Classic - 74k original miles
Maroon and Red vinly
Nice interior but smells of 30yrs of barn storage and mouse hotel - buckets and console shift
Engine - 305
Tran - Metric 200?
Rear axle - 7.5 with aluminum brake drums
Factory AC car - stock suspension.
FX spoilers ground effects kit? That's whats on the boxes.

The original owner got too old to drive it, gave it to her daughter who had a small fender bender, they then sold it to the gentleman I got it from. He never drove it just put it in the barn to one day fix.

Engine swap plan:
From what I have read you can use Sphon engine mounts and retain the stock truck pan and accessories. I want to keep the VVT as HPtuners allows for tuning with it. If the truck pan wont fit I have read that the CTSV pan is a good choice. I called and asked Holley if their pan is compatible with VVT and they said no.

Radiator: An aluminum one with an e-fan would be ideal. I heard dodge intrepid fans are a good fit on a stock radiator so maybe a new OEM and those fans?
Headers: So many choices, most likely long tubes, ceramic coated so they don't look terrible after 1 week Headman/Holley/etc....
ECM: Tuning with HPtuners
Engine harness: PSI conversions or send the stocker out to be modified? Thoughts?
Fuel system: Tanks Inc. tank, and LS swap plumbing, TI Automotive pump (Walbro).

Trans mounting is simple with the cross-members available today - either Trans Dapt (Headman Headers) or Holley for this one. Unless someone knows of a better option.

Rear axle: I am trying to get my hands on a 8.5 and do a LT1 rear brake conversion on it with the Flynbye brackets.

Got a set of s10 blazer front spindle and calipers from another buddy that has been saving stuff.

Suspension: will get new shocks, lowering coils, and stock replacement of worn parts for now. Would like to do a pro-touring style suspension later on.

Body: I am undecided which way to go. Its not terrible surface rust mostly, but after power washing the years of dust off i noticed the driver floor pan has some holes so a replacement panel will need to go in. I am gutting the interior anyway to try and get that mouse smell out so would be the perfect time to do it.

Interior: I plan to keep the red, going to try and get the seats re-foamed these covers are in great shape its unreal. The dash is un-cracked and all of the panels look in good shape. New seals, under-layment/sound deadening and carpet if necessary will happen. New head liner is in order as well as it just keeps dropping nasty bits of brown trash in the car.

Wheels: 17x7 Rally wheels from Vision wheels.

Besides the ground effects kit in the back of the truck there is a fiberglass cowl hood, pass fender, and that is a real Cho Cho front nose. It is ripped but he didn't want it.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2517.JPG
    IMG_2517.JPG
    412.2 KB · Views: 234
  • IMG_2518.JPG
    IMG_2518.JPG
    295.7 KB · Views: 231
  • IMG_2519.JPG
    IMG_2519.JPG
    274.1 KB · Views: 229
  • IMG_2520.JPG
    IMG_2520.JPG
    273.2 KB · Views: 193
  • IMG_2521.JPG
    IMG_2521.JPG
    325.5 KB · Views: 189
  • IMG_2523.JPG
    IMG_2523.JPG
    332.3 KB · Views: 173
  • IMG_2524.JPG
    IMG_2524.JPG
    370.1 KB · Views: 171
  • IMG_2525.JPG
    IMG_2525.JPG
    313.6 KB · Views: 165
  • IMG_2526.JPG
    IMG_2526.JPG
    285 KB · Views: 167
  • IMG_2528.JPG
    IMG_2528.JPG
    286.6 KB · Views: 174
  • IMG_2529.JPG
    IMG_2529.JPG
    276.1 KB · Views: 167
  • IMG_2530.JPG
    IMG_2530.JPG
    317.6 KB · Views: 168
  • IMG_2533.JPG
    IMG_2533.JPG
    216.8 KB · Views: 168
  • IMG_2535.JPG
    IMG_2535.JPG
    343 KB · Views: 170
  • IMG_2536.JPG
    IMG_2536.JPG
    257.3 KB · Views: 190

PBGBodyFan

G-Body Guru
Mar 3, 2009
508
93
Wisconsin
Nice project and good potential. The interior with a little work should look stellar, already a bucket seat car with parts in good shape and a crack free dash, you're way ahead of the game there. The steering wheel looks like a Cutlass wheel with different horn....is that correct or original?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Longroof79

gearheaddrew

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2019
33
18
Bay City MI
Nice project and good potential. The interior with a little work should look stellar, already a bucket seat car with parts in good shape and a crack free dash, you're way ahead of the game there. The steering wheel looks like a Cutlass wheel with different horn....is that correct or original?
That steering wheel is from a Citation or something like that the guy said. I have the original but that one looks pretty good in there.
 

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,184
113
Gainesville, Fl
Looks like a great start to a cool project. Nice interior, too. That definitely looks like a Cutlass steering wheel. I have a Citation Eurosport wheel in my car and it's identical to the Monte SS wheel, except for the color.
Welcome aboard! Keep us updated on your progress.
 
Last edited:

gearheaddrew

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2019
33
18
Bay City MI
Quick question for anyone who has used Sphon mounts:
Which transmission crossmember did you use?
Planning to use a 4L60E.
 

gearheaddrew

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Oct 29, 2019
33
18
Bay City MI
Got it gutted. Found a couple over booked mouse motels. Next is removing the seat covers and throwing away the foam. Then putting a driver side floor pan in before I start the drivetrain swap. I would like to get it smelling half way decent before I put it in the house garage for the winter to work on.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2537.JPG
    IMG_2537.JPG
    215.9 KB · Views: 88
  • IMG_2538.JPG
    IMG_2538.JPG
    361.4 KB · Views: 88
  • IMG_2539.JPG
    IMG_2539.JPG
    444.2 KB · Views: 84
  • IMG_2540.JPG
    IMG_2540.JPG
    442.6 KB · Views: 83
  • IMG_2541.JPG
    IMG_2541.JPG
    596.7 KB · Views: 85

scoti

Master Mechanic
Sep 5, 2019
439
93
Texas
I don't envy the smell LoL. I know if from when we pulled one from storage. I'd never seen so many mice turds in my life.
 

CrammerGram69

Greasemonkey
Nov 15, 2019
151
28
Michigan
Gonna be a Beast!!! Depending on location.
I would possibly be interested in the Transmission if you wanted to sell.

I have a little buick Skyhawk I am building a V6 Build on.
(Future upcoming) Finding parts atm.
 

Neill

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Supporting Member
Mar 7, 2014
114
28
Roanoke ,VA.
I have been lurking on the forums for a while and regretted selling my old Monte Carlo SS for many years. About 2 years ago one of friends mentioned he knew of a Malibu that had been setting in a barn at his buddies house and he said he would try to see if they guy would sell it. After 2 years of asking the day finally came where he was ready to part with it. I have been looking for a roller for about a year but have been holding out for a chance at this one.

Last winter my cousin smashed his 2011 2wd Silverado and only had PLPD on it. I agreed to buy the engine and trans and a few other trim parts and column for my DD. So I have had this powertrain for about 6-8mths now and at one point tried to sell it but nobody wants to part with any $.

The engine is:
2011 L20 4.8 VVT engine - DBW
4L60E 2wd transmission
Intact stock harness/ECM/Throttle pedal/Accessories

The car:
1978 Malibu Classic - 74k original miles
Maroon and Red vinly
Nice interior but smells of 30yrs of barn storage and mouse hotel - buckets and console shift
Engine - 305
Tran - Metric 200?
Rear axle - 7.5 with aluminum brake drums
Factory AC car - stock suspension.
FX spoilers ground effects kit? That's whats on the boxes.

The original owner got too old to drive it, gave it to her daughter who had a small fender bender, they then sold it to the gentleman I got it from. He never drove it just put it in the barn to one day fix.

Engine swap plan:
From what I have read you can use Sphon engine mounts and retain the stock truck pan and accessories. I want to keep the VVT as HPtuners allows for tuning with it. If the truck pan wont fit I have read that the CTSV pan is a good choice. I called and asked Holley if their pan is compatible with VVT and they said no.

Radiator: An aluminum one with an e-fan would be ideal. I heard dodge intrepid fans are a good fit on a stock radiator so maybe a new OEM and those fans?
Headers: So many choices, most likely long tubes, ceramic coated so they don't look terrible after 1 week Headman/Holley/etc....
ECM: Tuning with HPtuners
Engine harness: PSI conversions or send the stocker out to be modified? Thoughts?
Fuel system: Tanks Inc. tank, and LS swap plumbing, TI Automotive pump (Walbro).

Trans mounting is simple with the cross-members available today - either Trans Dapt (Headman Headers) or Holley for this one. Unless someone knows of a better option.

Rear axle: I am trying to get my hands on a 8.5 and do a LT1 rear brake conversion on it with the Flynbye brackets.

Got a set of s10 blazer front spindle and calipers from another buddy that has been saving stuff.

Suspension: will get new shocks, lowering coils, and stock replacement of worn parts for now. Would like to do a pro-touring style suspension later on.

Body: I am undecided which way to go. Its not terrible surface rust mostly, but after power washing the years of dust off i noticed the driver floor pan has some holes so a replacement panel will need to go in. I am gutting the interior anyway to try and get that mouse smell out so would be the perfect time to do it.

Interior: I plan to keep the red, going to try and get the seats re-foamed these covers are in great shape its unreal. The dash is un-cracked and all of the panels look in good shape. New seals, under-layment/sound deadening and carpet if necessary will happen. New head liner is in order as well as it just keeps dropping nasty bits of brown trash in the car.

Wheels: 17x7 Rally wheels from Vision wheels.

Besides the ground effects kit in the back of the truck there is a fiberglass cowl hood, pass fender, and that is a real Cho Cho front nose. It is ripped but he didn't want it.
That red interior is gorgeous. I lived in Detroit for several years and drove what they affectionally call 'whoopty rides' up there. The first thing I had to do on my new whoopty was unload the trash and vacuum it out, and I mean the smells were bad from...whatever. So before doing any thing else, just buy a small spray bottle of OZIUM from any auto parts store. After you clean and vacuum everything, including the trunk, roll the windows up and spray it inside. It atomizes and goes everywhere, I would leave the car 8-24 hours undisturbed. It always worked for me- it's amazing. It does not mask the odors, but somehow penetrates into the fibers of the interior and kills the organisms that were generating the odors. It's got to be one of the favorite products of used car lots , everywhere !
 
G-Body Performance Upgrades

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

contact[email protected]for info on becoming a sponsor