BUILD THREAD 1980 Malibu Coupe - 3.3 Liters to 6.6 Liters

ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,777
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New Mexico
I found a pair of 255-40-18s on CL. I have to pick them up on Saturday and get them mounted to see if they will fit in all four corners.
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
5,877
113
Owyhee County
The T56 was an aftermarket version ordered from Sallee Chevrolet.
My cousin worked at Sallee in the early 2000s. He built and tested their "kit" crate motors. Not sure if he was in on the development of that adapter but...maybe.
 
ssn696

ssn696

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Jul 19, 2009
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The adapter plate was not very technical, just a machined piece of 1/2" plate steel with two bolt patterns to manage tilt and non-tilt configurations for both the F-body and everything else. It was enabled, however, by a longer input shaft. I'd like to hear the back story on that, whether it was just a LS1 shaft and some clever guy decided an adapter plate would fit in there.
 
ssn696

ssn696

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Jul 19, 2009
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New Mexico
Mounted up the tires. I was surprised how much room is left between the tire, rear fender arch and frame rail. I am using 2" thick 5x4.75 to 5x120 adapters, which have the correct 14 mm studs for the Camaro wheels. It looks like a 275 would fit with no mods if a wider rim split the increased width in the backspacing. Hard to say on the fronts as I don't have the fender liners in there. I bet they'd rub at the front where the plastic filler flap hangs down. But overall, I'm happy with the results. It makes the flat profile Camaro rims look less goofy having a bit more tire past the wheel lip. You can ignore the cracked fender extensions and taillight. I have spares in the shed o'many things...just need to get started on the paint and body work. And when I put the Hotchkis upper control arms and Blazer knuckles in there, I think the camber will sort itself out.
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ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
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New Mexico
Time to put this build record back on track. TWENTY years ago, I was a college student living on a budget. My neighbor had a 1991 Caprice that he bought for the 200-4R transmission. He gave me the rest of the car if I provided him the transmission.

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It had a TBI 305 and all the accessories completely intact. I pulled out the air conditioning system, complete with gas fill, plus all the EFI fuel lines and the radiator. The car was in decent shape, just a lot of miles. I decided to keep the Landau drivetrain intact for the moment, so I started working on the 305.

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The engine was OK when I took off the oil pan.

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I replaced the oil pump all the gaskets and seals and the water pump.

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Free is free. Just have to spend money to take advantage of free...but this is the right way to repower a V6 Gbody, if you can still find complete running donor car.

Those were the good old days...
 
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DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
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113
Owyhee County
Was that gantry crane yours? I could really fall in love with one of those.
 
ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,777
113
New Mexico
More parts hoarded since 1994. While in the Navy, I read about B-car big brakes. Hotchkis made upper control arms that allowed for the 1" higher ball joint location on this conversion. I jumped in an picked up the control arms right away. They looked nice and stout. Not sure how much weight they saved, and it wasn't until later that I decided I was bothered by no bump stop to keep them off the frame at full droop.

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Using the shopping list enclosed with the arms, I started collecting parts. I found a pair of the right casting numbers on a Cadillac Coupe de Ville at the boneyard, complete with gravel shields and Hawaii dirt.

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All this got put away for a few years as I picked up a Scuba habit, because Hawaii. After parole form the Navy and my Bachelor's degree, there was this brief window of employed but no children. Time to start realizing dreams before reality intrudes. I picked up a set of Hotchkis Gbody lowering springs. I drew the line at the cost of the Hotchkis lower control alms and decided to go with the cheaper Global West version. There will be an editorial later about mixing brands.

Summit also provided Made in the USA Moog suspension and steering parts.

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Plus some bits to fix up an olds HEI that looked otherwise in good shape.

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The spindles cleaned up well, and I stripped and painted the gravel shields. Nothing like shiny new paint.

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About this time, I discovered RockAuto.com. Picking up where I left off 10 years before, one of my first purchases from them was a pair of the 1LE IROC Camaro 12" drilled and slotted brake rotors. These matched the B-body bearing sizes, but had the 5 x 4.75" F/G-body hub pattern. Quite a bit more clamping surface area than stock.

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Continuing to follow the recipe, I picked up B-body Delco calipers with severe duty police/taxi brake pads, plus the specified master cylinder.

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At this point, the car is gaining weight, not losing it, but all the brake line fittings would match the 1980 brake lines.
 
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ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
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Jul 19, 2009
3,777
113
New Mexico
The gantry crane was fabbed by a friend of mine who was taking a job on the east coast and did not want to haul it with him. I've used it a lot, and not just for heavy lifting.

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The guy that built it planned ahead and made the crossbeam telescope into the leg assemblies, drilling about four holes. It clears 10 feet at its highest setting. It requires two people to flip it up at that level.

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My single complaint is that, while it clears the deck of my car hauler, it does not clear the fenders, so I can't pull through to load or unload except with the truck. Nowadays, you can drop some coin and just buy one at Harbor Fright.

By the way, HF Come-along is marked 'Not for Lifting'. Unless you figure out how to stay out from under the load...
 
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