1980 Malibu Wagon resurrection

Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
Thought I'd go ahead and get a build thread going....

When I was in HS I had began a project on a 1972 Nova. At the time I didn't know what the heck I was doing, it was pretty much a shell, no engine, no transmission, blah. I went off to college, and was storing the car with a family friend because coincidentally when I left for college my parents also moved very far away and sold my childhood home. I was a sophomore in college (2001) living in an apartment in Seattle when he says "Hey, come pick up your stuff". This was logistically challenging to say the least. Bottom line, I ended up with a project car/engine parts/transmission/ ect with no home or garage and pretty much no $$$ or time to do anything about it.

I can't recall exactly how it all came about but there was a dealership on lake city way and the owner guy (may he rest in peace) kinda took pity on me. Bottom line he traded me the malibu running and in fair shape for the Nova shell and let me keep most of the goodies I had planned on installing saying "this car would make an excellent hot rod".

It "bought it" as a V6, however, I found another mechanic who traded me some of the engine/parts from the Nova and for some extra $$$ he put in a 305. I got the car back with the V8 swap and it was a totally fun car. It wasn't blowing any doors off, however, was a lot of fun. It did have a few upgrades, RV cam, intake, and edelbrock 1406 carb. and Th350 trans w/shift kit. I took that wagon all over, went to several concerts at the gorge, and basically cruised all around seatown. After graduating college I moved up North and my fiance kinda didn't want the car around. I had a truck, well you know the rest....
 

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Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
My friend Jon, he always liked the car and so I asked if he wanted to buy it. I sold it to him for ~$700 in July 2005.
 
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Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
Fast forward 15yrs, my friend Jon, a thinking man, essentially dismantled the car, but along the way also did many upgrades that I had absolutely no care about when I owned the car. Such as improving the suspension. He redid the brakes. Put in larger sway bars up front and added a rear. New shocks all around, quick ratio steering box. I also helped him install headers, which involved modifying the trans cross member, and 3" full dual exhaust w/ flowmasters.

To go along with all this you'd expect to want a better engine than the 305. This motor was getting pretty tired anyway, it had unknown mileage when it went in and believe it or not my buddy and I in college more than once swapped the motor back and forth into his 20' tahiti Jet boat to cruise lake washington.

Jon ended up buying a motor off a guy and started amassing parts, upon parts, upon parts, by the end he had 2 motors complete different gaskets, couple sets of pistons, it was a little crazy.

I at the time was doing R&D for an engine reman company so was able to pretty much clean up the block and heads for him, install cam bearings, qc the crank ect.

The only problem was, he never got around to putting it together. It was a lot of good intentions.
 
Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
He ends up getting engaged to a wonderful gal, however, in the meantime was storing the car at his parents house. I'm not sure who put down the ultimatum, but it worked in my favor because he calls me an says "how'd you like the malibu back?" So of course I said yes, however I had to pick it up right then or he was going to scrap it. Overall it really felt like deja vu
 
Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
Bottom line is I'm working on getting this ole girl put back together. My new wife has a 14yr old son who is stoked on cars. We've got the motor put together and it should be a runner. My weakness is body work and I'm still trying to decide whether or not to go for full on re-spray or just assume the kid is going to destroy it. I did redo the hinge pin on the drivers door and adjust everything back so the lines almost look good again.

Will post some photos of the engine build. Got that baby dropped in this past weekend. Wont be long and I'll be back on the road ; )
 
Boglog

Boglog

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 19, 2020
38
18
WA
Took a while to get the engine all put together again but with this combo I'd be happy if I could get 300hp. Left huge endgaps on the top ring because may run n2o at some point and those KB pistons are known for binding issues.
 

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