1980 Malibu

80Chevyboo

n00b
Dec 1, 2021
3
3
I recently bought a 1980 Malibu off a buddy. I just started ordering parts, starting with a UMI Stage 2 handling package, quick performance rear end, and wilwood brakes to get started for this year. Engine and transmission will be upgraded in the future, but it's currently running and driving with a 350 and turbo 350. I also plan on skinning the passenger door and fixing the RR quarter panel. I need to get some pictures before I really tear into it. I am still not completely decided on engine trans combo, but leaning towards a 383 and 700r4. Also considering the LS route, but I need to do a bunch more reading. Looking forward to learning through the forums!
 

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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
4,825
113
Upstate NY
Engine trans combo is all about money and/or personal preference IMO.

The LS swap is plenty.

And there would be nothing wrong , again IMO, to throw on a set of Profilers, headers and cam at the 350 and leave the TH350. The only part of your one possible plan I'd avoid is the 700R4. Use a 200-4R, leave the TH350 or put a 4l80 in with the LS if you go the LS swap route.

Money, money, money - smh.
 
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80Chevyboo

n00b
Thread starter
Dec 1, 2021
3
3
Engine trans combo is all about money and/or personal preference IMO.

The LS swap is plenty.

And there would be nothing wrong , again IMO, to throw on a set of Profilers, headers and cam at the 350 and leave the TH350. The only part of your one possible plan I'd avoid is the 700R4. Use a 200-4R, leave the TH350 or put a 4l80 in with the LS if you go the LS swap route.

Money, money, money - smh.
If I go the LS route the 4l80 is the plan. I've looked into some 700r4s from bowtie overdrives and a few other places. Curious if anyone has experience with one of these rebuilt ones that are "supposed" to handle 450-600 horse. I definitely want overdrive is the reason for looking into those over the th350 or th400. I have a good set of heads I could use that came off my race car that I thought about using, but not sure if I would be better off just going to aluminum route. (World products sportsman 2, ported and polished). Ultimate goal is hopefully no lower than 425 hp.
 

64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
4,825
113
Upstate NY
Why do you ant a 700 over a 200. I'd go with Bowtie Overdrive's 2004R Stage 3 for the same price of the stage 3 700. Reason's being, same dimensionally as the TH350, 1st gear isn't a 4wd granny ratio. But that's me lol.

For that goal it's very hard to beat an LS in everything except $$$$

Good luck - Jim
 
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Ernest

Master Mechanic
Apr 28, 2016
282
63
Texas
Nothing wrong with keeping things old school..... my '79 malibu(2dr coupe) came that way, al be it now with a ZZ4 crate engine, 700R4 trans along with 3.73 posi out back, this combo rocks IMO, and i couldnt be more estactic!
 
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80Chevyboo

n00b
Thread starter
Dec 1, 2021
3
3
Why do you ant a 700 over a 200. I'd go with Bowtie Overdrive's 2004R Stage 3 for the same price of the stage 3 700. Reason's being, same dimensionally as the TH350, 1st gear isn't a 4wd granny ratio. But that's me lol.

For that goal it's very hard to beat an LS in everything except $$$$

Good luck - Jim
That's why I joined this forum, get more ideas! I am doing the suspension/rear end and brakes this winter. The power train is going to be down the road so I have time to change my mind a few times.
 
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SS_Malibu

G-Body Guru
Sep 27, 2021
524
93
Mesa, AZ
First of all, welcome to the GBodyForum.
Everyone here has their preferences. You will get all kinds of ideas from what guys (and gals) have done to their rides, what they prefer and what has and hasn't worked for them. With input from the GBody family, coupled with your own research, you are sure to come up with a set up for your car that you will enjoy.
I personally like the old school engine/Trans combo. 383/350 or 700r4 because I'm familiar with this. While LS combos certainly have much to give, and you can make them look similar to an old school engine, my familiarity wains with the computer controlled aspect. Therfore, I am very happy running old stuff.
 
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