1988 Monte Carlo SS Resto



Jun 30, 2020
Hey there everyone, been busy diagnosing, one after another issue. But I put my foot down and decided to just pull my whole engine and transmission tear it all down, clean it up and go from there. What's the hurt?

So play quick catch up... Bought this 88 Monte Carlo SS for $650 no keys clean title. Didn't know anything about it.

Things I've changed/replaced

Ignition cylinder (key ignition)
Door locks, starter, mechanical fuel pump, transmission, new carb gasket, fuel filter

I replaced trans by myself tough job but used this forums guidance, it leaks but found it was backed up from pulling the radiator it was gross...only because I'm pulling engine now. All that is broken, I'm just making a list.

I'm battling a pretty big enemy as I've never done this before. Not to mention the interior is pretty roached too not terrible project I just want to get this thing running.
Going out and purchasing some equipment air compressor, cherry picker, sander/grinder, solvent tank for parts washing the whole bang. I'm only into the car INCLUDING the car around $2500 tools, fuel, hoses, gloves all that Im doing good i think.




Royal Smart Person
May 21, 2011
Kentville,Nova Scotia,Canada
Sounds like you are slowly getting the Monte fixed up.
Take your time and dont make too many rash decisions that you may regret later.
Did you check the frame and floor ?? They are known for rusting around the rear frame rails,and the crossmember above the rearend has been known to crack over time and abuse.
There is a ton of stuff you can do to these cars to upgrade the performance,or you can do a 100 % full restoration and bring it back to "Like New" condition.
Anything from mild to wild is doable.
Budget and plan accordingly for your goals.
Suspension and brakes are a good place to start.
There are lots of different Monte's on here,565bbchevy has an awesome Monte;
Keep asking lots of questions and good luck with your project !!
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G-Body Guru
Dec 29, 2019
Tukwila, Wa.
dark_finish13, welcome aboard. Sounds like you have been reading GBF for a while, but joined only recently. Thanks for sharing your build. Keep us posted.
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Master Mechanic
Feb 20, 2018
Curious me here. on the mill you are pulling, is it some version of the 305 that Montes of that era came with? If, so likely to be the one piece rear seal edition of that motor. 85 was nominally the last year that two piece rear seals appeared in SBC's but that is a subjective point in time and not always graven in stone, or factory serial numbers for that matter. If you are planning to stay reasonably stock then finding a replacement 305 could prove interesting. They were the mister ubiquitous of SBC's; probably as many or more of them made as was 350's but never as popular; the highest amount they could be bored/stroked out to came out to around 327 ci. You will find a lot of builders thinking crate 350 at that point due to cost and availability.

The mated transmission is probably a 200R4, which is a four speed unit, fairly stout in stock condition but not race-able under high power applications without being given some rebuild love with stronger parts.

On the nuts and bolts of the actual pull out; be sure to have a camera or a cell phone with you and take pictures. LOTS and LOTS of pictures. Use masking tape and a ball point pen or marker to tag the various wires as to location and purpose. Why? Because, although you might only budgeting a month or two in your mind for this pull and refresh, circumstances and finances have a way of extending or suspending the time interval that actually occurs and having everything identified will help immensely when you finally do get back to playing with your project.

As for the actual nuts and bolts themselves, Glad brand plastic food bags of various sizes and a black magic marker. Nuts and bolts go into the bags as they come off the vehicle and the bag gets a note written on it as to where the contents came from and whether they will be re-used or replaced. Easier to replace some bolts then trust the old stuff only to learn that the very last bolt you went to put in just snapped from having issues and now you have to take everything apart, again to get to it and try to remove it without damaging the location, or your fingers, or your pocketbook if you have to farm the repair work out.

Fluids are yet another matter. Cars come with lots of different fluids, gas oil, transmission, power steering, radiator, and they all love to leak out all over everything when you are doing a pull. Have plenty of catch containers and floor dry--kitty sh*tty without the cute smell, close by to throw at the liquid mess. Those oil diapers also work well to soak up the ooze. If you are setting up your shop and tool hunting, give some thought to a small power washer you can attach to a garden hose. Amazing the amount of engine bay gunk and good you can clean away using one of those.

Oh, yeah, don't go light on the quality of the tools you purchase. Not suggesting super high quality stuff (Snap-On et al) but decent quality and with a warranty (Craftsman used to be good that way) Your hands and fingers and the nuts and bolts you don't round off or break trying to free them up will thank you.

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