amateur mechanic - 1984 base MC gets 5.3L/4L60e

08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2014
854
93
North Jersey
I’d definitely fix the a pillars before changing the glass. You need to be able to hammer against the side to get the dents out.
 
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MJScarangella

Master Mechanic
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Sep 24, 2020
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Pennsville, NJ
Body shop is going to pick up the Monte Carlo this week; I have to get it off the blocks tonight.

Obviously the car has a new power steering pump, and I put fluid in it but I know there is still air in the hoses. The car is not running yet and I haven't pulled a vacuum on the power steering system. Can I expect any trouble trying to push it through a k-turn backing it out of the driveway and parking it in the street so that the tow truck driver has an easier job?
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
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Dec 1, 2014
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Upstate NY
Nope. It will be fine. No issues. And 08 Malibu I agree with. Fix those pillars, then put in new glass.
 
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08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2014
854
93
North Jersey
Body shop is going to pick up the Monte Carlo this week; I have to get it off the blocks tonight.

Obviously the car has a new power steering pump, and I put fluid in it but I know there is still air in the hoses. The car is not running yet and I haven't pulled a vacuum on the power steering system. Can I expect any trouble trying to push it through a k-turn backing it out of the driveway and parking it in the street so that the tow truck driver has an easier job?
Wise move. What’s the plan of attack?
 

MJScarangella

Master Mechanic
Thread starter
Sep 24, 2020
250
63
Pennsville, NJ
Wise move. What’s the plan of attack?
Thanks for asking.

it turns out that one of my 'neighbors' owns this shop:


He liked the Monte, made comments about how it's hard to find one this nice... said the damage is worse than it looks in the pictures, but that the a -pillar is totally fixable, but bent. Says he'll get the car back to me in a week, so I figure 2 or 3. Quote is under a thousand so far but I am expecting scope creep.

I got the car off the blocks and parked in the street. Man! She is beautiful, even with the damage. Low and fast.

I'll get the car back after a week or 3 and then have it running in days because all I have to do is hook up a fuel line, bolt in the exhaust, fill it up.

The exhaust kit manufacturing error is still being reworked... that shop has not called me back in a week..


As for now, emergent work at the power station (i.e job)... going to be a long week.
 
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Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
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Apr 3, 2015
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Spring, Texas
Thanks for asking.

it turns out that one of my 'neighbors' owns this shop:


He liked the Monte, made comments about how it's hard to find one this nice... said the damage is worse than it looks in the pictures, but that the a -pillar is totally fixable, but bent. Says he'll get the car back to me in a week, so I figure 2 or 3. Quote is under a thousand so far but I am expecting scope creep.

I got the car off the blocks and parked in the street. Man! She is beautiful, even with the damage. Low and fast.

I'll get the car back after a week or 3 and then have it running in days because all I have to do is hook up a fuel line, bolt in the exhaust, fill it up.

The exhaust kit manufacturing error is still being reworked... that shop has not called me back in a week..


As for now, emergent work at the power station (i.e job)... going to be a long week.
Been a few weeks. Any word on the A-pillar repair?

I saw you express some concern over your stock 7.5" rear axle. Neither the 4L60E or the 7.5" are really robust for antics. If you aren't running slicks and trying to hook, the 7.5" should be fine. If you don't abuse it, the 4L60E should be fine behind a stock 5.3, up to a point. Sooner or later, the 3-4 clutch pack will give up though (normally somewhere over 100k miles, depending on how it was maintained). Get it running and enjoy it as it is. You can upgrade to a 4L80E and an 8.5" or a 9" later.
 
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MJScarangella

Master Mechanic
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Sep 24, 2020
250
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Pennsville, NJ
Been a few weeks. Any word on the A-pillar repair?

I saw you express some concern over your stock 7.5" rear axle. Neither the 4L60E or the 7.5" are really robust for antics. If you aren't running slicks and trying to hook, the 7.5" should be fine. If you don't abuse it, the 4L60E should be fine behind a stock 5.3, up to a point. Sooner or later, the 3-4 clutch pack will give up though (normally somewhere over 100k miles, depending on how it was maintained). Get it running and enjoy it as it is. You can upgrade to a 4L80E and an 8.5" or a 9" later.
God, I can't wait to get the car back. I spoke with my new friend, body shop guy/owner/neighbor, and he told me it took him and another employee 4 hours, and 10 iterations using welded tabs and a frame puller to restore the A-pillar, but that it was now "perfect". Shop owner told me that he moved on to a higher priority customer for a deadline and that he would get back to putting some body filler where it was needed and then tinted primer and then install glass by the end of the week. I thanked him and told him I'd check with him again on Friday 07/16/21. I'm going to get him a carton of his smokes on top of whatever he charges because I feel lucky to have found him - few body shops want to deal with classic cars. I may not have mentioned that this guy has a 46,000 mile Grand National in his garage that he has had for years and is preparing to sell.

Anyway, not having the car to work on has freed-up time for me to play with the kids more. Plus, I had to focus on a new process at work for which I am now subject matter expert.

I also got Holley to send me a new pipe to replace the one that was expanded on the wrong end, after about 50,000 emails. That was two weeks ago and it hasn't arrived yet. I told the local shop to hang-up the effort re-working the original tube after he didn't get to it in 10-days - no hard feelings there whatsoever.

Yeah, about the 7.5" rear: I've heard "it's a Claymore mine" and I've heard "it'll be fine if you don't launch with slicks".

I'm going to baby the car around Philadelphia for a few hundred miles and shake-down any weak points in my build, but I did intend to see what it would do in the quarter mile with street tires at some point...

I see this beautiful 1981 301ci Grand Prix 1.5 hours south in Maryland: 33,000 original miles for $6,000. I really need a garage. I would keep that Pontiac motor with some breathing improvements and put a 4-speed in it.
 
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Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
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Apr 3, 2015
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Spring, Texas
God, I can't wait to get the car back. I spoke with my new friend, body shop guy/owner/neighbor, and he told me it took him and another employee 4 hours, and 10 iterations using welded tabs and a frame puller to restore the A-pillar, but that it was now "perfect". Shop owner told me that he moved on to a higher priority customer for a deadline and that he would get back to putting some body filler where it was needed and then tinted primer and then install glass by the end of the week. I thanked him and told him I'd check with him again on Friday 07/16/21. I'm going to get him a carton of his smokes on top of whatever he charges because I feel lucky to have found him - few body shops want to deal with classic cars. I may not have mentioned that this guy has a 46,000 mile Grand National in his garage that he has had for years and is preparing to sell.

Anyway, not having the car to work on has freed-up time for me to play with the kids more. Plus, I had to focus on a new process at work for which I am now subject matter expert.

I also got Holley to send me a new pipe to replace the one that was expanded on the wrong end, after about 50,000 emails. That was two weeks ago and it hasn't arrived yet. I told the local shop to hang-up the effort re-working the original tube after he didn't get to it in 10-days - no hard feelings there whatsoever.

Yeah, about the 7.5" rear: I've heard "it's a Claymore mine" and I've heard "it'll be fine if you don't launch with slicks".

I'm going to baby the car around Philadelphia for a few hundred miles and shake-down any weak points in my build, but I did intend to see what it would do in the quarter mile with street tires at some point...

I see this beautiful 1981 301ci Grand Prix 1.5 hours south in Maryland: 33,000 original miles for $6,000. I really need a garage. I would keep that Pontiac motor with some breathing improvements and put a 4-speed in it.
The GP on Facebook does look nice. I'm glad the Monte is getting fixed and fixed right. It's going to be a fun car. I don't have real world experience with abusing on a 7.5 other than my S10, which I was pretty hard on. With an automatic you don't have much driveline shock like launching with a stick so my gut says you'll be ok. What's the gear ratio in your 7.5"?
 
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MJScarangella

Master Mechanic
Thread starter
Sep 24, 2020
250
63
Pennsville, NJ
The GP on Facebook does look nice. I'm glad the Monte is getting fixed and fixed right. It's going to be a fun car. I don't have real world experience with abusing on a 7.5 other than my S10, which I was pretty hard on. With an automatic you don't have much driveline shock like launching with a stick so my gut says you'll be ok. What's the gear ratio in your 7.5"?
3.55 Eaton Posi from Quick Performance with about 50 miles on it. It whines a lot.
 
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Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
7,043
113
Spring, Texas
3.55 Eaton Posi from Quick Performance with about 50 miles on it. It whines a lot.
3.42 is the a good ratio for your combination. What's the story on the carrier/gearset? Did someone swap it in for you? Are the gears aftermarket (Punjab Gear Co.)?
 
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