Confused more now than when I began on parts list

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Rapidride2

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 30, 2018
27
18
3
#1
1978 Malibu, wanting to maintain the factory stock look for now on this car. This includes the stock 14'' wheels.

I am wanting to perform steering/suspension upgrades for this car over the winter. This includes the GN/monte carlo steering box, astro/jeep steering shaft, S-10 blazer spindles and brakes, new bushings, tie rod ends, ball-joints, centerlink, Bilsteins, Moog springs, and a repaint of the chassis. The attached photo is a kit from Rock Auto part number 11610011 that contains the centerlink and pitman arm.

I know this has been beaten like a horse on this forum but am only asking due to conflicting answers I have to ask. I don't wanna waste hundreds of dollars and sweat equity only to have issues later on.

Questions:

1. Can i run both the taller lower AND UPPER ball-joint with the 14'' wheels without interference? Or just taller lowers? I have heard both.
2. Is there any difficulty running the g-body tie rods with the blazer spindles?
3. Do i need a different pitman arm with the GN/Monte SS steering box?
4. Is there any other mismatch of parts i should be concerned with that will negatively affect geometry or cause interference fit?
 

Attachments

Wraith

Wraith

Royal Smart Person
Jan 13, 2013
1,012
1,723
113
DFW, TX
#2
I would guess tall upper and lower ball joints wouldn't work with a deep 14" wheel. As far as the steering box are you starting with the 605 box?If so you will need a new pitman arm.
 
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Rapidride2

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 30, 2018
27
18
3
#3
Yes I am assuming the 605 steering box is what i have. Aluminum top cover Saginaw with o-ring versus the bolt on top cover found a year or two later. Original to the 78'
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TURNA

TURNA

Geezer
Jul 24, 2009
5,281
3,183
113
Socialist NY
#5
Beautiful looking car!!

Since you have a 78 your steering column is different so the Astro shaft upgrade will not work.

14's may not work with the Blazer brake upgrade I "heard" they do but never seen it.

And with just doing that install on my Cutlass I would say there is no way 14's would fit without a huge spacer.

If you are dead set on the hubcap look there are plenty of options that will look stock/factory from 15 inch Impalas.
 
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403Olds

Master Mechanic
May 31, 2014
278
51
28
South Central Ohio
#6
I can appreciate the sleeper look, especially on that nice of car, but you won't get the braking and handling improvements of the tall ball joints and blazer brakes with 14" rims. I've got both on my car, and the 15's fit fine. I was able to use all the gbody brake lines and tie rod ends. I used the 94 grand cherokee steering box on my 85, it fit without modification. The handling and braking is much better now. Might as well throw a set of springs in the front once you have it apart, there are many Moog springs that will firm up the ride, but retain stock height.
 
michmalibuman

michmalibuman

Master Mechanic
Supporting Member
Jun 14, 2017
460
331
63
#7
If you are looking for the stock sleeper look Malibu dog dish fit 14" or 15" wheels . I have Blazer brakes with 15" wheels
 

Attachments

MC96

MC96

Master Mechanic
Dec 7, 2015
262
117
43
#8
1. Can i run both the taller lower AND UPPER ball-joint with the 14'' wheels without interference? Or just taller lowers? I have heard both.
Tall upper yes, even he 1"+ should clear
Lowers +1" will not fit 15s so Im guessing even +.5 will be an issue with 14" wheels

2. Is there any difficulty running the g-body tie rods with the blazer spindles?
Well since theyre the same thing.....

3. Do i need a different pitman arm with the GN/Monte SS steering box?
605 box vs 600/700/800 box will have a different steering arm. Lots of places carry them, proforged may, I know Allstar does

4. Is there any other mismatch of parts i should be concerned with that will negatively affect geometry or cause interference fit?
I think youre going to need to adapt the brake line.
If you put a ton of caster in with shims the upper may get into headers.
 
R

Rapidride2

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 30, 2018
27
18
3
#9
If you are looking for the stock sleeper look Malibu dog dish fit 14" or 15" wheels . I have Blazer brakes with 15" wheels
If it were a solid color malibu I would be all for the dog dish hubcaps. However with it being the 2-tone classic I think it would look slightly out of place.
 
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Rapidride2

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 30, 2018
27
18
3
#10
Man,,,, i'm pretty bummed out over the 14'' wheel limits. I've already sourced the jeep and the astro-shaft i had no idea the astro shaft wouldn't work on the 78'. I've also heard that the g-body tie rods will 'rub' the boots with the blazer spindle and brakes which i have already sourced as well. And I thought i read on here that the tall lower ball-joints will work but the tall uppers will not with the smaller wheels. humm???
 

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