MONTE CARLO "COPO" Monte Carlo SS - Turbosaurus Build (we spooly spooly now)

motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
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Ottawa, Ontario Canada
What if Chevrolet was sneaking out real performance cars in the mid-80s? Maybe there could have been a COPO MCSS... maybe.

This is going to be a long long long term build - but, will be hot on the heels of our Lemans wagon once that is completed.

What we are looking at here was is my "highschool car" - yup, the one they said you should never sell. So I didn't. The car was originally "restified" in 2000, and well time has been less than kind to what was already a rust softened undercarriage/floor when I bought it back in 1999. I was actually in the process of building a twin-turbo SBC set up when in the Winter of 2012 when I realized that the car was too far gone to accept another power increase and not worth the time, effort or cost to repair. In 2013 we picked up a much cleaner donor hardtop '86 Monte with very low options - which is going to be a key element to this rebirth.

The car has pretty much been stripped down of all of its usable bit for transfer to donor car.

In the short term the 355/200-4R/8.5"w/4.56s will be utilized. The long term goal is to get an aluminum LS-something in there with a 6 speed manual.

I am wiling to dump everything possible to get this car down a lot. The only things that I feel obligated to retain are seats for the wife and kids, the power windows, and the heater box.

All the glass can be replaced with lexan, pin on hood and trunk are fine, fiberglass front clip is okay, Swiss cheesing the bumper supports, aluminum bumper brackets, manual steering box, manual brakes, composite dash, aluminum exhaust, and so on.

So if you have a good source, or know if a good reference please post it up. I wonder if sub-3000lbs is possible?

When complete I want the car to be as visceral an experience as possible - like it is going to shake itself apart idling.
 

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Opie Knievel

Opie Knievel

Whiskey Fueled Midnight Mechanic and Moderator
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Sep 6, 2010
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Brodhead, Kentucky
If the info I found is correct, these cars weigh in at about 3250 lbs. Getting below 3000 should be easy, especially since you're willing to shed some of the heaviest body panels (hood, fenders, etc).
 
Kwik_Cutty88

Kwik_Cutty88

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Nov 22, 2011
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Coastal North Carolina
I had my car on the scales this summer. Full interior (no spare or junk in the trunk) half a tank of fuel. All iron small block, stock rear end, and a fiberglass hood. It weighed 3600 with me in it.
 
motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
113
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
I figure my SS was around 3500-3600lbs. A lot of that has to do with the various ET/mph calculations over the years - as a point of reference it ran 12.7 @ 110mph N/A and 12.5 @ 116mph on the spray (small shot, late hit) - generally this is in the 375hp range N/A and 450hp zone for nitrous. I would say that it was the crutch in all of this, hindering the car from running 11s, was the torque converter (12" diameter, 3000 stall). But, this all bench racing noise - as fun as it is.

I figure if I can keep the car around the same power level and drop 500lbs it should pay real dividends, especially launching it with a clutch pedal.

Curious how light this is by comparison to the factory pieces: https://store.dankoreproductions.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Monte-NK-10P
 
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motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
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Ottawa, Ontario Canada
The transfer of parts continues. Pulled the 8.5" today, cleaned and degreased it and the engine/trans, then painted the diff, and then set them all aside for a moment of boredom. I also wrestled the KYB shocks and the MCSS steering box back out of the Lemans donor car (originally stolen out of the MCSS a few years ago).
 

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motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
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Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Soooo... this finally happened. Brought home a sad little 4.8L "LR4" out of a '99 Silverado with 200K+ kms.



The "Semi-Sloppy" plan:
- Stock Bottom End 4.8L (gap the rings (maybe) and dingle-ball the cylinders (maybe), and pin the crank);
- port and shim the stock oil pump;
- reuse the tired-*ss LS2 timing chain from my TBSS with a TFS damper and the equally used LS2 lifters; and
- some sort of oil pan that fits a G-body (eBay?);
- 241 heads from our LS1 (flow more thanks to bigger valves and drops the compression to about 9:1, might even do a little porting) and some cheap MLS head gaskets (not paying LS9 prices) like taking some stock LS1 units, rob the guts, and make a DIY 7-layer setup;
- find some gently used dual valve springs and 7.4 pushrods;
- stab in the janky (and probably whiny) Comp 226/230 .605"/.608" 113+3 (LXL lobes) cam I cannot seem to sell;
- force a set of ARP head studs into the block because they wouldn't go into our LS1 (Thanks for that, ARP!);
- 80pph Deka injectors;
- TBSS intake (for now) and some sort of rail and regulator solution (eBay?), and a 90mm Chinese DBC throttlebody (or the stock 78mm TB and an adapter);
- Walbro 450 (or two) and hotwire (aka. an overpriced relay (or two)) pushing fuel into a -10 AN line (I'll figure out something for a 3/8" return later);
- a Straub trunnion upgrade (or push my luck and run the rocker arms stock);
- truck exhaust manifold turbo setup (maybe send the downpipe out of the fender or hood?); and
- a fast spooling turbo (nope, no intercooler, methanol injection or E85 is an ideal solution).

Hopefully this thing will spin to 7000+rpm, make 500hp at the wheels, and put a smile on my face.

I am either going to back this with a 200-4R (3000 stall), and 4.56s (and a 28+ inch tire); or dump the 200-4R for a close ratio Magnum T56/TR6060 swap.
 

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motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
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Ottawa, Ontario Canada
On with the build - I seriously cannot sit still for five minutes without messing around with stuff. Ran to the shelf and started grabbing leftovers from other projects - nothing like hand-me-downs. You can see the stock springs, MOOG 5606s, ummm... Eibachs(?), and a set of no-name lowering springs that I chopped down years ago. Pretty easy to guess which ones I chose for this application. Dropped the front end down from 28+ inches to 25ish inches. The rear is at 30" and makes for an impressive stink-bug stance (where is my mullet?), I might keep it just to troll people. ;)

Other than that I jammed in some KYB Gas-A-Justs in there too.

I am still trying to decide if I am going to put the 34mm hollow sway bar on the front, or leave it off because I don't plan on using one long term with this project (ie. light weight). The only reason I am even considering doing the labour for the sway bar is because I might autocross this thing with the shitty 3.8L just for giggles.

Next up the rear suspension (moar low, and more KYBs).
 

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motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
113
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Yanked the front swaybar, greased the front end, pulled the cargo coils (a giant PITA to get out of the pockets) and slapped in some chopped springs (PITA to keep in the pockets). Also got the Made in the USA Gabriel Red Ryder shocks out (which were completely blown out front and rear) and replaced them with the Made in Japan KYBs (JDM baby!). The car is now sitting 25.5" front and 27" rear.

Also chopped off the rotting exhaust (actually did this first to make getting the suspension out easier) and replaced it with a 3" system cobbled together from scraps I had laying around - including a spare Pypes Violator muffler. Why? Just because I could.
 

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motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
4,342
113
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
I like that stance! Looking good....guess you gotta stay busy now that the wagon is tearing up the streets, or manvans for that matter lol.
Thanks! I am surprised how well it turned out despite having the dinky V6 (and no options) - I am sure dropping in the turbo 4.8L/200-4R or 4L80E is going to have an impact on ride height, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I took Tatiana to the park in the wagon yesterday, the engine was barely warm when we got there. Unfortunately, the rain has really limited the amount of use it is getting.
 

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