BUILD THREAD Janky- A Mexican Monte Clone

UC645

G-Body Guru
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
So a little over 2 years ago, I happened to run across this lovely piece of yard art:


I was skeptical of the car and it’s price at first, but decided to go after it anyway and found a car that had practically no frame rot of any kind in the rear, solid quarters and floors, and every piece of body work that was missing was included.
And as was typical, the doors and trunk lid were shot.


I ended up buying it for the full asking price, and I then proceeded to spend the next 2 years slowly building it and gathering parts.
As of this first post, I have pretty much the whole list to build a clone/restomod Mexican Monte SS.


Currently running a 350 SBC with Vortec heads and a “matched” cam, hopefully in the 380-400 hp/tq range, backed by a TH350, and a soon to be followed by a Ford 8.8 with 3.27s.

I’ve currently got the car on jackstands and it’s sans 7.5 rear.

 
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Streetbu

Know it all, that doesn't
Supporting Member
May 22, 2011
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Central NY
Nice! And welcome!
 
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UC645

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
Yeeeeesh! I told myself I was making this thread to remember what I’ve done to the car, so what do I do?

Forget about it for 2 weeks.
Yee. Haw.


Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been quite productive, I started off by cleaning off and painting the frame to weld in upper control arm mount braces from HRpartsNstuff:


And some secret sauce in the form of a 1 inch round 1018 steel bar run through the frame to brace it
(I’ll have pictures of that a little later)

Followed that up by making a new top plate for my GP console out of some birch plywood.

And as of this last week/weekend, I got the frame welded up to hide the brace bar


Got a rear frame rail brace (bolt in style) fabed up,




And got the spare tire well cut out then shortened to convert it to a battery tray/ tool storage area:

Neat thing about that patch, it’s actually an old fluorescent light housing I had lying around :rofl:

And I think that about covers it. I’ll be trying to take more photos so I can highlight my work here (mostly so I can tell myself where I messed up years from now)
 
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UC645

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
Ok, semi-weekly-but-not-usually post time.
I’ve been doing some home renovations so the car didn’t really get touched until Friday and Sunday, but I worked on this busted up GP console a bit.

I had to throw some body filler to smooth out some previously repaired sections, and I started to fix the busted passenger side vent opening. Here’s what I started with:

For comparison, that should look like this:

So I cut up some acrylic sheeting and trimmed it to fit:


I’ve since bonded that patch in place, and I’ll be trimming it to the proper sizes this week.

I’ve also managed to sort out a fuel pump mount to place the pump in front of the tank, and just behind the rear. I’ve off set the pump from the center of the car to clear the pumpkin, so I shouldn’t run into any clearance issues.

Today however, has been a very productive day.
I started off by adding in 2 extra plates to the upper control arm mount braces in place of running barn front to rear, those would of been welded to the extra bar I welded into the frame.


And to add another piece of overkill to this already over the top pile- I went ahead and made a UMI style shock tower brace





The first pic and it sort of roughed in, the second is it fit and finished.
Third and 4th are installed.
Small disclaimer: I got the idea from UMI’s shock tower brace but was afraid I’d need to cut one up to fit with that 1018 bar welded in my frame. I unfortunately had to nearly break my tack welds to get mine out of the car, so I would of most definitely had to cut the one from UMI to fit, and that’d just been a damn shame.

And that about wraps up the rear of the car minus the lower control arm mount braces and 8.8 swap.
Oh and paint. Lots of paint.
 
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UC645

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
The last 2 weeks have been semi productive, been busy with the house most of that time.

Got a rear brake line bent up and ready to test fit sometime this coming week.
Hopefully have my fuel lines mapped out correctly, since I’m running Russel Twist-Lok hose they’re going to be a PITA to assemble properly.
Got the spare tire well patch and the underside of the trunk floor epoxy primered and the tire well got epoxy seam sealed - that stuff’s gotten real expensive to boot, $70 for a tube! o_O
The main project was cutting one of my fuel tanks for a sump, and welding one in.
7F24A955-3FE4-4362-9E38-3A9A8BA2C921.jpeg

AA2C6B4E-6C11-423E-892B-9084F9AA11F0.jpeg

I think I picked the location pretty well. The outlets on the sump are right under the tank baffle.
Looks more or less like this (my welds are total garbage by the way)
138FFF36-BCF1-471D-B7C1-74626902C675.jpeg

Those are all spot welds, I have ground them down and since seam welded over those, I apparently forgot to take photos of that....hmmm.

However, I did get the floor and tank painted today,
A8B3BB43-997C-42DA-8448-8ED0E6C94E87.jpeg

97713FE2-A4B0-4483-B33B-AE945228267C.jpeg

You can also see I’ve got my fuel pump location figured out, at least temporarily. I’ve only got the mount tacked in Incase I have to move the pump to the spare tire well.
I also drug the 8.8 out of the pile of leaves it’s been collecting for the past year
BE960550-0382-4F18-8ED6-D0A7E5AFE0A7.jpeg

Practically every bolt on that thing is frozen, so I’ll have to get the big guns out this week to burn the bolts out or persuade them with a gratuitous amount of physical force.
I’ll be cleaning up my blazer spindles for paint this week to boot.
After next week, that 8,8 may have a new home, and I’ll have a 3 inch aluminum driveshaft thrown under the car as well.
:banana:
 
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UC645

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
Another 2 weeks of progress in the books.
The 8.8 got wire wheeled and hit with phosphoric acid, I also cut down the quad shock mounts so they can be turned into bump stops:
4FE01ADE-4536-4C0E-B16F-662F64C73D5F.jpeg


Here it is painted
295A8917-3FB0-46D6-BB29-B52128C89C14.jpeg

Gave my blazer spindles they same treatment, here’s what they look like before and after:
E4A1439E-A4F3-4A6C-AFF3-CDA79E049359.jpeg


Went to the yard to grab some Mustang rear calipers, because a $45 core charge is way too high for my tastes. I also got some springs from Landrum to run in the rear.
14 inches tall by 5 inch diameter.
38B7A48F-0706-40CE-AABF-48351C8DF432.jpeg


I’m not sure how well these will work on the street, as I’m running into issues with the stamping on the upper spring pocket, there’s a section where the pigtail of the stock spring sits that’s just big enough that it doesn’t allow these springs to center properly. The reason I went with these is I can change springs relatively easily to whatever height and rate I want. As opposed to the aftermarket one size fits all excluding coilovers model.
I can’t say I won’t have any other issues with these, but half the fun is finding out.

Shortly after that I got the 8.8 swap kit from Trick Chassis thrown in, and am really impressed with the free range of motion it allows:
2834ADDA-8768-4B96-B2EB-3FB7E09EE6CE.jpeg


Small disclaimer if you buy the kit from Trick Chassis, the turnbuckles they use for the upper arms may need a tap ran through them, mine were a little tight in spaces.

And over the last 4 days I’ve put the front to rear brake lines on, ran my AN fuel lines, and have been doing rust treatment on hard to reach areas of the frame (push lock style hose is a great thing if you’re learning how to use AN line) and I’ve just got all the bearings and seals for the 8.8to swap the 5 lug axles on it and it can finally go on the car. I picked up lower spring perches from Allstar for 3 inch axle tubes:
image.jpg

These will be real handy because I can hold them in place with hose clamps until I weld them in so I can set the pinion angle properly.

And to boot, I may have decided on the car’s main color:
B8AAB676-682B-4F8F-A2B8-8204F6F465C3.jpeg


That’s GM’s Alchemy Purple for the SS. I think it’ll look amazing with silver accents.
 
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UC645

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 20, 2020
709
93
Kittanning, Pa
I’ve really got to stop doing the monthly update thing.

Anyhow, I’ve been kinda slow on the car in the last month, mostly been cleaning things up underneath and getting the underside in paint-


D3EB766E-068A-4598-A970-36B0EBAFBB4F.jpeg



472274FF-9438-4B68-BF3E-1BD9327957B1.jpeg

Rubberized undercoating sucks. I think I’m still picking this stuff out of my eyes.
Looks good in black though...
6761A632-3DAD-4612-8A3B-226768028752.jpeg


I’ll have to get some more recent pictures, the last one is just VHT Epoxy, I’ve since put 3 coats of semi gloss black Rustolem on there.
I don’t have any pictures of it but I’ve gotten the 8.8 set up with SN95 rear disk brakes. For those interested in using Ford parts over aftermarket, the SN95 rears are similar to the 4th gen F body rear brakes in piston size- 38mm on the SN95s vs 40mm on the F body. But it’s a real hassle to fit these, and involves parts that you usually can’t get from local upullit yards (in my experience anyway).
The main thing you need is the caliper mounting brackets that bolt to the housing. You then need to swap them left to right, and cut them like so:
166A970E-F3F1-4BC7-984C-FBBA3BA62641.jpeg

After you get everything bolted together you’ll most likely need to shim the caliper bracket with washers to move it towards the outside of the axle. Mine sit in too far by about a 1/16th of an inch by eyeball.

Since then I’ve gotten my GP dash bezel mostly finished, and it looks really good.
8D0E74C5-4D8F-4397-AAA7-F35D6E6C2764.jpeg

I just need to paint the fake Allen screws and inside of the dash vent rings and that’ll be done for good.


I’ve also discovered my S10 driveshaft yoke was wrong. In short, if you grab a S10 ZR2 driveshaft, the 700R4 and T-5 yokes will work, the NV3500 won’t.
4C844360-9BA5-4D7E-9B01-803FCC660CAC.jpeg

These have since been swapped- the ZR2 used the same u joints as the g body too, a GM 3R.

I’ve just been fiddling around with wiring in the meantime, I’ve got a general idea of how I’m going to have my trunk battery setup wired, and it starts with getting this mess fixed:
3746CD4D-0A5E-4E64-BB91-9F9EF96F1D9C.jpeg

Somehow, this allowed this hodgepodge to run with no sparking, arcing, or fires. I’ll start counting my blessings from now on.
I have some power distribution posts to mock up and some more wire to run, although I’m undecided on wether to not to convert to a Ford style solenoid up front just for the added safety. Anyway my firewall looks like this right now:
EC6184DC-9F21-4471-A859-7C08A76F4391.jpeg

I also figured out what size of sheet metal screw that are used in the firewall to secure the AC box, I’ll post the size when I can remember it 🙃

And then came Canfield (finally), where I made out like the Mad Hatter:
1445F1A8-5DDC-410E-AC14-83C8A2C86019.jpeg

There’s a 34R Optima RedTop in there, and thankfully it’s an older one, rumors are Optima’s quality has started to tank.
There’s a pressure spray gun in there and that was a score to say the least- It’s a Sharpe model 75. It’ll be perfect for practicing cobwebbing.
The Carb is a 600cfm Holley DP I paid way too much for, and here’s why, every piece of linkage is bent.
805559E7-6134-4A4E-89D1-29202110D1F4.jpeg

I was wondering why the high idle screw wasn’t contacting anything. I guess I have my answer. The bottom of the throttle lever is bent really bad and even the choke linkage is too. Somehow it even looks like the choke plate is bent:
C2BE9FCA-7629-4A4F-8DAD-16FC424789AD.jpeg

And the carb body and metering blocks are fogged blue.

I should of never bought this thing. :blam:

And that about covers it all, I hope to have the car ready to have it’s rear axle installed permanently by the end of the week.


Although Canfield did give me ideas on what to do with one of my hoods:
D37AE783-6C30-461B-8A41-811547C905EA.jpeg

Decisions, decisions...
 
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5spdCab

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Dec 29, 2019
1,095
113
Tukwila, Wa.
I’ve really got to stop doing the monthly update thing.

Anyhow, I’ve been kinda slow on the car in the last month, mostly been cleaning things up underneath and getting the underside in paint-


View attachment 152185


View attachment 152186
Rubberized undercoating sucks. I think I’m still picking this stuff out of my eyes.
Looks good in black though...
View attachment 152187

I’ll have to get some more recent pictures, the last one is just VHT Epoxy, I’ve since put 3 coats of semi gloss black Rustolem on there.
I don’t have any pictures of it but I’ve gotten the 8.8 set up with SN95 rear disk brakes. For those interested in using Ford parts over aftermarket, the SN95 rears are similar to the 4th gen F body rear brakes in piston size- 38mm on the SN95s vs 40mm on the F body. But it’s a real hassle to fit these, and involves parts that you usually can’t get from local upullit yards (in my experience anyway).
The main thing you need is the caliper mounting brackets that bolt to the housing. You then need to swap them left to right, and cut them like so:
View attachment 152188
After you get everything bolted together you’ll most likely need to shim the caliper bracket with washers to move it towards the outside of the axle. Mine sit in too far by about a 1/16th of an inch by eyeball.

Since then I’ve gotten my GP dash bezel mostly finished, and it looks really good.
View attachment 152189
I just need to paint the fake Allen screws and inside of the dash vent rings and that’ll be done for good.


I’ve also discovered my S10 driveshaft yoke was wrong. In short, if you grab a S10 ZR2 driveshaft, the 700R4 and T-5 yokes will work, the NV3500 won’t.
View attachment 152190
These have since been swapped- the ZR2 used the same u joints as the g body too, a GM 3R.

I’ve just been fiddling around with wiring in the meantime, I’ve got a general idea of how I’m going to have my trunk battery setup wired, and it starts with getting this mess fixed:
View attachment 152191
Somehow, this allowed this hodgepodge to run with no sparking, arcing, or fires. I’ll start counting my blessings from now on.
I have some power distribution posts to mock up and some more wire to run, although I’m undecided on wether to not to convert to a Ford style solenoid up front just for the added safety. Anyway my firewall looks like this right now:
View attachment 152193
I also figured out what size of sheet metal screw that are used in the firewall to secure the AC box, I’ll post the size when I can remember it 🙃

And then came Canfield (finally), where I made out like the Mad Hatter:
View attachment 152194
There’s a 34R Optima RedTop in there, and thankfully it’s an older one, rumors are Optima’s quality has started to tank.
There’s a pressure spray gun in there and that was a score to say the least- It’s a Sharpe model 75. It’ll be perfect for practicing cobwebbing.
The Carb is a 600cfm Holley DP I paid way too much for, and here’s why, every piece of linkage is bent.
View attachment 152195
I was wondering why the high idle screw wasn’t contacting anything. I guess I have my answer. The bottom of the throttle lever is bent really bad and even the choke linkage is too. Somehow it even looks like the choke plate is bent:
View attachment 152196
And the carb body and metering blocks are fogged blue.

I should of never bought this thing. :blam:

And that about covers it all, I hope to have the car ready to have it’s rear axle installed permanently by the end of the week.


Although Canfield did give me ideas on what to do with one of my hoods:
View attachment 152198
Decisions, decisions...
Nice clean-up on the firewall.
 
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