JUNKYARD BEAUTY

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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
Well, I've been busy! Wasn't planning on doing this much, or going this route, but ended up finding an 84 Monte in the junkyard totalled by a Collison and in really good condition! Here's what I found!



I also decided to be brave and tackle the dash wiring problem as well....



Here's the engine bay as it stands... dirty, but more complete!



Yay ratsnest.... luckily, they hadn't done much damage. I cut all the tape off the harness and repaired any damaged wires. Here's before I did that:



Even found the antenna and cowl! (Still need to paint that hood)



And lastly, the wiring harness back in place fully repaired.



More to come!
 
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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
Well, finally got most of the wiring done, but have been holding off on getting it back in due to another issue....

Took the hood off to repair the dents and to paint (starting to rust bad), and a giant storm came by..... I thought my tarp was secured enough, but sadly, it wasn't even close to being enough. Long story short, the engine ended up getting water all in it.

I've tried to blow most of the water back out the best I can. Drained it all out, flushed with clean oil, and I'm going to try to re-prime the oil pump and replace some gaskets, but I'm afraid the damage has already been done. Blew the cylinders out with compressed air, sprayed some fogging oil to keep things from rusting (worse). Pulled spark plugs, and I'm going to try to turn the engine over after being primed to see what it'll blow out.

Doesn't help that I don't know much about this engine other than what I've been told, which is probably not too accurate. And the engine was only partly swapped in and several gaskets and things are missing, so I'm not holding my breath on this one...

Basically, I'm thinking if this doesn't work, I'll just pull this engine and use it as the core for a 5.3 ls truck engine and transmission and go ahead and swap that.

If anyone has any suggestions what else to do to try to save this soggy engine, I'd definitely appreciate the advice!
 
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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
Update! Well, there might actually be some life left after all! drained the roughly six quarts of water from the engine (I know...), and flushed with some fresh oil. Then I FINALLY cleaned the lower intake manifold and installed valve cover gaskets and the manifold! I primed the oil pump and there's definitely some water still left since the oil had that slightly "milky" look to it from the bubbles, but definitely not coolant, so that's good. What I'm hoping is that once I get the engine fired up, the heat will allow the pcv system to vent most of the water vapor, though I'll definitely change the oil again once I'm sure it's flushed the passages of water.

In the meantime, time to start up the "hot tank"! (basically I'm trying out a diy idea to clean engine parts as I put things back on)
 
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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
On a side note, haven't posted anything about my third car on here, and until now, haven't really had to do much! Well, ended up with two burnt out led bulbs and after replacing them at the same rate as halogens and more often than I do bixeon bulbs, I decided to do a bone cheap retrofit! Here's the results (note, I didn't have time to polish the lenses, so it doesn't look great, but it's functional at least).


 
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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
Haven't updated in a while, mainly because I haven't had time to mess with the old monte due to school and vacations.

Small progress is on the hood. Got her striped down and "straightened out" as much as I was able. It was soon evident that the hood had lots of small flaws and dents that would easily show if I were to paint it at this point, and a lot of parts I couldn't reach to pop out due to the framing on the back of the hood. That being said, I got this hood for $50, so I'm not really surprised.

Ended up skim-coating the entire hood and sanding down, but unfortunately, it was very evident that I was going to all but eliminate the beautiful edges with a skim coat, so I ended up sanding those down to bare metal. I will fill them back in up to the curves, then fill any low spots that I couldn't sand to, then try again and hopefully that's my last application of bondo! (don't worry, I'm sanding off practically 90% what I put on. I'm definitely putting it on too thick, but since it's my first time working with the stuff, I'd rather sand then have to re-apply 100 times).

Another update I'll probably get some flack for is that when I bought my monte, it came with a holley street avenger 750cfm vacuum secondary carburetor, but the prior owner must have mainly used it for track, since they removed the chokeplate, electric choke, and all accessory parts. Since I will be using this as a street car, and it gets quite cold here in Missouri, I want to have electric choke. Found a 4160 with electric choke in need of rebuild for $40 and harvested the parts. Might even end up selling the 4160 with a rebuild later and make my money back!

Another decision I've made is to rip out the engine and transmission entirely. I'm stuck between building the 350, or going with a junkyard 5.3. As of now, I'm leaning towards the 350, only because I've already got all the parts, I've paid for the carburetor, intake, cam, lifters, head modifications so it'll make around 400hp to the crank. My buddy has an 88 monte ss and is doing the whole turbo 5.3 ls, and since I've never had a carbureted car, I kind of want to do something a bit different since I'll be putting an ls4 in my fiero.

One thing I will for sure be doing is upgrading the transmission from the old th350 in there now. Been doing some research, and I think I'll be using a 2002 computer with hptuners to modify and run in speed density mode (since I obviously can't fit a maf sensor), install the other required sensors, electric speedo, 4 speed shifter, etc. I've got a 4l80e that I could build for high horsepower, that way, even if I decide to do an ls swap in the future, I've got the transmission to support it.

Speaking of upgrades, I'm planning on doing an explorer 8.8 swap with disk brakes. Found some good information and suppliers for parts and feel it is the most cost effective option if I'm looking to hold up to 1000hp (not that I'll ever touch even close to that). But that's a ways in the future.

Biggest wrench in the progress is really lack of money and space. Simply put, my fiero is in the way. My next step after getting my grand prix back as my daily and selling the acura rsx, is getting the fiero repaired so it can finally leave the garage. Mainly because I have to pull the engine and transmission so I can separate the frame from the chassis so I can clean it up. Next, the rusted out floor pans need addressed, and I'll be replacing the carpet and upholstery to make it livable. The body in general is in need of repair, got rust coming through the trunk, rear quarter, and front doors, nothing non-repairable, but still costly. Biggest setback there, is that I cannot weld yet. So summer, I'm going to take some classes and practice so I'm at least passable. Basically, it's going to be awhile before I have time to do much and update this thread. And there it stands!
 
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wstefan20

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 13, 2018
35
18
Still up for debate! Right now I'm sitting on an LS4 so I'm thinking that'd be fun. Got an extra 3800 sitting around as well though so.... we'll see!
 

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