BUILD THREAD Low low cost build

87National

G-Body Guru
Apr 15, 2009
555
93
eastern SD
Getting a Ford 8.8 to fit a G body requires a lot of work and only the Mustang 8.8 fits right without cutting and narrowing the rear.
Kits are available for both the mustang and explorer 8.8. Neither require narrowing the rear.


A drag racer is very different from a street legal car. G bodies are popular for drag racing because they run ok as long as you travel on a flat straight line. They suck hard on the slightest curve with the horrible backwards 60's inspired front suspension
Every g-body I've owned has been more orientated towards straight line acceleration. All have been a blast to drive on the street.
 

Screwz

Greasemonkey
May 10, 2021
104
43
Arkansas
I would watch FM in larger southern cities like Dallas or Phoenix . I have seen some decent deal in Dallas over the last few months. Then I would start looking for a gen 6 BBC . Everone has a SBC or LS . And there kinda boring. But a big block is aways fun . If I didn’t already have a 400 sbc I would be hunting for a BBC.
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
4,302
113
Upstate NY
I’m just put off by the escalating build cost.
How much money do you intend to spend? This has already been asked, but we are yet to see an answer to what your budget is.

An LS swap is expensive, sort of. The 'sort of' depends on how fast you want to go. And you can spend all you want on every engine platform if you let the shoulda's, coulda's and woulda's take over the build.

There is no doubt that a BB build is tough to beat from a budget standpoint IF, repeat IF, you can find a properly running donor. And a stock BBC with a cam and headers is a very reliable 400+HP, low rpm setup.

How much money do you have to spend??
 
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Ratchet

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
Jan 10, 2018
185
28
How much money do you intend to spend? This has already been asked, but we are yet to see an answer to what your budget is.

An LS swap is expensive, sort of. The 'sort of' depends on how fast you want to go. And you can spend all you want on every engine platform if you let the shoulda's, coulda's and woulda's take over the build.

There is no doubt that a BB build is tough to beat from a budget standpoint IF, repeat IF, you can find a properly running donor. And a stock BBC with a cam and headers is a very reliable 400+HP, low rpm setup.

How much money do you have to spend??
I’d like to be able to do it for under $4 k. I like the BBC idea. Combine that w/400 turbo and it would definitely total less than an LS w/4L60e. One problem with any powerful engine combination is the cost to build a strong rear end. The last 8.5 I built ran about $1400. Probably a 9” is the way to go, however, it won’t be any less expensive.
An LS starts off being reasonable but the wiring harnesses both for the engine and transmission along with the electric fuel pump add to the initial cast.
As early as three years ago, a solid body Regal could be bought for $3k or less. Now the prices have double. Cutlasses were even less. A solid Malibu has always been higher as the demand has been greater. Finding a solid Malibu with a dash that has zero cracks for under $6k is getting difficult.
 

scoti

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Sep 5, 2019
1,488
113
Texas
I’d like to be able to do it for under $4 k. I like the BBC idea. Combine that w/400 turbo and it would definitely total less than an LS w/4L60e. One problem with any powerful engine combination is the cost to build a strong rear end. The last 8.5 I built ran about $1400. Probably a 9” is the way to go, however, it won’t be any less expensive.
An LS starts off being reasonable but the wiring harnesses both for the engine and transmission along with the electric fuel pump add to the initial cast.
As early as three years ago, a solid body Regal could be bought for $3k or less. Now the prices have double. Cutlasses were even less. A solid Malibu has always been higher as the demand has been greater. Finding a solid Malibu with a dash that has zero cracks for under $6k is getting difficult.
I don't see under 4k including purchase of the vehicle unless you can stumble across some 'free' stuff (spending money for items & then flipping to gain). I'm in to watch though since I know some are better @ the game vs others. I'm one of the others it seems....
 
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mclellan83

Comic Book Super Hero
Jun 27, 2017
2,804
113
Pgh, PA
I don't see under 4k including purchase of the vehicle unless you can stumble across some 'free' stuff (spending money for items & then flipping to gain). I'm in to watch though since I know some are better @ the game vs others. I'm one of the others it seems....
What? You mean that the TV shows bamboozle us with prices and what they spend/get from sponsors?
No Way What GIF
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,006
113
Galaxy far far away
Low cost is pretty subjective. There are lots of factors to consider like what purpose you want to use the car for, emission legality, street legality, local market prices, how much work you can do yourself, luck, etc. You don't need to do a full on pro touring build to enjoy a classic car, despite what the marketers say.

G bodies are antiques and require a sh*t ton of upgrades to begin to approch modern standards of performance. But you can never make a antique fully modern and kind of defeats the purpose of owning an antique in the first place. Even back when they were new they were never designed to be sports cars. The original designers ruthlessly sacrificed performance for comfort and utility. Still they can be greatly improved upon without getting caught in keeping up with the Jones syndrome that many hotrodders fall for.
 

64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
4,302
113
Upstate NY
$4k including the car can be done, but you need to find a good car as a starting point. At this point, I'd recommend against worrying about a rear end until you have a car.

Regarding $4k, if that is fr the engine/trans combo, then that is more than enough for an LS swap if you do the work yourself.
 

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,006
113
Galaxy far far away
Just buying a decent G body will eat up most or even more than that 4K. The more base the car is, the more upgrading it will require for even basic performance. Most important thing is minimal rust damage, but count on performing some rust repairs. Some of the body mounts will likely require repair washers welded on. Yes you can do an LS swap as low $4k, assuming you already have the LS motor, trans, PCM, and wiring harness.
 
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08Malibu

Royal Smart Person
Feb 9, 2014
1,026
113
North Jersey
Low cost is pretty subjective. There are lots of factors to consider like what purpose you want to use the car for, emission legality, street legality, local market prices, how much work you can do yourself, luck, etc. You don't need to do a full on pro touring build to enjoy a classic car, despite what the marketers say.

G bodies are antiques and require a sh*t ton of upgrades to begin to approch modern standards of performance. But you can never make a antique fully modern and kind of defeats the purpose of owning an antique in the first place. Even back when they were new they were never designed to be sports cars. The original designers ruthlessly sacrificed performance for comfort and utility. Still they can be greatly improved upon without getting caught in keeping up with the Jones syndrome that many hotrodders fall for.
I don’t mean to completely derail the thread, but I’m curious about what kind of g body you own? Is it modified at all?
 
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