"Nostalgia" Lemans (327/Muncie swap)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 11, 2021
36
18
Hello GBody Forum,
I'm a newer member but have started on a project and thought it best to share what I can for the next guy who wants to do something similar!
Here's a link to my Newbie post describing the project: https://gbodyforum.com/threads/newbie-intro-post.82265/#post-850742

I've removed the original engine and trans, and this past weekend the rebuilding began.

With the engine+trans removed, I punched a hole in the firewall and installed the (glorious?) clutch pedal and attached the pedal-end of the linkage
Also cut the brake pedal and put on the smaller pedal cover.
1626238955793.png


This past evening it was raining hard here in Ottawa so instead of lying on wet pavement, I gapped and installed spark plugs for the first time in the shed.
Lame picture I know. didn't think to take one of the motor (d'oh)

1626239270056.png


Cheers,
Colin
 
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users

g0thiac

G-Body Guru
Sep 6, 2020
795
63
Hello GBody Forum,
I'm a newer member but have started on a project and thought it best to share what I can for the next guy who wants to do something similar!
Here's a link to my Newbie post describing the project: https://gbodyforum.com/threads/newbie-intro-post.82265/#post-850742

I've removed the original engine and trans, and this past weekend the rebuilding began.

With the engine+trans removed, I punched a hole in the firewall and installed the (glorious?) clutch pedal and attached the pedal-end of the linkage
Also cut the brake pedal and put on the smaller pedal cover.
View attachment 179685

This past evening it was raining hard here in Ottawa so instead of lying on wet pavement, I gapped and installed spark plugs for the first time in the shed.
Lame picture I know. didn't think to take one of the motor (d'oh)

View attachment 179686

Cheers,
Colin
Hello fellow Canadian haha, welcome and congrats on your new project.

Keep us updated, I've wanted to convert my 1984 Pontiac Bonneville sedan to manual, so seeing others try it on their vehicles is pretty neat!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

85442/86buick

G-Body Guru
Feb 12, 2013
721
93
Perth Country , Ontario
we are going to need better pictures !

Looking forward to following along
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 11, 2021
36
18
Hello fellow Canadian haha, welcome and congrats on your new project.

Keep us updated, I've wanted to convert my 1984 Pontiac Bonneville sedan to manual, so seeing others try it on their vehicles is pretty neat!
Thanks! A manual Bonneville would be badass
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

CopperNick

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
2,386
113
Canada
If you want to go Third Pedal badly enough, score yourself a copy of the El Camino/Monte Carlo catalogue From Original Parts Group (OPGI) They carry pretty much all the parts needed for the conversion. The only catch I can see is the question of what the default or resident mill is in that Bonneville. if it is a true Pontiac engine ala 400 or bigger then you could need application specific components. If it is a SBC then Most of the 78-88 G-bodies share a common infrastructure that allows a lot of parts to be shared from platform to platform. Even though most of the G-bodies went auto-stick in the late 70's the one hold out was the El Camino that actually still offered the manual option almost to the very end of production in 88. Do be aware that there is invasive surgery involved as you have to drill the firewall for the upper clutch rod and create a fairly large hole in the tunnel for the shifter to fit through. The other thing is that Hurst no longer exists as a stand alone company and scoring one means either E-Bay or trolling the swap meets.

Interesting story in all this; GM actually did offer a more door sedan with a manual transmission back in the very early 80's. Story varies from teller to teller but the version I got was that they got an order for a fleet of Malibu four doors from the Saudis. Normally they would have just supplied automatics for the build but the Saudis specified manuals because the operating conditions over there are hard on automatics, they don't really keep up with the maintenance the way one of us might, and having the sticks meant women couldn't drive them (Not that women were allowed to drive for themselves back then. And for anyone who might snivel about the overt chauvinism being displayed, hey that was the way of their world back then.)

Anyway, GM filled the order and then invoiced the House of Saud. Problem was the two sides couldn't agree on how the payment was to be transmitted from the Middle East to America. (Something to do with having to deal with multiple banks that normally did not do business with each other or something along that line) So the deal fell through and the Malibus got sent out to the various dealerships here in North America to be sold here.

I have personally had the opportunity to scavenge and harvest parts from 4-6 of them locally. All were 4 doors and all had a manual transmission, 3- speed, on the floor. The motors were the cut down 350 which, with only 6 cylinders, came out around 262 cid or so. The bellhousing rail was pure SBC and I scored three bellhousings along the way. One is currently resident in my 85 Monte Carlo along with a Muncie 4 speed and Competition Plus, the second is awaiting its final sanding, buffing, and polishing, and the third has a 4 speed Saginaw attached to it along with a complete shifter assembly out of an 80's iteration Camaro.

As for the nuts and bolts of it all, seem to recall that I posted pics on it as part of my thread "Project Regress" a link to it ought to be around here somewhere.

Yes, it would be an interesting and unique project. Look forward to seeing a construction thread for it if you go for it.


Nick
 

5spdCab

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Dec 29, 2019
1,188
113
Tukwila, Wa.
Those 4 door stick shift cars that he mentioned were commonly referred to as "Iraqi Taxis". I believe you can find a thread about them here on the forum if you look, that was how I learned about them. Seems to me IIRC that the majority of them ended up in Canada (is that correct, anybody?).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

CopperNick

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
2,386
113
Canada
Huh. LOL, had forgotten that particular "nom de slur". Would not surprise me in the least to find out that the Saudis were just the brokers for the deal and the end customer was going to be Iraq. That would have been the perfect monkey wrench to throw into that kind of deal as there were a lot of embargos in place that barred certain goods and products from being sold to specified nations in the middle east, not to mention the consequences the banks might face for engaging in financial activities with a known enemy of the nation.

As for the bulk of them ending up in the Great White North, I would not say no to the possibility, particularly if they were mostly built up here in one of the Canadian GM plants located down east. As I noted earlier, I did get to pull parts from a few of them; mostly what i found during the post-mortems was that the clutch linkage had completely worn out in most of them. Fundamentally, they had been driven to death and then scrapped. The resident transmissions were mostly Saginaws and the shifters were some kind of variant on the Muncie. It was almost as if the factory had scrounged and scavenged just about every remaining post production repair/replacement part they could locate and built the order with that stock just to use it all up. Someone did a great job of convincing corporate that they could make a higher profit out of selling complete cars rather than keeping stock on hand for as needed repairs or service work scheduled for existing vehicles. Just imagine the howls and pink slips that flew around the offices in GM's HQ when they found out that the order had bombed.

Coincidental story here is that the local Chevrolet dealer was said to have been sent a consignment of those "taxis" even though he had not ordered or requested them. The attached rumor was that all the dealers were experiencing this surprise and had been given instructions that the cars had to be sold and could not be shipped back for credit or redistribution elsewhere in the network. This requirement would likely have been in addition to whatever quotas for sales already existed. Thinking here that the dealers would probably have ended up blowing them out the door for little more than landed cost plus the sales tax just to get rid of them. The principals in all this are likely either dead or demented so most of the truth of the matter will stay in a file somewhere or just plain buried by time.



Nick
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

clean8485

Comic Book Super Hero
Dec 18, 2005
2,748
113
Ontario, Canada
Those 4 door stick shift cars that he mentioned were commonly referred to as "Iraqi Taxis". I believe you can find a thread about them here on the forum if you look, that was how I learned about them. Seems to me IIRC that the majority of them ended up in Canada (is that correct, anybody?).
Yes, that's correct. There were roughly 25,000 of those cars built by GM of Canada, for sale to Iraq. Only about half of them made it there though, and the rest were sold in Canada.
 
  • Like
  • Agree
Reactions: 3 users

Flyn Brian

n00b
Mar 2, 2021
1
3
Hello GBody Forum,
I'm a newer member but have started on a project and thought it best to share what I can for the next guy who wants to do something similar!
Here's a link to my Newbie post describing the project: https://gbodyforum.com/threads/newbie-intro-post.82265/#post-850742

I've removed the original engine and trans, and this past weekend the rebuilding began.

With the engine+trans removed, I punched a hole in the firewall and installed the (glorious?) clutch pedal and attached the pedal-end of the linkage
Also cut the brake pedal and put on the smaller pedal cover.
View attachment 179685

This past evening it was raining hard here in Ottawa so instead of lying on wet pavement, I gapped and installed spark plugs for the first time in the shed.
Lame picture I know. didn't think to take one of the motor (d'oh)

View attachment 179686

Cheers,
Colin
Pretty neat build, i have a 80 grand am ...planning a LS T56 swap , i did find the same pedal assembly but im doing hydraulic set up !
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

ttype

Greasemonkey
Supporting Member
Jan 30, 2017
239
43
Brockville, Ontario.
Ive worked with 2 oshawa sparkies, and that story jives wit theirs about the taxis. They were meant to be sent as "oops" payments to widows. I peeled some apart in northern Alberta, and there was one more door i saw in Campbell River with 396 and 4 spd. 9c1 was another option on that car.

I also peeled a w30/31 bellhousing out of that scrapyard the same day i yanked a 8.5" 10 bolt from a ttype, and 12" rear brakes from a 96 Chicken.

R.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Status
Not open for further replies.

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck Consoles Dixie Restoration Depot UMI Performance

Contact Admin@GBodyForum.com for info on becoming a sponsor