MALIBU The Sunken Ship Build Thread!

LT1B-Body

Greasemonkey
Feb 25, 2021
120
28
Maricopa Arizona
Hi! I'm starting a build thread for the 78' Malibu I have. It's my friend's car, he took it to a shop to get it back on the road, but they took the money and ran never to be seen again.
So instaed of taking it to another shop I'm building for him instead. He not too knowledgeable about cars, but is trying to learn, so he's been helping a bit and learning.

Now to the car! It's a 1978 Chevrolet Malibu coupe, and this is how it looked when I got it
20210327_172402.jpg


I got the body panels installed in short order, but the pass side of the front fasia is a bit crunched.

After that, I started working on trying to get it to start so I could test the trans. A thm350 btw.
First thing I noticed was the battery cables, never seen hackery like this!
20210329_171046.jpg


Not to mention that the ground was red and the power black!
So I robbed the starter cable off my wagon next to it and installed a fresh battery. When I tried to crank it I got nothing more then a click.
I was thinking it was the starter at fault, but out of curiosity I tried to turn the engine over by hand with a breaker bar, to find it stuck pretty well. I then noticed that the air cleaner
looked quite rusty
20210328_184014.jpg


So I removed the spark plugs, and water poured out of cylinders 6 & 8, aka Water in the Cylinders! Yay!🙄

So I removed a cylinder head and found some things, none of which good.
20210402_143745.jpg

20210402_143732.jpg


The driver side head is the one I removed because it was the side in the shade lol. Despite it not being the worst side, the bores on the driver side were bad enough to warrant machining.
20210402_154848.jpg
 

LT1B-Body

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
Feb 25, 2021
120
28
Maricopa Arizona
Today I removed the ugly hunk of sbc, trans attached with help from the the owner.
20210405_174457.jpg


With the engine out I wanted to take the pass side head off to see how bad that side was, but not today my good man!
It refused to come off, I even attached the cherry picker to the head and ended up lifting the engine and trans off the ground. But it still would come off, I think it's likely rusted on.

So I moved to the transmission, I took the pan off and found more!
20210405_163555.jpg


Yes, that is magnetic goop on the magnet! Not good!

Some more,
20210405_163602.jpg

20210405_163729.jpg

No chunks of metal at least!👍
 

5spdCab

G-Body Guru
Dec 29, 2019
886
93
Tukwila, Wa.
Wow, not something you would expect in Arizona, although on the rare rainy days, I know that multiple inches can come down in just an hour or so. It looks like you are going to have a serious project ahead of you. Keep us posted on your progress and your student.
 

ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
2,027
113
As far as the trans goes, i don't like that fluid color... besides which, maybe it may make sense to upgrade spending on budget?

Add what it's worth as a core untested to someone, plus the cost of rebuilding what you have. Now subtract that from the cost of a fresh unit that has overdrive.

My guess is for a just a few hundred more you can get into a 2004r or 4l80e.
 

81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 16, 2009
3,158
113
Western MN
Water results in instant transmission death. That trans has been wet.

I'd be in the market for a replacement engine and trans. Ish.

star trek GIF
 

Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
6,651
113
Spring, Texas
A pullout from a GMT400 with a 700R4 might be a good budget way to go and get overdrive in the car.
 
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ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
2,027
113
A pullout from a GMT400 with a 700R4 might be a good budget way to go and get overdrive in the car.
Either something from someone building a "sport truck" or the driveline from a 80s/90s conversion van. The latter can be had cheaply with low miles.
 

LT1B-Body

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
Feb 25, 2021
120
28
Maricopa Arizona
Is the transmission beyond being rebuilt?
And do Vortec powered trucks have a 4L60E or a 700R4?
 

Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
6,651
113
Spring, Texas
Is the transmission beyond being rebuilt?
And do Vortec powered trucks have a 4L60E or a 700R4?

According to that page it looks like 93-94 is the changeover from 700R4 to 4L60E. I was just thinking a good takeout would be better on the budget and have the added bonus of overdrive.
 
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LT1B-Body

Greasemonkey
Thread starter
Feb 25, 2021
120
28
Maricopa Arizona
I'll definitely try and find a 700R4, as long as it stays within my budget!
Shoot! I forgot! I would need a different driveshaft right?
 

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