What did you do to your B Body today?

Bondoman

New member
Aug 30, 2018
7
3
Turtle WI
Same as the G Body forum, and as the title states. What did you do?73178DFB-60A9-4291-82EE-37B9C5C6ABE3.jpeg

This weekend I detailed mine in preparation for warmer weather. All mechanicals complete, engine compartment cleaned up, paint buffed, burnished, sealed and waxed twice. Still have to do the driver side door jams and interior once it hits the ground.
 
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rwd_pete

New member
Sep 5, 2018
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Bondoman's Imp is gorgeous. It probably has a few less miles than mine.
Mine needs a "little" work. I bought mine in 1998. My wife's mother had passed and left my wife some money. We had a new Astro van and my wife asked me what new car I wanted. I wanted a '96 Impala SS. On Thanksgiving weekend I went to Toronto, bought some newspapers and bought a black SS. The owner said that when it had 1000 kms he took it to a shop for Edelbrock headers, Flowmasters and cat back pipes, K&N, Hypertech. It had 67,000 kms, tires were bald and warranty done. It has been my favorite car to drive although it is a bit big.
It got parked in April 1996 when it started to misfire. Since then there were too many other projects on the go. This picture was taken last June in my driveway. Last week the weather finally got warm enough to start working on the Impala SS.
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Misfiring usually is caused by moisture in the Optispark or burned plug wires on the headers. It has happened all too often. So I pulled the water pump and Opti. A bearing had gone in the pump leaking coolant into the Opti.
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Siting in the yard last year, it starting to bleed powersteering fluid when I started it. I bought a new high pressure line and installed it last week. Once it was back together it still leaked. Sure enough it was the low pressure line. So I bough the other line and it is back together and not leaking. I cleaned the plug wires and painted up everything.
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Now I'm cleaning and painting rotors and calipers.
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A dealer repainted the hood in '98 after a small crash. Now it's starting to have the patina look. The spoilers must have been painted beyond the factory by a contractor. The spoiler on a friends's car went the same way.
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My tall son just asked me what happened to the roof. Bird crap? I never noticed it before. Like acne all over it. Looks like I have some paint work ahead of me this spring.
I was hoping to get back to work on my Malibu this year. It has a similar LT1 injected with a Corvette cam but with a 4 speed Saginaw. It still needs the high pressure fuel system built and a total repaint. Engine is all installed.
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This picture was taken in 2003. The last engine in the Malibu was a 400. It ran nice but was hard on gas. The injected Lt1 should make it much nicer.
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Pete
 

Bondoman

New member
Aug 30, 2018
7
3
Turtle WI
You have quite the nice stable of vehicles, Pete! My imp is all sorted, but the Malibu is slowly being resurrected from a pile of parts. Jobs, houses, kids and other toys all keep progress slow.
 

rwd_pete

New member
Sep 5, 2018
8
3
You have quite the nice stable of vehicles, Pete! My imp is all sorted, but the Malibu is slowly being resurrected from a pile of parts. Jobs, houses, kids and other toys all keep progress slow.
So you have a Malibu too. Cool! I understand all of the financial and other distractions. I think your Imp looks nicer than mine when I bought it in '98. It's nice to have a fun ride that you can drive anywhere. Although the Imp has the nicest drive line, I like the size of the Malibu. My goal is to make it as nice to drive as the Imp. My first new car was a black 1978 ElCamino SS. I got married in 1978 and needed something that my wife could drive without special; training. Although GM never built a Malibu SS, my goal was to build the as if was a factory SS option with the ElCamino SS front spoiler. They only came with 14 x 6 wheels. I moved the offset out on some 14 x 7 Camaro Ralleys (245/60 x 14 BFG's) for the front and put Malibu centers into a pair of 15x7 Cragar outer wheels for the rear such that I could run 275/60's. Trim rings are Cutlass.
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I moved the Imp outside to clean up the Power Steering fluid mess on the floor. Good news and bad news. The brake pedal was dropping to the floor. I thought it needed another new master cylinder. Good news is that it wasn't an expensive master cylinder. Bad news it blew a brake line on my paving stones. I Zeibarted he car when I bought it and frequently oil sprayed it, but winters take their toll.
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Pete
 

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Bondoman

New member
Aug 30, 2018
7
3
Turtle WI
I got lucky with my impala. It’s been a bucket list car for me since they came out, and I had a chance to buy my 40k mike example for a really good price. It’s never seen winter and supposedly never seen rain, and judging by the underside I wouldn’t doubt it. It has a few small scars but I’m glad it does because then I don’t feel bad about driving it. It swallows two car seats with kids, a double stroller and all our junk with ease. Performance wise it’s not breaking any records, but I love driving it because everything it does feels effortless. That and it still has a lot of that “old car” feel.

My Malibu is a project going on 8 years now. Here’s the frame.
A3940846-B51E-4D62-A1D4-D81FFF21F109.jpeg
The body’s on the cart being mini tubbed and will go in for metal work before acid dip and e coat this winter. If I can save up enough pennies, I’ll be getting the motor and trans for it about this time next year. Seems like I haven’t had time, money or either to get it done. I told the wife I’m going all in on it because I’m sick of looking at it half done. No more frame-offs after this!
 

rwd_pete

New member
Sep 5, 2018
8
3
The Impalas are great for hauling your family. In the '90's my kids were in their teens and my son was too tall to fit into my tudors, so I bought the 62 Pontiac 4 door hdtp as a project. I bought the Impala before the Pontiac got finished and on the road. Now we have too many projects so I plan on doing some work on the Pontiac this year and putting it up for sale. I worked as a Engineer in a GM engine plant. Last November as part of GM's restructuring they offered 18,000 employees severance packages. I had 44 years service and took them up on their offer. My last work day at GM was Jan.31st. so I have more time to work on things now.

Your Malibu chassis looks like the ultimate Malibu. The rubber looks huge and it looks like you narrowed the frame a bit to fit them in. It will be amazing! Not long ago doing a frame off on a Malibu seemed extreme but is becoming pretty common now. What are your plans for the engine/transmission? Your garage looks awesome too. Now that I have more time I'm trying to rationalize my stuff and thin out the surplus. I don't expect I'll ever get my shop to get to the level of perfection of your garage, but I'm working through doing cleaning and painting now that the weather is getting nicer.

You don't appear to be the kind of guy that uses a lot of Bondo. Is your handle like calling a tall guy "shorty", or do you work at a body shop?

Pete
 

Bondoman

New member
Aug 30, 2018
7
3
Turtle WI
Congrats on the severance, that will definitely free up some time for you! What kind of engineering work did you do? I have a mechanical engineering degree and my automotive claim to fame is being the tier 1 design engineer launching the Ford 3.5/3.7L and 5L plastic cam covers. After launch I ended up running the plants that made said parts, and after almost 15 years of looking at them decided to take my career in a slightly different direction last fall. The thing I miss the most are the opportunities to get into the oem engine and assembly plants.

The garage, and a lot of my toy car expenses to date, were covered from money made flipping vehicles. From 1998ish to when cash for clunkers happened, it was easy to turn and burn and when steel was really high, sometimes just junk them.

Yeah, the Malibu frame has quite a bit of work into it - notched, boxed, braced, all that good stuff. I did all the work, including paint, myself. My last name starts with bond, and I worked in a body shop in high school through college, which is how I got the bondoman moniker.

For a motor, I have a 400 block all setup for big hp, but I’m most likely going to jump on the ls bandwagon. Its just too cheap and easy to build a lot of reliable hp and get decent mileage while still having luxuries like a/c. It will most likely get bolted to a t56, that way the wife won’t want to drive it!
 

rwd_pete

New member
Sep 5, 2018
8
3
I'm a Mechanical Engineer too. More heat & energy. I started as an industrial engineer and then four years as a quality supervisor in cam/rod/crank/piston area for 305 and 350's. Standard volume then was 2080 engines/day. Then 12 years in utilities and facility projects. Five years as environmental engineer in our cast iron foundry. They closed the foundry as engines went aluminum. Then, as plant & facility engineering supervisor, turned the foundry into a Gen III engine plant. Then changed the V6 part of the plant from 2.8/3.1 engines to HFV6. The last 10 years were as lead environmental engineer. My claims to fame were like the plant being landfill free for production wastes for the last 10 years and recycling over 98% of waste. Exciting stuff! LOL Just finished installing a new fuel tank for the dyno lab to meet all of the liquid fuel regulations. I never got into any product design. When I left our plant it was building Gen V truck, Camaro, Cadillac, and Corvette engines including the supercharged ones and HFV6 including the twin turbo ones. It was a great job. I paid my P.Eng. fees for 2019 and not sure what I will do next.

I'm guessing your wheels are the N90 17x8's. I haven't seen those wheels on a Malibu but they should look great. That is a versatile size. Initially I bought a set of 17x8 TTII's for the Pontiac with Impala SS size tires. Then we got as set of 285 and 245 Eagle GSC's with the LT1 engine for the Pontiac. On 17x8's they work well on the Malibu.
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Chevelle rotors fit right onto the Ford spindles, so I changed the bolt pattern to Chev. on both ends. The 17x8's worked well on the Ford too.
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The Malibu came with a 400 2bbl installed. Later the 400 it went into the Pontiac, then back into the Malibu (Crane 272 cam, Performer RPM, etc.) with a wide ratio 3 speed and 2.41's in an effort to get decent fuel economy. The car ran mid 14's using only 2 gears. It was usually about 10 mpg and that's why I'm swapping to a Gen II. The Impala fuel economy is about the same as a Silhouette van that I had. The 400 is in the '56 this year and hope to get it to the track.

At GM they were into "Workplace Org." We all had a picture of how our desk was supposed to look at the end of the day, posted in our cubicle to remind us to leave it that way. I think I'll post a picture of your garage on my garage wall to remind to clean up after doing something. A place for everything and everything in it's place. LOL At GM they have what they call 5S for clean up. Sift, Sort, Straighten, Standardize, Sustain - That's what I have been doing since at home since January. Still have a ways to go but making progress.

Pete
 

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