87 Monte SS - Parts Page
A Comprehensive List Of Purchased Parts
|Stan Egan's Auto World||1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS||$ 2,999.95|
|Summit Racing||GM Performance ZZ4 350 C.I.D. 355 HP Engine Assembly||4,049.95|
|Summit Racing||GM Performance Serpentine Accessory Drive Kit||795.95|
|Fleece Bay||GM Delco AM/FM/Tape/EQ/MP3 input: '83-'88 Cutlass/Regal/Monte||60.00|
|Eastwood||Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black Primer (Quart)||32.99|
|Eastwood||Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black Satin Top Coat (Quart)||39.99|
|Fleece Bay||Vintage Stewart Warner Speedometer & Tachometer||120.00|
|Mountaineer Swap Meet||83 Pontiac Grand Prix Console, Shifter, Brackets Package||60.00|
|Fleece Bay||Buick Grand National Rear End Complete NEVER RECEIVED||1,499.00|
|Super Chevy Show Swap Meet||Pair of 2006 Pontiac GTO Bucket Seats||200.00|
|G Body Forum Member||1986 Pontiac GP Complete Dashboard Assembly||250.00|
|Monte Carlo SS Club Member||Jeep Grand Cherokee U-Joint Style Steering Shaft||50.00|
|Fleece Bay||G Body Floor Shift Style Steering Column||210.00|
|Auto Body Shop Supply Store||1 Can (Quart Size) 3M Brushable Seam Sealer #08656||24.95|
|Auto Body Shop Supply Store||1 Caulk Tube of 3M Fast 'N Firm Seam Sealer #08505||18.95|
|Midway Auto Parts||1 Gallon Can of Southern Polyurethanes Epoxy Primer/Activator||170.00|
|Ron's U Pull It||96 Lincoln Mark VIII Electric Fan/Shroud Assembly||24.95|
|Local Craig's List Add||ACTUAL Buick Grand National Rear End!||900.00|
|Fleece Bay||G Body Seat Belt Retractors & Plastic Trim Panels||40.00|
|Monte Carlo SS Club Member||Pair of Center-Console Style Seat Belt "Receptacles"||20.00|
|Fleece Bay||Pair of 1975 Monte Carlo Tail Lamp Pods||24.95|
|G Body Forum Member||Set of Grey Seat Belts for Rear Seat||60.00|
|Fleece Bay||83-'88 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Radiator Top Bracket||44.99|
As I continue collecting various parts to complete this project, I decided to include two "cashflow" gauges on this page. My "Spend-O-Meter" will track my total investment cash-wise. The other, (which should certainly be the larger of the two) the total number of man-hours invested in the project.
As of this writing (October 2011) I've sunk almost 12k into this project. Most of it in two horrifyingly large chunks. The initial 3k for the car and just over 4k for the new engine. Oh and let's not overlook the $1500 bucks I wasted on a rear end that was never delivered. Grrrrrrr! In terms of man-hours, I've logged 210 hours up to this point, with more yet to come.
I hadn't really wanted to spend what I did for a usable donor car, but what I failed to realize is that as the prices of new cars spiral ever higher into the stratosphere, older/used cars have a higher value as well.
So I swallowed that "bitter pill" of realization and ponied up the cash for the Monte. For its age, the car's in really good shape and should provide a solid foundation for my build.
Besides, my plan is to (eventually) sell off everything I don't need or want and (hopefully) recoup some of the cost of purchasing this car.
If there was one aspect of the Monte Carlo SS most enthusiasts found fault with, it was a lack of power the taut suspension, and throaty rumble encouraged. Although 180 horsepower was a vast improvement over the early-mid '70's power levels, on the street it was easily bested by it's Buick stablemate, the Grand National.
Since the Grand National sported a mere V-6 something had to be done. The principal goal of this build was to rectify the power shortcomings of the assembly line. I didn't want to go crazy and drop in a big block (although that has been done) I wanted a reliable performance engine that would be totally streetable.
To that end I turned to Chevy's past and took inspiration from the 350 powered Camaro. Since my ultimate goal is a well-balanced package not just overwhelming power, the 350 seemed the logical choice.
Since moving South, I have discovered a dearth of radio stations worth listening to. Back when I originally ordered the SS, I couldn't quite pony up the extra scratch for the top shelf radio with the built in equalizer.
Since the Delco head unit is good for about 75 watt output, I decided to grab a refurbished one and upgrade the crappy paper speakers to some modern Infinity Kappa speakers.
To that end I turned to Flea-Bay where a guy is modding the stock head units with a 1/8 input jack for mp3 players. The price was under $100 bucks and sounds awesome. Since I'm not building a "Boompha" car you can hear for blocks around, it suits me just fine... of course you may hear my twin pipes from a distance, but that's music of a different sort.
When you're building a street-rod (as opposed to a restoration) the sky's the limit when it comes to custom touches. At some point, I decided to convert my Monte from a bench seat/column set up, to bucket seats with a floor shifter. I stumbled across this at a local swap-meet and since it came out of a Grand Prix it should be a bolt-in.
The clincher for buying this was that the guy who removed it took the time to include all the hardware, cables and even removed the mounting brackets from the floor of the GP. My plan is to weld them into my Monte and install the console. The shifter will have to be swapped out for one compatible with my automatic w/overdrive tranny, but I'll cross that bridge when the time comes.
Over the years, one thing has really bugged me about the dash on my Monte. The gauges are tiny (not to mention erratic). and as long as I'm upgrading the rest of the car I figured the dash needed a major makeover as well. I originally wanted a dash like the Buick GNX but the going rate of $1,500 smackers was insane.
The GNX sported no-nonsense Stewart Warner white on black gauges. Really old school. With that in mind, I set out to collect a set of my own that I could mount in place of the stock SS mini gauges. As my idea evolved the stock instrument cluster became less and less viable for the planned upgrade. These will be installed in the Grand Prix dash I have waiting on a shelf.
ALERT: Whatever you do don't buy ANYTHING from ebay vendor known as "carguyjr" selling Buick parts. This includes his "worldofmotorworks.com" website! He is a thief and a criminal.
This represents the real sore spot of my build. I "bought" this off flea-bay in August, 2010. I thought I was buying a Grand National 8.5 posi rear end, but the seller has not shipped the unit. In my last phone conversation with him, I was informed it would ship on Oct. 27th 2010. He lied. I sincerely hope a devastating (life-altering totally debilitating) tragedy befalls this chiseler! Perhaps even two. Yes, I believe two would be perfect.
And if anyone reading this thinks Pay Pal will protect them, think again! Their so-called "protection" is only valid for 45 days. Naturally, they suggest you try and work out any problems with the seller directly.
Well guess what, by the time I attempted to do this (via many emails and phone calls) the 45 days were gone! My advice? File an INR report after 5 days! That should light a fire under the seller!
I attended the Super Chevy show in Bristol TN in September, and the swap-meet area netted me a pair of 2006 GTO bucket seats. There's lots of folks on the montecarloss web site doing this swap and those who've done it have nothing but raves regarding the substantial improvement this makes.
The only downside is the color. Bright red (made hyper-intense by my camera's flash) doesn't exactly match with my blue/gray theme. I have to reupulster the back seat anyway, so I have everything done at the same time and it should make a nice overall upgrade to the interior.
My original intention had been to upgrade my dash with a setup of Buick GNX instruments. It would've made a truly custom look, what with the Chevy Dash and Buick gauge pod. But that would've meant more Flea-Bay purchases and right now I don't want to go any further down that road.
So, I went the "grass roots" route instead. I joined the G Body Forum web page and found a vendor parting out 17 cars similar to mine! I emailed the guy, called him on the phone, we chatted a bit and I decided to buy this from him. This guy was great and our deal was smooth sailing all the way. If you're partial to Flea-Bay, his seller ID is: Turbov6 and he's a top-shelf vendor.
The rag-joint on both Montes had deteriorated to the point of needing replacement. There's lots of folks on the montecarloss web site swapping in the dual universal joint steering shaft from a mid-late '90's Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The benefits include a cleaner engine bay (with more clearance for headers) as well as removing slop from the steering. That sounded like a win-win to me, so when a fellow member had several up for sale I grabbed one. This saved me the hassle of junkyard hunting and saved me a bunch of time to boot.
Then there's the other end of the equation. If I'm going to be changing over from a column shift arrangement to a floor-shift arrangement I'm really going to need one of these.
After getting burned once on Flea-Bay I bit the bullet and grabbed this in a buy it now auction. This time however, I was only wagering around $200 bucks and was keeping a close watch on the 45 day PayPal INR (item not received) deadline.
I came home the Wednesday after winning the auction and it was waiting in my carport. Now that is a little more like it!
At the onset, I knew that a cooling system upgrade would be necessary. The cooling was marginal with the 305. The new 350 will be getting a serious upgrade both in the radiator department as well as the fan to keep it cool.
I never liked the way the clutch fan roared whenever I started the car to go somewhere. This will be a much more modern and efficient way of keeping the engine cool during the blistering southern summer months.
Thanks to my montecarloss club I narrowed the choice down to 3 units. A Dodge intrepid twin fan unit. A GM F-Body LT-1 twin fan unit, or ... a Lincoln Mark VIII fan, easily the most robust and powerful choice. So that's what I grabbed.
I finally picked up a GM 8.5 rearend for my build. This time I found the holy grail on Craig's list not far from where I live.
As luck would have it, I was home sick with a head cold, so I fired up the old laptop and went surfing. Naturally enough, I checked out the car parts section and hit paydirt. It was only about a 20 minute drive from my house too.
I called the guy and went over to his house to check out the rear end. Other than the 5.56 gears he'd installed it was just what I'd been looking for, so I bought it and brought it home in short order. Not sure yet if I'll go 3.42 (stock GN ratio) or 3.73 (stock SS ratio), but at least I've got the important part!
Another Flea-Bay gamble... only 40 bucks this time though. I didn't really need the arm rest panels but they came with the seat belt inertia reel assembly and the price was right, so I grabbed them.
Since I'm changing the color of the interior to grey, I need grey seat belts to complete the change. All I need now are the front "recepticle" set that bolts to either side of the center console.
Once I get those I just need the rear seat belt assemblies and that's done. I've seen sets pop up on flea-bay from time to time, so I'll get what I need eventually. The other plastic and trim pieces will be painted to match the factory grey color.
Another score from a fellow Monte Carlo SS web-club for the grand and glorious rate of $20 bucks. One plastic part has a place I'll have to touch up a little, but it's between the console and the seat down low where it's not obvious.
I'd been seeing these come and go on Flea-Bay for awhile and finally decided I'd better grab a set or I'll never be able to drive the darned thing when the time comes. Another guy on the G-Body website is parting out 17 G-bodies and I bought a set of the grey seatbelts for the back seat from him.
If it seems like I'm obsessing over these, I can get the seats and headliner reupulstered and paint the plastic trim pieces, but how do you go about doctoring the webbing of the factory seat belts? I have no idea and now with these last couple of purchases, I won't have to give it any more thought.
Another Flea-Bay purchase... only 24.95 bucks this time though. For quite some time I've been tossing around the idea of adding a custom touch to my tail lights. Sequential LED's would be cool, but are price prohibitive at the moment.
Since I'm changing the color of the car to a dark blue this style with car-colored strips dividing them will help lend a black-out look to them. All I need to do is somehow modify them to fit my car's body lines and it'll give me a unique yet subtle custom touch.
I may have to shoot the lenses with some lens-black paint to get the look I'm trying to achieve, but I'm getting ahead of myself again. I originally thought housings from a '69 Chevelle might look cool, then the idea evolved to staying within the same car line and model.
Another score from a vendor on the g-body forums blog (same guy I got the GP dash from) for the grand total of $60 bucks. The beauty of this approach is the simplicity of acquiring parts (without hiking across miles of junked autos), keeping the car all GM, all without resorting to the aftermarket.
Most cars of a similar vintage to mine (nearly 25 years old) have long since been sent to the crusher, unless you get really lucky and stumble across one in an old, old junkyard that hasn't been "scrapped out" in ages. In fact I haven't found a wreck older that the mid 90's at my local you-pull-it yard.
Just one more advantage of joining an on-line club dedicated to the one car you're fixated on. It makes finding those rare and obscure pieces much more easy than either Flea-Bay or the local boneyard.
Another Flea-Bay purchase... 44.99 this time. This is an upper radiator bracket from an Olds Cutlass Supreme (G-Body) which folks have been using to upgrade Monte Carlos from a traditional clutch-fan to an electric fan setup.
All I need at this point is an upgraded radiator (and external trans cooler), and my cooling system should be able to handle the blistering heat waves we get here in the South lately.
This was the cheapest one I've found, and I had some cash handy, so I grabbed it. Every other version I saw (bead-rolled aluminum, chrome etc) was 75-80 bucks. Another piece of the puzzle added to my parts cache.