1979 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 2-door Project Car

1979 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 2-door


When we got the Malibu it looked like a dog had been living in it. The body was stripped by the former owner by covering it with chemical stripper, and what didn't come off was ignored. The whole car was then covered in spray-can primer. Wonderful. That's Dad in the first picture. Notice that 3 of the 4 wheels don't match.

1979 Malibu, from the front, as we bought it 1979 Malibu, as we bought it

Dad and I decided to make it a project car that we'd show and sell when we're done. We've done a lot to it, and have a plan of attack. We know we're going to sell it, so some things we're doing to make it more "sell-able" and some things we're not doing because we think the next owner is likely to change it anyway.

The "list" of things we're doing:

Dad and I have done a lot to the car. The paint and bodywork is more-or-less done. The windshield seals need to be replaced. The A&M Soffseal weatherstripping is installed. The glass is in, but needs to be cleaned. The windshield seals need to be completed (not sure how yet).

Currently we're working on installing the TPI system. We have the in-tank pump installed (1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4.3V6, $40 for tank, sending unit, and all from a salvage yard), and once we get the chance, we'll install the system. I'll probably go with MAF for now just to get it running, and convert it to MAP later.

Once the TPI is installed, I'll tackle the interior and the chassis. I'm installing four bucket seats, and most of the interior pieces are rotten, so I'll have to fabricate a lot of stuff. The seats have been reupholstered in shades of gray, and I have the new carpet.

We'll probably rebuild the suspension to stock, with the possible change of installing rear disc brakes. The 2.73:1 rear end from a Malibu wagon we've got (replaced the 2.29:1 it had with the original 267V8) has no brakes on it, so either I spend money on drums or discs. We'll see.

Some have asked me about the drip rails. We used a cutoff tool to remove the drip rails. There's lead sealing the seam, so we removed it and spot-welded the seam together with a MIG. Lots of grinding and filling later, and the job's done. The car had a vinyl top, and it looks like GM used the top to cover the flaws. Areas to pay attention to are the windshield posts (the corner near the top is nasty, as is the channel in the post itself), and the corners at the rear of the top along the top and bottom of the rear windshield post. Be sure to remove the plastic liners around the back side windows when welding!

Drip rail picture

Drip rail picture

Drip rail picture

Drip rail picture

Drip rail picture

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