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#1067022 - 06/27/20 02:58 PM Back to life...SS on the road again!  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Tony K. Offline
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Tony K.  Offline
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Jackson, MI
I sit here thinking about all things that have changed since I bought my SS in 1989 or 1990. I drove my car for years kept it up a best as I could, racking up over 100K miles. Back then the Internet was is in its infancy, some people starting to get websites but the Monte Carlo mailing list was the go to for opinions on things to try on your SS. Gerorg D. Matthew, and few others who's names escape me always were there to help. I was a pretty big contributor back then, but then life happens you get married, build a house, have kids, loose your parents & brother and the money for SS gets absorbed by so many other things. I even went backwards at one point by selling ALL the parts I had collected for the 383 build and manual transmission swap to pay for medical bills. With the valve guides, front main, rear main, timing cover, oil pan all leaking oil I put the SS in storage, put three speed stick deodorants in the car to keep the mice a bay, and put the cover on, that was seven years ago. I always store my cars full of gas with stabil added. In storage at parents farm barn, now this is a farm barn, complete with hay, and tractors the SS slept for seven years. I would check on it when visiting the parents but less and less as I was just so busy.
The COVID-19 gave me some time to get the car out, unfortunately the car cover was pulled of by someone, and the car was filthy. Bought a new battery, put in the car and nothing, no interior lights, no TPS clickling nothing. Thinking the mice had chewed something I decided to have it towed to my house on a flat bed to diagnose, but once it was loaded I looked up in the fender well and there were three ring connectors laying there, doh!, once hooked up the car turned over with no trouble. Remember me saying that the gas tank should be full, well it wasn't bone dry. I wen to the store 6 gallons ethanol free gas and dumped it in, say for a cup full. With the air cleaner off I dumped at little gas in and it fired! Remembering you often had to pump the pump the pedal a lot. Got it running pretty good, mice had their way with the temp sender, and they tried to chew the spark plug boots off the axcel super wires, but it runs. Working on cleaning, once most of the dirt was off and I could see out the windows I decided it was time for a short test drive, then oil change and cleaning the K&N. It's alive and I have always loved the shifting of that Mike Kurtz built 200-4R. Starting to put a plan together to bring back to life completely. Reading the entire build thread for SSLance "Barney" really was amazing.
So I have started researching engine options. I decided I like the E4ME carb, and the simplicity of the Monte's computer system so it is staying. Looking at crate motors right now. Then rear axle and rear brakes. I need front shocks as well. Once that is done I need all new weather stripping and them it will be time for ALL new paint and stripes. As the for the interior I am going to ditch the bench set, and replace it with a set of SS buckets. Center console might be hard to find. What are the latest must haves updates? Saw a neat thread for wire less entry. What else?


1985 SS original motor, 2004R Mike Kurts trans, 2500 precision industries converter, Edelbrock TES EDL-7979 coated headers, high flow cat. Camaro dual air intake. Firebird 16x8 wheels with custom spacers. Koni & Monroe VST front shocks. CC rear Moog CS5662 Iroc fronts. Bench Seat. Dynomax Exhaust. B-Body Master cylinder. Goodyear Highmiler hoses.
#1067025 - 06/27/20 06:51 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: May 2002
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MAP Offline
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Yuma, AZ
Hi Tony,

I envy your position because you have an SS (I don't.) However, it's easy to imagine myself in your shoes, and in that position, I'd like to offer what I think should be #1 on your list, and that is - drumroll - a fat bank account that's deep into five figures. Hotrodding has gotten expensive far faster than the rate of inflation. After money, it gets relatively easy. Conversely, it gets complicated when funds are on the low side and you want to stretch the funding you've got. In my experience, this path usually leads to regrets.

Apologies if this is obvious and/or you're already past this point, however.

Maybe #2 on the list would also involve some soul-searching: you will almost certainly switch to wider, stiffer, low-profile tires. Sadly, they reveal the lack of rigidity in the A/G body chassis and its poor suspension geometry with ruthless efficiency. I know this from my own experience and from having ridden in Lance's car about a year ago (Lance if you're reading this, thank you once again. And once again, the NVH problem is GM's fault, not yours.) Fixing the rigidity problem is difficult and expensive. So I would aim to try to identify ASAP how obtrusive this issue may be to you: to some, it's a complete non-issue; to others, it's a deal-breaker, as is the case with me. This consideration will greatly impact your budget, as this single factor could well be a five-figure fix.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/27/20 07:08 PM.
#1067028 - 06/28/20 12:59 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: Dec 1999
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86ttop Offline
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Welcome Back Tony and good luck with your project.!!


Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
You are not forgotten
If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1067030 - 06/28/20 10:29 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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PB86SS/87LS Offline
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Welcome back, I remember George Dumpit, JMD, etc and we still have some old mailing list members on here like Bob Morris, myself and some others that names escape me. It’s always neat to see people from the past getting back into it with the same car or a different one if they sold theirs years ago.

As MAP said, things can get pricey, lots of parts have taken off in price both used or new original body/interior and the aftermarket performance stuff. But there is also a lot of support for our cars as g-bodies continue to be on that upswing for enthusiasts, IMO, since it is a relatively affordable car to build.

To enjoy your car you don’t need a Schwartz chassis or to go all out in a build, some like their car stock (or close) and will have just as big of a smile driving it as someone autocrossing or a 700hp drag car. There is no right or wrong in how far you want to go with it, there are a few simple/budget upgrades to our cars.

If keeping the CCC Q-Jet that should help keep things affordable too, keeping the SBC and that setup is much cheaper (and easier) than going LS or something. Converting to buckets/console shouldn’t be too bad if you wait for deals, Monte consoles aren’t hard to find nor the bucket seats.


-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 3.8 2bbl/200C/2.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
[Linked Image]
#1067031 - 06/28/20 11:03 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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Keithss Offline
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Jackson,mi
Hello Tony
I too am from the Jackson area.
I also followed Lances build and have received much information from him.
Like others have said, the budget gets out of control FAST, but the final (if there is a final) outcome is very rewarding.
By the way, what color is your Monte?
If you want to PM me, maybe we could meet, and I can offer some insight as to how I went about my project.
Keith

#1067033 - 06/28/20 09:00 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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BladeOfAnduril27 Offline
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Hey Tony, congrats on getting the car running again!!! I might be able to help you out on a console. I have a complete grey console from my car that I'm about 90% sure I'll be parting with.


~ Matt H.

1988 Monte Carlo SS w/ T-tops, White with gray int, 350, Summit cam, World Torquer S/R heads, Holley St. Dominator intake, Edelbrock 600cfm carb, Champion 3-row alum radiator, ramchargers, 200-r4 with CK Shift Kit, billet servo, 2200 stall, Afterburner headers, Pypes 2.5" with x-pipe, Violator mufflers (stock exit), S10 front brake swap.
#1067034 - 06/28/20 09:52 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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MAP Offline
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Hi Folks,

I like to pose the worst scenario first so that if the OP surmounts that, he'll be in a good position to succeed. There are always surprises and setbacks in the hotrodding way of life (as has happened recently to Lance,) and the result can be discouragement and depleted funding. Let's be honest: marriages have ended this way.

Tony, I think it comes down to this: if you've gotten spoiled by the ride quality of most recently-designed cars, then stepping back to an MCSS fitted with wide performance tires that have short, stiff sidewalls (what else in 2020?) is likely to be a shocking throwback to the dark ages of pre-computer NVH. But if this is a non-issue for you, then the odds of being happy with the results of this foray could be good. NVH is notoriously subjective in its perception, so it's good to gauge yours at the earliest possible opportunity, before you've sunk major coin into your project. If you find you can't tolerate the NVH, then be prepared to buy a new aftermarket frame, or be prepared for major re-engineering of the car's structure, with lots of intricate fabrication and welding.

I'd advise you get thoroughly used to driving your MCSS again so the honeymoon of the resurrection has a chance to wear-off and you can more soberly gauge what you have.

Again, I don't want to paint an overly pessimistic picture. But one has to be realistic.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/28/20 09:54 PM.
#1067037 - 06/29/20 01:55 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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Pottstown, Pa
Wow, good to hear from you Tony, another Lister from the good old days. As with a lots of car guys life gets in the way, but some are lucky and keep their toys for later. Welcome back.

Still some good help, advice, info here, feel free to ask. But with most all forums today traffic is very light.

My advice to guys thinking about the build is to direct the effort toward what you really want the car to be in the end. To often 500 hp and no direction costs a lot of money, the project gets stalled again.
Keeping the CCC is not a bad thing, just limits you a little. Did I hear stickshift?

Good luck with the wrenching.
Bob Morris

#1067041 - 06/29/20 02:56 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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85_SS Offline
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Good stuff! I also just put mine on the road today for the first time in six years (other than a trip or two to get fresh gas in it over the years). The kids have been asking about it for a while now and it was fun to get them out for a drive in it smile Pretty neat driving the car you bought as a teenager with a couple of munchkins riding along in the backseat now!

Last edited by 85_SS; 06/29/20 03:20 AM.

[Linked Image]
1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
5.7 LITRE / TES Headers / SShaker Hood / WC T-5 5-Speed
1970 Pontiac GTO
Orbit Orange Judge Re-creation / YZ RAIII 400 / M21 4-Speed
#1067052 - 06/29/20 03:13 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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SSLance Offline
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Peoria, AZ
Good to see all the old folks chiming back in. smile

The process I've used and stuck with regarding mods over the many years is identifying a flaw in the car then coming up with a solid plan to correct it without altering who or what the car is as a whole. The GTO seats I put in my car for example, corrected the horrible factory seats that I hated while keeping the theme of the car going in the same direction. Same with the 9" install, T56, or the crate HT383. All made corrections to the OEM mistakes while keeping the car's history or style. I wouldn't undo ANY of those mods...

My build kind of snowballed when I decided I wanted to do something different with the car, but at the same time I've kept it very street mannered. I can still soften the shocks up with a knob and take it on a long cruise with the AC blasting pretty comfortably. I firmly believe the better of a driver you make your car, the more you'll drive it.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1067058 - 06/29/20 09:36 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: MAP]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Tony K. Offline
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Tony K.  Offline
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Jackson, MI
Originally Posted by MAP
Hi Folks,

I like to pose the worst scenario first so that if the OP surmounts that, he'll be in a good position to succeed. There are always surprises and setbacks in the hotrodding way of life (as has happened recently to Lance,) and the result can be discouragement and depleted funding. Let's be honest: marriages have ended this way.

Tony, I think it comes down to this: if you've gotten spoiled by the ride quality of most recently-designed cars, then stepping back to an MCSS fitted with wide performance tires that have short, stiff sidewalls (what else in 2020?) is likely to be a shocking throwback to the dark ages of pre-computer NVH. But if this is a non-issue for you, then the odds of being happy with the results of this foray could be good. NVH is notoriously subjective in its perception, so it's good to gauge yours at the earliest possible opportunity, before you've sunk major coin into your project. If you find you can't tolerate the NVH, then be prepared to buy a new aftermarket frame, or be prepared for major re-engineering of the car's structure, with lots of intricate fabrication and welding.

I'd advise you get thoroughly used to driving your MCSS again so the honeymoon of the resurrection has a chance to wear-off and you can more soberly gauge what you have.

Again, I don't want to paint an overly pessimistic picture. But one has to be realistic.

Best,
MAP


Well, I am in a much better position financially these days, so like SSLance said find the weak spots and deal with them. I never got to the rear diff, brakes and rear suspension so that is where I am starting along with weather stripping. The goal is to continue down the performance driving or pro touring path. I spent 1/2 day on Saturday driving the MCSS around, and even with flat spotted seven year old tires it was fun. Had to go across town to get 90 octane ethanol free gas. So many people were staring at the car, the driver side paint is much better then the passenger side. Bad vibration above 65 with old tires, looking for rim options that aren't $4K a set!
Transmission is still nice and firm, 2500 stall converter is just great, engine revs to 5500 without issue. I am daily driving a firm suspension car, my daily driver is 2018 Dodge Charger police pursuit AWD hemi, it was left over car that I purchased used with 200 miles on it. With the police suspension and brakes it's a little rough on these Michigan roads. So I have gotten use to 370HP and firm suspension and want to take Monte into the plus 400 HP level. Looking at HT383 short block, something like the HOT cam, and bowtie vortec cast heads. Already contacted Jet Hot about redoing the coating on my TES headers. Have a local powder coating in the que for engine brackets and anything else. Also wanted to add I just narrowed my projects a bit by selling my 1995 Impala SS and the 1994 parts car I had. That money will turn into the engine for the Monte. First rule have a plan, try to stick to it.

Last edited by Tony K.; 06/29/20 09:45 PM. Reason: Clarification.

1985 SS original motor, 2004R Mike Kurts trans, 2500 precision industries converter, Edelbrock TES EDL-7979 coated headers, high flow cat. Camaro dual air intake. Firebird 16x8 wheels with custom spacers. Koni & Monroe VST front shocks. CC rear Moog CS5662 Iroc fronts. Bench Seat. Dynomax Exhaust. B-Body Master cylinder. Goodyear Highmiler hoses.
#1067059 - 06/29/20 09:40 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Tony K. Offline
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Tony K.  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
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Jackson, MI
Originally Posted by mmc427ss
Wow, good to hear from you Tony, another Lister from the good old days. As with a lots of car guys life gets in the way, but some are lucky and keep their toys for later. Welcome back.

Still some good help, advice, info here, feel free to ask. But with most all forums today traffic is very light.

My advice to guys thinking about the build is to direct the effort toward what you really want the car to be in the end. To often 500 hp and no direction costs a lot of money, the project gets stalled again.
Keeping the CCC is not a bad thing, just limits you a little. Did I hear stickshift?

Good luck with the wrenching.
Bob Morris




Yes Bob, but I think that will be done down the road a bit. I still have a rather rare bell housing I needed for the manual swap to use the manual clutch linkage. I can't remember the p/n's but it was from an 80's corvette.


1985 SS original motor, 2004R Mike Kurts trans, 2500 precision industries converter, Edelbrock TES EDL-7979 coated headers, high flow cat. Camaro dual air intake. Firebird 16x8 wheels with custom spacers. Koni & Monroe VST front shocks. CC rear Moog CS5662 Iroc fronts. Bench Seat. Dynomax Exhaust. B-Body Master cylinder. Goodyear Highmiler hoses.
#1067061 - 06/29/20 09:47 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 22
Tony K. Offline
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Tony K.  Offline
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Jackson, MI


1985 SS original motor, 2004R Mike Kurts trans, 2500 precision industries converter, Edelbrock TES EDL-7979 coated headers, high flow cat. Camaro dual air intake. Firebird 16x8 wheels with custom spacers. Koni & Monroe VST front shocks. CC rear Moog CS5662 Iroc fronts. Bench Seat. Dynomax Exhaust. B-Body Master cylinder. Goodyear Highmiler hoses.
#1067074 - 06/30/20 10:34 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: Aug 2014
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Keithss Offline
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Keithss  Offline
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Jackson,mi
Tony
What color is your SS? From the picture I can not tell if it is black or burgundy.
As I mentioned in the earlier post I to am from Jackson and have done a lot of the upgrades you are thinking of.
Have you gone to many of the car shows in town or over to Brooklyn last year? If you had you might have seen my Monte.
By the way would you know where G-Force is on West Ave?
Keith

Last edited by Keithss; 06/30/20 10:47 AM. Reason: Added question
#1067083 - 06/30/20 12:52 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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Travis Jones Offline
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Travis Jones  Offline
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Ferndale, MI
Tony,

As a fellow Michigander my advice is to LS swap the car. Unless you want one for nostalgia reasons, SBC's are a waste of money in today's age. You're going to spend twice as much on a SBC build that makes less power than a "junkyard" 5.3 with a cam, definitely the case with a 6.0 swap. The best part is factory fuel injection, turn the key and go anywhere reliably. no maintenance, No modern fuel causing you trouble.

I have less than $2k in my LS motor and it makes 420hp to the wheels. the whole LS swap cost me about 3k, including fuel system.


86 SS 6.0L LQ4, TBSS intake, Summit Stage 3 NA Cam, Stainless long tube headers, Stainless 3in exhaust, Microsquirt ECU, FABbot AR5 5-speed, Eaton Truetrac 8.8 LSD, QA1 Lvl 3 Front Suspension, 3-link Rear suspension w/ UMI Control Arms, UMI Front & Rear Braces.
#1067085 - 06/30/20 02:01 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Keithss]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Tony K. Offline
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Tony K.  Offline
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Jackson, MI
Originally Posted by Keithss
Tony
What color is your SS? From the picture I can not tell if it is black or burgundy.
As I mentioned in the earlier post I to am from Jackson and have done a lot of the upgrades you are thinking of.
Have you gone to many of the car shows in town or over to Brooklyn last year? If you had you might have seen my Monte.
By the way would you know where G-Force is on West Ave?
Keith

My car is black. I haven't done car shows in a while, last time was a few years ago at cruise night with my black 1995 Impala SS which I just sold.


1985 SS original motor, 2004R Mike Kurts trans, 2500 precision industries converter, Edelbrock TES EDL-7979 coated headers, high flow cat. Camaro dual air intake. Firebird 16x8 wheels with custom spacers. Koni & Monroe VST front shocks. CC rear Moog CS5662 Iroc fronts. Bench Seat. Dynomax Exhaust. B-Body Master cylinder. Goodyear Highmiler hoses.
#1067094 - 06/30/20 09:37 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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Fred SS Offline
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Fred SS  Offline
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Glassboro, NJ
Tony, sounds like you have a really good doable plan. Wish ya luck.


87 SS, Harwood cowl induction hood, UMI trailing arms. Edelbrock TES Headers (Jet Hot Coated). Goodwrench 350, Ported TPI, Trick Flow 56cc alum heads, SLP runners, Comp Cams 260AH-12 cam, Trick Flow 1.5 roller rockers, Bilsteins, TCI 2400 stall converter, Ramcharger fans, Denny's 3.5" Driveshaft, GBodyParts GNX Wheels.
#1067101 - 07/01/20 04:18 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Yuma, AZ
Hi Tony,

Nice looking car! Great. It sounds like you've got your head screwed-on straight (hope you didn't take my previous advice as an insinuation that you didn't!) Sooooooooooooo... have fun!

Must say I very much like Travis' advice, incidentally. In ICE land, I always wanted an LS7, but they're higher coin for sure.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 07/01/20 04:19 AM.
#1067102 - 07/01/20 05:15 AM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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mmc427ss  Online Content
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Pottstown, Pa
Back in 05 the LS7 crate was made available, Bzdel put one in his Monte. Kinda had to make a choice between it and marriage. So build an old school 427 SBC on the sly. The LS7 crate price was over 14 grand + the misc 15 years ago. Mark, they now sell an LS7 without the dry sump necessity, interested? And I think it's 570 hp.
Bob

#1067107 - 07/01/20 12:47 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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Crusher Offline
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Jersey Shore
If I were to start over there is no way I wouldn't go with an LS motor. Not available when I did my build. Something you should at least think about and do some research.


1988 502/502
ProCharger SC
Fast XFI Fuel Inj.
564 RWHP 574 TQ
http://SSMonteCarlo.com
#1067110 - 07/01/20 01:44 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
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PB86SS/87LS Offline
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If a blank slate situation, the LS is hard to argue against. If there are some items in place that you'd like or are fine with keeping, it helps the SBC idea out, i.e. if you are ok with the Q-Jet/CCC system, if you have a decent exhaust/headers you like already in place, etc. My 383 has right about 3k into it now, that's including AFR heads. I'd say for the 300-400hp range which is probably enough for 90% of people you can make points with either setup, if you want 500-600hp or something more, the LS idea (turbo, etc.) makes it much more apparent.

Something I chuckle at when seeing people in FB groups who are gung ho(and in over their heads) showing pics of their stock engine removed, then another of an LS engine sitting off to the side(rEaDy To Ls SwAp), there is a good chance you'll never hear from them again and maybe see the project for sale later on once they realize they can't do an LS swap for as cheap as they thought unless it's using duct tape and popsicle sticks.

Last edited by PB86SS/87LS; 07/01/20 01:45 PM.

-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 3.8 2bbl/200C/2.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
[Linked Image]
#1067112 - 07/01/20 02:43 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: PB86SS/87LS]  
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Travis Jones Offline
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Originally Posted by PB86SS/87LS
If a blank slate situation, the LS is hard to argue against. If there are some items in place that you'd like or are fine with keeping, it helps the SBC idea out, i.e. if you are ok with the Q-Jet/CCC system, if you have a decent exhaust/headers you like already in place, etc. My 383 has right about 3k into it now, that's including AFR heads. I'd say for the 300-400hp range which is probably enough for 90% of people you can make points with either setup, if you want 500-600hp or something more, the LS idea (turbo, etc.) makes it much more apparent.

Something I chuckle at when seeing people in FB groups who are gung ho(and in over their heads) showing pics of their stock engine removed, then another of an LS engine sitting off to the side(rEaDy To Ls SwAp), there is a good chance you'll never hear from them again and maybe see the project for sale later on once they realize they can't do an LS swap for as cheap as they thought unless it's using duct tape and popsicle sticks.


A lot of it depends on the condition of the motor you install and the cost of that motor. If you can find a complete motor in good condition, with a good harness, in a G-body it can be done for under $3000 (if you run the factory manifolds, cam/springs and ECU). I have a whole spreadsheet of everything I bought to complete the swap and it was for the most part a bolt in deal, with the exception of the electric fan mounts, exhaust, wiring, and making brackets for the TV cable. Probably the best way to do it is to find a running and driving 6.0/4l80e van and buy the whole thing, that way you have everything you need and you can sell the shell for scrap afterwards. You can even delete VATS and tune them for free with two programs called LS Droid and TunerPro.

That being said lots of people like the ease at which a 383 or 350 drops into the Monte Chassis. No fabrication or wiring at all, and with custom EPROM chips still available its a great way to make the car GM should have. I think the main determining factor is whether you want fuel injection or not. Good multi-port EFI kits for SBC's are very expensive, and if there's a problem with them they are usually custom units, custom parts and ECU's but with an LS motor, they are "free" because they come with it factory and parts are readily available, and you'll have to upgrade the fuel system to work with EFI on an SBC or LS.


86 SS 6.0L LQ4, TBSS intake, Summit Stage 3 NA Cam, Stainless long tube headers, Stainless 3in exhaust, Microsquirt ECU, FABbot AR5 5-speed, Eaton Truetrac 8.8 LSD, QA1 Lvl 3 Front Suspension, 3-link Rear suspension w/ UMI Control Arms, UMI Front & Rear Braces.
#1067117 - 07/01/20 04:00 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 6,235
SSLance Offline
10+ Year
SSLance  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 6,235
Peoria, AZ
Holley has a new MPFI intake manifold for vortec heads out that if it was available when I did my EFI swap last year, I would have used in a heartbeat.

https://www.holley.com/products/intakes/cast/parts/300-263

[Linked Image]

I'm not sure that I'd make the change from a batch fire TBI to this MPFI setup now but if I was starting from scratch again I most certainly would. The batch fire setup runs pretty damn good once we really got the tune dialed in.

I think I was around $3,000 total in my EFI swap but that included a huge upgrade in the fuel system (that is needed regardless of which system you choose including LS). It made sense for me to take this route because I already had a lot of nice SBC parts that wouldn't transfer over to the LS style (fastburn heads, headers, LT1 T56, etc). It would have cost me over $15,000 to make similar power with an LS so this route made sense for me.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1067118 - 07/01/20 04:01 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Tony K.]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,055
Hunter79764 Offline
Member
Hunter79764  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,055
Grand Prairie, Tx
Not to turn this into an LS VS SBC thing, just adding some info. I think the most reasonable budget estimate is $2000 for the swap plus the cost of the motor and trans. A stock 5.3 and truck transmission is less than $1000, and can be done for about $3k total if you are paying attention. If you want a stock 6.0 and 4l80, you are going to add another $500-1000 depending on the deal you find. And if you start talking the figgin awesome stuff like LS7's, the "Swap" component becomes a budget afterthought, just like you wouldn't blink at a case of break-in oil after you splurged on a Rehr-Morrison crate motor.
Of course that's a rule of thumb, but I don't think you would find many who have done the swap that would argue with "$2k plus motor" as a starting budget. And like Travis said, if you go with a good EFI system on SBC, there's your $2000.

But plenty of people are running good combos for many different reasons, and as long as we all enjoy our own cars, that's what counts. There's help here from either side of the coin.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1067119 - 07/01/20 04:31 PM Re: Back to life...SS on the road again! [Re: Travis Jones]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 12,283
PB86SS/87LS Offline
Administrator
20+ Year
PB86SS/87LS  Offline
Administrator
20+ Year

Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 12,283
New Berlin, WI
Originally Posted by Travis Jones


A lot of it depends on the condition of the motor you install and the cost of that motor. If you can find a complete motor in good condition, with a good harness, in a G-body it can be done for under $3000 (if you run the factory manifolds, cam/springs and ECU). I have a whole spreadsheet of everything I bought to complete the swap and it was for the most part a bolt in deal, with the exception of the electric fan mounts, exhaust, wiring, and making brackets for the TV cable. Probably the best way to do it is to find a running and driving 6.0/4l80e van and buy the whole thing, that way you have everything you need and you can sell the shell for scrap afterwards. You can even delete VATS and tune them for free with two programs called LS Droid and TunerPro.

That being said lots of people like the ease at which a 383 or 350 drops into the Monte Chassis. No fabrication or wiring at all, and with custom EPROM chips still available its a great way to make the car GM should have. I think the main determining factor is whether you want fuel injection or not. Good multi-port EFI kits for SBC's are very expensive, and if there's a problem with them they are usually custom units, custom parts and ECU's but with an LS motor, they are "free" because they come with it factory and parts are readily available, and you'll have to upgrade the fuel system to work with EFI on an SBC or LS.


The whole van thing is a great idea, something I've contemplated as I work on a game plan for the LS swap in my wagon. Planning a LY6/L96 with 4L80e, trying to get the "best" starting point although I know it will cost a little more, favoring cubes and cam for a more streetable powerband and wanting something to at least get started is more a tune/maybe cam without tearing into the motor, enough other things to work on for the swap itself to focus on. Since the car is a "blank slate" drivetrain wise the leading swap candidate is going LS, without a doubt.

For my SS, the CCC Q-Jet works fine for my needs and preference, I never really have any issues due to it being a carb vs fuel injection. I kind of like keeping it the primitive carbed setup and Q-Jet more specifically, if I drove it in cold weather or something that would be different but in the 20+ years it's very street friendly, one reason I keep sticking with it instead of going for an aftermarket carb. I usually try to recommend keeping the CCC setup for those in a street car, if you already have it and it's functioning like it should.

This should give Tony some good info to chew on, if he was even considering or had already thought about an LS swap.

Last edited by PB86SS/87LS; 07/01/20 04:34 PM.

-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 3.8 2bbl/200C/2.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
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