72 Chevelle Malibu

chevelle1.jpg (37841 bytes)chevelle2.jpg (40458 bytes)chevelle3.jpg (38434 bytes)

11/22/03.  I found a '72 Chevelle Malibu on E-Bay, and it was from the Humphrey area, so I took a look at it.  It has a matching # 350 engine, and TH350 tranny.  It also has power disc brakes, power steering, AC and a vinyl top.  On top of that, the 4 original rally wheels were included.  The color is midnight bronze metallic.  While not an SS, the original drive train and options made it a worthy car for restoration.  The purchase price was decent enough to leave me room for improvements.  
And boy does it need improvements!  This car had sat in the trees for 7 years after the owner wrecked it.  The passenger side A-arms are bent and broken so for now it's a 3-wheeled car, which is kinda hard to move around.  The rear of the car is completely rusted out.  The previous owner left towels in the trunk in the wheel well area, and the moisture they accumulated took their toll on the trunk.  The interior isn't real bad, but is extremely dirty and moldy.

I spent some time decoding all the #s for the car, and this is what I came up with.
possum1.jpg (45474 bytes) A possum was living in the left front fender and it took a couple of days of trying different things to get him to vacate his Chevelle Hotel.  There was enough leaves packed in the fender to completely fill a big shop vac.  
possum2.jpg (31724 bytes) Close up of the Chevelle's main tenant.  When I was loading up the car on the trailer, a mouse ran out of the tailpipe when I looked in it.  Scared the hell out of me!
InShop.jpg (39246 bytes) 12/13/03.  I installed a new ball joint on the right side, and now the car is sitting on all 4 wheels.  I still need new a-arms, but this will at least allow me to move it around.
MouseNestEngine.jpg (44167 bytes) I decided to see if I could get the engine running, since a few days ago I successfully turned the engine over by hand.  After a little over $700 in parts, including a new Edelbrock intake manifold and carb, alternator and misc parts, I was ready to have at it.  The previous owner sold the original manifold and carb after he wrecked the car, and laid a newer manifold on top to partially seal the engine off.  Over that he laid a blanket.  When I pulled the manifold off I found this mouse nest.  Eeeeewwww!!!   Now I know the 350 is supposed to be a mouse motor, but this is ridiculous.  Looks like a tear-down is in order.
engineout1.jpg (31972 bytes) 12/19  The engine is out.  The first thing I noticed was that the driver's side motor mount was broken.
engineout2.jpg (38000 bytes) Engine on the stand, waiting for disassembly.
Here's a detailing project that will take me a few hours.  :>(  The broken motor mount is sitting on the radiator support.
fender1.jpg (23818 bytes) 12/25.  I started tearing apart the front of the car.  Here's the LF fender after I removed it.  Looks like all I got for Christmas was more rust...  Notice the square section.  I found some of that aluminum sticky tape underneath some putty.  Someone did a pretty poor job a while back.  Time for a new fender.
fenderoff.jpg (31628 bytes) 12/27.  The nose is all off now.  All the hardware is being put into baggies and marked so they end up where they started.  A bunch more leaves fell out when I pulled the fender.  It was really packed in there.
frontoff.jpg (29276 bytes) 12/28/03  The whole front end has been removed, which makes it easy to get in there to clean and restore.  Looking at this, I sometimes wonder what I got myself into.  :>/
uaarm.jpg (34565 bytes) 1/10/04,   I bought some used A-arms to replace the damaged ones.  They were a bit rusty, so it gave me a chance to try out my new sandblaster.  The upper arm came out pretty good.
laarm.jpg (32911 bytes) I was all the way done sandblasting the lower arm when a friend who stopped by pointed out that my shock mount hole was broken out.  Looks like this will be the first place I get to try out my new MIG welder.

2/17/04.  I decided that since most people don't get out what they put in the car, not counting the endless hours either, I decided to look for a different car that was already done, and just finance the difference.  The 2 years I would spend restoring this one could easily be spent flipping burgers at a 2nd job, and I'd have enough money to make the payments on the car.  OK, so I'm not going to get a 2nd job at BK, but you get the idea.  I sold this Malibu to a guy in Battle Creek  who is going to restore it with his 14-year-old daughter who's paying for all of it with babysitting money.  Now THAT'S some initiative.

OK, here's a sneak preview of what I found.  I fly to Denver on March 6th to pick it up!


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