72 Chevelle Malibu
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.
|| 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.
||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!
||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.
||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.
||12/19 The engine is out. The first thing I
noticed was that the driver's side motor mount was broken.
||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
||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.
||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.
||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. :>/
||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.
||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
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!