Last updated Apr 18, 2009
1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
This was my first car, which I purchased in 1998. I had always loved the 4th generation Monte Carlo SS since I was a kid and when I had saved enough money to purchase my own car, this is what I focused on. The very car I own today slipped through my fingers a year before I bought it, as it couldn't be driven at the time I went to look at it. The seller was supposed to give me a call back when he got a battery for it and was able to get it started. A week went by without a call, so I called back to inquire if he had obtained a battery as of yet, and unfortunately the car had been sold. Due to a baby on the way and the purchase of a new home, the new owner happened to have it for sale again about a year later when I stumbled across it a second time in my ongoing search to find a "nice car at the right price". I didn't let it slip away the second time around.
The original L69 305HO spun a bearing at the beginning of the second summer I had it. Due to a lack of cash at the time, the car unfortunately had to sit for the season while I saved up for a new motor. A summer of hard work and penny pinching allowed me to purchase a new GM Goodwrench crate 350. The following spring, my father and I installed the new 350 and also replaced the 3-speed TH350 transmission that a previous owner had put in with a 200-4R, which is the 4-speed overdrive transmission the car would have originally came with. Wheels have been upgraded to the 86-88 SS aluminum variety that I sanded and polished by hand, then turned over to a local shop for the charcoal grey paint to be applied on the inserts. Tires are 245/60/15 BF Goodrich Radial T/A's on all four corners. Additional bracing has been added throughout the car to stiffen up the body, and the suspension has been upgraded with Belltech lowering springs and drop shocks resulting in an aggressive stance. Edelbrock TES headers connect to a factory Y-pipe with dual Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers and 3" polished stainless steel tailpipes. The original clutch fan has been replaced with a 5000cfm Mark VIII electric fan guided by a hand built harness utilizing both speeds as well as supplying feedback through a single RBG LED. As commonly found in g-bodies, the rear frame rails were in need of attention which was addressed by an aftermarket kit fabricated and installed by Conrad Lozier in Woodstock, Ontario.
The Trans Am Shaker was installed in the summer of 2004. I had bought the shaker scoop itself several years ago at an automotive flea market, but never had the courage to take on the project or hack up the original hood. When I had a spare hood in hand from a 1987 Monte Carlo SS parts car I had, I decided to give it a shot. The project went quite smoothly, and after a lot of measuring I had the complete shaker assembly installed in a few days - much quicker than I had originally anticipated. I also installed an aftermarket flap kit to make the scoop functional like the 70-72 shakers, as all 73+ T/A shakers were purely cosmetic. The installation is a mix and match of T/A parts that were customized to fit and sit properly with the Monte hood. The assembly sits on top of a modified dual snorkel SS breather, complete with ducts and snorkels from a 1984 Camaro. The result is a fairly unique, yet somewhat factory appearing shaker hood which really lets the CCC Q-jet roar with the secondaries and shaker flap open :)
In December of 2007, I once again upgraded the transmission to a World Class T5 5-speed from a 1992 Camaro using a 93-97 F-body hydraulic assembly complete with a custom clutch pedal made by member John Bzdel on the montecarloss.com forum. A Hurst Competition Plus shifter, modified to fit the Monte console topped it off. Other recent projects include the installation of a serpentine belt system from a 1991 Caprice, a 36mm hollow sway bar from a WS6 Trans Am, as well as an H4 headlight upgrade. An 8.5" 3.42 limited slip rear end from a 1987 Grand National has also recently been purchased to replace the original 7.625" 3.73 open rear.
The Monte was my daily summer driver until 2004, but has now become a fair weather only car. Future plans hope to include true 2.5" stainless dual exhaust, a cam and head upgrade and then eventually a complete repaint. The car was originally black, and was painted white by the second owner. Colours that I have considered are silver or pewter with stock 85/86 stripes, but I'm also pondering going with a brighter white, burgundy, or perhaps going back to the original black. This car has been, and still is a pleasure to drive. The recent switch to a standard transmission really wakes the car up and makes for a completely different driving experience. G-bodies are really starting to come into their own, and it's nice to see others start to recognize these cars as a great platform to build on.
-World Class T-5 5-speed
-8.5" 3.42 Grand National limited slip rear differential
-buckets & console
-World Class T5 5-speed c/w JohnB clutch pedal, 93-97 F-body hydraulics
-Hurst Competition Plus shifter (modified for g-body)
-Goodwrench 350 crate motor
-8.5" 3.42 Grand National Posi rear differential (in hand)
-Additional bracing: under rad support, rear bumper, rear seat, fender to rad support and rad x-braces
-36mm F-body front sway bar
-Refinished 86-88 SS wheels
-Dual snorkel air breather
-Polished 3" stainless steel tailpipes w/dynomax superturbos
-Mark VIII electric fan with hand built harness (see album below)
-TES shorty headers
-Custom T/A shaker hood with functional flap kit
-3" front drop, 1.5" rear drop
-New aftermarket rear frame rails
-245/60/15 BFG Radial T/A's
-H4 Headlight upgrade
-serpentine belt conversion
-head & cam upgrade
-True dual stainless steel exhaust
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