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TheWraith New Reader
7/17/21 10:53 p.m.

Lurker for a while but it seems this forum fits me better than others, ADD birds of a feather flock together. 


*Warning, I am recapping the build, once you see a stainless steel gas tank artfully crafted by Ricks Tanks I will be up to date

The build is a 1978 Malibu Classic, frame off restomod, turbo LS/TH400, 8.8 Explorer rear that will have AC and killer tunes. I intend to drive this on the weekends, take it to the strip, do Drag Week, and the Silver State Challenge. Tall order.

This is where the story starts, I spent a ton of time in 2013 tracking down the cheapest and most solid Malibu(which all the roundy round racers have ruined over the years) I could find in Texas at the time and found one that was a "racecar" up near Childress for $750 and drug it home. No engine, no transmission, missing most of the interior, peg leg rear, and included about 75lbs of red dirt, I assume they raced this on every dirt road available. What it did have going is 95% rust free, just the normal passenger side floor pan and a quarter sized hole in the drivers rear fender. I did have a spare 5.3/4L60E that was slated for my Volvo 242 but was pushed to the side when I finished the car with a donor 91 Volvo. Harness was finished, TAC module/pedal, and ready to drop in when it was needed.


Got it home and started the tear down


TheWraith New Reader
7/18/21 7:13 a.m.

Then to tear it down even further, I want every nook and cranny clean and painted


cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/18/21 7:40 a.m.

Welcome!  Looks like a great project.  The Volvo is beautiful also.  It looks like you do very nice work.

TheWraith New Reader
7/18/21 4:02 p.m.
cdowd (Forum Supporter) said:

Welcome!  Looks like a great project.  The Volvo is beautiful also.  It looks like you do very nice work.

Thank you and thanks for the welcome. This thread will soon be cluttered by a bunch of other cars that have slowed this project. Currently the stable also includes a lifted XJ Jeep, Harley Road King, and a just recently acquired 06' Boxster. My personal ADD and OCD know no bounds along with doing work for a buddy of mine my free time is non existent. While I've been on a two year hiatus from posting in all of my other forums I believe this will be a better home. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
7/18/21 6:18 p.m.

Cool project. Also, great screen name.


yupididit PowerDork
7/20/21 11:00 a.m.

So much awesomeness in this thread. That Volvo! 

iansane HalfDork
7/20/21 11:08 a.m.

Good looking project!

AutomotiveADD is a serious affliction. I have more projects than garage+driveway space...

TheWraith New Reader
7/20/21 2:03 p.m.

Next up is the full frame cleaning and more disassembly to make sure nobody else will ever buy this project and finish it



After letting it flash a quick coat of POR15 and started mockup for the LS


And then purchased this turd for parts and resale parts


TheWraith New Reader
7/21/21 9:11 a.m.

Next up is more mock up. Stock Vortec truck manifolds wont fit, 2010 Camaro manifolds procurred from Craigslist are close but no cigar so Hooker to the rescue!


And more paint and parts(UB Machine upper arms, Global west lower arm bushings, BellTech spindles,Speedway boxed rear arms) plus I took every bolt to a local plater and had them replated so they look better when this makes it back together #OCD


Who needs a rusty spare tire well, not me! I'll order up a ScottFab block off plate later. Also whipped up a quick body dolly to start getting it cleaned up because the underside was a mess of red dirt and every fluid that the car had bled for years.


So I have a magical degreaser that I picked up at my last company I worked for, this stuff is amazing as it's inteded purpose is to clean rendering plant walls, but it's nasty on your skin due to the surfactants used in it, but man does it work! Underside was sprayed down, soak time, spray again, soak again, and pretty much hit with a garden hose nozzle. There were a couple stubborn spots that were hit with a Scotch Brite pad but that's it. We call it Magic Juice.



SEADave Dork
7/21/21 9:40 a.m.
TheWraith said:

How did I never know that G-bodies had full frames you can remove??   Looks like a great project and I look forward to following along.   Tell us a little more about that awesome 242 too!

TheWraith New Reader
7/21/21 9:44 a.m.

Next up was cleaning the interior and rust repair starting with the floors. The passenger sides are weel known for rusting out due to a leaky AC box and mine was no different but they make replacement floors, one was shipped in and I started cutting.



I also pulled the quarter windows and found a little more rust to fix


Then around this time I bought a 73 MGB from my brother that didn't run so a flying trip to Iowa and I dragged it back home so I had something else to do lol. It came with a bunch of new parts and he was having problems getting it running, plus it needed some cleanup. I like cleaning projects


Six days after it cam home the interior was gutted, stripped bare and POR15 on the extremely solid floors


Then the windshield came off to revinyl the dash and new quarter window weatherstripping. Rebuild the rear brakes, pull rear end to clean and clean whatever else that unbolts.


No scrub with Magic Juice!


TheWraith New Reader
7/22/21 11:47 a.m.

So to keep the MGB moving along I addressed the thoroughly shabby original panels with parts I had laying around the garage, luckily that included a large roll of black vinyl left over from the Volvo and my original door panel patterns made for the Volvo( I made the final set from ABS).



Not too bad for my second set of door panels


And a set of brand new carpet it looks much better


Whipped up a rear firewall cover too, the original had holes cut for speakers


And got the engine back together and running for the first time in several years


And by June 7 it was buffed, waxed, and finished 


And as you can see the Malibu became a shelf surprise


And uncovered so I can get back to it

JeremyJ Reader
7/22/21 12:05 p.m.

I really like your attention to detail. This should be a pretty cool build. 

TheWraith New Reader
7/22/21 12:20 p.m.

At this point I decided I need to get this on it's side, I wanted to paint, seam seal, and undercoat it. Being that any money spent on a rotisserie would be money away from the build I looked around the internet and patterned my own tip-tisserie for less than $100.


While I waited for help and the nerve to flip it on it's side I started the quarter window repair


And then buy an old Police issue Harley for fun, been a few years without a bike


And then make the Malibu a shelf again while you tear the bike apart for clean up and maintenance, bought with 55K miles for $4200. 


Take off all the nasty, rusty chrome and send out for black powdercoating and fresh tires


And also buy a 1994 Corrado VR6 for another project I didn't need and promptly take it apart for a deep cleaning and maintenance


And out comes the engine for timing chains/clutch/mounts and repair a cracked crossmember

Stack of parts 

And might as well do coilovers while I'm in there

Magic Juice to the rescue on these seemingly never cleaned wheels

And all three projects at once


New York Nick
New York Nick Reader
7/22/21 12:52 p.m.

wow, you do have the affliction! I like it. Welcome

NOT A TA SuperDork
7/22/21 12:57 p.m.

Will be following!  My 81 Malibu project suffers from a similar scenario. It sits in a trailer as it has for several years now while other projects jump to the front of the line. Meanwhile, the complete Hotchkis suspension, stainless Flowmaster exhaust, and some other parts sit in my dining room. The T-400 sits in the garage, 357 SBC waits me for me to assembly it at the machine shop, and a GN rear is in my workshop. Exterior is done except the new Landau vinyl top I need to put on. Soooo many distractions......

Pretty sure I need some of that Magic Juice in my life!


06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/22/21 3:25 p.m.

Came for the G body, staying for the Magic Juice!  I can get behind all 3 projects and i'm jealous of how clean your garage floor is!

preach (fs)
preach (fs) HalfDork
7/22/21 3:55 p.m.
06HHR (Forum Supporter) said:

<snip> and i'm jealous of how clean your garage floor is!

Probably Magic Juice!

Love the ADD

TheWraith New Reader
7/22/21 4:12 p.m.
SEADave said:
TheWraith said:

How did I never know that G-bodies had full frames you can remove??   Looks like a great project and I look forward to following along.   Tell us a little more about that awesome 242 too!

1978 242 coupe and picked it up in Austin, bought a wrecked 1991 244 sedan and swapped engine/trans/harness/hvac into it. Built the door panels, welded all trim holes shut them painted by rattle can in a down draft spray booth for fun lol

yupididit PowerDork
7/22/21 7:07 p.m.

In reply to TheWraith :

You plan on selling any of those projects?

TheWraith New Reader
7/23/21 10:57 p.m.
yupididit said:

In reply to TheWraith :

You plan on selling any of those projects?

MGB went back to my brother, Corrado went to Florida, both a while ago. My only current holdings are the Malibu, Jeep XJ, Road King, and a newly acquired 06 Boxster with 56k that is inline for a clutch and maintenance. 

TheWraith New Reader
7/23/21 11:32 p.m.

So from the purchase in July, maintenance, then the powdercoating the Road King was put back together for a ride with buddies from Fort Worth to Pennsylvania for a work meeting at Lake Wallenpaupuk.


This was the first quick build on the Harley of many to come. The Corrado was then sold and shipped to Florida in which the new owner promptly got caught in a freak rain storm and drove through a massive puddle and hydrolocked the engine within an hour of unloading off the transport. Next up was buy the best for seam sealer for the bottom so I bought the 3M epoxy stuff and the applicator gun then started on pinching the rear frame rails in for mor room.








Also ponied up for the Hooker engine mounts and trans crossmember instead of building my own


And then I bolted up the tip-tissorie and with the help of a buddy........



Got busy to cleaning, painting, seam sealing, and prepping for Raptor Liner


Also pulled the Road King down again for the next iteration. New wheels front and rear, fresh Lexus metallic paint to get ready for the next September ride to PA.

ccrelan (Forum Supporter)
ccrelan (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/24/21 6:30 a.m.

You must have POR15 in a 5 gallon jug!

In for more info on the magic juice, is this stuff widely available to buy?

TheWraith New Reader
7/24/21 7:55 a.m.
ccrelan (Forum Supporter) said:

You must have POR15 in a 5 gallon jug!

In for more info on the magic juice, is this stuff widely available to buy?

Really the only POR used was the frame, I had a quart of Eastwood Corroless left over from a million cars ago which is the red primer looking stuff  everywhere. Magic Juice is not available per se, but I have been known to sell some here and there. It's extremely caustic and the mix is important, it can strip older paint if left to set, turn aluminum black, but also has some wonderous results on old rubber at the right ratio.

Axle strap from MGB

Valve cover

TheWraith New Reader
7/24/21 8:26 a.m.

Next distraction or should I say improvement was a quick reconstruction of my workbench situation. I've had the black crafstman boxes forever, first "real" tool box I ever owned, than came the prefab bench with the plastic corners, first workbench I'd had. The blue cabinets came with the house when we bought it and I added the white countertops from Ikea. By this time I was running out of tool box room as evidenced by sockets hanging on the pegboard so I ran down to harbor freight and picked up a 44" cabinet and rebuilt the setup, sold the old boxes to my little brother dirt cheap.


So this was around 2016 which was a great year of riding, trip to PA, trip to Tennessee, and a trip to Colorado, think it was 7K miles that year. Also swapped wheels again with much improved factory Brembo Brakes and found a guy on Craigslist that swapped all his chrome bits straight up for my black powdercoated bits, free makeover! Forgot, did a 170/17 rear tire conversion at the time of the paint using all factory Harley parts and bolted on, many said it couldn't be done on that rear swingarm. 


In preparation for undercoating I had to weld in a set of reproduction bucket seat mounts, fix a few more rust/tear spots, and cover it all in Corroless. 


And started ordering parts, parts, and more parts


After debating how to strip the car and my painter talking me out of media blasting plus me trying to keep money in the bank account I set out with a razor blade and a heat gun. 


Picked up some nice rear control arm braces just in case of violent drag racing 


After all the welding and seam sealer over every joint on the bottom I was ready to give the Raptor Liner a try



First coat

Second coat done and untaped


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