1974 Malibu project timeline

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1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:55 am

I have had this car for 6 years now.  I thought it time I shared a little bit of what I am doing with the car.  Many of you have helped get the car to where it is today.  A huge thanks for all your advice, tips, and parts !!!

Here is my cars story from what I can tell:  I believe the car to be an early built 1974 Malibu Classic that originally came from Colorado.  The dealer sticker is still inside the glove box.


I found the car locally here in Buffalo, NY on Craigslist after a tip from my brother.  At the time I was working on bringing a 1973 Chevelle back to life.  When I went to look at this car, the guy wanted to keep the motor as it was from a "corvette".  that was music to my ears as I had a ZZ430 sitting on a stand at home that was slatted for my '73.  I bought this car for around $1000.Here is what it looked like in the persons garage as I looked at it.


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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:19 am

After I got it home, I got to poke around and take a few more photos.





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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:28 am

After a few months, I started cleaning under the hood and preparing for the new engine to go into the car.  I also replaced that used TH350 that came with the car with a 200-4r.  There ended up being a lot of wiring and repairs under the hood I never figured on.







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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:35 am

After all the cleaning was done and repairs made, I picked a fine day in August to set the new engine in:



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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:42 am

In the next few months, I bought a complete skyroof from a junk yrad in the southwest to add in the restoration of mine.  I used the best of both parts and made a nearly new setup and installed it in the car.
She basically sat for the next 9 months until I removed the vinyl top to see what I was in for: Shocked










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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:56 am

After that shock I needed to sit down for awhile.  I knew at this point I could not continue to work on the car outdoors.  I had a garage built just to work on this car that winter.  By April of the following year, I was ready to tear into it again.




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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:46 pm

That's gotta be the first time I have seen quarters that rotted on the top instead of the bottom. I applaud you for being able to bring it back to life -- I probably would have said 'no thanks' after seeing the huge bondo cracks on the quarters at the beginning. Smile
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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:26 pm

Over the next couple months I slowly burned a ton of mig wire putting the outside of this car back together







At this point, she was wearing 2 NOS GM full quarter panels

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:30 pm

The drivers side was a little bit more work as the new quarter was missing a section near the door.  This panel was left from back in the day when a piece of it was used to fix one of our cars in a collision repair when they were just a couple years old.  I grafted on a piece from a quarter skin and it looks nice.





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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:01 pm

After the quarters were done I moved on to the trunk.  My trunk was real nice in the center and real bad on the sides over the braces.  I ended up getting the 3 piece set from Sherman and just using the 2 outer pieces.  I also found the braces and welded those in along with new body mounts.







Also if you didn't notice, I had my garage floor poured after I laid hot water tubing and insulation. I then epoxy coated the entire thing. Much nicer!!

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:11 pm

Along this same time I sent the door hinges out for a rebuild.  I also finished all my welding work inside the car to the floors, so I installed sound deadener.




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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:32 pm

Now that the trunk and inside of the car were starting to take shape again, it was time to start finishing the exterior.




[/url
]This is where I had to do some more steel repair




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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:36 pm





Just before the weather outside went cold, the car found itself in primer.

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by Joe73 on Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:25 pm

That is some nice work. The grafting of the quarters look great. And those are some REAL clean 73 plastic wheel wells. Nice work.
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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:12 pm

Thanks again for all your help and kind words. Without you guys on this forum, my car would still look like it did in the first photos.
I hope you enjoy a few of the thousands of photos I have taken over the past 6 years. I have wished a few times that I had one of you guys here to give me a hand. Everything you see here has been done in my garage with my two hands. And I am far from knowing how to do all this stuff. I can't wait to show you the rest of my pics up to where I am now.

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by 77mali on Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:12 am

Nice job- car looks awesome!
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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by dynchel on Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:44 am

Nice work, you are very talented
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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:22 am

So as January of 2014 hit, I decided to work on the front suspension.  I did not want to paint until the outside air was warmer.  Even though it was warm inside the garage, I like to have some fresh air for ventilation and it is just to cold in Buffalo for this.
I bought all new front suspension parts from poly bushings, to ball joints and centerlink, etc.  I cleaned up my control arms and did a nice black epoxy finish.  I also cut my front springs down to take 2" of the height in the front.  I have since then decided to replace these springs with Detroit Speed lowering springs in the front to match the set I purchased for the rear.  Actually from a  member on here. Very Happy








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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:30 am

I also figured while I was under the car, I would do a little work on the rear axle.  When I bought the car, it already had a 3:73 posi in it.  I have boughten a late model rear end from a 1995 Impala and put 3:23 gears in it and stainless brake lines.  I decided to try the rearend in the car first to see if it is what I want before I do a swap.  The rearend cover is a cast aluminum one from the 80's from Mr Gasket.  I always loved these and decided to redo it and keep it woth the car.  What do you think??




It was in pretty bad shape before I stripped it and recoated with wrinkle paint and sanded the exposed areas.

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by Joe73 on Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:18 am

I always loved those rear covers as well. I have a brand new one sitting on a shelf. Won it as partial payment in a drag race in the 80s.
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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:41 am

Once the cold weather was gone I started hanging my plastic and cleaning the car down for paint.  I decided to use Eastwood Single Stage Moonlight Drive Blue.  Seemed to be everything I wanted and was compatible with my primers and sealers and such.  So in June of 2014 I started painting.  Here are some of the first parts I shot.




Not quite the color I was expecting!! Shocked  I called Eastwood and they said it should have a purplish tint.  I sent them the photos and they agreed something was off.  They sent me another gallon.  I was glad I didn't shoot the entire car and would have to sand all of it.

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:13 am

Joe73 wrote:I always loved those rear covers as well.   I have a brand new one sitting on a shelf.  Won it as partial payment in a drag race in the 80s.

When I noticed this cover and decided to refurbish it, I checked the internet for a new one. They turned out to be really hard to find and very expensive now. All the more reason to keep it and make it look like new.

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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:30 am

Once the paint color was straightened out I went back to prepping the car and parts for paint.  Let's lay down some color finally!!





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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:39 am




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Re: 1974 Malibu project timeline

Post by bitterfitter on Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:49 am








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