73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame

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73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Empty 73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame

Post by chevelleman on Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:48 am

hey wondering if anyone ever swapped a 1973 Malibu body to a 76 Malibu frame?
bought a powdercoated all rebuilt, new parts,drilled slotted rotors frt oversized rear drums,stainless lines,posi 3.73 and would like to put it under my 1973. Besides rear bumper on 73 doesn't use impact shocks on rear bumper any other obvious differences?

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Post by Joe73 on Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:51 am

I would just double check the rearmost body mounts. Since there are no rear shocks on the 73, the tail pan is also different as well as the trunk floor. But if you check those rear most mounts and they line up, you should be good to go to fabricate something for the bumper.
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Post by fasrnur on Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:24 pm

Don't forget about the front shocks and frame rails being different. You could probably make some kind of mount for the bumper though.
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Post by Iggy on Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:28 am

Every 1973 I have ever owned, both "A" and "B" bodies always had issues finding parts at the junk yard. A lot of items on these 1973 vehicles are 1973 only. I would not worry about shocks or suspension since that all mounts to the frame, not sure if the fuel tank will be an issue - I know from experience that on the "B" bodies the fuel tank in 1973 only.
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Post by Joe73 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:57 am

fasrnur wrote:Don't forget about the front shocks and frame rails being different. You could probably make some kind of mount for the bumper though.

I know the front bumper shocks are different for 73 only but what is different about the frame rails up front ?? Never ran into that. Definitely the rear rails are different as mentioned above. thanks
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:36 pm

Could you just weld the 1973 bumper mounts to the 76 Bumper shock area
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Post by Joe73 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:45 pm

Heres the rear of my 73 frame.  Quite a bit different from 74-77.  

73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Paintf10
73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Rearfr10
73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Rearfr11
73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Rearfr12
73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Rearfr13
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Post by fasrnur on Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm

Joe I think, and I could be way wrong, but I think the front of the frame is different in where the bumper shocks mount to the frame? The rear of the frame on the 73 is WAY different for sure.

The fuel tank is a good thought as well. You'd have to use the 73 tank as the filler tube comes out at different angel than the 74-77s. The 73's filler is in the bumper, and the 74-77 is above the bumper.
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Post by Joe73 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:01 am

I put a 74 bumper with shocks on my buddies 74 years ago when he wrecked his and couldn't find a 73 bumper. Fit right in no issues. Just had to mod the fillers.
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Post by fasrnur on Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:43 pm

73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame 7310
73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame 74_rea10
I'm wondering how you got a 74 bumper on the back of a 73 Joe. As you can see, the 74 filler placement is above the bumper, and the 73 is below the bumper. I think you could do it if you swapped the fuel tank as well.
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Post by Joe73 on Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:09 am

I did the front bumper swap in reply to your front shocks and frame rails being different. The rear is definitely a no go without a bunch of kids and welding.
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Post by g3chevy on Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:50 am

The rear of the frame is definitely different. Here's a pic of a 76 Laguna frame that I sold to RevinKevin a couple years back.

73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame 76_lag10
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Post by chevelleman on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Yep that's what my 76 frame looks like . Think the best way is to use my 73 frame rails and transfer the new parts all over to 73 frame! thanks ps transmission crossmember the same between 73-76?

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Post by Joe73 on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:29 pm

Trans crossmember is the same for 73-77 years as follows.

2 door are the same
4 door, el camino and wagon all the same.

Obviously only the 73-74 have the double hump for dual exhaust. 75-77 had a catalytic convertor and only single exhausts.
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Post by chevelleman on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:49 pm

thanks Joe73
Looks like i'll have a 76 Malibu powercoated frame only for sale in minnesota

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Post by g3chevy on Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:32 pm

Just a note on the crossmember fitment. 73 and 74 El Camino dual hump crossmembers will only fit 73-75 El Camino frames. These frames came boxed from the factory and require a narrower transmission crossmember. As I recall, station wagons, coupes and sedans all had open channel frames as did the 76 & 77 El Caminos and require the wider crossmember. Here's a pic for reference.

73 malibu body to 76 malibu frame Photo010
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