'74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

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'74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:32 pm

I thought I should make a thread about this car. It's a project we (Me and my Dad) built and the first time this car was seen on track after a long break was 2013 Summer.

The car is NHRA Record Holder from somewhere in the '80s and it came in Finland in '88 or '89. Then it was driven by a young lady (Minna R). The paint job was quite famous in Finland and in Sweden, too as there was a picture of Obi Wan's head on the doors. The car had a 350 in it with an automatic trans. Minna told us she got her driver's license and on the next day she was driving at Motopark Raceway in Finnish Championship Drag Race event.

Later on the car had many different paint jobs and colors. Last time it was painted somewhere in about 2004-5 or something like that. It was painted with a metallic blue and the same paint job is still on today. We bought the car in February 2012. Last time it had been on track was in 2006 when Minna's husband Hannu P was driving the car. One important thing for us was that Hannu promised to help us while building the car by giving information and building the engine and rear axle. It was a good thing for us, since he knows a lot about these Stock Eliminator engines, we didn't know anything back then.

This is the car in February 2012 as it arrived in our garage.



A bad picture of the rear:

There was no engine or tranny. Hannu had the engine in his garage, of course in need of rebuilding and we bought the transmission from his '71 Chevelle as he wanted a manual transmission for that car.



Overall the car was in a good shape. The paint was surprisingly good after a wash and wax, there was no rust and dash, front seat etc were in a good condition... Only in need of major cleaning.

We started by uninstalling the rear axle and we also painted it before taking it in Hannu's garage as he promised to build it. We thought about the final gear ratio for a while and 5:13 sounded really good, so that's what Hannu installed there.

This is the rear axle after we uninstalled it and a couple of shots from the chassis, too.




Then we took apart the front fenders and the nose panel (Whatever the real name is). Now the car looked like this:




I'll post more pics later... Otherwise this first post would be Miles long Very Happy !


Last edited by StockEliminator on Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:04 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by thatfnthing on Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:50 pm

Obi-Wan?  Really?

This is not the Chevelle you're looking for.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:08 pm

Yep! Very Happy 

Here is a picture of the Obi Wan paint scheme. It's from 1991 (not my picture).

http://seppo.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Motoparkin+Juhannuskisat+1991/img425.jpg
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by 77mali on Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:44 pm

Cool thread- post those pics up!

The old school pic's are cool, people did crazy customizing in the 70's & 80's.  Obi-Wan's paint is pretty mild, & pretty tasteful for the time.

Good thing it was the Jedi & not the Bandito Obi- Juan
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:25 pm

Heh, that's true Laughing !

I had some computer issues. I could not see the pics I had posted so I couldn't post any new ones so that I don't post the same pics again... Anyway let's continue the story.

We took apart the front suspension and cleaned all of the parts before painting. I wish we had the possibility to do sandblasting in our garage, but once we don't, the work had to be done manually. The front section of the frame was painted black, followed by the firewall.





When everything had a fresh paint on them, we installed the front suspension bits and pieces on place.



To get rid of the too heavy front brakes, we ordered Wilwood disk brakes for this one. They required minor modifications to fit with the original suspension, but nothing major. A new brake master cylinder was also installed. Dad's workmate also built that aluminum block between the firewall and brake master cylinder for us, because he had the right tools.





New Mickey Thompson Frontrunners arrived to our garage, too. I polished the wheels and we went to the tire shop. At the same time we bought new tires for our daily driver Jeep and the guys said they could install the M/Ts on those wheels for free. It wasn't as easy as they thought, though and it took a lot time... Laughing





More to come in a couple of days...
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by Famstyle on Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:38 pm

Thats Awesome ! Nice car. Love the history! Its funny a couple weeks a go i caught an European Drag Federation show like on Mav tv! It was very entertaining, like their almost reliving Americas early drag years! Without most of the newer stiff rules and headaches of these modern times in U.S.!
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by 77mali on Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:26 am

Looking good.
Thumbs up
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by thatfnthing on Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:33 am

Making great progress!
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:50 am

Is it legal to use adjustable travel limiters on the front end?
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:02 pm

Thanks Guys!

I think Drag Racing is really fun here. I have never been in an U.S. Drag Race event (unfortunately) so I can't compare, but at least in Stock / Super Stock the racing is really fun. After your own run, you're able to go and see other class cars, for example Real and Top Street are my favorite classes after S/SS. The feeling on the pits after a Race Day is great, too, so the fun doesn't actually end when the racing ends. Cool

"Is it legal to use adjustable travel limiters on the front end?"

Well, now I have to say that there's a problem with the "language barrier" Laughing . I tried to search Google what travel limiters are but I came up with nothing... (My bad English)

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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:35 pm

No problem, basically it's a device on the front control arms that can be adjusted to change the amount of travel or upward movement before the tire lifts off the ground. The most simple device is a bolt threaded through the upper control arm that contacts the frame when the front end rises. You can use it to increase or decrease travel depending on the track.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:20 pm

Oh yeah, now I got it, thanks for explaining it Very Happy !

I just checked the Rulebook and they're not allowed in Stock Eliminator. Only the original bump stops are allowed - and actually required.

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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by driveit on Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:55 pm

Did not know there were so many rules. I guess there is a lot more to it than I know.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by bracketchev1221 on Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:58 am

Yes Stock eliminator is a very strict and very expensive class to run. You have to build the car to every rule there is and take advantage of them as well. You bore the block as large as you can, you stroke it as much as the rules allow, granted very little. But every Cu in helps. And then from there you go wild on everything else that is NOT spelled out in the rules. If it says cam with stock lift and duration, then you run one. However if it doesn't spell out duration at .050 you increase that to as much as you can. Change the overlap and the Lobe separion angle etc, etc. Did you ever wonder how a .390/.410 lift cam could sound so crazy? If it doesn't mention trans restrictions, you use lightened trans internals to reduce rotating weight and resistance to get every HP to the rear wheels. My friends ran Stock years ago because they loved the challenge. The one car was a 69 Nova H/SA car with a 350 rated at 255 hp and a powerglide. Would you expect it with 441 casting 76 cc heads, stock intake, quadrajet, flat top pistons and a hydraulic flat tappet cam to go 11.14? Well it did. It held the record for a year too. The other car won the NHRA Keystone Nationals in 86 and 87 in Stock eliminator. It was an E/SA 396/325 67 Camaro.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:58 am

Smokey Yunick said something to the effect of 'If it ain't in the rule book, it's legal.'
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by bracketchev1221 on Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:50 am

I've seen cylinder heads that were ported and then acid etched to put the original style casting flash surface back on them to make them look like they were untouched. It is amazing the lengths that people will try to go for some classes. When I was working at the race shop, the rules said STOCK harmonic balancer had to be used on the engine we built for a truck class. This was a 350 chevy balancer with the ring of holes around the circumfrence. Nothing said we couldn't DRILL the holes out bigger to make the balancer lighter for less rotating weight of the crankshaft.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:19 pm

Yep, it's true that there are quite limited rules, but what's not said in the book is allowed. Very Happy We didn't use all of the possible tricks on this one, but the engine is done really nicely. The cylinder heads could be better, but otherwise it's pretty much on the limit. But I've heard some racers replacing the transmission crossmembers with aluminum part and painted it with paint that has little bits of metal in it so that if someone tests with a magnet if it is steel, the magnet sticks on it.

This car is not that high technology, though.

Here are some interior shots.

When we bought the car, the interior wasn't in a bad shape, but in need of new carpet and major cleanup. First thing after we took the seat off, was taking out the old carpet and ordering a new one.





The floor had some surface rust but there were no soft spots or rust holes. That was a neat thing, as we had a '79 Buick Skyhawk before and that needed lots of new metal to the floor. We only painted the floor before installing the new carpet.




Before painting the floor, though, I hided everything inside the car with tape and newspapers. It was time to sand and repaint the roll bar. A new coat of gloss black was sprayed on.




Everything was either washed or cleaned carefully in the interior and I painted the needles from all of the original meters etc. After careful cleanup, it looked already much better, but more on that later as I forgot to take pictures of the interior in progress and I have only the finished pictures.

Anyway we ordered new wirings and control panels from Painless. And I can tell you that later on when we did the wiring, it was definitely PainLess!



New seat belts were ordered too.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:37 am

Next up was the rear axle. The guy who sold us the car said he can rebuild it as he knows much more about these Stock Eliminator cars and he can pick the correct parts to the rear end. We decided to go with Richmond's 5:13 final gear ratio and Strange axle shafts with this one.



These arrived from Global West Suspension:



The Anti Hop Bars are by Edelbrock. The one size fits all seems to be incorrect for this rear axle so they needed a little modifications. That piece of metal was welded on place and after drilling a hole to the rear end, too, it fits nicely on place.




We got those old slicks from Hannu who sold us the car and they were still drivable so we decided to get started with them. I also polished the wheels.



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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by dynchel on Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:31 am

I've never been able to find nohop bars for '73/'77. Edlbrock and Lakewood both skip our generation of cars.  Probably why they didn't fit.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:03 pm

Looks like I haven't been here for a long time, but I guess I'll post rest of the project pics here and some pictures of the car how it looks now...

I had to do some bodywork on this thing. The original builder modified this from a Chevelle and turned it into a Malibu Classic in 1979, so the big side windows on the B-pillar were turned into the smaller opera windows. And now after a few decades that modification started to show through the paint...



So after smoothing everything out on both sides I started masking the car so that I could paint those areas.



Then first some Primer and black paint...



I had to do the same thing to the doors as well.



Then our friend finished building our engine so we headed to the dyno. And everyone was happy with the numbers, 427 hp at 6100 and 4100 ft lbs of torque...


Back home I repainted the engine and then we installed it on place...




Then we installed the doors and whole front end back, new wiring was done with Painless products. I have to say that the Painless wiring set was definitely worth its name...It was painless to install! Then the car was pushed outside to try if it would fire up.





And it did fire up! Next day we headed to my dad's workplace where we were able to do a little test drive on the parking lot...



That was in 2013 and after that test drive we put the car on trailer and headed to the 2nd round of Finnish Championship Drag Race series. My dad Mika drove almost all races in 2013, except that I did my licensing runs at Kalajoki Airport on 4th Finnish Championship event that year.



That year the best ET in K/SA was 12.369 by Mika.

For 2014 season we changed the driver and now I was going to run all races. We changed the final gear ratio from 5:13 to 5:38 and that seemed to work great, I improved Mika's record and now the best ET was 12.262. I ended up 6th in overall points, so not bad!
In West Coast Street Cup event the car did some "G-Body Twist" on the starting line...So we built a heavy duty rear sway bar and then had no problems.



For 2015 season we decided to drop the car from K/SA to J/SA by lightening it. In J/SA our weight was only 3780 lbs so the car ran a bit better. Laughing New record was 12.065 and again I was 6th in overall point standings.


2016 we couldn't do all races since I was that year in the Army. I drove only FHRA Nitro Nationals which is our biggest Drag Race Event, two West Coast Street Cup events (one day events) and then FHRA Night Race Finals.

The first West Coast Street Cup (WCSC) event went really well. I was #5 Qualifier in ET Bracket and I won the whole 16 car ladder! The second WCSC event went well too, I was #1 Qualifier but unfortunately the eliminations were rained out.

And finally in 2016 I found an original hood ornament! I had to restore (paint) it before installing though...


The coolest event in 2016 was definitely the Night Race. There was a Night Show on Saturday evening after qualifying. It was from 8PM to Midnight so it was completely dark, except that the track was equipped with lights. Now I have to say that this is not very special in the USA, but here in Finland it's very hard to get permission to race at night, because the "noise will disturb people who live close to the track". Head Bang But luckily this year the organizers were able to make it happen!



I'll continue by telling more of 2017 season soon....Stay tuned.

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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by clanceman427 on Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:41 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up. Great work and congrats on all the success. I loved watching all those videos.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by bracketchev1221 on Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:16 pm

Stock eliminator is definitely a challenging class. I had 2 friends that ran stock for years. One was a 350 69 nova that ran h/sa and a 67 Camaro 396/325 car that ran e/sa. Both cars were NHRA record holders at one time. The class was progressing so fast that when the nova set the record in H in the mid 90's, it was the same ET that the Camaro held the E record about 8 years earlier.
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by ziyatansu on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:43 pm

wow.. enjoyed the progress!
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:30 am

Way cool, and great work!
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Re: '74 Malibu Classic Stock Eliminator

Post by StockEliminator on Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:23 pm

Thanks Guys!

bracketchev1221 wrote:Stock eliminator is definitely a challenging class.  I had 2 friends that ran stock for years.  One was a 350 69 nova that ran h/sa and a 67 Camaro 396/325 car that ran e/sa.  Both cars were NHRA record holders at one time.  The class was progressing so fast that when the nova set the record in H in the mid 90's, it was the same ET that the Camaro held the E record about 8 years earlier.  

Yes, you're right that the cars are getting faster all the time and the class is not the easiest to compete in. But, it's the thing I enjoy on this class, you can't win by just buying lots of speed parts with big money, instead you have to find the power and speed the different way...


After 2016 season we took the engine out and together with a fellow Pro Stock engine builder the engine was freshened up with new piston rings and valve springs. Old Munsinger torq converter was also replaced with a new one with a bit higher stallspeed. We also built a race car hauler. Here in Finland old buses are popular for that use. Just made doors to the backwall and fabricate ramps for the car so that you can drive it inside the bus... So that's what we did too.





First event, FHRA Spring Nationals started on Friday with a Test & Tune day. I went easy on first two runs to break in the engine, the ETs were low 13 second or something like that. Third time when we went to the staging lanes we noticed that our oil pan gasket was leaking a few drops of oil. So we had to go back to the pits and seal the joint with silicone. Then in the evening when the silicone was dry, I went to the staging lanes again, now to make the first full throttle run. Burnout went fine, but something happened on the launch, as the car was just as fast as my daily driver.... At the pits the reason was easy to see, rear wheels were super hot and the brakes had been on during the whole 1/4 mile. Neither of us had no idea why was that, but luckily the problem disappeared just as fast as it showed up too when we adjusted the brake balance valve from one end to another and then back.




Saturday was Qualifying. Because of rain we got only three Qualifying rounds and with a "new" engine we were still looking for the right setups... But by adjusting the timing and by tuning the carburetor, I improved on every round. Anyway the best was only 12.468 which is nowhere close where we should be. Anyway I was happy that the engine seemed to work fine otherwise, and I was ready for the Eliminations on Sunday.




On Sunday I was running against a young lady who had just moved up to Super Stock from Jr Dragsters. She did well in Qualifying with the SS/JA 3rd Gen Trans Am so I knew I had to do my best... I took a .058 RT and the race seemed to be very close one, but unfortunately something happened with the Pontiac at 1/8th mile mark as it looked like she lifted the throttle. I slowed down so that I didn't break out my 12.45 dial in so I went to the 2nd round. Later on I found out that the throttle cable had snapped into two pieces from the Trans Am.

The second round was against a long time Stock Eliminator racer in his A/S ex Jim Waldo Firebird. Unfortunately the red light bulb was flashing on my lane by -.087 so it was an easy win for the opponent... Anyway I ran my best ET during the weekend, 12.434.



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