View Full Version : My Former '88 Monte Carlo SS

The Fixer
01-07-2012, 05:08 PM
My Monte Carlo addiction started before I got my license in November of 1990 - my first car was a rusty 1976 Monte Carlo that I bought in August of '90 to drive while I was on my permit. I bought my first SS in December of 1991; it was a high-mileage white/gray 1985 SS that ran well but had a lot of mechanical issues. I wound up selling it in December of 1993, and then buying it back in the spring of 1997. My friends and I did a TPI conversion on that car in 2000, a 12" front brake swap in 2002, and converted it to 5-speed in 2003. We discovered some serious floor rot and body mount issues while doing that work, so I set out to find another Monte to swap the drivetrain.

My wife wound up buying this '88 SS for me in November 2003 as a gift for my 30th birthday. The previous owner was going to turn it into a big-block drag car, but lost interest with the project so we bought it as a roller. We swapped all of the mechanicals from my rusty '85 SS into this car and then parted out what was left from the old '85.

I drove it for several more years, and sold it February 28, 2011. I have no idea what the new owner has done with it since then, and I honestly don't want to know either. Hopefully it's in good hands and being taken care of.

Mods List

Engine and engine management:

- 355 ci. 2-bolt main 1-piece RMS. stock crank turned and polished, ZZ4 8" balancer, resized rods with ARP bolts and SpeedPro hypereutectic pistons, double-row timing chain, ZZ4 cam, World Products 58cc heads with 1.94/1.50 valves, aluminum roller rockers
- stock TPI baseplate with SLP runners and ported upper plenum (all ceramic coated), 52mm throttlebody, and LT1 injectors
- polished aluminum tall centerbolt valve covers
- 4.3L Monte Carlo gas tank and sending unit with TPI pump
- factory '87 F-body TPI harness with '165 MAF ECM
- F-body dual electric fans
- F-body serpentine brackets
- F-body aluminum radiator
- Ceramic coated Edelbrock TES headers
- 2.5" Hooker cat-back exhaust with GN style tailpipes


- 1984 F-body V8 bellhousing, 1981 G-body clutch/brake pedals, SpeedDirect upper/lower adjustable pushrods
- Rebuilt 1988 World Class T5
- factory nodular iron 16lb. flywheel, Ram clutch, Hurst short shifter
- Overhauled 7 5/8" rear with factory 3.73s and Powertrax No-Slip unit, TA Performance diff. cover
- Factory driveshaft shortened 3" and rebalanced

Suspension and Brakes:

- F-body lower front A-arms with 1LE bushings
- Howe Racing tall lower balljoints
- UB Machine front upper control arms
- B-body front disc brake swap with Powerslot rotors and Hawk HPS pads
- 34mm F-body hollow front swaybar
- F-body power steering cooler
- Eibach springs front/rear
- Bilstein shocks front/rear
- Moog tie-rods, centerlink, idler arm
- Jeep steering shaft
- Edelbrock adjustable upper rear arms, BMR tubular lowers
- G-body straight rear swaybar
- 17x8 Coys C55s with Continental 245/45 ZR 17s


- bright white base/clear paint
- Chevy Celebrity headlight conversion
- 2007 Monte Carlo SS badges


- stock burgundy interior
- PUI upper door panels and headliner
- window switches relocated to lower door panels
- C5 Corvette shifter boot, Hurst leather shift knob, custom cupholder in the OEM center console trim
- custom 3-point rear seat belts

Here's a few pics of how it looked when I sold it -





Here's a few pics of the interior mods -

Doorpanels with relocated window switch -


C5 shifter boot with Hurst leather knob and cupholder -


Rear 3-point seat belts -


03-06-2012, 08:34 PM
I always liked this car. If I had the money at the time I would have bought it in a heart beat.

chrisfrom nj
03-06-2012, 08:37 PM
it was a nice car i remember seeing it on cl for a while

03-06-2012, 08:38 PM
I wanted to buy it. So nice.

03-06-2012, 08:48 PM
Steve I loved that car and I still cannot believe you sold it after all that work you did to it.

03-06-2012, 08:48 PM
I wanted to buy it. So nice.

So did I. Love that car.

03-06-2012, 08:50 PM
well look at the trend I started :lol:

03-07-2012, 08:22 AM
best monte everrr lol

03-07-2012, 01:31 PM
That car was awesome!

The Fixer
03-08-2012, 07:11 PM
Thanks for all the compliments guys!

And just to show how it was built - right in my driveway. :) Here's a few more pics - this is when the motor, trans, and suspension went in when the car was first put together after stripping my '85.





And here are two of when the 355 was built a few years later - this is the motor on a stand in my garage. Like my homemade crank turning device? :)


And here's the motor going in - middle of a rain storm at about 9PM, but it was the only day I could get it done. My neighbor loaned me the 10x10 tent to cover us up. I wish the weather was like those pics from the first swap. :)


05-14-2013, 08:56 AM
I miss her & she wasn't even mine