1978 Chevelle weight [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: 1978 Chevelle weight


Sandy
Sep 19th, 05, 7:32 PM
Anyone out there got a big block in a 78 chevelle malibu ??

Is it easy to get the weight down around 3000 pounds ??

Bob West
Sep 19th, 05, 7:39 PM
no such animal,,,quit making Chevelles (A body) in 77 I believe, then it was just a Malibu,G-body, whole new deal. Todd races his at 3500+ I believe w/driver, correct me if I'm wrong.

Sandy
Sep 19th, 05, 7:46 PM
Yes, it is one of the small ones........looking at one that has been back halved with a 9 inch ford and room for 12.5 X 31 tires.

Could be a good "beater" race car if the weight can be gotten down a bit.

3500 seems heavy

10secBu
Sep 19th, 05, 8:06 PM
Bob's right. My malibu is a 79 and is all steel except for the fiberglass hinged hood and a fiberglass front bumper. I have all the undercoating removed, no sound deadener, no heater or A/C, no back seat, crash bars removed from the doors. The car has a 12 gallon cell in place of the stock tank, aluminum radiator, aluminum intake and water pump, 10 point mild steel cage, two plastic racing seats, stock dash & steering column. The weight as it sits is 3515 lbs with the iron headed bbc/th400.

IMO, the only way to get a bbc in a Malibu down to 300 lbs is with a fiberglass front end, doors, trunk lid, lexan window, aluminum heads, light weight brakes front and rear, likely R&P steering in place of the cast iron manual steering box, etc.

A back half car will weigh less than a small tire car like mine, but your removing weight in the wrong place. I was speaking with a friend at US13 who races a back halved Malibu and his has 60% of the weight on the nose compared to 55% on mine. If your gonna take weight out, it needs to come out of the front, not the rear.

So while you may think 3500 lbs sounds heavy, it's what a full steel bodied Malibu weighs with an all iron bbc under the hood.

71malibu406
Sep 19th, 05, 8:47 PM
that's counting you too though isn't Todd?

10secBu
Sep 19th, 05, 8:49 PM
Yes, that's race weight with me (200 lbs) and a 12 gallon cell full. I only tend to discuss race weight as the classes I run require us to drive across the scales after every pass which is a race weight with driver & fuel.

10secBu
Sep 19th, 05, 8:51 PM
BTW, for anyone who is interested in the 78-81+ Malibu's as well as other A/G-bodies, an excellent online resource is my friend Phillip Patterson's site.

http://www.maliburacing.com

BTW, Bob, just for reference, the 78-81 Malibu is labeled an A-body by GM. The G-body name started in 1982 and continued to 1988 when they were stopped. The 78-81 was the only years the 2 door coupes were produced. After that you could only get the 4 doors and wagons.

Sandy
Sep 19th, 05, 10:37 PM
Thanks for all the great info. Looks like I can save at least 250 pounds over my 66 Beaumont.

I wanted to get a car that was more of a race car that I could beat on a lot and not worry about it.

Just wondering what kind of engine combo and converter you got to run the kind of ET's in your signature. Awesome fast. Are you using a tranny brake as well ?

10secBu
Sep 19th, 05, 10:51 PM
Thanks for all the great info. Looks like I can save at least 250 pounds over my 66 Beaumont.

I wanted to get a car that was more of a race car that I could beat on a lot and not worry about it.

Just wondering what kind of engine combo and converter you got to run the kind of ET's in your signature. Awesome fast. Are you using a tranny brake as well ?

Basic 13 to 1 compression oval port 454. Trans is a th400 with an 8" ATI Treemaster converter. Footbrake launched from anywhere from 1800 to 3000 rpm.

Sandy
Sep 20th, 05, 12:20 AM
Don't think there is such a thing as a "basic 13:1 engine".

How many rpms through the gears and traps ?

10secBu
Sep 20th, 05, 12:26 AM
Don't think there is such a thing as a "basic 13:1 engine".

How many rpms through the gears and traps ?

GM 454 4 bolt block bored .030" over (461 ci), GM 454 steel crank, Eagle H-beam rods, JE pistons, Bullet solid roller cam, 262/272 @ .050, .697 lift, GM 781 large oval iron heads, 2.25/1.88 valves, bowl blend, Edelbrock Vic jr intake, 1000HP carb. Very basic combination.

The engine is shifted at 6500 rpm, sees 7200 at the finish line.

4.10 gears, little 275/60 M/T ET Street Radial tires.

Sandy
Sep 20th, 05, 2:34 AM
Thanks for the explanation.

An awesome combination, very stout.

Fantastic picture of the car launching with the wheels high in the air.

71454Chevelle
Sep 20th, 05, 6:41 AM
Todd,

Your car STILL just amazes me on how good it runs! :thumbsup:

Nothing exotic. Nothing fancy. Just awsome. :cool:

71malibu406
Sep 20th, 05, 7:06 AM
it's almost what you'd call perfection of a combo. although there's nothing exotic about it, the suspension, the convertor, and the tune-up are all much better matched than most people ever take the time to get to.

Harold Sutton
Sep 20th, 05, 2:29 PM
I looked at one of these Malibus recently and noticed that the frame is much narrower than the older Noves and Camaros in the engine compartment. It seems that getting good headers to fit in there would be difficult. I still like the body style of the 78-80 Malibus though.

10secBu
Sep 20th, 05, 2:33 PM
I looked at one of these Malibus recently and noticed that the frame is much narrower than the older Noves and Camaros in the engine compartment. It seems that getting good headers to fit in there would be difficult. I still like the body style of the 78-80 Malibus though.

For the bbc swap, there is only one majorly used header and that's the #2241 Hooker S/C. it's a 2" primary/3 1/2" collector. I understand Hedman makes an 1 7/8" header, but it's more expensive and I don't know of one person who has tried them for fit.

The only other choices are Lemon's or Stahl, both well over $900pr uncoated or a custom set made from a chassis shop likely at $1200+

For the money, it's tough to beat the #2241 Hooker. It fits pretty decent and plug access is very good.

Sandy
Sep 20th, 05, 2:46 PM
Since I am now the proud owner of a 78 Malibu I need to get some basic parts for the engine/tranny installation.

Hooker headers as noted above solves one major problem.

What about BB motor mounts ? Will the engine clear the firewall ok and will the tranny clear the transmission tunnel ?

Which oil pan works ?

Front springs ?

Radiator ?

Turbo 400 crossmember ??

Anything else ??

10secBu
Sep 20th, 05, 3:00 PM
What about BB motor mounts ? The bbc conversion is designed to sit on stock sbc mounts (some slight mods needed to clamshells to clear header tubes). You can get stock mounts from a 267/305 equiped Malibu/El Camino, or even from any same years G-body Monte Carlo. Also, Moroso offers both frame and engine mounts if you choose to go with solid for racing.

Will the engine clear the firewall ok and will the tranny clear the transmission tunnel ? Engine clears the stock firewall fine. Heater box may be an issue if you decide to keep it. If you delete the AC and do a block off plate, there are no other clearance issues.

Which oil pan works ? I would stick with any typical rear sump pan from Moroso, etc. I'd avoid the kick out sumps as they will really limit oil filter and starter access. The Hooker headers have the collectors semi-close to the pan and the step/flared sump will be a problem for access.

Front springs ? Many choices here depending on usage. For street use, simply us a standard malibu/El Camino/Monte sbc stock replacement spring. For Racing, Moroso offers two Trick springs of which I only recommend the heavier 250 lb/in model unless your using aluminum heads AND a 1 piece fiberglass front end.

Radiator ? I'd go alumimum. I have a 19" x 31" Griffin and had to fab up simple brackets to mate it to the stock core support.

Turbo 400 crossmember ?? Iceman on MalibuRacing.com makes some real nice custom crossmembers for the the th400 and other transmission swaps. Their kinda heavy but also have been designed to allow for clearance of true dual exhaust.

Anything else Too many things to think of off the top of my head. I suggest you just dig in and get started and ask questions as you work along. The BBC swap is quite common and is not difficult at all. The engine fits very well for the engine compartment.

Oh yea...populr conversions are manual steering and manual brakes. Manual steering boxes can be taken from same year spread S10 pickups...Hollander interchange manual will give acceptable box numbers. Manual brakes can be done with some fab work or some of the aftermarket brake companies offer swap kits.

http://www.qis.net/~geislert/tgengine1.jpg

Chris R
Sep 21st, 05, 3:42 AM
SS sean also has a 78 Malibu with a 454 on this board. He is also a member of Maliburacing as I am too. My next project will be a 1980 also with a 454.

Sandy
Sep 26th, 05, 5:46 PM
Thanks for the detailed response.

Been slow getting back as I am out on vacation for ten days and just picking up the chevelles.com site at an internet cafe.

Can't wait to get back and start working on the car.

As per your engine picture very neat. The front tube's I assume are the forward part of the roll cage and brace the front end. Are you using the stock front frame ?

Thanks again

EMcIllece
Sep 26th, 05, 9:36 PM
I run a sb 78 malibu and it weighs 3000# with me in it (~235#) and 5 gallons of fuel. Add 150-200 or so to that and you have a big block. My car is all steel with only a fiberglass hood, everythig else is gone.

10secBu
Sep 26th, 05, 9:39 PM
I run a sb 78 malibu and it weighs 3000# with me in it (~235#) and 5 gallons of fuel. Add 150-200 or so to that and you have a big block. My car is all steel with only a fiberglass hood, everythig else is gone.I have yet to see an all steel full bodied Malibu with a bbc and stock style suspension that weighs that light, unless it's a gutted tin can car. All the guys I know who run similar cars to mine all weight 3400-3600 lbs w/driver.