1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 9:52 PM Thread Starter
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1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

So this car is already finished and I know I put a thread on it somewhere, but I thought I'd start a new one with a little more in depth look at how it was built. This is the 1966 Malibu convertible I built for Chuck Frame and ChevelleStuff. It features a crate LS3/495 HP engine from Chevrolet Performance, A41 Automatic Overdrive (4L65e) trans from SilverSport Transmissions, Moser 12 bolt rear axle with 3.73 gears, wired with American Autowires Classic Update series, full UMI Pro Touring suspension, Vintage Air, and Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes.

There are some other really cool features including custom/one off emblems designed by Dejango Studies and produced by Billet Badges, custom engine covers by GS Creations, and a fully converted radio from R & B Vintage Car Audio.
This car was a challenge to put together but the end result is the perfect pro touring car that is reliable, performs flawlessly, and is a pure comfort to drive.
I will be making posts to this thread every couple days or so. Trying to do it all in one build would be ungodly time consuming so check back.


We started off with a V8 Malibu body. The original color combination was triple white. The car was sourced from Michigan and taken to Virginia where Terry Davis took on the part of doing the body and paint. The chassis was brought to my shop in New Jersey to undergo restoration and modification for the drivetrain. Once I had the chassis at my shop, it was completely disassembled and taken to be sandblasted. Extensions also had to be welded on to accommodate the 4L65e transmission using the factory crossmember. The frame was then painted with epoxy primer and my own creation for semi gloss paint.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Once the chassis cured, it was time in begin installing the UMI suspension. These suspension pieces are really nice AND manufactured right here in the USA in Pennsylvania. We procured a Pro Touring suspension kit for t his car which includes front upper and lower control arms, shocks, springs, and sway bar as well as rear trailing arms, springs, shocks, and sway bar. It also lowers the car 2" to improve handling and stance. At this time, the idea was to use a factory type 69 Chevelle disc brake setup couple with thew 67 Chevelle disc brake lines, master cylinder, and proportioning valve. We ended up taking that off a couple months later. I'll get to that later. The steering linkage of choice is Pro Forged. These pieces are much nicer than Moog pieces.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

For engine mounts, we went with CPP (Classic Performance Products). These use the stock frame hole locations and allow us to locate the engine wherever it needed to be. I chose to set the engine in the same location where a factory small block would have rested.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

For the rear axle, there was a lot of horse trading going on between 3 cars to get a correct width 66 rear under this chassis. This one came out of my 70 SS which I had replaced with the CRV rear that came in my 72...long story that I won't bore anyone with the details on. Issues presented themselves with this rear when it came to swap the brakes from stock to the Wilwood. More on that later as well.

For some reason I don't have any pics of putting the rear axle in. Probably because I was rushing to get it ready to display at the Atlantic City Classic Car show in February 2019.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

The engine. A Chevrolet Performance LS3/495 HP. We sourced the engine, wire harness, computer, accessory drive, and oil pan from Scoggin-Dickey Chevrolet in Texas. They had the best deal on a complete package. A little prep work had to go into the installing the engine into the Chevelle chassis. The biggest one is changing out the factory oil pan for the Holley 302-2 or 302-3. We chose to use the 302-2. The 302-3 allows for a longer stroke in the event the engine is ever modified. The windage tray does need to be modified for the new pickup tube as well. Seating the pickup tube can be a little tricky. If you tear the O ring on install, the engine will lose oil pressure. Not good. The accesory drive is all Corvette parts which keep them up high so no modification to the frame of the car is needed. We used ALL Chevrolet parts to keep t hings simple. In the event of a component malfunction, all you need to do is go to a dealer or NAPA store and ask for the part for a 2013 Corvette.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

I also removed the exhaust manifolds that came with the engine in favor of the Hooker cast iron manifolds.
You can also see the adjustability of the CPP Engine mounts.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

The transmission. A41 Automatic Overdrive from SilverSport Transmissions. These guys really have a nice setup for retrofitting any car with a modern transmission. They include absolutely everything you need to do the swap including the driveshaft (which you have to measure for after installation. This particular unit is capable of handling 500HP and 500 lbs/ft of torque. The controller for the trans is fully programmable via Bluetooth with an app for Iphone and Android smart phones.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Installing the engine and transmission was just as easy ans installing any other engine or trans. I used the transmission to locate the engine. The way SilverSport has you install the trans is to mate up to where a factory small block or big block would sit. The factory trans crossmember does need to be modified. You have to cut off the trans mount plate and weld on the one supplied with the transmission.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

The accessory drive kit comes with everything needed and has the option to come with or without the AC Compressor. Since we were installing vintage air, we chose the system without the AC compressor. There is a bracket that Holley supplies to move the idler pulleys and mount the AC compressor. The GM kit comes with all of the needed hardware as is marked for each component.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 11:36 AM
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Hey Tom, cool project... Question; how did the "CHEVELLE" engine covers come about or is there a company that makes them custom, or? Looking to change the cover for my L99 from Camaro to "CHEVARO".

Nick

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 1:14 PM
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcguy View Post
Hey Tom, cool project... Question; how did the "CHEVELLE" engine covers come about or is there a company that makes them custom, or? Looking to change the cover for my L99 from Camaro to "CHEVARO".

Nick
Did you read post #1?

Quote:
... custom engine covers by GS Creations ...

David

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 1:25 PM
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Thought the gotchas were limited to the Corvette Forum. The guys over there are brutal. Obviously I missed the words custom and covers - I'll be more careful in the future - LOL. Thanks Dave, Nick
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 7:23 PM
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Wilwood disc brakes? Looks like CPP or other. I've never seen a GM caliper in a Wilwood kit. Could be I'm looking in all the wrong places though. Just curious.

Should be a nice ride.

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SBC350/Maybe 400HP @ crank, 700R4
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Global West, QA1, Viking, Wilwood, UMI, ProForged
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 8:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwany View Post
Wilwood disc brakes? Looks like CPP or other. I've never seen a GM caliper in a Wilwood kit. Could be I'm looking in all the wrong places though. Just curious.

Should be a nice ride.

I stated in the second post that at first we were going to use stock disc brakes for a 69-72 then changed them out for Wilwood. I have not gotten to that part yet. The car itself has been finished since last year. I'm just doing a build thread now.

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 20, 4:16 PM
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Re: 1966 Malibu Convertible Build Thread

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Originally Posted by BlueSS454 View Post
I stated in the second post that at first we were going to use stock disc brakes for a 69-72 then changed them out for Wilwood. I have not gotten to that part yet. The car itself has been finished since last year. I'm just doing a build thread now.
Thanks for the reality check. I saw Wilwood twice, but missed the part about swapping out already installed brakes. My brain never got past the picture of the clean black GM caliper and small rotors.

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SBC350/Maybe 400HP @ crank, 700R4
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Global West, QA1, Viking, Wilwood, UMI, ProForged
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