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Luc Janssens

1978-'83 Chevy Malibu questions

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Hi guys;

 

I'm wondering what other GM cars used the exact same Chassis/underbody/engine bay of this car.

Thanks!

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I would think that the 78-86 El Camino would be as the Elky used Malibu front sheet metal....

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Posted (edited)

Luc,

Pretty much the full line of the 78 - 87 RWD A/G platform shared the same basic setup with minor variations under the skin, so take your pick. 

You could bolt the complete front end of a Pontiac Lemans, Bonneville or any Olds or Buick wagon variation to a Malibu or El Camino body as they all shared the Chevy doors too. 

Steve

 

Edited by SteveG

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36 minutes ago, SteveG said:

Luc,

Pretty much the full line of the 78 - 87 RWD A/G platform shared the same basic setup with minor variations under the skin, so take your pick. 

You could bolt the complete front end of a Pontiac Lemans, Bonneville or any Olds or Buick wagon variation to a Malibu or El Camino body as they all shared the Chevy doors too. 

Steve

 

Thanks for the info Steve, with the platform info you provided , I went to wikipedia, to investigate..

So in theory  it looks like one could use the Revell 80s Olds Cutlass chassis, under a Perry's resin Malibu wagon?, right?!

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I think Perrys resin based that wagon on the amt/mpc  El Camino kits. I'd try the 86 Elky as they are being reissued once again.

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10 minutes ago, Luc Janssens said:

Thanks for the info Steve, with the platform info you provided , I went to wikipedia, to investigate..

So in theory  it looks like one could use the Revell 80s Olds Cutlass chassis, under a Perry's resin Malibu wagon?, right?!

 

3 minutes ago, ranma said:

I think Perrys resin based that wagon on the amt/mpc  El Camino kits. I'd try the 86 Elky as they are being reissued once again.

While I don't know about what the resin wagon is based on, I think I would have to agree with Rick that the 86 Elky would be the best donor since I've found through some issues I'm having finding a good donor for a 70 Elky resin I recently got that Elkys were based on a wagon's wheelbase. 

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I used to strip and sell off G body parts after high school for extra $$ to spend on my own projects so I know these cars well. I have owned close to 50 of them over the years. I still have several with a couple of others owned by family members.

Station wagon in Elky frames are the same length. They are slightly longer than the regular sedans (about 4 inches IIRC). Two-door and four-door sedans however have the same frame underneath them in the G bodies. Malibu, Lemans, Regal, Cutlass, Gran Prix, Grand National (Regal Based), Monte Carlo and Bonneville all share basic architecture under the skin.

Just to clear up a bit of confusion, Malibu and LeMans doors are interchangeable. Malibu and El Camino doors are interchangeable however the glass is different - the Elky glass slopes down at the back following the roofline.

Buick Regal, Olds Cutlass, Pontiac Gran Prix etc share the same inner door structure, however they will not interchange with Malibu or Lemans doors due to door skin and bodyline differences. They will physically bolt on but they will look screwy. Same idea with the front clips. The physical mounts where they bolt on are the same across the models but the body lines and in several cases the inner fenders are different.

As far as a donor kit it will depend on scale differences. The 1/24 scale Elcamino or Grand National kits IMO look huge sitting beside 1/25 models. The new Cutlass kits frame would be a match for a Malibu frame. 

Some pics of a few of mine:

3bu3-vi.jpg

ProStreetBu005-vi.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Toner283 said:

 

ProStreetBu005-vi.jpg

 

Wow...thanks for the info Chris!

also can you tell me more about the balck one, cuz it sure looks great!

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4 hours ago, Luc Janssens said:

Wow...thanks for the info Chris!

also can you tell me more about the balck one, cuz it sure looks great!

No problem. If you have any other questions I will try to answer them.

As for my Malibu, it is an old school back half pro street car. 1979 Malibu Landau (fancy extra chrome trim) 454/TH400 with a 4.56 geared nine inch rear. 6 point roll cage inside with bucket seats in the front and just the wheel tubs and the cage in the back. It is built do do one thing, be a rocket in a straight line. And it does that job pretty well. I have scared the carp out of more than one passenger when I floor the loud pedal. Lol And the decal on the trunklid has instigated more than one race.😁

20180318_201603-vi.jpg

20180318_201647-vi.jpg

20180318_201720-vi.jpg

MalibuBBC009-vi.jpg

ProStreetBu014-vi.jpg

ProStreetBu013-vi.jpg

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9 hours ago, Toner283 said:

I used to strip and sell off G body parts after high school for extra $$ to spend on my own projects so I know these cars well. I have owned close to 50 of them over the years. I still have several with a couple of others owned by family members.

Station wagon in Elky frames are the same length. They are slightly longer than the regular sedans (about 4 inches IIRC). Two-door and four-door sedans however have the same frame underneath them in the G bodies. Malibu, Lemans, Regal, Cutlass, Gran Prix, Grand National (Regal Based), Monte Carlo and Bonneville all share basic architecture under the skin.

As far as a donor kit it will depend on scale differences. The 1/24 scale Elcamino or Grand National kits IMO look huge sitting beside 1/25 models. The new Cutlass kits frame would be a match for a Malibu frame. 

Some pics of a few of mine:

3bu3-vi.jpg

 

 

Chris: First off, awesome collection of Malibus (especially the black one!)  You obviously have a lot of first hand experience with them.

I have more experience on the Monte Carlo side of the equation (daily drove a '79 Landau with pretty much every factory option), but between family/friends/co-workers I've had exposure to all of the different brands and most variations of the 1978+ A/G bodies.

One item I'm not sure about is your statement about the wagon wheelbase matching the El Caminos.  For previous generations of A-bodies (through 1977) this is correct, but I thought the 1978+ wagons had the same 108" wheelbase as the coupes and sedans, and only the El Caminos (and their GMC Cabellero clones) had the 117" wheelbase.

That said, I have less experience with the wagons than the coupes (rode in a couple wagons, but never got my hands dirty working on them).

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Luc Janssens said:

So in theory  it looks like one could use the Revell 80s Olds Cutlass chassis, under a Perry's resin Malibu wagon?, right?!

 

11 hours ago, ranma said:

I think Perrys resin based that wagon on the amt/mpc  El Camino kits. I'd try the 86 Elky as they are being reissued once again.

 

10 hours ago, Toner283 said:

...As far as a donor kit it will depend on scale differences. The 1/24 scale Elcamino or Grand National kits IMO look huge sitting beside 1/25 models. The new Cutlass kits frame would be a match for a Malibu frame. 

In 1/25 scale, the chassis from the Revell Cutlass kits will have the best detail, hands down.  IF I'm correct about the wagon wheelbase being 108" (see above), the Cutlass chassis should match right up, assuming Perrys correctly shortened the wheelbase from the El Camino that they based it on.  The pictures I've seen of the Perry's wagons looked pretty good, but I know at least one other caster did a Malibu wagon that looked weird, I think because they didn't shorten the wheelbase.

Of course if you use the Cutlass, you'll probably want to replace the Olds engine.  The MPC El Camino small blocks are actually very good representations of late '70s to mid '80s SBC's, including very nice multipiece HEI distributors.  You could either swap in the MPC engine into the Olds chassis, or just shorten the El Camino chassis.  The MPC El Caminos do have separate drivetrain and exhaust parts, but it dates back to the 1978 annual, so it's not nearly as nice as the Cutlass parts.

Another option would be the MPC 1980 Monte Carlo.  I seem to recall the engine is about as detailed as the El Camino's, and the chassis should scale out to 108" wheelbase.  Problem is that driveshaft/axle/exhaust are all molded in with the chassis plate.

Edited by Robberbaron

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Might want to consider something other than the AMT/MPC Elky chassis as it is pretty basic with little detail. Might want to use the new Cutlass chassis and modify it as needed.

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I would recommend the Chassis from the AMT 70 Monte Carlo as well it is separate from the floor pan, and easily modified. AMT/Round 2, is also releasing the 86 El Camino soon which could be a good choice, and the previously mentioned Cutlass.

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1 hour ago, my80malibu said:

I would recommend the Chassis from the AMT 70 Monte Carlo as well it is separate from the floor pan, and easily modified. AMT/Round 2, is also releasing the 86 El Camino soon which could be a good choice, and the previously mentioned Cutlass.

Gabriel, the chassis in the 86 El Camino is very basic, little detail and I believe has metal axles. Better choices out there!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Robberbaron said:

One item I'm not sure about is your statement about the wagon wheelbase matching the El Caminos.  For previous generations of A-bodies (through 1977) this is correct, but I thought the 1978+ wagons had the same 108" wheelbase as the coupes and sedans, and only the El Caminos (and their GMC Cabellero clones) had the 117" wheelbase.

That said, I have less experience with the wagons than the coupes (rode in a couple wagons, but never got my hands dirty working on them).

I was not sure 100% either after some thought (high school was a long time ago now) and I didn't want to trust my memory.  I only ever had a couple of Elkys and wagons, so I did some research in my files and notes and discovered that my memory was not totally accurate but also not totally inaccurate either.

The wagons shared the same wheelbase (108") as the coupes and 4dr sedans and from the rear wheels forward were all basically identical. However the rear portion of the frames were different on the wagons. With the fuel tank mounted and shaped differently than the 2 & 4 drs and the filler neck coming out of the quarter panel instead of between the tail lights, the rear rails are slightly longer on the wagons and the body mounts are totally different. The frame rails at the back are also farther apart due to the fuel tank, filler neck and spare tire well. The spare tire in a wagon is stored flat under the rear cargo area, in an Elcamino it is upright behind the passenger seat in the cabin and in the 2 & 4dr sedans it is upright in the trunk.

The Elky is a completely different beast again when is comes to the frame. Longer wheelbase (117") and longer behind the rear wheels than the 2& 4dr sedans, it has different body mounts behind the wheels than the sedans or the wagons. Mostly due to an Elcamino specific fuel tank/filler neck and no spare tire well.

So. As far as a donor kit for the malibu wagon resin body, you are right, the Revell Olds Cutlass would be the best detail-wise. But to be accurate, the fuel tank will need modified or a new one scratch built to match the wagon tank and a spare tire well scratch built also. Depends on how 100% accurate Luc wants to be.

Without the resin body and the possible donor kit(s) in hand to compare, making a determination as to which donor will work best is kinda difficult. Like someone said, it depends on which kit perrys used for the master and if the wheelbase was changed/corrected on the master. If he used the 1/24 mpc Elcamino as the master, the 1/25 Revell Cutlass chassis and frame will likely be too small to properly fit the resin wagon body. Physical measurements of the resin body and the possible donor kits would be the best route to take IMO.

Edited by Toner283

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22 hours ago, Toner283 said:

 

The wagons shared the same wheelbase (108") as the coupes and 4dr sedans and from the rear wheels forward were all basically identical. However the rear portion of the frames were different on the wagons. With the fuel tank mounted and shaped differently than the 2 & 4 drs and the filler neck coming out of the quarter panel instead of between the tail lights, the rear rails are slightly longer on the wagons and the body mounts are totally different. The frame rails at the back are also farther apart due to the fuel tank, filler neck and spare tire well. The spare tire in a wagon is stored flat under the rear cargo area, in an Elcamino it is upright behind the passenger seat in the cabin and in the 2 & 4dr sedans it is upright in the trunk.

The Elky is a completely different beast again when is comes to the frame. Longer wheelbase (117") and longer behind the rear wheels than the 2& 4dr sedans, it has different body mounts behind the wheels than the sedans or the wagons. Mostly due to an Elcamino specific fuel tank/filler neck and no spare tire well.

 

Thank you for the insight - I wasn't aware of all the differences between the fuel tanks/spare tire wells/frames.  Proof once again that there's no substitute for first hand experience with a subject...

"High school was a long time ago now"

Ain't that the sad truth!!!

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Great info you all posted guys, many many thanks!!!

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