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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States

      Project Hiway Star 71 Monte Carlo

      After years of being away from the muscle car/hot rod scene I decided it was time to get back into it. The last time I had a hot rodded car was a 78 Pontiac Grand Prix with a Chev 350/th350. It was the typical car owned by a late teen being held together with bailing wire, duct tape and bubble gum. I ended up trading it in on a brand new S-10 pickup and was pretty much a truck only guy for 20 some years. Now in my early 40's and inspired by optima batteries Street Car Challenge I got the itch to get myself another car. Now my first choice for a car was either a 69 Camaro or 70 Chevelle(cliche I know but they were my favorites since the time you could buy a really clean one for 3K-5k)but both are now well out of my price range and I wanted a fairly clean driver. I made out a list of suitable cars that are easily modified with a large supply of parts and decided on a 1st gen Monte Carlo. So after months of looking I found my car or more appropriately it found me.

      I ended up with a fully loaded 71 Monte with A/C, power windows,350/350 combo and a 12 bolt. My plans at first were to build a hardcore streetfighter/pro touring type car but have since re evaluated the end product. The new plan is now a good handling, capable street car that can occasionally go around a autocross course or road coarse but still be comfortable to take on a long road trip.

      The plan for the build is to keep it drivable most of the time so it's not going to be a long drawn out frame off build but to correctly fix what is needed and modify as I go. This doesn't have a set budget but I will spend the money where needed and go with budget parts when I can but will use decent stuff.

      Here's the plan.

      Body

      Fix the minor rust around the right rear quarter and wheelhousing.
      Remove the vinyl top and remove the trim studs and weld up any holes.
      Modify the hood with a Chevelle SS cowl scoop.
      Repaint in a similar color orange with silver SS style stripes.

      Interior

      Color change to black or dark grey
      Change out the bench for buckets. Something comfortable and supportive but not restrictive.
      Custom center console that may or may not go all the way to the back seat and back seat modified accordingly.
      Modernize the some of the features while keeping the classic look.
      Decent stereo system but not overkill

      Engine and drive train

      Mildly built 383 stroker with a GM serpentine accessory drive.Looking for about 400-450hp.
      Upgrade to electronic ignition.
      TKO 5 speed with hydraulic clutch.
      3.73 and an Eaton limited slip in the 12 bolt.

      Chassis,suspension, wheels, tires and brakes

      Upgrade to tubular control arms front and rear.
      Larger front sway bar and adding a rear.
      Lowering springs all the way around.
      New shocks all the way around.
      Upgrade front brakes using factory type parts for ease of replacement.
      Swap rear drums for discs using factory type parts.
      Swap vacuum booster for a factory type hydraulic set up.
      245/40-17 BFG front and 275/40-17 rear
      17x8 and 17x9/9.5 Torque Thrust II wheels

      The day I brought it home

      Other shots




      Thanks for looking. I will update as I go.

    2. #2
      Join Date
      May 2013
      Posts
      45
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks like a great start. I'm building a 70 Monte now.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jul 2012
      Posts
      46
      Country Flag: United States
      That's a clean looking Monte. Hope there are no issues under the vinyl top. Ive seen some Ive seen some otherwise perfect cars that ended up needing complete roofs. If you plan on taking out the factory a/c lmk. Im always looking for cores.

    4. #4
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Posts
      5
      Country Flag: Switzerland
      I have a 70 Monte too with some upgrades, Hotchkis TVS system with shocks and a DSE 600 12.7:1 ratio steering box, both gave the car a great handling improvment!

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by lsx80monte View Post
      That's a clean looking Monte. Hope there are no issues under the vinyl top. Ive seen some Ive seen some otherwise perfect cars that ended up needing complete roofs. If you plan on taking out the factory a/c lmk. Im always looking for cores.
      The previous owner had the car painted and top replaced after he got in and kept it garaged for 20+ years and I don't feel any bubbling or soft spots on the roof so it should be good.The compressor and lines are about the only thing that are going to get changed out and whatever is need to change to the smaller compressor as well as being relocated

      Quote Originally Posted by IronChevy View Post
      I have a 70 Monte too with some upgrades, Hotchkis TVS system with shocks and a DSE 600 12.7:1 ratio steering box, both gave the car a great handling improvment!
      I'm hoping to get it to handle at least as well or better than my 02 Silverado 2500HD. Right now I swear it's scraping door handles going around corners and it can get sketchy at speed.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Dec 2008
      Location
      Detroit
      Posts
      2,460
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by SPLATT71MC View Post

      I'm hoping to get it to handle at least as well or better than my 02 Silverado 2500HD. Right now I swear it's scraping door handles going around corners and it can get sketchy at speed.
      I'm sure that's due to the 30+ yo suspension. A Bodies are really easy to update suspension wise.
      Big dreams, small pockets....

      Chris--
      '72 Cutlass S LS2/T56 Magnum
      Bowler Performance, Rushforth Wheels, SC&C, ATS, Street Rod Designs, Speedhut, KORE3, Ridetech

      Project Motor City Madness

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      Front suspension gutted.

      The new stuff

      Installed

      Back on the ground.


      Next up the rear suspension followed by an alignment

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jan 2011
      Location
      CENTEX
      Posts
      67
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice, I kinda miss my old 72 Monte. My 70 Chevelle is getting a similar build as a capable streetcar.
      J. Will.
      70 Chevelle Malibu, 69 Cutlass S convertible, 71 Monte Carlo, 16 Chevy SS (yes, that one)

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      Some parts for the rear

      Got it all installed but no pics of that yet. Took it out for a drive around the neighborhood and could really feel a positive difference in how the car feels. I didn't really push it and it needs an alignment before I do. Next up alignment along with wheels and tires.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      New wheels and tires 17x8 front and 18x8 rear with 245/45/17 and 255/45/18 BFG rubber. I also had the rear end rebuilt with 3.55 gears and a Yukon Gear limited slip diff and I also picked up a quick ratio steering box.


    11. #11
      Join Date
      Dec 2008
      Location
      Detroit
      Posts
      2,460
      Country Flag: United States
      coming along nicely....
      Big dreams, small pockets....

      Chris--
      '72 Cutlass S LS2/T56 Magnum
      Bowler Performance, Rushforth Wheels, SC&C, ATS, Street Rod Designs, Speedhut, KORE3, Ridetech

      Project Motor City Madness

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Jul 2014
      Posts
      1
      Country Flag: United States
      Good job... I love these first generation Monte's. I'm currently building my third car. I chose the same wheels that you are using. (They were mounted this weekend and will be bolted on in the AM) It, like my first one, is a '72. I purchased another man's project... he spent quite a bit powder coating the frame and building up the drive-train and suspension for the strip, and then died before it was complete. My second Monte was a numbers matching '70 SS454 that was stolen in 2006 and just recovered stripped this past Thursday.
      I'm changing direction with this car as I want a cruiser and to run stop-light to stop-light. I therefore just pulled out the built powerglide w/ transbrake/ quarter-stick / 3600 stall converter, and shoe-horned in a 4L80E. There was fresh scarring on the trans-tunnel, evidence of blowing a tail shaft off of a previous transmission, due to the torque of the solid-lifter 468 under the hood, so I beefed the 4L80 and had a strong chromemoly drive shaft assembled with billet yokes.
      The 12-bolt had a new Eaton posi and 4.11 gears installed just before I received it, so I stayed with the tallest tires that I could put on the 17's, to help the over-drive tame the highway manners a bit.

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      The Hooker Comp headers and 3" Flowmaster system had the classic "Oil Drum" tinny sound to it, so I pulled it and installed the polished stainless 3" Dynaflow system behind Headman headers on Friday. ...It brought about a world of difference! Becoming a deep, low rumble instead of an oil can clanging.

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Mar 2016
      Posts
      2
      good lookin monte. im building a 72...love those first gens...

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Ma.
      Posts
      5,393
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice project, and a good car to start with. Looking good!
      Wayne
      Car FINALLY home !!!!!! lol
      Project FNQUIK https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=FNQUIK

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      The project has hit a couple of snags and stalled momentarily but I'll be back on it soon.

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Apr 2015
      Location
      Burlington KY
      Posts
      357
      Country Flag: United States
      looks like a cool project. Known a few guys that had these when i had my 71 Nova.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnD9DR9Ndzc

      cant help but think of this!
      "Racing is life. Everything else is just, waiting"

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      Still stalled. The last year has been an absolute $#!+ show. Between working on getting my work life sorted out and getting the families lives back on track and the daily drivers deciding to give me troubles the Monte has been neglected a bit. With some things starting to come together I should be able to get back on it in the next couple of months.



    18. #18
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      Well the $#!+ show that has been my life since getting laid off in Nov of 2015 has gotten squared away. Once the weather gets a bit better the plan is to get the car running and driving again. From there it's just going to be a matter of what needs fixed and what to modify. My goal is to keep it driveable most of the time and address all the mechanical aspects before doing the bodywork and upholstery. I really enjoy driving the car with the modifications I've already done and miss being able to do so.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      82
      Country Flag: United States
      UPDATE
      After four years it's drivable again. Felt good behind the wheel again even if the Holley needs some off idle tuning.
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      Next up installing the rear coil over shocks and adding bucket seat brackets, modifying the tunnel for the TKO600 and installing the buckets. Somewhere in there it's getting headers and new exhaust and rear disc brakes

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,638
      Country Flag: United States
      I love these cars too. Back in HS my buddies Dad used to own a 1970 Monte SS 445. It had a LS-5, TH400 trans and 2.73 gears. Talk about a Hiway Star!!!

      Andrew
      1970 GTO Version 2.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

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