1986 Monte Carlo SS

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo



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2004 GM LQ4 6.0L V8 Swap
Microsquirt Engine Management System
Hooker Engine Mounts
Holley 302-2 Oil Pan
Trailblazer SS Intake
92MM G-plus throttle body
Summit Stage III Pro-LS Cam
Summit hardened pushrods
Comp 26918-16 valve springs
Speed Engineering Headers
Custom 3-inch Stainless X-pipe exhaust with Jones Maxflo Mufflers
Aeromotive Stealth 340LPH in-tank pump
Engine Combo Makes 420 rwhp (313kW), 409 rwtq (555Nm) .

Fabbot Fabrication Co AR-5 5-speed manual swap
LUK LS7 Clutch and flywheel
CPR Short Shifter
Holley LS Swap Crossmember
Sickspeed Monte clutch pedal kit
Shaftmaster’s 3in Aluminum Driveshaft.
Custom Narrowed 2013 Mustang 8.8 Ford Rear End with Detroit Trutrac + 31 spline Moser Axles

Brakes and Suspension:
Front QA1 Lower Control Arms
Front QA1 Upper Control Arms
QA1 1.375 Inch front sway bar
Borgeson Quick Ratio Steering Box
ATS 4 Piston Brembo Front Brakes
Belltech 2 inch drop spindles
QA1 Double Adjustable Coilovers with 800in/lb springs

Rear UMI Roto-Joint Lower Control Arms
Rear Upper UMI 2005 Mustang 3rd Link
Custom Panhard rod and 3-link bracketry
QA1 Rear Coilovers with 220lb springs
QA1 Rear Sway Bar
‘13 Mustang rear disc brakes

Mikes Monte’s 8K Tach
Grant Steering wheel
Custom Stripes in Dupont Hot Hues Paint

Build story

This 1986 Monte Carlo SS is my very first car. I've had this car since I was 15 years old, I'm 33 now. When I got the car it was powered by the factory 305 H.O. It lasted about 3 months before I kicked the rods out of the block, because I was power braking and doing burnouts like a young kid should. So my dad and I decided to build a 350 small block and fix the paint and body work, as the car was multiple colors when I got it. Looking back on it, building this car with my dad is one of the happiest summers of my life. When you're 16 and you think you know everything, you tend to butt heads with your dad, but working along side him with the same goal, we really developed a bond we never really had before. It saved our relationship. My dad worked long hours for 30 years at GM on the assembly line, not glorious work, and he always drove beaters, but my mom, my sister and I always had safe reliable transportation. After we 'finished' the car it was my daily driver, drove it through high school and college, well in the summer at least.

Then the car sat for a little while while I established my self in a stable job after college. That was until I got the autocross bug after my girlfriend at the time showed interest and we went to an event. After that, it was an all consuming goal to make this old 80's boat handle. I upgraded the whole suspension first, the sticky tires. Then the old loyal 350 gave up, I had cracked two the pistons. At the time I was saving for my wedding, and my fiancee let me dip into the savings to get a motor. I decided to get an LQ4 6.0L truck motor. I paid $700 for the engine from a shady wrecking yard in Detroit. I upgraded the engine with a Summit Stage III Pro-LS cam, hardened pushrods, Comp valve springs, Speed Engineering Headers and a Trailblazer SS intake manifold. It's controlled by an ultra-cheap Microsquirt ECU that a friend gave me. I grabbed a cheap 3 inch stainless exhaust kit off of Ebay and some cheap mufflers for an exhaust. My friend has a dyno and It put down 420 hp at the hubs. Not bad considering I have less than $2000 in the whole engine.

From there I upgraded the brakes and began a manual transmission swap in place of the 200-4R automatic, at this point for unrelated reasons things then went downhill in my marriage, and my wife filed for divorce. My car was not running, in pieces, but my friends came to my rescue and helped me get the car out of my old garage and store it for me until I was back on my feet. Getting the car back together and finishing the manual swap was my reason to get out of bed and go to work during that very tough time in my life. I don't want to be dramatic and say that this car saved me, but it has been a defining part of my life, and at times the glue that held it together. Once the manual transmission swap was completed it was like a whole new car for a whole new chapter in my life.

After wrapping up the manual swap, I faced the fact that GM made the boneheaded decision to put the incredibly weak 7.5inch 10 bolt rear end in the Monte Carlo SS. Rather than go with the typical Ford 9 inch I decided to go with an S197 Mustang 8.8 inch rear and convert the rear end from a triangulated 4 link to a 3 link with a panhard bar. I also upgraded from the 17x8's and 245/45/17's and went to a 18x9.5 C5 wheel with 275/35R18 tires. This made a night and day difference in the rear grip available to the car. The idea was to replicate the best handling rear wheel drive solid axle car, an S197 Boss 302. I was the first person in the world (to my knowledge) to swap an S197 8.8 3-link setup into a G-body.

And that's how it sits now, ready for another season of autocross. This car has been with me through thick and thin, It's created friendships, established and unbreakable bond with my father and its been my labor of love for the past 18 years. I just wanted to share this car's story, and how much it means to me. I hope you enjoy the video and my car.

If I win one of those gift cards, it's getting an aluminum 6.2, a VERY special intake manifold, and a T-56.

You can see more of the car and future updates on our Youtube Channel LMS builds: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVePxgRGisbTqSb9N23X90w


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