Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Blake Noble

Rant

35 posts in this topic

I'm having a serious and quite horrible case of buyer's remorse.

Today, I got up at eight a.m. and drove through Clay, Jackson, Laurel and Rockcastle Counties with the single hope that I would finally find a junkyard with some decent '80s GM iron. The Monte is in desperate need of new gauges (the speedometer and voltmeter are dead, the tach is going out, and the temp gauge now has a broken needle), new interior trim, a new multifunction lever, and a few miscellaneous engine parts, all of which negatively affect my car.

The local junkyards pretty much have nothing. The solitary Monte I found at A&A Auto Parts, the junkyard located just 2 miles away from me, had an air intake, but the owner wanted forty bucks for it. I had to pass on it because it was in a completely pathetic condition for that kind of money.

So when I left home this morning before I made my long and fruitless trip through four different counties (I'm obviously not counting Madison County), I had a theory: if I traveled further southeast, the chances of finding more '80s GM cars would increase. After all, it seems that just a few short years ago, whenever I had previously traveled to this particular region of the state, 80s GM cars were in abundance.

I was wrong. Dead wrong. Now they're nowhere to be found.

I've even searched the bowels of Hell itself (read: the backwoods of Jackson county) and I'm still empty handed.

I suppose I am being slightly melodramatic because I did find two Monte Carlo Super Sports today.

One was in Clay County, sitting in front of a body shop and wearing a considerable amount of age and deterioration. It was obvious this car was not on the repair list. The verdict? The guy who had it didn't want to sell the car or any parts off of it. He said that he planned to restore it in a few years. I'll bet my ass it'll still be sitting there in the same spot five years from now untouched.

The other car was in Laurel County, hidden away behind a small row of clunkers and $h!boxes in front of a dilapidated used car lot. This Monte was in even worse shape than the last; all four tires were flat, the exterior was coated in ratty, old flat gray primer, and the nosecone was disturbingly distorted around the passenger side headlamp assembly. The verdict? It was for sale, but in a complete and intact condition only, for a thousand dollars (it did run).

It's also a thousand bucks that I don't have. And why in the hell would I need a complete car for the parts I'm needing? I already have the Firebird making itself useless in my driveway. I don't need to add to the clutter.

On second thought, I'm not being melodramatic.

These cars have all been condemned to -- what else? -- the crusher, back when steel was still worth a decent bit of coin, and when these cars were deemed as utter garbage, their reputation spoiled by the other 80s junk, such as Cutlass Cieras, Celebrities, and so on.

And the people who do have them, who aren't working on them, aren't interested in selling them or their parts (which means that they're probably holding out for the day when they can finally ask fifteen grand for a complete rustbucket MC/SS).

I'm sure you're thinking, "Just buy a damn parts catalog." That's usually good thinking, but it's something I already acted upon. OPGI's catalog arrived today in the mail and it wound up only dumping more salt in my Monte-inflicted wounds. New gauges, not including a factory speedometer (which is no where to be found in OPGI's catalog), cost over one-hundred fifty dollars. OPGI only carries three-quarters of the interior trim I need, which arrives at a grand total of somewhere around two-hundred and fifty bucks.

I don't understand why similar parts for the Cutlass were so much cheaper.

I'm seriously regretting not buying the '86 SS I found in Whitley City. However, it was $1500 bucks too much (regarding the asking price and my budget) and the lot that had it wasn't very negotiable on the price. And I've since found such a great appreciation for the Monte Carlo SS that I really want one in my fleet.

But I've bet my money on the wrong Monte.

I've been getting offers of $3500, which gives me some profit over what I paid for it. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to let it go and find something else. I just don't have the extra money I need to fix it right.

Edited by whiteknight
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sucks not being able to find parts you need. On of the nice things abut owning the cars I do is that parts for them are easier tof ind. Although there's not too many LH cars without 2.7's that end up in the yards, i's still fairly easy to get upgrade parts.

Have you searched eBay?

I'm willing to bet that one or two of the yards near me might have parts, but the cost of shipping them might be tough, also I'm not too familiar with GM assemblies.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason why the cutlass parts are cheaper:

They sold A TON of them when they were new.

Chevrolet sold quite a few Monte Carlos too, especially the SS. From 1985 until GM pulled the plug on the G-Body cars, quite a few Montes rolled off of the assembly line with the SS moniker. Here's a complete shakedown: http://www.montecarloss.com/SS_FAQ_2.html#2

Also, the Monte has some commonality with the other G-Body cars of course.

However, it is true that GM sold far more '70 - '72 Cutlasses than they did '81 - '88 Monte Carlos. It is also true that both cars are becoming equally as scarce.

That sucks not being able to find parts you need. One of the nice things abut owning the cars I do is that parts for them are easier to find. Although there's not too many LH cars without 2.7's that end up in the yards, it's still fairly easy to get upgrade parts.

Yeah, junkyards are great if you own something built after 1990.

If you drive something older than that, you are $h! out of luck.

Have you searched eBay?

Yep. It isn't any better than OPGI or my local junkyard scene.

I'm willing to bet that one or two of the yards near me might have parts, but the cost of shipping them might be tough, also I'm not too familiar with GM assemblies.

No worries, Dodgefan. I probably couldn't afford the shipping charges right now anyway.

Edited by whiteknight
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try The El Camino store for the speedo (and other stuff) they share lots of parts with the Monte.

Also, get creative with your search terms on ebay. My wagon and Camino are even harder to find stuff for than your Monte, but ebay came through eventually on most items.

I'd also ask Cort for some good connections if I were you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not give up. I felt the same way you did about my first Toronado. It got totaled and I got back what I paid for it from the insurance company. I then sold the second Toronado to someone in the neighborhood. I learned the car through those two experiences. I simply waited the third time for the right one. I found it on Ebay. I had to do some mechanical things to put it back in factory shape. The parts have been easy to find. He is right about Ebay. I also found parts on Everdrive.com I bought the cluster and radios from them.

I use them, and rock auto.com and Ebay too. I learned do not be consumed by emotion for a car you want. Look for what you want, but do the right thing in getting that car.

Do not give up or quit.

Also, there are companies that fix gauges too.

I used these people for speedometer repair:

http://www.dnaspeedometers.com/

What happened was I sent my cluster to this company in Virginia and they took( stole it). I then bought another cluster from everdrive.com I then had the company above set the mileage legally on the new cluster to reflect my cars actual mileage.

I have to buy a radio from Everdrive next month for the Toronado. The stereo works, but the tape player does not work. I have bought excellent factory GM stereos from them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patience, grasshopper.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can try perusing other '80s GM cars. The cookie-cutter methodology GM used in the '80s can pay off for you big time, as they shared a LOT of parts across car lines. The multi-stalk could probably be taken from just about any GM car from that time period. You might be able to get gauges to fit that come from another G body (as long as they're the right diameter). Believe it or not, you might also want to find some early S10s - I know the S10 (at least the 2WD ones) shared some suspension components with the G bodies. The pre-86 ones also used round gauges in the dash. If they'll fit, I know they're plentiful. As for engine parts, well it is a SBC, one of millions produced if you get my drift.

Don't give up on it yet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured the large amount of G-Bodies in that era would have made swapping easier. Have you considered a "freak" similar to DF's '300 Intrepord' that takes the best of every similar platform mate for something one of a kind?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are people out there right now restoring custom-bodied Brass Era cars and you're whining about not being able to find every single part you need for one of the most common cars ever, an 80's G-body, dirt cheap and in perfect condition on the very first day you looked? If that's the case, quit immediately and buy a Hyundai; this hobby isn't for you.

Ask knightfan; he probably knows people who have everything.

If they don't, try eBay, Car-Part.com, or get creative like the others have suggested.

Hunting stuff down is half the fun!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Try The El Camino store for the speedo (and other stuff) they share lots of parts with the Monte.

I checked them out and they're asking almost four-hundred bucks for a speedometer. It was worth a try, though. Thanks, Camino. :)

Also, get creative with your search terms on ebay. My wagon and Camino are even harder to find stuff for than your Monte, but ebay came through eventually on most items.

I've tried that any it always returns a "no items found" message.

I'd also ask Cort for some good connections if I were you.

I'm going to send him a PM soon.

You can try perusing other '80s GM cars. The cookie-cutter methodology GM used in the '80s can pay off for you big time, as they shared a LOT of parts across car lines. The multi-stalk could probably be taken from just about any GM car from that time period.

In theory, I could. Actually I know I could. However, the 'yards around here won't just sell you the multifunction lever, they have to sell you the whole damned steering column. If you try to buy only, say, the steering column trim or the lever, they'll act as if you've just spit on their mother.

You might be able to get gauges to fit that come from another G body (as long as they're the right diameter). Believe it or not, you might also want to find some early S10s - I know the S10 (at least the 2WD ones) shared some suspension components with the G bodies. The pre-86 ones also used round gauges in the dash. If they'll fit, I know they're plentiful.

That's a thought. I knew that the S10 shared suspension components with the G-Body (they also have the same lug patterns). I'll study a few early S10s and see if something can come out of that.

As for engine parts, well it is a SBC, one of millions produced if you get my drift.

Don't give up on it yet.

Right now, I need the air intake, an O2 sensor, and I might need a new carb because the choke has suddenly made the decision to go retarded. (A new carb runs about five-hundred bucks.)

Edited by whiteknight
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I figured the large amount of G-Bodies in that era would have made swapping easier.

It would to some extent, and I know that. But like I keep saying, G-Bodies aren't easy to come by around here anymore.

Have you considered a "freak" similar to DF's '300 Intrepord' that takes the best of every similar platform mate for something one of a kind?

It's a little different here. Mainly, G-Body interiors, especially the upper sections of the dashboards, actually had little commonality. As far as the dash vent plate and instrument cluster faceplate go, they have to come out of an El Camino, Malibu, or Monte Carlo (and, actually, the early models aren't completely interchangeable). The radio faceplate has to come out a Chevrolet G-Body, although I think that possibly the radio faceplates from the Cutlass and Regal are interchangeable, but they would have to come out of a car devoid of woodgrain trim (like a 442 or T-Type and what are the chances of finding one of those in a 'yard?). Gauges also have to come out one of the three Chevrolet G-Bodies (this is where a Monte SS is preferred because the instrumentation is much harder to come by in a Malibu or El Camino), but I'm also pretty sure the '87 - '88 Cutlass Supreme Salon also had the same full instrumentation offered on the Monte SS.

There's also the Grand Am, Grand Prix, and LeMans, but I'm not sure about interchangeability here. I do know that the Pontiac G-Bodies had next to no interior commonality. The gauges might work, but I doubt it. Not only that, I haven't seen one of these in person, on the road or in a junkyard, for ages. I can pretty much count them out.

There are people out there right now restoring custom-bodied Brass Era cars and you're whining about not being able to find every single part you need for one of the most common cars ever, an 80's G-body, dirt cheap and in perfect condition on the very first day you looked? If that's the case, quit immediately and buy a Hyundai; this hobby isn't for you.

Consider this, XP:

A.) The circumstances here are not the same as any other project. The Monte Carlo is supposed to be my daily driver, my way to get from point a to point b and everywhere in between, my way to get to work. This isn't like my Cutlass, which is a weekend car and ongoing project where I am not worried about when it is completely finished. It is of the utmost importance to me that I have the Monte fixed ASAP. In it's current state, I wouldn't dare drive it out of my own neighborhood. I've worked out some of the smaller bugs, now I have to work on the bigger, uglier bugs.

B.) Like I was saying earlier, G-Bodies are not as common to find in a junkyard as you think. In between searching the local yards and today's waste of time, I've made countless calls to other yards, and I've gotten either one of two responses. 1.) "Sorry, we don't have cars that old." 2.) "Sorry, we had [insert number here] but we sent them all to the crusher a few months ago."

C.) Well, let's see ... don't ever suggest I buy a Hyundai again. That's a no, no. :P

Ask knightfan; he probably knows people who have everything.

I'm going to shoot him a PM.

If they don't, try eBay, Car-Part.com, or get creative like the others have suggested.

Hunting stuff down is half the fun!

If the circumstances were different, it would be fun.

Edited by whiteknight
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do not give up. I felt the same way you did about my first Toronado. It got totaled and I got back what I paid for it from the insurance company. I then sold the second Toronado to someone in the neighborhood. I learned the car through those two experiences. I simply waited the third time for the right one. I found it on Ebay. I had to do some mechanical things to put it back in factory shape. The parts have been easy to find. He is right about Ebay. I also found parts on Everdrive.com I bought the cluster and radios from them.

I use them, and rock auto.com and Ebay too. I learned do not be consumed by emotion for a car you want. Look for what you want, but do the right thing in getting that car.

Do not give up or quit.

Also, there are companies that fix gauges too.

I used these people for speedometer repair:

http://www.dnaspeedometers.com/

What happened was I sent my cluster to this company in Virginia and they took( stole it). I then bought another cluster from everdrive.com I then had the company above set the mileage legally on the new cluster to reflect my cars actual mileage.

I have to buy a radio from Everdrive next month for the Toronado. The stereo works, but the tape player does not work. I have bought excellent factory GM stereos from them.

Thanks for the encouraging words and all of the links, 98. I'm checking them out right now. :)

Which company basically stole your gauges, though? I kind of want to steer clear of them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would to some extent, and I know that. But like I keep saying, G-Bodies aren't easy to come by around here anymore.

It's a little different here. Mainly, G-Body interiors, especially the upper sections of the dashboards, actually had little commonality. As far as the dash vent plate and instrument cluster faceplate go, they have to come out of an El Camino, Malibu, or Monte Carlo (and, actually, the early models aren't completely interchangeable). The radio faceplate has to come out a Chevrolet G-Body, although I think that possibly the radio faceplates from the Cutlass and Regal are interchangeable, but they would have to come out of a car devoid of woodgrain trim (like a 442 or T-Type and what are the chances of finding one of those in a 'yard?). Gauges also have to come out one of the three Chevrolet G-Bodies (this is where a Monte SS is preferred because the instrumentation is much harder to come by in a Malibu or El Camino), but I'm also pretty sure the '87 - '88 Cutlass Supreme Salon also had the same full instrumentation offered on the Monte SS.

There's also the Grand Am, Grand Prix, and LeMans, but I'm not sure about interchangeability here. I do know that the Pontiac G-Bodies had next to no interior commonality. The gauges might work, but I doubt it. Not only that, I haven't seen one of these in person, on the road or in a junkyard, for ages. I can pretty much count them out.

Aw that's a shame. I've never been in all those vehicles from that period so I had no idea. Well, all I can do is wish you luck in your searches, and do remember you still have that sweet Olds. 8)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's a little different here. Mainly, G-Body interiors, especially the upper sections of the dashboards, actually had little commonality. As far as the dash vent plate and instrument cluster faceplate go, they have to come out of an El Camino, Malibu, or Monte Carlo (and, actually, the early models aren't completely interchangeable). The radio faceplate has to come out a Chevrolet G-Body, although I think that possibly the radio faceplates from the Cutlass and Regal are interchangeable, but they would have to come out of a car devoid of woodgrain trim (like a 442 or T-Type and what are the chances of finding one of those in a 'yard?). Gauges also have to come out one of the three Chevrolet G-Bodies (this is where a Monte SS is preferred because the instrumentation is much harder to come by in a Malibu or El Camino), but I'm also pretty sure the '87 - '88 Cutlass Supreme Salon also had the same full instrumentation offered on the Monte SS.

Well actually, all of the 2nd gen LH cars had different dashboard save maybe the plastic trim at the base of the windshield. The gauge clusters are interchangeable if you change the lens, and the switchgear is interchangeable, but vents and all other panels are not.

However, you can change out the entire dash on them. Not being a GM expert I don't know if this is possible, but are entire dashes swappable with platform mates? If you you could put in a dash from a platform mate that has more readily available parts.

Of course at that point you'd have to spend a good chunk of time and change to do an entire dash swap.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aw that's a shame. I've never been in all those vehicles from that period so I had no idea. Well, all I can do is wish you luck in your searches, and do remember you still have that sweet Olds. 8)

Trust me, I've religiously studied G-Body interiors as much as I can. I could almost write a book.

Thanks, though, Captain.

Well actually, all of the 2nd gen LH cars had different dashboard save maybe the plastic trim at the base of the windshield. The gauge clusters are interchangeable if you change the lens, and the switchgear is interchangeable, but vents and all other panels are not.

You luckily have more commonality with your Intrepid than I do with my Monte. Some of the G-Body switchgear is interchangeable, such as the power window and door lock switches, but gauge clusters are mostly to entirely different.

The Cutlass Supreme Salon is the only other G-Body coupe that I've seen that has full instrumentation similar to or the exact same as the Monte SS. I'm sure the 442 models had it as well, but like I said earlier, what are the chances of finding one in a junkyard?

cars010.jpg

The only difference here is that the tach doesn't have the clock that my Monte does.

(And yes, that is gmpartsgirl's Cutlass.)

However, you can change out the entire dash on them. Not being a GM expert I don't know if this is possible, but are entire dashes swappable with platform mates? If you you could put in a dash from a platform mate that has more readily available parts.

Of course at that point you'd have to spend a good chunk of time and change to do an entire dash swap.

You can do a complete dash swap. The Mexican Monte Carlo SS models had the entire dashboard from the Pontiac Grand Prix from the factory.

The G-Body car with the most readily available interior parts would be the Cutlass. However, I really don't want to stick a Cutlass dash in the Monte. I'd like to keep the interior as close to stock as I can.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I figured the large amount of G-Bodies in that era would have made swapping easier. Have you considered a "freak" similar to DF's '300 Intrepord' that takes the best of every similar platform mate for something one of a kind?

Um, its the Intrepid M

thank you

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0