View Full Version : OT - 1980 Malibu 229 Chevy V6 - resurrection!

02-15-2009, 03:52 PM
Here is the Malibu I was given last month. At first I was told the car hadn't run since 87, but I have since learned it may have been 97. But that is still 12 years of sitting!

I externally cleaned the carburetor with Berryman B12 spray, then filled the carb bowl with same spray via the bowl vent. Changed the oil, installed a starter and battery, and this is the result:


Then I found a radiator and ran it for an hour or so, here is the second run:


Hope you enjoyed seeing that resurrection from the weed patch! :)


02-15-2009, 05:27 PM
well get a fan shrowd and 305 and you should be set ot drit track that car with little trouble

02-16-2009, 01:33 AM
Wow. That car brought back memories. Dad bought our blue 1980 Malibu Classic when I was a freshman in high school. 229 V6 mated to a Turbo Hydramatic 200C tranny. Dad was a die-hard Ford man, but he'll admit to this day that his 1980 Malibu was the best car he ever owned. Kept the car until 1998 with 147,000 miles on it. It was in much better shape than that one on Youtube.

The 229 might not have been as refined at the 231 was, but it got the job done, and that dualjet carb on top never did get rebuilt after 18 years, no did it need it.. The ride and handling were superb, especially for that era. The body was excellent and the quality was there. You could get an honest 15-16 mpg in town, and 25-26 on the road. For a carburetor, not too shabby. The only fault Dad had with it, was that GM got cheap on the radiator (2 row only), and of course the 200C was troublesome and had to be serviced at 30,000 miles. No vacuum modulator didn't endear him either. Other than that, it was the best family car for us back then (3 kids, Mom and Dad).

...but it wasn't off topic. It was an A-body!

Ken T.

02-16-2009, 01:52 AM
Teddy, yeah it would be a good dirt track car, but I have plans to learn how to tune a carburetor for a blow-through turbo setup. After that, it'll be for sale to good home.

Ken, I too remember a Malibu car as a kid. It was a "Beer Bottle Brown" metallic color 4 door, almost the same as the car in my videos. It was dad's company car for a couple years. That was the time during my life when I was just starting to appreciate cars as being important and worthy of caring for. I remember one day I was having a bad morning (never did well at school and hated it) so dad told me when I got home he would have a new car. He was trying to cheer me up. Instead I asked what was happening to Beer Bottle Brown, and he said it was going to be 'traded in.' I got in that car, down in the front passengers floorboard, cried and sobbed about it. I got so distraught that dad kept me out of school that day.

I was very sad to see it go, but the car salesman assured me it was going to be "someone elses car" and they would take good care of it.

We got a grey Century sedan with a Tech 4 iron duke engine that was horrid. It was dangerously slow and dad hated it. They should have never put such an anemic engine in a car this size. Kept it only a little while then got another Century with a V6.

I thought Malibu was a G-Body car actually. I've been posting on Gbodyforum.net (http://www.gbodyforum.com) about it and they have not kicked me out yet! :p


02-16-2009, 03:09 AM
I thought Malibu was a G-Body car actually. I've been posting on Gbodyforum.net (http://www.gbodyforum.com) about it and they have not kicked me out yet!
Yeah, the Chevelles and Malibus (and their kinfolk) were A-bodies through '77. Then when they drastically downsized them for the '78 model year is when they started to be G-bodies, IIRC.

We had a bunch of Malibus around my neck of the woods that were called "Irai Taxis" which, as the story goes, were a bunch of Malibus that were ordered by the government of Iraq (although it could have been a taxi company, cause why would the gov't be supplying taxis...who knows :dunno:). They had manual transmissions, a rear gear like 2.29:1 or something awfully low like that, AC and that was IT. All four doors, of course, and most, if not all, were brown. Well, the deal fell through supposedly and GM of Canada was stuck with a bunch of these cars. They liquidated them through dealerships in our area (there's a concentration of GM plants within the part of Ontario where I live). While some were converted to automatics, many of them were sold as they were built. So for a while there was a glut of manual transmission Malibus floating around and in the wrecking yards. Those days are long gone now, however. I got ahold of a complete manual transmission setup from one a few years back and it went for over $500US on eBay. :eek5: Now, of course, you can buy all the parts, pedals included, to convert a G-body to a stick car for less than that.

02-16-2009, 03:21 AM
Cars just arent how they once were..I watched an episode of this truck show were the host picked up a a seriously old truck from a field, did the plugs, wires, cleaned the carb and coolant and took it for a ride. Id love to get something carbed one day.....a carb-converted 3.3L?:lol:

02-16-2009, 03:29 AM
Truth be told - I've had MUCH better luck getting old EFI engines to spring to life! Back when I worked for the car shop, we would repair old German cars. I had a 70's FUEL INJECTED Mercedes V8 (google D-Jetronic) that fired up like it had never been parked after 3 years. All I had to do was put fuel in it, and fix some mouse-eaten wiring on the ignition system, and clean the POINTS for the FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM and it busted right off.

Malibu's carb will have to be fully rebuilt anyway because the acellerator pump doesn't work every time you push the pedal and it leaks fuel.

02-16-2009, 09:51 PM

Yeah, I was pretty sentimental about some of the cars we had back in the day. All started with the '61 Chevy Stepside with the stovebolt six (235), three on the column. A heroic truck. Most people these days don't *really* understand torque like that 'cast iron wonder' could put out. I was pretty sad when dad 'upgraded' to a '76 chevy with the 250 inline. But I came to like that one too, in fact I became really fascinated with the inline sixes, torque, easy to service, and most of all bullet proof. No LIM gaskets to worry about. Half the time, they could run w/o coolant anyway!

My grandfather drove Buicks, so Dad and I had a fascination with them. Dad bought his first Buick, a '95 with the Series I 3800, and the the next year I bought my very first new car, a 1996 Buick Century. Still have it, but it was for my wife. I recently acquired the '95 Century, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

The A-body goes back to my high school. In fact, driver's ed was a 1984 Chevy Celebrity with the Iron Duke. Yeah, that was slow... NIce car, but really slow. One day we got an 84 Monte Carlo with the 231 V6. Thought we had a real racer then!

We're both right on the Malibu. The '78-84 (or '85) run for the down sized Malibu started as an A-body..that is until 1982 when the FWD A-body was rolled out. They just re-branded the car as a G-body. It was pretty confusing, but if you google around, you'll see...


Of course the best place to look is in a 1977-78 Popular Science mag where they would do those road tests against the competition. I can still remember GM mopping up with their re-designed Imapala and Malibu. They were ahead of the game in those days!

Ken T.

1976-80 Body Codes
Buick: Century (1976-77), Regal
Chevrolet: Malibu and Laguna, Monte Carlo <= Still an A-body despite redesign for 1978
Oldsmobile: Cutlass
Pontiac: LeMans and Grand Am, Grand Prix

1981-85 Body Codes
Buick: 1981 Century and Regal
Chevrolet: 1981 Malibu, El Camino, Monte Carlo, 1982-85 Celebrity <= Different cars, but all designated as A-bodies, weird...:werd:
Oldsmobile: 1981 Cutlass, 1982-85 Ciera
Pontiac: LeMans, 1981 Grand Prix

G-Body (1982-85)
Buick: Regal
Chevrolet: Malibu, El Camino, Monte Carlo <= 82' on the Malibu is now a G-body, same car, new moniker.
Oldsmobile: Cutlass
Pontiac: Bonneville and Grand Prix

You plan on restoring a Malibu??:rock:

Ken T.