After a brief hiatus, we’ve turned our attention back to Project Grandma with the installation of new spindles and steering arms from TRZ Motorsports and brakes from Aerospace Components for a return to the street after a tour of duty on the strip.
by Andrew Wolf on August 28, 2012
One of the final things we had to do to Grandma before taking her out on her maiden voyage, was set up the steering. In an earlier blog we showed you how we mounted our steering rack, now we are going to finish the story and explain the rest of the steering system – starting with the column.
Ok, here’s the rub. This haul-ass crate engine is going into our Project Grandma build car. Grandma is a 1978 Chevy Malibu that came stock with 3.8 liters of V6 power producing an anemic 105 horses. It was a real “get you to the church on Sunday” car, but not fear-inspiring in anyone’s book.
Now before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, no we didn’t buy a coffin for Grandma. But she is going to be stiff real soon! We’ve been waiting to get our ’78 Malibu over to the chassis shop so we can get her 555 Musi engine installed shortly.
Project Grandma started out as a plain-Jane, refrigerator white, underpowered, smog-strangled ’78 Malibu that was in desperate need of attention. After we got our hands on her, she was fitted out with a 25.5 roll cage and an asphalt-tattooing Edelbrock/Musi 555 cubic inch engine.
The first video in our Project Build of Project Grandma, our POS ’78 Malibu which is destined for greatness. We’re building a street racer type with Grandma, so don’t take her ugly exterior the wrong way, we’re looking for a 9-second car with a stock innocent look.
Project Grandma got serious in this episode where we removed the stock V6 engine from the ’78 Malibu and got everything prepped for our big block engine.
Santa Claus comes to SoCal with a Big Inch Beast of a gift for Grandma. Our Edelbrock/Pat Musi five-fifty-five crate engine arrived today from Musi’s New Jersey assembly plant.
Since Edelbrock and Pat Musi have joined forces to build this 555ci crate, which makes 675+ hp on pump gas and is just itching for a dose of Edelbrock Nitrous, we decided to work together with these two industry legends on this multi-part project.
We decided to have a little fun with granny before the build begins, so we pulled the fluids out of her, started her up and took bets on how long she would last. Check it out…!!
Our old grandma was a little weak in the in the hip, so it was decided to replace the body bushings. Something that would stand up to the abuse that this car is going to be receiving. Something like Energy Suspension’s Hyperflex Bushings
In part one of this three article series, we looked at our bad ass Edelbrock/Musi five-fifty-five big block crate engine destined for our project car that we lovingly call “Grandma.”
Today marked the first day toward the chassis fabrication of Project Grandma. We all have been longing to see our old gal come together, but there were a few things holding us back. Today, we ripped out the rear end, and now we are fully ready for our Chassis Engineering chrome moly roll cage, mini-tubs and chassis goodies.
Today we have an update on Project Grandma as Mike Ryan gets our ’78 Malibu ready for our Chassis Engineering Mini-tubs, and then the 25.5 Roll Cage. We’re starting with a Chassis Engineering chrome moly cage kit and then adding the bars necessary for the SFI 25.5 spec.
The next stage of the Mini-tub process on Project Grandma focuses on the frame rails. With the larger 295/65 M/T Drag Radial tires we would need to create more room in the wheel wells between the frame rail and quarter panel, so we did a little cutting and welding.
We left off last year with Grandma’s frame notching for tire clearance. The problem was that by notching and rewelding the frame rails narrower – we didn’t leave enough room for the 295/65 M/T ET Drag Radials to fit up into the wheel well. Thankfully our friends at Yellow Bullet were there to help us figure it out.
You’ve been following along with our quest to slam our Malibu with stock suspension and mini-tubs on a big Mickey Thompson ET Drag Radial 295/65 tire. Some people said “it can’t be done” and others gave us advice. As you’ll see, the ride height came out PERFECT. Thanks to everyone who gave us input. Here’s how we did it.
Mike Ryan has been plugging away on our 1978 Malibu, Project Grandma, with the goal of getting the Chassis Engineering mini tubs built this week. First though, we’ve got the TRZ front suspension, QA1 Shocks, and Aerospace brakes bolted up. Check out our daily progress.
This week, we finished up 90% of the mini-tubs which were supplied by Chassis Engineering. In our ’78 Malibu, we’ve already done segments on the narrowing of the frame rails, cutting out the stock wheel tubs, and boxing the frame rails back in. Now it was time to make sure we can fit the tire and wheel combination with our mini-tubs.
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We give Grandma a performance racing suspension from TRZ Motorsports along with a premium shock package from QA1. To cap off our upgrade, we treat Grandma to a new set of brakes from Aerospace Brakes that won’t lead to a quack-up when we try to stop.