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GM G-Body Performance Upgrades 1978-1987

Overview

The General Motors G-Body is one of the manufacturer's most popular chassis, and includes cars such as Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo, and El Camino; the Buick Regal, Grand National, and GNX; the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme; the Pontiac Grand Prix, and more. This traditional and affordable front engine/rear-wheel-drive design lends itself to common upgrades and modifications for a wide range of high-performance applications, from drag racing to road racing. Many of the vehicles GM produced using this chassis were ...

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GM G-Body Performance Upgrades 1978-1987: Chevy Malibu & Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Olds Cutlass Supreme & Buick Regal

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Overview

The General Motors G-Body is one of the manufacturer's most popular chassis, and includes cars such as Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo, and El Camino; the Buick Regal, Grand National, and GNX; the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme; the Pontiac Grand Prix, and more. This traditional and affordable front engine/rear-wheel-drive design lends itself to common upgrades and modifications for a wide range of high-performance applications, from drag racing to road racing. Many of the vehicles GM produced using this chassis were powered by V-8 engines, and others had popular turbocharged V-6 configurations. Some of the special-edition vehicles were outfitted with exclusive performance upgrades, which can be easily adapted to other G-Body vehicles.

Knowing which vehicles were equipped with which options, and how to best incorporate all the best-possible equipment is thoroughly covered in this book. A solid collection of upgrades including brakes, suspension, and the installation of GMs most popular modern engine-the LS-Series V-8-are all covered in great detail. The aftermarket support for this chassis is huge, and the interchangeability and affordability are a big reason for its popularity. It's the last mass-produced V-8/rear-drive chassis that enthusiasts can afford and readily modify.

There is also great information for use when shopping for a G-Body, including what areas to be aware of or check for possible corrosion, what options to look for, and what should be avoided. No other book on the performance aspects of a GM G-Body has been published until now, and this book will serve as the bible to G-Body enthusiasts for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Parts Pro - Alan Mayes
"If you want to build your G-body to go, stop and handle to your expectations and beyond, 'GM G-Body Performance Upgrades 1978-1987' can guide you to your ultimate goal." -Hemmings Motor News, December 2013
Hemmings Classic Car - Richard Lentinello
"...this is one book that every owner and enthusiast of GM's G-Body cars should own." -Richard Lentinello, Hemmings Classic Car, February 2014
American Car Magazine
"If a G-body project is something you're considering—and you should—then this title should be at the top of the shopping list." -American Car Magazine, May 2014
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613250327
  • Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Series: Projects Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 444,159
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Hinds is a lifelong hot rodder whose first car was a '57 Chevy. Now he owns and operates his own custom car shop, and while his business specializes in building custom cars of all kinds, and he's a big fan of Buick Grand Nationals. As the word got out that Joe knew how to make G-bodies run hard, he found his shop filling up with them. Joe's many years of experience in both automotive and marketing pursuits prove he's the perfect author for this subject.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 4
Chapter 1: Evolution not Revolution: G-Body History 5
A-Body Becomes G-Body 5
Chevrolet 6
Pontiac 10
Oldsmobile 10
Buick 11
Chapter 2: On the Hunt: Finding Your Ideal G-Body 15
Choosing a Model 15
Setting Performance Goals 16
Creating a Budget 17
General Inspection 20
Rust Issues 25
Body Damage 28
Chassis Considerations 28
Chapter 3: Maximizing Stopping Power: Stock and Aftermarket Brakes 29
Hydroboost Brake System 30
Powermaster Brake System 31
Brake Upgrades 32
Spindles 33
Brake Proportioning Valve 36
Brake Lines 37
Brake Conversions 42
Aftermarket Brake Systems 43
Chapter 4: Getting a Grip: Front Suspension Performance 47
Component Options 47
Stock Control Arms 48
Aftermarket Control Arms 51
Sway Bars 54
Shocks 56
Springs 57
Chapter 5: Handling on Rails: Steering System Upgrades 60
Steering Box 60
Rack-and-Pinion Conversion 62
Power Steering Hose 67
Power Steering Pump 67
Chapter 6: Hooking Up: High-Performance Rear Suspension 70
Control Arms 70
Bushings 71
Sway Bars 73
Shocks 73
Air Bag Suspension 73
Chapter 7: Building a Strong Foundation: Chassis and Frame Upgrades 77
Separate Frame from Body 77
Frame Rail Boxing 79
Roll Bar and Roll Cage Installation 79
Crossmembers 83
Wheel Clearance 85
Aftermarket Chassis 88
Chapter 8: Putting the Power Down: High-Performance Differentials and Axles 90
GM 10- or 12-Bolt 91
Ford 9-Inch 92
Dana 60 93
Budget Option 93
Stock Axle Assembly Upgrades 94
Ring-and-Pinion Gears 95
Pinion Supports and Yokes 95
Axle Shafts 95
Wheel Studs 96
Limited-Slips 96
Detroit Lockers 96
Spools 97
Differential Covers 97
Back Braces 98
Gear Cases 98

Chapter 9: Get Into Gear: Manual and Automatic Transmissions 100
Powerglide 100
Turbo Hydra-Matic 100
New-Generation Transmissions 103
OEM Manual Transmissions 104
Aftermarket Manual Transmissions 104
Chapter 10: A High-Performance Trans-Formation: Manual Transmission Swaps 107
Transmission Fit 109
Clutch Pedal 109
Driveshaft 111
Speedometer Drive 111
Shifter 111

Chapter 11: A Higher Power: Engine Swaps 112
Traditional V-8 Power 113
LS Series 116
Engine Mounts 119
Wiring and Engine Management 120
Exhaust 121
Intake 121
Carburetor or EFI 123
Fuel System 125
Cooling System 129
Swap Kits 130
Gauges 132
Accessories 133
Chapter 12: Driving in the Lap of Luxury: Performance Interior Upgrades 135
Gauges 135
Wiring Harness 138
Steering Wheel 138
Shifter 139
Seats 140
Safety Restraints 142
Source Guide 144

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