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Old 12-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #1
Fireball
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Vehicle: 2001 Malibu
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2001 Malibu "The Bu"

Well,

I decided that I should start a thread for this car... I've had it long enough and done enough that it deserves one...

I got this car in December 2007 with 70k on it.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8260176960/
I replaced the pictured ancient Plymouth Voyager with a car that was superior in every measurable sense.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8260178030/

I drove it from 2007 to 2010 completely stock... I had always wanted to modify it but I simply needed it to get me to and from school reliably, which it did a very good job at.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8260179638/

Then in the summer of 2010 at 121k I did my first mods; a 56 mm throttle body (up from 52 mm stock) and cold air intake (yeah so the first way I tried to install it didn't work :: )
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8259126767/

This caused the bug to bite very hard... it worked, it was reliable, and the car sounded amazing... I'd start it in the morning and it would hiss for a few minutes until warm... over 3k it sounded unholy good.

Summer 2011... it was time for another upgrade.. Scott (3400Cavy on here) was selling a lx5 65mm throttle body with a ported 3x00 UIM. I did this upgrade, it was reliable and solved my idle issues (bad sensors in my old throttle body).

August 3rd, 2011... I did a full 2.5 stainless steel, mandrel bent cat back to a single in, dual out magnaflow exhaust.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8260221758/

From here, I went to the drag strip and ran a 16.01 @ 86 mph... disappointing to say the least.

http://youtu.be/jDxdGFuW_TA

Moving forward, I got a tune from MMGT1 which helped awaken the car even further. There's a part of me that wished I stopped here. The car was reliable, refined yet angry...

I then put a 3500 intake manifold... it had good power with this manifold due to the plenum volume and "runners" created by the spacers... however due to the lack of a good seal by the spacers and me not thinking to put UIM gaskets on both sides, the car never really ran right.

Next, in March 2012 I put some OBX headers with a down-pipe on the car.
I have a love/hate relationship with headers... they have a tinny sound to them that makes the car feel like a 25 year old work truck. That being said, the power increase was undeniable...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/6633104...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/6786104880/

I then drove the car to the states and all over the place for work; lacking time to maintain or work on it. Due to this vacuum and exhaust leaks with the headers, I ate 2 catalytic converters..

At this point I was thinking it was time to get rid of the car... I had no time to fool around... Well I got it fixed up with some help and got her back on the road reliably putting 1k a week for months... I had put the 3x00 UIM on again at this point.

While in the states I took the opportunity to get some projector headlights for it.. I know have 6000k HIDs in these. I also took the opportunity to get some Eagles from Mfuller (Matt).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8260242828/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8259193619/

Next up I bought a 3500 external crank trigger... I was debating.. upgrade the 3100 or go 3500 and buy the car many years... I have this almost unprecedented loyalty to the original engine in the vehicle but a new engine would make much more power with the mods I have.... ask anyone who knows me I have been flip flopping between modding the 3100 or going 3500 for ages...

In early November 2012, I had speedbuilt sway bars installed by MMGT1's brother and took the car up a notch in handling.

Come November 2012, at this point I've got a stiff motor mount, have purchase a stiff tranny mount and a set of port/polished heads with a 3-angle valve job, milled 0.01" and had my ls6 springs installed ready to bolt on.

I had Scott do this install for me, he did this along with installing one of his port/polished LIMs as well as his poly filled trans mount. MMGT1 has since done another re-tune and I have the car in great running condition.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331041@N05/8259187049/

All in all this car picked up huge power.. I sometimes still wonder whether I'm going in the right direction or not.. quite frankly the car is a dozen years old and rolled over 192k last week. You hear and feel the car squeak and clunk over any bump, the headers are still tiny and sound like a giant exhaust leak, even though they aren't leaking..

That being said... I can still stomp on the gas, then get 30 mpg on the way home and it will put a smile on my face..

Here's a short summary..
Mods:
CAI/WAI depending on season
MSD red plug wires
lx5 65 mm tb
P&P 3x00 UIM
P&P 3x00 LIM
P&P Heads with a 3-angle valve job, ls6 springs/seats and milled 0.01"
OBX Headers & Down-pipe
High Flow CAT
2.5" Catback to a single-in/dual-out magnaflow muffler
A tune
Speed-built sway bars (front/rear)
Strut Bars (front/rear)
2 x 10" Bazooka Subwoofers
Projector Headlights w/6000k HIDs

Future Plans:
Properly Sealed 3500 UIM
B&M Trans Cooler
Full Suspension rehaul (Monroe Sensa-Tracs + Eibachs, Control Arms)
Lots of Dynamat
Take care of the rust that has hit me hard this year with no time to care for the car

All in all, I'm not sure whether I keep this car much longer than a year or
two, how much time I have to fix it up next spring will play a large role.

There will be possible consideration for a 3500, or a cam + injectors + timing chain in the 3100... I'm not sure yet!

I want to thank all of the people that worked on my car along the way and all of the people I met at the meets along the way.. Scott, Paul, Tim, Ross, Linden, Pat and all of the other boys!

I'd also like to thank people on here.

Thanks if you actually read this far... felt like I should tell the story of my car!
She certainly still manages to frequently put a smile on my face!

I plan to take it to the track next year and see if I can break into the 14s with a 3100 and 4T40E!
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2001 Malibu, 3100, 180 xxx km
Ported & Polished UIM, 65 mm tb, CAI, 2.5 inch mandrel catback to single in dual out magnaflow muffler, OBX Headers with downpipe.

Last edited by Fireball; 12-10-2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
Fireball
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

As far as getting work done to your car I've got to recommend 3400Cavy (Scott) for his installation, port & polish and general performance work; he does great work at reasonable prices.

As far as tunes go, you can't beat MMGT1's (Paul) tune.. the guy just does an amazing job and spends hours upon hours with your car making it perfect! Paul and his brother also do great install work, they had my sway bars done in no time and with great attention to detail!

Both guys have been great and very important in getting my car to be where it's at today!
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2001 Malibu, 3100, 180 xxx km
Ported & Polished UIM, 65 mm tb, CAI, 2.5 inch mandrel catback to single in dual out magnaflow muffler, OBX Headers with downpipe.

Last edited by Fireball; 12-10-2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
young gun
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The spaces leaking? The phenolic ones? Makes me want to go out and spray mine and see if my car stalls cause it doesn't seem like mine leak at all.

Great little read there. I feel no matter how much you've done to your car a little background and pictures with some future plans should always be appreciated. That being said I still won't make my own thread about mine yet .

For the future it depends on if you wanna try and make the record books for the 3100. If not then I say go 3500. Big flow increase for the cost as opposed to what you'd have to spend on the 3100.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
Fireball
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Thanks!

I'm not sure why mine leaked... I'm going to double gasket them regardless...
I find that they add some runner length to give some torque to the thing and then anywhere above 3k the power band just awesome.

Figured that I've done more than most so it wasn't a bad idea to finally post.

I'm not sure what the future plans are... quite frankly if the car looked and rode like it did in 08... I may be putting in a 3500... The fact is that there are far fewer years/miles left than have passed...

I'm trying to figure out in my mind whether to dump 2-3k in it over the next couple of years and hope it requires no other money for a while and the rust doesn't kill it.... or drive it into the ground and get something new.

I really want to keep it, and if you asked me even a year ago, I would still tell you the same thing... as I've gotten busier it's taken less of a priority though...
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Ported & Polished UIM, 65 mm tb, CAI, 2.5 inch mandrel catback to single in dual out magnaflow muffler, OBX Headers with downpipe.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
young gun
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Depending on how bad the rust is just find your local Krown. I just did mine this weekend.
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2000 - GAGT 14.63@92.9 -Full LX9 with CAI, 65MM TB, 2.5in DP, Borla Cat-Back, Crappy rubber, Magic, Quick tune)
1988 - Dodge Daytona Shelby Z - SOLD!
2008 - Kawasaki Ninja 250r - Slip on exhaust, K&N, Jetted, Sprockets, Lowered and the Girlfriend's now
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
Fireball
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Aye, I really really wish I started rust-proofing it when I got it in 07.
I only started last year... I just didn't know any better and wanted the bloody thing to run..
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:17 AM   #7
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I'm trying to figure out in my mind whether to dump 2-3k in it over the next couple of years and hope it requires no other money for a while and the rust doesn't kill it.... or drive it into the ground and get something new.
There is no need for dumping that kind of money into this car. Save your money for a good project car.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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Next car will not be a project car.
I've learned my lesson with this one...
Project = more problems most of the time...
I just need something that can turn the key and go, no matter the circumstance.

I find it cheaper/more satisfying to drive an old car at times...
Certainly anything I want or would get these days is in the 30+ k range...
Right now that's money I'd rather add to a down payment for a condo or town-house as opposed to purchasing a new vehicle.

Theres the inglorious part of it being old and needing work done as well...
Personally, right now I'm happy but I know if it ends up in the shop again within the next month or so that will change...
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Next car will not be a project car.
I've learned my lesson with this one...
Project = more problems most of the time...
or just don't make your Daily driver a project car.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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car looks good wit dem alloys! bout time you got em on
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireball View Post
Next car will not be a project car.
I've learned my lesson with this one...
Project = more problems most of the time...
I just need something that can turn the key and go, no matter the circumstance.

I find it cheaper/more satisfying to drive an old car at times...
Certainly anything I want or would get these days is in the 30+ k range...
Right now that's money I'd rather add to a down payment for a condo or town-house as opposed to purchasing a new vehicle.

Theres the inglorious part of it being old and needing work done as well...
Personally, right now I'm happy but I know if it ends up in the shop again within the next month or so that will change...
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or just don't make your Daily driver a project car.
Both are good and true statements, and both good points. I agree that it's far more fun to not have to pay for it, plus you have that money for adding things to it..

BUT, like the ol' ferd outside, it really sucks when it strands ya
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
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Agreed with all of the above.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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ehh it also depends on the cars past. usually cars that have more highway miles tend to do better/last longer then cars that have been city driven. highway most people use cruise control and the rpms are commonly sitting in one spot. unlike city its constantly shifting and everything else.

my cars previous owner (uncle, 1st owner, im the second) was a more highway car. he drove around 140 miles to and from work a day, and only about 10 miles of that was city. i bought it with 127,xxx miles on it when he was ready to retire it, and it now has 181,xxx miles. and still runs very strong. but she is getting older by the mile. im sure the motor still has quite some life in it before i have to really worry though.

i think after i get my suspension complete, ill be saving for a DD, and putting the car in the garage most of the time, only for good days when i want to drive it, and as more of a "toy" which it already is my toy, but dont want to build it and it also be a daily driven car, it'll probably come out 2-3 days a week or less once there is a new car to get me from A to B. and especially after my turbo build it will most likely be just a weekend car. or on nice weekday nights when i wanna go have some fun as well.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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That helps, and having maintenance done to it, preventative stuff, so it stays stronger longer, helps too. When mine hit 100K I put on new coils, fuel pressure regulator, just had changed the starter a few months before that (the only part on that car that had ever given out on my btw), plugs, wires, coolant, fuel filer, ya know, kinda went through it and freshened it up. that sort of stuff pays BIG dividends down the road.
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bricooper78 View Post
That helps, and having maintenance done to it, preventative stuff, so it stays stronger longer, helps too. When mine hit 100K I put on new coils, fuel pressure regulator, just had changed the starter a few months before that (the only part on that car that had ever given out on my btw), plugs, wires, coolant, fuel filer, ya know, kinda went through it and freshened it up. that sort of stuff pays BIG dividends down the road.
yes, as have I done routine maintinence along with other things the "average" driver does not do to their cars.

even though the coolant is good to 100,000 miles, i change it once a year (probably a little excessive, but its not hurting it) also use full high mileage synthetic oil, thats good from around 5000-7500 miles i believe, i dont pay attention to that, i still change the oil at 3000 miles, no matter what oil is in the car.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #16
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Agreed... 2 years ago when I decided I'd be keeping it I started doing a whole bunch of maintenance. Tranny, fuel filter, etc..
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Ported & Polished UIM, 65 mm tb, CAI, 2.5 inch mandrel catback to single in dual out magnaflow muffler, OBX Headers with downpipe.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #17
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My wife's uncle got his truck taken in a divorce, so he was using my GA, then it got thumped, he bought it, and it'll be back here in a couple weeks, but anyways, he's done struts and a wheel bearing while he had it, but the 1 thing that really bugs me is he went back to regular oil.
I had a Jimmy with 259000 miles on it, ALWAYS had Mobil 1 5-30 synthetic ran through it. Old guy had it, put a new rear end, transmission, and rebuilt the A/C the year before he traded it in. Pulled his boat with it I guess.
That 4.3 is the quietest motor I have ever heard in my life. You couldn't tell it was running. He swears it's the original. I was sold. Switched the GA over, and it was quieter, I don't know if it's any more "powerful" but it seems to like that oil.. I was doing 5K oil changes on it with synth, but he's gone back 3K with conventional.
When it comes back, it will be right back to Wix filters and Mobil 1
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #18
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3400cavyhatch Gettin' there
keep up the good modding! Something about blowing the doors off newer cars that cost 2-3 times as much!
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