Our objective for this upgrade to our Project No Bucks third-gen Camaro was to increase traction and handling for both street driving and dragstrip duty. We wanted to put together a complete package from one supplier to make sure everything would work together, and that’s exactly what we found from Spohn Performance.
The ’71 Nova looks far better with all of the rust off and the new panels on. While we took our time to do the job right, the mini-tub kit was not as difficult to install as we originally thought it would be. Detroit Speed really hit the nail on the head when it came to getting the correct dimensions for a perfect fit. The same goes for their connectors. You can’t cut corners or rush a job like this, but Detroit Speed helped the process by providing parts that fit like they should and clear, easy-to-follow instructions
We knew that dropping a big power plant into our car would be a simple fix for the “go juice” for Project Grandpa. However, the part that concerned us was the suspension. We knew that we wanted to go with Ridetech for their air springs, but what about the rest of the system? Thankfully, we got in touch with Spohn Performance who helped set us up with everything to make this car go from driving like a cloud to a lighting bolt!
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
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.
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.
We have a lot in store for Project Grandma this week. With the mini tubs all in, our fabricator Mike Ryan got ready to start on the Chassis Engineering roll cage. However, first we would need to build the frame rails to comply with the 25.5 spec that would make the car legal to 7.50 e.t.’s.
We get rolling on the roll cage for Grandma with a 10-point chromoly setup from Chassis Engineering for our Malibu.
Drag racing is all about going as fast as you can, but what some people seem to forget is that at the end of the track you need to be able to stop the car. With that in mind, we set out to put as much attention into Grandma’s “whoa” as we did in her “go.”
Mike Ryan uses some clever tricks to ensure complete and safe welds as we weld the roll cage tubing to the frame of the Project Grandma Malibu.
We last left off with Mike bending the necessary bars for the funny car cage portion of our build. Since then he has finished the funny car cage required for the 25.5 SFI spec, and has moved on to the door “X” bars.
In order to fit the new tubes and supports in place for welding in our new cross-member on Project Grandma, the drive train needed to be mocked up, and we’ve just been dying to get the Edelbrock/Musi big block crate motor into the engine bay along with the TCI Pro-X Glide. Plus, we figured we’d show off a little bit of our new Lemon’s race headers.
We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz on the forums about air suspension systems in recent months due in no small part to suspension pioneers like Air Ride. But like many people, we had always thought air suspension was for semi-trucks or super slammed low riders. After seeing several events where iconic muscle cars were equipped with Air Ride Technologies’ air suspension systems, our view has change dramatically. So we decided to install Air Ride’s Street Challenge Pack.
Last week, Mike Ryan added some support to the soft underbelly of our 1978 Chevy Malibu we love to call – GRANDMA – with our frame rails required for the 25.5 cage. It’s time to move on the roll cage structure, so we laid out our Chassis Engineering 10-point roll cage and started to get busy