My Garage

1970 Malibu / 402 - 4 speed

I am the proud owner of this 1970 Malibu which I have owned for 2 1/2 years.  The car was originally a 350 with a TH350 transmission and factory 10 bolt open rear with 2.56 gears, but since the original 350 had been long since gone, I decided to give the car a drivetrain transplant.  The drivetrain that now resides is a matching serial number L35 396 and Muncie M20 from a '67 Chevelle SS that was wrecked real bad in the rear.  I bought the engine and trans from a friend of mine who was also building a '70 Chevelle and decided he wanted a "502" crate motor with TH400 for his ride instead.  The engine and trans were untouched when I bought them and had about 75K miles on them.  I originally planned to hone out the cylinders and put in oversized rings, since the machine shop said the block looked real good, but then decided to build my first motor from scratch.  All the engine specs are listed on the page with the picture of my engine, I have yet to go to the dyno to see what this combination has yielded me. 
 
    I overhauled the entire suspension on the car with a "G Machine" handling package from Performance Suspension Components.  The automatic to manual transmission swap was a breeze as everything was bolt on.  The only modifications needed were to cut the hole in the floor, weld in the shift hump, and cut the hole in firewall for the boot and linkage rod.  I maintained the bench seat, so the car has no console with a factory 4-on-the-floor appearance.  All the carpet has been replaced as well as seats recovered with OEM repros from Original Parts Group.
 
    After doing some reading up on Chevelles, I learned an interesting fact.  In 1970, Chevrolet offered a big block option for the Malibu, known as the "LS3".  The engine offered was the original L35 396 with a factory .030" bore making it a 402ci with 330HP and redesignating it the "LS3."  Of course, as you know, many Malibus have been cloned as "SS" cars over the years, but this time my Malibu "350" received "400" emblems for the fenders, and has been cloned as a "Malibu 400."  Aside from the engine code, there is really no other way to determine it is a clone.  I have never portrayed it as a Malibu 400 to anyone, but the Malibu 400 package is quite rare to see in a 1970 model Chevelle as I am sure most of these cars were cloned as "SS" cars as well.  Since my car now has a GM 12 bolt POSI with 3.73 gears, the type rear would also be correct for a big block "Malibu 400."
 
    I have yet to see another 1970 Malibu 400 out there, I have only seen '71 and '72 models.

Note from Greg: I TOTALLY dig the Malibu and I'm glad you kept her one! Also I met Ed on the Bullitt registry as he has a whole bunch of cool cars!

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