ThatKevinC's '03 Monte Carlo SS Progress Log - Monte Carlo Forum - Monte Carlo Enthusiast Forums


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Old 12-10-2015, 01:06 PM
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Default ThatKevinC's '03 Monte Carlo SS Progress Log

If anyone cares to know more about me, feel free to follow this link to my intro on the forum.


(forum won't let me insert link)

2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

My mom is the original owner of this car. She bought it brand new in June 2003. Why? To this day, I still have no idea. In June 2013, she decided the Monte had run it's course and due to the heavy commute she had it was time to replace it. She bought a new Passat TDI, and my dad used the Monte as a winter beater for the 2013/14 season.

Fast track to November 2014. I was looking for a winter beater, my dad happened to owe me $950 (which I would have never seen in cash), so he offered me this car to call it even. Knowing the history of the car, and having some sort of emotional connection, I took it.

The car needed nothing but a small brake line for safety and passed etest with flying colours. I put in a new battery and changed the oil immediately. My dad tried to convince me that I should do the brakes all around and do a basic "tune up." I didn't think it would make it past the winter due so I didn't put any money into it.

At the end of February 2015, I was almost involved in a large pile up. Literally inches away from hitting a line of cars. I decided, since the car had held up so far, that brakes were needed. I did the front pads and rotors and cheaped out by not doing the rear. I drove the car until April, when I swapped it out for my Caliber.

My entire Spring/Summer/Fall consists of car related activities. I go to every meet and event I can. I consider myself an amateur car photographer (just like everyone else on the internet). I even make it out to a track day every now and then. I'm pretty bored during the winter months, so I decided the Monte needed some love. So here I am, making a progress log for it so that maybe 5 people online might come across it.

A few weeks ago I got a few rolling shots of the car. I know that no one likes a thread without pics, enjoy!









Last edited by ThatKevinC; 12-10-2015 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:41 PM
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First thing I did when I took the Monte out this year was pay someone to give it a good wash, and order rear brakes and door pins/bushings for the driver door. Had a really bad sag to it when opened. From my research it seems to be a common problem.





insert more pics, waiting on uploads.







Finally ordered plugs, wires, and an air filter earlier this week. Should put them in this weekend, depends on weather and schedule.



My buddy managed the put the fender in about 2 inches at a local meet last week. We managed to pull it. But now the fender doesn't connect at the bottom due the rust and us prying on it.





Oil change from a couple weeks ago. I feel no need to do it myself on this car. It's cheap, and much more convenient to have a quick lube shop do it. Before people get mad, remember this is a winter beater.





Here's the car just being a boat at a local meet.





And, just another pic because my roommates Cruze is a piece.



Last edited by ThatKevinC; 12-18-2015 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:18 PM
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Glad to here your taking car of your baby, but you might want to reconsider using those copper plugs. Popular consensus is that ACDelco or NGK iridium or platinum plugs perform better and last longer. Changing the back plugs in a 3800 series 2 is not a lot of fun.

Here's a couple of threads that addresses the differences:

1.Spark plug change
2.Spark Plug change

Just a tip, although it's not necessary, some like to rock the engine forward to make access to the rear plugs easier. There's several ways of doing it if you chose to.
Also, be sure to use dielectric grease on the top of the plugs before you reattach the wires to make them easier to pull off next time.

Last edited by plumbob; 12-12-2015 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:18 AM
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I would never use them plugs or wires. On a stock car acDelco plugs and wires are the only ones to consider imo.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plumbob View Post
Glad to here your taking car of your baby, but you might want to reconsider using those copper plugs. Popular consensus is that ACDelco or NGK iridium or platinum plugs perform better and last longer. Changing the back plugs in a 3800 series 2 is not a lot of fun.

Here's a couple of threads that addresses the differences:

1.Spark plug change
2.Spark Plug change

Just a tip, although it's not necessary, some like to rock the engine forward to make access to the rear plugs easier. There's several ways of doing it if you chose to.
Also, be sure to use dielectric grease on the top of the plugs before you reattach the wires to make them easier to pull off next time.

Thanks for the links!


Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo monte View Post
I would never use them plugs or wires. On a stock car acDelco plugs and wires are the only ones to consider imo.
The car has a ridiculous amount of mileage on it and there is almost no room in the budget for it. I've never had a problem in the past with copper plugs, and for stock application where the car never sees over 3k rpm, I don't feel the need to buy premium anything for it. The car is driven roughly 6,000km (3,700 miles) a year. As long as it makes it through the winter, I'm happy. If I can get next winter out of it without anything, that would be pretty cool too.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:30 PM
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Last Friday, I decided to do the plugs, wires, and filter. Managed to do the front 3. It was horrible. Never again will I purposely work on a FWD V6. It didn't help that everyone was coated in rust and dirt. I know it's been since 2013 at the absolute latest (I bet closer to 2012) since any kind of service was done to this car.


Gapped the new plugs at 0.060 as recommended, wires were put in the correct firing order. Ended up cutting my hand on the fan shroud and then got angry and decided not to touch the back three.








I might do the back three this weekend. But I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't do them all winter... We'll see what happens and how bored I get.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:57 PM
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I hope you dabbed the threads of the new plugs with anti-seize when you put them in.
I've done plugs on a bunch of FWD cars (including the 3800). Luckily, never an issue.

As for plugs, I always recommend AC Delco or NGK plugs. When I buy NGK platinum plugs from RockAuto.com, after shipping they average to about $2.50-$3 a plug. Never use BOSCH plugs in a GM v6 (I have had too many personal bad experiences). As for wires, I tend to favor BOSCH or Ac Delco wires.
Not sure how prices are in Canada to work with RockAuto.com. I know where I am at, Rock has saved me a LOT of money over the years on almost everything. Something you may want to keep in mind as you plan any other work your Monte needs.

Hopefully this car serves your needs well.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:56 PM
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Not bad for a winter beater lol, no harm in putting some love into the car, it has served your family well, and with a bit of maintenance will run for a long, long time. If you do decide to change the rear plugs do yourself a favor and take out the passenger side front motor mount and rock the engine forward and then insert the bolt into the spot that is there for it, it will make your life soooo much easier, but it is still tight fitting to get the rear plugs in and out. Living in Canada myself (about almost 4 hours away from you, and I go up that way a few times a year for Wonderland lol) rock auto is great for buying parts for the car, even after exchange and shipping it will still save you money. I also use zzp for any performance parts on my car and have had great luck and service with them and prices are right. I know I was able to buy performance wires and new plugs from zzp for the same price as stock plugs and wires from my local parts store

Keep up the good work and yes do post pics of your progress
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:22 AM
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I've used Rock Auto for years, they are hit and miss as shipping costs to Canada can be all over the place with them. For example, the plugs, wires, and filter cost $22 cdn plus $35 cdn in shipping. Retail at a local parts store was $150 after tax, so it was still worth it.


Once again, whatever goes into this car will be the cheapest of the cheap. It will never see plugs again after this set. The car runs well, but at XXX,XXX+ km it's only a matter of time before a major repair is needed and I decide to scrap it.

Last edited by ThatKevinC; 01-07-2017 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:18 PM
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Been a while since I updated this thread.. but it's almost that time of year again.


Back in February (the 12th to be exact), the alternator let go on the Monte. My dad informed afterwards that it was still the original alt, so I can't complain. Came damn close to driving to my friends shop on just battery, but he had to come "save" me about a km away from the shop. We attached a booster pack and kept the hood shut with ratchet straps. Rednecking at its finest.


I replaced the alternator, it was extremely easy. Then I decided I might as well tackle the back 3 plugs I had been pushing off. It took hours. It was terrible. It was finally done though, and my goal this year is to do nothing but change the oil. *knocks on all the wood*











I drove the Monte for almost a month exactly, then parked it again so that I could pull my Caliber out way too early.





It seems weird, but I'm almost excited to be back in it. Part of me wants to replace the driver fender since it rotted and is no longer attached to the car at the bottom. I also keep playing with the idea of sanding down and slapping some bondo over the quarters as a very temporary solution to the rust. I don't know, I'm just bored and want to do something.
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