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New member with a special 98 Z34

Old 04-09-2017, 11:21 PM
98L26Z34's Avatar
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Default New member with a special 98 Z34

Hello forum! I am the proud owner of an L26 swapped 1998 Monte Carlo Z34. This car is special, it has a story, and I'm going to share it with you. Sit back, it's story time.

Last October, I was looking to buy my second W body coupe to fix up. I had previously owned a 94 GP coupe a few years back, and was the owner of two 96 Regal sedans at the time, one of which was a project. A co-worker informed me that his cousin-in-law was selling a Monte Carlo, but he didn't know what year it was, or what was wrong with it. All I knew about it was that it was "locked up" and had been sitting for a coupe of years. So, I went to look at it.

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The car was a 1998 Z34 Monte Carlo with 171K on the odometer. I actually managed to start it and it ran, but had a very loud knocking from the bottom end. $500 later, It was mine.

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Then, it sat for a few months while I planned out the swap and gathered some funds. Eventually, I evicted the project Regal and moved the Monte in. I ended up swapping in a relatively low mileage L26 series 3 engine out of a 2007 Grand Prix. It was really simple, I recall only swapping one sensor and the upper intake. It started and ran just fine, and I changed the transmission fluid and filter while I was at it.

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Fast forward to now, the car is doing great almost 8K after the swap. The original plan was to use this car sparingly and use my other Regal as a work car, but since IT tore up, I have been using the Monte. I love this car, so it's not that bad. I plan on keeping the motor stock, and focusing on the handing and ride aspects of this car. In my opinion, the Monte Carlo is a purpose built cruiser, and deserves to be treated as such. The 3800 series 3 is plenty powerful enough as-is.

I have only done small things so far, such as tinted tails with VHT nite shade, blacked out rear panel, and wired up a custom LED reverse light strip.

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The new reverse lights are extremely bright...

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That's it guys, thanks for looking!
Old 04-10-2017, 07:34 AM
drivernumber3's Avatar
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Wow what a lucky find for sure.
You need to share the source for the LED strip on the Rear. I have tried to find them but they are always to long and the trimming option wasn't listed.
Thanks for sharing I enjoyed the story!
Old 04-10-2017, 12:26 PM
The_Maniac's Avatar

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Cool car and cool story!!! Awesome stuff.
I see you kept the L36 Plastic UIM. I would be tempted to pretty up the L26 aluminum one and swap it on. Not too tough to make the swap, I did it on my Monte. Here's the link if you are interested:
Old 04-10-2017, 02:08 PM
98L26Z34's Avatar
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I kept the plastic intake, but I also kept the aluminum one and was going to swap it eventually. The new plastic one is the problem solver intake with the egr bushing. The led strips arent anything special. The rear panel measures about 38 ish inches, so i got a 24 inch strip from autozone with an additional 12 inch extension strip to make a 36 inch strip. Really easy and cool mod to make, considering when I blacked out that panel, I did a "reverse light delete" in the process... lol
Old 04-10-2017, 11:22 PM
ZIPPY02's Avatar
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Extra nice write up, I agree the Montes are cruisers. You can take extra long trips and feel comfortable the whole time. Good rescue Monte you have going for yourself. 8k on the retrofit and no problems, you have passed the bug stages, agree with you, looks like your gold. Awesome job...
Old 04-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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Great job Dude! You have a nice cruiser now 4sure!! I really dig the backup lights!
Old 04-12-2017, 02:56 PM
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Yes, the 5th-gen's tail-light panel lends itself well to some customization. With bright reverse lights like those, you can also kind of "spot-light" the area you're backing into, which sometimes helps. And not only that, satellites can detect you from orbit!

Seriously, though, I'd love to see a few more daytime photos of that setup. Does it run right along the lowest part of the panel? And is there only one brightness level? I guess if you really wanted to, you could rig it to perform some sequential "light motions", along the lines of what police light bars can do.

Nice touch on the crosslace black wheels, too; reminds me of the ones sometimes seen on certain Pontiacs (like black Trans Ams).
Old 10-28-2017, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Brevard County, FL
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I do like a reverse light that actually casts light. I don't understand how those wheels are supposed to be more attractive than stock. It was heartbreakingly beautiful when you got it. Now, not so much.

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