From: Kevan Morrison (kcmorrison at postoffice.worldnet.att.net) Date: Sat, 05 Apr 1997 13:46:17 -0800 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Problem Areas and Suggested Solutions BODY Rust ---- There are three particularly prevelant areas of rust on the '71 Montes that need to be examined: 1) Front lower fenders - rust in this area is sometimes missed because of the lower trim strips, and also if the car is painted in a darker color. Repair panels are available at Year One and The Paddock. 2) Rear lower quarter panels - this area tends to start rusting around the drainage holes from inside the car, and can be detected by using a flashlight to examine the interior inner fenders. For extensive rust damage repair, I've seen rear Monte repair skins sold at Year One. 3) Upper forward interior door/door hinge area (where weatherstripping meets door) - this is a common rust area not only for Montes but particularly for Malibus, Camaros, Firebirds, etc. The weatherstripping often wears away, allowing the water to eventually lay in and work it's way through the door. I have a rust hole on my Monte's passenger as big as the tip of my little finger; I've seen some in other Montes and Camaros almost three inches across. The fix; body work and new, solid weatherstripping (ex., SoffSeal). A fourth (and particularly nasty) area that's not so noticeably is the forward passenger side floor pan area. Per my discussion with a POR (anti-rust treatment) factory rep, the GM "A" bodies had a tendency to leak water into the car at the lower windshield seal. Because this area is covered by stainless steel trim, the leak can go unnoticed; the water seeps down into the car (frequently in the area of the heater) and will eventually cause the floor to rust through if not corrected. In addition, a leaking heater core or connection can do similar damage, though the smell of leaking antifreeze (and disappearing coolant) should make this problem more detectable. My '71 Monte has an apparent windshield leak, with a resultant 3" X 6" hole in the forward passenger side floor. I've seen two '70 MCs with similar (and more extensive) damage in the same area. Grille ------ Due the age of the 1st gen Montes, good replacement grilles are difficult to find. The worst of the three years is the '71; since these grilles are nothing but chromed pot metal, they don't hold up very well to begin with. What appears to make the '71 grilles more difficult to obtain is the design and metal thickness of the grille; seems that they tarnish, corrode, and just plain fall apart more easily than the '70 and '72's. The very few '71 grilles that I've seen were so badly corroded that they had areas that crumbled between my thumb and forefinger. I understand that there are suppliers that can provide NOS '71 MC grilles, but I've yet to find one, and I'd bet that the cost would be quite high. INTERIOR Dash air vents - after 25+ years of use, these are normally pretty shot. The outside vents are particularly suspect to wear; look for broken vent vanes or vent axle pins. Console - on console-equipped cars, the console glovebox lock is frequently shot (or even jammed). The locks are easily obtainable at Year One, The Paddock and other similar suppliers. And, YES, the console gear selection indicator (for automatic-equipped cars) IS illuminated; if your gear selector display doesn't light up at night, the problem is probably a burned out bulb or a loose ground wire. Pretty easy to fix; the console gear indicator area removes with a phillips screwdriver, and the wiring is easy to service. ENGINE Motor mounts - I understand that the BBC engines had a tendency to break their motor mounts, so much that Chevrolet issued a service bulletin instructing service personnel to install a security-type cable that connected the block to the frame. Whatever - I've noted on my car and a 72 MC BBC fan blade damage that indicated significant contact with something other than air. Moral of the story; check out the motor mounts, and replace them if they look worn. If you need to replace the motor mounts, you may want to check out the freeze plugs while you're in there, too. Carburetor - if the Monte is Quadrajet-equipped and you experience particularly hard starting during cold starts, you are probably encountering a fuel leakage problem. The plugs at the bottom of the primary and secondary fuel wells start to leak, and the fuel drains away, causing hard starting, as well as a overrich running condition when the engine is running. Cure - epoxy these plugs. The epoxy (and rebuild kits) can be obtained at most good auto parts stores. Also on the Quadrajets for the 1st gen Montes; the fuel line is normally a solid piece of tubing from the fuel pump to the carb, and the fuel filter is internal. This is where many folks (including myself) encounter an unpleasant surprise; probably because of the fuel line design (inflexibility), engine/line/carburetor vibrations, etc., the fuel line/carburetor connection has a good tendency to strip out the threads, preventing you from obtaining a good connection. Fear not; there's several methods of correcting this problem: 1) Many auto parts stores can sell to you an insert that will rethread the stripped-out portion of the carb, and provide a nipple-type connection suitable for attaching a short piece of neophrene hose to your fuel line. To install, you thread the insert into the carb, connect the hose, cut a corresponding short piece of the end of the fuel line, and reattach the other end of the hose to your fuel line. You now have a solid (but flexible) reconnection of your fuel line to your carb, and the vibration from the fuel line to the carb has all but been eliminated. 2) The solution mentioned above may not appeal to those folks wishing to obtain a pure stock look to their engine compartment. The Carb Shop in California (specializes in Quadrajet rebuilds) will attempt to heliarc and rebuild the damaged thread area IF you did not attempt to first correct the problem with an insert. 3) I've seen several BBC Montes where the fuel line has been replaced with a flexible fuel line, and the in-carb filter as been replaced with an inline filter.