Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

As far as I’m concerned, the Monte Carlo has the same overall poor “curb appeal” to your average person nowadays as a third-generation Camaro, but with none of the great heritage or rewarding driving experience (in comparison). It was sold on the same platform as T-types, Grand Nationals, the Hurst/Olds Cutlass, 442’s, and the last (and arguably most cleanly styled) El Camino. In the grand scheme of things, this generation Monte Carlo SS was a NASCAR-purpose production vehicle with a fake Camaro nose and a lesser variant of the 5.0L V8 than could be had in the F-bodies.

With that said, I really do love the Monte Carlo. Much like the redesigned B-bodies of a few years prior (which ironically left the mid-size Monte a larger overall car than the full-size Impala) the new G-bodies came in lighter, more nimble and sportier than their Megalodon-sized predecessors. For this generation the bow-tied Super Sport was available with a not-so-super and not-so-sporty 165hp 5.0L V8 with the dreaded CCCQJ (Computer Command Control Quadra-Jet) fuel/ignition system. It’s design is archaic and finicky. Believe me, I have a very similar system on the 140hp 5.0L V8 in my 1984 Caprice. It’s one of the members of the Quadra-Jet family that I would suggest avoiding.

Barring it’s anemic (by modern standards) engine output, without all of the bullshit that comes with a fuel-injected, computer controlled engine management system, it can easily take any member of the first generation small block Chevrolet V8 engine family as a replacement with very little work. Let’s be honest with ourselves though. Chances are the common upgrades for the 305 are going to be on a 4.00″ bore block, with either a 3.48″ or 3.75″ stroke. Basically, your standard, run-of-mill, take-the-horse-to-the-glue-factory-already 350 or 383 cubic inch engines.

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8 thoughts on “Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

  1. Wow, 165 horsepower from a V8! I bet that if you were to make a list of all mass-produced V8 engines from 1960 through today and rank them according to their specific output (HP per liter), this one would be in the bottom 10% for sure.

    • Its pretty bad but I think the weakest v8 ever offered in a G-body was the Oldsmobile 260 V8 in the 82 Cutlass. It was rated at 105hp. How’s that for painfully slow?

  2. A few things wrong about this post. First the SSs got the HO L69 305 that made 190 HP according to the factory, the 165 HP is for the base LG4 305. Some of the car magazines tests from that time puts the L69 output at 200 to 210 HP. A dual snorkal air cleaner from a Z28 Camaro will add another 10 HP alone, headers can add another 20-30, and 059 vortec heads will bump it up to a solid 300 HP. Just a bump in base timing will bump up the power.

    The CCC is not a bad system at all, plenty of guys over at Montecarloss.com have zero problems. One thing CCC doesn’t like are vacuum leaks, and a engine can leak vacuum in a large number of ways, from cracked hoses, to a leaky intake manifold gasket, to even worn throttle shaft bushings which is a common problem for all Qjets. Big thing is you need to sit down and study the repair manual to learn how the system works but many are too lazy to do that. I think you guys need to do a little more research before you write articles.

    • Actually Mr. Nobody my research doesn’t need any work at all. In 1983 the Monte SS came with a 165hp according to this source: http://www.montecarloss.com/SSThunder/stock.html

      However I will accept that this website states that the rating was 175hp: http://www.montecarloss.com/SS_FAQ_4.html

      According to both sources 1984 is when the rating was set at 180hp.

      Please don’t kid yourself into thinking that a set of 059s bolted onto a 305 with a dual snorkel and headers will get you close to 300hp. I don’t care if you angle mill a set of 906s down to 52cc chambers and use a shim gasket, you’re not going to hit 300hp without a good cam and a decent exhaust system. Your claims sounds a lot like forum hearsay and bandwagoning to me. I could sit here all night and attack every one of your boderline fan boy butthurtisms that you have only because I said that GM simply made faster, more memorable cars than the one you happen to be most passionate about, but instead I’ll let you in on a little secret:

      You see, here’s the rub. If you can the forest through the trees then you’ll notice that this article was targeted directly at your demographic. Here’s why:

      Let’s say that hypothetically I was wrong about the 165hp rating, who other than a total fan boy of the 4th gen SS would give two shits about an arbitrary typo rating a 5 liter v8 at a pathetic 165hp or a just barely less pathetic 190hp?

      Hell, my article wasn’t even really very negative, but it did do its intended function, which is to get a response from someone reading it. I’m glad you’re passionate about the car, but next time when you bite on the bait, be sure to be mindful of the hook.

  3. Right, the early MCSSs only had the base Lg4s, which were only 140 HP because they had 8.5 CR, in 1985 they were bumped up to 9.5 CR which bumped the HP to 165. Some of those articles you have have bad info. Should look more than just online.

    Most of the MCSSs came with the L69 that had 9.5 CR from the start, a corvette cam, and larger valves that had a factory rating of 180 in the MCSS and 190 HP in the Camaro. But some magazines from that time got as much as 200 HP.

    Plenty of guys on Thridgen forum making 300 HP out of 305s, better go post over there that they are wrong. 059 vortecs are the second highest flowing factory SBC head ever made, just a little behind the 350 Vortec heads.

    From the same website you quoted and linked above, cherry pick much?
    http://www.montecarloss.com/SSThunder/monte_ss.html

    • The link isn’t working, but when you go SS thunder, click on Emission Legal SBC on the left side of the home page. Full buildup of a HO 305, getting 295 HP, and this is a dated buildup too, there are some more modern tricks to get more.

      With this link you see the L69 from 84 to 88 got 180 HP rating, with the overdrive trans 2004R. Before 84 the MCSS had the 3 speed nonOD TH350 trans.
      http://www.montecarloss.com/SS_FAQ_4.html#2

      Again you are cherry picking.

      Same exact L69 motor in the Camaro was rated 190 HP
      http://www.thirdgen.org/1984-chevy-camaro/

      The LG4 redlines at 45K, and maxes out at 6k. The L69 redlines at 55K and maxes at 8K.

      Not to be harsh on you, but you need to look deeper into things.

      • My exact words were, and I quote, “Please don’t kid yourself into thinking that a set of 059s bolted onto a 305 with a dual snorkel and headers will get you close to 300hp. I don’t care if you angle mill a set of 906s down to 52cc chambers and use a shim gasket, you’re not going to hit 300hp without a good cam and a decent exhaust system.”

        I understand now that you’re the great defender of this under achiever of a car. Personally , I don’t really mind the l69 and lg4 from the intake down. The heads they came with really aren’t that bad compared to a lot of the smog crap, and swirl port nonsense that came before and after, respectively. However, you’re a bit off base here with your judgement of me, not to mention overly condescending and even now you’re slightly back pedaling in your remarks. You’re wrong, but you’re so determined to be right that you can’t see the forest through the trees.

        The Monte was slow, it’s horsepower was what it was. Inference, anecdotal evidence, and your will to love something doesn’t change published figures. If you don’t like the article, here’s an idea:

        Invest your time and money into a public forum where you write hundreds of editorials on cars you find interesting. When you do a piece on the Monte SS, you can feel free to talk about how badass it is and how if you do these 5 bolt on recommendations from a forum it’ll make 1000hp and beat every car ever made.

        A piece of advice though, if you write something about a car that was mediocre 30 years ago and you barely have a passing interest in it, don’t say anything to offend a nameless stranger. You might have to answer his occasional idiotic comments.

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