1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4.3 V6 from North America
Can't say enough about it
Catalytic converter clogged at 156,000. Upgraded to Flowmaster true duals with an x-pipe.
Transmission converter doesn't lock up when cold. Once warmed up, no further problems.
Front end is original and has some wandering issues while driving.
Rear tires, probably due to me burning them up.
Shocks are original and also need replacement.
I've sanded off some rust spots from the body and covered them with primer.
Other than that, just routine maintenance. Distributor cap, rotor, plugs, wires, oxygen sensor, ignition coil, engine and rear axle oil changes, and transmission fluid changes. Other than the exhaust and tires, I've done everything myself.
For its age and mileage, I can't complain. The 4.3 V6 has always gotten me where I had to go. It may not have the most horsepower, but it does have a lot of torque. Going up hills or steep inclines isn't an issue with this engine.
Between the dual exhaust, electrical fan, and the K&N high flow air filter I've installed on the car, there is still a big difference in the way the car performs. I've probably had it up to around 120 mph flat out with more to go and I've put many ricers in their place too.
Since I use Royal Purple motor oil, the engine has never had any problems, no matter how bad I've beat it. I've redlined it more times than I can remember, done dozens of burnouts, basically pushing my entire drivetrain to the max and the car still runs very good.
As a bonus, I also get better mileage than you'd expect from a car of this era, usually between 22 to 24 mpg in average driving. I laugh when people say that I drive an old gas guzzler and I still pass their trucks and SUV's at the gas station. People always want me to put a V8 in my car, but with $4 a gallon gas coming soon, I might put install a turbo V6 drivetrain from a turbo Buick instead when I get a chance. I should get the same mileage, if not more, than I get now and have way more power too. I look forward to hunting faster 'prey', like mustangs and supras, once I get this done.
In addition to the drive train, it is also comfortable to drive in with a lot of room inside. The body of the car has held up well for its age, with just minor surface rust. The car is also easier to work on than most new cars.
The car gets a lot of attention from people who like older cars. I've had some offers from people wanting to buy it from me, but I'd probably regret selling it in the future. This is a car that could be the equivalent of the Chevy Bel Air 20 or 30 years from now when electric and hybrid cars 'take over'. This one's definitely a keeper.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th May, 2008