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.

General Comments:

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

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS L69 350 from North America


Good muscle car potential


. 200-4R trannsmission was slipping

. Rebuilt 305 issues

. bad brakes and tires.

General Comments:

I bought this car as a project/summer only car. The rebuilt 305 is going to be replaced with a built 400hp 350 this summer. So far, I have replaced the t-top seals and trim pieces, installed new recovered front seats, recovered the back seat, installed a rebuilt 200-4R tranny with a 2500 stall, installed a rear-end girdle, replaced the brake rotors/pads, replaced the HEI ignition with a Pertronix unit, and installed new BFG tires.

Currently getting the parts together for an engine swap using a CompCams Cam and Vortec Heads. Also want to add Posi and have the rear built-up until it can be replaced with another unit.

This car doesn't get much road time, except for the summertime - it's a fun cruising car - especially with the t-tops. I highly recommend these cars for their east to work on, but can't recommend them to people on a budget or young drivers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2005

23rd Feb 2005, 11:33

Nice review, but you made one mistake, the L69 engine code is for the H. O 305, not the 350 as you put.

5th Apr 2005, 13:26

My mistake - s/b 305.