Project H/OMG: The Teardown, and a Quick Status Update


photos by: the author

Catching Up With a Long-Shelved Project of Ours

Wow — it’s been a long time since you’ve seen anything on this car, on tis site. Having picked it up in 2017, for about the same cost as what a 8.5-inch 10-bolt retails for, maybe a little less, it was quickly apparent as to why the seller accepted our low offer for the car.

On the surface, it seemed like a fairly solid car, and needed only some bodywork. Unfortunately, when we found it, it had four flat tires and the body was far too low to the ground to get a solid read on the status of the structure. Once we got it on the lift at GBodyParts’ lift in North Carolina, we realized that we had a LOT of work cut out for us. Much of the floor, rear inner fender wheels, rockers, etc., were pretty much infected with rust.

Despite this, we still wanted to stick with the project, given what it was and our optimism overtook logic. So we ended up shelving the project for quite some time; finishing up and bidding farewell to Project Redrum, putting a lot of work in on Wicked6 and Phoenix, and dabbling with a few other projects that have come and gone overtime.



But now it’s time to refocus all, OK, most of our attention to this rare, collectible G-body from another time and get it back on the pavement, tuning on its own power. But first, we have to tear it down, rip out the rot and the components that we aren’t reusing.

The initial plan for this car was to cop an AWD system, like Brian King’s car. We were also going to take it to a show-quality appearance level, but once we’ve seen how bad this car was; structurally, mechanically, and otherwise, we elected to stick to the rear wheel drive, even the original 8.5-inch 10-bolt. For those that don’t know, the ’84 Hurst/Olds, ’85-87 442, and all ’84-87 Turbo Buicks utilized this rear axle. The Buicks received 3.42 final drive, while the Olds examples, received the 3.73 gear set.

Only these particular G-bodies were equipped with the 8.5-inch diff, while all other G-bodies, including the Monte Carlo SS and Grand Prix 2+2, were equipped with the lesser, and weaker, 7.5 and 7.62 rear axles. Ask any Turbo Buick owner, the 10-bolt will take you into the 9s.

We also decided to take a different approach; a bare-bones, stripped-out, no frills, all speed, no-nonsense approach. It’s getting put on a diet; no back seat, no heater or AC, no stereo, no carpet. If it doesn’t help the car go, stop, or handle, it’s probably going to get ripped out. Purists can throw all the stones they want at us. Doesn’t matter.

Speaking of, we’re also getting the 5.3L LS built, and sourcing a 6-speed transmission from either one of our friends in the industry, or we’ll just yank one out of a wrecked 4th-gen Camaro. Although we haven’t been keeping you updated here on the website, we have been posting updates on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you’ve been paying attention to those, then you would have seen that GbodyParts has hooked us up with a lot of patch panels for the car.

We’ve also teamed up with a few other friends in the industry as well; UMI Performance has stepped up to the plate, immensely, for the build. Basically everything they manufacture in-house for the car, they have set us up with. More on that later. Hellwig also worked with us on one of their Frame-FX kits, that will help strengthen the frame and increases rigidity. Which is a good thing, considering this car is a T-top example.


The suspension is further improved upon, thanks to the help of Aldan American‘s fully-adjustable coil-overs, shocks, and struts. The brakes are getting upgraded, and details will be provided at a later date on those.

In between the recent teardown of the car, and the few upgrades we’ve installed, we also had the car in the D.C. area, at Three Pedals. Specializing in clutch pedal adapter kits for A-, G-, and B-body GM vehicles, they were more than happy to work with us on this car.

Helping us trim weight and clean up the engine body a little bit, our friend Mike Barnard at Spoolfool Productions set us up with a set of carbon fiber inner fenders. They’re designed for V8 swapped Regals, but they also worked for our G-body Cutlass as well.

Now, it’s all about getting the body shell straightened out, getting the engine finished, sourcing a transmission, and putting the details together. It’s going to be a lot, but the end result will be worth it. This is going to be a street-driven, but track-focused car set up for autocrossing.

But that’s enough talking, let’s show you what this things looks like post-teardown:

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Rick Seitz

Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles; GM, Ford, Dodge, imports, trucks -- you name it! When he isn't clacking away on his keyboard, he's building, tuning, driving or testing his current crop of personal projects!

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