The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Monday, January 01, 2007

GMI Virtual Tuner #1: Chevrolet Mad Maxx

GMI Virtual Tuner #1: Chevrolet Mad Maxx

By Ming & GMInsidenews Staff

GMI Virtual Tuner List:

1. 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx / Malibu V6

2. 2004 Pontiac GTO

3. 2005 Cobalt SS

4. 2006 Pontiac G6 GT Coupe

5. 2005 Monte Carlo

6. 2005 Saab 9-2x - or your choice here?

In the face of all the recent negative news on GM, I decided a little fun was in order. A series of articles that don't take themselves too seriously, and in fact require a little imagination...that is, unless you get out there and make them a reality.

After a recent trip to a book store's magazine rack, I came to a conclusion. Recently introduced GM cars don't have nearly the Media support for "aftermarket tuning" and modification that new Import brand cars and older Detroit muscle & pony cars have. You can find how-to guides, well-photographed examples of reader's rides with attractive models draped over them in skimpy clothing, for those Imports, F-bodies and Mustangs, but not for many of GM's new and improved (in particular FWD) models on the market. If I see another magazine article on a modified Scion with a paint job heralding it as the "New Breed of Speed" I might just hurl. So I decided something needed to be done to remedy that deficiency. I quickly dumped the idea of me getting in to a bikini and draping myself over shiny new GM cars at the dealership. No one wants to see that. I settled instead on making some "Fantasy" modifications to new-ish GM cars. In the first, I took a fellow Staff Member's Malibu Maxx as my inspiration, came up with a theme, and went with it. The result is a list of what COULD be done to his car with a budget of about $3500.00, and several hours of bolt-on modifications that don't require an extensive amount of expertise or a degree from an a automotive engineering school to accomplish. I've also added a variation of the theme, using a regular Malibu V6, and a Supercharger. The first, Mad Maxx, is about all-around performance and looks, while the second is the "Sleeper" Malibu that looks like a grocery getter but has some goodies under the hood, out of sight. Of course any combination of the two could work. In fact, conjuring Mad Max brings to mind a big supercharger sticking out of the hood, so that would be a worthy, if expensive, add on for the Mad Maxx project car. Regardless, I wanted to keep the price low, in both cases, and under $5000. Spending any more than that would justify trading in your Malibu and going out and buying a 2006 Malibu/Maxx SS.

Anyway, here are the modifications I came up with, and you are free to suggest changes or tell us what you think the performance would be like after putting the time and money into this. Also, we'd love to see YOUR idea of what the ultimate build-up of a Malibu would be, given what is available out there now, and keeping it all under 5000 bucks. And yeah, I know you Camaro guys are going to say "Why would anyone want to sink money into a FWD car?" Well, let's just pretend that there is a huge market for that kind of thing, and there's no reason why GM cars shouldn't be able to get in on the action.

A large percentage of the parts I have listed below are specific to the Malibu / Malibu Maxx. I encourage you to check the links to the sites listed if you hesitate to believe that there are actually performance parts available for the new Malibu....because incredibly enough, there are! There may be a few items I left out, like brackets for the racing seats. There are other things I would have loved to have added, but even with the number of parts available, the 3500 Malibu / Maxx's list of options are not as long or as extensive as, say, a Honda Civic or Ford Mustang. So I worked with what was available, and came up with these:

Project Chevrolet Mad Maxx


2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx

Engine: 3.5L V6

Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic

Horsepower @ RPM 200@5400

Torque @ RPM 220@3200



RSM Lightened billet aluminum Crank Pulley - .($180.00)

Air Filter - Fram Air Hog High Performance Air Filter - ($54.97)

DIS Ignition System - ($460.00)

AC Delco performance wires - ($59.99)

HyperVoltage System MR-S - ($179.99)

Braking / Suspension / Tires:

Springs - H&R Sport Lowering Springs - 1.5-inch Drop ($247.99)

Pirelli P6000 Sport Veloce 215/60VR16 Tires x4 - ($392.00)

Slotted / Crossdrilled Rotors - ($60.00/set) - Front + Rear = ($120.00)

Front Strut Tower Brace - ($300.00)

Interior / Exterior:

Seats - Recaro Speed 4-Point Seat - Black Suede W/ Black Vinyl Bolsters ($649.99)

Schroth ASM Rallye 4-point Harness (For Recaro Racing Seat) - ($156.95)

4-Piece Body Kit - ($850.00, free shipping)

+ Paint to Match Factory color at local paint & body shop - ($400.00 approx., and more for a "classic Mad Max" yellow, red and blue custom paint scheme)

After (excluding wheels):




Malibu V6 Sleeper


RSM Supercharger Kit - 80+ HP gain. Includes Vortech supercharger, all brackets and oil lines, belts and pulleys, ECU programming, adjustable blow-off valve, FMU, induction piping, and K&N cone filter. Gain is 80 HP and 75 ft/lbs of torque with 8 PSI boost. ($3900.00)

RSM Lightened billet aluminum Crank Pulley - .($180.00)

Air Filter- Fram Air Hog High Performance Air Filter - ($54.97)

Suspension / Tires / Brakes:

Polyurethane Bushing Kit - Includes front control arm bushings and rear trailing arm bushings. Total 16 bushings for

reduced suspension movement. ($500.00)

Continental ContiExtremeContact: 215/60VR16 X4 ($324.00)

Slotted / Crossdrilled Rotors - Front Only ($60.00/set)[/quote]




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