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Formula Firebird Question

This is a discussion on Formula Firebird Question within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hi there! I picked up a fantastic (thanks kyle!) '94 Formula Firebird from another member on the site and it ...

  1. #1

    Formula Firebird Question

    Hi there! I picked up a fantastic (thanks kyle!) '94 Formula Firebird from another member on the site and it hadnt been running for a while I dont think and yesterday a mechanic and myself, installed a new Billet MSD Distributor and MSD wires yesterday. We made sure to align the timing up the best could and all. Well we cranked it up a few times and the idle wasnt steady at first (was expecting that for a bit) and eventiually the car was started for a while and the idle smoothed out and the car has a nice aggressive sound to it. BUT we noticed (and we only drove the car down two roads because we have to get an inspection sticker still) and the car felt great but when we would hit the gas hard in the first 3 gears the car would burp up little backfires, not much but noticable for sure. Has anybody experienced this after an install like this? My personal thinking was that it might clear up after driving it a few miles and breaking the motor in after having it sit so long. I was thinking maybe some sea foam might help things along?

  2. #2
    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    By backfires, you mean popping sound from the exhaust after getting on it then letting off real fast?

  3. #3
    no, like as we were on the accelerator in the first 3 gears (didnt happen really in the other three gears) the car would pop tiny backfires.

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    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    Sounds like the car is still missing. You may need to advance the timing a little bit on the MSD opti. Don't they come with an +/- 5* setting on them? You may need to ajust that.

  5. #5
    I sure do believe I read that when I was researching the part on the net. But I dont know if I have to retake the car apart just to do that or not?

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    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    Unfortuantely, the timing dial is somewhere on the opti unit itself. You might be able to get under the car and reach the dial without having to taking anything off, but I'm not sure.

  7. #7
    looks like it was the timing...the car wont start at all now. It chugs lightly but the spark aint getting what it needs. How exactly do you adjust the timing on these cars?

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    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlby123 View Post
    looks like it was the timing...the car wont start at all now. It chugs lightly but the spark aint getting what it needs. How exactly do you adjust the timing on these cars?
    Besides the dial on the opti, I think you have to change the timing through the PCM.

  9. #9
    uh-oh. Im not even inclined enough...pcm?

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    powertrain control module.. it's the computer that controls all aspects of how your engine and powertrain runs.

  11. #11
    What kind of tools or equip. do I need to be able to adjust the timing on the pcm?

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    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    An OBDI or OBDII plug (depending on which year you have) and a laptop. Or you could get a handhelp programmer from Hypertech or some shit, but they aren't generally worth it. A performance shop could prbably do it for you too.

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlby123 View Post
    What kind of tools or equip. do I need to be able to adjust the timing on the pcm?

    Dont take thing the wrong way, but if you dont even know what your PCM is, then you have absolutely no business trying to change any of the settings within. It isnt nearly as simple as you think it is. Bad things happen when amateurs mess with their PCMs...

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    Member Chad97z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    Dont take thing the wrong way, but if you dont even know what your PCM is, then you have absolutely no business trying to change any of the settings within. It isnt nearly as simple as you think it is. Bad things happen when amateurs mess with their PCMs...

    Hey you gotta start somewhere. =)

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    Right On Badbird's Avatar
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    true

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    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    Dont take thing the wrong way, but if you dont even know what your PCM is, then you have absolutely no business trying to change any of the settings within. It isnt nearly as simple as you think it is. Bad things happen when amateurs mess with their PCMs...
    Good point.

    Have someone help you with it who knows how to do it, and let them teach you the basics

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    Right On Badbird's Avatar
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    also might want to go get a Chilton, i find mine to be very helpfull.

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