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My 1978 Firebird

This is a discussion on My 1978 Firebird within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; My new Firebird. Supposed to be an untouched original 1978 Firebird with 72k miles, a 350ci motor and 4 speed ...

  1. #1
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    My 1978 Firebird

    My new Firebird. Supposed to be an untouched original 1978 Firebird with 72k miles, a 350ci motor and 4 speed transmission, 3.08 rearend with an open diff. Best I can tell someone at some point had a Maaco type paintjob done, as there are blemishes and runs and sags...stuff that a factory job never would have had. The rear bumper was originally a dark metallic red, so that has been changed. The car I don't believe to be wrecked as everything looks solid in the rear of it. The frame rails and quarters are in great shape, as are the floors and trunk pan. Structurally it's in great shape. The motor runs well and the transmission shifts good and the brakes still manage to stop the car. Still has F78-15 tires in the front Gotta get those changed out. I'm asking for a bit of help here, though. Seems I have a bastard child of an engine. The engine code is a V12C6CHR and the partial vin code is 28N132689. Could anyone help me in finding out what motor this is exactly? I've done some research using NastyZ28's engine decoder, and I found one specific to Pontiacs, but neither seem to say 100% what I'm dealing with. I know that on some Pontiac heads, the end boss for a manifold bolt was left undrilled and untapped, which led to problems with header gaskets sealing against the block, however, my engines heads are drilled, tapped, and being used to hold the factory manifold on. Confuses me, and maybe I'm just misinformed. Anyhow, some pictures.














    The bottoms of both doors are in this good of shape.

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    Subscribed! Looking forward to seeing this on the road.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Me too! Hopefully within the next week or two.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Got some work done today. Pulled the valve covers to try to track down which cylinder had a lifter ticking and took care of that. Cleaned some stuff up in the engine bay a bit and fastened some stuff that was missing screws etc. Pulled down the headliner tonight since it is toast. Luckily the backing board is still in excellent shape so I'll just be recovering that in time. I had to take it out since its just 'powder' and the slightest brush makes a HUGE mess. Pulling the sail-panel interior pieces I found goo. LOTS of goo. Apparently at some point (perhaps at the factory?) they put on what appears to be non-hardening, runs-in-the-sun grey goop all over the steel, and covered that in kraft paper (think fiberglass insulation paper) that says "noise deadener" all over it. What a mess! I'm going to take to it with some acetone and other solvents to see what I can get that will cut the stuff so I can get it off..it's running down the B pillars all over the back seat arm rest plastics.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Back in the late 60's to the early 80's GM was known to put Oldsmobile engines in Chevrolet's, Buick engines would land in Pontiac's and so on. You may have a Buick block with Pontiac heads. Pull the valve covers and get the head numbers and pull what you can off the intake and block. Good luck with this one. I think you have a Mutt.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapper2003 View Post
    I know that on some Pontiac heads, the end boss for a manifold bolt was left undrilled and untapped, which led to problems with header gaskets sealing against the block, however, my engines heads are drilled, tapped, and being used to hold the factory manifold on. Confuses me, and maybe I'm just misinformed. Anyhow, some pictures.


    Click for full size
    That's because that's a small block chevy in there, not a pontiac engine. Neat car none the less, and should be fun to tinker with.


    If it helps any,,,,the heads you are thinking of (that weren't drilled and tapped at the ends) are the "7K3" castings that were specific to the 72 400/300 hp 4 barrel engine commonly found in the GTO's and 400 firebirds that year.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 05-06-2012 at 08:07 PM.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Okay. So will summit/jegs/whoever have it 'correct' when I punch in 1978 Firebird with a 350ci engine, would it be safe to assume I'll receive the parts for the correct engine?

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapper2003 View Post
    Okay. So will summit/jegs/whoever have it 'correct' when I punch in 1978 Firebird with a 350ci engine, would it be safe to assume I'll receive the parts for the correct engine?
    You have to let them know you have a Frankencar. Get your numbers together and I hope someone made headers for a 1978 Firebird with a 350 Chevy engine.
    Last edited by 2002ssslp; 05-07-2012 at 07:40 PM.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    The SBC after market is rediculasly huge.

    I bet they make headers for this combo..

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    Zap -- say the word and we'll throw it up in the air to change out that bearing. You'll have to simply order parts for a Camaro in order to have them fit anything on your engine. Really looking forward to seeing this thing in person.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Absolutely you'll find headers for that application. It's the exact same chassis as the camaro's throughout the second gen production which all came with SBC's. The aftermarket is endless, and cheaper with the chevy engine.

    Don't let the pontiac faithfull get you down. I've got a 71 Ventura Sprint here that was born from the factory with a small block chevy. Nothing wrong with it. Enjoy the car.

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    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Getting you to grow a mullet is probably going to be the hardest mod to get to work.



    You bringing it to Carlisle?
    9t8z28 likes this.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    We'll see, Walt. Up in the air yet. I've got 4 tires I gotta get mounted (for now: 215 fronts and 225 rears) and the other small odds and ends are in the works.

    As far as being a chevy motor in a pontiac..I'm glad. I didn't really want a true Pontiac mill anyhow.

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    I do like the wheels she came with. Brother Guy had a '78 and if I recall, those engines had cam issues. The lobes weren't properly hardened and tended to wear out.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I am going to have to ask for some blast cabinet time, Jeff. Those wheels aren't supposed to be black. I've gotta strip the tires off of them anyways, maybe later this week when you get home and settled a bit I'll bring them down and play a little.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Pulled the wheels off tonight and ripped those tires off. Got lucky and have 7" rears and 6" wide fronts. The front brake pads (and rotors) appear to be damn near new, and the rear brakes are in great shape as well, except for a leaking wheel cylinder on the passengers side. Got one ordered and should be here later this week. Another oddity: all four corners have shocks with mini-coilovers on them as well Once I get some proper size tires on it, I will go ahead with a shock change and see where the ride height comes back to. I assume somebody put those shocks on in an attempt to get it to sit a bit higher, I don't really know. In the little research I've done, the owners manual says that the base model Firebird sat 49.1" high, while Espirts and Formulas were 49.4", and trans ams were 49.6" high. Maybe someone was trying to get the extra height? No clue. My guess is to clear the 235/75/15 truck tires on the back

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Ordered a 2nd wheel cylinder today. After cleaning it up and letting it sit overnight it started seeping a little.

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    Badazzzz car man! Congrats!

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    Getting you to grow a mullet is probably going to be the hardest mod to get to work.
    Bahahahaha!

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    Cabinet is open any time you need it. Wheels are time consuming -- I actually took the Olds wheels over to Troy Granite and Marble Works.

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