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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; Thanks. It's been more lack of funds than interest. Sold my Harley, so I had the money to get the ...

  1. #61
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Thanks. It's been more lack of funds than interest. Sold my Harley, so I had the money to get the suspension done the way I wanted. Fighting a steering interference issue right now, not happy about it. Just got the ignition timing re-set and the motor is alive and healthy, aside from a few exhaust leaks. Probably gonna end up buying different header gaskets, and the collector gaskets are the old ones right now because I'll have to pull the exhaust back off to get the rearend done.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    does that have the back bolts for the headers? I forget what engine you have in that. May have to double up the gaskets.

  3. #63
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    Looks good! Any pics of the interference issue?

  4. #64
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    0rion, its a SBC, so it's got all 6 bolt holes. They're just cheap gaskets.



    Pics of the steering issue..






  5. #65
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Is that the outer tie rod coming over to the centerlink?

  6. #66
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    The inner, on the drivers side. It's the correct part for my year car, just doesn't work with the lowered suspension. The Camaro inner tie rod has more drop to it, and hopefully more angle toward the subframe. I should find out in a few hours whenever the damn thing shows up at the parts store. Oddly enough, I've only seen one other case of this posted on the internet having the same exact problem, but with Hotchkis Suspension and not Pro Touring FBody stuff. Unfortunately, that guy has never replied to his own thread with a solution, nor has he been active on that forum since April. The Camaro end is my own attempt at finding a solution, as I'm running out of time and a car that only steers one direction isn't much fun...I've seen Nascar...no thanks

  7. #67
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    Aww hell. Time to get the grinder out!

  8. #68
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I may have found a temporary solution...


    If I rotate that joint in the picture almost all the way to one side, it clears by about 1/16th of an inch. Problem is, I have to rotate the outer joint almost all the way to the opposite side so that neither joint can rotate back and cause interference. Any issues with doing this? Its not like the suspension requires a huge amount of articulation, but I don't want to cause something to bind and break or cause premature wear.

  9. #69
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Oh I have a solution, but I'm sure your wouldn't want to hear it

  10. #70
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    And that would be? :P





    I ended up doing just what I said, as well as grinding/clearancing both the center link and the inner tie rod a little bit. I didn't take off enough material to really hurt anything, but enough to take off the sharp edge of the center link and a bit of material off the tie rod. Just a few thousandths off each. I shouldn't have a problem now, but I'll be taking it easy. The absolute only time there would be any interference would be with the wheels pointed straight forward, and i think i've alleviated that now with what i've done.

  11. #71
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Zapp - I came across what I think would be a good deal on a 79 TA. Anything you recommend that I should look for besides the common rust spots.

    Car has a 400 block motor, transmission recent gone out in it. Both are not a big deal for me because I am seriously wanting a LSx conversion so keeping it as a classic drive train isn't too important for me.

    I know to look at floor pans, trunk, truck lid, around the front and back windows qtr panels front and rear of the wheels, door jams, pretty much the whole body.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Zapp - I came across what I think would be a good deal on a 79 TA. Anything you recommend that I should look for besides the common rust spots.

    Car has a 400 block motor, transmission recent gone out in it. Both are not a big deal for me because I am seriously wanting a LSx conversion so keeping it as a classic drive train isn't too important for me.

    I know to look at floor pans, trunk, truck lid, around the front and back windows qtr panels front and rear of the wheels, door jams, pretty much the whole body.
    you should start it and make damn sure it doesn't have a loud ticking noise........not sure your sanity could handle that these days.


    stock rear in that car? I had a 79 that the posi took a dump on me which is kinda odd since I had the 301 that made like 7 rwhp and 3 rwhtq

  13. #73
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    you should start it and make damn sure it doesn't have a loud ticking noise........not sure your sanity could handle that these days.


    stock rear in that car? I had a 79 that the posi took a dump on me which is kinda odd since I had the 301 that made like 7 rwhp and 3 rwhtq







    I'm going to assume yes. Car is going for $1600 OBO. He wanted $2600 then the transmission took a dump on him.

  14. #74
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  15. #75
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Is it a T-Top car? If so, plan on buying floor pans. Basically ALL of the rear sheetmetal needs to be looked at in good detail. The rear 'frame rails' as they call them are nothing more than stamped steel pieces welded into the hump where the rear sits in relation to the body and they are very commonly rusted to hell. The entire rear bumper area between the gas tank and steel bumper underneath is quite common. If the trunk is at all rusty, pay special attention to the rear wall where the taillights are and pay attention to where the bumper bolts through it. The front subframes are all over craigslist (around here, anyway) and usually not a problem. Radiator support is a good place to look into as well. Front fenders are now repop'd, but at 340-350+ each, they aren't cheap. The bottoms of the doors are another common place, but not all is lost here either. Skins are about 80 bucks a piece, but the inner structure cannot be purchased by itself. They have started repopping whole doors now, but at almost 700 a piece unloaded, they are fuckin' salty. I have a shaker hood in my garage that isnt any good as its rusted to beat hell, so I suspect that could be another area of concern. Definitely get under the dash and look up at the top of the firewall. I've seen a few in my searches that actually had undetected leaks in the windshield that caused the dash structure/firewall area to rust out. Really, just do your homework and do a good autopsy when you go see it. I hope for your sake its on dry ground when you go to look at it so you can get under it and look really close. Take a creeper, cardboard and a good flashlight and just go apeshit crawling around the thing. If you do get it, plan on buying solid subframe-to-body mounts (100 bucks) and if you arent replacing everything with new, do what you can to get suspension bushings replaced. There's lots of stuff out there available for these cars, so don't worry about sourcing used parts. Not everything is being repopped, but there is more on the market every day.

  16. #76
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Also, the LS swaps are getting easier in these cars as many companies are producing the correct motor mounts, tranny cross members and even conversion headers as well.

  17. #77
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapper2003 View Post
    Is it a T-Top car? If so, plan on buying floor pans. Basically ALL of the rear sheetmetal needs to be looked at in good detail. The rear 'frame rails' as they call them are nothing more than stamped steel pieces welded into the hump where the rear sits in relation to the body and they are very commonly rusted to hell. The entire rear bumper area between the gas tank and steel bumper underneath is quite common. If the trunk is at all rusty, pay special attention to the rear wall where the taillights are and pay attention to where the bumper bolts through it. The front subframes are all over craigslist (around here, anyway) and usually not a problem. Radiator support is a good place to look into as well. Front fenders are now repop'd, but at 340-350+ each, they aren't cheap. The bottoms of the doors are another common place, but not all is lost here either. Skins are about 80 bucks a piece, but the inner structure cannot be purchased by itself. They have started repopping whole doors now, but at almost 700 a piece unloaded, they are fuckin' salty. I have a shaker hood in my garage that isnt any good as its rusted to beat hell, so I suspect that could be another area of concern. Definitely get under the dash and look up at the top of the firewall. I've seen a few in my searches that actually had undetected leaks in the windshield that caused the dash structure/firewall area to rust out. Really, just do your homework and do a good autopsy when you go see it. I hope for your sake its on dry ground when you go to look at it so you can get under it and look really close. Take a creeper, cardboard and a good flashlight and just go apeshit crawling around the thing.
    Basically what Zapper is telling you in a nutshell Scott is that you really need to just come out here and buy one

  18. #78
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I got exceptionally lucky with my car. Its entire life was spent in New York, however I'm certain it was garaged its entire life. Everything I've touched on it has come free without much hassle. The only rust on the car is low on the door in the front corners (common) and around the rear window trims. Some surface rust near the trunk hinges and a bit on the firewall near the drivers door top hinge. All of that will be addressed when it comes time for the paintjob. As for now, it's visually a 100' car and runs/drives great. I can't complain though, I got a 3rd place trophy at Carlisle for the 70-81 Modified Firebird/Trans Am class.
    pajeff02 and reedld like this.

  19. #79
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I can't believe I never posted any pictures of my car on here once i had it finished

    I don't have any, that's why. This is the best I can do for the time being. Stole these from facebook..





  20. #80
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    good looking car......was someone having a sale on hats and is that motel pay by the hour?

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