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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States

      '67 Firebird 400 Resto Mod

      Greetings PT Folks!



      I have been building this Firebird for the past few years. I stumbled across this Firebird in Montana and, with the blessing of my wonderful and understanding wife, we made the overnight drive to Montana to take the plunge on a first year firebird.
      The car originally was optioned with a 326 + powerglide drivetrain, but at the time of purchase it had the 350 and th350 donated by a 68 that was a project at this shop.

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      Loaded on the trailer
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      The first stop was to my Father in law's garage to survey the amount of rust damage and start disassembling while our home garage was full or other projects.
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      Pulling drivetrain and replacing pans
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      Needless to say, this car was super rusty and will be getting sub-frame connectors.
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      Pans Tacked back in.
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      While this was going on, we brought the rear end back home with us to install the C5 big brake kit from Kore3. After a lot of help from Tobin, and several attempts of me managing to everything backwards the first try, the rear end was ready to go back in with a slightly more modern wheel and tire combo.
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      For a change of pace in the world of spoilers, I decided to go with a Fiero wing instead of the lip spoiler or 69 Trans Am style wing. The fitment in my eyes actually worked pretty well.
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      All primed together.
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      Once this was put back together, it was about time to bring her home to finish the mechanical in the home garage. That will be for the next update post.

      Thanks again for reading through!


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Location
      Bakersfield, CA
      Posts
      579
      Country Flag: United States
      Awesome man! I'm loving the recent surge in 1st gen Firebirds!
      http://www.TheFOAT.com/92GTA
      1969 Pontiac Firebird
      w/535ci IAII aluminum block, Dailey dry sump, Holley EFI (full road race build). Primer black w/black interior.
      1992 Pontiac Trans Am GTA w/SLP Performance Package. Dark Jade Grey Metallic, grey leather, T-Tops.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      The plan for the drivetrain is to use what could have been an available option for the car, but also improve the power and driveability with Overdrive, MPFI, and more modern disc brakes on all corners. We continued using the Kore3 C5 setup in the front and picked up the master cylinder to run with no booster.
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      We were able to dig up a '67 400 block along with a set of 061 heads from a local boneyard, and then picked up an Edelbrock Pro-Flo kit as the new version came available. For Overdrive, we stuck with the BOP available option of a 200-4R.
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      I initially tried using a TH400 crossmember to mount the transmission, but the fitment put it right in the transmission pan and would have lead to headaches later.

      Subframe ready to reinstall.
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      Subframe back in place. Not pictured, but also installed are the subframe connectors.
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      I ran across a corvette dual snorkel intake at a swap meet. But after installing it seemed too tall and needed spacing to get it away from the throttle linkage.
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      So that part of the plan was scrapped to go with an Airaid unit that would accept 3" piping (which i hope provides for enough airflow). The plus side is that it does provide a nice provision for the PCV fresh air hose.
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      Around this time we we able to finish running the hard line for the brakes and finished getting those bled.
      Cooling system installed along with Aux cooler for the transmission.
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      With the Trans cooler lines ran, the last major under the car task was to run the fuel line for the EFI. I decided to go with the corvette fuel filter/regulator combo for this build.
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      This is kind of a truncated start and I am missing pictures from quite a few steps along the way. But that about catches us up to the present with the next steps being installing wiring, the center console/shifter, and then getting a portion of the exhaust in before getting the car ready to fire/break in the cam.

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Making some steady progress here. Got the shifter and console loosely installed along with the steering wheel and driver seat. Getting all this prepped to take the car on a field trip to the muffler shop.

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      Decided to go 2.5" on the exhaust with an X pipe and dropping the outlets right before the diff. With this, I can now get the O2 sensor installed for the EFI system. Getting ever closer to initial fireup and cam break in!
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      The view from the side makes it look like the clearance will be pretty decent.
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      The weather looks like it will be pretty pleasant this weekend so we are looking for to getting some garage time in to get the engine bay wiring figured out and maybe start getting the front sheet metal put back together.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jul 2011
      Location
      York Haven, PA
      Posts
      21
      Country Flag: United States
      Looking real good!!!

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Oct 2009
      Location
      Palm Beach County
      Posts
      186
      Country Flag: United States

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Location
      Winchester, KY
      Posts
      92
      Country Flag: United States

      twist locks

      Hi-Have you always gone with the twist locks as I'm about to line up my project and from a friend said don't 'fight' with the twist on's their a pain.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by GB68 View Post
      Hi-Have you always gone with the twist locks as I'm about to line up my project and from a friend said don't 'fight' with the twist on's their a pain.
      This is the first time trying these push-on hoses from our local Erik's (hose supply shop). These hoses are rated for industrial use but we were told fuel shouldn't be an issue so we shall see how that works out.

      And yes, they are pretty tough to put together. We ended up taking the hose shop up on their offer to install the fittings to the hose after we cut them to size.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Starting to get some traction on the wiring and between the AAW kit, the MAD Electric kit, and the EFI harness this engine bay is full of all the wires. And the spark plug wires are still not installed. It's looking slightly rats-nesty at the moment, but hopefully some zipties and conduit can help to tame the chaos.

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      The Oil Pressure gauge is a bit awkward. We could not get the plug by the dizzy out of the block so the extension pipe for the sender is going to be super close to the header tube. Hoping that doesn't end up being an issue.

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      Running the ECU on the other side of the heater delete block off plate. Once everything is cleaned up, the plan is to cover this area with heat barrier to keep the module from getting too toasty.

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      We also confirmed the junkyard Thunderbird fan we got for this is functional and started fabbing brackets.

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      It is exciting but also scary to be this close to firing the car up.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      We had a fairly productive weekend of work. Things are getting close, but the first start is still just out of reach.
      Fan shroud mounts are built and installed.
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      Conversion brackets for the Fiero seats are built and those have been installed.
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      Today was spent routing spark plug wires and battling with hanging front end sheet metal. The wires in the engine bay are getting to be a bit much so did a quick pass to tidy things up a little before final wrapping and routing. Figured this would also be a fun time to finally try out the Zip-Tie wire separators. Ran into some issues with the wires since the MSD pontiac kit does not seem like it plays well with tall valve covers or something. Had a few wires that were way too short and had to borrow a plug from the original engine that also happened to be an MSD 8.5 superconductor. Only difference being that this one had a 90 degree boot. It might trigger the OCD in some, but at least it reaches without straining the plug.
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      And for the first time, this car has fenders! They're not final and need some more shimming, but she definitely looks more like a car this way. Also, I definitely need to figure out that intake pipe. It is hilarious how far above the fender is sits at the moment.
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    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Task of the week has been to finish the wiring up to a point to where the car will start.

      Fabricated a simple bracket to mount the fan and headlight relays.
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      With the fenders mounted on a little more secure, we can now run the wires more cleanly and install the battery!
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      Have had a couple near misses and scares in this process. Got some crazy arcing on the ground cable and starter lug on our first attempt. It turned out that the starter heat shield managed to ground out to the power cable. Turns out the headers are close enough to the shield that they press it into the solenoid on installation. So I had to bend that away from the lug with a screwdriver.

      Another fun lesson learned is that while the Pro-Flo ECU does control the fans by keeping a ground open, it closes the fan1 ground wire when it is powered off. Not a huge deal, but I did have to switch that relay's positive to key on 12v source instead of running it from a distribution lug. I may end up installing another distribution block for key-on power.

      So here is how she sits now with the tires on. It feels like she is riding really high so hopefully lowering springs can get the front end pulled down a bit.

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      I also have a question for those more experienced with these gauges. The fuel level gauge seems to be heating up and putting off some light smoke. I have the signal terminal unplugged for now so that we will be able to break in the engine without risking a dash fire. Is this a normal thing for the older gauges to do or should i start looking into getting a refurbished cluster?

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Mountain Springs, Texas
      Posts
      3,926
      Country Flag: United States
      Gauges should not be putting out light smoke. Are you sure you wired it correctly?

      Don
      1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
      1957 Buick Estate Wagon
      1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
      1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
      Gauges should not be putting out light smoke. Are you sure you wired it correctly?

      Don
      It's part of the new AAW wiring harness so it is nicely labelled from them. The issue does go away when the Fuel Gauge signal wire is removed from the terminal block. Which also confirms gauge function since it pegs past full with the signal wire removed.

      I managed to find one instance on a Corvette forum where someone had a similar issue where the resistor gets super hot and burns off whatever crud happened to accumulate over the years. It does seem like a super rare issue, so perhaps the new refurbished gauge cluster isn't a terrible idea anyways.

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Oct 2011
      Location
      Wichita KS
      Posts
      58
      You are coming along very nicely! Wish my 68 was as far along!

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Widetrax View Post
      You are coming along very nicely! Wish my 68 was as far along!
      Hey thanks! I like what you are doing to your bird as well! That is some intense fab work you got on your plate there.

      -----------

      So the feeling of the weekend has been FRUSTRATION! followed up by HOPE. With a chaser of Disappointment. In the process of trying for first start but things are conspiring. We triggered the fuel pump and had to abort due to a pinhole leak in one of the hoses. After building a new section, we are now in a crank/no start scenario and getting funky readings on the MAP sensor and IAC. Because weekend, we are now on hold for tomorrow to call Edelbrock support to see what they can see through troubleshooting.

      Getting a little worried since we are going through a decent amount of cranking to get this to start on a fresh engine. Should I be worried about wiping a cam lobe if the engine is just going at cranking RPMs? It's a Comp Cams XE274H.

      Also, minor leak from main seal in the middle of all this. Hoping that can be chalked up to cold engine that hasn't grooved in the seal.

      Venting session over. Time to move on to the next week.

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Much better update. She LIVES!

      I worked with a local mobile mechanic for a few hours today and got the cam break-in done. Will try to post the YouTube link later but she sounds pretty good!

      Just need to button up a couple things and we can get the car off to the transmission doctor to dial in the 2004r and set up TV and Lockup.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      May 2019
      Location
      Melbourne Australia, dual citizen tho with USA.
      Posts
      20
      Nice work on all that wiring. ...unusual symptom on the resistor smoke!
      Whose radiator is that?...i like the OE shape tanks.
      One suggestion...mount the cooler in from of the radiator at least 3/4" forward so as not to compromise cooling of either unit.
      Jim.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Falcon64 View Post
      Nice work on all that wiring. ...unusual symptom on the resistor smoke!
      Whose radiator is that?...i like the OE shape tanks.
      One suggestion...mount the cooler in from of the radiator at least 3/4" forward so as not to compromise cooling of either unit.
      Jim.
      Hey thanks! It feels nice to finally have the wires most of the way wrangled. As for the smoke, I just have the fuel gauge unplugged until I decide on what to do with the fuel gauge.

      The radiator is made by Cold-Case. I'll keep that in mind on the mounting if i hit some heating issues. The Thunderbird fan seemed to be able to pull through that stack pretty good so far.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jan 2020
      Location
      UT
      Posts
      43
      Country Flag: United States
      Update time! Managed to kill the new reman'ed starter while cranking the engine trying to start. So I obviously still needed to work on the EFI tune which was a bit wonky after the cam break-in. Replaced the starter with one from the donor 350 and went back through and reran the fuel map wizard and throttle arm adjustment.

      Starting seems to be a lot nicer now and the idle is pretty solid considering the cam profile. Here is a quick snippet of the idle sound.


      Still have a decent list of things to get ready before she is fully able to drive around. But the engine starting nicer and making fewer strange noises is quite motivating!

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Location
      Bakersfield, CA
      Posts
      579
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice! Sounds a lot like my 461, mine just has a little more chop at idle.
      http://www.TheFOAT.com/92GTA
      1969 Pontiac Firebird
      w/535ci IAII aluminum block, Dailey dry sump, Holley EFI (full road race build). Primer black w/black interior.
      1992 Pontiac Trans Am GTA w/SLP Performance Package. Dark Jade Grey Metallic, grey leather, T-Tops.

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