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301 Pontiac Web site and Q & A Subthread.

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Is there a difference between the 80 and 81 turbo air cleaners?  The reason I ask is that I can still get an air filter for my 80 but the local auto parts stores don't carry one for an 81.  The books they have cover Fram, STP, and Purolator.  The Purolator book still has a number but there was a footnote that stated *until inventory was depleted.  Of course, it was already depleted.  Thanks,


Yes, 1980 and 1981 air cleaners are different.

 The biggest thing is the second charcoal ring that traps
fuel vapors.

 I've never looked at the paper elements to see how close
they are though.

 Try Oreillys or anyone that carries WIX filters, Have them
look it up and order it for ya.

 I know I got a correct '81 one just this past spring...

 Then let us know where you got it in case someone else asks.

 Joe R

They speak Turbo!

 One aspect of posting here and having a 301 website is the mail you
get. In addition to the many thanks and parts sourcing requests are
the pleas for help.

 Often today's young auto techs were in diapers when these cars ruled
the roads and so finding competent service can be complicated. Don't
get me wrong, there are some very sharp young folks who can get the
correct info and do it right... It's just not the majority of techs
unfortunately. In fact, if it's got a carb - you might be out of luck

 Recently I had the pleasure of working with a man and his shop in
helping them complete the repairs on a '81 Turbo Trans Am.

 I'd like to introduce Mr. Bo Woody of Automotive Performance Specialists
in Oklahoma City, OK. (405)424-7223

 Apon completion of his work, I asked him for an account of his work. The
following was his responce.

 And no, he did NOT pay me to do this, it was my idea to show TA fans
that there are in fact shops that: "Speak Turbo"! Any shop that does
the right work, espically on Turbo cars deserves due credit.


 Dear Mr. Richter,

  Mr. Olsen contacted me by phone in referrence to his 1981 Turbo Trans Am. He was concerned that some work performed at another local garage may have been incorrect. I made Mr. Olsen an appointment and on 10-22-07 he brought the vehicle in for inspection and repairs. His concerns were a coolant leak and a power steering leak. He also voiced a concern on whether or not the other repair shop had correctly adjusted the ignition timing, and the fast idle speed was extremely high.

  Upon initial inspection we discovered the upper radiator hose was leaking at the thermostat housing. The repair was to remove the upper radiator hose and look at the connection. We found some corrosion on the thermostat housing that we cleaned up with some Scotch-Brite tm. We then removed the corrosion stuck to the inside of the upper radiator hose and reassembled everything and retested for leaks.

  On to the power steering leak. Initially the power steering leak appeared to be the pressure hose and on further inspection we also discovered the power steering reservoir leaking from being distorted by someone prying on the side of it to tighten the belt. We replaced the P/S pump and reservoir, and the power steering pressure hose. We then retested the system for leaks and concluded our power steering repair.

  Now to the timing. Upon initial inspection I realized the bypass connector being grounded made no difference whatsoever in the timing or the timing curve. So I refer to a manual I have and it seems to try to lump the 301 NA, 301 Turbo, and 265 engines into one diagnostic procedure. Anytime you find this and you are dealing with lowest production vehicle of the three, chances are your diagnostic procedure will only vaguely touch on your specific problem or not at all. Sure enough this was the case. At this point I have to fall back on experience and a solid working knowledge of the ESC system. First things first the vehicle was 27 years old and time takes it's toll on wiring harnesses and connector integrity. I decided at this time to take a look inside the distributor cap and see how it all looked. I found the 3-pin plastic connector on the 5-pin side of the ignition module broken and the wire closest to the stator completely unplugged from the module, and grounding to the inside of the distributor housing. I breathed a sigh of relief feeling sure I had found the problem and would be finished soon. I replaced the connector with one out of another large base ESC distributor, and reassembled everything just knowing that would solve the ESC bypass problem. It did not and it didn't make any difference in the symptom either. ONWARD! I began troubleshooting the harness to verify all circuits had good continuity between the ESC controller, ESC ignition module, and the ECM.

This is where it started to get tricky. Even though I had an original GM wiring diagram it was almost impossible to follow for the turbo cars, and the turbo cars are completely different in relationship of where each wire is connected. Some models will run one of the four wires from the distributor mounted ignition control module directly to the ESC module where the same wire goes directly to the ECM on a turbo car. At this point I had to clean the wires at the distributor connector, verify the correct color code on each wire was in the correct connector socket. All that checked OK. Next I ohmed out every wire from the distributor four wire connector to the ESC and ECM, and all the wires from the ESC to the ECM. During ohming the harness I found 2 wires that were over 5ohms resistance. I found the bad connections in the crimps at the ESC module connector. Upon repairing these crimps I retested the ESC system and now the bypass circuit worked normally. I set the ignition timing, tested the knock sensor with the hammer test, and all was functioning normally.
 I found while working on these other systems a few vacuum hoses that looked sorta out of whack. I decided next to spend a couple of minutes just in general overview when I realized the vacuum hose to the EGR control solenoid was just dangling down in the intake manifold lying on the valley cover. I thought Hmm and looked at the core support vacuum diagram and sure enough it goes right where it goes on the carburetor on every other early to mid eighties Q-jet (baseplate right hand corner). Well the carb port for the EGR had a hose on it running to the AIR management valve. The carb port "B" for the AIR management valve had a brand-new appearing vacuum cap on it plugging it off, so I removed it and connected the proper AIR management hose. FIXED RIGHT?-----------WRONG! I start checking the routing of every other vacuum hose. The Thermal vacuum switch in the side of the air cleaner single port side was conneted to the canister purge valve instead of the thermac sensor on the bottom of the air cleaner. The Baro sensor was connected to the rear intake manifold tree (manifold vacuum instead of being vented). The MAP sensor was connected to carb port "D", and the proper point of connection in the wastegate hose had a fresh new looking vacuum cap on it as well.
Charcoal canister purge control port was connected to the cruise control dump valve instead of the canister control solenoid. By the way all these vacuum repairs corrected the cold fast idle speed as well.

  Needless to say now the car runs just fine, and 90 percent of the time spent on these repairs was caused by someones incompetence, inability, or lack of pride in their quality of workmanship.

Luther B(Bo) Woody


 So, if you live in or near Oklahoma City, OK... AND need your Turbo TA worked on, go talk to Bo and his folks... They speak "Turbo!"

 Joe R



 Jim Puehl


 wrote me with a clearance list of 301, 301T and Pontiac parts to sell.

 I am posting this for him, please contact him if you are interested...


So here is a list of stuff I have that I would like to find a new home for.
Some of it is 301 specific and some is Pontiac specific and some of it is
general parts I used on a Pontiac. I'd really like to find a new home for
this soon as I'm cleaning out my garage and I've had this stuff for a while,
but just haven't had the heart to throw it out.

301 turbo parts:
Hood - in very good condition, complete with scoop insert, wiring harness
and turbo heat shield.
Intake manifolds - 2 ea
Engine gaskets, including 5 301 intake mani, 2 regular Pontiac intake mani
Auto flywheel
Carb Plenum - 2 ea
Carb plenum bracket - 2 ea
Exhaust mani outlet flanges
turbo turbine outlet pipe flange
1 pair valve covers
factory exhaust cross-over - 2 ea with flanges
factory exhaust mani to turbo pipe with flange
throttle cable bracket (?)

301 parts:
New 301 4bbl N/A replacement cam (or so I've been told) Wolverine CS-682
Crane Cams Rockers, stock replacements 28800-16
L & R mount mount bracket (bolts to block)
3 timing chain covers; 2 for 301 (doesn't have timing pointer/indicator
rebuilt starter

Generic parts:
Accell HEI coil
'68 AC/Delco shocks - all 4
Deep turbo 350 tranny crome pan
B&M racheting shifter
Holley Red fuel pump - used once to test a fuel system problem
Moroso fornt drag springs (2nd gen firebird), cut to get correct ride height
K&N X-Stream air cleaner top - 14"

Let me know if someone you know are interested in any of these parts.
I don't want to throw them away, but if there's no interest in any of them,
there's no point in keeping them



 Joe R

thanks jjr. i contacted jim & got the k&n filter lid. he seem like a nice guy.


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