2020-B1-10

Author Topic: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)  (Read 29210 times)

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« on: September 10, 2011, 08:59:00 AM »
Hello,

Here's my new project, based on a bare 1974 Firebird Formula body.
The VIN is 2U87T4N124060, so it's a Formula 400 built in Norwood. The cowl tag is missing, but it was surely Denver gold, with a black dash and a black vinyl roof. It had A/C and an auto transmission. That's abou the only thing I can say for sure about it.
The car comes from Switzerland so maybe it was built there ? I need a PHS invoice to know more about it.
It then moved to the Netherlands in 2002 and eventually ended up being parted out, to finish in my hangar last week

It's not going to be a concourse restoration, it would be pointless since it's missing most of it's original parts. I'm thinking about a resto mod inspired by the Formula SD-455 of 73-74 : Trans Am hood and shaker, basic body coloured steelies with dog dishes, and maybe a few improvement to the engine and suspension.

The body is good overall, but the two rear quarter will need to be replaced. It also need some patches in some areas, mostly in the trunk.




The windshield is in perfect condition, it's not an original one. I also got the rear bumper and tail lights with it. The whole thing cost me 200€ with a good title.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 09:06:01 AM »
What was hiding under the DS quarter panel, not much thankfully ! :


A little patch needed here :


The bottom of the trunk dropoff will need work :


A bit of rot here :


But much more here :


I've applied POR15 here after grinding the rust, which was only surface rust !


The DS quarter panel from the inside, admire the bodywork made above the rust :


The trunk floor, a bit of rot here also :


The passenger side trunk dropoff, perfect ! :


Just like the other side, a 4 inches area of rot, easy job :


The PS partially cut :


A wondrful body work...apparently, the car was hit in the past, so they've replaced the quarter panel, but insted of drilling the original spotwelds, they've cut the panel roghly and welded the new of above that...yuck. :


Now the good things, the driver floor, perfect :


Passenger side, same :


Rear seats, spotless :


It's very dusty because I've sanded the body.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2011, 04:58:02 PM »
Will make a nice resto-mod.....taking the time to sort that bodywork properly will pay off in the long run. Good job.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Aussie 1977 Trans am

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 839
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 06:16:02 AM »
I agree good work and keep the pics coming
Regards Edward
Melbourne, Australia
1977 Trans am TA  Olds 350 Th350 A/C Snow Flakes 15 x 7 8 track, Fisher T-Tops

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5010
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 12:13:15 PM »
That's a great base to start with, much better than most start with here in the US. Look forward to seeing the progress.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 12:23:20 PM »
Thanks guys !

Yeah I'm glad there's not too much work on the body, and what has to be done is fairly easly, apart from the quarters.

But right now, my priority is my '84 T/A, today I've epoxy primed the whole engine bay and both front wheel wells :





It's the first time I ever do this, I'm quite satisfied with the results.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 12:25:49 PM by Raptor »
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 03:20:23 PM »
Nice job....you don't often see a 3rd gen pulled down to a full body strip like that...should look good in paint.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2011, 04:16:10 PM »
There were tiny rust spots everywhere, nothing bad but the paint was peeling and leaving it like that for a few more years would have led to rot. And I wanted to change the color for something a bit brighter. The original Dark Sand Gray isn't so much fun.

So I'll go with a Citroen color, "Sable de Langrune".

François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

critter

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6132
      • http://www.arkansaspontiacs.org
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 05:53:53 PM »
The toughest obstacle you face is the quarter panels. They are a one year only item. Scarce and expensive. Nice projects. I'll watchnwith interest.
Been there, done that, t-shirt is now a shop rag.

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 06:19:14 PM »
Exactly...

Someone did part out a 74 Firebird around 300 miles from my place...but instead of removing the rear window, he cut the whole surrounding metal. The PS quarter panel looked very nice :/ What a waste !
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 06:19:14 PM »

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2011, 11:32:22 AM »
Just scored this 70-73 front nose for my project on eBay.co.uk for only £50 (around $80):
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2nd-gen-Pontiac-Firebird-Trans-am-bullnose-nosecone-/230687486433?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item35b60bb1e1&autorefresh=true



Needs a bit of work on the sides tho but it shouldn't be too hard to repair with some flexible body filler.

Now I have to pick it up !
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 11:51:37 PM »
Its actually a 70-72 nose...the 73 nose extends further into the grill area at the centre divider due to the recessed 73 grills.
If you're buying grills for that nose, OER sells repro grills for the 70-71 models in all silver, or silver/black finishes.
I have a set and they look like very nice reproductions.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2011, 09:48:58 AM »
I've picked up the front nose, it's not as light as I thought. I needs a little bit more work on the left side than or the right, but it should be allright.  :




Has anyone tried fiber body filler on urethane parts in terms of longevity ?

Also, how are the headlights mounted ? I don't see any bucket like on the 74-76 nose.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 09:50:56 AM by Raptor »
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 03:46:41 AM »
Hand sand it back to the bare urethane cover and use flex fillar for plastic bumpers    3M make a product for this, or a product called Lord Fusor.
Don't use regular body filler.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


72blackbird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2975
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 12:35:02 PM »
The 70-73 nose on a 74-75 body is one of the better looking 2nd gen nose swaps IMO. You're going to need a lower valence panel, the radiator support extension, 70-73 bumper brackets, and the 70-73 headlight buckets (those bolt onto the nose).
1977 SE T/A (sold :( )
1974 455 T/A (sold :( )
1972 Esprit restomod
1976 T/A restomod
1975 Formula 400 4-speed donor car
1978 Martinique blue W72 4-speed T/A, hurst tops

Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 12:35:02 PM »


2020-B1-8


Aldo

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3662
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 08:21:58 AM »
Nice looking project any updates?


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 12:30:58 PM »
Not any actually, I won't have time to get back to work on the Formula before June I'm afraid. The '84 has the priority right now, I just need to finish the paint and to rebuild the engine and she'll be back on the road.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Aldo

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3662
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 12:33:06 PM »
Did you post the 84 in the projects section ,would be fun to watch.


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 12:37:19 PM »
Well it's not a 2nd Gen but he're the full thread on www.earlythirdgen.com

http://www.earlythirdgen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=277


 8)

It will be a slight restomod : not original paint, tailights and lighting modifications, and surely some more mods later like changing the rear disk brakes assembly.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Aldo

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3662
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2012, 12:51:10 PM »
Norwood car ,,looks great ,too bad for the build sheet ,i would seal and clear that to save what was left on the body,,,just for fun.... :lol:


Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2012, 12:51:10 PM »

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2013, 07:59:28 AM »
I'm approaching the end of the '84 restoration, so after working on it non stop for months, I wanted to take a break and work on the '74 ( :P).

I've removed both rear quarters completely :



It confirms it's very clean underneath, except I found the passenger side was hit in the past and they ruined a NOS '74 quarter panel by poorly fitting it to the body...what a waste. The GM parts sticker was in the wheel well.
So the end of the rocker panel is a bit beat up, nothing really bad though :

Very clean though, I need to grind those old welds. :


It was hidden under this hideous spoiler made of lead :

Rotten underneath obviously :


I will have to fabricate the trunk panel edges, they're rotten on both sides :


Some more holes in the wheel wells, typical :


I've repaired the rear of the DS trunk extension, got to finish grinding the welds :


Here's the '79 quarter panel I'm preparing for the passenger side. I will have to get another one for the driver side :


BTW, I'm repairing the '76 radiator support. The lower brace was bent in the middle due to an accident, so it was really hard to get it straight but I made it. The top brace was cut as well, but luckily I had kept the top part from the rotten radiator support of the '79. I do have a very good 77-81 radiator support, but if I can repair the '76 one properly, I could sell the other one to get the funds for a nice subframe or other necessary parts !

François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2013, 08:26:23 PM »
Wow....lots of work going to this. Good luck with it!  :grin:
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2013, 11:39:21 AM »
So I've found a very cheap parts car about 70 miles from here, it's an 1980 base bird, now white with a 305 but originally fiero copper with a 231 V6. No title. I don't need the motor though. It's okay overall, apart from the usual rust on the bottom of the doors, trunk panel and trunk hinges cups. The seller wants 300€ for the subframe up to the brakes, not very interesting IMO, but 600 for the whole thing without the motor and doors glasses and rear glass. Since it has a very nice Camel Tan standard interior and a lot of very good parts still on it, I will very likely buy the whole car, keep what I need and sell what's not necessary. It might even finance a 400/TH400 !
The subframe is in excellent condition, with typical surface rust but no pitting like the subframe of my 79 had. Even the radiator support looks decent. Fenders looked okay IIRC, a bit of rust in places but very usable. The front nose is toast. Tail lights were in very good shape. Just sold a set for a hundred euros so these should sell easily. Trunk lid is toast.
The DS quarter panel is in very excellent shape except the bottom of the door jamb, but I have a good part from my '79.
The rear end, if it's the original one is likely a 2.56 open. I'm not sure if I'll keep it, I'd like a 3.08 at least and POSI would be better. Now there's one thing that I'm not sure about, the rear spings were monoleaf, but a thick leaf. Could these be an "upgrade" from the original spings ? As far as I know, base 'birds had the 5 leafs springs.

It's not the best parts car for a 74 but hey, over here you take what you find...
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2013, 03:04:54 AM »
Look closely at the rear springs....they may be Vette Brake Products mono leaf fibreglass springs. In which case, I'd hang onto them, they have a good reputation.
If they're steel, I have no idea where they'd have come from.

The factory never used mono leafs on 2nd gens.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2013, 04:30:43 PM »
I think they're steel but they weren't rusted so I can't say for sure, I barely looked at them as I didn't care about these at that moment. He told me the price for the whole car when I was on the go...

Leigh,was it you who made a tutorial to modify a 75-81 subframe to it an early model ? I can't find it anymore, I thought it was a sticky.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2013, 03:34:07 PM »
It's following me !!!


Here it is, sitting in the yard. It came with the original set of color keyed Rally II rims and trims rings. It's missing one or two center caps. I won't need these so hopefully I'll find someone who needs a set ! :



The seats are in good condition, I haven't seen any tear. They do look a bit faded. The tracks work flawlessely. I'll sell the whole set as I want the horsecollar seats. The seat belts are in really good condition too ! I'll use them in my '84 until I find a set of 4th gen seat belts for her.


The 79-81 tail lights are in excellent shape, again should bring back some bucks to get more parts :



The dashboard is not cracked, but a bit warped. It's still very soft an pliable.Those are not Rally gauges but aftermarket VDO Oil pressure and Voltmeter gauges :


Original 200kph speedometer, the lettering is different than the one used on my 1979 Esprit.


Some scratches on the center console, nothing too bad. The lid is in good condition.:


I did find a quarter of the build sheet behind the rear seats back...the rest was in pieces under the DS rear seat (mice nest). I did manage to read a good bit of it, and it appears to be all original apart from the paint and the gauges. It was bought new in Belgium but I can't see the name of the dealer. It had a Formula steering wheel, the horn cap is still in the car but broken. Same for the horn thing that goes in the hub.
 They did weld (poorly) the SBC engine mounts to the subframe, something I couldn't see when I looked at the car since the motor was still on it. They should be easy to remove, I just hope nothing is cut underneath.
The leaf springs are steel, I don't know why they used monoleaf springs.
The radiator support is in good condition apart from a hole on the passenger side.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2013, 03:59:35 PM »
More progress on the disassembly of the parts car :



The driver floor is so clean that the cap came out as new under the insulation, very surprising seeing the rest of the car (the rear rail is gone behind the spring shackle hole) :


The subframe :


Is super clean ! It could be from a Texas car :lol:


Removed :


As it sits tonight :


I had "fun" cleaning the 33 years of nicotine and dirt...the difference was even more obvious in reality :


The two front seats cleaned and ready to sell. They're in really good shape apart from a very small tear on the side of the passenger seat bottom. :
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2013, 07:54:44 PM »
Those seats look darned good for their age....some hog rings on the lower covers on one of them, and they'd be very usable.
If you can buy it locally, try soaking them with 303 Protectant, repeated sprays over a period of a week or so....it'll really rejuvinate the vinyl. Disregard if you're thinking about spraying them to change the colour.
Hey, I liek the cat....I had an orange cat very similar who had to be in all my car pics.  :lol:
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


BAN

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1167
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2013, 09:08:05 AM »
Very clean seperation of those Quarters... theres no other way to do it, than just let it take forever.

Great job so far!

77 Pro Street, 454 BBC, 8-71 Dyers, back halfed.
77 455, E headed, roller, 10.5:1 475hp/575lbs
71 T-37, 350.

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 04:30:59 PM »
Those seats look darned good for their age....some hog rings on the lower covers on one of them, and they'd be very usable.
If you can buy it locally, try soaking them with 303 Protectant, repeated sprays over a period of a week or so....it'll really rejuvinate the vinyl. Disregard if you're thinking about spraying them to change the colour.
Hey, I liek the cat....I had an orange cat very similar who had to be in all my car pics.  :lol:

Yeah the seats are nice, they are a bit faded of course but the foams are still firm and there's no obvious wear. The springs on the bottom are perfect. The bottom part on the PS is sagging on the first pic but it because the plastic thing was out of its rail, I've put it back in on the second pic.
I was also thinking about using some sort of vinyl rejuvenator. I will sell the whole interior as I want a green/white interior and horse collar seats. I already have a good dash from my '79 Esprit.
That cat has a strong personality, he can be really cool or very irritating when he's hungry. We've got another cat at the farm, black and white, he's like a puppet, he seems a bit dumb at first but he's the best hunter of the two. He brought us a rabbit the other day though, not that they bother us :( We've got weasels and rats problems.

As for the quarter panels, yeah I think it's the only right way to do it unless you're an very good welder, which I'm not by any means. If I had kept the original quarters, I would have got a patchwork of warped metal to hide under body filler...yuck. I do have a bit of surgery to adapt the '79-80 quarters to the '74 small window.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 04:30:59 PM »

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2013, 12:46:42 PM »
Okay I've nearly finished the disassembly of the parts car. The springs are obviously not Firebird springs, they're about an inch shorter and they had to make new holes on the front pockets.
What could they be for ? I want to sell them but I have no idea what car they're supposed to be mounted to. There are markings on them : "7099 000 067".

The good thing is they greased all the bolts and nuts when installing them, so the removal was pretty easy. The shocks are Gabriel ones, they're not completely dead but they're pretty slow to go up.

I've removed the lead on the driver quarter panel to roof seam, it's still the original paint under the white, but I don't see any sign of primer...if they sanded the car and didn't even prime it, no wonder it rusted like that.
They also repaired a huge hole on the back of the PS fender with about 3/4" of bondo. They've filled the hole, using the inner structure as a base.
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2013, 09:52:55 AM »
Sloooow progress, but I'm still gathering more parts at the moment. I've received a good trunk lid and rear license plate bracket.

I've also found a very nice looking 70-76 T/A hood and shaker for...£150 in the UK. Unfortunately, it's been a month now and I couldn't find time to get there but hopefully the seller still has it. That's quite an unbeatable price.



And I've just won the bid on this 400 Pontiac and TH350 Transmission for £200 (236€).

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PONTIAC-TRANSAM-FIREBIRD-6-6L-ENGINE-AND-GEARBOX-/231073656185?ssPageName=ADME%3AB%3AEOIBSA%3AFR%3A3160&nma=true&si=U6iut282aX6Edq5whuOgBJf0Apk%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
The condition is unknown, but it's VERY cheap. It's a 500557 XA block, but I'm not planning any drag racing, so it's good for me. It's missing the carb, dizzy, and water pump but that was already on the new parts list. I do have a nice Quadrajet from a 78 400 that I can use for it. If the block is toast, I will have quite a few parts on hand to put in another one.
It was for sale in september and I lost the bid, but the buyer apparently didn't come...what's really great is the bid ended ad £356 or something. So I won it for LOT less that it first ended.
The headers look like Doug Thorley ceramic coated headers, that's pretty cool and something else I won't have to spend money on.
I'm planning the trip to the UK now, can't wait !

So if I get the hood, all I will need are interior parts (horse collar seats, 70-74 sail panels, and door panels), a few misc mechanical stuff and parts to complete the 70-73 front nose and I will have a complete car !
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 09:56:37 AM by Raptor »
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2013, 12:35:49 AM »
Tell the guy who owns the hood....you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER store a Firebird hood on the sharp ends like that....they store sideways, or on the nose.
Nothing damages a hood faster than standing it on it's tips.

lol....I can't believe how many people do this...it should be self evident.....  :lol: :shock:
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


77 Pontiac

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1166
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2013, 02:08:33 AM »

Nice score on the parts side!

I am also in Europe so I know how hard sourcing the large parts can be.. I am on the lookout for a 77-81 formula hood myself  :D

Greetings from Northern Europe :-)

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2013, 07:04:30 AM »
Well metal hood are a much stronger on those corners, but I've seen so many 70-75 Formula hood with those sharp corners broken...people and logic don't always work together :P

The guy is super nice, he kept the hood for me so I'll pick it up as well on the way back :D

And yeah, nice metal panels are really hard to source in Europe. I find Southern UK and the Netherlands to be the best place to find them at a good price. I'm very close to those countries and being in the european union does have a few advantages : no taxes, no questions asked when crossing borders, same money (well not in the UK).
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

77 Pontiac

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1166
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2013, 11:25:10 AM »
Well metal hood are a much stronger on those corners, but I've seen so many 70-75 Formula hood with those sharp corners broken...people and logic don't always work together :P

The guy is super nice, he kept the hood for me so I'll pick it up as well on the way back :D

And yeah, nice metal panels are really hard to source in Europe. I find Southern UK and the Netherlands to be the best place to find them at a good price. I'm very close to those countries and being in the european union does have a few advantages : no taxes, no questions asked when crossing borders, same money (well not in the UK).


There's actually a 78 formy hood available locally to me (like 5 miles from my house believe it or not!) but the guy selling it think that it is made from gold and diamonds... he is completely set on his price of 740$ when I asked him to sweeten the deal a bit he said that it should have been priced at 900$ but he forgot to update his add - I can not work with this lack of willingness to trade, I am the only guy in my entire country who has a use for that hood and he's had it advertised for at least 4-5 years  :x

Sorry for letting out steam in your thread, lets get back to your build  :D


 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 11:27:22 AM by 77 Pontiac »
Greetings from Northern Europe :-)

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2014, 10:10:45 AM »
The engine and transmission are coming on saturday morning at 4am (yup, that's early, or late :P), and I have found a transmission crossmember for a 70-74 TH350. So I'm ready to make the modifications to the subframe. I won't get the hood I'm afraid, the seller wouldn't answer anymore after my last post, even on the phone.
Can anyone confirm the distance I should drill the new rear mount hole ? I've read "about two inches" but that's a bit vague.
Same for the crossmember holes.

LeighP you have posted this : http://camaro-firebird.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4146&sid=a7fe66e1934bdfd7ede976f2d358d42d
But it's a bit confusing, I measure 40mm for the body mount holes, that makes 1.57", not 2.5" as mentioned here. I've bought a 40mm drill tool and it fits the original hole perfectly.
Also the picture with the dimensions is too compressed and I can't read the tiny numbers :P Could you write them bigger ?
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20704
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2014, 01:46:35 AM »
Thanks very much for heighlighting that...can't believe I typo'd that information. I remeasured my 71 frame....the body mount hole is 1.5" diameter, aprox 38-39mm.
It is located with the hole centre 1.5" from the rear of the rail.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2014, 08:22:19 AM »
Great, thanks for clearing that up.  :-D
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Raptor

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1412
Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2014, 03:13:53 PM »
Finally got the engine home, it nearly felt on the floor while pulling it out of the car...really not far. I hadn't properly secured the front belt, got lucky because it could have been a big waste. :?
It felt vertically and stayed this way...I had a hard time putting it back in the right position.

The first thing I noticed while it was standing in the air, was that the headers had a rust hole on the bottom :( I'm pretty sure it's repairable though. Has anyone done this ?
I tried unscrewing some bolts here and there and didn't have any problem, they're not seized or rusted out for the most part.
The starter motor is there, it's always good to have. No harmonic balancer but I would have bought a new one anyway.


"XA" block :


Original VIN number was probably 2U87Z7N100728 or 2W87Z7N100728. A very early '77 for sure.


Pulled the valve covers, it's not pretty but not nearly as bad as I expected. I can rotate some of the pushrods by hand. I've poured some transmission fluid in there to oil up the cylinders :


As bad as it looks, it really is superficial and it goes away with a good wipe. If you look at the above picture, most rockers have been cleaned. :
François Martinez (from France)
- 1974 Firebird Formula 400
- 1984 Firebird Trans Am HO - L69 - T5 - W62

Re: 1974 Firebird Formula project (in France)
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2014, 03:13:53 PM »
You can help support TAC!

 



2020-B1-4