1997 Pontiac Firebird

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Fred32v
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1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:12 pm

BP & I went to Fenton, Michigan on this Sunday 9/1/19 to get this 1997 Pontiac Firebird.
473 miles round trip. Left at 10:15am, returned home at 6:30pm.
Paul drove it home 237 miles in the rain, with no surprises.
DSCF9105.JPG
Front Black hood

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Rear view with T-tops

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Count the petals, 5 speeds

It currently resides in the 32V Garage.

What a great satisfying fun day!

What's next?
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:03 am

Here's the ad still up:

https://flint.craigslist.org/cto/d/fent ... 85431.html

But once it gets taken down, here's the text for my reference later:

1997 Firebird with somewhat rare Y87 performance RPO.

This car is pretty fun for Autocross or just cruising the streets. I still drive it regularly on nice days.

I bought this car with a Jasper crate engine installed by the previous owner and a receipt for a trans rebuild.

I made several modifications for autocross use:
Strano Springs.
WS6 sway bars front and rear.
1LE rear control arm bushings.
UMI panhard bar.
Torsen differential from a newer z28.
Smaller steering wheel.
OEM Camaro SS 17x9 wheels.
Poly torque arm bushing.
Koni shocks.
EGR delete.

I also installed new front control arms, bushings and wheel bearings, stainless headers, and a cat back from flowmaster and an Ebay ceramic clutch.

The previous owner installed an SLP cold air intake.

Mechanically the car is sound and I addressed all the issues I could find. There are no leaks and everything works aside from A/C which is deleted. I also did some engine tuning with hp tuners to let it rev out to 6500rpm and to turn the fans on at a lower temp to keep it cool waiting on grid between runs. I also tuned the timing to take advantage of premium fuel. The car runs really strong and all relevant diagnostic codes work.

I also have the factory 16x8 wheels that were part of the Y87 package with 2 year old tires that only have a few thousand miles on them.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I'm open to offers and trades for a truck of similar value.

-BP

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:17 am

So after watching the ad expire about a week ago, JUST after 32V told me he'd go in halvsies on the car with me, I started watching CL every day in hopes that the owner would repost the car by Labor Day weekend. Sure enough, on Friday, it popped back up. I've been getting the bug to go autocross and maybe do some road racing on a track day, but not sure I'm ready to commit to a race car and all the gear and time that is required. I had a V8 Mustang in mind, but definitely wanted a rear drive, stick shift car. As this isn't a show car, it could be a little rough around the edges but with solid bones. This car seems to have checked off all the boxes, and at this price point, it's hard to get hurt.
After talking to the owner and seeing what little extras he did to the car, I'm sure it's as fast as a stock 5.0 Mustang would be, and with the upgrades that he did, we really shouldn't have to do anything but maintenance to run it around a track or autocross, and it seems to handle like crazy, and drive like a car with a LOT less than the 180k miles that it has. For a T-top car to not have squeaks and rattles at this mileage is pretty amazing.
I really waited until we were close to home before I really beat on it at all, but it is a strong runner. I'm guessing a high 14sec quarter, and I'm sure at some point we'll figure that out.

Here's what's on the Y87 cars:

Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package
The Y87 3800 V6 Performance Package upgraded the vehicle with Auburn limited slip differential (same differential used on V8 models), 11.4" single-piston caliper rear disc brakes (same rear brakes as V8 models), a dual outlet muffler, a quicker 14.4:1steering ratio (same ratio as V8 models), 235/55-16 tires. The Y87 package also gave automatic cars 3.42 rear gears, whereas the manual cars but kept the 3.23 rear gears.

There's only a few things that we should have to do before tracking the car:

-Check and maybe replace all the driveline fluids.
-Replace the wipers (that was a blurry 200 miles)
-Check all the brakes.
-Replace driver's side window regulator (really slow now)
-Eventually get an aftermarket shifter with stops so as to not damage the forks.
-Need tires by next year sometime

I'm looking forward to 32V and I tearing this around a track sometime soon. As I approach my final days at my full time job, I should be able to have more time for hobbies and goofing around, and this will help fill that void.

-BP

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Maverick
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Maverick » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:25 am

BP, 32V,

That's an amazing deal on a fun car.

You might not have to replace the window regulator. The Lincoln power window failed because of old, hard grease in the channels. I got this grease https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1 for the channels. Cleaned the old grease out some and put silicone (I think) grease in but later found the recommended grease for those channels. Still need to clean it better and apply the recommended grease. Worth a try before you replace the regulator.
Maverick

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:56 pm

That's a good tip. We'll probably pull it apart first and if it works on one side, the other side is slow too.

-BP

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:13 pm

Today we spent the morning doing the administrative stuff that is required by Ohio to be able to drive on the streets. First stop was the BMV for an out of state inspection. Then on to the Title Bureau for a title transfer. Stop three was at the Ohio E-Check which was my biggest concern, but it passed the plug in test quickly, but found that the gas cap has a tiny leak. Good news there is that if the e-check station has one of your style gas caps in stock, they just give you one, which is what happened for us. Stop four took us back to the BMV for about a half hour more, but made the Track Bird officially ready to drive on the highways and byways. The last thing I did was put cheapo insurance on it, and now we're good to go!

With the race this weekend, not too much will get done, but the inspections will begin shortly to start checking this over completely.

-BP

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Racin'Jacin
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Racin'Jacin » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:06 am

BP, you never stop do you??? Have fun as always!!!

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:46 am

I kind of get the shakes when I don't have something new to do...

-BP

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

This morning we jacked the car up and gave it a pretty thorough once over, checking all fluids, suspension, driveline components, tires, brakes, and other misc things we could come up with. The bad things that came from the inspection is that it's a little more rusty underneath than we thought, but nothing structural, so no real worries there. AND, the tires are pretty much shot. Wherever the previous owner was racing, it was mostly left hand turns as the RF was really bad on the outside, and the RR was only pretty bad on the outside edge. Not cords-showing bad, but I wouldn't trust it at full blast through the kink at Nelson...
Soooo, we're going to get new tires sooner than expected. So far I'm leaning towards the Riken Raptor. It's ratings are as good as lots of other tires in the same size (better than most for dry traction), and it's a LOT cheaper. For now, cheaper is good. Here's the link to them:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.js ... toModClar=

I also received the "new" shifter for the car today, fresh off ebay. That will make it's way onto the car by next weekend sometime. I will have to find a shifter ball between now and then too.

We also found the reason the cruise control didn't work was that the fuse for the A/C and cruise was missing. I'm guessing because the A/C was removed that someone felt the need to pull the fuse. We haven't tested it yet, but I'm pretty confident it will work. Also, the wiper squirters didn't work. But in this case, it really helps to actually have wiper fluid in the reservoir, otherwise nothing sprays out...

Otherwise, the car seemed rock solid and pretty much everything the previous owner told us was on the money. Hopefully we can get through training and a couple sessions without incident and get us into winter for some higher performance maintenance.

-BP
Attachments
Firebird 9-9-19 shifter.jpg
Firebird 9-9-19.jpg

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:55 pm

AutoInterest website has a reasonably through checklist of things to check out,
each item was looked at and verbally checked off. Everything that moves was
lubricated or greased. I had the older style fuses, and an 1157 double filament
bulb for the right front marker light.

No real surprises, let the good times roll. :)
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:02 pm

One more check off the checklist.
0911191217-00.jpg
Pretty new tires

Getting ready for a little fun.
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:47 pm

I can't wait to see this where it belongs.

2019_0912 Shift Knob.jpg
Sweet pattern


Hmmm!
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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Fred32v
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:31 am
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:32 pm

BP and I spent the morning in the 32V Garage.
Notice the shiny new Shift Ball, what is hidden by the boot is a Hurst Shifter.
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Before

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Hurst Shifter w/5 Speed pattern Shift Ball

Removing the center console was pretty straight forward. No real surprises.

Keeps gettin' better.
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!


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