1997 Pontiac Firebird

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:22 pm

The TrackBird is on the fun journey.
2019_0901 TrackBird Before.JPG
Before
2020_0605 TrackBird After.jpg
After

How far has it really come, we'll have a better idea on Track Day.
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:15 am

Old Fred32v and BP had a great time yesterday at the MostMint One's Track Day at Nelson Ledges Road course.
BP and I were there early and put our set up on the pit wall.
TrackBird track side.JPG
TrackBird track side

Driver meeting was at 8:30 am.
MostMint Driver Meeting.JPG
MostMint Drivers meeting

I had my 1st ride in a track situation since last fall.
2020_0608 Track Day Ride.JPG
BP at the wheel, 32V riding Shotgun

The weather was perfect and the TrackBird provided the entertainment!
2020_0608 TrackBird in the Kink.jpg
TrackBird in action in the "Kink"

TrackBird was driven to the track and driven back to its' roost in the 32V Garage,
that's the definition of a good day.
There are some things that we learned and things that need to be looked into,
but all-in-all it was an absolutely great day!
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 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:57 am

That picture of the Bird in action must have been under HARD braking. We definitely couldn't have asked for better weather. There were some pretty fast cars there too (we weren't one of them). I think the groups we ran in were set up pretty well as I was one of the faster cars in my group. In the open part of the day though, I was still pretty slow relatively speaking.

The car performed pretty well, but as the day went along, it developed what can only be described as it running on five and half cylinders. It wasn't out of power, but it wasn't full power either and had a tiny miss. The further into a stint we went, the more it went away. This only occurred under 3/4 to full throttle. Under normal driving conditions it's fine. Most likely a plug, wire, or maybe injector but I'm leaning against that one.
We did zip tie a rag on the power steering reservoir cap in case it overheated, and it did on the first stint. So we replaced the rag, and it didn't boil over for the rest of the day. Must just have to run it a little low in the reservoir. It also developed a small tick, which may be a lifter. I didn't really hear it by the time I got home though. We'll see what it sounds like after fresh Mobil 1.

Here's a list of things to do before the next track day:

New spark plugs and wires.
Dump fuel injection cleaner into it.
Oil & filter change.
Rotate the tires and clean the rims.
Put the old steel driveshaft in (car is vibrating over 100mph, might be the small dent in current aluminum shaft)
Install new front brake pads, re-check rears
Check all the rear suspension mounting points. It sounds a little clunky back there and we had it all apart.
Straighten the steering wheel. We got it one tooth off when we had it off last time
Wash the track scum off and wax the hood. The new paint is baked on.

-BP

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:59 am

Big guy in a little car.

-BP
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:51 pm

Today the Trackbird got a fresh oil change and the old steel driveshaft re-installed with the newer u-joints from the aluminum one. We're hoping it solves our high speed vibration issue.
During the week 32V washed the track day off the car and straightened the steering wheel out. Currently the car is on jack stands waiting for more parts to show up.

-BP

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:19 pm

TrackBird received much attention this Saturday working into the afternoon.
2020_0621 Before.jpg
after playtime


I replaced the rear brake pads. BP replaced the plugs and wires and stuff under the car.
Then we tag teamed the right front brake pads, BP to the rescue.

2020_0621 after.jpg
ready for more

Still need to do the left front brake pads, etc..
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 Jun 22, 2020 9:59 pm

I've been watching some of the video from the last track day at Nelson. With 32V in the car, it looks like my best lap was a 1:26.5 and by myself my best shot was a 1:25.5. I know the fuel was getting low at that point and there was a noticeable miss coming off the last turn which was probably good for at least a tenth or two. After that session, the car started missing a little, so the times were about a second a lap or better slower.
Hopefully our updates will have cured our missing woes, vibrations, and increased the stopping power. We're hoping to take it to TRP this Wednesday for at least some ETs for fun.

-BP

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Fred32v
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Fred32v » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:05 pm

I did finish installing the driver side front pads.
2020_0622 TrackBird Driver side frt pads.jpg
new pads

Then BP called asking if I wouldn't "Brake-in" the new pads. That was a first for me.
He directed me to the Powerstop web site for the procedure.

I took the TrackBird for its' break-in run after 8:00 pm, no traffic.
It was pretty much good fun, tested the seat belts, I could smell the brakes were hot.
On the return back to the 32V Garage I ran the Bird up to the top of 3rd gear a few times,
no surprises, just the way we like it.
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 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:28 pm

With plans to run the Bird at TRP tonight, I cruised out to 32V's place to pick the car up this morning to bring it home so I could drive right to the track tonight. Unfortunately after driving a little bit I realized we haven't fixed the missing problem just yet, so I took the car back to be messed with on another day. I'm thinking at this point we have a plugged fuel filter or a bad coil. I'm leaning towards fuel since the problem didn't start happening until after I ran the pump dry a couple times at the track day when the fuel got below 1/2 tank. So we'll put a fuel filter on it this weekend and if that doesn't do it, go after the coils. If that doesn't fix it, we'll have to seek professional help most likely.

On the plus side, the new brake pads feel spectacular.

-BP

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:40 pm

Here's a good testing procedure for coils. I think Test #4 would be where we need to start:

https://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/3.8L ... ck-tests-4

-BP

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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby TireSmoker » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:56 pm

If you ran the pump dry, you may have compromised it a bit. Does the issue only occur at high load/WOT? A fuel pressure test may give some insight.

-Dave

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MostMint
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby MostMint » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:03 pm

never had to do a fuel pump in my 4th gen. if you have to drop the tank we should talk about putting a baffle in there to keep the fuel at the pickup/on the pump. We put the bottom 1/2 of a 1 gallon oil jug in the Saturn and it helped us get much more out of the tank before it would strat missing. Might also help keep more fuel on the pump for cooling
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:44 pm

We'll probably need the fuel pressure gauge back sometime soon to check. It is only under higher flow scenarios. Although I'm not sure I've ever seen a fuel pump work at lower flow, normally they work or don't work, that certainly doesn't mean it's not possible.

I'd rather not pull the tank as I'm sure the fuel lines are sketchy, but if it has to be, we'll certainly put a baffle of sorts in there and try to fix the faulty sending unit too.

- BP

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MostMint
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby MostMint » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:31 pm

race cars have been known to have hoes cut in the floor to access the fuel pump. we havent done it yet in the Saturn
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: 1997 Pontiac Firebird

Postby Basement Paul » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:34 pm

This is just a reminder to myself to check the MAF sensor and screen ( if it's still on there ) too. Also pull the air filters.

-BP


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