1969 Pontiac Firebird 400, Auto, Numbers matching, Gold - First Gen Showroom - Firebird Nation

Jump to content


FirebirdNation.com is the premier Pontiac Firebird forum on the internet. Supporting Members do not see the above ads.
Photo
- - - - -

1969 Pontiac Firebird 400, Auto, Numbers matching, Gold


  • Please log in to reply
183 replies to this topic

#1 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

Here we go! This build will be much slower than I want it to be thanks to Uncle Sam's desire to have much more of my money than I think he should have. So, for the summer it will be mostly labor and a little work on the under carriage, subframe, suspension, engine, motor, tranny, and brakes. I am looking for feedback to keep it as close to original while at the same time adding what I can to improve performance a bit without losing too much original integrity. I will never sell this car but I wish to retain it's value. I see it as a time capsule and don't car one bit if my wife's Saab can out perform it. I love the feeling of what a 1969 muscle car feels like...if I want absolute performance I would choose something else but I don't care about that. This being said, I still want it to feel good and be fun. When I drive it, I want to know that it is a muscle car. My skills: Probably shade tree mechanic. I can build a motor stock but I do not know enough to venture outside of stock unless I consult people first. I can replace pretty much every component on a car and love to learn new things. I have alot of tools and won't hesitate to buy more if I need them. I wish to do the majority of the work myself including the interior but I may steer away from body and paint as I want it to look good. I am willing to try some of the metal work that will be hidden(trunk pans) but will leave the finer details to the pros...unless I learn enough here to tackle it...I suppose I can always have a pro fix it! Anyway, sorry for the long intro...here are the stats and what I have done so far. All comments are welcome.

So, here she is:

1969 FB Coupe 400, 3 spd TH 400 Auto, PHS documented, numbers matching car. Originally Champagne with Black Cordova Top, deluxe interior, factory A/C, hood tach. Power drums all around.

I took the engine to a builder in Denver and had them go through it. I wanted a driver and to stick with the stock drive train. Every component on the inside was replaced but I kept all the original heads, intake, and exhaust manifolds. I am interested in the RA3 exhaust manifolds however. The carb is not the original so I will need to think about that. It dynod at 390 HP. The transmission felt fine when I drove it but since it is out I will rebuild it with a B&M Trans pack. This is my first time inside a transmission so tips are appreciated. I am not pressed for time so if I get stumped I will stop work and seek advice.

I have removed the subframe and have it stripped. I found a shop in the Fort Worth area that will sand blast, seal, prime, and paint it along with the control arms for around $300. Done. I was going to rent a sand blaster but for that price it's worth it to me and this shop builds cars so they understand what needs to be done. I have also started cleaning the underside of the car and will prep it for paint. What should I use? When I get the sub frame back, I will rebuild the suspension, brakes, and everything else.

Questions:
* Shall I stick with the stock gearing or is there a better gear ratio that will give it a little more get up and go without sacrificing too much top end? I'm rear end ignorant but can follow directions and figure it out with help.
* What should I paint the firewall, truck, and underside with?
Is there any way to determine if the A/C compressor works without running it? I know it sounds like a stupid question but ya'll may have a response that makes sense. SHould I assume it doesnt work or are these things pretty robust? It's the original. What about the condenser and other A/C components?
* Should I replace all the brake and fuel lines or is it fine to use the existing ones if they look OK? My gut is to replace it all but want to hear from you guys.
* The suspension will remain stock for the most part but what things should I add to increase performance a bit? Bushings? Shocks? Springs?
* Exhaust. Need help here. I want a throaty low sound. Should I stay stock? Is there a good kit that a DIY guy can install that will fit well and sound good?
* since the front end is removed what things on the firewall should I replace? All of it? Anything special I should do with the firewall itself?

I am sure there are alot that I am overlooking but wanted to get this thread started and see where it goes. I will post pictures as soon as I figure this system out. It keeps telling me my file is too big wen I try to upload to my gallery. Here is the sticker to start with.

Attached File  FB Sticker.jpg   126.56KB   32 downloads

#2 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:15 AM

http://www.firebirdn...4370_366016.jpg

#3 RedAngryBird

RedAngryBird

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • First Name:Andrea
  • City:Dayton
  • State or Province:TN
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Victory Motorcycles
    Quilting
    Gardening
    Bird Watching
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 455
  • Transmission: Manual 4 speed

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:40 AM

Welcome to FBN, Sean. We love to see the first generation cars restored. Post lots of pictures in your thread along the way. We love pictures.
My other auto is a Glock!
Due to price increases, a warning shot will not be provided.





 

#4 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:45 AM

Welcome to FBN, Sean. We love to see the first generation cars restored. Post lots of pictures in your thread along the way. We love pictures.


Can you recommend an easy way to do that? Every time I try to upload images to my gallery it gives me an error that the file is too big. Uploading one at a time and then copying the link seems to take a long time!

https://www.firebirdnation.com/forums/uploads/1396152326/gallery_58426_4370_917092.jpg
https://www.firebirdnation.com/forums/uploads/1400224326/gallery_58426_4370_335782.jpg
https://www.firebirdnation.com/forums/uploads/1400224326/gallery_58426_4370_510815.jpg
https://www.firebirdnation.com/forums/uploads/1400224326/gallery_58426_4370_1427829.jpg

#5 Bad67Bird

Bad67Bird

    Member of 455 1st gen

  • Global Moderator
  • 1571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Anthony
  • City:South Fort Worth near TxDot station
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:1st and 2nd gen birds,Nascar,Dallas Cowboys,spending time with Family
  • Year: 1967
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird 400
  • Engine: 462 ci Pure Poncho
  • Transmission: TH400 w/Kit

Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:45 PM

Welcome to FBN, Sean
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/319948032121250/ .......she lives

#6 joeq

joeq

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Supporting Member
  • 1173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:joe
  • City:hartford county
  • State or Province:CT
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:HiPerf Ponchos, Old houses, Woodworking
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: T/A
  • Engine: 301T
  • Transmission: T5

Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:03 PM

Looks and sounds to me, like you're doing it right Sean. At least IMO. Not sure about what's best for your chassis paint. Think about anything will work if you're not going for a 100 point resto car. Undercoating, POR 15, black enamel, it'll all protect your car, from whatever elements it will be exposed to. You're environment in Tex., is a whole lot less severe than what we have to deal with up here in rust country.
As for your manifolds, the RAIII manifolds won't fit your chassis, but there is repro 1st gen style, (like the fullsize car manifolds used to fit), that are also remaned, but I'm not sure of their availability. (I just looked them up on "year One", and they list them, but a little pricey). Anyway, enjoy the site, have fun with the project, keep us posted, and Welcome to FBN.

#7 Super-G

Super-G

    Firebird Tire Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Greg
  • City:Doylestown
  • State or Province:PA
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Musclecars, sports, fishing
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 428
  • Transmission: 4 speed

Posted 01 June 2014 - 04:07 AM

Welcome to the board. Sounds like a pretty cool ride.

If you are pushing 390HP, I would definitely get rid of the stock log style manifolds. I'd go with a set of long branch manifolds (the RA style), several companies make them and the general consensus is that the ones made by Ram Air Restorations are pretty darn good. Don't forget that you'll also have to purchase the oil filter adapter to rotate your oil filter away from the manifolds.

As for your question about gearing, you didn't state what your gears are now. On a Pontiac 3:36 to 3:55 is a great street gear that allows for the best combination of good acceleration along with keeping your RPM's at a decent level when riding on the highway. Unless you are planning on some track time or are staying local, I wouldn't go any higher than 3:55. I have 3:73's in my 68 Firebird with a 4 speed and at 50-55 MPH, the motor really sings. But I never really go anywhere far with my car so I'm OK with that. trust me running a 450HP motor through a 4 speed with 3:73 gears is a blast.

Good luck with your build and enjoy the Hell out of your car. The first gen Birds are a blast to drive and a lot of fun.



Greg

68 Firebird
428, ported 6X-4 heads, Comp XE284 cam, 4 speed, 12 bolt 3:73 rear


#8 mrrman

mrrman

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1250 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Frank
  • City:Maple Ridge
  • State or Province:BC
  • Country:Canada
  • Year: 1967
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 455
  • Transmission: TH400 auto

Posted 01 June 2014 - 06:18 AM

Can you recommend an easy way to do that? Every time I try to upload images to my gallery it gives me an error that the file is too big. Uploading one at a time and then copying the link seems to take a long time!

http://www.firebirdn...4370_917092.jpg http://www.firebirdn...4370_335782.jpg http://www.firebirdn...4370_510815.jpg http://www.firebirdn...370_1427829.jpg


I use photobucket but there are more options....nice car

#9 joeq

joeq

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Supporting Member
  • 1173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:joe
  • City:hartford county
  • State or Province:CT
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:HiPerf Ponchos, Old houses, Woodworking
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: T/A
  • Engine: 301T
  • Transmission: T5

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:13 PM

Welcome to the board. Sounds like a pretty cool ride.

If you are pushing 390HP, I would definitely get rid of the stock log style manifolds. I'd go with a set of long branch manifolds (the RA style), several companies make them and the general consensus is that the ones made by Ram Air Restorations are pretty darn good. Don't forget that you'll also have to purchase the oil filter adapter to rotate your oil filter away from the manifolds.

As for your question about gearing, you didn't state what your gears are now. On a Pontiac 3:36 to 3:55 is a great street gear that allows for the best combination of good acceleration along with keeping your RPM's at a decent level when riding on the highway. Unless you are planning on some track time or are staying local, I wouldn't go any higher than 3:55. I have 3:73's in my 68 Firebird with a 4 speed and at 50-55 MPH, the motor really sings. But I never really go anywhere far with my car so I'm OK with that. trust me running a 450HP motor through a 4 speed with 3:73 gears is a blast.
Good luck with your build and enjoy the Hell out of your car. The first gen Birds are a blast to drive and a lot of fun.


X2 100%, especially with the gearing. 3.55s were always my favorite Pontiac street gear. There is a trade-off now-a-days. It's all in what you're willing to sacrifice.

#10 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:18 PM

Thanks guys appreciate the input. I forgot all about the long branch manifolds until you mentioned them. Do you know if there are any issues fitting them into the car besides the oil filer relocation? Sounds like this may be the way I want to go. As far as the gearing, I am not sure. I looked for markings on the rear dif the other day but couldn't find the tag and since then I have found out that the stamping is on the driver side axle tube?? The numbers i did find didn't seem to match up with any resource I had so not sure what it means. I will check the axle tube when I get home. If I cant find it, i read on this site that there is a way I can determine the gearing by rotating the pinon or counting the teeth on the ring gear, but can't exactly remember what the process was, do you guys know? Since I will be refurbishing the rear end this summer I would like to change the gears while it's out of the car. Can you steer me towards some instructions/advice on this? Man, I sound needy. Anyway, it's very important for me to get this correct. I will also look into photo bucket so I can share the results of the advice I get on this site.

Here is the pic of the numbers on the rear dif. do they mean anything?

Attached File  rear dif.JPG   130.84KB   19 downloads

Thanks!

Edited by Stuf, 03 June 2014 - 06:19 PM.


#11 WHITE-68

WHITE-68

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Global Moderator
  • 2525 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Bryon
  • City:Bristow
  • State or Province:OK
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Muscle Cars, Hunting, Fishing, Outdoors, and Sports
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: 400

Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:27 PM

K188 is K= November 18= 18th day 8=68 so 18 November of 68 that rear end was built which would most likely be put in a 69 Car...

9795705 is a 10 bolt Safe T Track rear end "posi" good stuff...

#12 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:34 PM

Wow. I didn't expect that! Glad I threw that up there. Thanks!

#13 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:30 PM

Found this- sound about right?

If there is a removable cover on the differential, removing it and counting the teeth on the gears is the most reliable method. Count the teeth on the ring gear and the pinion gear, then divide the ring gear tooth number by the pinion tooth number to find the ratio.

  • For example:
41 divided by 10 = a 4.10 ratio

40 divided by 13 = 3.08

On some ring gears, there will be a pair of numbers stamped into the outer circumference that will be the tooth count. It may look like 41:10 or 41-10, etc.



#14 joeq

joeq

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Supporting Member
  • 1173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:joe
  • City:hartford county
  • State or Province:CT
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:HiPerf Ponchos, Old houses, Woodworking
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: T/A
  • Engine: 301T
  • Transmission: T5

Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:45 PM

Sean, if you've got a Posi, (limited slip, safety-track), whatever you want to call it, this is the easiest way. Put your car up on jackstands, and index your driveshaft to the rear end housing. Then put a mark on your tire. Rotate your tire 1 revolution, and count how many times your driveshaft spins. If it goes 3 times around, plus a smiggen more, call it 3.08s. If it goes 3 and a 1/2, 3.55s. Of course this only works if "both" tires are spinning. If only 1, then you'll have to do as you said, and pull the rear cover, and count the teeth.Have fun.

#15 FrankTinCA

FrankTinCA

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 154 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Frank
  • City:Manteca
  • State or Province:CA
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Family , Cars, and great wine (Red, but that's redundant) !!
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 1973 400, #15 heads
  • Transmission: 700r4 Automatic

Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:25 AM

Welcome Sean!!! I just joined several months ago and everyone here is so helpful. Regarding your pics, here's what I found. I take pics with my cell phone. I email them to my self in small format , 10%. I then save to a folder called small file pics. I use those to upload to the forum and it all works good. It was too much of a pain to try and resize each photo. I could use that valuable time sanding!!!

#16 WHITE-68

WHITE-68

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Global Moderator
  • 2525 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Bryon
  • City:Bristow
  • State or Province:OK
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Muscle Cars, Hunting, Fishing, Outdoors, and Sports
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: 400

Posted 04 June 2014 - 03:08 AM

Its best to pull the rear cover but be prepared to refill and reseal the rear end and its smelly and dirty! Joe's Idea will work, and it is simple, but you rarely get it right on the money, it will get you in the ballpark. The best way by far is to count the teeth and divide it.

#17 TransAmer99

TransAmer99

    Put the EVIDENCE in the Car!

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4907 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Jim
  • City:281 - Spring
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:Firebird & Trans Am Diecast
    Hunting, Fishing, Outdoors
    Firearms & Shooting
    N-Scale Model Railroading
  • Year: 1980
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 1972 Pontiac 400
  • Transmission: TH-350, 2.41 rear

Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:21 AM

Another way to post pics is to create an account on a photo service like Photobucket.com (free). There you can upload all your digital images and organize them into albums. You can upload vids, too, but I've found YouTube works better for those.

Then you simply copy the image code from there and paste it into your posts here. Because it is a link, you save on bandwidth as well. You do need to bracket the image code with braces and tell it that it is an image (IMG) and (/IMG) - substituting ()'s with []'s.
Posted Image

Rest In Peace, Pete, a.k.a. "Brother Rat" and Jay, our Firebird Brother!
Y'all two keep each other out of trouble up there, okay?

#18 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:12 AM

Thanks all. I will give photobucket a try. I will try to nail down the gearing tonight. Before I tackle the rear end, do you guys a good source for gaining some knowledge on these rear ends? I spent a few hours in the hotel last night roaming the web for info and now I have even more questions. I want to learn it and then do it myself.

#19 joeq

joeq

    Firebird Master Tech.

  • Supporting Member
  • 1173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:joe
  • City:hartford county
  • State or Province:CT
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:HiPerf Ponchos, Old houses, Woodworking
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: T/A
  • Engine: 301T
  • Transmission: T5

Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:15 PM

Sean, there's tons of info on rebuilding these 10 bolt rears, from on-line, to books, and even videos. (which you can purchase on-line). I say pick one up that looks interesting to you, buy another rear in need of repair, (that'll fit your car), purchase one of these Chinese 12 ton presses for $100, and have a ball . Nothing like OJT, to me, it's the best teacher. Then when you get stuck, give us a post. We'll be glad to help out.

#20 Stuf

Stuf

    Firebird Oil Changer

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Sean
  • City:Fort Worth
  • State or Province:TX
  • Country:USA
  • Interests:God. My family. Cars. Live Music. Good beer.
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:11 AM

I found the code on the axle tube. It is 344 YC. This code confused me as it didn't indicate a posi. I lifted the wheels (both tires do rotate in the same direction), marked the yoke and the tire, spun the tire one revolution, and counted slightly more than 3.5 revolutions. To me this would indicate 3.55:1 gearing. I checked the AMA specs and this car should be 2.78:1 since it has A/C. The YC code does not indicate posi but the code on the bottom of the pumpkin did and the wheels both turning together in the same direction indicate that it is. The AMA spec says it should be 2.78:1 and this actually matches up to the YC code as a non locker for 1969. Rotation test indicates 3.55:1. I suppose it is possible someone before me changed the gearing but what do you guys think?

http://firstgenfireb.../ama_page2.html




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users