78 Pontiac Trans Am 454 LS6 Project - Second Gen Showroom - Firebird Nation

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78 Pontiac Trans Am 454 LS6 Project


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#1 2306

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  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 454
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 04 December 2019 - 04:28 AM

As you possibly know, I am Tom from Switzerland. I bought this 78 on 06/23/19. It was a birthday present for myself. Always loved the look of the Trans Am, but never liked the HP output of these Cars.

 

So I found this 90s year build with an interesting motor. Pre-Owner started to swap a brand new 454 LS6 in it. He never finalized everything.

 

Since June, I work on this car now. My goal is to get a mean looking Trans Am in a custom Bandit Look.

 

I would like to tell you what I did already;

 

 

-        Finished the 454 LS6 engine swap, which the Pre-Owner started. Now the battery is in the Trunk, everything is wired up now and the engine runs great.

 

-        In the 90s, a Body shop made a Flip-Front conversion. The work is good, but they did not find a solution to lock the Flip-Front. That is why the front was very flabby; it felt not confidence to drive that car. I build in some hood locks and release cable from the Dodge Viper, and made some custom brackets. Unlock the Flip-Front is very easy but now the front sits tight, and it feels more stable to 100%. Very big step done.

 

-        I had to replace the hood because of street regulations. I ordered an OER Shaker hood. Fitment is very good and it was possible to make the hood fits very nice.

 

-        A big challenge was the Air filter / Shaker. Because of the 454, an RPM Manifold, Holley Carburetor and center offset of the engine, there is no space at all for any oem or Butler Performance drop air filter housing.
I made my own Air Filter system now. So now there is a steel/aluminum base plate now with a 6 ½ Inch Air Filter. The shaker comes on the base plate and is sealed with special mounting tape. The air gets sucked in through the shaker top, which is opened. I am proud about this construction. I am not very happy about the tiny air filter, although Mr. Gasket filters told me there would be enough Air Flow for the 454. May sometimes I have a better idea.

 

-        I removed the ugly exhaust system. Now I installed a custom exhaust system, starting with Hedman Headers, going to a 3" Magnaflow Exhaust with a Tru-X pipe.

 

-        Replaced the Trunk Torsion springs.

 

-        Replaced Heater Core.

 

-        Complete Maintenance.

 

 

What I want to do on Winter/Spring 2020

 

-        Complete Paintwork, Black.

 

-        Repaint Engine.

 

-        New suspension. Think about 2" Lowering Springs in the Front, 3" Lowering Leaf springs in the Back and Hotchkis Shocks.

 

-        Interior; Black Headliner, Black everything what is blue right now :-), new seats in the front, Yearone Door Panels (to fit 16.5cm speakers), Sound system.

 

 

As you see I have a lot to do this winter and hope get this done that I can drive next summer. Following steps will be new Wheels, Decals and so on. Cannot spend that money at once and I have to find time also.  

 

Thank you for comments and feedbacks! This thread will be continued so soon as possible :-)

 

 

How i bought the car on 06/23/19.

post-143228-0-77337600-1573739134_thumb.

 

Flip Front tilted to the front

 

778uqci4.jpg

 

Dodge Viper Hood Lock on Chassis

iqrvi2y9.jpg

 

Dodge Viper Hood Lock, Front latched

ao9utgp2.jpg

 

Bottom Fender

cvio7i2u.jpg

 

Self Made Base Plate

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3" Magnaflow Exhaust, Tru-X

n78x947m.jpg

 

On the Sea :-)

w4td3kp6.jpg

 

Interior how it Looks now.

lkql28wc.jpg


Edited by 2306, 04 December 2019 - 04:29 AM.


#2 Mickey_London

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:09 PM

Wow !!!
A lot of work has gone into her. Love the front flip, and what a lovely mean and aggressive stance she has.
Keep the pictures coming
Mick

#3 ZumpTA

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:25 PM

Excellent fabrication work!  Can't  believe previous owner hinged the entire front clip like that and kept the hood "original". Given the obvious intentions for the car,  I would have welded the hood down and filled the gaps for aerodynamic reasons, or, went to a full 1 piece fiberglass front end.  Regardless, that's one of the meanest looking 'birds I've ever seen.


"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
-- Jeremy S. Anderson

"Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft...
and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor."
-- Wernher von Braun


#4 sea dog

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 03:04 PM

Great job of turning an ordinary bird into an extraordinary bird. .



#5 2306

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  • Transmission: TH400

Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:29 PM

Thank you very much for your comments. I hope you will be not disappointed about black paintwork what will come this winter.

 

Sadly, the paint needs to go. The hood has not the same paint now; the paint on the fenders is broken because of work on Flip-Front locks. In addition, the airbrush on the side, it screams 90's.
If I do new paint, must be black. Planning to do a mean looking black T/A like we don’t have a lot of in Switzerland. Hope you people in the U.S. are not bored about this.

 

Also, hope the Stance will be even better with lowering leaf springs and new springs in the front.

 

One thing about the Flip-Front. I am very happy the previous owner made the complete front like it is. It needs two people to flip the front to the front. 

Not a big thing, but if I have a breakdown I will be happy to pop-up the hood normally instead. Open the complete front is great for bigger work, changed the heater core very fast this way. And nice for Show.

A functional Shaker would not work with the Flip-Front as well. I am happy about how it is.

 

Thank you very much for every comment. Will be continued for sure.



#6 sea dog

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 06:14 PM

Before you do the black paint, your bird's body must be worked to perfection. No other color shows a less than perfect car body more than black does.

 

Every ding, shallow dent, low & high spots will show plainly. As an example; my 90 f-body has a shallow dent on passenger door. With the light blue paint that's on the car, you really have to look closely to see the dent. But if paint was black, dent would stand out like it had a neon sign pointing to it.



#7 1973-Formula

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 04:26 AM

Cool project, looking forward to see more of it!



#8 2306

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  • Engine: 454
  • Transmission: TH400

Posted A week ago

Hi

 

Just want you to know that my Trans Am is back from Body Shop now. It took so much time because of this Covid Situation and I am not happy with their Work at all.

 

Car is painted Black now in Brilliant-Black from VW. Color looks nice and Paint/Finish is well. But beside this nothing is been done. Nothing lines up. Flip-Front, Hood, Doors, nothing closes well and Gaps are terrible. Nothing works anymore. Body Shop took all wiring out.

 

Dash in the Cabin nothing works on Dash because it was out for Leather Work (Black). But same stuff, nothing is re-wired.

 

I think the Body Shop was massively overwhelmed working on American Cars.

 

Good thing paint looks good and I paid not much for new paint.

 

I already spend few days working on the Trans Am now. Gaps looks good now, everything closes well and lines up properly, was a lot of Work, especially the Flip-Front.

 

Now I rewire everything. New Power Supply from Battery, new distribution box, new Fuse Box (Painless 30003), new Power Lock System, Relay controlled Headlights with DRL and so on.

 

Will be lot of work I’m hanging in.

 

 

cp2hop6m.jpg

 

67hpktux.jpg

 

jojravx5.jpg

 

garnpsfx.jpg

 

pxhhj25i.jpg

My Wiring Plan  :lol:



#9 ZumpTA

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Posted A week ago

What a transformation!  


"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
-- Jeremy S. Anderson

"Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft...
and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor."
-- Wernher von Braun


#10 1973-Formula

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Posted A week ago

Just a couple wires...ha...ha... 

 

Looks good with the new color, the flip over hood looks practical to work on the engine compartment.

 

Nice progress!



#11 2306

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Posted 2 days ago

Hi

 

Thank you for your comments!

 

After a lot of work this week, 90% of the electric is finished. Everything is re-wired, everything fused separately.  Here is a list of what I done.

  1. Main Power Box on the outer Firewall LHS. The Power Cable comes from the Battery in the Trunk to this Power Box. On one hand there are heavy duty Power Cables going to the Starter, Alternator and Cabin from this point. On the other Hand, there are modern ANL-Fuses for direct main Power for the MSD Box and the Fan in the Engine Bay.
     
  2. Heavy Duty 120A Relay for Battery + Dispatcher and High Power ACC.
     
  3. Painless 30003 Fuse Box, everything Re-Wired, everything fused separately.
     
  4. A bunch of Relay’s for better functionality and relieve the Cabin power circuit. So, there is a Fuel Pump Relay. Still to do is an intelligent Relay Control for this Relay. The Fuel Pump have to Work for 3 Seconds and then Stop, if the Engine will not be started. If Engine will be cranked, Relay have to work until Engine goes out.  
    Then I have a Relay instead the Alternator Idiot Light, so I can replace the Idiot Light Bulb with a LED. The Brake Check Relay will switch if the Brake Fluid Level is low or the Emergency Brake is pushed. Low Beam and High Beam Relay’s speaks for themselves. DRL 1 and DRL 2 Relay is for Daytime Running Light. I replace the inner Headlight to H4. The Inner Low Beam will be used as DRL. If ACC is on and DRL Switch is activated, the Inner Low Beam will work, without any other Lights. As soon the Position Light is on this Lights go off. High Beam from the inner H4 will be used with usual High Beam.
    Trunk Release Relay is for the Trunk Actuator. It will be possible to open the Trunk with Wireless Power Lock.
     
  5. I mounted an additional Fuse Block on the right side. There is no fuse on the Painless Fuse Box for the Rear Window Defroster. Now I can place this fuse here and there are more slots for other things if I need. I have an ACC for the Trunk this one is fused here.
     
  6. New Power Locks from Electric Life with Wireless Remote.
     
  7. New Speaker cables from the Trunk and Cinch also.

As you see, a lot is done. Next step is the Instrument wiring if I have some days off again!

 

 

 

uvwd2xrf.jpg

Power Box Firewall

 

sjcu38kz.jpg

Power Box Wiring

 

x7tptz8i.jpg

New Painless Fuse Box, OEM Location

 

ub3slewj.jpg

Additional Relay's

o7399ozo.jpg

Additional Fuse Box


Edited by 2306, 2 days ago.


#12 Injuneer

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Posted 2 days ago

The inclusion of the O2 sensor and A/F ratio gauge is interesting.  Is the O2 sensor narrow band, or wide band with its own controller?  Will it only monitor one bank of the engine?  Is that primarily for your personal information and tuning, or do Swiss motor vehicle regulations require it?  Does it require emissions checks?   Does the LS6 still have its original solid lifter camshaft?  Be interesting to see what that cam, with high overlap, does for the A/F ratio.

 

Very interesting and challenging build.  Please keep us up to date on your progress.


1994 FIREBIRD FORMULA
FRED

 
381ci all-forged stroker (Callies Stealth, Oliver billet rods, BME 2618-T61 nitrous pistons) - 10.8:1 - CNC LT4 heads/intake - Comp Cams solid roller - MoTeC M48 Pro engine management - 8 LS1 coils - 58mm TB - 74#/HR injectors - 300-shot dry nitrous - TH400 - Gear Vendors 0.78:1 O/D - Strange 12-bolt - 4.11 Pro-Street gears - AS&M headers - true duals - Corbeau seat - AutoMeter gauges - roll bar - Spohn suspension - QA1 shocks - a few other odds 'n ends. 800HP / 800lb-ft at the flywheel, on a 300-shot. 11.5 @ 117 MPH straight motor
 
https://www.firebird...9_698_32777.jpg

 


#13 2306

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  • Engine: 454
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Posted A day ago

As you probably know a narrow band O2 Sensor would be not very useful. I have an Innovate MTX-OL AFR Gauge, this one has an Lambda-Controller included.

 

As I was building my Exhaust, I already prepared both banks from the engine for O2 Sensors. But I will run one O2 Sensor only on the left Bank. Should be ok, do not want two gauges and I can mount the O2 Sensor to the other bank easily to check if both Banks run similar.

 

The AFR Gauge is not needed for Emission Check in Switzerland. We need to Check Vehicle Emission every year. This Test will be done at idle Speed, Emissions should be not to high, done.

But I would like to know if the car run’s good and not to lean, especially at WOT. So I need a AFR Gauge for this.

 

Engine and Cam should be stock. Have a Holley Carb and RPM Intake.

 

Thank you very much!






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