1991 3.1 V6 Project - Third Gen Showroom - Firebird Nation

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1991 3.1 V6 Project


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Goody2scheus

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  • First Name:Mike
  • City:New York
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  • Year: 1991
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 3.1
  • Transmission: 4 spd Auto

Posted 4 weeks ago

Hi everyone,

 

Here is my 1991 Firebird 3.1 project car. It needs paint, body work and some mechanical repairs. The previous owner let is sit uncovered for a couple of years in tall grass. The car runs well and drives. There were snakes and rodents inside the car when it was sitting.

 

Here are some of the items to be dealt with:

  • deal with peeling clear coat and repaint
  • rust
  • front chin spoiler broken and held together with wire
  • brakes and brake lines
  • headlight doors don't operate properly
  • fuel lines
  • transmissions lines
  • tires
  • window belt moldings
  • hatch trim paint
  • suspension
  • rattling catalytic converter
  • water pump squealing when hot
  • hole in power steering cooler
  • hatch pulldown inoperable and missing parts
  • hatch struts
  • headliner drooping
  • LH Seat ripped
  • restore emblems

 

My plan is to make it look good (you know, a 20/20 paint job) and be safe to drive. I am not looking to do a high end restoration and I will be doing the work myself, learning as I go. I don't have a lot of room and will be doing most of the work outside.

 

First up will be some mechanical work to make sure that that car can be fixed enough to be safe and make the paint work worthwhile.

 

Rattlecanned Bird by Previous Owner
Right Side
Front
Right Side
Roof with Peeling Clear Coat
Hood and Peeling Clear Coat
Rusty fuel lines
Rattlecanned nose and headlight chipping
Rattlecanned nose
Rusty Rocker

 



#2 sea dog

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  • City:Fruitland Park
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  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: transam
  • Engine: 5.7 lt1
  • Transmission: 4l60e

Posted 3 weeks ago

Good luck on your project. I have several tidbits of advice as I own a 90 3.1 v6 car.

 

1st, since your working on the brakes replace master cylinder, front calipers, rear calipers or wheel cylinders, depending on if car 4 wheel disc or rear drum brakes. Replace front & rear rubber brake lines.

 

And because you live in the snow belt where salting roads is common, new metal brake lines. When all new parts have been installed, and proportioning valve flushed out, fill brake system with dot 5 silicon brake fluid. It has a 600 degree boiling point, does not absorb water from the air, will not harm paint work, nor metal parts. And best of all, it doesn't eat up the rubber parts in the system like regular brake fluid does.

 

I put silicon brake fluid in my 90, when I bought it in 2003. Brakes have been fine ever since.

 

2nd, if you plan on keeping your car, stay away from cheap paint jobs. They only last about a year and by the end of a year, they look pitiful. So, either do the paint work yourself, using quality paint products. Or take car to a quality body shop who won't skimp on prep work, and will paint with quality paints.

 

Here's a link to a paint store where you can order quality, long lasting urethane single stage paint. And it won't break your budget like buying the major brands like DuPont, RM, PPG, etc. The drawback is they have a limited color selection. But since your car is red, you should find a close match to your color.

 

They sell a kit that contains a gallon of urethane, quart of hardener, & a quart of reducer for around $169 for reds. Major paint brands would run 3 to 4 times the price. http://www.thecoatingstore.com



#3 Goody2scheus

Goody2scheus

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  • Gender:Male
  • First Name:Mike
  • City:New York
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  • Year: 1991
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 3.1
  • Transmission: 4 spd Auto

Posted 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the tips on the brakes, I didn't know we could run the new stuff in our cars so will definitely do that. 

 

I have started with sanding the car and some disassembly so I will post some more photos of that, but I wanted to show you guys the front air dam repair. The previous owner cobbled it back together with some wire so I had to repair the damage, fill and repaint. I am pretty happy with it considering it lives under the car. I used the Eastwood Plastic Stapler and it produced a nice solid repair.

 

IMG 2493 0001
IMG 2496 0004
IMG 2497 0005
IMG 2523 0016
IMG 2525 0018
IMG 2526 0019
IMG 2531 0024
IMG 2533 0026
IMG 2535 0028
IMG 2537 0030
IMG 2538 0031
IMG 2539 0032
IMG 2540 0033
IMG 2541 0034
IMG 2542 0035
IMG 3211


#4 sea dog

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  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: transam
  • Engine: 5.7 lt1
  • Transmission: 4l60e

Posted 2 weeks ago

Be advised that dot 5 brake fluid doesn't mix with regular brake fluid. So unless your doing a full brake restoration, with all new parts, stick to the dot 3 or 4.



#5 ZumpTA

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  • Transmission: 6-Spd

Posted 2 weeks ago

I've heard of plastic welding, even had it performed on the cowl of my '85 Honda Gold Wing and it worked out quite well.  Plastic Stapling? That's a new one on me.  Checked it out, looks like a nice solution that I'll have to keep in mind for the future.  If it will work on the 4th gens front fenders, I'm getting a kit.  Welding is great and all, but I like the mechanical connection of the "staple".  Maybe a combination of the two processes would give a bulletproof repair?


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#6 Goody2scheus

Goody2scheus

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  • First Name:Mike
  • City:New York
  • State or Province:NY
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  • Year: 1991
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird
  • Engine: 3.1
  • Transmission: 4 spd Auto

Posted 2 weeks ago

Be advised that dot 5 brake fluid doesn't mix with regular brake fluid. So unless your doing a full brake restoration, with all new parts, stick to the dot 3 or 4.

 

Thanks sea dog! I am not sure how much will need to be replaced yet. There were some new parts but the lines were pretty rusty so I'll start there and see what breaks when fixing those.

 

 

I've heard of plastic welding, even had it performed on the cowl of my '85 Honda Gold Wing and it worked out quite well.  Plastic Stapling? That's a new one on me.  Checked it out, looks like a nice solution that I'll have to keep in mind for the future.  If it will work on the 4th gens front fenders, I'm getting a kit.  Welding is great and all, but I like the mechanical connection of the "staple".  Maybe a combination of the two processes would give a bulletproof repair?

 

The plastic stapler actually worked really well and the part is flexible and seems to perform like new. I like having a mechanical connection for the two pieces. We'll find out how it works long term but so far I'm happy with it.






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