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Showcase cover image for 1978 Pontiac Firebird Espirit

General Information

Year
1978
Make
Pontiac
Model
Firebird Espirit
Color
Grey
History
50000 Miles
Currently the car is a bone stock 6.6l pontiac w/egr delete and exhaust crossover blockoff, q-jet, flowkooler billet aluminum impellar water pump, th350 trans (ready to die), 10bolt posi rear, stock brakes, stock steering, stock (extremely small diameter) rusted out exhaust w/iron log style manifolds, stock suspension (worn out), espirit interior mostly Junk jvc cd receiver and 6x9 rear speakers (sound like crap), ac has been removed previously and the fan doesn't really blow air on ac or heat.<br /><br />This was the first car i ever purchased, not the first car i've owned though. Its a 1978 firebird espirit with a trans-am drivetrain and suspension transplanted into it by the previous owners. It was incorrectly masked off and primed grey with little prep work to the body aside from bondo-ing over a softball sized rust hole in the rocker panel next to the wheel well and an uneven patch in the drivers side rear quarter. The car used to be black which even with the rust holes would have looked better. You can imagine the rest of the work on the car is beyond shade tree, and you'd be right. I've found intake bolts not fastening the intake, rather they were screwed into unused holes on the head. I've found front clip bolts completely loose, one without a nut on it at all and a laundry list of terrible work. I digress, the end goal for the car is to have a decent do-all type vehicle. It doesn't have to be perfect in any category, more of a jack of a trades. I plan to drive this car even has my daily. The following are the plans for mods, none of this has been done yet aside from the flowkooler water pump. I do understand that to most this will seem excessive for a daily driver and sound much more race race-esque. But maintaining the interior as much as possible, quiet exhaust, heat supression, and maybe even AC, i hope that despite all the crazy mods, this car will be comfortable to drive even long distances<br /><br />Chassis & Brakes : Sandblast, seam weld, and powdercoat the front clip | qa1 x2 adjustable coilovers | sandblast, weld inner gussets, and powdercoat the stock control arms if compatible with coilovers | 3rd gen or truck rack and pinion steering (modification likely needed) | rear mini wheel tubs | qa1 x2 adjustable rear coilovers | hydroboost w/ wilwood 4 piston front and rear (addition hydraulic handbrake) | stronger sway bars | aero stock car wheels w/ hoosier oval race slicks (road course+autocross) stock wheels w/ stock tires (cruising), speedway motors steel smoothie wheels skinny front - wide rear w/hoosier 10.5 drag slicks/radials (drag) | Non intrusive roll cage if possible (well tucked or even integrated into interior paneling) | subframe connectors or full frame connection mod. <br /><br />Drivetrain (engine components still need to be spec'd for ideal pump gas compression 10:1 or 10.5:1): Pontiac iron block w/lifter galley mega brace & splayed mains | 50mm roller cam bearings for reduced heat | Canton road race oil pan w/accusump oil accumulator | Scat stroker crank (4.250 stroke 461cid) cut to smaller sbc size crank journals for less journal speed and heat | je forged pistons @ stock bore depending on cylinder condition w/total seal gapless file fit rings | scat 6.800" forged steel h-beam rods | hydraulic roller cam and lifters (likely comp cams due to kit availability) | KRE 74 cc Pontiac Aluminum D Port Cylinder Head Complete w/ MLS gaskets | Edelbrock Performer RPM (port matched) | q-jet to start with - then either holley 4 barrel or holley sniper efi tbi kit | Undecided on whether to install a fuel cell (may or may not be required) | cold case dual core aluminum radiator w/dual electric fans (wired to a switch w/temp controlled failsafe) | either flowkooler mech water pump or a meziere electric water pump (wired to switch w/temp controlled failsafe) | butler drop base air cleaner w/ k&n filter top and shaker | stock hei - then holley dual sync distributer later | dougs d-port 1 3/4 primaries to 3 inch collecators ceramic coated w/header wrap | oval 3 inch exhaust x-pipe > quietest mufflers i can find > oval over axle > larger stock style tips (cutouts with boom tube side exhaust right after the x-pipe), also probably band style exhaust clamps | T56 magnum 6-speed trans 7.25" quartermaster triple disc clutch | Diff: used quick change , winters or frankland w/steel axle tube (if it will fit), beefed up 10bolt, or 12 bolt - all w/373 ring gear (some math required still) <br /><br />Body: Lighten the front bumper section with a custom fabed tubular bumper fitted to the stock urethayne plastic nose | lighten the doors by gutting interior of the door, but retaining the window regulators if possible | May or may not install trans am fender flares | LED square 4x6 projector headlights | LED sequential tail light kit | RUST REPAIR | Perhaps custom rolled fenders for wheel clearance | transam fender vents | louvered hood vents close to firewall w/trans & oil coolers mounted on underside of hood <br /><br />The Look: I plan to sand thils car down lightly, exposing the original paint and primer. I expect it to look splotchy and random, like a normal sanded car, just not fully sanded. Whatever it looks like is what i'm going with. I have a close friend who is an artist, that i hope to recruit to paint some graphics on the car. Graphic 1 would be either a red, white, and blue version of the screaming chicken on the hood. Or graphic 2 would be the shield shaped american flag symbol found in the presidential seal painted on the roof w/ a red white and blue trans-am stripe down the hood like found on earlier 2nd gen firebirds. Those graphics would be painted right on top of the sanded finish of the car then followed by a matte clear protectant to seal the car.

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