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1997 Firebird Y87 5spd

10175 Views 193 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  tommy vercetti
Hey guys,

just starting some kind of a build thread,

bought a few days ago a 97 bird with the 3.8 , Y87 code, black with grey interiors, t-top and manual tranny.

i love it, but it needs major works,

i already left it in a body shop because the previous owner hit a pole coming out of a corner (yup he spun, and he hugghed the pole with a door...).

it has some rust all over the under carriage.

interiors are in pieces, i need a lot of interior parts (gonna open a thread soon) starting from the upper part of the dash (the one that faces the windshiels, to sun visors, radio, ebrake bezel, radio and so on.

i also need to do a full tune up with new fluids.

only mod is the alluminum DS

if you want to follow me on youtube this is my channel (no bird yet on it)

and insta

238000ish km

any input is much appreciated



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The plastic part between the vinyl dash and windshield is called the Upper Dash Pad. Very common part to crack and fall to bits. An OEM replacement is over $300. There is a company that sells a thin plastic cover that you can glue over the existing. Many go this route. Those are a bit over $100 and are very easy to install.

Not sure what the situation is in Italy for parts, but even in the USA it is hard to find many items. Most of us find parts from local cars being parted out before going to the scrap yard. Probably the best resource stateside for you would be its like a search engine that searches scrap yards.

You may wish to head into the 4th gen section and grab the Factory Service Manual specific to your vehicle. The link for 4th gen service manuals is pinned at the top of the forum. The FSM is an invaluable resource. Orders of magnitude greater than any other type of manual such as Chilton or Haynes.

I see the car looks a little rough, but I assure you, mine was worse when I got it 16 years ago. Loved it then, still love it today. It's a long road, but not a hard one. Example: It took me 7 years to locate the trim ring and leather boot for my shifter. Unique to my case as there are far fewer 6-speed cars than 5-speed and auto. Persistence is key tho. Right about the time you want to give up, that's when you'll find what you need.

Looking forward to your thread. Welcome aboard!
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Thanks ZumpTA for all the precious infos, i appreciate it.

i downloaded all i needed from the section you pointed out.

also, a few days ago i placed the order on ebay for the heynes manual, just to be sure.

In italy there is no chance whatsoever to find Pontiac parts...i can find something for the grand cherokee zj, but no pontiac's.

i'll check that carparts site for sure. probably also gonna open a thread in the market place on here.

i found the upper dash pad and the thin cover, i have to say that shipping and italian taxes are killing me :(

also, at the moment there is some crappy and very ugly carpet covering the missing upper dash pad, i don't think there's much upper dash pad left though.

i don't think the thin cover will work, unless i build some kind of structure under it.

pics attached

also thanks for the kind words, defenetly rough...


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Hey guys,
I started gathering parts to fix the body and paint,
And also I might have found some interiors that I'm missing .
Will keep you updated

One more thing, am I dumb or what? I can't open a thread in the wanted parts section...I urgently need the driver side mirror ....

Unfortunately, we have a few problems with our site that our host keeps saying will be fixed "in the next update". That section is one of them. For now, it would be acceptable to post your request in the 4th gen section.
Hi ,

ok thanks, i just did it.

also, few updates, i started the body work...far from perfect, still need some touches.

also, placed a few ebay orders: engine oil, complete discs and pads kit and injectors cleaner.

i need a transmission mount, my shifter is moving around while i'm driving, especially on bad pavement.

is this good?

another couple of questions, which oil do you advise for the t5 tranny and the rear diff with lsd?

Hey guys,

i need to post some pics on the forum...i'm trying to repair the body damage.

also, just placed the order for the rear diff and tranny fluid, and k&n fuel filter.

now, i might have found a mirror too...
Ehi guys,

more updates from today:

- had to adjust and modify a battery terminal...still need a new battery though;

- re-installed my older driver side mirror, i had to mend it pretty least i won't risk a ticked until i get the one;

- installed the turning signals from my persona grand cherokee stash, insted of the fake vents it had bolted on;

- cleaned all the interiors;

- went further with detailing the body

...lost a big chunk of rust from under the front fender...i'll have to put the car on the lift to see what's going on there.

quick video of yesterday:

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More tire spinning from you in those 10 seconds than from everyone after an entire day at your track. THUMBS UP! Sounds like it's running well too. Keep on keepin' on.
ahahahaah thanks, i appreciate it ;)

more jobs:

1) new oil in the engine and new mann filter, also added nanotec engine seal;

2) also put in new battery, bosh 12V 60mA and 540a.
238924 km on it.

i put 300ml bardhal injectors cleaner in the tank.

also, i have some bad news about overheating,

please read this:
small updates from this morning,

i switched the door locks, i installed the one from the older door because obviously my key wasn't locking and unlocking it (installed a new door after the crash).

i had to tighten the door handle bacuse it was too loose and it was moving around.

also, i'm having some trouble with the inside door handle (the one on the door panel) it's still not working. the leverage keeps escaping from it's own location into the door mechanism.

so, the door can be opened from the outside handle, but can not be opened from the inside.
Where every linkage bar slips into a hole, there should be a plastic "keeper" to lock it in place. They are very fragile and easily broken. The older they get, the weaker they become. Eventually they will just fall apart on their own. Not sure if these are the exact part, but, they are like these.
Where every linkage bar slips into a hole, there should be a plastic "keeper" to lock it in place. They are very fragile and easily broken. The older they get, the weaker they become. Eventually they will just fall apart on their own. Not sure if these are the exact part, but, they are like these.
thanks for that precious link, i might have one to spare from the "other door stuff". i'll check it out and get back to you.

thanks as usual, i appreciate the help
Hi guys,

i had one of those clips like the biggest ones in the link , but it looks like it's not the correct one because the door won't open if I install it. i'll try to see what i can do.

also, i changed the oil in the rear diff and painted the cover ( the cover was rusted to shi*, i had to grind it down a lot with a power tool).

i'll try to post pics.

i noticied i have a magnaflow muffler on it.

239050 km now


a few pics here






and attempted a little speed test
didn't feel to get past 200 due to the fact that i don't have proper brakes and tires.
will get back on it as soon as i install full brake kit and good tires ;)
private road
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The color and consistency of the gear oil looks like it was contaminated with water. I would certainly say you made the right call in getting to the differential right away. That was possibly a disaster waiting to happen.

If you have a Y87 'bird, don't forget to put a posi-trac additive in the differential.

Keep up the good work!
Thanks Zump, i really appreciate your help.

no worries though, i bought motul 90pa which already has the additive in it.

yesterday i did some experiments with the hood trying to open the vents a bit, will go further and post pics.

i hope to start tranny fluid and cooling works this week.
hey guys,

quick updates:

- new tranny fluid

- new coolant...coolant was very bad, puourd out something that looked like muddy water...

- with the help of a zip tie and after bending the rod a few times, not my door is opening with the proper handles both form the inside and from the outside

...still fighiting with the driver window adjustments, when it rains i'm still getting water into the car!

ps: 238900km on the car
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Hi GUys,

i finally found some interiors:

- sun visors, obviously they need to be rebuilt...they look like shi*

-door swithches


-trunk cover

-some moquette

also, finally got a cheap mirror! and a cigarette ligher coming from my jep parts ;)

ps: 240050 km on it

i have to say, it is quite thirsty though....
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Hey guys, more jobs completed:
- new KN fuel filter
-new rear brakes discs and pads , also had to bleed the brakes hoping to shut off the abs light that sometimes comes and go;
-notieced that I have some sponge as an air filter...will open a thread.
240400 km on it
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