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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

'Long time listener, first time caller'

Been in the Firebird enthusiast lifestyle for 18 or so years now, when my first car was a '91 Firebird. To spare a long life story, I come in peace looking for guidance and a like-minded community I have yet to find. (too socially awkward...) I have been a member of other forums but I have all failed them because I could just not keep up. I am not sure how I was not signed up for this one, but again I mainly lurk. I have finally 'settled' down and channeled my hobbies and organized them so I no longer have hyper-fixations and then get burnt out. So much for long life story... anyways, in 2020 I came across a local '78 TA for sale with "all the works": AC, power everything, and the all sought after codes: WS6/Y82 and I have recently started to work on this in hopes of getting my life together and have a "badass" car for my son (who is also excited to help! It technically runs and drives (with some help) but still needs some TLC.

Current plans/in work is the Quadrajet rebuild (kit bought from Summit) as it STRUGGLES to start/stay running. Let it be known I know nothing when it comes to carbs... yes I am a "millennial" by definition, however I have watched and saved videos, read and printed resources, and most importantly going to actually take my time and use this as a learning opportunity. If I remember how forums work correctly, I plan on starting a main 'build' thread and continually updating the progress, hopefully keeping me motivated and providing accountability.

Quick about me:
33/M/Jacksonville, FL (anyone in area, I need friends)
Prior USAF active duty crew chief for heavies (C-130/KC-10)
Currently Florida Air National guard Vehicle Maintenance
Technical degree in diesel tech (J-Tech here in Jacksonville)
Currently employed with Fleet maintenance operations
Other obsessive compulsive tendencies (hobbies) would include: Guns/SHTF/Prepping, Halloween (make a haunted house for Halloween), and nerd out on video games (PC)

...that should be enough for someone to DOX me and ruin my life...(trying to be more open and personal) I've attached a picture of the bird when I first got it home in October 2020 and unfortunately it has been sitting in garage covered by junk since... (spoiler: it is not anymore) I look forward to trying to make this work, working on the cliché "Bandit", and learning as much as I can to pass on and keep "hot rodding" or simply Pontiacs alive!

Thank you.
 

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Welcome, and I once was where you are. Take the journey and get the car running right. For sure while you advance some things will get done twice. Deal with it, move on, and keep making the car better. I guarantee you the trip is worth it!!👍👍👍
 
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Welcome to Firebird Nation ! ! !
 
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I see your car is having troubles starting and running. Could you please provide more details on that so we can offer some help? Which engine, transmission, and rear gears do you have and are they stock or modified? Is your carb still stock/original?
 

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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see your car is having troubles starting and running. Could you please provide more details on that so we can offer some help? Which engine, transmission, and rear gears do you have and are they stock or modified? Is your carb still stock/original?
That comment sounds like one of those auto help bots on websites, gave me a laugh.

Anyway, to answer your question, it has an unmodified Rochester quadrajet sitting atop a Pontiac 400 mated to a TH350 spinning stock gears (unsure of what gears are in it, how can i find out?)

Almost certain it is an internal carb issue. I don’t have much more details other than it had to be adjusted to get it started and stay running. It would die when I put it in reverse, eventually just pushed it into garage. I do have a rebuild kit on the way and some other tasks on the to do list to hopefully get it at least consistently running.

If you have any advice, please share!
 

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No worries on the rear gears yet. Just thinking ahead. Sounds like your car is pretty stock. You likely are running a 2-series gear up to maybe a 3:23 at most. I'd start with the basics like ignition and a fresh float.

I see you ordered a Summit Q-Jet rebuild kit. I could be wrong but I do not believe those come with a float. You gotta get the float system nailed down right from the start. Go to Napa and get an Echlin 2-442 float. Your carb uses this later style smaller float, which is a big advantage.

Is your initial ignition advance set to spec? A lot of carb problems are actually ignition related.

When rebuilding your carb, thoroughly clean it, remove the check ball that feeds the pump well, remove the idle mixture screws, blast out the idle tubes and idle down channel restrictions, and idle mixture holes before re-assembly. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES while doing this. Install a fresh pleated stock style fuel filter.

Do you have the Service Manual for your car? If not, it is highly suggested you get ahold of a copy. If not, set your float level to the specs in the Summit kit. Get the basics like these sorted first then move on to setting idle mixture screws for highest idle vacuum, then idle speed, A.P.T. adjustments, secondary air valve opening rate, etc. If I've missed anything, maybe you post '74 folks could jump in.

EDIT: If you want to save some time/trouble later, get a new secondary air valve wind-up spring from one of several Q-Jet specialty companies and replace it now and set to 3/4 turn for starters.
 

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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
... I'd start with the basics like ignition and a fresh float. I see you ordered a Summit Q-Jet rebuild kit. I could be wrong but I do not believe those come with a float. You gotta get the float system nailed down right from the start. Go to Napa and get an Echlin 2-442 float. Your carb uses this later style smaller float, which is a big advantage....
You would be correct! Thank you, as I assumed it came with it (that's what I get for assuming) but I will get one.

... Is your initial ignition advance set to spec? Alot of carb problems are actually ignition related. ...
Heard this as well, and pretty unsure. It will also be looked into around same time, any articles you could reference for help?

...Install a fresh pleated stock style fuel filter. Do you have the Service Manual for your car?...
both ordered as well!

...EDIT: If you want to save some time/trouble later, get a new secondary air valve wind-up spring from one of several Q-Jet specialty companies and replace it now and set to 3/4 turn for starters....
Appreciate it, I have not heard this suggested, but will look into.


EDIT:: Was looking into the secondary spring and found other kits. Would these work?
 

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'70 Esprit TA clone Pontiac 400
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In addition to all of the great advice above I’d want to rule out any vacuum leaks. Maybe even start with that.
Welcome! I would start with this ^^^, always look for the simple things first. The previous owner may have just slapped things together to sell the car.
 

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The rebuild kit you called out above looks good and the small style float is pictured and the secondary air valve spring is correct too. Quadrajet Power is a great source/company. The owner has some good videos on his YT channel. I'm sure he will ask you for your 8 digit carb number stamped on your float bowl assembly when you order your kit. Your number begins with 170 I believe. Make sure you order the right kit.
 

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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks y'all for everything so far! I'm going to hopefully get some more solid information on the car, making a list/taskings, and start placing orders ASAP. Not much time during week to work on it, but getting info/parts together will help me stay on track.
 

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One other thing. b hill 86 and NOT A TA brought up the excellent point of vacuum leaks. Its not covered in all rebuild kit directions but there is a specific air horn screw tightening sequence one should follow when buttoning things up to avoid creating new leaks. Your carb may have an extra screw or so but follow this diagram as close as you can. Its not uncommon for Q-Jets to have a warped air horn. You should follow this sequence through several cycles to ensure things are snug and leak free. You may think once around is enough but go back and check all screws again. Screws #1,2,3,and 4 will sometimes still be loose due to a warped air horn. You absolutely can't have leaks around these 4 screws. Small orifices for your idle tubes and idle down channel restrictions and others live here. I have to do this every time I crack mine open. Its also not a bad idea to go back and re-check after a few heat cycles. If your air horn is warped more than normal, thicker .062" air horn gaskets are available. I have to use these myself.
Nose Head White Organism Gesture
 

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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Automotive tire Bicycle part Wood Automotive wheel system Vehicle brake


Quick question...

I was able to decode the traditional stamp codes (between this and engine number Y6 it appears to be a '77 engine build) but I can't find info on the other numbers/letters.

What are the meanings behind these:
1407 AZM
 

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1407 is a Julian date signifying your carburetor was built on the 140th day of 1977. Not sure about AZM. Might be a plant code or production line ID and morning shift. Or a Broadcast Customer Code. Do you still have your Build Sheet? If you do, see if AZM appears on it somewhere. Maybe someone else could elaborate on that portion.
 

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1968 Convertible 400, 200 4R, 1971 Formula 400 M-22 Rock Crusher, 1984 Trans Am...........
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Welcome to FBN

Never worry about asking questions here, we all started new with Firebird fever at some point.

We have a lot of resources in the Tech Articles, 2nd Gen. Use the Master Index to find things quickly.

Feel free to start a build/rebuild post in the 2nd Gen Showroom. It's a great way to keep track of your progress, share pictures and ask questions all in 1 place.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
General questions etiquette?

As much as I love the structure of forums and the organization it provides, it can still be a jungle trying to find things and it seems like adding to the endless question threads is adding to that chaos. It appears like we have a sub forum for everything and thats awesome for the variety and organization. However I prefer a bit more structure to that organization and like to just visit 1 page that contains topics I am specifically interested in. With that comes my question…

Is there any structure the mods/admins would like to see? I want to ask questions regarding certain topics like engine/interior/suspension/exhaust/etc. in my build thread so that there is a more organized record of what was reviewed during the process. Would this be acceptable, or is it recommended to post to each sub forum/topic? Would one way or the other get more attention?

Thanks for any input!
 

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1978 Trans Am - 400 - TH350 - 3.23 - Y82 - WS6
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
General questions etiquette?

As much as I love the structure of forums and the organization it provides, it can still be a jungle trying to find things and it seems like adding to the endless question threads is adding to that chaos. It appears like we have a sub forum for everything and thats awesome for the variety and organization. However I prefer a bit more structure to that organization and like to just visit 1 page that contains topics I am specifically interested in. With that comes my question…

Is there any structure the mods/admins would like to see? I want to ask questions regarding certain topics like engine/interior/suspension/exhaust/etc. in my build thread so that there is a more organized record of what was reviewed during the process. Would this be acceptable, or is it recommended to post to each sub forum/topic? Would one way or the other get more attention?

Thanks for any input!
Disregard. Going to post new threads and just link to them in main build thread. Stay tuned for many inquiries!
 

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Are you planning to use this thread as your main build thread? If so we can move it to the “Second Generation…..” forum. Or, just start a new build thread in “Second Generation……”.
 
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