Firebird Nation banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Congrats to the mods and members. You have a great forum. Good job.

I decided it was time for a new project and a Gen II is what I am considering. Never owned one so I am a complete rookie. Starting my search now!

All suggestions welcome.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,254 Posts
Welcome to FBN ! :welcome500:

OK, when it comes to 2nd gens, you have a lot of choices. All '70-'81 Birds have the same basic shape. But, the noses and tails are different. The '70-'73's all have a nose that looks very similar. But, they can have 3 different hoods, plain flat, fiberglass twin scoop Formula, and Trans Am Shaker. And the base and Formula's can come with or without the rear deck spoiler. The TA's, of course, have front and rear spoilers, as well as front and rear wheel flairs, and front fender air extractors.

So, depending on the body style and options, these models can have several different looks. :yes

Then, the '74-'75's look very similar. The '76 had some major cosmetic changes to the front and rear bumpers. All the hoods are interchangeable, from '70-'76.

Then '77 brought some more major changes. The '77-'78's had a nose and grills unique to those years only. A black '77 TA was used as the 1st Smokey and the Bandit car. The hoods and shakers were different from the previous 2nd gens. The hoods were interchangeable from '77-'81. TA's used different shaker assemblies, depending on which engine was used. They came with the 301, 400, 403 Olds and even a small block Chevy. And each one used a slightly different set-up.

'77 was the last year of the 350 Pontiac engine.The Formulas no longer used a fiberglass hood. They had a steel hood, with fake scoop inserts, further back toward the center. The '79-'81's sported another styling change. The nose and tail were basically the same for those years. The 400 Pontiac engine was dropped after '79. :( And in '80-'81, a 301 Turbo engine was available.

So, you have a lot of choices in body styles, and drivetrain options. You can Google each year model Bird, and see lots of pics of the different styles and colors.

Everybody has their favorite 2nd gens. And we all like to give our opinions on stuff. :yes So. I'll give mine. For looks, I like a black '77-'78 Bandit TA. But, we had one and did not like the leaking T-Tops. Also, it's hard to keep all the spoilers and wheel flairs on and in good shape, if you actually drive the car much. So, my choice would probably be a Black '77-'78 Formula, with a 4-speed and a pump gas friendly 455 or 400 block stroker engine, and a 3.23 posi rear.

Hey, keep us posted as you consider which model and options you'd prefer. We love to keep up with the whole process. And, if we can help, anywhere along the way, let us know. We LOVE to give advice and opinions ! :smile22:
 

·
Admin - Firebird lover
1968 Convertible 400, 200 4R, 1971 Formula 400 M-22 Rock Crusher, 1984 Trans Am...........
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
Great to have you here. Lots of Texas members on the forum so your in good company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feed back. Much appreciated. I had no idea so many options were available over the years.

What I would like to build is a street legal car to run open road races and a Bandit model would be fun for all, especially kids and parents. A typical event race is bborrdotcom. Anyway, that's the thought.

I only have a million questions. So for now, is there anything to run from, watch for, rust issues? A preferred motor? Trans?

I found a variety of suspension upgrades. Stock,wheels are made of? Any cage offered?

Thanks again for the comments. All are welcome and my learning curve is straight up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,254 Posts
"...What I would like to build is a street legal car to run open road races...A typical event race is bborrdotcom..."

I looked at the rules. Saw rules for safety equipment and tires, but didn't see anything mentioned about engine rules ? Does that mean, anything goes ? Of did I just not see the engine rules ?

http://www.bborr.com/rules.html#PI18

"...Stock,wheels are made of?..."

There were several types of wheels offered, in 2nd gen Birds. But for racing, you need to run the lightest legal wheels you can afford. :yes

"...Any cage offered?..."

Don't think Pontiac ever offered any roll bars or cages. This would be strictly aftermarket stuff. But since the 2nd gen Camaros and Birds have been used in so many race apps, their are LOTS of roll cage options. :smile22:
 

Attachments

·
']['exXxas']['itan
Joined
·
759 Posts
Welcome. Im kinda partial to the 70-71 birds for looks but first gen for 1320' racing :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,254 Posts
"...A preferred motor? Trans?..."

Now these questions will always get several differing opinions. I think that almost everyone will agree that a small block Chevy engine is cheaper to build than anything else in the world. So, if minimum cost is your only objective, then the sbc is the only way to go. I acknowledge that. So, nobody needs to bring up the lower cost of the sbc engine again, in this thread. :no

Now, as the saying goes: Having said that-----I am a Pontiac "Freak". I believe a 1st or 2nd gen Firebird should have a Pontiac engine. Hey, you asked. Yes, I realize that some came with a Chevy inline six, a Buick V6, an OLDS V8, as well as the sbc engine. But, that doesn't change my mind a bit. :no Why take a nice Bird, like a '77-'78 Bandit, and put a 350 sbc engine in it, just because it's cheaper ? If price means that much, just buy a 2nd gen Camaro. Most of the plain Jane models are probably cheaper than most TA's and Formulas. That's all I'll say about that.

Now, as for a Pontiac engine for a street legal road racer. The only limitations are the class rules(if there are any) and your budget. A "get by" pump gas 400 will cost about $5000. On the high end, an alum block, all out engine, could cost $30,000. :shock:

Some rules limit engines to factory iron blocks, heads, and certain max cubic inches, as well as specific carb rules. For ANY type of racing, you must FIRST know the rules, before you can decide the best way to build an engine for it. Then, you need consider just how competitive you wanna be. If you just want to have fun and for the engine to last, that will be a completely different engine than one built for max performance, within the rules. :yes

Competitive stock block engines can be built in sizes from about 360 cubic inches to just over 500, in strokes from 3.75 to 4.5. If rules and budget allow, the aluminum block is best, because it's lighter. And, since they require cylinder sleeves, almost any cubic inch can be achieved. But, it looks like one of these blocks will cost at least $4500. :shock:

http://tinindianperformance.com/MR-1%20Pontiac%20block.htm

http://www.krepower.com/Pontiac%20MR-1%20Blocks.htm

http://www.jbp-pontiac.com/products/engines_assemblies/aluminum.html

If you have closer to $5000 to spend on the engine, a pump gas, stock block 400 will have to do. A decent example might be something like this crate engine, from Len Williams. But, I'd have it built with forged rods and lighter pistons. And, for road racing, you'll need to use a Canton road race pan.

http://lenwilliamsautomachine.com/400_Long_Block.html

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ctr-15-450/overview/year/1978/make/pontiac/model/firebird

http://www.amazon.com/Canton-Racing-Products-15-450-Shallow/dp/B002R60EBU/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1451330535&sr=1-2&keywords=canton+15-450

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ctr-15-444

"...Trans?..."

I would just assume that any serious road racer would use a manual trans ??? The earlier Birds used a Muncie 4-speed and the later 2nd gens used a Super T-10. I like the Muncie. But I assume that either one can be modified to do a good job for a street legal road racer.

http://midwestmuncie.com/super-pro-road-race-muncie-case-m22/

The Super T-10 Plus, seems to be the one made for road racing.

http://www.richmondgear.com/index.php/transmission/super-t-10-plus-4-speed

http://www.jegs.com/p/Richmond-Gear/Richmond-4-Speed-Super-T-10-Transmissions/746183/10002/-1?itemPerPage=60&pno=1

https://www.gforcetransmissions.com/tran_gf4a.asp

http://www.hotrod.com/how-to/transmission-drivetrain/road-racing-transmission-tech/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow you guys have a ton of good info.

Road Race(timed event): races are run in time brackets sort of like a rally. Driver and car have to quallify for a certain speed bracket and run the correct time for that speed bracket to win. Brackets will range from a low of 85mph up to Unlimited(200+). Safety requirements change as speed brackets change. Hans, harness, fire, cage etc for the driver plus tires and brakes for the car. As in the BBORR about 150 cars will run in 20+/- brackets. Race event is extremely well organized and sorted.

So as to motor - No rules. Just need one that is dependable with no exotic mods - mild at most 400 on pump gas.

Trans - auto or manual can work.

Wheels - my preference, if tech passible, would be the car's stock wheels (for looks). If not, then time to shop.

Suspension - for sure upgrade

Brakes - upgrade

Time for me to start homework in earnest for the road race bird

Again thanks for the direction. Absolutely appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,254 Posts
"...Wheels - my preference, if tech passible, would be the car's stock wheels (for looks). If not, then time to shop..."

I like the "Rally II" look. And, the aftermarket makes these in lots of sizes and types.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=pontiac+rally+2+wheels&tbm=shop

http://www.wheelvintiques.com/60-series-pontiac-rallye-ii.html

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wvi-60-503405

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wvi-60503405-c

Obviously, the bigger the tire contact patch you can put on the track, the more traction you'll have for the sharp turns. But, this also increases friction and drag on the long straights. So, I suppose the optimum tires would be those which provide the smallest contact patch, that will still provide sufficient traction for the sharp turns, under most all track conditions.

So, what size would this be ? I have no idea. But if absolute top straightaway speed is not necessary, then I'd use the biggest, sticky tires, that the rules will allow. A slower lap is better than a spinout( and possible wreck) in the turn. :yes

I'll take a wild shot in the dark and say that a tire with at least 10 inches of tread, mounted on a 10 inch wheel, might be in the ballpark, if legal. :smile22:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/cok-71231/overview/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hoo-19150/overview/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mtt-6641/overview/

295/50R15 looks like it might be a good size, with lots of brands to choose from.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mtt-6031/overview/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/coo-39602/overview/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mft-39702/overview/

http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/YOK81008-yokohama-avid-s-t-tire-p295-50r15-105t.html

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/295-50-15-tires
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,254 Posts
"...Trans - auto or manual can work..."

A 3-speed auto won't turn quite as quick a lap, because there will be a bigger gap between 2nd & 3rd gear, with the auto, than between 4th and 3rd gear, with the 4-speed.

There is also more drag with the auto trans. But, if a slightly slower lap won't hurt anything, a properly built TH350 will work OK. You can have it set up with a manual valve body, and use a good ratchet shifter, and it should work OK for road racing.

http://www.jegs.com/p/JW-Performance/JW-Performance-Circle-Track-TH350-Transmissions/2930412/10002/-1

http://www.jegs.com/i/TCI/890/312020/10002/-1?parentProductId=1020040

You'll need a real good, big, trans cooler, cause the auto will build up lots of heat. You can also have it built with lighter parts, to reduce rotating weight. There are also lighter weight, low stall torque converters, which will further reduce rotating weight, and will slip less, producing less heat.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/tci-242125?seid=srese1&gclid=CjwKEAiA2IO0BRDXmLndksSB0WgSJADNKqqohRCTWPTqup2iT4mxeqEWiUasSilbfoPIDy29C1U30RoCKM3w_wcB

I assume you can also run a lighter, small diameter driveshaft, like the dirt track guys run. Or, they sell aluminum and even carbon fiber light weight shafts. But, again, you may not need the small advantage of a lighter shaft.

http://www.driveshaftspecialist.com/Aluminum%20html/Muscle%20cars.html

http://shaftmasters.com/custom-made-aluminum-driveshaft.html

http://www.dennysdriveshaft.com/c3_aluminum_6061_t6_driveshafts.html

http://pstds.com/product-category/custom-driveshafts/custom-aluminum-driveshafts/
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top