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Box
Sammy Hagar references out of the way I figured I should do a project thread for my newly acquired Firebird. Since I already posted pictures in the Today I... thread I'll just post the one plus one of the engine for the time being.



For those that didn't see in the other thread it has a 4-bolt main 350 and TH-350 from a '69 Chevelle. The 350 has been bored .40 over, heads worked and shaved for 12:1 compression ratio, 3/4 cam, and Edelbrock 750cfm carburetor & intake. The transmission was also gone through and refreshed as well. The car also has new brakes and suspension, for whatever that's worth. tongue.gif Actually I'm surprised at how well it drives, sure it's no modern sports car but for a 70's muscle car I'm actually kind of impressed. Pretty much the bulk of what's needed is interior and exterior cosmetic work.

As far as plans I'd like to finish up the exterior and interior as I go. Then engine is sorted as far as I'm concerned, just needs some headers and a full exhaust done along with a new air cleaner setup as you can see. Oh, and hook up A/C again. I'll just get a compressor and brackets from a same year Camaro. Would like to upgrade the brakes and suspension along with converting to a manual one of these days. This will be a car I intend to keep for pretty much forever as I've always wanted one and it was/is one of my realistic dream cars, along with the Corvette. In the coming days I'll be touching up a few things here and there not really worth writing about, i.e. replacing bulbs and wipers etc... tongue.gif I'll have to get some exhaust videos this weekend when I have some time and help available. I think that pretty much covers everything. It does need some tires soon, so also trying to decide on what to do there. I can stay with 15's but get some snowflakes, get some 16's from the 3rd gen GTA, or get some 17's from Year One rather they be snowflakes or something else. I am heavily considering up-sizing to help with steering and handling feel, get ride of some of the sidewall flex...
Bitter
Disc brakes?
VavAlephVav
Looks like ya need some headlight adjuster screws/hardware, that way Boss Hog won't pull ya over on the way back from where your still is hidden. biggrin.gif
Bitter
I hate those wiper/washer setups on those. Frickin diaphragm pump built into a cam on the wiper motor and damn if they ever work quite right. Plumb in a little inline pump instead or something if you want reliable working washers.

http://www.nastyz28.com/tech/electrical/wiper.html
njccmd2002
that car needs a 2jz or a 3sge blacktop, real bad.
Box
QUOTE (VavAlephVav @ Dec 10, 2014 - 9:53 PM) *
Looks like ya need some headlight adjuster screws/hardware, that way Boss Hog won't pull ya over on the way back from where your still is hidden. biggrin.gif

I have some. On that one the plastic insert slipped and now it's going to be a pain to remove it to put in the new one. Figured might as well wait until I'm putting in new and improved headlamps to mess with it.
Box
QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 10, 2014 - 6:55 PM) *
Disc brakes?

In the front. tongue.gif Was part of the upgrades I had in mind. Depending on the size of the rims I decide on will determine what setup I go with.

QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 10, 2014 - 10:05 PM) *
I hate those wiper/washer setups on those. Frickin diaphragm pump built into a cam on the wiper motor and damn if they ever work quite right. Plumb in a little inline pump instead or something if you want reliable working washers.

http://www.nastyz28.com/tech/electrical/wiper.html

All of the stuff is there and the interior controls work, just missing the bottle. Thanks for the link, I'll have to check it out. I'm sure the pump died which would explain the missing bottle.
Box
QUOTE (njccmd2002 @ Dec 11, 2014 - 10:03 AM) *
that car needs a 2jz or a 3sge blacktop, real bad.

Those don't sound like Satan laughing or violently twist the body when you rev them up, where's the fun in that? redface.gif

Also, I've never had so many people stop to look/ask about a car... I've already lost count, not to mention the people that turn and look as you drive by. I guess if I was wanting a low profile car I chose the wrong one. Anyhow, almost done going through and checking everything and will be placing an order at RockAuto soon. I found some Wagner sealed beams that're supposed to be brighter/whiter than conventional halogen for $5-8 each. Not bad and will hold me over until I can decide on a more advanced optics. I also found some electronic flashers I think I'll buy since they'd allow me to use LED bulbs for all of the signal lights. Still have to decide on if I want to go with long tubes or shorties as well as work out a better air cleaner setup. The amount of options is staggering, which does make for a nice change for once.
Box
Was able to get the rear window trim in and got to the point where I can put new bulbs in the driver taillight, then ran out of light. The bulbs have been in there for a long time apparently as they're seized into the sockets...so of course a ten minute job is taking over an hour... So will finish it and then do the passenger side tomorrow. Need to get onto RockAuto and start a list of parts to buy. It never ceases to amaze me how content someone can be with a car, then I get a hold of it and kill myself trying to fix every little thing.
1994Celica
It would look good with some of those reproduction snowflake wheels.
Box
I really love the snowflakes, just not sure if I'd want to go up to 17's though. Currently it has Rally II rims, and finding a set of original snowflakes wouldn't be too pricey. Either that or get the 16" GTA rims from the third gen. Like I said earlier, lots of choices... Being the world's most indecisive person doesn't help.
1994Celica
Hey at least you have a car now laugh.gif
Bitter
As far as lights, Cibie Z beams if you want to keep with classic halogens, I think they come in 4x6 rectangles (I think that's what you have).

Otherwise buy some plastic housings with clear front lenses and go crazy with some sweet D2S Bixenon projectors backed by some good OEM ballasts and very bright Nightbreaker Unlimited D2S bulbs and you'll have some awesome lights. You can do some Halo's packed behind the shrouds or out in front or some nice demon eyes. Use amber halo's and tie them into the turn signals, all kinds of ideas.
VavAlephVav
totally need louvers on the back window.
Box
QUOTE (1994Celica @ Dec 11, 2014 - 7:42 PM) *
Hey at least you have a car now laugh.gif

Exactly, I'm sure everyone I knew was tired of giving me rides all of the time. tongue.gif Though in fairness from the time I was finally compensated by insurance it only took about a month to get a car.
Box
QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 11, 2014 - 8:31 PM) *
As far as lights, Cibie Z beams if you want to keep with classic halogens, I think they come in 4x6 rectangles (I think that's what you have).

Otherwise buy some plastic housings with clear front lenses and go crazy with some sweet D2S Bixenon projectors backed by some good OEM ballasts and very bright Nightbreaker Unlimited D2S bulbs and you'll have some awesome lights. You can do some Halo's packed behind the shrouds or out in front or some nice demon eyes. Use amber halo's and tie them into the turn signals, all kinds of ideas.

I'd only want to do HID's if I go pretty far with the resto-modding. That and my brother with 5K HID's constantly gets flashed and he has projectors with a nice cutoff that're aimed properly... I have really sensitive eyes and constantly getting flashed would not be good.

QUOTE (VavAlephVav @ Dec 11, 2014 - 10:52 PM) *
totally need louvers on the back window.

Yes!!!
Bitter
If he's always getting flashed then they're not aimed right or people down there are as stupid as the stereotypes.

Or did he shove HID's in halogen projectors? If he did then that's why he's getting flashed all the time, halogen projectors usually glare pretty bad with HID's installed since the arc isn't a bulb filament the lens and bowl are not tuned for HID. Also there's usually holes in the cutoff to allow some light above the cutoff to illuminate signs, HID projectors don't have that.
VavAlephVav
Gripping the wheel, his knuckles
went white with desire! The wheels
of his Mustang exploding on the
highway like a slug from a .45.
True death: 400 horsepower of
maximum performance piercing the
night... This is black sunshine
VavAlephVav
QUOTE (Box @ Dec 12, 2014 - 12:33 AM) *
QUOTE (1994Celica @ Dec 11, 2014 - 7:42 PM) *
Hey at least you have a car now laugh.gif

Exactly, I'm sure everyone I knew was tired of giving me rides all of the time. tongue.gif Though in fairness from the time I was finally compensated by insurance it only took about a month to get a car.


****, when you're always asking for rides people stop answering the phone quick. And "hey can I borrow your car." Is even worse than "Hey can I borrow your wife?"
Box
QUOTE (Bitter @ Dec 12, 2014 - 7:18 AM) *
If he's always getting flashed then they're not aimed right or people down there are as stupid as the stereotypes.

Or did he shove HID's in halogen projectors? If he did then that's why he's getting flashed all the time, halogen projectors usually glare pretty bad with HID's installed since the arc isn't a bulb filament the lens and bowl are not tuned for HID. Also there's usually holes in the cutoff to allow some light above the cutoff to illuminate signs, HID projectors don't have that.

We did it from 20' and they're set to where the focus point hits 30" off the ground. I think it's a lot of stupid people, because we even drove towards each other to double check and there wasn't any excessive glare and they're about as white as you can get. What killed me is there was some tool in a lifted truck with eBay 10K HID's in reflector housings that had the audacity to try and start ****. I'm like really?

I have to wear yellow lenses at night unless I want to be blinded constantly. I really need to get a doctor to write me an exemption so I can run darker window tint than what's legally allowed. I've thought about running a sheet of 70-90% across the entire windshield to cut glare and UV down, then have the 6" strip of 2.5% I think the exemption allows me to run at least 20% on the sides and back versus the 35% that's normally allowed.
Bitter
I think its like 3 degrees drop per foot or something, the cutoff should hit the road about 300 feet out (not that you can see it, must use math).
Bitter
Anyway, back to the topic of GM EFI, the TBI setups from the factory in the later 80's and early 90's are fairly good. They use two low pressure shower injectors and with some light modding they're capable fuel delivery systems able to supply engines upto 400hp on small blocks and much more with the TBI big blocks. You can get the SBC TBI's cheap at junk yards and the adapter plates are about $50 at Jegs. The SBC TBI setup is easy to mod for higher fuel pressure and the ECM I believe is hackable to run custom ROM's like throttle percentage based injection instead of MAP sensor based which means it doesn't matter how lump the cam is. You'll be revisiting these posts the first time there's a problem with your carb and you're trying to trouble shoot. The GM TBI is incredibly reliable, I see them with 1/4 million miles with the original injectors. The only time I've had to repair them is when some tried to install an intake on their truck and broke one of the wires to an injector.

http://www.gearhead-efi.com/gm-ecm-pcm-con...conversion.html They also have a forum there.
Box
Equal height from 20 feet is close enough for government work. tongue.gif Don't have anywhere that's further back to test, but down the road it seems to point where it should.

My grandfather had a 1500 with the TBI 350, had over 250K on it before selling it. If I go fuel injection I'd really like to go multi-point though to get the most from my time and money.
Bitter
Can you bolt on Vortec heads to that block? They flow fairly well and would let you do multi point injection with some readily available manifolds. I know the Vortec heads have much smaller faster burning chambers so you'd be cranking the CR up, maybe too high!

http://www.nastyz28.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56505 good info!
Box
Well the head-gasket part number is the same on the 350 from 1955-2002 depending on the supplier, so I guess that'd be a good sign that it would. Should be able to find one of those trucks or SUVs from '96-00 easy enough to take everything from.

Which after doing some calculations, and my first assumption turned out to be right, the 750 cfm carburetor is too big. At most should need 600-625 cfm. Guy before said he had a 650 on it and it was choking it, I don't see how. I'm sure I can find someone that'd love to trade their 600 cfm for the "bigger is better" 750 cfm...
Bitter
Might not be too big with Vortec heads on it though, if you decide to keep it carb'd. That Z28 forum post should answer most of the questions in swapping, looks like they just bolt right on but use the dealer gaskets since they're nitrile rubber in an aluminum carrier and really are that much better than aftermarket designs.
Box
From what it was saying would have to redo the valve-train for a larger cam. Meh... I was wanting a big block anyway, so may just rip out the 350 and sell it and get what I want.
Bitter
They made Vortec head big blocks too...just sayin...

Vortec headed BBC and SBC are as good as it's going to get without jumping up to a LSx engine. GMPP does have that 7.4L LS iron block setup...
Box
I know. Right now I'm just aggravated with previous owner stupidity. PCV system was blocked off with a bolt inside of the hose, for whatever reason... Plus trying to decide if I should get another carb or use that money at Pull-A-Part to rip the top end and wiring out of a Vortec 5700...

My original plan was to find one with the 301 and then throw in a Cadillac 500 after building it up.
Bitter
Nah, just pull a whole 8100 Vortec...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Big...ine#Vortec_8100
Box
I get the feeling it'd be harder to find for some reason. redface.gif Hell once this one isn't drowning in fuel and can breathe properly it'll probably wake it up even more. More than I'll ever use on the street, when anyone is around anyway.
Bitter
You know you could have bought a 1990 Skyline...25 years man.
Box
I'm kind of burned out with the import thing though. Most of the "import crowd" are punk ass kids I want nothing to do with, and right or wrong you get lumped in with them no matter how nice and tastefully done your car is. Hell, mine were stock in appearance and had stock exhaust...

The Firebird on the other hand in a week I've received more compliments and have had more people ask about it than I have had with all of the imports put together. Plus people are always waving, it makes me feel loved. redface.gif I like muscle cars and imports, it's just that my heart belongs to muscle cars. The exhaust note and body twisting as you rev the motor is magical. I don't know, I just feel special when behind the wheel and I've never really felt that way before in any other car.
Box
After revisiting some articles decided short/mid length headers will be best, as they give more power in the idle-4,000 rpm range where long tubes actually make considerably less power there and don't make more power over the shorties until the 4,200-6,000 range. Which considering I'll spend almost all of my time in the lower rpm's it makes more sense, plus they're a lot easier to install... Also based on calculations dual 2.5" should be more than enough. Probably will run some 30" MagnaPacks off each header and go out the side, that way don't have to worry about clearing the axle/paying a shop.
Box
Another portion of my neglecting sleep for research I found where the HEI distributor likes full time vacuum advance, as it'll help more completely burn the fuel at idle and lower engine speeds. Of course it was hooked up to part time vacuum...so fixed that in the dark while I was thinking about it and hopefully it makes a notable improvement. Plus I was reading where an AVS Edelbrock carburetor would only give the engine what it needs, which how they operate with the counter-weighted secondary it kind of makes sense, but at the same time why would they have kits for re-jetting if that were entirely true? That and I started looking at rims, kind of funny how the 17's have a much better tire selection at better prices...
njccmd2002
Sell the car. Get skyline. Get sleep. This car is aroject? Tought it was a daily
Box
It is a daily, it's just my OCD that makes any car a project for me. Insomnia keeps me up all of the time anyway, this time I was just more productive than usual. A Skyline would be much worse than this. The Celica I went overboard as I tore off the top of the motor to flush the injectors and clean out the intake manifold along with opening the tank to change the pump filter, just as preventative maintenance along with the new plugs and wires and etc... The Miata I was doing a turret service, engine and drive-train service, along with replacing things like the pedal pads and adjusting the throttle body and clutch just because they weren't just right. Not to mention I busted my ass buffing out the single stage paint and waxing it. All of this within the first week or two. I have incredibly high standards when it comes to my cars and I won't stop until everything is to my satisfaction. I would say the only way to avoid this would be to buy a brand new car, but even then probably not.
Box
Well after hooking up the advance to full time and readjusting the carburetor it's much better now. It actually reaches operating temperature now, and doesn't take forever either. Was running at 165 and now runs at 190... So you can only imagine how much fuel it was dumping to make it run that much cooler... Oddly enough it never smoked or bogged down. Needless to say it feels much more powerful now, and might actually get a little better than 6 mpg. tongue.gif Anyhow, I'll be changing the plugs and oil ASAP as I'm sure the plugs are fouled something fierce and the oil has to be contaminated. See, this is where my OCD comes in handy.
Bitter
Ha, yea I bet.
Box
Now when you go from park to drive or reverse it just takes off, still need to put the new plugs and wires in too. Decided to go with some NGK platinum plugs since the platinum is more resistant to fouling and misfiring, that and some Federal magnetic core wires. Also I put some 93 octane into it this time around and that seems to have helped as well. Once the temperature had increased it started to spark knock with the regular, which I was kind of surprised he said regular was fine but of course now I know as to why it was... I also readjusted the electric choke and now all you have to do is turn the key to on, pump the pedal once to pump in some fuel and set the choke and then you're good to go. Have some Castrol Edge 5W-30 to go in it as well, just need to find a good oil filter to go with it. Will do that along with the plugs etc... all at once. Still need to really figure out a better air filter setup, as going off CFM calculations for filters it's way too small. I found a setup from Spectre that has an aluminum plenum that attaches to the top of the carb, and has a 4" outlet that you can attach some piping to and run it out to the front of the car and use a cone filter. It reminds me of how the Chrysler TBI V8's were set up. I imagine it's a good deal better than the traditional open element filter. Once I decide on the rims I want and put some good rubber onto it I'll probably take it out and see what it'll do at the track. Really need to redo the exhaust too, stock manifolds with 1.75" piping isn't the best for a stock 350 much less a built one. Really thinking about finding a V6 5-speed 4th gen with a blown motor to buy for parts. Could use the brakes, transmission, and seats from it. Would even look into using the rear coil spring suspension to replace the leaf springs. That and if I found one with nice looking rims, could use those too I suppose, Just so many things that can be done, it's overwhelming really.
Bitter
Sounds like it's a whole new car, with it running that well there's really no reason to bother with EFI.
njccmd2002
looks like youre havinn fu with yur project car!!!

once you fix, it dont sell it.
VavAlephVav
up here they only worry about 35% on the front doors. The back windows and rear glass can be painted black if you like. In fact I run 20% on the front doors and nobody really cares.
Box
It really is, after setting it up and putting it into drive it surprised me the first time. It's just astounding how small things can make a huge difference, especially with not having a computer to bandage things on the go for you. I'd still like to do a multi-point EFI, but I don't really feel it's necessary as I'd be doing it more for efficiency than power. I'm excited to see how much better it gets just with the fresh plugs and wires, as it looks like what's on there was just scrounged up... I'll buy headers/exhaust and one of the cold air intakes here soon for it, and that should really help too. Definitely will keep an eye out for a 4th gen parts car, my thought process being the Miata will more or less cover buying one. I really like the idea of modernizing the transmission, suspension, brakes, and chassis while keeping the old school motor.

It is fun, can be aggravating at times though. Mostly fixing previous owners' blunders, which is the most irritating... At the same time there's that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day and knowing you're saving a car that otherwise might have slipped through the cracks. It also helps being a car I've always wanted. I just think they're a great looking car, and with the right touches here and there they really don't look dated at all. I've thought about it and part of me really likes the plain body with only having the spoiler, that and I love the fact it's a hardtop car. No leaks, stiffer body, and sleeker profile. I've already been told by numerous family members that if I ever go to sell it they're buying it. I think this is a car I'll keep forever though. Of course I really need to pick something up that's better on fuel, but now that it's sorted if I can get into the low 20's it won't be so bad.

I'd just like to have the medical exemption so that way I don't have to worry about it. I'd like to run 20% on the sides and back, then have the front done in 70-90% to cut glare from the sun and headlights.
Box
First noteworthy update in awhile. Was going to install a PCV system instead of the breathers, but whatever valve covers(look like Mr. Gasket) are on it now the holes are too big for the PCV grommet. So will have to figure something out there, or buy new covers that're OEM style but just taller. The thermostat that was in there was a 180 surprisingly, but it looked to be pretty old... So I threw in the 195 and a new gasket along with replacing the radiator cap. Then I replaced the spark plugs and wires. I don't know what the Hell, but the spark plugs that were in there were so old the body where the socket fits over were rusted...that and they were so fouled and worn I'm surprised it ran as well as it did. Not to mention one didn't even match the rest of them... Also new 8.5mm magnetic core wires to top it off. Needless to say it runs much smoother and I'm not choking from the smell of raw fuel being dumped out of the exhaust. Now it just smells like old car, which is fine. The only other thing is I replaced the original fuel cap as I figured it probably needed it anyway. The only thing now is to reset the idle speed and choke speed, but it ended up taking longer than it should have. The number 6 plug is a bit of a pain to get to thanks to the A/C condenser, but with enough cursing and arm twisting you get it eventually. Definitely was easier to change the plugs on my brother's with the 301. The next thing to do will be to replace the transmission filter and pan gasket, along with adjusting the shift cable. That and the oil and filter, perhaps the oil pan gasket.
Box
Reset the idle mixture and speed earlier, had to go a whole 1.5 turns richer since doing the plugs and wires to get the maximum amount of vacuum. The brakes work a lot better now, go figure... Gets up to temp nicely and no signs of spark knock or dieseling with 93, so that's good. Definitely seems to run much better now, and sounds healthier when revving it out. Funny how a few small things can make such a difference. The valve covers are leaking, especially on the passenger side. Suppose that will be part of the next plan of action, along with finding some covers that aren't gaudy chrome.
njccmd2002
I tought this car went to clunkers program.
Box
Nah, it just needed help. I have to say it's amazing the differences in a person's idea as to what a great running car is though...
Box
Figured it was time for an update since some noteworthy things have occurred. Up until now I did change the valve cover gaskets and engineered a PCV system, so no more leaks and constantly adding oil. Oil pressure is more stable too, just wish I had felt up to it sooner. Though in self defense the previous owner siliconed cork gaskets into place and it was a total nightmare to straighten out, had it not been for that... Anyhow for recent events I refurbished the air cleaner assembly off a '79 C10 to use in lieu of the tiny open element filter, as it wasn't happy at all sucking in underhood air. Bought a Wix filter to use with it for now and ran ducting from the snorkel down to the front bumper, much happier now. The next thing to do is refurbish the shaker scoop I bought and either finding a shaker hood or cutting out mine. A few pictures:




I wish I had taken some before pictures of the air cleaner assembly, it looked like it had been sitting on the ocean floor for ages. Amazing what a wire brush, some rust stripper, and epoxy paint can do.
Box
Covered some plywood and made a hatrack cover panel:

Think I did a pretty good job considering it was the first time doing something like that. At the least it'll look a lot better than the velour or whatever that was thrown up onto there.
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