Jump to content
Forums Gone... but not forgotten!
  • Welcome to Forever Pontiac

    Welcome to Forever Pontiac, full of great ideas for Pontiac performance, maintenance, or for peer-to-peer assistance from Professional and DIY mechanics. Also, compete in our Pontiac monthly competitions. Please register if you'd like to take part.

Kurk_Kurk

My '78 Firebird Esprit

Recommended Posts

This seems like a good place to post a log AND receive feed back incase i do something dumb. Here, we have my Firebird, passed down from my grandmother so i'm the second owner. The earliest photo i have of this car is from the rear diff repair after a very bad accident one night about 4 years ago. Note the black door. over the years, i've changed it up and pretty much ruined the car. I've always wanted something unique, hence the teeth, L88 hood and phat tires. 

Now it's about time i tear it all down and start over the right way. The car will be built up to handle corners and the ETC. Hopefully i'll have it on an actual road coarse after all is said and done. 

Before i do anything custom to this car, i need to weld in new rear sub frames, floor pans and try to straighten the body again. Afterwards, i plan to twin turbo the 355ci engine i have because i'm aiming for 650hp or somewhere around that place. I would like a QA1 suspension upgrade as well and lower it about 1". Oh, and thicker tires. 

 

In a few days, i'll have the car in a carport tent and the building will begin. 

DSC_0059.JPG

PSX_20180128_165707.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tired of these Ads? Register Today!

Sounds like it will be quite the build! Look forward to seeing more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Ringo, I can't wait to see what you do to it.

One question -I realize the answer is probably cost related and how deep your wallet is, and that is a good answer.

Have you considered putting an entire new chassis under your car? Schwartz Performance has a entire chassis, not just subframe connectors for the 70-81 F-bodies.  I think an entire chassis would be much stiffer and responsive and better suited to the amount of horsepower and suspension parts you want to through at this car to make it a G-machine/autocross beast. Food for thought.

http://www.schwartzperformance.com/1970-1981-f-body-camaro-firebird-chassis-full-frame/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Frosty said:

I'm with Ringo, I can't wait to see what you do to it.

One question -I realize the answer is probably cost related and how deep your wallet is, and that is a good answer.

Have you considered putting an entire new chassis under your car? Schwartz Performance has a entire chassis, not just subframe connectors for the 70-81 F-bodies.  I think an entire chassis would be much stiffer and responsive and better suited to the amount of horsepower and suspension parts you want to through at this car to make it a G-machine/autocross beast. Food for thought.

http://www.schwartzperformance.com/1970-1981-f-body-camaro-firebird-chassis-full-frame/

I've actually looked into that a while ago. It was a first step sort of thing but the price tag is $5k and im most likely going to be using the Spit'n Glue bank after i weld in those damned sub frames.

However, i figure some homemade frame connectors could do the same thing anyway keeping the body stiff as well as some small roll cage. Right?

 

Welp, i wrote that before clicking the link because my naive mind thought i knew what you were talking about. That price is way more than the frame chassis i found for the 2nd gen Fbody. If only i could remember where i found that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trust me, I understand the limits one's wallets makes on the best of projects. Most of us haven't hit the lottery and can ill afford a six or seven figure car.

I'd go with a pre-fabbed subframe connector kit from a reputable supplier in order to save yourself a lot of pref-ab work time. Ditto on the roll cage - especially if you don't have a tube bender - get a kit made for your car that someone else did all the engineering work. You will have enough work ahead of you just installing both kits and tweaking the interior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yea, I've got enough work alright. i don't even know how to weld yet, but im going off the metaphor "pushing spit with a stick" ontop of that welding, i gotta find new body panels, trunk and floor pans. Just found all that out recently. I even have a huge hole behind the driver side red marker light that shines through to the trunk. The rear fenders around the wheel are rotted, good thing i plan on a small, custom wide body design. 

i got a carport tent coming in, so i can set that up next week and get the car out of the rain and potential hurricanes for the season. I'll be throwing down a large heavy duty tarp to park the car ontop of, since i can't park on direct grass because moisture. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kurk_Kurk said:

Oh yea, I've got enough work alright. i don't even know how to weld yet, but im going off the metaphor "pushing spit with a stick" ontop of that welding, i gotta find new body panels, trunk and floor pans. Just found all that out recently. I even have a huge hole behind the driver side red marker light that shines through to the trunk. The rear fenders around the wheel are rotted, good thing i plan on a small, custom wide body design. 

i got a carport tent coming in, so i can set that up next week and get the car out of the rain and potential hurricanes for the season. I'll be throwing down a large heavy duty tarp to park the car ontop of, since i can't park on direct grass because moisture. 

Plan on investing in a bunch of welder's blankets too then. If you are going to be doing a lot of this work outside in a car port, you have to protect your car and your neighbor's cars from stray sparks that could set things on fire. Good thing that virtually all the body panels you need are reproduced these days too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have been doing welding and fabrication for 40 years.....Everything from paper thin aluminum to six inch thick Core 10 structural steel.....Would highly suggest that you take a basic welding class at a local community college or something before even attempting to start...With the thin galvanized metal most cars are made of it is really really easy to do alot of damage really really quick...Would be time and money well spent plus you can use it to make money.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TWO LANE BLACK TOP said:

Have been doing welding and fabrication for 40 years.....Everything from paper thin aluminum to six inch thick Core 10 structural steel.....Would highly suggest that you take a basic welding class at a local community college or something before even attempting to start...With the thin galvanized metal most cars are made of it is really really easy to do alot of damage really really quick...Would be time and money well spent plus you can use it to make money.....

I agree with Two Lane on this one. Guitarsextreme (a.k.a GE) makes money, from time to time, by building Model A, Model T, and '32/33/34 Ford roadster chassis on the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean i have welded before and i did pretty good with a mig welder on my first try so i doubt it could be too difficult. Ill be starting with small body panel patches to get a feel for what I'm doing. 

I found a problem already though, at 15-25 mph i have a weird side to side wobble out the rear end. I have no idea what can cause this since all its done is sit for 2 months. The only thing i can thing about, is the one wheel with 3 lug nuts holding it on. Hmmmmmm.

I'll also be posting on instagram if anyone wants to see more of the bird's current state. Just find kurk_kurk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Tired of these Ads? Purchase Enhanced Membership today to remove them!
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.