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A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Old 02-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Detroit Speed said it best
Stance is Everything!

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Old 02-06-2019, 07:51 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....


It was a kick to photograph your GTA: simultaneously a beast and a work of art.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:20 AM
  #53  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

What a great week. I stumbled onto thirdgen.org and found a great group of people who love cars.Just my type. Better still, they all love 3rd gen F-bodies, and even better, FIREBIRDS! Definitely my comfort zone. When you do a build like this, of course you want to share, all those years spent thinking about how it would work best. The years spent road racing invaluable. So great to hear from DynoDave43, BizJetTech, scooter, TTOP350, T.L., TEDSgrad, KentuckyKITT, straightbuchana, Steve86TA, Big&BadGTA, dmccain, backtothe80ís, Mongoose, batman, Degweiser, RKeats, Aviator857, Thirdgen89GTA, Buddy, HEIDTS, StreetLethal, Drew, Wookiee, QwkTrip, zman1069, Abubaca, and 1henry.What an awesome bunch! Thank you all for the welcome.

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Old 02-07-2019, 09:39 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
What a great week. I stumbled onto thirdgen.org and found a great group of people who love cars.Just my type. Better still, they all love 3rd gen F-bodies, and even better, FIREBIRDS! Definitely my comfort zone. When you do a build like this, of course you want to share, all those years spent thinking about how it would work best. The years spent road racing invaluable. So great to hear from DynoDave43, BizJetTech, scooter, TTOP350, T.L., TEDSgrad, KentuckyKITT, straightbuchana, Steve86TA, Big&BadGTA, dmccain, backtothe80ís, Mongoose, batman, Degweiser, RKeats, Aviator857, Thirdgen89GTA, Buddy, HEIDTS, StreetLethal, Drew, Wookiee, QwkTrip, zman1069, Abubaca, and 1henry.What an awesome bunch! Thank you all for the welcome.
Thank YOU 427seven.....your build is incredible, a real treat for all of us !!
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:42 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Wow!!!!! What a build!
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:55 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
What a great week. I stumbled onto thirdgen.org and found a great group of people who love cars.Just my type. Better still, they all love 3rd gen F-bodies, and even better, FIREBIRDS! Definitely my comfort zone. When you do a build like this, of course you want to share, all those years spent thinking about how it would work best. The years spent road racing invaluable. So great to hear from DynoDave43, BizJetTech, scooter, TTOP350, T.L., TEDSgrad, KentuckyKITT, straightbuchana, Steve86TA, Big&BadGTA, dmccain, backtothe80ís, Mongoose, batman, Degweiser, RKeats, Aviator857, Thirdgen89GTA, Buddy, HEIDTS, StreetLethal, Drew, Wookiee, QwkTrip, zman1069, Abubaca, and 1henry.What an awesome bunch! Thank you all for the welcome.
Every time I get an email on my phone saying there's a new picture in this thread, I always have to take a peek. I think I speak on behalf of everyone here when I say we're glad you joined TGO BTW, if you're ever in the mood to re-do everything again but on my 91, don't hesitate to reach out
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
I'll do the lights soon.... There isn't much available for lights, I had to fab boxes and fit lights into them. I'm working with a printer to design and print the boxes, have to finish drawing the plan for the printer.... Too many things to do, not enough time....
I've always thought I needed to redesign the turn signal box to incorporate a laser jammer diode. The wood piece is the dimension of the diode and could become a piece of the box itself for a very stealth install. Would not lose much of the amber lens and most would never know. Just needs to be water tight. Just thinking out loud



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Old 02-07-2019, 12:16 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Printing is a whole new world for parts production, I was introduced to it several weeks ago when I wanted a 2DIN radio plate. I found plans on the internet, obviously somebody already had that need. The finished product is unbelievable. Its raw, needs bodywork, but I've seen finished examples that perfectly change the console, a look that it should have had. Adios 1.5DIN, forever!
For what you're talking about, there are tons of guys playing around with these things (printers) now, by the looks of the stock signal box, printing one that incorporates whatever changes you want would be straightforward bc you have one that fits that you could use for a template. The factory lens can be adapted or you could have one plastic formed.... Fun stuff.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:19 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....


Just a few short years ago....... My first firebird.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:20 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Hopefully somewhere down the line (after the kids and such) I hope to do a thorough reworking of my own car that will hopefully fall somewhere in the area between this one and either Detroit Speed's Camaro or Hawk's Moe Dirt.
Saving all these pics for inspiration .
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:22 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Haha - the Bandit got Smokied!
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:26 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Ya, had a little interaction with a Dart Swinger that got noticed..... BTW, the Dart owner is now building an impressive 84 that I'm helping him with....
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:43 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

BTW, how do you like the Heidts IRS? I drove the first prototype mule when they were still developing it for the 3rd gen.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:20 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Speaking of fuel access, there's no replacement for it, after you pull the rear end and the tank a couple of times, I wouldn't have it any other way
Well, the "stock/Original" crowd does have a point....being how close we scrutinize survivors, but for ME.....it's not about the hole as much as the mindset of the person who opts for the quick and easy way out. Makes you wonder what else was done the quick and easy way. You however...........I would buy your car. I see no corners cut. In fact you add corners just so you can do 'em the RIGHT WAY!!!! Cut away.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:21 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

I have not seen the HEIDTS unit outside of pictures, but you gotta love that they're doing it. Right off hand a major plus would be that you don't have to cut the unit frame out of the car to use it. That's worth a lot. I built my first IRS car with the Y body RE using the same method, I fabbed brackets to bolt the unit to the existing frame rails, I ran out of room for the wide tires. IRS has some advantages, being able to adjust the camber is probably more of a plus than the handling is, these cars do pretty well with a live axle. It is a nicer ride with the stiffer settings than the live axle is, but put the camber together with a wide sticky tire and hang on.

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Old 02-07-2019, 03:11 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....








Still have a few pics from the front suspension and the engine. I wanted to build my own harness, this is what I had to work with. I think GM builds their harnesses on an assembly line for the parts bin, some full size 3/4 ton van could have the same harness as your Camaro if the options match. I ended up with over 30 pounds of harness extraction..... The Engine is a MOTOWN aluminum block that I put my own stuff in, EAGLE forged rotation, 6" pm rods, JE pistons. Topped with AFR heads that are fully CNC'd intake, exhaust and valve chamber. The ports are raised for better flow, so the intake had to be modified LOTS. Welded upper and lower and HOGGED out to match the huge ports on the heads. The engine was broken on the Superflow, it was only run to 6000rpm as it had an unported intake and a 750 VS holley on it. It still made 500ft/lb at 2400rpm. With the modified intake and 50 pounders it goes over 600hp at the crank. Sounds BAAAAAAD. Video coming soon.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:15 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....







More.....
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:26 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

If any one ever wondered what difference an aluminum engine and fiberglass hood makes, some of you will know what this means..... For those who may not, total weight 3040, rear weight 1497 which leaves 1543 in front. 50.8% of the weight in front, far cry from the 58% we started with.....

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Old 02-07-2019, 05:08 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

I'm about to order UMI weight jacks because the front sits high with the aluminum block on stock WS6 springs so I can balance my cars stance. Nut I haven't weighed it. Yours is probably a little better balanced. With the near 50% weight ratio and the IRS I want to see it on a autocross.... Need to set up a YouTube channel so you can share clips
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:37 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Do you have finished pictures of the interior after all that work?
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:23 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Beautiful. The dedication really shows in the work.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:36 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by Aviator857 View Post
I'm about to order UMI weight jacks because the front sits high with the aluminum block on stock WS6 springs so I can balance my cars stance. Nut I haven't weighed it. Yours is probably a little better balanced. With the near 50% weight ratio and the IRS I want to see it on a autocross.... Need to set up a YouTube channel so you can share clips
Having the front adjustable is such an advantage in these cars, especially if you want to run them low. I went with airbags, I adapted a stock K member and A arms, combined with BELL Tech 2`` drop spindles. Awesome! Altered ride height at the flip of a switch. Because the bags are the same size as the springs, everything else around it fits without alteration. So much easier to work with when you have to take it apart. And if you want stock, just switch it back.


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Old 02-08-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
Having the front adjustable is such an advantage in these cars, especially if you want to run them low. I went with airbags, I adapted a stock K member and A arms, combined with BELL Tech 2`` drop spindles. Awesome! Altered ride height at the flip of a switch. Because the bags are the same size as the springs, everything else around it fits without alteration. So much easier to work with when you have to take it apart. And if you want stock, just switch it back.
Who's bags are those? The air ride bags install instructions say the stock spring pockets need to be enlarged with a grinder, I'm not a fan of that.....
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:03 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by scooter View Post
Do you have finished pictures of the interior after all that work?
The interior has been in and out many times, and I don't have a good pic. As it's the middle of winter, the car is on jackstands getting more stuff done (working on an aluminum A-arm front suspension) The whole interior, all the little plastic trim pieces are covered in black leather, they look stock but feel and sound much different, the seats are Corbeau with 5pt harness and the steering wheel is a flat bottom FR. As soon as I can get some pics I'll put them on.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:04 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
Who's bags are those? The air ride bags install instructions say the stock spring pockets need to be enlarged with a grinder, I'm not a fan of that.....
Firestone dual convoluted, they fit with room to spare.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:06 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
Who's bags are those? The air ride bags install instructions say the stock spring pockets need to be enlarged with a grinder, I'm not a fan of that.....
You have to buy the bags and fab everything, if you buy into a kit, they are usually built for many applications and they tell you to grind.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:07 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
Firestone dual convoluted, they fit with room to spare.
Good to know, I need to re-vist this idea now.....thanks
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:09 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
Who's bags are those? The air ride bags install instructions say the stock spring pockets need to be enlarged with a grinder, I'm not a fan of that.....
If you look at the picture of the front suspension, you can see how much space there is around the bag. I just went to the wrecker and got a k member and some a arms, glass beaded them, welded mounting plates and fit the bags. That way you still have yer stock stuff from yer car.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:48 AM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
The interior has been in and out many times, and I don't have a good pic. As it's the middle of winter, the car is on jackstands getting more stuff done (working on an aluminum A-arm front suspension) The whole interior, all the little plastic trim pieces are covered in black leather,
Thanks. I was curious to see what you did with the rear panels and your new wheel tubs.

I ask all this because I started a C4 IRS in my car 7? years ago. I got as far as cutting out all the stock 3rd gen and lost interested to go on to other projects. Seeing yours, and others here, I have gotten the bug to get back to mine. I like the WIDE rear tires, and have been thinking about putting different tubs in mine, but I don't want to deal with the interior panels too much.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:12 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post
Having the front adjustable is such an advantage in these cars, especially if you want to run them low. I went with airbags, I adapted a stock K member and A arms, combined with BELL Tech 2`` drop spindles. Awesome! Altered ride height at the flip of a switch. Because the bags are the same size as the springs, everything else around it fits without alteration. So much easier to work with when you have to take it apart. And if you want stock, just switch it back.

Yes, having the front adjustable is huge (Have swivel cup WJ's) . I'm a big believer in drop spindles if you can find them - even saved close to #2 over stock!.
BUT, I hear the sound of air escaping out of the bag. Just don't agree with bags in a performance application. With your background in RR, I didn't expect this. I'm not trying to take anything away from you or your build. Everyone has the right to go their own way, just puzzled by it considering all the other excellent efforts in the build. At least it can be easily removed. I can disagree with one thing and still like the whole It's your car and your opinion that rules the day.
What size wheel do you have up front?





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Old 02-08-2019, 12:29 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

For just racing I agree, this is primarily a street car. I hedged a bet by using all a/n fittings and braided line, not a problem yet. If I had to run at the outer edge all the time, I'd have hard parts. The wheels are SIMMONS Racing, 10.5 fronts with a 275 35X18 in front, a 12.5 in the rear with a 335 30 X18
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:31 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

also, there is a new front suspension coming, chrome moly K with aluminum a arms and coil overs....
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:28 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

RE: Thanks. I was curious to see what you did with the rear panels and your new wheel tubs.

There is nothing more cool than ultra wides under the stock sheet metal, as long as it's combined with a more or less factory stance. I'm not a big fan of tubs for huge slicks, but the road race look really appeals to me. Before I cut, I tried to figure out exactly where I wanted to end up, and plotted a course. There were three MAIN objectives, Build it the way they should have, (using parts that were at least similar to ones available during the 80's) use as many stock and off the shelf parts as possible (to make it reproducible), and keep it looking as stock as possible (both interior and exterior - no big fender flares and $100K interiors. As the rear end was available and even tested by Pontiac in the 80's, it was a motivating factor. The reason I used an original small block design was because that was what was available then. GM was selling aluminum versions for racing, and they not only are capable of sick horsepower, the weight distribution and overall weight loss made it a no brainer. It spawned so many other little side projects because once you have the car apart like that, you want to get it ALL done. That's one of the reasons it took so long.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

RE: Thanks. I was curious to see what you did with the rear panels and your new wheel tubs.

When I decided to build a modified back half, I first cut a small hole and worked my way out, constantly mocking it up. I wanted the interior floor to fit exactly where the stock one did, so the when I mocked it up, I started with consumable material, thin wall square tube steel and wood, Once I had it all figured out and mocked up, then I built the final framework out of regular mild steel and chrome moly. It surprised me how well everything fit, the rear end went in as if it were built for the car. The stock fuel tank and fuel lines, brake lines and all that went in nicely. As you can see from the attached pic, all of the interior panels were used in the mockup process, and with the carpet in, it largely looks like nothing has been done. Except for the trunk well, that was used to accommodate the battery and mufflers (underneath), and the fact that there is no longer a back seat. The roll cage was built with just enough clearance for the stock interior panels, plus just enough room to get them in and out - for service purposes. I also built enough capacity in the framework so that the car could have all the performance equipment, I don't want to just cruise this, I drive it! The engine oil cooler and trans cooler are mounted in the rear to help weight distribution (see attached pic) . When you're in the front seat as a driver or passenger, you have pretty much a stock view down that really flat hood to a world that's going by - really fast if you want it to.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:32 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....






RE: Thanks. I was curious to see what you did with the rear panels and your new wheel tubs.

Over time I will showcase the whole thing, It will never be finished. There will always be things I want to do, so I will. As far as the Y body rear end goes, there isn't one that's prettier. The ladder mounting ears in aluminum, the half shafts etc., when you get under and look at it, it has cool written all over it.
Back to point, I know of guys using 315's without cutting the stock unit frame rails, but that's borderline on rubbing inside and rubbing the fender lips. If you want to get into a 335 or 345, you need at least 12.5" of wheel, and you cant put that under the stock fender. You either have to flare it or tub it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:55 PM
  #86  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....





Constantly getting queries about the wheels. These are SIMMONS Racing FR series, 10.5 X 18 in the front, and 12.5 X 18 in the rear. Very light weight, even the fasteners are titanium.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:27 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Originally Posted by 427seven View Post

The engine was broken on the Superflow, it was only run to 6000rpm as it had an unported intake and a 750 VS holley on it. It still made 500ft/lb at 2400rpm. With the modified intake and 50 pounders it goes over 600hp at the crank. Sounds BAAAAAAD. Video coming soon.
Sweet! Can't wait to see the video! Excellent craftsmanship!! I'm really enjoying the build photos!!
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:19 PM
  #88  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Awesome! Can't wait for a vid!
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:47 PM
  #89  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Beautiful car! The wheels were a great choice. The car sits great. Very sweet. And if you get the UMI weight jacks you're going to love them. I sure do.
but good job on making a killer hot rod!
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:56 PM
  #90  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

All that air needs a great system for getting into the engine, this is a custom 5" tube that starts with a barrel filter in the highest pressure area around the car, just in front of the airdam. It routes through a custom bulkhead in the passenger side battery tray, uses a fiberglass neck down transition tube that reduces the tube size to 4.5". Reducing the tube size increases the airspeed going into the throttle body. This is real ram air.



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Old 02-10-2019, 05:41 PM
  #91  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Well since no one seems to give a s t about moving volumes of air in, I'll show you the exhaust. For a really


low car without going to a custom header, there is very little to choose from. The engine started with some 1.75" ceramic coated SLP's, but there were some issues in this particular application. The AFR heads with the ports raised created significant interference with the angled plugs on a couple of the cylinders, and although appropriate for engines of 6 litres or less, they just didn't flow well enough for a big motor at high rpm. There were also compromises with respect to the primary tube length and the collector size because they were built as a shorty style header. Probably work great to about 6000 with a smaller motor.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:16 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Think everyone is still in shock! Please, continue.. lol
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:56 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Wow, I just stumbled upon this thread, and freaking out! Keep the pictures coming, killer ride!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:02 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

Oh yeah, I read all the updates every time I'm here.

So if the SLPs didn't do the trick, what did?
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:19 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....


The 3rd gen's have an asymmetrical unit body which was necessitated primarily by the offset tunnel for the torque arm. This carried through to the rear of the car where there was further offset to house the spare tire hole in the right rear corner. The whole back of the car (under the sheetmetal) is shifted over leaving little room on the left side for exhaust, and the footwell in the passengers side behind the firewall has been raised to accommodate the catalytics. This asymmetry also causes other problems such as weight distribution. I wanted a full dual so I got a bunch of mandrel bent 2.5" mild steel, and modified the SLP y pipe so that the right and left side were reversed, in other words the right bank header fed the outside pipe and the left fed the inside pipe. In this way I was able to make the exhaust system itself equal in length by looping the right side pipe around under the floorboard where the catalytic converter would have gone. It all fit very well, but that still left the headers and the overall system to small. I measured everything up and concluded that there would be enough room for 3" mandrel bent pipe and took the car to FRANKENSTEINs, a local auto enthusiast and friend of mine. Tommy FRANKE is extra ordinary. The headers he designed addressed the asymmetry by pulling all of the right side pipe for the header up above the level of the valve cover and the left side header dropped down and wrapped around the side of the block. This gave us a big head start towards equalizing the lengths by the time we got to the collector. The whole system is stainless, tigged, and uses V bands everywhere instead of standard bolted flanges. The primaries are 2" that open to full 3" in the exhaust and then to an x, which is modified by Tommy, that exits straight through the super 40's. Modified tips finish it off. The welding is truly a work of art.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:22 PM
  #96  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....







Some exhaust system fab pics.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:24 PM
  #97  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....







and more.....
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:29 PM
  #98  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....







and still more.....
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:32 PM
  #99  
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....


The lowest part under the car is the K member

nasa helped keep things cool inside the car
and finally...
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:35 PM
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Re: A Firebird GTA the way they should have bult it....

As my old Drill Instructor used to say "Mother Fu###ng Outstanding"
I'm waiting to hear about that interesting transmission.

Last edited by Mongoose; 02-10-2019 at 10:38 PM.
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