New year and new developments in perspective. It's cold in the garage despite 7°C ambient temperature, i can change some things (but i must stay motivated!).
Other changes under the hood, we can see now a new oil dipstick, which is shorter than the original version. Indeed, as the air is gone, the gauge no longer necessary to be as long.
The original damper (balancer) has given way to a PIONEER. The A/C pulley has been deleted.
A March tension rod is installed to get an easier adjustment and looks much more fun.
The expansion tank is replaced with a 77.
My central console was replaced with a used one from a 79 firebird, mine is broken and with cigarettes holes (smokers sucks). this one was burgundy. So I painted it with black paint Foliatec, specially designed for this exercise. The finish is remarkable, it looks like it's new! So, I moved the tach which was on the console to the steering column.
The radio hasn't been neglected and is now better integrated by changing the deck to install the new unit, i had to plug the huge hole left by the previous unit. The dashboard has a metal frame, mass become a problem because of the mounting screws were in contact with the ground of the radio. I had to isolate these screws so that the post can operate normally. There are still some small finishing to make in this environment.
Stock liquidation allowed me to get a pair of RECARO seats. Since the time i dreamed of being able to replace my current camaro seats, completely shapeless and worn, it's done now. When you can combine comfort without altered the style.
Still dragging on Ebay, I managed to dig up the famous "block off plate" which is the location of the flashing of the model 1974. Thus, the indicators so far this place has now returned into the grille, as it should be for 1975 Firebird.
The fine weather has come slow, but no matter the ongoing work! The big change is the 15" wheels abort. I use my PONTIAC throughout the year, and what to drive it when come rain or cold. The problem with 15" tires is that there is no rubber (approved) soft enough for a proper grip in these conditions. I made some good scares in wet road and even rolling like a snail, the fault in engine torque, the weight of the car, no positraction control, and tires !?!?! Pro-touring tendencies make nolonger any doubt so i mounted four 17" wheels diameter. The heavy (not rich enough to put alloy wheels...) series 397 CRAGAR wheels in 17x8 and 4.5" back spacing are equipped with Hankook Ventus K104 245/45/17 tires, rear are 17x9 and 5" BS and 275/40/17 with same tire brand. The last reason of this change is that since i have my PONTIAC, i hated those fender flares !!!!!
Of course, now there is bodywork to do and it goes without saying that i will lower the suspension, because this looks like a "buggy".
A big vibration problem on the rear of the car has always irritated me.
At first I thought it was due to extra large wheels (those were 10" wide) that could have been obscured. Then I thought about the drum brake that could be warped and gives the impression of being unbalanced; inadvertent seizure of the left rear wheel in severe slowdown. the drums and the pad are almost new (Thanks Nono). the springs have been changed like the rear wheel bearing (thank you again Nono!). Braking is better distributed and rear wheels lock comes later. I would add probably a valve to reduce brake pressure and rear brake finally have a perfect split, but later.
But unfortunately it still vibrates and I discovered that the shaft is twisted with almost 5mm of fall in the middle... Another consequence of hazardous drive from previous owner #!!#"%%???? A little research on the camaro-firebird.com forum, a member told me a good place to rectify my axle shaft. Fearing my axle shaft is too curved to be correctly remade, i swapped my old rear drum brake shoes in good condition against another axle, much less damaged (thank you Rene!). The following week, i went to machine shop. the result is a half hour job to straighten and balance the other shaft! Once the axle back on the car, i hurried to try to feel the difference; result, far fewer parasitic vibrations, a good job I really recommend do it! but the problem is not resolved...
Big work in the cockpit with the relining of the headliner and black painting of the upper part of the interior and the sunscreen they were original burgundy) as I did for the central console with painting Foliatec.
LURCY-LEVIS, 27 and 28 May
DULAMON DRAG RACE
Again this year, forbidden to miss this rally, to judge the performance of my new Formula after modifications.
Despite a much less favorable weather (clouds, low temperature ...) the perfs are here. I make 3 runs to get back in his legs and re-tame the Christmas tree. Thus, in the early afternoon I'm ready and I improve my time significantly compared to last year with a 16.699 sec (don't laugh!). Glad I continued and the sun has finally make an appearance time. The temperature rises and i did my best time in 16.604 seconds and better reaction time 0.389 sec. As a reminder, last year I made 16.943". Some of you may think that earning 0.34 sec is really nothing, but knowing that I did not add any hp motor through a cam or other exhaust, but simply "recovered" those who were stolen by the accessories, I found the result very satisfactory. I have to remain modest.
All my runs : 16,782 - 16,699 - 16,788 - 16,604 - 16,781 - 16,827.
Little fun, i made a taking with my MP3 player voice recorder attached to my rear license plate. This is not clean but it's better than nothing. I will try to find a better place next time as the microphone is too sensitive.
Installation of a MARCH crankshaft aluminum pulley to replace the original pressed steel, which wasn't running very round.
A new grouped order at Summit (thank you NEO) gives me something to do, namely a pair of short Hotchkis springs -2" for the front, a pair of -2" lowering blocks also for the back with polyurethane shoes. I had to remove the traction bars because of ground clearance, which is now too limited for our speed bumps and sidewalks.
After 360km (220miles) of national-road driven at reasonable speed ....(between 100 and 130km/h (60 - 80mph...) where speed limit is 90kmh (55mph)), I established my new record for fuel consumption with just 14.2 L/100km (16.56mpg). When you consider that my average is more around 17L (13.8mpg) in heavy foot mixed routes...
Considering the condition of my covers cylinder heads, a small refreshment was needed. A good session of sanding followed by a coat of primer and blue metallic unglazed paint (purchased in auto center) gives a good facelift to the engine. It does not take much to make it really attractive. Time will tell whether or not if this painting held the heat.
The upper water hose was showing signs of weakness for a long time (it inflated with the pressure and was cracked), now replaced by Goodyear one.
Late in September is the breakdown ... the heater core decided to give up the ghost after 30 years of good and loyal service. The problem is not the price of the parts (around 50$), but the installation because it isn't an easy access. Meanwhile, i bypass the circuit by connecting the rear of the engine block to water pump. It's not really the best season for this kind of failure.
An auction on Ebay allowed to offer me a "Formula" steering wheel (+ hubs + horn) that fitted my Firebird from the factory (it was an option). The appearence is more in accord with the interior than it was with my GRANT steering wheel.
As when ordering in the U.S. it's best to buy several items to save on postage, i took my order from National Part Depot to add to the heater, various things such as full horn contact, alternator insulation wire, a tranny O-ring and some other parts that will be installed later.
The problem for suppliers of repro parts, we don't find all the parts and they aren't at the same price at the same place. therefore it's necessary to order in various stores. So, a parallel order was placed at Classic Industries to get a warning button, the silent block heater/frame, sub frame bolts, screws for my glove box and a pedal pad + entourage of brake.
Receiving the parts and installation of silent block radiator support also with some difficulty due to screw completely rotten ..
All tie rods were worn. So instead Moog Brand New ones, followed naturally by an ajudtement of parallelism, finally setting a particular pinch. The front setting will be complete later...
Synthesis of new parts:
- water tank
- oil dipstick
- drums + wheel bearings + springs
- alternator rod
- formula steering wheel
- wheels and tires
- crank puley
- U joint +
- front spring
- upper water hose
- tie rods
Total miles traveled for 2006: 5520km. (3430miles)
© birdfire 2003-2013 for all documents and pictures of my Formula.