September 6, 2008

Continue reading "" »

November 1, 2006

my car is not a camaro

Occasionally I will hear someone say "nice Camaro"... or more likely, "nice Camero".
I've also heard "check out this purple mustang" and "is that a charger?" or similar.

It's the camero comments that sting. The Camaro is a handsome vehicle, and I very much enjoy it, but my car is a Pontiac, dambit.
I was at Buffaloe tire, getting wheels balanced, and the clerk asked me what year/make/model my car was so he could write it on the invoice. He was looking at my car at the time. I said "1968 Pontiac Firebird". He wrote down "1968 Chev. Camaro"

So, just for the record, my Firebird is exactly like a Camaro... or camero.
Except for the engine, transmission, rear differential, brakes, interior, exterior, it is exactly the same.

We focus today on the rear axles. I have a new one :)
Free Image Hosting at

Continue reading "my car is not a camaro" »

October 28, 2006

Saturday 10/28

Sean and Carlota went down to Florida for the race.
Sean was sans vehicle when he left.

The 323 was uncooperative.
We worked our butts off.
He halfheartedly tried to start the Suprang, but it looks like the coil went bad while sitting.

The 323, after enjoying us doing 4 days work in a day, decided to have no spark, and a shifting problem.

The no-spark seems to have healed itself now.
I think the ECU is based on one of Bill Gates ideas from the early 80's.
As long as all wires are connected overnight, w/o being disconnected/reconnected after trying to start... it then starts and runs fine.
The IGN Coil negative wire goes from a full 5V to properly grounded overnight. Go figure.
According to the wiring diagram Sean bought for his car, the only possible power source I can see to this wire with the IGN key off is from the ECU. The current flow normally goes the other way.
Once it decides it prefers the ground, it runs fine.

So I guess it's opposite from BillyG's. You have to leave it hooked up. Draining out the electrons and re-booting has a depressing effect. Try/fail and let it go into sleep mode for a few hours and it's fine. Maybe it's MAC based ;)

Now i also remember that this thing was blowing IGN fuses when we first got it, then suddenly quit that. WTF?

not sure on the shifting problem yet. maybe got water in the trans while washing... (hope).

other than that, i went out to Chatham County today to work on the brakes of a couple Hondas. Dogs, cats, and chickens took interest, and it looks like the Firebird is getting close to 20mpg hwy. Wow (for a 1968 musclecar).

August 11, 2006


I went for a cruise with Sean.

We picked up Laurie and Jason and went to dinner and dessert. My car doesn't like passengers much right now... we found out. I'll try to remedy that.

Other than that, it went fine. We all had fun I'm told ;) I had fun anyway.
I recieved a few compliments on the car... and not just from my party.

I think it went pretty well for a car which has been through what it has the last 6-7yrs, without being test driven hardly until now.

It has quite a few issues, but it's definitely driveable. I'll be able to somewhat take care of most of the issues w/o spending much more money too. Yayy! (other than what I still owe on the cylinder head and camshaft being delivered from my friends at Primatech)

Continue reading "cruise" »

smiles everyone

i put something new on my car today.

I had to get this first though.

Continue reading "smiles everyone" »

June 13, 2006

still done

Geo's still done ;)
I parked it in the shade and started it early morning after sitting a day. Starts fine.

I sent off a couple parts for the Firebird to be rebuilt. If you recall it had low compression in #4 due to a leaky/sticky intake valve. Not sure the exact cause yet as the head needs to come off to find out. It runs fine, so i want a better head to just swap out when i remove this one to inspect. I'm sending off a higher compression head to be redone as a high performance unit to swap out. Also sent off a camshaft to be reground for higher performance and matched to valves. It should bring my engine closer to stock 1968 performance or better on today's pump gas, given the other modifications done.

Continue reading "still done" »

May 29, 2006

fender gussets

Jason brought his GTO by today with some tire problems. One of the tires was separating. Pretty scary. Sean took pics. Maybe he'll post them.

I finally replaced my missing fender gussets. They disapeared many years ago while the car sat collecting rust at my "friend's" body shop for about a year.
A few months ago I went to install some filler panels, used on the A/C cars for better radiator air flow, when I noticed the gussets they attached to were missing. I'd had the fillers since i bought the car, but I removed them before taking the car to the body shop, and just never bothered to put them back on.

I bided my time and found some gussets cheap (Thanks Yellowbird!), and bought some new stabilizer bushings for the fenders.

First pic is a "before" pic, actually taken months ago... you might remember the post, or find it. It was in one of my first entries.

One of the gussets was cut (did I mention cheap?) so I had to repair it.

The last pic is as done as it gets today. I need to replace some of the bolts with more correct ones. Not because it needs to be a "correct" concourse judged car in a show, but because they look and fit better.

PS, many big pics.

Continue reading "fender gussets" »

May 24, 2006

gas tank emblem

small project.
My fuel tank emblem lost all of its color years ago, before i even bought the car. I could buy a new one... for $50, and it's not even the right one. It looks sort of right, but it's for the 1967 model, so doesn't have the finger tab to open the fuel tank door.
Here's the high dollar replacement:
Mine won't look as good.

Continue reading "gas tank emblem" »

May 19, 2006

but i dont wanna

I switched to an internally regulated alternator on the firebird today. sigh.

I didn't really want to, but I found one on a shelf in the garage. It might have been one i had for the Oldsmobile I used to own.

Continue reading "but i dont wanna" »

It's too big

It can be difficult to find a match when all you have to sort though is arrays of analogous packs.

Continue reading "It's too big" »

May 16, 2006

2006-05-16 19:29:53

I finished up the trailer brakes today.
1st I changed the transmission fluid on the 323. It's all done. The K10 is also all done, and gone. Brian said it drives like a completely different truck (that's a good thing).
I also stopped by the GM dealer to order the last parts for my lockup switch on the firechicken.
The parts counter attendant noticed the ASE certification patch on my sleeve
and gave me a 10% discount. Score!

Continue reading "2006-05-16 19:29:53" »

May 12, 2006

Chicken Converter

I finally got around to wiring up my 'lockup' torque converter in the Firebird... except for 2 more pieces I need to make the vacuum switch work.

The lockup function on an automatic transmission is supposed to save on fuel mileage and keep the transmission running cooler. It basically provides a direct connection between the engine and transmission. In normal operation there is generally a little slippage (like if you have a standard trans and your foot is partway on the clutch pedal, but not quite as significant).

Continue reading "Chicken Converter" »

May 11, 2006

I took a few pics of my Firebird today to post on the Camaro and Pontiac OHC forums relating to ride height. I also finally have the fenders lining up almost right.

First pic is an animation i made a while back ;)

Free Image Hosting at

Continue reading "" »

April 24, 2006


I was supposed to go out to Russell's place of business to do some work on a couple of his 1ton trucks, but he decided he needed to use them instead. Maybe tomorrow...

Instead, i did a couple of small things I've been meaning to do.

Continue reading "shimmm" »

January 26, 2006


Good news everyone ...
You're going to planet stumbles 4, where the intense gravity means you will most likely be crushed by the weight of your own hair.

Well, did a little work to the bird today. Found out the #4 cylinder has slightly low compression. I suspect the head gasket or uneven mating surfaces, though the head itself has many miles since it was redone... by a Belleville machinist who just might be on his way to my 'dead to me' list. It still runs very well, and the rings test good... Plus I finally have the shift linkage hooked up how i like. It shifts a bit too early for my taste, but that is another matter.

Here is a current engine pic. Note i finally got the front cover painted to match the top cover, and i added some cheap little cap nuts to the top bumper carriage bolts. Did i mention they were cheap? And the paint was free! Yayy for Christmas and parents!

I'm of course still missing the support gussets, and need to replace those little rubber deals where they mount... and the belts are on the opposite way from stock...
OH! I got new belts. 3/8" shorter than the ones i had on there which squealed when cold. Now the adjustment slot tightens the belts at halfway, instead of being maxed out with loose belts. Hooray!

Anyway, not much else today. Installed a new thermostat which i should have replaced on prior assembly, and replaced the oil gauge sender adapter... and i got the nightworker at the corner store in trouble with his boss for refusing to sell me beer AND NOT TELLING ME WHY! I think it's because i'm white (trash ;)

I would like to thank my "brother in law"-ish friend Antny, for driving me around today, and all the little people who made this award possible...
hey, where's my trophy?
Plated plastic?