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Old 08-12-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
The_Blur
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Formula for Badassery: The_Blur's 2000 Pontiac Firebird Formula NHRA Special Edition

Situation
I can afford a Camaro, but I can afford a better one after I pay off my college loans. In the meantime, I'm going to play with my Firebird using the suggestions of my peers and the plethora of cheap F-body parts on the market.

The Firebird needs some work. It wobbles at high speeds, and my guess is that the wheels are out of balance or possibly damaged. The driver side headlight grinds due to a stripped gear, which would be an easy fix if I had any tools.

Mission
Let's make this beast fast. Appearance is less important than performance for this vehicle, so all parts initially installed have to contribute to reduced ETs and faster 1/4s.

Obviously, my Firebird needs some performance and cosmetic improvement. The following is necessary:
  • WS6 or similar hood
  • extensive suspension work
  • tune that will work anywhere I can be stationed

Execution
I know that several of these parts or similar ones and more are available used. Please help me find them!

Here's the plan.
  • Founders Performance Strut Tower Brace $46.85
  • Founders Performance LCA Relocation Brackets $47.25
  • Founders Performance Non-Adjustable Panhard Bar & LCA Kit $120.20
  • Founders Performance Weld-In Subframe Connectors $108.62
  • Flowmaster muffler mated to custom exhaust at Top Gun Performance Muffler $380.01
  • bright lights everywhere, preferably LED
  • Eibach Pro-Plus Kit Lowering Kit (incl. 35mm rear & 25mm front sways and 1.5" drop) $485.00 from TireRack
  • Corvette-style LS1 manifolds or aftermarket headers
  • EGR delete and tune update (incl. approx. 15# weight reduction) $0

I will require the assistance of people with more wrench time than me. I'm not the most experienced mechanic, and I wouldn't mind a few buddies joining me to participate in as much of this build as possible.

Administration
When I do get a spectacular deal with a company or shop, I will advertise them here. I will only do my work at reputable shops and with companies I trust. The prices to beat are posted publicly besides the parts I've listed. If I get a special deal, I won't advertise it unless the company allows me to do so.

The goal is to get most of this work done before the next C5F in hopes of attending and winning against people who can't drive their clearly superior Camaros.

Command
The goal is to complete the entire build before I change commands. I will be stationed as a Student Naval Aviator in Pensacola for up to 2 years.

Last edited by The_Blur; 08-19-2013 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
Bad@ssCamaro
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1976 LT Black/Black 305 V8 (Bone Stock)
1976 LT Black/White 305 V8 (Bone Stock) except for Cragar chrome rims (yep - #2)
1985 Z-28 Black/Black 305 L69 M5(Bone Stock) I know: slow

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CAFE STANDARDS! Get used to them or vote our electeds in Washington out of office...........
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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I can lock it on him, but it won't do much good
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camaro_Corvette View Post
I can lock it on him, but it won't do much good
If you lock this thread, I'm going to end up bumping it wondering why no one ever posts in here.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
If you lock this thread, I'm going to end up bumping it wondering why no one ever posts in here.
How close are our factory wheels to the Firebird as far as bolt pattern... If they will work, I have all four factory wheels and tires ill give you...

If they won't work, you can sell them a use the funds to buy some that will work... They are taking up space in my shop...and I'll never use them again... Fronts have 23k miles, rears have less the eight all tread is still good... And they have been tested to 200 mph...
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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And:needpi cs::needpi cs:
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Worthless thread is worthless
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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Here are your stinking pics!

This first one makes me want to upgrade the headlight and fog light bulbs to LEDs.

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For the love of NHRA, this car needs some mods!

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Take note of the less than awesome exhaust tips. It needs straight pipes.

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This angle is clearly crying for a big snout on that hood.

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Old 08-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Catback Exhaust

Since I'm budgeting a lot of this work, I've found a good catback at the lowest possible price online. Unless someone can beat $250 for an exhaust, it looks like I'll be using JEGS (30419).

If anyone in Pensacola can hook me up with good tuning on a budget, I'll get some headers, too.

EDIT—this exhaust has 2.5" piping. I'd rather upgrade to 3" piping. I'm going to probably talk to a local shop and see what kind of kit they can produce for me.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Blur View Post
Catback Exhaust

Since I'm budgeting a lot of this work, I've found a good catback at the lowest possible price online. Unless someone can beat $250 for an exhaust, it looks like I'll be using JEGS (30419).

If anyone in Pensacola can hook me up with good tuning on a budget, I'll get some headers, too.

EDIT—this exhaust has 2.5" piping. I'd rather upgrade to 3" piping. I'm going to probably talk to a local shop and see what kind of kit they can produce for me.
that looks like a pretty decent exhaust for that price
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
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Can i ask what NHRA has to do with this car?
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Can i ask what NHRA has to do with this car?
It's a limited kit commemorating the NHRA. There were only 215 NHRA Formulas made in 2000.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:31 PM   #13
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B easy To run 11s with just bolt on with that
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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The mechanic at the NEX shop on base said that the wheels were "grossly unbalanced." Mechanics don't use the term "grossly" very often to describe how jacked up a car is, so I was relieved to know that my wobbly drive would be an easy fix. While it was up, they did a Mobil 1 oil change for me, and I picked up some Budweiser Black Crown to celebrate later.

Tomorrow, I anticipate a trip to Top Gun Performance Muffler to help me with a custom catback exhaust. The existing exhaust is pretty badly dinged and disgustingly rusty. It's about an hour away from here, so I look forward to the smooth drive from my newly balanced wheels and the custom exhaust on the way back.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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Earlier today, I stopped by Top Gun Performance Muffler for a custom cutback exhaust build. They took a Flowmaster muffler and modified the outlets to 3" to match the single 3" inlet. There are no fancy tips, a bling-free exhaust. The mechanic indicated that the front portion of my exhaust is thoroughly rusty, so I should keep my eyes open for a good deal on headers and tuning.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #16
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Definitely going to be following this build. Looking for a firebird right now as well. Interested on what you can do with the car. Subscribed.

Will you be at fest?
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lscamaro View Post
Definitely going to be following this build. Looking for a firebird right now as well. Interested on what you can do with the car. Subscribed.

Will you be at fest?
Depending on my flight school schedule, I plan on being at C5F next year with this Firebird. By then, I hope to have some suspension upgrades and maybe some other goodies.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:40 PM   #18
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Here's that exhaust from the muffler to the tailpipe.

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Old 08-20-2013, 01:16 PM   #19
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Tuning can be done at XXX Motorsports in Pensacola. Better choice, hit up Matt@FSP he comes to the area for tuning, did my SS. I'm 40 mins away from you if you need a hand.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #20
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This is causing that horrible grinding.



Here's the fix.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #21
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Now that the headlight motor is fixed, the window motor is dead. I also noticed the headlight bulbs are unusually dull, so those will be replaced, too.

The work is never over.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:03 AM   #22
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Throw some hids in there
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lscamaro View Post
Throw some hids in there
Someday, I'd like to do that. I could do a retrofit with some help later, but I need to see now on the cheap. I've got window motors to replace, and the front part of my exhaust is corroded beyond recognition.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:53 AM   #24
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I'm not sure the problem with the window is actually the motor. Sometimes, I can "mechanically agitate" (punch) my door and it will slowly move. Sometimes, I can get it down an inch and apply pressure with my hand, which will help it move down. I think it might be off its track, so I may open up the door at take a look.

I also have a faded dash. Usually, the dash pad (front part of dash) on these cars fades and cracks, but that doesn't seem to be the case on mine. My best guess it that it has already been replaced since it looks so uniformly black with no apparent fading. In order to correct this, I think I need to paint it, which requires either taping off my entire interior or removing the entire dash. Either way, it's going to be a lot of work.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #25
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I've got a new sound that I'm fairly certain is the timing belt. I need to get that checked out. Also, the gas cap gasket has gone bad and started throwing a code.

I recently used something Mrs. Blur found to shine my dash. It is no longer faded.

I've been trying to find a silver hood to replace my boring stock hood. So far, the best deal I can find is over $600. I guess that's on hold.
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