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Everything posted by Kiwibirdman

  1. It's my birthday this weekend. If I'm still driving it in 26 years I'll be 80, faaaaark! I wonder if we will be able to get petrol in 2048.
  2. Thanks guys. Its crazy that I have had it 26 years. Next year it will be half my life. I'll let the boys fight over it when I die.
  3. Writing this up has caused me to think about how much has been done so far. I had the gearbox rebuilt. Ever since it went in the change from 4 to 3 would not go without double clutching. Up changes were fine and down changes for all other gears were good as well. I took it to a guy in Puke that @cletusrecommended. He asked what was wrong and explained and said otherwise box was quiet and changed well. He said that while it was apart might as well do all the synchros and bearings. When I picked it up he said that it was amazing that any down shifts worked and all the bearings has lost their preload. Amazing that it did as well as it did. While that was out I made a bracket for an external slave cylinder, universal from Rock auto but designed for a jeep, and refitted the original clutch fork came with bell housing. The pedal now has proper travel and is jap car light. It still needs the final adjusting/massaging once I can drive the car. It is light enough for the wife to use OK. Not sure that is a great idea. Also never took any photos, sorry. The next major job was fitting the new back guards. I had been watching a body man from New Foundland in Canada call Fitzee on YouTube. He did some videos on swapping panels and has a system called Cut and Butt. This inspired me to have a crack, working on the theory that the guards weren't expensive and if it all turned to crap I could buy another one. It was also a good excuse to buy a Mig. Here are a couple of phots of the bad guard H Here it is with the guard cut off. Amazing how little rust there was, I was worried what I was going to find. And the final product Here is the other side finished I did the drivers side first. The first cut into the guard took a out of doing, mainly the thought of cutting up a really expensive car. I did remind myself that I have had it for 25 years and it only owes me a about $25k. Once the fit cut was done it was all on. I took my time and it worked out pretty good. For anyone who wants to do something similar here is the link.
  4. Firebird sharn Part 3, About 4 or so years ago I was going to an oldschool Auckkland meet up and backing out of the garage hit the door post. This pushed in the righthand quarter panel. I new it had bog and there we bubbles coming though. Popping the panel out made most of the bog fall off. Since I already had one car in a million bits the Firbird got parked and ignored for a few years. I robbed the HZ Holden brake calipers of it for the EJ Holden, then the brake master cylinder and finally the front wheels. When the Holden was getting close to finished I started ordering bits. From classic industries I got 2 new back guards, both sides had been flared out to clear big tires, a boot spoiler and a bunch of other bits like the proper remote mirror and new badge for the centre of the bumper. I wrote a list of all the things that needed to be fixed, clutch mechanism- get rid of the hydraulic release bearing, better brakes, new front seats-the original drives seat was bent and they were like sitting wooden park benches, fix the rust and paint. Summit racing supplied an external hydraulic slave cylinder, clutch fork and release bearing. In another order I bought a kit to fit C5 corvette discs and calipers. This was from Classic Performance and was based on a new cast stub axle. I like the idea of using factory parts so that pad etc will always be available. Even though Corvettes run 17 inch wheels I had to get 18 inch to clear the calipers. Not what I wanted but I'm happy with the result.
  5. Firebird sharn part 2. Over the next 5 years I slowly rebuilt the car, having a badly paid job that required me to travel a lot meant that I didn't have the time or money to do the car fast. The final push to get it done was getting married and it was the wedding car. It got finished in time, 350 Pontiac, not an HO motor but I found a 4 barrel manifold and put an Edelbrock 600cfm carby on it and with a set of headers it went well. It also had a turbo 350 auto with a hi stall converter, a set of SS Cragars and it was pretty cool. Here is a photo from our wedding day. Over the next few years we used the car off and on. Once the kids were born it didn't get used much when they were small. Also with the autobox, high stall and 3.23 diff it did about 2700 rpm at 100 kph. That is not much for a jap 4 cylinder, its half way to the red line on a Pontiac. It was noise and thirsty and not much fun on a trip. About 10 years ago we went to see my wifes family in Holland and I drove my brother in-laws left hand drive manual station wagon. This changing gear with the right hand isn't a bad idea, I wonder about the firebird. Not long after we got back I found a Pontiac bell housing and flywheel, then a T5 out of an 1989 TPI Camaro and a friend had an 11 inch GM clutch that he didn't need that would fit. The flywheel turned out to be not a Pontiac, I sold it and to this day still don't know what it fitted, possibly big blog Chev or Oldsmobile. I bit the bullet and bought a new fly wheel, hurst shifter and a hydraulic release bearing. The release bearing was a bad idea, i couldn't get enough clearance and I blew the seals out of it twice. Other wise the manual swap was a great success. I had always wanted a manual V8 and in 5th gear it was doing 1850 rpm at 100kph. It will happily go over the harbour bridge at 1250 rpm in 5th. The torgue of a Pontiac is awesome.
  6. After more than a year of working on the Firebird its about time to start a build thread. @j.e.d. had been asking. First the back story sharn about this car. I first saw pictures of it in the paper when its was stilling in a car dealers yard in New North Rd in 1986. I remember the car and still have a copy of the advert which I was given when I bought the car. It had been stolen and recovered, minus engine and gearbox and was bashed around with the interior destroyed. Fast forward 10 years and I had not long got back from a 4 month holiday in Europe and was at a friends place when he said we are going to Whangaparoa to look at Peters Firebird, do you want to come. Peter has to sell it, he has run out of money building a new house and wife is giving him grief about his cars. My mates father was thinking about buying it. We went up to the house, opened the garage and found a pile of boxes that had a car buried under them. We cleared it off and pushed this car out side. It was red, on rusty HQ holden wheels, ripped roof, no bonnet, noting in the engine bay, not grill, headlights etc, My mates father walked once around the car, scratched his head and said too much work for me. I had a bit of a rummage in the garage and found the seats and boxes of bits. It looked like it was pretty much all there. We pushed it away and went home. When I got home I found a Pommy Hot Rod magazine that I bough while I was on holiday. In the cars for sale section was a 1968, 350HO Firebird Convertible. Strangely I had been drawn to that car when I bought the magazine. A couple of days later I rang Peter and said is the car still for sale and if so how much. The answer was yes and $12k. Sounded fair enough to me so I said it going to take me a couple of weeks to get the money, I need to refinance my mortgage and add a bit more. Bank came to the party and 2 weeks later the car was mine. As an aside I got a call about a year later from a reasonable well known Whangaparoa Hot Rodder asking if I owned the car and if so how much did I pay. Yes I own it and paid $12k. This guy, who was known for dicking people around said he offered $15k for the car. I guess I got a good deal and it pays not to stuff people around. When I collected the car I went up with a car transporter one weekend and go the car, filled with parts, and back the next weekend to get the rest of the parts. Peter had got a lot of good bits out of really well optioned 400HO coupe that got written off. This included a nice black delux interior, power windows, remote mirror. The deal included a 350 Pontiac in bits, a 400 Pontiac that needed a rebuild and actually got swapped for a running 350 Pontiac out of another car that was being turned into the written off 400 HO car. There is a yellow firebird out there which isn't quite what it is portrayed as. I also have the original bonnet off that car, but that is another story.
  7. Those gauges are awesome. What are they?. Also are you planning to keep the EFI on the 304. @vk327 does a brilliant job on the loom and his mate in Palmy sorts out the computer for not a lot of money. The 304 in my EJ goes pretty hard and is amazingly good on fuel. Also starts immediately after sitting for weeks.
  8. Paul Vazey is a good bugger, knows his stuff and drives a pretty mean super stock as well.
  9. I bought belts with lift up chrome latches from Seatbeltsplus in the US. No problem with certification and USD20 each per lap belt.
  10. The interweb says "can be made to fit" Sounds like can be done but be prepared to stuff around. Lots of Pommy Ford stuff is close, Capri struts are meant to be a close fit as well. Waste some time on old Pommy HotRod forums where they did all this stuff.
  11. Amazing what a few miles finds We were out in it last weekend with a couple of heavy bodies in the back seat. At 50 mph got a vibration out of the rear of the car. Turns out I made a rookie mistake with the diff angle. I had originally set the angle with an Iphone. I bought a proper angel finder and at ride height the diff was 4 degrees down which only got worse the more weight and lower the car got. I pulled the diff and cut off the mounts put it back in and set and welded the mounts again. Test on the motorway was fine up to 70 mph until I took my foot odd the gas and a nasty vibration started. Now driving round to 30 mph or more it is smooth as under power and vibrating on the over run. I jacked the car up sat it on axle stands to see it there was any thing obviously wrong. With the engine running and in gear there feels like a vibration from the diff. The diff is a narrowed Holden Salisbury that I got second hand and apart from the spring mounts and black paint did nothing before putting in. It looks like a trip to the diff shop this week. Also have to fix the UJ hitting the floor, but that is another problem for later.
  12. After nearly 18 years of ownership, the EJ wagon has number plates, a current Rego Sticker and a new WOF. Getting through compliance ended up being a bit of a mission. The repair certifier passed the floor repairs and was very happy. The back of the car was fine as it got covered off under the modifications to get the fuel tank in. The only issue was a repair to the back of the roof that wasn't up to scratch. With Christmas, long weekends, Covid and all the other shit going on in the world I was 2 Days over the cut off for recheck. The VTNZ guys gave me a bit of grace and said it would be OK if it all passed. Since God wants me to pay in blood the back brakes were out of balance. It drove me to distraction trying to get them sorted. Ended up being one of the return springs has lost its tension, causing the right hand drum to drag and the brakes to apply unevenly. Autolab in Henderson didn't have a spring kit in stock, I tried everyone else that may have one in stock, Repco, Supercheap, BnT, Partmaster NAPA........ The only springs I could find were at RareSpares in Christchurch. Ordered and turned up 4 days later, which was Friday last week. Replaced all the springs in the drums both sides over the weekend and reminded myself why I love working on Drum brakes...not. Took it back to VTNZ on Monday, paid for the full recheck and got the phone call this morning that it had passed. Picked the car up and then went to AA Takapuna for a set of plates. This evening took my sons out for the first legal drive, Birkenhead, down to the motorway, over the harbour bridge and down the motorway to Greenlane and back home via a mates place in Northcote, My thoughts, its fricken awesome. Plenty of power, will spin the tires with ease, sits nice and flat through corners, sits very happily at 60 mph and has heaps left. Still some finishing off to do, there are some interior bits to finish and some rattles to find. all minor stuff.
  13. Good caravan. I have a 1982 Cavalier 520, same van with lovely 1970's dark brown interior. Trailcom in Manuaku have all the Trojan parts and the prices are pretty good. The wheels are definitely ford stud pattern, I put some Rostyles on my van last year. Be careful with the weight distribution when towing, the standard 165/13 tires are marginal and too much weight out the back will cause some underwear testing moments. Happy to caravan Barry at any time.
  14. I am currently using John Hindmarch. He seams to be fairly pragmatic. PM me for his phone number
  15. Tridon have a listing for escort fuel cap TFL217. Supercheap should be able to get you one for about $30.
  16. Looks good. I have an engine stand in the garage you are welcome to borrow.
  17. Finally got round to taking it down for compliance. There were a few other minor issues, back brakes dragging, handbrake needs improvement, one ball joint not great, and front windscreen doesn't have the standard mark and the speedo bounces round at low speed Biggest issue is I had never got a repair certifier involved before it was painted. I have got a certifier involved who has been really good, fundamentally it is OK except for a repair that was done above the rear hatch. I have spoken to the panel beater about it. He is booked solid until after Christmas. Over Christmas I should be able to get the inside of the floor fully painted, sound deadening in and carpets fitted. That should cut the noise inside right down. It is fun to drive round, I might have to put a better fan on the radiator as it gets hot sitting still, no problems as soon as it starts moving. Not a lot of space on either side of the radiator.
  18. If I can get it registered and get out of Auckland yes.
  19. Looks alright in the photos. I would put it together and do some miles, have some fun. It's too easy to have a project that carries on and you never to ride (drive) it I'm up for a ride, if you don't mind triumphs.
  20. Once the Holden cam home from the certifier it got parked and pretty much ignored. I started on my Firebird, the wife gave me some budget after Americarna and then I bought a new to me motor bike. I really should start a build thread on the Firebird.
  21. Funnily enough I was about to drag this thread up from the dead. After the car came back from the final cert inspection it got parked with a cover over it and ignored. A couple of days ago I fitted a horn, adjusted the bonnet stops and got it ready for compliance. Its booked in tomorrow, so wish me luck. To answer your question, it is not possible to used a booster and keep the original brake pedal location. I used the clutch pedal and bent it over to the right and then used a commodore automatic foot plate and rubber. This has to be TIG welded and the crack tested. The 7 inch booster does bugger all, at some point I might get an 8 inch dual diaphragm and swap it out. I also ended up stealing the master cylinder off my 1968 firebird because it has exits on the right hand side and is very narrow. The bolt pattern on the booster is standard GM. Also to get a brake light switch I used a Willwood distribution block with a light switch and built in proportioning valve. To pass the brake test I had to get some really good pads and the proportioning valve is not used. I guess I could wind it in for doing burnouts. Send me a PM if you need any more info.
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