So I was in the second week of the "fix the sagging door" project.
Flickr photos documenting the car before any work is done.
This weekend I purchased my first muscle car. I believe I'm the fourth owner of this 1973 Firebird 350. (Numbers Matching)
It was built in 1973, purchased around 1975 by the second owner who's done some modifications to the car, then gave the car to his son about 6-8 years ago when he retired from driving.
It's been garaged, and used occasionally but his son just didn't have the time to breathe life back into the car. He always had other competing priorities. So it finally became time to let the car go.
I'm ecstatic to have the good fortune to have been looking for a firebird when this one became available.
Driving my Chevy Suburban with it's Vortec 350, and even my Jeep with it's 360 doesn't compare to the experience driving this car.
It's got 150k miles on it, and it's still meaner than anything I've ever driven before. I love it, you can just smell the gasoline! (Insert tool-man grunt here)
(no really, you can smell gasoline, probably means theres a problem that will need to be addressed, I'll add it to the list)
There's a laundry list of things that this project car needs done, I'll spend tomorrow going through it documenting what I find, and creating my to-do list and prioritizing it.
Priority will be in the order of Safety, Longevity, Appearance, Correctness, then Performance.
This first pass through the car is just going to be to rid the car of as much rust as possible, and as much as practical return it to factory stock condition. Once that phase is done, then I can begin planning for the powerplant and transmission replacements, and requisite changes to brakes and handling the car will require with the beefed up power plant.
And so begins my journey with Bluebird. I think I'll keep the name, I like blue. (It's not the original paint on the car now, but it IS the factory paint color, and when it's time, it will probably be at least the base color when I repaint the car.)
Smog isn't a result of people modifying their cars and putting big engines in them. It's a result of the people who are disinterested in their cars and don't take care of them until they break down.It irks me to no end to see some old jalopy billowing smoke out it's tail end, and I'm not allowed to bore and stroke out my excellently tuned 1998 truck, just because this jerks car is 25 years older and grandfathered in. You can bet my next vehicle will be 1975 or older. (The CA emissions smog cutoff) Where I might have once been satisfied with a 454, I will put in at least a 527 just to spite CARB. CARB stiffles innovation preventing any but the largest of companies from even attempting to bring something new to the aftermarket car parts arena. They are preventing major advances in making the performance aftermarket environmentally friendly. (ok, less hostile) Now they are going to far, they want to ban Black Paint. Not because of any chemicals in the paint, or that producing said paint is environmentally unfriendly, but because of its color. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/carb-so-crazy/CARB should be allowed to set new car emissions standards as they have been. Those vehicles should not be allowed to exceed those emissions standards when smogged. What CARB SHOULDN'T be allowed to do is dictate which products can be sold, installed, or painted onto said vehicles. If I buy some combination of parts that exceed my vehicles emissions, I won't pass smog, I have to go fix it until it does. Simple. If they did that, the market for high performance but emissions friendly car parts would flourish. Innovation would ensue, breakthroughs would be made, jobs would be created (or at least maintained). What next, everybody has to buy a white Prius?That's a serious problem, because I'm not sure how I'm going to fit that 527 under the Prius' hood. (There's a smog exemption for CNG motors, and you can convert a 527)
My truck is a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited. I didn't know when I bought it that it was a rare truck. I was fascinated by it on the first test drive in 2009 after moving to the Bay area from Washington State.
The 5.9 Limited was a Jeep Grand Cherokee produced only for the 1998 model year, having more luxury and performance than that of the regular Limited. Chrysler manufactured nearly a quarter million Grand Cherokees in 1998. Of those, less than fifteen thousand were 5.9s. It housed a Magnum 5.9 LV8 engine with an output of 245 hp (183 kW) and 345 lb·ft (468 N·m) of torque, going from zero to 60 mph (100 km/h)in only 7.3 seconds (Motor Trend measured this at a slightly faster 6.8 seconds), making it the quickest SUV available that year. The performance of the 1998 5.9 L V8 has been surpassed by Jeep only with the introduction of the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, which housed a 6.1 L Hemi Motor. The 5.9 Jeep Grand Cherokee was named the 1998 four-wheel drive vehicle of the year by Peterson's 4-wheel & Off-Road.
It's stock configuration:* Engine: 5.9-Liter, OHV, SMPI V-8
* Horsepower 255 @ 4000 RPM
* Torque (lb-ft) 350 @ 3200 RPM
* 0-60 MPH 7.0 seconds
* Brakes (F/R) Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS)
* Drive Train Front-engine/all-wheel-drive
* Transmission Four-speed automatic
From: North American Grand Cherokee Association (NAGCA)
The 5.9 Limited was advertised as the "Worlds fastest sport utility vehicle" in advertisements that Jeep ran during 1998, and that was borne out by testing. A 1998 press release by Chrysler stated the following:Differences between the 5.9 Limited and the 5.2 Limited:* A stronger 46RE transmission than the 5.2 L with a heavier output shaft
The following is a summary of changes to Chrysler's engines for 1998: In the 5.9L V-8 engine (Grand Cherokee, Dakota and Ram pick-up, and Ram van), a new camshaft adds up to 15 bhp and the torque curve is widened to provide more responsive performance in the normal driving range for all models. In addition, specific to the Grand Cherokee, 15 degrees more spark advance (which requires premium fuel) and a 25 percent reduction in backpressure makes a total increase of 25 bhp over the current 5.2L engine. The cooling fan motor is now electric, eliminating a power drain of up to 20 bhp. The performance increases of the greater spark advance and electric fan are some of the main reasons the 5.9 Limited performed so much better than the other Chrysler trucks with 5.9L engines. The magazine test results were impressive:
* Quadratrac heavy duty NV249 transfer case
* Standard trac-lock rear differential
* An electric fan
* A high-output 150A alternator1998 Jeep 5.9 Limited (Motor Trend Jan/98):
* 0-50 - 4.90 sec.
* 0-60 - 6.80 sec.
* 0-70 - 9.20 sec.
* 60-0 Braking - 126.00 ft.
* 1/4 Mile - 15.20 sec.
* Slalom - 58.40 mph
* Skidpad - 0.74 g
Things I've done to the truck so far:* Tune up with E3 Spark Plugs
* Replacement Mopar High Performance spark plug wires
* Replacement Rotor and Distributor Cap from Mopar Performance
* K&N FIPK Cold Air Intake
* Doug Thorley Headers (aka Mike Leach headers)
* Flowmaster SUV 50 Muffler
* MSD High Performance Ignition Coil
* Overhauled the rear end replacing axles and differential bearingsBig props to Craig Hill and his crew at Top of the Hill Performance Center http://topofthehillpc.com/ who straightened out the botched exhaust install from another shop and installed the headers for me. Fantastic professional job. Doug Thorley Headers also gets some props for going above and beyond the call of duty to support their customers. http://dougthorleyheaders.com/Next on my todo list: * Get it Chassis Dyno'd http://www.dynocom.net/
* Take it to Infineon Wednesday Night Drags http://www.infineonraceway.com/raceway/race/wednesday_night_drags/
* Go to Bonneville, and get it into the 130mph club. http://www.bonnevilleracing.com/130-mph-club.asp