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Old 01-31-2021, 08:34 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Default How to ID the later Formula hood

Good evening. I have a hood acquired with a bunch of other Pontiac parts. It's a Formula style hood. Steel with the two hood scoops recessed in the hood panel. (not the 70-75) style. I looked at a bunch of threads and there is no consistent agreement about what years are the same. Some say 76-81 are all the same. Others say 76 is a one year only hood. How can I identify? Thank you .

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Old 01-31-2021, 08:36 PM
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76 is a one year hood for sure. 77+ is flat hood


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Old 01-31-2021, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave M View Post
76 is a one year hood for sure.
Yep.

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Old 02-01-2021, 12:49 AM
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OK, appreciate the two responses that indicate the 76 formula hood is unique and a 1 year part. Now for part 2 I guess. How do I identify it from a 77-81 version of the formula hood? When I google up images of each year 76-81, the formula hoods all look the same to me . To folks who are into these models , this post might seem stupid, but I have minimal knowledge of the post 74 models as far as the body features. Just never paid much attention to them. I want this hood to go to a good home and want to identify it correctly. Any specific identification features? I have looked at hundreds of images, at least 7 threads on PY, and all the aftermarket catalogs I could find. No reliable identification info. Thanks, appreciate the information.

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Old 02-01-2021, 02:33 AM
Aus78Formula Aus78Formula is offline
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Not just that, the 76 Formula hood goes with the single round headlight fronts of 70-76, the 77-81 hood goes with the square double headlight fronts. The nosecone matches the hood front and headlight format so you can't swap between early and late without changing the front end.
The 76 scoops are almost half way back and rounded. There is no confusion with original fitment, only front end swaps.

Bugger it, links...

70-75 style Formula hood:

https://express-images.franklymedia....rd-Formula.jpg

76 Formula hood:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3c/34...098488189e.jpg

77-81 Formula hood:

https://img.hmn.com/fit-in/900x506/f...la_01_1000.jpg

A 79-81 hood also has retainer holes for radiator support seal, 77-78 plain.


Last edited by Aus78Formula; 02-01-2021 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:27 AM
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Interesting tidbit on your 1st link to the 70-75 hoods shows what looks like a 1976 Firebird with the 70-75 Formula hood. Which also shows how the hoods will interchange between 1970-1976 no problem.

As said the 77 and up fenders/nose/etc would need changed to use a 70-76 hood.



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Old 02-01-2021, 12:06 PM
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Thanks very much. So many sites and sources say the 70-81 hoods are physically interchangeable. You see that everywhere. Of course, I realized the nose, grills, bumpers all changed over the years but when all these sources say they are all the same it gets very confusing. I see now that the retracted hood scoops with the correct profile to fit the nose would be 1976 only. 70-75 has the long scoops to the front and 77-81 has a different profile at the nose and will only fit 77-81 quad headlight front ends. Do I have that right? Appreciate the school.

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Old 02-01-2021, 07:14 PM
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Yes, you are correct. The 76 Formula hood is unique in appearance. Once you see the differences, it is easy to tell. I have a 76 Firebird and am trying to decide if I want the "correct" 76 Formula hood or the functional 70-75 Ram Air hood.

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Old 02-01-2021, 09:02 PM
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Thanks again. It becomes obvious when you know where to look. Now I know !

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Old 02-05-2021, 08:16 PM
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Here is one to mess up your mind. 76 scoops repositioned more forward on a steel hood. I have a pair of 76 scoops cut out from a donor (bad) hood and part of me really wants to do this set up for my 72. I would do just slightly less forward, maybe.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:58 AM
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To add upon what has been said;
The 1970-1976 hoods all have additional curvature for the single round headlights;
For Trans Am's and base/Esprit models the hood interchange is 70-76.

Now it is worth noting that the 1976 Formula hood was actually a design used during the design/study phase on the 1970 Formula.
The 70-74 Formulas, if opted correctly could have a functional "ram air" setup via the hood as a factory option, but you could not have this as factory equipment for 1975. I suspect that the hood was changed for three reason's in 1976:
1) hood functionality no longer intended
2) different design would essentially refresh the look of the Formula
3) the refreshed 76 Formula hood would act as a transitional design to create model continuity for when the hoods required a redesign for 77.

All the hoods were changed in 1977 because the curvature/recess was removed when Firebirds adapted the quad headlamp confiiguration.
Once again, Trans Am's* and base/Esprit models interchange for 77-81;
The Formula hood now is 77-81*;
* = Both the Trans Am and Formula have one exception during this time, and that applies to 80/81 turbocharged 301 models, and for those cars, the Trans Am and Formula use the same hood, similar to how SD455 Formulas and Trans Am's used the same hood.

I hope this adds clarity to the subject.

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Carousel Red paint on Black standard interior
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Quite likely one of few '70 Muncie three speed Formula 400's left.


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Old 02-06-2021, 11:06 AM
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I just thought that it might be benifitial to add these great illustrations from the 'Fabulous Firebirds' book;
This is post #1
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1970 Formula 400
Carousel Red paint on Black standard interior
A no-engine, no-transmission, no-wheel option car.
Quite likely one of few '70 Muncie three speed Formula 400's left.


1991 Grand Am: 14.4 @ 93.7mph (DA corrected) (retired DD, stock appearing)
2009 Cobalt SS: 13.9 @ 103mph (current DD; makes something north of 300hp & 350ft/lbs)
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 / Ephesians 2: 8-9 / Luke 23: 39-43 / 2 Timothy 3:1-5;12
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Old 02-06-2021, 11:08 AM
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this is the second of three posts:

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1970 Formula 400
Carousel Red paint on Black standard interior
A no-engine, no-transmission, no-wheel option car.
Quite likely one of few '70 Muncie three speed Formula 400's left.


1991 Grand Am: 14.4 @ 93.7mph (DA corrected) (retired DD, stock appearing)
2009 Cobalt SS: 13.9 @ 103mph (current DD; makes something north of 300hp & 350ft/lbs)
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 / Ephesians 2: 8-9 / Luke 23: 39-43 / 2 Timothy 3:1-5;12
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Old 02-06-2021, 11:16 AM
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this is the third of three posts:



So the second gen firebird essentially went through four front end phases, and three rear end phases;

Front end:
1) 70-73; single headlamp; front end blends into hood
2) 74-76; single headlamp; front end blends into hood
3) 77-78; dual headlamp; front end no longer blends into hood
4) 79-81; dual headlamp; front end no longer blends into hood

Rear end:
1) 70-73
2) 74-78
3) 79-81
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1970 Formula 400
Carousel Red paint on Black standard interior
A no-engine, no-transmission, no-wheel option car.
Quite likely one of few '70 Muncie three speed Formula 400's left.


1991 Grand Am: 14.4 @ 93.7mph (DA corrected) (retired DD, stock appearing)
2009 Cobalt SS: 13.9 @ 103mph (current DD; makes something north of 300hp & 350ft/lbs)
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 / Ephesians 2: 8-9 / Luke 23: 39-43 / 2 Timothy 3:1-5;12
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bird72 View Post
Here is one to mess up your mind. 76 scoops repositioned more forward on a steel hood. I have a pair of 76 scoops cut out from a donor (bad) hood and part of me really wants to do this set up for my 72. I would do just slightly less forward, maybe.

Just my opinion, but location looks perfect to me, as the driver side scoop front rib lines up nice with the front of the hood.



Charles

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Old 02-18-2021, 07:51 AM
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To do with hoods, weren't the early hoods up to 76 reinforced much better than the later 77 and on?

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Old 02-18-2021, 07:59 AM
Aus78Formula Aus78Formula is offline
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I think if you found a decent formula hood for 70-76 then you'd go with whichever it was you found. You don't really get to be fussy.

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Old 02-18-2021, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
To do with hoods, weren't the early hoods up to 76 reinforced much better than the later 77 and on?
Not sure about braces, but I would say the 77-up hoods being flat overall would make it susceptible to more flexing and other 'stuff'?

The curves on the earlier hoods would stiffen it at least front to back?


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Old 02-20-2021, 01:21 AM
Aus78Formula Aus78Formula is offline
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Moving and blending the 76 hood scoops, you effectively end up with a 69 TA hood!

Apart from its obvious rarity and value today, I'm not terribly a fan of the original TA looks.

Formula hood scoop evolution by Aus78Formula, on Flickr

The 77-81 hoods have a few notches in the bracing to assist in being the area where it kinks during a smash. I'm not sure if that's the case with other years as never owned one or looked that closely. So it may not be a case of better reinforcing, but changed design for a purpose. They often have cracks just forward of the hinge mounts too where there is a large cutout for drainage, or to assist collision perhaps, but it is obviously a flex weakness made worse with bad hinges. I've owned 3x 77-81 hoods and 2 had it. Again, not sure if this is a feature of other years. A TA hood with a giant hole in the centre would likely flex more than the same version in non-TA, not because of the sheetmetal but the full bracing which remains.


Last edited by Aus78Formula; 02-20-2021 at 01:31 AM.
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