#1  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:23 PM
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Default '71 Firebird 535 IA2 Pro-Touring Build Thread

Figured I'd start a build thread for a revival build that's been on the back burner for a while, had changed directions a couple times over the years, as I was distracted with other builds and lack of funds/time to continue.

A little history, bought the car in spring of 1981, I am the 3rd owner, second owner butchered it somewhat, and after totaling my bought-new 1979 Formula WS6 (403 car), was on a firebird kick, and found this car.

Car was an original '71 formula 400 4-speed 10-bolt, Tropical Lime, not sure what the original color interior was, would have to look it up. But 2nd owner changed it to a black interior, cut the original hood for a shaker (yuck), and painted it gold which looked like he did it in his back yard.

Original 400 was gone, 2nd owner put a junkyard 350 2bbl in it to be able to drive it, and not sure of what his long term plans were, but I'm sure it would have not been acceptable even in the days where I was still getting my car-chi going.

I went into the Navy in @Oct 80, sent just about all my money home, while I was in boot camp, I had searched for the car, finished boot camp, got stationed to my training command, went home one weekend and purchased the car, and my dad took the car to local shops to have work done to it by my direction, went home on weekends, and was able to get the car in running condition as-is, but it was rough.

I was able to get the engine somewhat running reliably, and drove it back & forth to training in Millington, TN (from VA, 16-18 hours each way) during the summer of '81. Worked on it at the base 'garage' tuning, fixing items, etc while I was there. I beat that car, off road, field parties, down by the river camping, through major flooded roads during spring rains, you can only imagine...

Decided I was going to go through it before I was deployed (med cruise, Libya, Israel, Egypt, etc, USS Nimitz, fall of '81), pulled it into my parent's garage, and proceeded to gut it. I came back on weekends until I actually deployed.

Here's a pic of once I had got it going, one coat of crappy paint, and some mechanical work done, and how I drove it back & forth to training in TN. This was after training, was stationed in Oceana, VA, and had brought shipmates back with me and we did some DC sight seeing and bar hopping. This was along the river by the national mall, with the 14th street bridge in the background. (I changed the hood to a flat hood, and the body shop without my permission molded a hood 'bubble' on it)

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #2  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:31 PM
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Did my 1st cruise, still shipping as much money as I could spare back home, ordering parts, and had it piling up while I was away.

Here's a couple Navy pics as I was deployed. During my 1st deployment, during the 'Bay of Blood', and the 'Line of Death', we shot down 2 Libyan fighters, and were the 1st to provide close air support to the marines in Beirut. (Marine barracks bombing). Earned 2 battle 'E' ribbons on that cruise.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #3  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:34 PM
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Here's a good pic, one you won't see on the front of the Washington Post, a pick of a stop we did during work-ups, prior to crossing the sea to the Med, we stopped at Ft. Lauderdale. This was back in the day which Lauderdale was known for 'recruiting' for adult films, at a bar with a pool, during a bikini contest, prior to the jello wrestling event. You can see the USS Nimitz in the background....


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #4  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:41 PM
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After that cruise, again, stationed at Oceana, drove home on weekends, and gutted the car, cutting the quarters off, wire-wheeling everything, and using POR-15 on every exposed surface. (OE quarters)

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #5  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:44 PM
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Machine work getting done, I focused on the engine compartment, POR-15 again, and shooting it with engine paint....


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #6  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:48 PM
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Rebuilt the short block, suspension using Rancho III parts, H-O sway bar, poly bushings, sleaned, POR-15, and painted everything, new OE core support, etc...

EDIT: And me back in the day dropping the pushrods in...


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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #7  
Old 12-25-2019, 10:52 PM
3fastgtos 3fastgtos is offline
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Cool car, good luck with it.

  #8  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:00 PM
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Got as much done as I could/wanted, then took it to the body shop to have the quarters installed, front clip installed, and basically the rest of the body assembled and painted. Was a lacquer job, and then started finishing the assembly. Again, while I was in the Navy, driving back and forth (200 miles) on the weekends.

You can see in the one pick I had a cast aluminum Herb Adams VSE oil pan, and followed his direction/mantra for the entire suspension. Did the front spring hanger mod, and added a 9" rear. Keep in mind, this is like 1982/83.

You can also see the new OE front valance. And the finished engine. Also note, Mallory Unilite, Mallory coil, H-O 'sexy hex' valve cover hold downs, and Edelbrock water injection controller on the firewall. (vintage stuff) And the Herb Adams 'Front Structure braces'.


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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #9  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3fastgtos View Post
Cool car, good luck with it.
Thanks! I'm just going over the history now, I haven't gotten to the current build! Have to remember, this all is in the early 80s, and has gone through several versions since then.

EDIT: This is kind of the 1st time I've had a chance to do a time line on it, to give an idea, the engine about to go into it is number 13!


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #10  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:16 PM
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So originally, I did a top of the line Alpine stereo in it, and Recaro seats, with a Hooker Show Chrome 4 point roll bar. I've had a number of people offer big money for the roll bar, they were only made for a few years. Also had the rear seats recovered, and did new door and rear quarter interior panels, as well as a '79 T/A dash. Also did a modified '79 headliner, filling in the areas for the retractable shoulder belts (the 73 one piece headliners were not available at the time)

Doors have the early braces for the side impact laws...

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
The Following User Says Thank You to HWYSTR455 For This Useful Post:
  #11  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:21 PM
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Looking forward to this one!

  #12  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:25 PM
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In the late 80s, a lady pulled out in front of me, and I T-boned her at like 30mph. Wrinkled the fenders, hood, nose, and core. Insurance co totaled it, because replacement parts were unavailable, they paid me out 13k, and bought it back for $500. That allowed me to fix it, and used OE fenders, core, hood, valance, and I found a usable endura.

Oh, forgot to mention, when I did panels before and had it painted lacquer, I had bought OE T/A fenders and hood, got rid of the 'bubble' hood.

Here's a could pics...1st one is the lacquer job.

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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #13  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:37 PM
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The original 9" I put in the car was boogered up in the accident, I replaced it with a rebuilt 10 bolt, grenaded it, put another in, grenaded that one, then a 3rd, went to a 12 bolt, then another, and then when money became available, did another new 9".

Once that 9" went in, I was on like my 8th 400 (late 80s/early 90s), and decided to do a 455. An aircraft mech buddy of mine said he would build one for me and ended up doing a solid roller, 70 4 bolt block, SD 421 rods, and he ported a set of '70 64 heads. He also port matched a Offy 2x4 intake, and built a pair of AFBs for it.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #14  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:43 PM
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Did the Trans Am Nationals in '91 with that setup, and struggled with a '69 Formula 400 for 3rd, ended up with 4th, and that's a no-recognition spot, 3 of the judges drank with me later and said they were on the wall with it...

Pic night before I left for the nationals:


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #15  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:46 PM
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Gotta pick this back up tomorrow, beat & tore up, hope I'm getting the timeline right! Heheh!


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #16  
Old 12-25-2019, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator67 View Post
Looking forward to this one!
Thanks, me too! Last time I drove it was '99 East Coast Power Tour, I will post pics! So I'm anxious, miss this car, it was my original hot rod...

As a spoiler, the current build is a 535 IA2, Northwind, Round E-heads, Sniper XFlow, HyperSpark ignition, APT Extreme TKO-600, fresh 9" with Tru-track, full Global West CAT 5 suspension, Baer 14/13" brakes. I was close on the Procharger build, I will post pics and explain...


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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #17  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:09 AM
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So mid-90s, lots of stuff happened, but highlights, got the car painted again, this time a color change, and went with a '98 Dodge Durango color, Chili Pepper Red Pearl. I was pushing to get ready for the upcoming, first ever Power Tour, which was the '99 East Coast Power Tour.

Went to 17" wheels, freshened the suspension, and put another 455 in it. On top of this version of my 455s, decided to do port injections, and a popular offering was the Accel DFI gen 6, had an intake converted with bungs and rails, and a Accel throttle body. I thrashed and got the car done in 9 mo, working long hours to get it done for the tour, which was from north of Boston to Panama City Beach Florida.

Barely made it, caught up with the tour in western VA as it was passing by, stopping once at an Accel 'EMIC' for some refinement of the tune on the new ECU, a place west of Richmond.

Here's a few shots of this version...

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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #18  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:17 AM
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Some Power Tour shots...

One's on the highway in southwestern VA/Carolinas, some on the beach in Daytona, and then the final stop, Panama City Beach, which is the pic I used pretty often. May have seen these over the years...


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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #19  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:25 AM
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Came back from the power tour and basically tore into it again, and wanted to do a blow-thru engine. Was at a point I needed an engine for my daily driver, so swapped the 455 over from the T/A, and started machine work on a new engine for boost.

Long story short, went through like 4 engines that I originally was building for the T/A by putting them into the LeMans. One was a crank that broke, one was a rod issue, and the rest were high mileage. I would have to go through my receipts, but fairly certain this is #8 in the LeMans/tribute build.

I would actually have to go back through docs in order to get accurate failure and total counts. I know I have to clean up the docs for the LeMans project, so that will be a good start. I literally have boxes and 3 ring binders full of stuff, it's going to be an effort.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
  #20  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:38 AM
HWYSTR455's Avatar
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So in building the boosted engine, originally had a 400 block prepped, had to wait for almost 2 years for a billet crank, Had machine work done on a rotating assembly, had it all assembled & in the car, and then found money to buy an IA2 block. That engine came back out, and swapped everything over to the IA2 block. Not going into all that happened, but that's basically a recap.

Here's a couple shots of the boosted engine together, and in the car. I had once again gone through the suspension (CAT5 leafs, GW front springs), freshened the underside some, got a TKO500, which I later swapped for a 600, new rear housing and center section, hydroboost brake setup, and Baer 14/13" brakes. Designed a custom EFI tank, many I'm sure have seen those pics before here too.

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__________________
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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 463, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...ght=procharger
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
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The PY Online Forums is the largest online gathering of Pontiac enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Founded in 1991, it was also the first online forum for people to gather and talk about their Pontiacs. Since then, it has become the mecca of Pontiac technical data and knowledge that no other place can surpass.

 




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