’79 Firebird Formula

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The Firebird was purchased in 1984 and has been pampered since that day. Early ’90s the original 301 engine was trashed and replaced by a decent 400. Forged pistons, Crane cam, Headers and an appropriate Quadra Jet carb were installed.

The car’s original two tone grey paint went dull and the car was repainted in Rosso Chiaro.

Since then the car was hardly driven and spent most if its time in a barn. After moving to a house with a two-car garage it was  time to prepare the car for more street activity.

The dual exhaust was leaking so it was removed. During removal I found out that both headers were in a bad (rusty) shape as well. Next I found that the threads in both cylinder heads were in a bad shape. The decision was made to replace the heads.

So why not take the old faithful 400 out and give it a decent overhaul?

After removal of the engine, the good old TH350 came out. After many years of trouble free service it was about time to give it a good overhaul.


In the mean time new parts arrived.


The engine bay is almost empty and waiting for a clean-up.

The engine was repainted Pontiac Corporate Blue and new ARP main studs were installed


The original oil pump came out and was replaced by a new Melling unit. Yes, the pick-up was tack welded to the pump body.


Yesterday I found an old picture of the Formula (right) made at the Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard. Must have been in the late eighties. The Trans Am (left) is still registered too.

The Edelbrock 72cc heads with Comp Cam Magnum rockers were test fitted for correct geometry. The standard push rods can be maintained.


Some brackets, hinges and pulleys have been blasted and painted semi gloss black.

The subframe after cleaning waiting for a new coat of black paint.


Worn rear body mount bushing (left)





New Bushing installed.





Whitsunday 2012 was very well spent. The subframe received a fresh coat of black paint.


Good old Brasso Polish Wadding was used to bring back the luster to the airco lines and canister.

Today (May 7th 2012) I cleaned and painted the firewall.


The Steering Gear and some more parts were cleaned and painted


In the meantime the engine was re-assembled.

A new Brake Booster, Master Cylinder and Proportional Valve installed. Also the Sway Bar came back in with new Tie Rods.


Today the double flared brake lines were installed.

Quick-Ratio steering box installed





The TH350 received a TCI shift kit for improved shifts.



Transmission ready to go back in.

The new Powermaster starter was clocked, shimmed and tested.     

Engine bay now ready.






If you ever buy a new Milodon Oil Pan, check it for possible leaks. It happened to Frank and now it happened to me. Glad I found out during priming the engine.



Since I had to wait for some miscellaneous parts before the engine could be re-installed, I spent some time on replacing the drum brake linings and brake cylinders.


The rear-end and the leaf springs will be replaced in the near future. First I want to get the engine back in and running. Install a stainless steel exhaust and drive the car again.

Last day of 2012 was spent well. The engine came back in without any space issues. I feared the new valve cover on the driver side would interfere with the large brake booster. No problemo.

Installed the headers.

Whilst Frank re-installed the engine in the Fiero Dragster today. Gerrit worked on the Firebird. A bracket for the Kickdown- and Accelerator cable was made and the Alternator and the Power Steering Pump were re-installed.


The Airco Pump was re-installed.

A new dropped base air cleaner with a 3″ filter installed. And the 8,5mm MSD pug wires cut to length.


The dashboard wiring was updated and the faulty volt meter replaced.

The headliner replaced.


A first test run was made with some low hanging temporary mufflers.

Last Friday (June 7th.) the Firebird was loaded onto the trailer to receive a new exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers.

The Flowmaster Muflers and H-Pipe Exhaust were installed and some minor transmission issues solved. A bent shifter rooster comb caused a manual valve dislocation. The firebird received the APK approval and ready to hit the road.


Christmas 2013. It is about time to get rid of the good old 10 bolt 2.73 rearend with the open differential. First steps are removal of the tow bar (goodbye Drag Week), the gas tank and the rear sway bar. Removal of the gas tank is required to disconnect the rear leaf spring shackles.



Pretty soon, replacement parts will be ordered and installed.

The open 10 bolt with 2.73 gear will be replaced by a brand new Moser 12 bolt with a Posi. Also new leaf springs, brakes, sway bar, bushings and brackets will be ordered.

New parts arrived:



Now time to measure and order the correct drive shaft with the 1350 yokes.

Gas tank zinc primed and painted:


May 14th. Today I finished the rear and tightened all bolts to the correct specs. A new 1350 driveshaft by Strange was installed.


Traction bars by F.E.R.T. (Frank Eijskoot) are removable to avoid any speed bump issues on the streets. The Biondo line lock was added to the brake system.


New shock absorbers and a Rev Limiter were next.


A set of DOT approved Drag Tires for traction at the Drag Strip..

To make this happen…

Two times in a row Top Qualifier in the EDRS Street Eliminator.