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Old 01-01-2016, 11:35 PM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default 12.99/$1299. Seeking FREE Firebird !

(I posted when they first announced the Challenge, but apparently my original post was lost in the hack attack)

Because it NEVER hurts to ASK !
I'm GOING to build a Challenge car, and I'm GOING to hit the number, under budget !

So , the first order of business is a car. . . . .
I'm looking for an 82-92 Firebird/Trans Am shell.
Engine, transmission , and rear DON'T MATTER!
So, who's got an ugly roller within 150 miles of Daytona that they want GONE ?
I'd even consider paying scrap value for the right car !
(Scrap is currently $2.70/hundredweight)

The less I pay for the car, the more budget I have to power it !

I have a self-imposed deadline of one year from my original post on this , which was , I believe around April 1st of 2015.
(I cannot confirm the date because the post was deleted) .

I have experience building speed on a budget. Ten years ago, I built an 84 Z28 for the Grassroots Motorsports $2004 Challenge. That event had its competition IN THE RAIN that year, and I wasn't going to even TRY a 400hp car (250 honest horsepower with a 150 N20 shot) on slicks in the soup, so I DNF'd. But subsequently, that car turned an 11.70!

This time, I'm coming in with half the budget, but 35 years experience scrounging junkyards, swapmeets, and interwebs.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:41 AM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default I have a drivetrain

I have a SERIOUSLY budget driveline sitting in my storage unit.
Because I'm a scrounger and a packrat, I actually have FIVE complete drivelines set aside. . . . .but the one I'll be using is out of a 1978 Impala that I bought for $100 back in 2004. Its a 350 with a TH350 trans.
It had an HEI and a factory alloy intake with quadrajunk , but I made some changes/improvements :
Sold factory intake -$40
used Edelbrock performer intake $19.50
(Yup, I MADE 20 bucks upgrading my intake!)
used Holley 715 $30
used Mr. Gasket shorty headers $35
(Headers are off 88 1500 pickup, but fit 3rd gen Fbody)
New dbl roller timing chain w/gears $28
complete gasket set (Speedmaster) $31
A/C spark plugs ( $0.97 on sale, and I stock up!) $8
used, but NEW! cap , rotor , wires $10
Blue silicone $4
Indian Head gasket shellac $3
Engine enamel $7
B&M shift kit TH350 $32
used aluminum oil pan $25
used B&M aluminum trans pan $15
Tailshaft housing from 77 Monza $10
( monza tailshaft housings have bosses for torque arm!)
1987 TransAm GTA BorgWarner 3.23 disc brake posi $125
Driveshaft shortened by Gary's Driveline, Daytona $40
(Impala driveshaft shortened to fit F-body)
U-joints (valuecraft) $9 each $18

That's a solid, strong, TESTED driveline for around $500.

I've got ONE HELL of a chance of hitting this number under budget !

Last edited by RichieTheFixer; 01-02-2016 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:45 AM
carguydennis carguydennis is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 190
Default Lost post...

Yeah, I think your original post was lost when we got hacked by the porn. Sorry about that, glad you are still game and look forward to seeing images and following along.

Dennis/The Janitor
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:06 AM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default The Search continues. . . . . . Near misses.

Been hawkeying Craigslist, Backpage, and the Pennysaver seeking the right (read:CHEEEP!) body the last few weeks .
Had two near misses. . . . .
First I spotted a 1992 Firebird, minor collision damage to left 3/4 front (bumper cover, hood, fender) with a TBI 305 and an absent transmission.
105 miles away , in Inverness. Other than being SMACKED, it looked like a clean car. Bonus? I could put the 305 into my 94 Jimmy 4wd. Asking $325.
But I'm working all week, gotta wait til Saturday to drive to Inverness with the truck and trailer.
Meanwhile, I spot another add ~ and this one's an actual HEARTSTOPPER ~ 1984 CORVETTE, straight body, no engine, bad trans, no dash, no seats, no steering wheel. . ... but the IRS and 4 wheels and tires are still on it.
Plus, I also happen to know where theres a Roadmaster, with an LT1, transmission, and computer with harness, ALSO for $500 ! I could build a competitive CORVETTE for $1299 ! UNHEARD OF !
So I suddenly get "sick" at work, jump in the truck, and head over there . . . . Just in time to SEE a dealer winch it onto their rollback. . . . . .DAGNABBIT !!!
So, back to the idea of the Firebird with the crunched nose!
But, alas and alack, by Saturday morning, its gone TOO !

The problem is Trans Ams are just too popular down here ! Because Florida cars don't rust, 30 year old cars LOOK new, and sellers think even DEAD ones are worth a grand. . . . . .
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:54 PM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default it wasn't FREE, but it was cheap enough!

Finally found a starting point. Not the "perfect" starting point, but it'll WORK!
1988 Trans Am GTA.
5.0 Tuned port, 700R4, 3.23 disc brake position.
I hate that its T-top. Extra weight and more flex in a T-top car..
I hate that its a GTA. HEAVIEST, highest optioned model.
I hate that its a 305. Why order the top-model Trans.Am without the top-model ENGINE?

But the price was RIGHT. $500 bought an arrow straight rot-free, 30 year old ponycar. I love living in Florida, just because our cars don't rust. Their are only two rust spots on the wholecar, both of which are quarter-sized. One on the drivers windshield post, one on the hatch cover. Easy fixes.
The car belonged to a lady of a certain age, who simply got bored with it, and bought a newer Dodge Charger.Her son then took over the Trans Am (but not the title) and used it at the local dragstrip on test&tune nights. Then he told his Mom he.was going to "make it faster, took it into the garage, and disassembled the motor and dash.. . . .
And then he gave Momma the precious gift of a grandbaby. Of course, the grandbaby got all the time, attention, and money.
Until Momma got fed up and wanted her garage back! So he pushed it out into the.driveway
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:13 PM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24

In the.driveway, it quickly drew the attention of the local code-enforcement officer. . . . .
and we all know how THAT story plays out!
So Momma put it on the Craigslist, since the title was still in her name,and I snatched it up.
AAA was nice enough to give it a ride from Pinellas Park all the way to Daytona. 165 miles! I guess investing in the "Premier" membership pays off!

Advantages to it being a heavy, highly optioned GTA?
Well, of course, its got more and better stuff to SELL!
GTA hood, A/C parts, 305 motor (selling it to myself for my 1994 GMC Jimmy 4wd project) 700r4 trans, window motors, lock solenoids, hatch closer, rear wing (its the wrong spoiler for a GTA anyway, plus I have a custom 70s-style rear spoiler in storage I've been dying to use).It also has GTA 16x8 lace wheels with Kumho Ecsta directional tires in very nice condition. Autocross guys LOVE Ecstas,and the LAST set of GTA wheels I had sold for a pretty penny!

Nuff talkin bout it, I'm off to the yard to DO something about it q!

Last edited by RichieTheFixer; 02-21-2016 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:26 PM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default I've got a head-start on disassembly!!/story.php?...&ref=bookmarks

The Trans Am's previous owner had already removed the HVAC system, all the instruments, and partially disassembled the motor. I assume the motor had a bent or burnt valve, because there are only 15 valves in the motor!
This saves me a lot of labor, since I have no intention of running air, nor would I have used the digital dash this GTA was equipped with.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:25 AM
greenpigs greenpigs is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 27

Good luck on this,I mean that in a nice way.
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:19 AM
RichieTheFixer RichieTheFixer is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Worlds Fastest Beach
Posts: 24
Default gonna be a busy weekend.

Sorry about the delays on my car.
Personal drama . Had to put my Mom in hospice, stayed with her til she passed. Then had to make her final arrangements. But now I'm back !

When I pulled my 350 out of storage (where it sat since 2006) found some faint rust on the cam lobes.

Trashcanned that, and ordered a VERY AFFORDABLE "replacement" from Summit.

Gunna stab the cam tomorrow, set the motor in Sunday, and should be making smoke by Monday.
Thank God for Holiday weekends!
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:43 PM
Mr. Sleeper Mr. Sleeper is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Posts: 29

Hey Richie, Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I hope the best for the car and hope to read it's back on the strip and ready for the 12.99 challenge!

Dennis' Camaro sounded wicked, should make that my ring tone.
I'd rather have a bad day at the races, than a good day at work.
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