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BB_454

76 Firebird

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My sister has a 76 Firebird she would like to fix up, its got a 400ci motor, I think it would be good to set it up with fuel injection, should be more streetable, better fuel economy and the fact its going to be different from what everyone else would go with. Any suggestions as to what vendor to go with? I looked at Holley, I didnt see a kit for a pontiac, would a chevy sb kit work? So much I dont know about this stuff I guess. Thanks

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I haven't seen what's involved part-wise with the Holley FI kit, if it involves an intake manifold (which I don't see how it couldn't, then no; a SBC kit will not work on a Pontiac motor. Chevy & Pontiac V-8 parts do not interchange.

A good-condition & well-tuned 4bbl set-up is in no way less 'streetable' than a FI set-up- take it from a guy with as many miles under his belt in carb'd vehicles as FI.

Check:

http://www.nitrostreet.com/efi.html

http://www.amesperf.com/

or ask on the boards at:

www.classicapontiac.com

www.performanceyears.com

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I haven't looked into it lately, but the Holley Pro-jection setup was a throttle body type EFI and used the existing manifold back when I was considering it. Whatever system you go with has to be a match with the engine though - I wouldn't try to fudge it, you'll likely be sorry if you do.

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I'm not as "techy" as some of these others but 76 Firebird caught my eye. The 75 and 76 F-Birds were the best looking ever, IMHO.

I'm a purist. Stay with the carb. that came with it. I don't think a 400 c.i. from PMD was ever mated to TBI, but a 350 probably has been...and my thought would be that only Chevrolet ever did that match up (their small block V8 + TBI). If you did make the switch, you would want to stay with a similar (GM compatible) system and do some looking around to see if a big block Pontiac V8 could accommodate it.

Also, what state are you in? You know that some states (especially out West) are real touchy about modifications which impact emissions. However, I would think a single port TBI system ought to be inherently cleaner running than anything with a carburetor.

Good luck! That is a fine looking vehicle.

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The only Pontiac motors with FI were in '57-58. There are no more Pontiac V-8s after '81- the rest were Chevrolet/corporate motors.

I was thinking more of PFI; TBI should be doable on a PMD intake. You need to tap into the enthusiast base (because a few undoubtedly have done it) and you will get your answers. Again; it's really not overly cost-effective or of particular benefit unless your sister is going to hold on to her 'bird for many many years. There's a mountain of advice & experience available making a carb system work like butter & extremely little retro-fitting TBI to a PMD mill. Your choice.

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Your sister has a '76 Firebird?!?!

With a 400?!?!

What's her number? :AH-HA_wink: :lol:

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The biggest advantage of FI is for great cold starts and better efficiency. The reason Pontiac V8s aren't around anymore is that they couldn't be cleaned up enough even with FI to meet emissions standards.

Pro-jection is the cheapest way to go and will be noticably better than a carburetor with the advantage of richening the mixture while advancing the timing to get more HP. It will also run better on cold days. It all depends on how you set it up and program it.

Port fuel injection would be better and I have done it using a SBC kit and putting injector bungs on a Pontiac manifold, but it was expensive and a bit of work.

You could also get a complete setup from a boneyard and adapt it to a Pontiac manifold as mentioned above and save some money. You'll need the computer, wiring, sensors, and engine hardware. Plus you'll need to adapt all of that stuff to work on an older Pontiac and fab up a custom air cleaner housing to work with the intake tubing and MAF or MAP sensor. Lotsa work, but cheaper in exchange.

In the end you should actually pull the smog heads off of her motor and puton some older #16s or something to get her compression above 10:1 and you'll find some real power to play with. As cool as her car is the engine is actually a dog due to all of the emissions restrictions back then before the companies knew how to make clean horsepower.

The 400 is a great motor and if built right can truly scream. Have fun!!!

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>>"The reason Pontiac V8s aren't around anymore is that they couldn't be cleaned up enough even with FI to meet emissions standards."<<

You know the reason is that the 14th floor pulled the plug on Divisional Engineering and implimented the "corporate" motor; why even post the above?

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I'm correcting myself. While Chevy may have mated small block V-8s to TBI in the 80s and 90s, Olds was doing it to their 350s when borrowed to power the traditional looking Seville of 1975 +. I just saw a late 70s Seville this pm and though about this. (Chevy also did it to their Vortec 4.3 V6 which is an exact 75% slice of their 5.7, or 350).

At any rate, I can never think of any time a PMD V8 was hooked up to TBI from the 70s onward.

An idea for a thread would be the visual cues to distinguish each division's motors - say the 350s from Chevy, Olds, Pontiac and Buick...aside from any obvious labels on the air intake assembly.

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We live in Texas now, originally from the Detroit area. She isnt the kind of person to work on the car, thats something she assumes I will do. Im not the brightest tool in the box when it comes to mechanics, and I know less about the offerings of vehicles made in the 70's. I think with temprature changes and changes in humidity a FI car is goin to be easier to start up and drive than a carburated one. I dont know anything about tuning the needles on a carb, but once FI is set its good. Not to mention that once the cars finished I think a FI setup would look rather impressive on something that old, I dont see a lot of guys doing it. But more or less you guys are saying their isnt going to be any kits laying around for this motor, and nothing is interchangeable with a chevy engine etc. She might just be stuck with a carb. I wont give out any numbers lol, but here is her myspace; http://www.myspace.com/jacktheripper4535 Thanks anyway.

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Ironically, it might be easier to transplant a modern drivetrain (LS1 for example) into the car than to retofit the 400. The aftermarket is starting to really make this a relatively painless swap. I'm thinking that I'd like to do a similar project someday.

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>>"I think with temprature changes and changes in humidity a FI car is goin to be easier to start up and drive than a carburated one. "<<

While there may well be a measurable difference, please be advised that it is by no means difficult to start a well-tuned carb'd car regardless of the weather- cars & trucks were only carb'd for like 80 years or so. You do not fuss with carbs regularly- they don't care to sit for a few years without running- but beyond that they are hands-free.

I drove 2 different 28-ish yr old cars with 4bbls as daily drivers thru some very tough Jersey winters- no motor/carb problems whatsoever. I rebuilt the one since it sat for at least 3 years, but the other, which sat less than 1 yr, I never touched. It's not an issue.

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summit has been wrong many times but this supposedly fits pontiac 400/6.6L

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.a...15&autoview=sku

I wouldnt buy it as you can see if you get the carb tuned up right it will be fine since $2200 is a little much to think about for a FI conversion kit done right with considerable Torque gains. Also its a TPI system.

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Right, it is expensive. Im not sure whats shes willing to do anyway, was just a thought I guess. If its going to be this difficult to find a FI kit I guess shes going with a carb setup, unless shes willing to do a LS7 swap. :):booyah:

Anyone know where she could get body parts? More specifically a front bumper, hers was pretty tore up in the front right corner. Dont know if I want to attempt repairing it.

Edited by BB_454

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Too much effort, too little reward. EFI is over rated.

That's just my honest opinion.

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classicalpontiac.com & performanceyears.com both have active classified sections. poci.org should, tho I don't know offhand if it's in fact online (I get the monthly as a club member). There's always ebaymotors, of course.

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