Author Topic: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings  (Read 7001 times)

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Offline 72blackbird

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1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« on: February 08, 2010, 10:28:39 PM »
I'm trying to find out if the Van Nuys, CA plant ever built any '78 Firebirds w/ a 350 or 400 Pontiac V-8. Any information here would be greatly appreciated.

Geno

Offline LOMILETA

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 10:52:49 PM »
I believe they built some 400 cars in Van Nuys, but they were not offered for sale in CA.
1978 TA-462 ci Buick (just sold)
1980 Turbo Formula
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2002 TA convertible

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 02:52:36 AM »
So is it theoretically possible for a Van Nuys- built 78 Firebird to have a Pontiac 350 under the hood? The reason I'm asking is that I have a customer w/ 78 Firebird that has a sick V-6 in it, and he wants to do a V-8 swap. I know I would have to make the motor pass smog, but there's no sense even trying if the smog ref will disqualify the motor just on the basis of the 350P not even being available in a Van Nuys- built car.

Geno

Offline LOMILETA

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 09:13:46 AM »
I dont believe they did a 350p, but they did do a Chevy ( no bad words guys ) 305, that you could try.
1978 TA-462 ci Buick (just sold)
1980 Turbo Formula
1995 Grand Prix
2002 TA convertible

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 10:48:57 AM »
Van Nuys built everything Norwood did.  My 78 Trans Am with a four speed and the W72 400 was built in the Van Nuys plant.  California didn't have regulations against assembling those cars in the state, only that they couldn't be registered in the state.

I also know for a fact that the "L" engine was installed in Van Nuys firebirds.  
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 10:50:43 AM by ta78w72 »

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 11:11:14 AM »
So it's possbile for a Van Nuys 78 Firebird to have a 350P and end up being brought back home to CA. How do you think the smog refs would rule on that?

Geno

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 11:38:13 AM »
So it's possbile for a Van Nuys 78 Firebird to have a 350P and end up being brought back home to CA. How do you think the smog refs would rule on that?

Geno

No problem as long as it has all the vacuum lines connected and the cat still on it.  Just has to pass the sniff test.  The test that will probably fail is the evap test.  Most of the tanks leak.  They don't necessarily leak fuel but the soldier joints aren't tight, especially around the filler tube.  When they pinch off the vent tube and pressurize the tank they don't hold pressure.  You generally need to drop the tank and have the filler tube and vent joint at the top of the tank re-soldered.  But as far as it being a 49 state car, it's no problem.  You couldn't register a new 49 state car, but if it had something like more than 7,000 miles you could.  My W72 four speed passes the smog test no problem.  It even passed the evap test.

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 08:43:48 PM »
ta78,
I still need to get heads for the motor- would 6x-4's be the correct heads for a 78 350P?

Geno

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 10:44:48 AM »
ta78,
I still need to get heads for the motor- would 6x-4's be the correct heads for a 78 350P?

Geno

Those should be correct.  That's what the W72 engine used too, the Pontiac 350 heads.  6X4.  It's in John Witzke's paper on the W72 engine.

Offline Gunner

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 11:06:47 PM »
I'm trying to find out if the Van Nuys, CA plant ever built any '78 Firebirds w/ a 350 or 400 Pontiac V-8. Any information here would be greatly appreciated.

Geno

Mine is a 1978 400 Pontiac Van Nuys cars. I have the builders sheet to prove it.

Gunner
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Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 03:18:56 AM »
My customer wants to go with a 403, but I still like the fact that there are 77-78 Firebirds and T/A's in CA that were built w/ pontiac motors in Van Nuys, sold around the country, and even some made it back to CA. It gives me hope for the '76 T/A project car I still have, that I can put a Pontiac engine in it and have it still pass smog.

I'm thinking I'm going to use a 400 block I have , cap it w/ some 6x-8's, but still a stroker kit in it and run some RARE manifolds- think that would pass with a Crower 60916?

Geno

Offline Gunner

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 06:41:13 AM »
I think I should clarify though. My car DOES have a 400 Pontiac in it, and it WAS built in Van Nuys, but it was delivered to a dealer in Chicago.....

Don't know if that helps or hurts your case man........

Gunner
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Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 09:30:24 AM »
Was was in the car originally?  You should be able to put a CA 403 in a 49 state car, but you won't be able to put a 49 state engine in a 50 state car.  What this means is you'll need an air pump on that 403 if it's going into a 50 state car.  By the way, the engine has to be the same model year or newer.  For example, they won't let you install a 1977 403 in a 1978 model year car.

Of course this is what the law says.  Enforcement is another matter.  Also, when you install a replacement engine you're suppose to bring the car to a CARB office to get a new sticker in the door with the numbers on the engine.

This applies only to 1976 and newer model years.

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 11:27:28 AM »
The '78 Firebird has a V-6 in it now, and is a CA car- the engine we're looking at is also from a '78 T/A. My '76 T/A is a 49-state car, and originally had a 400 in it.

Geno

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 12:02:23 PM »
If you run into trouble finding a suitable engine GM sports salvage in San Jose may have exactly what you need.  I'm pretty sure they have more than one K engine in their warehouse.  They pull them out of the incoming cars and hide them in their warehouse to stop people from picking them apart.