Author Topic: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings  (Read 7002 times)

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Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010, 04:29:00 PM »
ta78w72,
Would you happen to have their phone no.? There's no salvage yards here in L.A. that specialize in Firebirds.

Thanks,
Geno

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 05:11:30 PM »
There at 408 432-8498

They just got in two 78 four speed cars.  Very rare for California....mostly they have 403 cars.
http://www.gmsportssalvage.com/

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 07:40:53 PM »
Thanks for the link.


Offline Craig

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 09:09:26 PM »
Ummm. I think you guys better double check because none of what was said here is what I was told.

I was told that the engine must be the same as what was available for that model car. For example, if the base Firebird was available with a 403, then you're good to go. If the biggest engine was a 350, then a 350 is as big as you can go on a base 'Bird.

The smog guy also told me that he would have no idea what internals are in the engine. Put in the biggest cam you want, as long as it passes the sniff test, you're ok. He also said that I could put dual (W72) exhaust system on my L78, because it was available on a '78 Trans Am. Again, as long as it pass the sniff test.

ta78w72: I don't think they would know if the engine was a 1977 or 1978 block. As long as the engine displacement was available for that VIN, you're OK.

That's what I was told.

Craig



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Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 09:21:05 PM »
Craig,
You raise a good point- I'll have to check on that before making the swap. Thanks for your input.

Geno


Offline Craig

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2010, 09:22:10 PM »
Sure. I just don't want you to do all the work and then have a problem.
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Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2010, 11:52:11 AM »
They wouldn't, most likely be able to tell the difference between a 77 and 78.  But the regulation is the same or newer model year engine.  It's up to the register owner to provide the proof when the new engine code is attached to the door by CARB.  The smog guy is just a smog guy.  He's wrong about the cam....you've got to pass the test at the stock timing.  You can have any cam that meets the timing spec.  He's wrong about the engine.  On a 50 state car you can install any 50 state engine as long as you install the stock smog stuff along with it (of the same or newer model year).  In most cases it means the transmission also, in other cases it means the transmission and gas tank...along with all the smog sensors...and nothing can be altered.  For example, the filler tube on the gas tank can't be altered to fit a specific application.  It's legal, if you do it correctly, to install a LT1 in a 78 trans am.  I know someone who is doing it and has spoken in length to the CARB officials.

If the 78 had a 50 state engine, he could install a CA 403.  He couldn't install a 400.  He also couldn't install true dual exhaust for the 403.  He has to have an original configuration for that engine.

But don't take my word for it, read the requirements on the CARB website.  I have.  I certainly wouldn't take any advice from a smog guy.

You're the one who should double check what you're posting here because it's incorrect.

Offline Craig

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2010, 12:49:48 PM »
WOW, very hostile. What's your problem? I can't even post on this board without getting flamed. I don't need to double check anything. I'm not doing the swap.

I never said what I wrote was FACT, I said that's what I was TOLD. The smog shop I went to was recommended by the Burbank AAA office. It's who they send everyone to. Why don't you post a link to the CARB info?

So I can take a 1978 Toyota Corolla and drop a '78 Pontiac 400 in it, with all the smog stuff, and it's street legal? Cool.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 12:51:37 PM by Craig »
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Offline jphillips3333

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2010, 03:17:33 PM »
I'm no expert ... here's some links;
http://www.arb.ca.gov/homepage.htm
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/aftermkt.htm
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/replace.htm

Quote from the last link ...
Cams
The manufacturer of replacement cams determines which of their parts are considered replacements for original equipment. These replacement cams are then listed by vehicle year, make, model and engine size in the manufacturer's catalogue. A replacement cam must have exactly the same specifications (grind) as the original part. Cams that have different specifications than the original part require an Executive Order to be legal for street use.

Replacement Engines
Entire engines can be replacement parts. As with any other replacement part, the engine must be identical to the original. If the replacement block or engine is obtained without emissions equipment, all the equipment from the original engine must be installed on the replacement block.
If the engine is not identical to the original then it is not a replacement part, instead it is considered an engine change.
Engine changes are a modification that must meet certain requirements to be legal (please see "Engine Changes").

Engine Changes
Engine changes are legal as long as the following requirements are met to ensure that the change does not increase pollution from the vehicle:
The engine must be the same year or newer than the vehicle.

The engine must be from the same type of vehicle (passenger car, light-duty truck, heavy-duty truck, etc.) based on gross vehicle weight.

If the vehicle is a California certified vehicle then the engine must also be a California certified engine.

All emissions control equipment must remain on the installed engine.

Vehicles converted to 100% electric drive, with all power supplied by on-board batteries are considered in compliance with the engine change requirements. All fuel system components must be removed prior to inspection. For additional information contact the ARB helpline at (800) 242-4450
 
After an engine change, vehicles must first be inspected by a state referee station. The vehicle will be inspected to ensure that all the equipment required is in place, and vehicle will be emissions tested subject to the specifications of the installed engine.


John

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Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2010, 04:11:45 PM »
WOW, very hostile. What's your problem? I can't even post on this board without getting flamed. I don't need to double check anything. I'm not doing the swap.

I never said what I wrote was FACT, I said that's what I was TOLD. The smog shop I went to was recommended by the Burbank AAA office. It's who they send everyone to. Why don't you post a link to the CARB info?

So I can take a 1978 Toyota Corolla and drop a '78 Pontiac 400 in it, with all the smog stuff, and it's street legal? Cool.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to be hostile.  As far as a 1978 toyota, I don't know.  It depends on the car.  I don't know of any regulation that mandates a GM engine can only go into a GM car.  California is concerned about engine systems meeting their emissions requirements.  So, the regulations are usually specific to an engine system.  If the toyota was a 49 state car, then I can see no reason why you couldn't install a 400 but you would also have to install the transmission.  If the toyota was a 50 state car, you couldn't.  But if I were going to do something like this I would check with CARB.

It's all way too complicated and shouldn't be. California encourages people to replace engines with the same type because they realize how complicated it gets.  The reason I reacted the way I did is to make a person think before taking on a project like this.  I did help someone who had already installed a 1979 W72 engine and a four speed transmission into a 1977 California 403 car.  All his money was wasted.  He couldn't get the car through the smog requirement.  It was a total travesty. 

I would caution anyone not to take advice from a smog guy.  Anyone in California should contact CARB before doing such a project.  Remember, the original question was about a California six cylinder conversion to eight.  If it was a 403 to 403...or a 400 to 400, while you're still suppose to go through CARB for a revised door vin, you could probably get through the smog checks with no problem.  But a six cylinder to eight might be tougher.

Again, I apologize if my post came off as flaming you...that wasn't my intention at all.

Offline Craig

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2010, 04:31:02 PM »
No problem. I was also just passing on what I heard and don't want all the work done for nothing.

I originally went to the smog shop because I bought a 49 state Trans Am with the Pontiac 400. I don't want to do a nut and bolt restoration and not be able to pass smog and register it here in California.

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1978 Blk/Blk L78, Auto., 2.56

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2010, 04:36:12 PM »
No problem. I was also just passing on what I heard and don't want all the work done for nothing.

I originally went to the smog shop because I bought a 49 state Trans Am with the Pontiac 400. I don't want to do a nut and bolt restoration and not be able to pass smog and register it here in California.



You should have no problem.  I have a W72 four speed that passes smog no problem.  Kind of rare in California to see a 1978 four speed trans am.

Offline 72blackbird

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2010, 06:23:32 PM »
After reading those CARB requirements for my V-6 to V-8 swap, it seems like a CA 403 w/ all of the smog gear would be a viable option. But would the V-6 gas tank be identical to the V-8 gas tank? I'd imagine that both would have to have the vapor return lines for the CA-spec EEC.

Geno

Offline ta78w72

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2010, 07:21:19 PM »
In 1978 the gas tank wasn't part of the smog system.....although the canister was.  Also, that tank must hold pressure.  So, you're tank is OK, although it will be subject to a pressure test.  I believe the fuel tank became part of the emission systems when they put pressure sensors in the tank.  If the tank loses pressure...like you don't replace the fuel cap, the computer throws a code or causes the light to come on.  1978 were much simpler days.

If I seem cranky on this subject....it's because I am.  I hate this.  Why do we have to jump through hoops on 30 year old cars?

Sorry to everyone that I'm in such a bad mood on this subject!!!!

Offline jphillips3333

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Re: 1978 CA Firebird drivetrain offerings
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2010, 09:35:05 PM »
Well ... hope the links helped Geno.  I was curious as to the rules myself as this comes up from time to time for the golden state residents.

After reading those CARB requirements for my V-6 to V-8 swap, it seems like a CA 403 w/ all of the smog gear would be a viable option. But would the V-6 gas tank be identical to the V-8 gas tank? I'd imagine that both would have to have the vapor return lines for the CA-spec EEC.

Geno
John

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