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Thread: Sooo... bought a 1988 Firebird Formula

  1. #1
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    Default Sooo... bought a 1988 Firebird Formula

    Now I need to figure out what to do with it. Bought it off the original owner. Rust free but definitely not mint which is fine as I want to do an LS swap on it. I wasn't really ready to buy but it was exactly what I was looking for and was local so I pulled the trigger anyway.

    All the rattles and various other noises are going to drive me nuts! I forgot just how bad 80's products were! Nothing a little time and money won't fix, though. I won't do much to the interior until all the mechanical stuff is done. No sense in replacing anything now and then worrying about it all getting dirty or damaged with the other work going on. I'll have to see how many of those rattles I can fix without new parts for now.

    The big question is, who should I have do the LS swap and any idea about what I can expect to spend on labor? I have already started pulling together a list of parts. I was thinking of getting a Hawks LS swap kit and Dirty Dingo accessories brackets. I could also do a Painless wire harness or have Joe do the wiring. Thoughts?

    For the engine, since I don't plan big horsepower I was thinking of going aluminum block (LS2 or LS3) but I'm not sure if it is worth the extra money over something like an LQ9. I'm not even sure if I would do ported heads. Probably just do a hot cam. The car is an auto so I'll need to find a 4L60/65 as well. Hopefully I can find an engine and trans that were pulled out together.

    So much to think about! Not sure exactly how soon I'll be able to get started so I guess I have time.
    Scott

  2. #2
    Club Member AutoRoc's Avatar
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    First off....no pictures?

    There is a 6.0 and 6 speed auto for sale on here right now? $4300 complete. Joe said they wire up just like anything else... If that isn't a good plan, I don't know what is!!
    Denny Villemure
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    Vortec 4200 Turbo IROC-Z on 15psi
    11.26 @ 126mph

  3. #3
    Club Member AutoRoc's Avatar
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    Denny Villemure
    PSSSSSSST!
    Vortec 4200 Turbo IROC-Z on 15psi
    11.26 @ 126mph

  4. #4
    Pisses excellence cASe SenSiTive's Avatar
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    Sounds really cool, Scott. I'm with Denny, pick up that or another 6.0 truck LSx and trans. Will be super fun with just a mild cam.

    And post up some pics!.

  5. #5
    Club Member AutoRoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cASe SenSiTive View Post
    Sounds really cool, Scott. I'm with Denny, pick up that or another 6.0 truck LSx and trans. Will be super fun with just a mild cam. and Mickey thompsons, and a driveshaft, and an axle, and a TQ arm..and a magnacharger

    And post up some pics!.
    Edited for honesty!
    Denny Villemure
    PSSSSSSST!
    Vortec 4200 Turbo IROC-Z on 15psi
    11.26 @ 126mph

  6. #6
    Club Member Golden's Avatar
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    I have no advice on the swap, but good luck fixing rattles. You'll chase them forever. With that said, I still love the third gens. We need pics!
    1999 Z28. A4. Magnaflow catback and a lid. 60k miles.

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    Club Sponsor 99SaleenSpeedster's Avatar
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    Congrats! I also just picked up an 80’s ride.. We need pics in the pub

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    6L80e doesn't fit without cutting. I don't want to do any cutting. If I had any money right now I would consider buying it anyway and just selling the 6L80E.

    Here are my pics in the Pub.

    IMG_20191009_132353556_sm.jpg
    IMG_20191009_132406062_sm.jpg
    Scott

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    Parts of the car have been resprayed. Some of it they explained and they said it had never been in an accident which is believable as I did not find any obvious signs. I noticed today that more was resprayed than the repair they explained but from a quick check of the usual spots with a wimpy magnet, everything appears to be metal. Also looking under the car would not lead you to believe it was rotted out and repaired. It's pretty clean underneath. The interior needs more work than the body. Either way, I'm not looking for a show car that I'd never want to drive. I want a clean driver that I won't mind taking to the drag strip now and then and this car will fit the bill once a decent engine is swapped in.
    Scott

  10. #10
    Club Sponsor 99SaleenSpeedster's Avatar
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    Looks good, Scott!

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