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Old 04-28-2004, 05:04 AM
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pontiac 301 turbo gutted

I guess this falls under the engine section. I was looking aroudn town today for prices on exhaust systems for my isuzu since mine is swiss cheese. Stumbled upon a muffler shop with an 80 or 81 turbo 301 trans am sitting out front all in primer.

So I was all excited when I was walking up to the thing, it did'nt look real nice all in gray primer in all, but I could see the bump in the drivers side of the hood where the turbo gauge was. To my surprise I walked around the drivers side door and the engine and turbo gauge had been gutted and you could see the engine from the hood.

I'm no turbo 301 fan or anything, but considering their numbers I was happy that I was about to see one finaly up close. The ********* plopped a chevy 350 in there and ruined a classic, I asked the owner what had become of the turbo 301 and he just replied "junkyard", "the turbo too?" "Yep". I gave him a dirty look.

For some reason it just did'nt seem right for the dude to do that to the poor turbo 301. That would be like someone gutting a 442 and priming it over, I'd have to kill em!
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Old 04-28-2004, 09:17 AM
4 Jaw Chuck's Avatar
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Obviously you have never driven a car with the 301?
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:23 AM
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yeah I dunno, the front clip on those firebirds and trans-ams after 1978 were nasty. The separated headlights just look so oafy and cheap. Other than that, I do think they were a cool car, especially because of the turbo. Might be cool to drop a pontiac 400 in a car like that and hook up a turbo to the original gauges and such. 301's are good for *****.

K
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:10 PM
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The 301 was a complete Oddball off the pontiac family tree, they had weak bottom ends, poor oiling systems, and horrible siamesed intake ports, no aftermarket company bothered to make high performance parts for it since they knew it was a lost cause.. The late 70`s and early 80`s F-body`s were poorly made, they massed produced them as fast as they could and cut every corner they could. These cars were also very heavy, and if you installed a engine with even a little power under the hood you had to stiffen the sub frame, if the car had T - Tops, you find the passenger side top wouldn`t go in without a fight because of the body flex. I`ve never seen anyone defend one make as you do per engine, GM is just that, GM, and you already know many pontiacs, olds, buicks, also came with Chevy engines as well as there own and other makes. From what I read of your post your taking a olds 307 and dropping it in a monte carlo, your doing the same thing, and why waste time with a olds 307? like the 260, these engines are pretty much a lost cause when it comes to performance.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:35 PM
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given that I own a "late 70's corner cut F-body, I'm forced to defend a little bit at least. First, my car only weighs 3550 from the factory, which is actually only a moderate weight. The subframe and body of the cars are pretty much the same between all the f-bodies from 1970-1981, so there's not much uniquely aweful about a "late 70's F-body." I do understand that some of those cars in the later years got heavy, don't know what they did, but they didn't do it to my year!

Putting power in any drop top/t top car is asking for trouble without stiffening the bottom. Should be common practice on any car other than a hard-top buildup.

K
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:10 PM
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I owned a 1979 Camaro Z28. And I didn`t say specificly your car either, I said they were poorly made and most of them I`ve seen were, I see very few of them on the road anymore and the town used to be full of them. My car had tops, and I installed a .040 over 350 with forged flat tops, 041 heads, headers, 224 duration cam, weiand intake, holley 4 bll. it had a stock th350 tranny and 3.42 gears with posi traction. the drivers side top wouldn`t go in without a he** of a struggle, this engine may have made 320 horses if it was lucky, not enough for it to cause that kind of flex, and it was a rare occasion when the car ever seen WOT.
Have you had to change the heater core yet? if not I hope you have free weekends. if you ever have to change the body to subframe buiscuits and it breaks your in for more fun, since you have to figure out a way to hold it so you can remove the bolt without it turning, and the opening is not very big. The rear frame rails are notorious for rot, since they don`t drain the rear frame rails as well as they should. the wiring in mine was bad and that was the biggest reason I got rid of it, I replaced everything in the electric windows from the switch, grounds, the motor itself, and they still didn`t work half the time. Then it got to where it wouldn`t start, or the starter would stay engauged after the key was released. I wasn`t going to rewire it after I had already invested over 5 grand in the car.
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Old 04-28-2004, 02:00 PM
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holy crap dude!!! Wow, that's horrible, and electical things are the worst. I had some problem with my dash lights going out, but I think its because the gauges that the guy put in are from a trans am (the previous owner) and a ground came loose. My starter has been kinda sketchy, but only after I put my headers in, so I think its another "not so good" connection. Basically everything that's gone wrong with mine (not much at all) has been my fault! lol. Also, this car took about 15 of its 25 year life offf to sit in a garage, and hasn't had much chance to rust. Had to replace all the ruber stuff, but thank god, because the last owner did that!

Guess I'm lucky, but good to know, thanks for the info-

K
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:33 PM
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Well my point was the number of these "turbo 301"s left that are still on the road anit that many, in fact no I have never driven one, or seen one up close so I was excited, then I just wanted to kill the guy.

And talking about headlights, the car did'nt have any, the whole front clip was missing. Told ya horrid shape.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:05 PM
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I can't say I blame the guy I would have swapped out the turbo 301 as the 1st thing I did on the car too

Quote:
Originally posted by DoubleVision
I owned a 1979 Camaro Z28. And I didn`t say specificly your car either, I said they were poorly made and most of them I`ve seen were, I see very few of them on the road anymore and the town used to be full of them. My car had tops, and I installed a .040 over 350 with forged flat tops, 041 heads, headers, 224 duration cam, weiand intake, holley 4 bll. it had a stock th350 tranny and 3.42 gears with posi traction. the drivers side top wouldn`t go in without a he** of a struggle, this engine may have made 320 horses if it was lucky, not enough for it to cause that kind of flex, and it was a rare occasion when the car ever seen WOT.
Have you had to change the heater core yet? if not I hope you have free weekends. if you ever have to change the body to subframe buiscuits and it breaks your in for more fun, since you have to figure out a way to hold it so you can remove the bolt without it turning, and the opening is not very big. The rear frame rails are notorious for rot, since they don`t drain the rear frame rails as well as they should. the wiring in mine was bad and that was the biggest reason I got rid of it, I replaced everything in the electric windows from the switch, grounds, the motor itself, and they still didn`t work half the time. Then it got to where it wouldn`t start, or the starter would stay engauged after the key was released. I wasn`t going to rewire it after I had already invested over 5 grand in the car.

I think the evaluation of the 2nd gen fire birds and camaro's is pretty unfair. Most of the things said here such as rear subframe rusting biscuts rotting out from the subframe, body flex,electrical problems can be said for the 1st gen camaro and 3rd and 4th gen nova's and countless other cars which is the same plateforms of dirivites there of. Are you saying they are all poorly made?
The rear frame rail rusting although common isn't a huge problem even where I live in with salt covered roads. When you look at alot of the problems that other cars like the dodge a-body subframes rusting where the torsion bar is mounted the camaro/firebird plate form looks down right great. This is not to say that the late 70's and 80's where a picture of quality for most american cars (compaired to the 60's and 95+) but they are very good plateforms to start with.

Last edited by Robinson Robin; 04-28-2004 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 04-30-2004, 06:32 PM
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My neighbor who has a 67-81 Trans AM salvage yard hates those turbo cars. Not even the hardcore Pontiac fans Like them.
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Old 04-30-2004, 07:27 PM
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i bought a 79 Z28 with a hardtop and i feel i should address a few of these problems.
my car sat for 12 years before i bought it. none of the interior lights work. that doesn't bother me because i dont like interior light anyway.
when i put a battery in the car the ignition buzzer stayed on all the time. i kicked the buzzer and it never came on again.
the wipers have a mind of there own. no solution there i can't get a wiper switch.
as for frame rot or the car being too heavy my car weighs 3800 pds which i don't feel is too heavy. after sitting 12 years the frame is magnificent the only problem areas i have and all others i have seen have is the quarter panel on the passenger side rotting out and the fender on the passenger side rotting out.
over all i am happy with this one.
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