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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Guys and Gals ;) ... I'm sure there's a few gals at least running around in these forums. Or at least I hope so HAHA

Ah, first off I should warn you. I have a bit of a unique style of typing. I hope no one finds it too annoying. :)

Well, I bought my dream car. At least it will be once I figure out what it is I want to do with it for certain and get it done...

I've always had a thing for 3rd Generation Trans Am's so...that's what I've got.

1989 Trans Am GTA

350cid 5.7 / 700r4

Performance Suspension Package

Actual gauges in the dash, not the digital crap T.G. Man were those digital ones ugly!!...(well, in my opinion)

Black paint, gold bird, the standard 16" gold diamond-spoke aluminum rims

And an owner that sees alot more when he looks at it than others do!

This car is an actual GTA...I did run the numbers.

The body is about as perfect as you can get on an unrestored 18 year old car. Only flaw I see is a VERY MINOR little dent on the hood. Otherwise, flawless. Underbody is in excellent condition as well. Has some surface rust from sitting for 2 years. Easily cleaned up! Would plan to get this undercoated as I live in Indiana...winters are not typically nice here and the salt on the roads spells death for these cars! So far has not been driven in a single winter here. This car came from South Carolina, Hilton Head to be exact.

I bought it for $999 on Ebay from a person that goofed on the auction. The $999 was supposed to be the starting bid not a buy it now price. He wasn't happy but I was! It's now at my home!

NOW....the tranny is shot. Was expecting that one as it has a hitch on the back of the car.......RED FLAG!!!! Those stock 700r4's aren't meant for that kind of thing even if it DOES have a 350 under the hood! Not really a big deal though....

The heads are in question and the TPI system is a bit off but it DOES RUN! The bottom end held fine at 6 grand for a long time without a me I know and don't ask ok? lol (what else do you do when you only have 1st and 2nd gear huh?) ROFL!! Oil pressure was GREAT!!!!!—and yes at the idle as well as while driving. I know running a high rpm will make it shoot through the roof. :) I'm not worried about the block....just the heads and TPI system here. Likely sensors and vacuum leaks are all I'm looking at and as far as heads, you can get some descent ones from a salvage yard for cheap and just throw em on for now. Only other concern would be the condition of the piston rings but toss in a tranny from the same resource and it's at least drivable for the time being.....then......plans......

I have a few parts around here that need to be put to good use.

A 327 sbc small journal with a steel forged crank

A pair of unmodified 461X heads

an Accel Super-Ram TPI intake that allows for old OR new style bolt patterns

A BBK 58mm throttle body

shorty headers, aluminum roller rockers, a set of Z28 valve springs, brand new set of 2.02 / 1.60 valves, hardened pushrods, a gear drive timing set...(just cuz I don't mind the extra noise and personally seems more reliable over time to me)..I'm sure i'm leaving some things out here....

Anyway, all this stuff has me thinking....

For starters, is it possible to have the 461X heads drilled and tapped for the accessory bolt holes it would need to run the TPI's serpentine belt set up? If not does anyone know of brackets that can be used to work around that?

I'm a sucker for using the "good old" tried and true....those heads flow very well as I am to understand and if that intake would bolt to them why not right? OFC I would also be planning a 3 angle valve job and having those new valves put in as well as hardened seats and what not....would it be cost effective when compared to available aftermarket sets? There is an added value here to being different from everyone else that tends to be overlooked...I never was one for following the crowd...

The 327.....yeah I know, downsizing, but this time with purpose! Alot of people would probably wonder why someone would go from a 350 to a 327. I personally have never heard a 327 run and I am told they have quite a unique sound to them. I can understand how that would be considering the short throw on them. An old man I once worked with swore by them...said if they were built right you could run them up to 7000 rpm no problem and given mine has a steel forged crank it's a good candidate for an engine running that. I like the sound of that! In my opinion that is one thing the newer imports have over the good old muscle cars, the ability to run that high of rpm consistently without breaking something lol. He gave me the impression that running 7000 rpm on that was basically no big deal. Makes you wonder on the what ifs here...the potential of a 327...the potential of a 327 hooked to a TPI sitting in a 3rd Gen Firebird with 461X 2.02 / 1.60 heads on it. Is it possible? What would that be like?

A little old technology mixed with a little not so old technology kicking some serious new technology rear end….oops wait, sorry, front wheel drive cars don’t really have rear ends so to speak…my bad. =P

I guess I should mention....if doing that is possible, the consideration of adding Vortech's TPI supercharger and a 6 speed Tranny would also be on my list though to make an entrance later on....

You add all of those together and it = one serious Firebird! That would be a Trans Am I could call MY OWN!!!! That's what I want! I wanna pop the hood on my car and have my friends ask "what the H#$% is that??"! Better yet next time some punk kid in an import decides to show off to his girlfriend at a stop light, give him a lesson in what a REAL car is. Not that I necessarily have anything against the imports, just the punk kids that drive em ;P. Yeah go ahead, wind it out to 7 Grand, I'll be right in front of you to make sure you can hear the purr of that 327 loud and clear! and P.S. I bet you spent a heck of alot more money on yours than I did on mine...see ya later!!... Besides, I'm sick of everyone underestimating the 3rd gen firebird anyway!!! Does no one remember how good they really were anymore? The potential the car itself had? What happened? It's like no one cares anymore!!

6 gears...higher top end, tpi, supercharger......all I can ask is that the low end doesn't go to pot here.....again...that's where advice comes in....I miss that old man sometimes! HAHAHA He used to race at the local tracks so I'm taking his word for what he's told me. Experience means ALOT! I have some but not all that much. I have alot to learn yet. This I believe would be one good place to start!

A $999 project car that I can fix and drive in the meantime of readying the things I need, the money will come, time I won't run out of and a passion for the Trans Am I certainly have...always did!

OFC there are other things I will do with this car...upgrade the suspension and bake systems...(swap the front fenders with the ones from a normal Trans Am parts car I have because I want the side louvers....they look funny without them to me) undecided on what to do with the rims....the stock works just fine but man a set of nice bright chome rims would look nice against that black car!! Naturally there would also be the normal Performance upgrades one would usually do...just assorted things here and there...ahh also getting a pair of aftermarket runners...thats a definite...

This car will be my baby...IF I can get a plan that will work...

Which brings me to my next question......

What about the TPI computer here? Could it run this type of set up? Changing the cam alone would be stress enough on it I would think but changing the entire stroke cycle as well....Would I need to have a custom chip made? I don't know if it could adapt at stock to this or if even a custom would work either....I am still learning about the TPI system. From what I get it's not a complex injection system at all and quite versitile and forgiving but this would seem to me as more than asking it to bend a little....this seems to me more along the breaking side of it....

Anyway, ANY comments or suggestions would be great to hear!!!!

Anything're nuts! to GO FOR IT to cam recommendations to injector sizes...anything! Really needing someone to help me out on that chip and heads though.....Feel free to have at this!

I’m hoping to have it limp along ready (drivable) very soon but the real work won’t come until this Spring / Summer. Just getting ideas and suggestions to see what’s what right now.

Anxious to hear from any of you!!! :D

BTW...this site is pretty D^#$ cool! hehe

second place is the first losr
204 Posts
hey i have the same car then i put a 327 11-1 c.r with 462 camel hump head with t-5 five speed they will run maybe next week i will probably remove the tpi tu put a edelbrock torker2 intake with 750 cfm carb i will give you some new about that.

948 Posts
Those old 461 heads don't flow very well by today's standard! If it was me I would sell your 461 heads and 327 and buy some good flowing after market aluminum bare heads and install your valves and springs in them. Freshen up the engine thats in it because its a roller block and has a one-piece rear seal. Get a EFI friendly OEM style roller cam (much cheaper than a retrofit one) slap on that super ram and maybe some bigger injectors and a custom chip and you will make some very good streetable horsepower. To get the most bang for your buck spend it on some heads!
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