Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oustanding in Class

Pretty cool Thanksgiving Autorama!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some new pictures at the Wings over Houston show

Our H.A.L.F group was included in this years show at Ellington field. The surprise was when we got to display our birds next to the Thunderbirds.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New engine dressing

Collected some OEM style Valve covers and a new Air cleaner. Threw on a 400-4 sticker and now it starting to look real clean in the engine bay. - Still need to replace the brake booster.

Got Second place at the APA show in Galveston (March 28)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vehicle and Engine Data

1968 Pontiac Firebird V8 Sport Coupe
This car was the 42,217 made at the Lordstown, Ohio plant.

1968 Pontiac Firebird Coupe with Custom Trim Option
The paint was Verdoro Green (1)
The trim color and material were Medium Gold Custom Option Vinyl.
This car has the Fisher Body Unit Number 15,949 built in the 3rd week of February at the Lordstown, Ohio plant.

BLOCK VIN 28U142217

Pontiac 2

1968 8

Lordstown, OH U

VIN 142217

Date Code A318 31-Jan-68

Casting # Year CID HP Main

9790071 1968-69 400 330 2&4

CODE Car Year CID HP Trans RPO VIN Car Block Cast Main

YT F-body 68 400 330 Turbo 400 L-67 1x4 9790071 2

Displacement 400

Casting # Year CID HP Valve CC Notes

16 1968 400 330 2.11/1.77 72 HO

Head Date Code A128 Jan 12,1968


I had been really disappointing in the lack of true black shine in the paint. Mind you the previous owner did pick a great color to change the original Verdoro green to, but the quality was a little lacking. A good 20 foot look. But in the sun there were so many micro scratches and swirls that the black was looking dingy. So I invested in a Porter Cable 7424xp and Zaino PC swirl remover. My Christmas present to myself and the killer of my Christmas holiday. I spent the better part of 10 -12 hours going over each panel until I was completely satisfied. But there is only so much you can do with a subpar paint job - I did manage to make it at least a 5ft paint job.
BEFORE -------------------> AFTER

A/C install

Started the process by fitting the a/c condenser and the dryer. My setup is using the binary switch since I don't have a electric fan. I made sure to use plenty of oil for the O ring seals when I attached the piping. Everything fit nicely so I moved on to attaching the compressor. I made sure to order the correct Firebird Brackets for a 1968. I painted the bracket with Underhood black and attached it to the engine block. As for the belt - I had original ordered a standard a/c belt however it proved to bit a bit to larger and cased the compressor to set close to edge the max 90 degree angle for proper operation. So I returned it to the local auto parts store for a slightly smaller one that would fit snugly.
Next I tackled the interior components starting with the heater controls. Very straight forward instructions and it enabled me to use the OEM control panel. The evaporator was a bit of a bear to get in by myself. Helpful tip: test fit the evaporator on the car with all the hose fitting attached so the firewall holes line up correctly. Then tighten the fitting on them. I kept the covers on the ends of the pipes to keep dust from getting in. Once everthing was in and fiited I tighten everything down and checked to see if I had any clearance problems where something might rub. Again make sure to add plenty of oil for the O ring seals.

With the evaprator in I now moved on to putting in all of the ducts and control module. The prescribe duct route that was in the instructions does not work for the Firebird. I used my own paths and got it in without disturbing any of the dash components and without causing crimps in the ducting. It looks lik a large black snake coiled but it all fits. The center duct was the easiest to install but the I had to realy stretch the duct over the opening to fit.
The one task I paid to have installed was the crimping of the a/c pressure hose fitting. I took it to a local shop that specializes in vintage air systems and they had the proper tool to crimp. the ends. I ran teh heater hoses myself and fastened all of the hoses down with electical clamps from home depot. After this I started on the wiring which was surprising simple even though the diagrams in the instruction make it seem daunting. The color coding is simple and the step by step instructions for programing the CPU was straight forward. It took me the better part of an evening to get all the wiring mocked up, connectors crimped on and fed through a groment in the firewall. I had alread made an external fuse box for my radio and simple but another fuse inline for the power to the A/C CPU (purple wire).

The last step was something I had never done which is charge the system with R134. I employed the help of a coworker from NASA that had a electric vacuum pump and we proceed to draw a vacuum on the system and let the car sit for a couple of days. To my relief the vaccum stayed and there were no leaks in the system. We added the prescribed amount of a/c in the car and in no time we got some pretty cold temperatures in the car. Just in time for winter! I am really going to enjoy this during the next Houston summer.