Latest News and Posts from the V8 Speed and Resto Shop Forums V8 Forum – Car Enthusiasts Playground V8 Speed and Resto Shop Car Builds 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #9001
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    This slick 1978 Pontiac Trans Am came to the V8 Speed & Resto Shop for some upgrades to make it a better car to drive on cross-country trips. We’re installing a 2004R overdrive transmission, a FAST EZ-2.0 Fuel Injection system, and changing the rear gears to a 3.73:1 ratio for better acceleration. Follow along as we put some “Zoom” back in this ‘bird!

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9010
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Overall, this is a very clean car. It just went through a recent restoration, where it underwent a color change. It was originally a gold car with tan interior, but the restoration shop reshot it in black and added the gold SE stripes.

    It ran pretty well, but it didn’t make very much power, and the 2 series rear gears didn’t help the acceleration at all.

    Little oil leak up front.

    First task, remove the TH350 transmission in preparation for the 700R4 Overdrive unit.

    Locally-sourced 700R4 installed.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9029
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    This car had a fuel leak where the vent had been soldered into the top of the tank. Part of our EFI swap was to include a new tank with an internal EFI high-pressure pump from TANKS, Inc., so we didn’t let this issue bother us.

    The car’s owner requested that we check the leaky oil pan gasket “while we’re down there”, so we pulled the pan to replace the gaskets. Here’s where things took an unexpected turn as we discovered oil-pickup screen clogging globs of silicone and bearing remnants in the pan…

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9030
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The engine came out for inspection.

    It’s hard to see in these pics because the angle is not the best, but the thrust bearing was destroyed. The pieces in the pan were chunks of the thrust bearing. A couple of the main and rod journals were scored as well. After a not-so-fun discussion with the owner, it was determined that a block clean-up and bottom end rebuild was in order.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9031
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The block was sent out for a cleaning, overbore, and line-bore, and the crank was undercut to remove the scratches. New bearings and pistons

    The call was made to upgrade to a COMP Cams roller cam for better power and reduced risk of flat-tappet cam issues.

    The cam is grind XR264HR, which is a hydraulic roller grind designed for daily drivers, with advertised strong torque and a smooth idle. The specs are:

    Intake / Exhaust Lift: .487 / .495, Intake / Exhaust Duration: 264 / 270 Degrees, Intake / Exhaust Duration @ .050” Lift: 212 / 218 Degrees

    It’s not a high-lift cam, but we needed to keep the package happy with the stock 1978 cylinder heads and intake manifold. We were not out to build a racer, but add some torque to make it more fun to drive.

    We installed a new timing set as part of the kit, and the roller lifters require shorter pushrods as well. The heads were in good shape, so we cleaned ‘em up and swapped the valve springs for a set that was better matched to the cam and put them all back together.

    All new ARP hardware was used, including cam bolts, rod bolts, main studs, and head bolts. The water pump impeller to housing spec was checked before reinstallation. A new oil pump and pickup were installed.

    The rod and main clearances were checked upon reassembly, and all was deemed good to go. The engine was cleaned, masked, and prepped for paint.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9032
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The fresh 400 was sprayed with Eastwood ceramic engine paint in the original color.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9097
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next, the crew focused on the rear gear ratio on the T/A. Besides a needing a new pinion seal, the customer wanted a peppier gear, and the overdrive transmission would allow more gear in back without hurting economy or spinning the engine at a high RPM all day.

    The original gears didn’t look too bad, but the ratio was like a 2.58:1 open differential, so it was no wonder the car was anemic off the line. Knowing that we were installing a 3.73:1 gearset, we didn’t take the time to do the forensic research to run the numbers on the housing to see what the originals were.

    Upon closer inspection, it was found that the retaining pin had a piece chipped out of it, which is never good to have floating around in a rear axle housing.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9098
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Once disassembled, the housing was cleaned out with no evidence of major damage or debris.

    The old differential, carrier, gears, and caps

    And the new goodies. A 3.73:1 ring and pinion set from Motive Gear, and a 28 spline Detroit Trutrac differential to keep both wheels going the same speed when you hit the gas.

    The new assembly all assembled with new bearings, all ready to go back into the housing.

    New gears installed with pinion depth set and an acceptable pattern on the gears.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9101
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Back up top, the engine bay was prepared to reinstall the fresh 400.

    This little box of fun should help the T/A run better. FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 fuel injection system ready to install.

    Throttle body bolted in place. This intake required an adaptor to convert from the Quadrajet pattern to the square-bore pattern of the FAST EZ-EFI unit.

    Flip side

    Pre-wiring the temp sensor and the main harness on the TB.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9102
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The throttle position sensor and air inlet temp sensor are built into the throttle body, along with 4 fuel injectors.

    Minimal wiring to do on this end. Throttle return spring installed.

    Hoist ‘em up!

    Easy does it…

    Touchdown!

    The crew took a few minutes to strip and repaint the accessory brackets on the front of the engine.

    EZ 2.0 ECM gets mounted in the passenger side inner fender well, and the harness will be tucked as best as it can be without cutting and shortening it.

    The crew made a nice little bracket and stashed the ECM on the core support.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #9170
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The FAST EZ 2.0 box shows indicators of cylinders firing as well as the status of the system when running.

    The Shiftworks overdrive conversion looks right at home in the stock console.

    You can barely see the FAST throttle body peeking out from under the shaker scoop. We fitted the scoop with a K&N filter and made it functional.

    All put back together, you’d never know there was an EFI system, roller cam, and overdrive in this car.

    But here’s where you can tell… the cruising RPM is way down!

    The car came out great, here’s the video series covering the whole project.

    Contact us today to breathe some new life into your classic or Muscle Car!

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.