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 Rockford project begins: 1974 Firebird Esprit 400
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  12:17:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I decided to start a new thread to cover the Rockford project rather than add to the initial one from last year where I was just gathering some parts.

Last week I delivered the 74 Esprit to a small, local body shop along with a new passenger side quarter panel. Upon examination by the shop owner, I was advised to also purchase a drivers side quarter panel. I ordered an AMD quarter from Tamraz and it was delivered today (ahead of schedule despite the nor'easter and heavy snow here yesterday). I'll be posting updates as the project progresses for anyone who may be interested.


Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.

Edited by - Phil on 16 Mar 2017 12:18:38 AM

Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3331 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  12:09:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cool.
What color was the Rockford car.


Bull Nose Formula, 461, TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.
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rkellerjr
Many Feathers

USA
1242 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  2:02:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice

Rich
1975 TA - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR86YT69yeY
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  2:43:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first year (74) it was a Denver Gold Esprit 400. Subsequent years got new Formula 400's redressed as Esprits and painted a custom studio color. Thanks to a fellow Rockford enthusiast and owner of a 77-78 version, the Universal Studio color formula is known. That is the color I am going with because, in my personal opinion it is nicer than the 74 Denver Gold. It was also used from 75-80 for continuity in the show and is much more recognizable.

The interior is a match here too and I only need to replace carpet (new but wrong earth tone), front seat vinyl (horse collar), rear sail panels which are dried out and headliner which had been replaced with the wrong/later cloth/spongy type by the previous owner.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.

Edited by - Phil on 16 Mar 2017 5:18:30 PM
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67drake
Sitting Duck

Azerbaijan
1495 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  08:04:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice car Phil.
A non car guy I work with is a Rockford fan. He has asked me a few times how much a Firebird that looks like the TV show bird would cost him. I'll send him a link to this thread!


71' GTO Original 400 M20 3.23 posi
13.95@102.1 MPH on street tires
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3331 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  11:12:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Could not find an esprit music video.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pruex3pgX1g -


Bull Nose Formula, 461, TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 17 Mar 2017 11:20:05 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  12:31:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys, I've been chomping at the bit to get this project moving. The biggest hurdle is finding a competent body man which is key. But I have to say, posting pictures with photobucket is such a PITA these days. They've managed to ruin that site and make it incredibly frustrating. What are you guys using these days for photo hosting?

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5219 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  12:58:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I literally just avoid posting photos. image shack changed and was slow, i hate dealing with FTP software and hiding them on my business website. I just haven't seen anything good lately.
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rkellerjr
Many Feathers

USA
1242 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  1:52:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I usually post photos with my account over at Trans Am Town. They have a gallery there you can use with your account. Very easy to use.

Rich
1975 TA - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR86YT69yeY
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67drake
Sitting Duck

Azerbaijan
1495 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  6:10:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I still use Botophuket,but yes,it is a PIA these days.


71' GTO Original 400 M20 3.23 posi
13.95@102.1 MPH on street tires
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2017 :  11:52:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah. Photobucket is virtually unusable in their phone app.
So, today I took the new AMD Drivers side quarter to the shop and we opened up the box. I have to say this is a quality piece. I compared it to the standard (unknown brand) generic passenger side quarter I had previously dropped off there and the AMD was noticably heavier and overall of higher quality. Since my thinking is that the excavation and not the pipe is where the real money is spent, tonight I ordered a Passenger side AMD quarter panel from Tamraz.

I'll post some photos once the old quarters are cut off. Dont forget guys, 74 is a bastard year so no 74 quarters are reproduced as far as I know. So the sail panels must be preserved in order to do this. I'm using 75-81 quarters for this project. IF my sail panels were shot I'd have to either find OEM cutoff sail panels with these quarters or also buy 70-73 quarters just to hack off the sail panel/window areas.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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phil400
Cochise

Canada
432 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2017 :  5:35:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice! Love it.

78T/A 4-SPEED Marty blue 400/milled 6x-4's/268H,comp roller tip rockers/ performer Q-jet/RA manifolds 2.25" exhaust with x-pipe/ mine since '99 3rd & final owner as long as I'm alive
"sometimes I do what I want to do,rest of the time I do what I have to"
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2017 :  5:58:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Soooo, the TH-350 must have been rebuilt by the local moron in whatever hick town this car came from. So I've already located and picked up a nice running 200-4R from an 87 Monte SS. Of course some of you guys KNEW I would find an excuse to "200-4R-ize" yet another classic Pontiac. I just can't bring myself to swap to a Turbo 400 even though that's what was in the original Rockford 74. If it already had the 400 and it was in decent shape I'd consider keeping it....no I probably wouldn't.

The 2.73 gears will end up going too in exchange for a set of 3.23's or 3.42's and adding an Eaton L/S while in there. It's going to make Jim Rockford proud.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3331 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2017 :  12:51:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What about the bell housing?


Bull Nose Formula, 461, TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2017 :  08:55:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
200-4R is a bolt in for a TH350. Only the mount on the crossmember is further back. The vast majority are unibell with some very early ones (few) being BOP only. My first one I ever owned was a BOP only in the 80's. I believe it was a first year production trans @1981.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2017 :  06:55:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Upon examination of the rear window channel, there is a small amount of rust perforation in the upper right corner while the rest of the channel at all other points appears to be in great shape. So, as I had hoped (and planned), we can leave the OEM 74 sail panels in place, repair the rust perforations in the channel and cut the new 75-81 quarters to fit the 74 sail panels. I'll be taking more photos and posting as soon as the new pass. side quarter arrives and I take it to the shop.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.

Edited by - Phil on 22 Mar 2017 06:56:02 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7146 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2017 :  11:55:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More progress on the drivers side quarter. Inner and outer wheelhouses are solid. Trunk drop is rotted (as expected) so I ordered both sides, assuming the pass side will be the same or worse. Passenger quarter showed up this week as well as new rocker panel trim, hardware and 4 new wheel wheel moldings and GM screws.







Rear tail panel is in excellent condition and solid, whew!



Window channels are solid but need to be cleaned up obviously. the top right corner has a few small holes that will be cut out and replaced with new metal.









Structure under trunk lid behind window is in remarkably good condition considering these cars usually have standing water here when not being driven!




Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.

Edited by - Phil on 06 Apr 2017 11:59:08 AM
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