Pontiac Firebird – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

16 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Pontiac Firebird – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pontiac Firebird

Pontiac Firebird

The Pontiac Firebird was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. The Firebird was introduced the same year as the automaker’s platform-sharing model, the Chevrolet Camaro. This coincided with the release of the 1967 Mercury Cougar. which shared its platform with another pony car. the Ford Mustang .

The vehicles were powered by various four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and V8 engines sourced from several GM divisions. While primarily Pontiac-powered until 1977, Firebirds were built with several different engines from nearly every GM division until 1982 when GM began to discontinue engines it felt were unneeded and either spread successful designs from individual divisions among all divisions or use new engines of corporate architecture. [ 1 ]

Second generation (1970–1981) [ edit ]

The second generation debut for the 1970 model year was delayed until February 26, 1970, because of tooling and engineering problems; thus, its popular designation as a 1970½ model, while leftover 1969s were listed in early Pontiac literature without a model-year identification. [ 5 ]

Trims

Firebird

Firebird Esprit

Firebird Formula

Firebird Trans-Am

Firebird Trans-Am WS6

Firebird Skybird

Firebird Redbird

Firebird Yellowbird

Special versions

Black Special Edition (often called ‘Bandit’ editions), 1976-1981

Gold Special Edition, 1978 only.

Macho Trans-Am (Package offered only by the dealership Mecham Pontiac in Glendale, AZ). [ 6 ]

1976 50th (Pontiac) Anniversary Edition (which was also a Black Special Edition)

1979 10th (Trans Am) Anniversary Edition

1980 Pace Car Indy 500 Edition (turbo Trans Am)

1981 NASCAR Edition (turbo Trans Am). [ 7 ]

Pontiac Firebird

Replacing the Coke bottle styling was a more swoopy body style, with the top of the rear window line going almost straight down to the lip of the trunk lid—a look that was to epitomize F-body styling for the longest period during the Firebird’s lifetime. The new design was initially characterized with a large C-pillar. until 1975 when the rear window was enlarged.

There were two Ram Air 400#160;cu#160;in (6.6#160;L) engines for 1970: the 335#160;hp (250#160;kW) Ram Air III (366#160;hp (273#160;kW) in GTO) and the 345#160;hp (257#160;kW) Ram Air IV (370#160;hp (280#160;kW) in GTO) that were carried over from 1969. The difference between the GTO and Firebird engines was the secondary carburetor linkage which prevented the rear barrels from opening completely. Bending the linkage to allow full carburetor operation resulted in identical engine performance.

Curb weights rose dramatically in the 1973 model year due to the implementation of 5#160;mph (8.0#160;km/h) telescoping bumpers and various other crash and safety related structural enhancements; SD455 Trans Ams weighed in at 3,850#160;lb (1,750#160;kg) in their first year of production (1973 model year).

The 455 engine available in the second generation Firebird Trans Am was arguably the last high-performance engine of the original muscle car generation. The 455#160;cu#160;in (7.5#160;L) engine made its first appearance in the Firebird in 1971 as the 455-HO, which continued through the 1972 model year. In 1973 and 1974, a special version of the 455, called the Super Duty 455 (SD-455), was offered.

The SD-455 consisted of a strengthened cylinder block that included 4-bolt main bearings and added material in various locations for improved strength. Original plans called for a forged crankshaft. although actual production SD455s received nodular iron crankshafts with minor enhancements. Forged rods and forged aluminum pistons were specified, as were unique high-flow cylinder heads.

The 480737 code cam (identical grind to the RAIV 041 cam) was originally specified for the SD455 engine and was fitted into the pre-production test cars (source: former Pontiac Special Projects Engineer Skip McCully*), one of which was tested by both HOT ROD and CAR AND DRIVER magazines. However, actual production cars were fitted with the milder 493323 cam and 1.5:1 rocker ratios, due to the ever-tightening emissions standards of the era. This cam and rocker combination, combined with a low compression ratio of 8.4:1 advertised (7.9:1 actual) yielded 290 SAE net horsepower. It should also be noted that production SD455 cars did not have functional hood scoops, while the pre-production test cars did.*

Actual production cars yielded 1/4 mile results in the high 14 to 15.0 second/98 MPH range (sources: MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE, July ’73 and Roger Huntington’s book, AMERICAN SUPERCAR) – results that are consistent with a 3,850 pound car (plus driver) and the rated 290 SAE net horsepower figure. (An original rating of 310 SAE net horsepower had been assigned to the SD455, though that rating was based on the emissions non-compliant pre-production engines, as discussed above. That rating appeared in published 1973 model year Pontiac literature, which had been printed prior to the pre-production engines barely passing* emissions testing, and the last minute switch to what became the production engine. 1974 model year production literature listed the specifications of the production engine (290 SAE net horsepower).

A production line stock SD455 produced 253 rear wheel HP on a chassis dyno, as reported by HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC magazine (January, 2007). This is also consistent with the 290 SAE Net horsepower factory rating (as measured at the crankshaft). Skip McCully verified that no production SD455s released to the public were fitted with the 480737 cam.* When asked about the compromises for the production SD455 engine, Mr. McCully responded, Compression, camshaft, jetting, and vacuum advance.

He followed by stating that he would have preferred a compression ratio of 10.25:1, a camshaft with 041 valve timing, slightly richer carburetor jetting, and as much vacuum advance as the engine would tolerate.* (*May, 2005 issue of HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC Magazine). Regrettably, that proved to be impossible due to the emissions regulations of the era. [ 8 ]

During a 1972 strike, the Firebird (and the sister F-body Camaro ) were nearly dropped. [ 9 ] Pontiac offered the 455 through the 1976 model year, but tightening restrictions on vehicle emissions guaranteed its demise. Thus, the 1976 Trans Am was the last of the Big Cube Birds, with only 7,100 units produced with the 455 engine.

The 1974 models featured a redesigned shovel-nose front end and new wide slotted taillights. In 1974, Pontiac offered two base engines for the Firebird: a 100#160;hp (75#160;kW) 250#160;cu#160;in (4.1#160;L) inline-6 and a 155#160;hp (116#160;kW) 350#160;cu#160;in (5.7#160;L) V8. Available were 175#160;hp (130#160;kW) to 225#160;hp (168#160;kW) 400#160;cu#160;in (6.6#160;L) V8 engines, as well as the 455#160;cu#160;in (7.5#160;L) produced 215#160;hp (160#160;kW) or 250#160;hp (190#160;kW), while the SD-455 produced 290#160;hp (220#160;kW). The 400, 455, and SD-455 engines were offered in the Trans Am and Formula models during 1974

The 1975 models featured a new wraparound rear window with a revised roofline and the turn signals were moved up from the valance panel to the grills which distinguished it from the previous year model. The Super Duty engine, Muncie 4-speed, and TurboHydramatic were no longer available in 1975. The 400 was standard in the Trans Am and the 455 was optional for both 1975 and 1976 models.

In 1976, Pontiac celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and a special edition of the Trans Am was released. Painted in black with gold accents, this was the first anniversary Trans Am package and the first production Black and Gold special edition. In 1977, Pontiac offered the T/A 6.6#160;Litre 400 (RPO W72) rated at 200#160;hp (150#160;kW), as opposed to the regular 6.6#160;Litre 400 (RPO L78) rated at 180#160;hp (130#160;kW).

The T/A 6.6 equipped engines had chrome valve covers, while the base 400 engines had painted valve covers. In addition, California and high-altitude cars received the Olds 403 engine, which offered a slightly higher compression ratio and a more usable torque band than the Pontiac engines of 1977.

A distinctive, slant-nose facelift occurred in 1977, redone somewhat in 1979. From 1977 to 1981, the Firebird used four square headlamps, while the Camaro continued to retain the two round headlights that had previously been shared by both Second Generation designs. The 1977 Trans-Am Special Edition became famous after being featured in Smokey and the Bandit . Later on the 1980 Turbo model was used for Smokey and the Bandit II .

Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Firebird
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