1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

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1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:30 am

Finally getting back into the H-Body scene. My first car was a 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC that my Dad and I got at an auction for $50 when I was 14 or 15. Spent several years working on it and finally was driving it my senior year of HS. We pulled the blown up V6 out and put in a 327. I loved that car. Unfortunately, I spun a bearing in the 327, parked it, and later sold it due to other life issues; i.e. college. That was 25 years ago.

I finally found the same car (but running) with a V6. The plan is to upgrade all components; suspension, rear end, transmission, and engine. I am planning an LS3 at this stage and feel like I can get all of it done (in phases) over the next 18-24 months. Wish me luck! :th:

sunbird1.jpg
Old High School car
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Old High School car
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:33 am

sb7.jpg
New Car
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby monzacoupe » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:40 am

Great looking car! Welcome back to the h-body world.

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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby rm617 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:44 pm

Nice car. :th: Keep it running for the June H-body meet at Quaker City in Salem. :D
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:05 pm

rm617 wrote:Nice car. :th: Keep it running for the June H-body meet at Quaker City in Salem. :D

Thanks! That's the plan! I don't plan on anything major until after June so I can get to the show. Then I'm blowing it apart for a complete suspension rebuild. Still hunting for an after market torque arm but coming up empty. May just have to fabricate one.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby rm617 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:45 pm

RedFiveKBS wrote:Thanks! That's the plan! I don't plan on anything major until after June so I can get to the show. Then I'm blowing it apart for a complete suspension rebuild. Still hunting for an after market torque arm but coming up empty. May just have to fabricate one.



Cool. 8)
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:37 am

I'm in the process of sourcing all the items I think I want/need for Phase 1.
Front suspension bushings and rebuild kit from PST (Polygraphite), new springs, Lakewood shocks, manual steering swap, rear suspension rebuild with UMI Performance components (LCA and Panhard), and upgrading the 7.5" rear with 3.42 or 3.73 gears (posi). It will get the S10 spindle and axle swap to 5-lug. Planning 15x7 front and 15x8 rear with American Racing Torq-Thrust's.

I find it hard to believe out of all the sources that NO ONE seems to make an after market torque arm; not Spohn, or UMI, or BMR. I emailed Overkill but did not get a response. Its just like a long ladder bar so when it is time I'll just fab one up and buy some rod ends, adjuster, etc. Anyone else make one?

Phase 2 will be paint and body. I intend to keep it more or less looking stock. Debating going to original Sterling Silver, a darker shade like gun metal gray, or keeping the Firethorn red. Thoughts?

Phase 3 will be motor/transmission. LS3 (crate 480hp) and TH350 with 2500 stall.

Phase 4 will be interior. Again, stock appearance but maybe better seats? Gauge updates all around; speedo, tach, fuel, oil, temp.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:21 pm

History on the Sunbird. I obtained a copy of the invoice from PHS. Not sure this was worth $65 but it is still cool.

I had already confirmed it was originally a sterling sliver car. The fact that it was originally optioned with the rare Honeycomb wheels (9% of production) was an interesting surprise. Too bad they were lost to history. If I were going to keep it as 13" wheels I would go hunt a set down. It was also spec'ed with the rare clock option (7% of production) but it is dead too...and will be replaced with another gauge, probably fuel.

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Invoice
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:32 pm

Your existing clock can be rebuilt with a kit or there are a few services that will do it for you I have purchased the kit and haven't done anything with it yet. Harry https://www.clocksandgauges.com/ http://www.ebay.com/usr/clocks4cars?_tr ... 7675.l2559 which is the first link just on eBay , for sure and maybe on these two http://www.bobsspeedometer.com/1/120/index.asp http://redlinegaugeworks.com/ I found mine on eBay I believe from these guys http://www.ebay.com/usr/omicronclock605 ... 7675.l2559
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:44 am

Poking around in the garage over the weekend and saw a small rust spot. I'm a picker so I started poking only to see the spot turn into a hole. I'm not sure how bad of a spot this is on the car. It is in the left front wheel well just inside of the plastic wheel well liner. The rest of the car appears to be in great shape but I know there are a couple other spots that will need some attention. Any thoughts?

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Hole...
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I am planning to pull most of the car apart after June to start the major project work. Thanks :shock:
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby zeke » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:22 pm

Chevys are bad for collecting leaves down inside the side cowl areas. Moisture gets held in and corrosion. Check those areas out with a shop vac hose. If it's real bad, you will see the outer fender bubbling up near the bottom. If you're planning to disassemble the car anyways, you know when you get the fender off.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:23 pm

Thanks, Chris. The fenders do not seem to have any issues. Of course, the car was repainted some time ago so I'm sure I'll find some hidden surprises once I start taking it apart. I'm debating a complete tear down and rebuild anyway. I've wanted to build this car for 25+ years so I don't see the point in cutting corners at this point.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:31 am

Visited Wilbert's U Pull It in Williamson, NY just to see this 1978 (actually a 1980) Sunbird.

wilberts.jpg
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It was a four cylinder, automatic car. Seats and steering column were gone. The grills were inside the car. Passenger door looked good but drivers door was pretty rotted at the bottom. I pulled the sill plates (passenger was perfect but drivers was a little corroded), door handle escutcheons (Not perfect but better than mine), Over flow tank (four cylinder one and I really need a v6 one), Master Cylinder cover (mine is really bad), Hood release cable (near perfect), and the plastic front valence panel. Unfortunately, the front valence has a crack in it but I'm missing mine and I think this one is fixable. Not a bad haul for just over $30. :th:
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:06 pm

Cool. I could have bought this car whole for 600 back in like 2001. That 4 banger probably runs. It ran ok back then. I should buy the motor for my brown coupe. I got the grill surrounds from it late last year.
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Re: 1976 Pontiac Sunbird TC

Postby RedFiveKBS » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:13 pm

Dammit, Marco. I was looking for those grill surrounds! :lol: The grills are still inside the car. They looked nice but I like my 1976 grills better.

I may go back in April for the heater box/fan. I have a non-functional AC right now.
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