76 Sunbird Project

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76 Sunbird Project

Postby h-bot » Thu Apr 03, 2003 8:06 am

From: img width=12 height=12 border=0 src="http://opi.yahoo.com/online?u=jjcrum1976&m=g&t=0" alt=""_REMOVE_395197_THIS_@yahoo.com

Hello Gentlemen (and Ladies?)
My name is John and I am the proud owner of a 1976 Sunbird. I bought
it when I was 17 (that makes me the same age as my Sunbird). I got
it to be my good-gas-mileage/get-around car 2 months after buying a
1967 Firebird 400 project car. 10 years later, it is my "new" car
that is the project.

I have big dreams for my little H-body and I know this is the place
to go to get tech advice. I want to thank any and all in advance for
1) putting this group together 2) your commitment to the H-body and
the hobby in general, and 3) selflessly giving of your hard earned
knowledge and insights.

My Sunbird (Lizzy's her name) is a notchback (did they even make
hatchbacks in 76?) with the stock 140 and a 5 -speed. My intention
has always been to put a Buick Turbo motor in her, but after reading
a posting awhile back (in HBOA Online?) about how difficult it was I
started to think about 140 build-ups or maybe a race-prepped Iron
Duke. Now, I know it is next to sacrilege to not put a small block
Chevy in an H-body, but because I have the joy of a big V-8 in my
Firebird and because San Diego County regularly has the most
expensive gas in the country, I am limiting myself to 6 cylinders or
fewer. Not to mention this is the hotbed of import "drag" racing and
while most aren't silly enough to race a V-8, I'd love to beat them
at their own game. Now to the nitty-gritty:

I have Glenn's Vega manual from 1975 and in it they discuss both the
Cosworth motor (not financially feasible) and the IECO mods that
could make 190+ hp and suspension mods that would out-corner
the Porsche of the time.

I know IECO is out of business, but has any one seen any of these
parts around?

What about the Iron Duke? When did GM start using it in H-Bodies?
What kind of hp potential does the Iron Duke have? I've seen it
referred to as "the Legendary Iron Duke," but I know next to nothing
about it.

What about Manual Transmissions? I'd like to be able to use a more
modern 5-speed or maybe even a 6-speed.

What are the horsepower/torque limits of the stock rearend? I'd
prefer to step up to rear discs and 5-lug. What are my options?

And most important right now (as suspension failure is why she is
now a project car... what about front suspension?
I know PSC has poly rebuild kits, but what else is available? I've
always liked how she's handled with the only mod being cut coils for
a 1 1/2 inch drop in the front, but I know she can handle better.

I've heard about swapping the upper control arms side to side - why
is this beneficial and are there any side effects?

Who makes new springs (preferrably lower than stock)?

Has a rack and pinion conversion been done - are there any benefits?

What about spindle conversions? Again, I'd like bigger discs and 5-
lug wheels.

Answers to these questions and any other ideas/suggestions would be
greatly appreciated. I realize this is very long and I apologize -
future posting won't be nearly as long.

Thanks again,
John




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