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Old 02-08-2017, 09:33 PM   #1
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Back from the days from firebirdv6 my screen name was always Blackbyrd though it had 31 on the end. Even then I wished I had a Trans am but insurance was real and I couldnt swing it. So I bought a firebird with the w68 ground effects and t tops. I told my self when I could afford it Id buy a TA.....then they quit making them so I decided a motor swap was in order. What follows is a way for me to put it all together in one place to show how the 3.8 auto 01 firebird became the 414 m6 Blackbyrd. We cant appreciate where we are without knowing where we have been. I got this car when I was 18 and have been the only owner so she is special to me and her name is Veronica.....and she is a bitch

humble beginnings.....I always loved red and black and that will become more apparent as this thread develops and I get its not for everyone.

the flat hood had to go though but I never liked the ws6 hood to many snouts for me loved the raptor/firehawk hood but it was just too flat so I settled on the slp HO ram air hood as to me is was the best of both worlds and is pretty rare these days. She needed some wheels to and torque thrust II's and all was good.....well minus the auto v6 part but that had to wait until I made up my mind/ came up with a plan.

more to come in the following posts
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:00 PM   #2
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the early days ......they were dark days hahaha. I was young and went a little overboard with things. I refined things a bit more as I got older, but man I went overboard on the red in the engine bay. The 3.8 was fun did all kinds of mods TB spacer CAI B&B exhuast hypertech programmer a few suspension upgrades. It was fun but I always wanted more power. It was about this time college was about to wrap up (end of 05) and I had a plan. I knew I wanted to do a motor swap convert to a manual, I had done so much to make the car mine at this point I didnt want to give it up. Hood interior love, and stereo components and a lot of hand made stuff.

So the plan was speced out what was needed and how to do it. I settled on a 408 orriginally and went through a long gone company called Mizfit motorsports. I think they ended up with a poor rep, but they took great care of me. I changed my mind and wanted a 427 threw down some extra bones and he hooked me up with a ls7 block. He didnt build the motors himself and sub'ed to a different group in kentucky. They came and picked up the 408 and started the build on the 427. Months went by under the guise of me needing to pick a cam.......then I got a call. Mizfit called and said I wanted you to hear it from me, myy builder went chapter 11 and im headed to pick up all my builds but I dont know what im in for. I was told mine was done and awaiting a cam in truth it was bare block no crank or pistons the heads were bare. Taylor pled for time said he would cover me as I bought all of my parts through him. I said ok, but after 6 months of waiting he contacted me with an offer. He offered me his 414 to make us square and at the time 2006 it was pretty radical build with some unheard of specs. He claimed 550rwhp which was my goal. It made us square and I agreed as he just didnt have the funds to finish the build I speced. All the components were set and it was time to pull the entire drivetrain.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:17 PM   #3
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got her on the lift where she stayed for about 3 years. First things first the old must go! It took a lot less time than I exected to drop the motor out the bottom. 4.5 hours and it was done from radiator to tail shaft and later the rear end. All of it had to go fuel lines and a majority of the supsension got replaced when I started to put the rest of it together. Before the tear down I had put a set of Qa1 adjustable shocks on the rear that were part of the build but my rears were worn and I was still driving the car so I put them on and dialed them in which was personally a waste since it would have to be redone once the swap was finished.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:26 AM   #4
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Damn! Sucks what happened with that company but at least you got an engine. In for pics and details.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
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Thanks kind of why I called it origin rather than build, because it wasnt what I had planned really and there is a huge "tale" of this car haha probably not as interesting to most as it is to me. But its been so long since I did the build its kind of fun reliving it while I document all of it...too bad the photos are split between 2 computers and an external hard drive.....I fixed part of that last night. There are some shots of the new parts all in the floor of the shop and the motor being delivered that I wanted to put up next if I still have them. Then its into the setting the motor in for the first time.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:04 PM   #6
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with the underside of the car hulled and everything discarded that I couldnt sell or scrap it was time to bring her new heart to the shop and get ready to install it. Its hard to make out but on the table in the back was all the new parts headers, UMI suspension components, and my old wheels and new t56 was all hanging out in the floor. Awaiting the time they would be installed. course at this point I hadnt picked my rear end. The longblock had been hanging out at the house in my garage wrapped up and waiting for the transport where pan valve covers and sensors and accessories would close her all up.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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I was proud of a lot of the things I had done to the car, but none of them compared to putting this all together and setting the car back on top of it. Granted it was still nearly a year from setting the car on it before I got it all plumbed up and running it was a great moment....that nearly ended in tragedy!
While trying to line it all up I had one of the driver side bolts for the UMI k member partially threaded I was trying to bump the lift up to clear the alignment pins and it malfunctioned. The up button hung and with only one bolt in the k member it raised the car to max height before I could flip the breaker. This is a testament to how well UMI parts are constructed. Even being suspended by one mounting point it didnt even bend it. I lowered the car back down with no issue got it back on the jacks and quit for the night. I came back the next night got it lined up and torqued in and got ready to put my clutch and fly wheel in and the hydraulics ready drilling a hole for the master cylinder arm to come through the firewall. All in all converting to a manual was really easy at least for me. Having the lift made all of this work so much easier and it was the best tool in my arsenal. I miss my shop, but it had to be sacrificed for the family business to grow. the lift is still in that building but it now holds an office and our security system for our storage building business so I dont have as much space as I did.

Build specs
6.0 iron block 4.065 Bore
L92 heads with touched up exhaust ports
246/253 .620 ish lift 112 LSA
long tubes
l76 intake manifold with a 90mm holly TB
60lb Injectors speed inc rails
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #8
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So the motor is set it was time to set in the clutch put the pedals in and the UMI torque arm and panhard bar along with my 9". 3.73 with a trutrac that I picked up from a forum member with just a couple of track passes on it. Next it was time to plumb the fuel system and get the rest of the suspension ready so I could set her on the ground.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:12 PM   #9
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plumbed my fuel lines and reg, finished my UMI upper and lower control arms along with the QA1 coilovers. while I was at it decided to fully convert to a TA body with the rear bumper and side skirts since I already had the spoiler. I also got to set her on the ground for the first time and dial in my ride height.

with all this done it was time to finish off the minor details like wiring harness plug wires since I relocated my plug wires put my interior back together. work on my gauge cluster which took some work to figure out....then it was time to fire it up for the first time........which was a whole other story
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:09 PM   #10
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So this point engine was in wired and ready to start for the first time right? well we will get to that. I put my interior back together along with a kind of retro gauge cluster. since I had a stand alone harness it was pretty simple to make all that work and had no issues with previous mileage since nothing factory was left from the original. Froze my *** off one night making plug wires seriously tin metal building with not insulation and a 18 degree night made for a long night. Setup the brakes bleed them the clutch filled all my fluids and had a few friends come out to witness the startup.

This is where things start to suck. So I sent my ECM ouf to get my base tune wanted a SD tune so I gave them all my specs to get my close then I would nail it down on the dyno. well im cranking and cant and get it to fire at all not a lick. start diagning and realize its throwing a code for MAF.....WTF dont need that. cant figure it out so I borrow the one off my truck just to check things. It hits a lick and stumbles and chokes. EVEN MORE WTF. I cant keep it running and find out my cam sensors is toast. Replace that and she fires and idles great.......but she has no oil pressure. Damnit really cant be happening. I think maybe its a priming issue so I pull the fuse so she wont fire and crank till the battery died on it. Still no pressure, so I look at the possible issues. I pull the front cover oil pan and tranny and dirveshaft clutch flywheel. to my utter surprise I find no front plug and the barbell plug in the oil line through the block......why this is a surprise is the builder sent the engine with the front and rear cover already installed. So I picked one up from the dealer got them installed the next day. reinstalled everything and went to start it and got oil pressure. Then it was time to go on a test drive check driveline angle and not be entirely def........ cause she was loud!!!!!

This was her backing out of the shop for the first time to come home

http://vu6.vuclip.com/w?cid=17909928...9&nvt=&z=34801
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:18 PM   #11
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I don't have a lot of picture of all the stuff that happened after this point. I went with fellow board member slowtrp to a dyno shop 45 minutes away and found out my base tune didn't do much to help me it didn't have the correct scaled injectors either. So I don't think they did anything honestly. The tuner didn't have the scale for 60lbs injectors so setup on a fat set of 42lbs'ers and on an unfinished tune I put down 511 rwhp and 488rwtq through a manual and a 9"....I lost part of my exhaust on they to that shop BTW....sometimes I think this car hates me and probably with good reason. I got married and lost my job....good timing right? So I never got to finish the tune and the car sat for two years after that. I did get a much better job making twice the money and the family business took off! We moved again and it took another year for the car to make it to the house.

Once it did I got situated and things were good so I started digging into getting her back up and running. Which lead to an entirely different story and problems
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:58 AM   #12
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I left out a few things after we got married and moved my father in law (who rebuilds hotrods for a living) got me hands the down the best car related christmas gift ever. His best friend runs an interior & upholstry shop and they swap work all the time and he cashed in a favor for me. Got my ws6 seats reupholstered, wrapped my door panels and my center console and re did my head rests. Not to stock, to whatever I wanted. I sketched out a few designs (cause thats what I do apparently) and came up with one I loved and passed it on and they said no problem done. So my seats and door panels are black leather the seats have red double stiching and so does the console and head rests. the inlay (perforated area) is redone following my sketch. and the perforated areas are a slightly different color black almost charcoal. Cant actually tell until its in daylight. The door inserts are a mix of the two with double stiching merging the two types. I have some of my interior parts painted red, which I know some love some hate. It doesnt photo graph well which doesnt help. Ill attach some photos to this post later cause I dont have any good ones. I had a friend from TNfbody that is a tuner in Lyles TN come by and do a 60lbs injector scale and make a few tweaks once I got the car back and at the time found I had a bad O2 on the passenger side (the beginning of a long journey) I swapped it after he left and thought nothing else of it. I didnt do much from this point because I still wanted to get the tune finished so I drove it a few times still having exhuast drooping issues and generally hating the Corsa setup I put on they just dont agree with longtubes and catless y pipe. I happened to find a board member down the road here that helped me out and wanted to trade his B&B for my corsa. I had B&B when it was v6 and I LOVED THAT SOUND. So glad I got to swap them out. Dont get me wrong it was an epic PITA to swap them since the B&B was all welded up so I had to break all the welds so I could install it. still droops bad on the passenger side and I have to get the damn thing set the way I want and this was put on back in 2012. Ditched my TT2's in favor of some c5 DD wheels 18x10.5 all around wrapped in 295's (kind of wish I went wider in the back) and honestly not much happened from now till about late 2014. I would start it everynow and then drain the old gas out. Drag it to a show on occasion but for the most part she sat while I kept saying I didnt need to spend the money on another tune with other things going on in my life. Then......we moved.....again......and had 2 houses to tend to for almost 2 years. So there went my car budget .....again.

pics from a show








For all the troubles and time setting I know why my car hates me haha. Once we moved and got situated and my wife moved jobs giving us a substantial payraise along with me getting a raise I got the bug......for another car rather than fixing the one I had. So I traded my truck and got the GTO.....it wasnt 3 months later that I brought the bird home to roost. New battery oil change and some good gas, and she fired right up minus the bad gas. She felt off but I figured it was just her warming up but she never felt right on the way to the new house (which was all of 8 minutes) I had my buddy follow me in the GTO. Once I got her home I started tearing into all the issues I wanted her back on the road and right......and rid of those god awful QA1 coilovers.

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Old 03-06-2017, 11:23 AM   #13
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At the new house got her squared away and start digging into some issues after driving her to work for a few days. Got a wierd blip almost like a delayed response on the rev. I start doing some digging and find out that number 8's plug wire has been resting on its primary after coming unclipped. Melted her down to the core....so I take this time to go completely overobard. I decide its a great time to move the battery to the trunk so I can put my passenger coils in their place so I can re route the coil wires to be under the headers on both sides....simple right. I remake my plug wires custom length and move my battery to the back (firing it up before moving the battery to the back of course) and double check all that once its in the back. Suddenly I have no fuel pressure. I cant get it over 20psi and it bleeds off immediately. Seriously my car hates me; I pull the regulator and check to make sure the diaphragm hasnt disintegrated, no issues there I think maybe my fuel filter is clogged so I swap that out I mean it has been setting for years at this point. Still nothing so I pull off the inlet to the filter plop it in a bucket and the key.....dribble. Great my pump is dead. Good thing I put in an access door on the trunk deck cause id be pissed if I dropped the tank only to find that the hose from my pump motor to the top of the sending unit had slipped off the pump. Literally was on there just enough to get some pressure but the moment it built up it blew the line right off. So I go get some new fuel line make a new hose and clamp it on. Go to prime it ....blew the damn fuse swapped and finally I have pressure! Now I go to start it after all of this and she still has blip in throttle response. See battery relocation tutorial here BTW https://ls1tech.com/forums/stereo-el...-tutorial.html

next up the QA1's GTFO

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Old 03-06-2017, 11:42 AM   #14
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So after talking with several others about coilover setups, I reached out to Josh at Ridetech to ask some questions about there setup. Just wasnt comfortable going back to a oil filled shock or anything close to what QA1 offered. Settled on Ridetechs Level 2 Fbody setup which to this day I have yet to dial in. I Installed almost all of this setup in one night 6 hours to be exact went until 1 in the morning. Per usual my car hates me read the install here because its kind of hilarious what happened to me https://ls1tech.com/forums/suspensio...h-install.html.

All of this was done because a buddy who was purchasing the qa1's for his turbo build, was dropping by with HPtuners and was gonna help me finish the tune if we had time ( he was literally passing through on his way to Nashville). Finally got the install finished and the height dialed in, I kept the same height as with the qa1 setup. We back it out and hook up HPT and he is looking through my tune and suddenly it makes it to closed loop and bank 2 goes nutso. Injector pulse at idel is damn near double bank 1. We hook up my wide band trying to see whats up, and it killed it it was running so rich. Thinking the O2 was just fried (think back to when I had the guy from Lyles come by he said the same thing) so i go buy another o2 swap it in and keep playing. Still doesing fuel on B2 in closed loop. we run out of time, Im mad as hell but I sold the qa1's and recouped some of the cost of the Ridetech setup. I gather my self and I start digging again I shred wires and pull the harness and check continuity I swapped the working o2 for the bad and nothing cant figure it out. Leads me to repinning the harness and running a 99 ecm cause I cant find another 98 that works bought two for 25 bucks and neither worked. Not wanting to start pulling my dash for the repin (ECM mounted were passenger airbag is upside down accessed through glovebox) and a kid due in 3 months I back off. Not wanting to fight pulling the dash. In the meantime I buy Hp tuners my self and do some tuning on the GTO and some diag on the bird still holding out hope that I will stumble onto something other than repinning the harness.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbyrd View Post
Per usual my car hates me read the install here because its kind of hilarious what happened to me
You're not alone, my car hates me as well. After all I've done for it, it doesn't like to cooperate either.

Your car really makes me want another 4th gen!
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:29 PM   #16
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Thanks Josh,

I was actually working on my next update cause there is some epic news!
So I was working with a friend on an issue with his harness when the dumbest of ideas popped into my head. I have a stand alone harness and it never dawned on me to check the damn O2 fuses. Sure enough one was blown I figured that out back in august but my son was 4 months old at the time and I dare not make that kind of racket in the house. He is starting to sleep great these days and goes to bed at 7 and sleeps through the night. So the past few months when I have had a free moment after he goes down ive been in the basement tinkering. Bout the time I found out the fuse was blown, I had some fuel leaking issues. by now I have pretty much replaced all of the return line an fittings in the engine bay and she holds pressure with no leaks now. Saturday I got her started on some funky gas and most likely awful plugs ...and no steering wheel yeah dont ask. Any way all this time it was the damn fuse this goes back years I just wasnt aware of the dosing problem until I had my buddy scan the car. So as of saturday the O2 issue is resolved. New plugs and fuel sometime this week and installing a new steering column.....I did a steering wheel swap but misalinged the hub adapter which I didnt notice until I torqued the damn thing on. Then I couldnt pull it to off the column, fucked it all up broke the hub adapter ground the stub for the steering well down to nothing hardly any thread left. I tried everything but cutting it off. So I picked up a used shaft for 110 and since I dont have Vats anymore its no big deal to swap them. just have to do it. So thats next and then it will be time to dial in those beautiful Ridetech coilovers .....FINALLY!

then get a tune.

need to get you a 4th gen Josh they are fun ive missed driving mine, I mean the goat holds me over, but there is always something about a 4th gen fbody. Ridetech doesnt have anything that fits the goat do they? If they feel as a great as im expecting buying another set would be an easy sell for me.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:16 PM   #17
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Behold the carnage!!!!!!!

So I actually had this installed once, but when I went to torque it down I had the bolt pattern off so the wheel was cocked 45 degrees to the right. So I went to take it off and align it correctly and it wouldn't budge. Broke one puller and eventually ripped the threads out in chunks and ground the stud to nothing .......So I had to do the sensible thing and buy another column. Luckily vats is turned off so should have no issues. Had to get a new adapter to boot.

Got it lined up and sort of started to thread and thought let's wait. Make sure it all works
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:07 PM   #18
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Car started this afternoon but died after a short idle, I figure the plugs are just about fouled which is just fine cause I picked up a set yestarday. Hopefully tonight I can put the rest of the interior back together and get the plugs in. Then it will be time for some good gas and a drive....hopefully
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:38 AM   #19
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lots of trouble but it has come a long way and looks great. since u have hp tuners and a wideband you gonna tune it yourself now ? what u give for some rental time on a dyno : ) ?
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:50 AM   #20
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Thanks Duke its been good to get back at it lately didnt realize how much I had missed wrench time. Ive been debating tuning it, My father in law bought it after I bought mine and he bought the training school that came with it so I got a learn a lot about it, and have access to some good resources for tuning. Ill probably do some road tuning to see if I can dial in driveability and get comfortable doing it than maybe look for a dyno. You know one close?

hows the pumpkin doing these days?
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