Brian
Brian UltraDork
5/3/20 8:15 a.m.

about 3 months ago I picked up this:

powered by this:

it was already lightly modded when I got it.  There's chassis bracing along the rockers, SLP Runners, edelbrock headers, and a hypertech chip.
The car has the WS6 suspension (36/24 sway bars, biggest available), and the N10 exhaust (dual cats worth 10hp), 9 bolt 3.27 posi with PBR calipers out back. 
I've gotten some 17s for it in order to upgrade the handling some more.  I've got the C5 front brakes in the process of going on.
 

plans currently call for upgrading the ECU to an EBL flash II port model, Heads, cam, First intake setup, and a wunder bar too.  Eventually I'll do c5 rear brakes as well.  I'm hoping to handle as well as my son's bird, possibly better but with WAY more power on tap.  I built his bird last year with just suspension and brake upgrades.  motor and trans are completely bone stock 305 TBI, except for the air cleaner lid.

 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/3/20 9:10 a.m.

I've liked those since they were new. A coworker in the mid-90's had a 305/ 5 spd as his daily.  The bummer about the 350 version was it was automatic only. Any plans to ... "fix" that?  Oh.. and it needs the proper off-set bump hood. smiley

Brian
Brian UltraDork
5/3/20 4:45 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Me too.
The 305 TPI m/t cars were almost as powerful as the 350s according to published specs.  same cam for a 10hp difference between the 2.
I'm not going to convert it to a manual, I don't want a manual trans.

I have the proper hood from the 88, but it's steel vs this one that's fiberglass.  I'm all about shaving lbs where I can.  a fiberglass "turbo" hood would be ideal, but not something in the cards for now.

I could have put this hood on:

 

Brian
Brian UltraDork
6/1/20 1:21 p.m.

Today I recieved a used set of Koni yellows for it.  They are now on the list of parts that need to be installed.  So many things that need to get done to it devil

 

iansane (Forum Supporter)
iansane (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/1/20 3:28 p.m.

I'll be paying attention to this, I've got a '91 trans am and for some reason really like 3rdgens.

Are you going to pu the original style spoiler on it?

Brian
Brian UltraDork
6/1/20 4:15 p.m.
iansane (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll be paying attention to this, I've got a '91 trans am and for some reason really like 3rdgens.

Are you going to pu the original style spoiler on it?

nope, they don't appeal to me, PLUS the cost on them is ridiculous.  I sold a beat up one for $200 and the guy was thrilled with it.  I'm good with the little wing.

 

 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/1/20 4:29 p.m.

Since a very young age I have wanted one of these, blue with white stripes and wheels, with a chrome supercharger sticking out of the hood between 8 zoomies.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
1/14/21 8:19 p.m.

just a small update.  
We put on a full Magnaflow exhaust (dual cats and back)
new trans cooler lines today (old one was a bit dinged and I didn't trust the flow)
did a full synthetic oil change along with a wix filter and noticed that the car has roller rockers already installed.
It now has tubular rear arms and panhard rod.
The wunderbar is on.
EBL and FIRST intake are sitting on the shelf along with some ebay aluminum heads.



More recent pic

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
1/14/21 8:45 p.m.

Good start. And it sounds like you have a wise set of mods planned. You may or may not end up needing to do the C5 rear brake swap though, the PBR rears are quite powerful (believe it or not when) working properly and it's actually kind of tough to get a lot of heat in the rear brakes on a 3rd Gen. When you put on the C5 fronts the PBR rears will become even more powerful unless you install a prop valve. In fact they might become so powerful that you'll want to put the C5s on for proper balance. So you probably do want to do the C5 rears!

 

edit: Oh wait, looks like from the last pic the C5 brakes are already on. Stock brakes aren't going to fill out those wheels that well!

Brian
Brian UltraDork
1/14/21 8:50 p.m.
GCrites80s said:

Good start. And it sounds like you have a wise set of mods planned. You may or may not end up needing to do the C5 rear brake swap though, the PBR rears are quite powerful (believe it or not when) working properly and it's actually kind of tough to get a lot of heat in the rear brakes on a 3rd Gen. When you put on the C5 fronts the PBR rears will become even more powerful unless you install a prop valve. In fact they might become so powerful that you'll want to put the C5s on for proper balance. So you probably do want to do the C5 rears!

 

edit: Oh wait, looks like from the last pic the C5 brakes are already on. Stock brakes aren't going to fill out those wheels that well!

It's got C5 up front with stock out back.  The green one has C5 front and LS out back.

 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
1/14/21 11:12 p.m.

Wow the PBR equipped rotors are a lot bigger than what usually comes on a non-PBR 9-bolt rear end. I thought it was just a caliper change for '89.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
1/15/21 7:41 a.m.
GCrites80s said:

Wow the PBR equipped rotors are a lot bigger than what usually comes on a non-PBR 9-bolt rear end. I thought it was just a caliper change for '89.

1.  It's a PBR 9-bolt setup.
2. the wheels are only 17s
3. The rotor diameter is 11.7(ish) LS rears are 12".  the 88 "non-perf" are 10.5" 

 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
1/15/21 10:26 a.m.

I've got 17s on my IROC with the 10.5 rear rotors and they don't fill out the wheels nearly as well. In '87 you couldn't get the PBRs.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
4/26/21 8:38 a.m.

just a little update.
Replaced the turn signal indicator bulbs because the cluster I swapped in had orange LEDs in it.  Orange LED + Green lens = mud.  I got some amazon white LEDs and now I can actually see my turn signal indicators.

Put in a new distributor and had it timed.
Replaced the damaged fender
Replaced the XM antenna. 
New KYB excel-G shocks and struts
New Coil Springs all around
Replaced the 4 spoke stock wheel for an earlier 3 spoke TA wheel


I ended up selling the FIRST intake and the Konis.
 

The EBL is on the shelf because I didn't want to put it in before I got it running "properly", so that is the next thing to do

dannyp84
dannyp84 New Reader
4/26/21 2:39 p.m.

Looks tough! A friend of mine has a white '89 Formula and I like it so much better than his 4th gen F body, easier to see out of, more interesting interior, and I prefer the sound of a small block over LS engines. What's a wunder bar?

Brian
Brian UltraDork
4/26/21 2:47 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

wunderbar is a chassis brace that GM installed on some cars to help keep the steering gear from ripping off the frame in hard corners.  it's basically a lower tie bar that goes between the front rails by the sway bar frame mounts.

 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/26/21 3:52 p.m.

Have you changed the torque arm mount? If not, put that on your list. Moving the mount off the transmission to the cross member makes a surprising difference.

Check the module in that new distributor. The TPI module is different from the far more common TBI unit. The car will run, but the timing will back off above 3500 if using a TBI module.

GM number D1943A is the good one.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
4/26/21 4:06 p.m.
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) said:

Have you changed the torque arm mount? If not, put that on your list. Moving the mount off the transmission to the cross member makes a surprising difference.

Check the module in that new distributor. The TPI module is different from the far more common TBI unit. The car will run, but the timing will back off above 3500 if using a TBI module.

GM number D1943A is the good one.

according to the catalog, I take a D1984A.  I've got one sitting on my desk.
I didn't think about the module being different between TBI and TPI setups.  Catalog shows them as being the same on mine.

Torque arm mount is still stock.

The car is just a street cruiser that is fun to drive.  it's got mods that I know nothing about, it's just how I got it.

 

FatMongo
FatMongo Reader
4/26/21 9:42 p.m.

This car is so gorgeous. I remember  when 3rd gen Formulas were plentiful $2500 cars.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/27/21 7:02 a.m.

Perhaps it was from watching too much Knight Rider, but I really like the way 3rd gen T/As look. I can't wait to see where this project goes.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
4/27/21 11:04 a.m.
FatMongo said:

This car is so gorgeous. I remember  when 3rd gen Formulas were plentiful $2500 cars.

Thank you. I bought mine for less than 2500, including shipping ;).  I got a good deal because I was willing to drive out to the sticks to look at it.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
4/3/22 9:32 p.m.

A year later update.
I got some information from the second owner of the car about some of the mods, sadly it was info I already knew except for him saying the cam was stock.  Once I heard that, I went and ordered a new cam to go in.  Well, we tore down the top half of the engine and found an upgraded cam in there already.  Apparently one of the more recent owners had been in the engine and done some more upgrades.  Today I went to swap to some larger than stock bosch injectors, but decided to run the numbers on the old injectors, turns out the injectors it had were already larger than stock (at least according to every source I've found except southbay).  They are 94-97 LT1 injectors.
The EBL ECU is now installed, I had it running on it before we started tearing into the motor.  
I got a smoking deal on some 17x9 year one snowflakes brand new in the boxes with caps that will be test fit for caliper clearance once the motor is finished.
Then hopefully this fall the car will make it's way to our new home down florida way.  

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