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1971/2001 Trans Am Project

Part 2

This very interesting project was sent to me and written by Aaron. See his new website here at www.extremefirebird.com

I spent the past Thanksgiving Day four-day weekend to work on the car with my parents.  Between the Labor Day weekend (when we first tore the 71 and 01 Firebird apart) and now, a lot of time was spent fine-tuning what I wanted the car to do.  I'm still going to drop in the new aluminum block fuel injected 350 LS1 as well as the 01 TA interior, dash, and seats.  The lay down coil-over rear suspension had to be scratched otherwise there wouldn't be enough room for the exhaust to come back through and I prefer to see the pipes come through the custom rear.  So the standard up and down coil-over will be put in.  

  Also since Labor Day, the 71 was taken into ZooKeeper Custom Hot Rods chassis shop in Marion, Iowa for the factory tubs to be extended further inward for the gorgeous new wheels and rubber.  That took the majority of the time, but it was definitely worth it!  Now there's plenty of room for the 17" chrome Torque Thrust IIs with 315mm wide Goodyear F1 AQCD rubber.  The four-point cage was also put in very nice and tight to the shell.  From the outside of the car, it's hard to tell a cage is even in there.  Beautiful work!  Under slung bars were also welded onto the rear frame to hold the 9" rear end and 4.11 gears.  The drive shaft tunnel is cut and will need to be moved to make room for the adjustable pan hard bar.  The holes near the seats will be where the mufflers will be located.  The overall pictures of the Firebird don�t! do justice to how awesome of a stance it has and how low it is.  From the floor to the top of the roof is 51" with about 1" of rake.  

In the coming weeks, ZooKeeper will finish up on the rear end suspension by mounting the QA1 conversion kit.  All four shocks are 12-way adjustable.  The picture also shows the three-piece aluminum hub and adapter, and 12.5" drilled and slotted rotors.  I also bought four piston calipers all the way around, stainless steel brake lines, and 2" custom drop spindles all from Wilwood for a great deal.  The chassis shop will also weld in an older style tail light housing panel so that the longer tail lights from a 74-78 will fit.  This was also done because our tail light panel on the Bird is damaged and a replacement was hard to find, but mainly because the longer lights were better looking.  The lower valence will then need to be custom made.  They will also make take the rear bumpers from ! a 68-73 corvette and extend them to fit the Firebird and trim them so that they don't stick out as far.  Also, the front stub might need to be replaced since it looks bent and there's grinding marks underneath.  Whoever owned it before must have watched too much Dukes of Hazard! I

Thanksgiving Day weekend was spent mostly sandblasting and sanding doors, fenders, trunk lid, spoiler pieces, and the formula hood.  The door handles and all of the side markers were welded up and short strand fiber reinforced filler was put over them.  The vents on the formula hood were also cut out and fiberglass was placed over them to smooth it out.  All of this will make the car very clean and very long!  I'm getting close on choosing a paint color and it has been narrowed down to a darker blue.  Still need to decide.  

Hopefully the car will be ready for paint around Christmas time and final assembly during winter and spring.  I hope you all had a great holiday!  

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Feel free to drop me a note. * I am looking for some good articles for the third and fourth gen birds. If you have any that you would like to see on this site send them to me and I will post them on my site.     

  • The information in here is just an outline.
  • The author claims no responsibility for the info contained in these pages. 
  • If unsure of any tip or modification seek a professional for the job.
  • In some states this may violate pollution laws
  • Check with your state on the laws.
  • Not affiliated with Pontiac or General Motors