file 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop

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05 Jul 2017 16:13 #3794 by oestek
oestek created the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
This slick 1978 Pontiac Trans Am came to the V8 Speed & Resto Shop for some upgrades to make it a better car to drive on cross-country trips. We're installing a 2004R overdrive transmission, a FAST EZ-2.0 Fuel Injection system, and changing the rear gears to a 3.73:1 ratio for better acceleration. Follow along as we put some “Zoom” back in this ‘bird!

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10 Jul 2017 21:46 #3804 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
Overall, this is a very clean car. It just went through a recent restoration, where it underwent a color change. It was originally a gold car with tan interior, but the restoration shop reshot it in black and added the gold SE stripes.





It ran pretty well, but it didn’t make very much power, and the 2 series rear gears didn’t help the acceleration at all.





Little oil leak up front.



First task, remove the TH350 transmission in preparation for the 700R4 Overdrive unit.





Locally-sourced 700R4 installed.

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31 Jul 2017 12:23 #3818 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
This car had a fuel leak where the vent had been soldered into the top of the tank. Part of our EFI swap was to include a new tank with an internal EFI high-pressure pump from TANKS, Inc., so we didn’t let this issue bother us.







The car’s owner requested that we check the leaky oil pan gasket “while we’re down there”, so we pulled the pan to replace the gaskets. Here’s where things took an unexpected turn as we discovered oil-pickup screen clogging globs of silicone and bearing remnants in the pan…







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31 Jul 2017 12:24 #3819 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
The engine came out for inspection.








It’s hard to see in these pics because the angle is not the best, but the thrust bearing was destroyed. The pieces in the pan were chunks of the thrust bearing. A couple of the main and rod journals were scored as well. After a not-so-fun discussion with the owner, it was determined that a block clean-up and bottom end rebuild was in order.







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31 Jul 2017 12:26 #3820 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
The block was sent out for a cleaning, overbore, and line-bore, and the crank was undercut to remove the scratches. New bearings and pistons

The call was made to upgrade to a COMP Cams roller cam for better power and reduced risk of flat-tappet cam issues.



The cam is grind XR264HR, which is a hydraulic roller grind designed for daily drivers, with advertised strong torque and a smooth idle. The specs are:

Intake / Exhaust Lift: .487 / .495, Intake / Exhaust Duration: 264 / 270 Degrees, Intake / Exhaust Duration @ .050” Lift: 212 / 218 Degrees

It’s not a high-lift cam, but we needed to keep the package happy with the stock 1978 cylinder heads and intake manifold. We were not out to build a racer, but add some torque to make it more fun to drive.



We installed a new timing set as part of the kit, and the roller lifters require shorter pushrods as well. The heads were in good shape, so we cleaned ‘em up and swapped the valve springs for a set that was better matched to the cam and put them all back together.





All new ARP hardware was used, including cam bolts, rod bolts, main studs, and head bolts. The water pump impeller to housing spec was checked before reinstallation. A new oil pump and pickup were installed.



The rod and main clearances were checked upon reassembly, and all was deemed good to go. The engine was cleaned, masked, and prepped for paint.

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31 Jul 2017 12:27 #3821 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am FAST EFI, Overdrive, and Performance Upgrades at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop
The fresh 400 was sprayed with Eastwood ceramic engine paint in the original color.







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