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1985 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am


#1

As a foreword, please try to bare with my terrible formatting; for I’m not good at essays.

This is my '85 Trans Am, it has a (pending) killrob-disapproved 5.0 small block V8 with bad rings breathing through the dreaded electronic quadrajet 4bbl carburetor. The engine is mated to a 700r4 4-speed auto which in turn is mated to a 3.08 LSD rear end.

At the end of, it probably only has 120 rwhp which gets it to 60 in 9 seconds. :thinking:


Painted tire lettering, just like a true ricer

I’m the third owner and the second owner to drive it more than 500 miles. It is numbers matching for now and was completely stock when I bought it. So far I’ve done pretty much just maintainance and restoration stuff, other than installing a magnaflow catback and adding keyless entry. I’m planning on dropping a 350 in this fall as well as headers, although the E4ME carb is staying because I like it and it was also used on factory 350 cars.


If you look carefully, you can see the engine block from the under the hood.

As stated previously, the engine is a 305cui, 5.0L small block v8 with hydraulic flat tappets.

From the factory it made 165hp@4200 and 240lb/ft@2400. It’s mainly choked by the exhaust manifolds and small exhaust diameter, hence the catback currently and headers in the future.

In the present, however, it makes more like 140hp due to bad rings and carbon buildup. Thankfully it doesn’t burn much oil, or at least not enough to make the exhaust blue. It also has a spark-knock problem while under heavy load, but I’ve ruled out everything I can think of other than carbon buildup so I just whacked the idle mixture up and and retarded the timing to limit damage for now.

Mileage falls somewhere between abysmal and ignorance is bliss.

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Radtastic 80’s interior, devoid of useful storage

The car is surprisingly good at handling, considering the 4-link live axle rear end and 3300lb weight. It remains firmly planted on on-ramps. I haven’t successfully measured lateral G’s but these cars pulled 0.83 with the stock 1985 245/50r16 goodyear gatorbacks. Steering is fast and sharp as far as 80’s power steering goes and the brakes are boosted but still somewhat heavy. Can’t say much for shifting or clutch since I’m an automatic pleb. The throttle response is so-so but gets better when warm. All around it is a fun car to drive, although the spark knock is a real killjoy once the cylinders heat up from too much enthusiasm.
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3rd gen F-bodies don’t have glove boxes because the HVAC box is in the way, so you get this neat little pouch

more to come at some point, probably, maybe


#2

Absolutely beautiful. I love the color and everything about it. It’s really a shame most of the F-bodys are completley trashed nowadays but that looks almost new.


#3

Looks nice. Definitely needs more power, though, but at least it’s not a KITT tribute for once, and that kind of thing seems a little too common nowadays, such is the popularity of the Knight Rider TV show. I actually like the 3rd-gen F-bodies better if they’re blue, in fact, which your car certainly is. And with a few choice aftermarket mods, it will hopefully no longer embarrass itself it you take it to the nearest Radwood, which is what this car was built for.


#4

LA’s a bit far from the northeast, unfortunately.Speaking of which, I forgot to say the greatest thing about the car: no rust other than the battery tray! Underside is completely clean and straight, which I find super impressive for a car which has always lived in the rust belt.


#5

Looks super clean. Like something out of Streetside Classics. Congrats and good luck!

You say “northeast”, but I’m assuming it’s not New York because there’s no front plate.


#6

Cleanest 3rd gen I’ve seen in a while. And the 3rd gen is my favorite looking of the F bodies. Props for sticking with the electronic carb. I know the pain of dealing with those from my old 88 Honda Accord.


#7

They aren’t so bad, they’re mainly hated because people don’t understand how the work.