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  1. #1
    AUscorp1's Avatar
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    Default Matt's 2001 Firebird Convertible







    Well, after about 18 months it is probably time to dedicate a thread to my 2001 Pontiac Firebird Convertible.

    I wanted a RWD convertible sports car, with 4th Gen F-bodies being at the top of my reality list, for a long time but due to an early start of a family and military relocations to places like Alaska I had to wait until the last of them were about a decade old. I've been through my share of minivans (yes plural) but have also owned a 2001 Cougar, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) and motorhome in the meantime. Each is now long gone but brought fond memories and friendships, and I am already making the same with my Firebird.

    According to the records check, I am the second owner as of July 16th 2011.

    It only had 67,885 miles when I got it but there were some areas that needed attention:
    - Coolant was a little chunky
    - Trans fluid badly needed a change
    - Top mechanicals are non-operational
    - Rear bumper cover cracked
    - Driver side door skin separated from door frame
    - Driver side fender mounting tab was used as a jack point at least once
    - Small dents and chips on the hood
    - Someone ran it through a brush car wash with the radio on and bent the antenna so it did not fully retract

    On the bright side there were no major mechanical issues and it met my requirements:
    - Convertible
    - All black
    - Relatively low miles
    - Relatively clean paint and interior
    - Minimal rust
    - Complete
    - Y87 Package

    I put it in the garage and got to work:
    - Flushed coolant
    -- Gave the overflow tank a thorough cleaning
    -- Busted the battery hold-down bolt in the process so JB Welded a stud in its place
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4495

    - Changed transmission fluid
    -- Installed a plug in the transmission fluid pan
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4497

    In May 2012 I bought a new rear bumper cover from 1Kustombird after G16.
    - It sat until October 2012 when I could get it to a good body shop I found in Huntsville, AL
    -- I don't have good before pictures to share

    In July 2012 I got the driver side door skin rebonded to the door frame. The issue was more than cosmetic as it popped out enough that it rubbed the driver side fender ever time I opened the door.
    - I used no-residue duct tape to hold it in place until summer when the adhesive would get greasy and fail to hold.
    - I pondered fixing it myself for about a day and am glad I went to a professional.
    - While in the body shop, they also straightened the driver side fender mounting tab that is not a jack point.
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4418

    By mid-January 2013 I also did the following:
    - Battery died so I replaced with an Optima Red Top
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4526

    - Air Filter due for change so I installed an Airaid Synthamax No Oil Filter
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4517

    - Persistent engine misfire led to misdiagnosis of a transmission issue so I installed new AC Delco plugs and wires to resolve
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4629

    - Persistent voltage wavering so I installed a new alternator to resolve
    See: http://www.v6f-body.com/showthread.php?t=4866

    - Gently reshaped and lubricated the antenna segments (Free Fix!). It now properly extends and retracts.
    2001 Firebird Convertible, V6 4A, Y87, All Black, Daily Driver
    32MM Front Sway Bar; Whisper Lid

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    Now it is time to do some upgrades.
    I bought the following from Pace:
    - Koni 4/4 Adjustable Shocks
    - Sam Strano Springs
    - Aluminum 1-Piece Driveshaft
    - 32mm Front Sway Bar w/Moog bushings
    - 19mm Rear Sway Bar w/Poly bushings
    - Whisper Lid
    - SLP CAI

    Front Sway Bars (stock is on the bottom)


    Everything Else


    I will have my work cut out for me between now and G17.

    So far I have swapped the front sway bar. That seemed to make a noticeable difference. That was a bit of a rush job so I did not get a good before picture. I will try to get an after next time I raise the car.

    Next up is the Whisper Lid.
    I had to order the IAT sensor grommet (GM 24504388) which should be here any day.
    I ordered from my nearest dealer because it was a few dollars cheaper than ordering online. The online vendor part prices were lower, but then shipping was 3x the part price.
    My plan is to run for about a week with just the lid then install the CAI to see if it makes much difference.
    I also thought about removing the "3800II" lettering, but it must be good for at least 15 HP.

    I will post progress in this thread of the upgrades I have listed above to help keep me on track and also for your reference in case you are considering them for your car.
    2001 Firebird Convertible, V6 4A, Y87, All Black, Daily Driver
    32MM Front Sway Bar; Whisper Lid

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    nice, sound like a sweet ride.

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    very nice matt. truely in the top 10 f-body's on this site

    96 Camaro Cam'd anti-Coupe
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    Default Re: Matt's 2001 Firebird Convertible

    Nice ride! I have the cai from SLP and I believe it made a positive difference. I will also have a whisper lid very soon and I already have a k&n filter so we have very similar intakes

    2002 35th Anniversary Camaro
    SLP CAI&Lid, filter, and ZZP baffle delete
    32/19 WS6 Sway bars w/ poly bushings, BMR STB
    C5 Y2K wheels WS6 hood. Full LED swap

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    Im jealous of the konis and strano springs......im gonna have to go with Bilsteins and stranos

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    Thanks for the comments. I get a lot of inspiration from seeing what everyone else has done and am glad I am finally at a point where I can expect to keep a nice car long enough to make it my own.
    2001 Firebird Convertible, V6 4A, Y87, All Black, Daily Driver
    32MM Front Sway Bar; Whisper Lid

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    Default Matt's 2001 Firebird Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by AUscorp1
    I also thought about removing the "3800II" lettering, but it must be good for at least 15 HP.
    I always hated that vinyl lettering that came on it and had planned on removing it, but didn't get around to doing it. Every time I opened the hood it would result in me finding something else to clean, inspect, etc. Lol.

    Glad you posted up a thread. Your Firebird looks clean and those parts will make a nice difference in how it feels. I haven't driven mine much since putting it back to stock, but I can already tell how much looser and unresponsive it feels.
    1999 Camaro
    Quote Originally Posted by Al 96 Ram Air T/A View Post
    The F-body is like the Corvette's fat little sister...still hot, but is a bit loose.

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    AUscorp1's Avatar
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    Default Matt's 2001 Firebird Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by Pace View Post
    I always hated that vinyl lettering that came on it and had planned on removing it, but didn't get around to doing it. Every time I opened the hood it would result in me finding something else to clean, inspect, etc. Lol.

    Glad you posted up a thread. Your Firebird looks clean and those parts will make a nice difference in how it feels. I haven't driven mine much since putting it back to stock, but I can already tell how much looser and unresponsive it feels.
    Thanks for the compliments. I try to keep it clean.

    There are some curvy hillside roads near my house so I will be able to thoroughly test the new suspension.

    The IAT grommet is not here yet so I think the lettering may disappear tonight.
    2001 Firebird Convertible, V6 4A, Y87, All Black, Daily Driver
    32MM Front Sway Bar; Whisper Lid

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    I love your car.

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