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My 1980 Firebird

  #31  
Old 07-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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Thanks!

Unfortunately I have only had her on track once since we got the engine in, and that was this past April. However, due to an unfortunate lack of foresight, we didn't replace the clutch when we put the engine in. Sure enough, on the first session it became apparent it wasn't up to the task. I limped her around for two days, but for sure we weren't running laps like we want.

The new clutch is in now, but not sure when we'll get out again; been very hectic at work this summer. Planning on Road America in October and possibly Sebring in November, but before then who knows.

I'll probably put the street tires back on and at least drive her around a bit in the next few weeks at least. It's a bit finicky on the road, but that's part of her charm!
 
  #32  
Old 05-13-2013, 01:15 PM
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So I did replace the clutch last summer and we went up to Road America last October. Unfortunately it rained all that weekend, and since we don't have rain tires we only attempted one session before deciding discretion was the better part of valor.

However just a weekend ago we were back up there again, and this time the weather cooperated beautifully. I got in two fantastic sessions in the dry for the first time in almost two years and felt great. Then the clutch started slipping again which made no sense as it barely had any time on it.

Long story short is we believe the transmission is leaking onto the clutch. Those old Muncies do not have a proper front seal, instead depending entirely on the front bearing to keep the fluid in. Doing some research, we've also found that the front plug of the mainshaft is prone to leakage. Without looking at it yet we believe one or both of these is oiling up the disc. I was barely able to get the car back on the trailer.

There was more: Dad's car broke a rocker stud which we quickly fixed, but then soon after sheared the distributor gear off again so he was out. Then our third car that my uncle was driving lost fifth gear so we ended up 3-for-3.

Believe it or not, we left feeling we'd had a pretty good weekend. These are minor problems compared to two other cars which left in various states of, shall we say, misalignment. Any time you get to spend a weekend at one of the best tracks in North America, as opposed to at work, it's bound to be a good time. If you haven't driven there you owe it to yourself to make the trip. Three long straightaways to let your car stretch its legs, and the facility continues to improve every year.

We'll get things sorted out and hopefully be up there again mid-June.

I only have the one photo in the pits to share and I hadn't had a chance to wash it yet but here it is.
 
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Last edited by mattjs33; 05-13-2013 at 01:16 PM.
  #33  
Old 09-03-2013, 04:24 AM
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kudos to you man!! beautiful machine enjoy in best of health!
 
  #34  
Old 05-08-2014, 10:09 AM
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Last weekend was our annual spring trip up to Road America. The weather was fantastic, if a bit windy, and for the first time in years everything on the old 'Bird cooperated 100%. There was a good turnout for this group and while the track is still a bit green, we got some nice laps in.

Reading through this thread previously you can see I've had a litany of engine, gearbox, and clutch problems over the last four years and it's been a while since I made it through all the sessions both days. Thus it took a while to re-familiarize with the car and learn once again how to drive it hard. The first day I ran a trio of 2:44's, and by the second day I had gotten down to 2:42, which I was pretty happy with.

I still haven't pulled the trigger on a GoPro, but here are select pictures from the weekend (that's Dad chasing me into Turn 5).
 
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2014, 02:26 PM
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Nice.
 
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