Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
"Specializing in Service and Restoration of
Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
+ + www.TexasTransAms.com
"In Texas if you're not ranching anything, it's not really a ranch."
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+ + Reluctant Sponsor of www.TransAmTerritory.org
September & October†2003†
In this Issue
1a. David's trip to Trans Am Nationals
1b. Rear End Ratios
2. New Project Cars
3. New, re-pops, and discontinued parts
4. Show Room
5. Shipping, Credit Cards
6. Top 100 Muscle Car Site, e-mail and site-search
7. Tee Shirts and Bumper Stickers
8. What's new at the shop?
Take a break from the WKRP watching marathon it's time to read the Texas Trans Am Newsletter!†
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1a. David's trip to Trans Am Nationals -"After many months of anticipation, it was finally time to return to the Trans Am Nationals in
Dayton, Ohio. While I had been there several times before, I missed the Previous year and was long overdue for a fresh dose. I decided to take my 15-year-old son with me. It looked like we would end up driving, but at the last minute, my good friend
"Just plain old Joe" make it possible for us to fly. The following is a run down of our trip.†
Friday 6:14am; with all the restrictions and security checks, we planned
to arrive at the airport two hours early. We didnít arrive as early as
planned, but we made it on the plane. This was my sonís first flight,
(actually his second, but he was only 10 months old the first time.) As
the plane was lifting off, you should have seen the big grin on his face
as he said to me "Daddy, this things got a BIG olí four barrel on
it." When we arrived our old buddy, "Alex from Ohio" was
waiting for us in the airport lobby. Over the next few days Alex would
be our Chauffer, B&B Host and Tour Guide. All performed with flying
colors. On the way to his house, I had to stop at..."
Read the whole article in the 2003 Trans Am Nationals pictures page
(A newsletter subscriber EXCLUSIVE for the next few months.)
See if you can spot David, Alex and Gary talking to the owner of the
1979 Special Edition Convertible on HogsHead Racing's Tipp City coverage
1b. Rear end gear ratios and top speeds. Regularly David is asked by
customers which rear end to put in their car.
As a refresher here are the ratios of 10 bolt factory gears we see in
2nd Gen. Firebirds most often.2.41:1 Standard gearing for 403
Automatic transmission2.56:1 Standard gearing for 400 Automatic
2.73:1 Optional rear end for most automatics
3.08:1 Standard gearing for Turbo engines and Super Duty with Air
3.23:1 Standard gearing for 4 speed car (220 HP 77 - 78 w/ Auto Trans)
3.42:1 Option for early model (Super Duty with out Air Conditioning)
3.73:1 Early model 4 speed
As an example 2.41:1 means that the drive shaft makes 2.41 rotations per
one revolution of the axle or wheel. Thus the closer the ratio number is
to 1:1 the higher the gas mileage, but lower launch performance. Putting
a broader ratio axle (3.73:1) sets the car to launch at an engine RPM
higher in the power band which helps move the car quicker, but at a
cost (especially with the typical Pontiac redline) of top speed.
This helps explain why the stock Olds 403 with 185 HP and 2.41:1 gears got
such great gas mileage in comparison to other large displacement
The following equations are using general
"rule-of-thumb"/5th grade math and does not take into
consideration tire surface friction, vehicle weight, temperature, tire
pressure, quantum physics, the Monroe Doctrine etc... and is
offered for it's entertainment value and for rough comparisons only.
Knowing the axle gear ratio, tire circumference and top engine
speed we can get a rough estimate of top speed in Miles Per Hour. We
measured the circumference of a P225 70R15 at 85 7/16 inches,
and a P255 60R15 at 83 3/4 inches. In the popular Turbo Hydramatic 350
transmission the first gear is 2.52:1, second 1.52:1, and third
1.00:1. What this means is one revolution of the drive shaft per
one revolution of the engine flywheel in third gear. We have
always heard there is about a 10 to 15% horsepower loss from the engine
to the rear tires on the pavement from the torque converter and
tire contact surface. And remember that there is 5,280 feet or 63,360
inches per mile.
3.23:1The following assumes a 5000 RPM red-line.
3.23:1 axle ratio, Pontiac 400 engine with 5,000 RPM red-line and
P255 60R15 rear tires.5,000 engine RPM red-line / axle gear
ratio 3.23 = 1,547.98 axle RPM.1,547.98 axle RPM x 83.75 inch tire
circumference = 129,643.33 inches per min.129,643.33 inches per min / 63360
inches per mile = 2.05 miles per min.2.05 miles per min. x 60
min. = 123 MPH gross
3.73:1David's first 1978 T/A had a 400 with 3.73:1 gears and he swears
it had a top speed of 100 mph with P255 60R15 tires.3.73:1
axle ratio, Pontiac 400 engine with 5,000 RPM Red Line and P255
60R15 rear tires.5,000 engine RPM Red Line / 3.73 axle ratio =
1,340.48 axle RPM1,340.48 axle RPM x 83.75 inch tire
circumference = 112,265.20 inches per min.112,265.20 inches per min. /
63360 inches per mile = 1.77 miles per min.1.77
miles per min. x 60 min. = 106.2 MPH gross
4.10:1We get lots of calls and e-mails saying "I'm going to put a
410 rear end in my Firebird" to which our response is, "Great,
if an 80 MPH top speed is OK, or you are just planning to run it on an
1/8 mile track."4.10:1 axle ratio, Pontiac 400 engine with
5000 RPM Red Line and P255 60R15 rear tires.5000 engine RPM Red
Line / 4.10 axle ratio = 1,219.51 axle RPM.1,219.51 axle RPM
x 83.75 inch tire circumference = 102,133.96 inches per
min.102,133.96 inches per min. / 63360 inches per mile =
1.61 miles per min.1.61 miles per min. x 60 min. = 96.6 MPH
By the way close ratio and wide ratio transmission gearing has nothing
to do with how long the shifter arm is or distance between gears, that's
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2. "Membership has its' privileges"
Welcome back old friends and to "guitarplayerguy999 " and "doug_wills"
who recently became our 326th and 327th new member on the same
day, and to our other 30 new members in September.
Newsletter subscribers get first notice on rare parts and new Project
- 1979 Y84 Black Special Edition. This one made it to Texas
from Canadian "eh". runs and drives "don'
ya know", 403 automatic. Speedometer reads Kilometers Per Hour and
no Air Conditioning "far shore".
- 1980 Brown Formula Runs and drives great, Fisher T-Tops, 15 x 7
Snowflake wheels Pontiac 301 engine with 4-barrel carburetor, Under
100,000 original miles, Paint and decals available
- 1979 Black Trans Am with a '78 nose. 403 Automatic.
It has some rust spots in floor, decent quarter panels.
- 1979 Blue Trans Am with Hurst T-Tops - No Engine
- 1977 Firebird black with yellow flames and snorkel.
It has a sunroof and good seats. Good body, needs engine. This car is
desperately looking for a "B" movie to star in. "Hooper
2003"? The snorkel and paint job alone is worth an extra 100 HP,
even without an engine.
3rd Generation Stuff- 1983 Black Trans Am
car. Engine missing some parts (push rods).
- 1984 Brown Trans Am, New motor and transmission. True
air-induction. T-top car. Wiring harness problem, causes it not to run.
Replacement wiring harness included.
- ADOPTED and MIGRATED to Windsor, Ontario, Canada1974 Firebird
(We still have 2 1974 Firebirds up for adoption
- ADOPTED and MIGRATED to Wisconsin1981 Firebird V6 parts car - No
- ADOPTED and MIGRATED to Wyoming.
1978 Solar Gold Trans Am (Sorry it's not a Y-88) 400 Automatic - Runs
and Drives, Hurst Hatch Tops, Power windows & Door locks, some rust
spots in floor, new exhaust system, straight rear quarters, dent in
front passenger fender.
If you are interested in one of these great project cars, call David at
NEW PARTS CARS
'75 Buccaneer Red T/A, Great Hood, 400 block complete motor.
'76 Yellow T/A, 400 block complete motor.
'75 Burgundy T/A.
'80 White Turbo T/A, 301 Turbo with 4 wheel disk brakes, 308-positrac
rear end with brake booster, master cylinder and proportioning valve.
'66 Ford Pickup, reasonably straight, big block, with A/C.
The previous newsletter can be found in the articles and news section,
but only upon the sporadic mailing of the following edition. As a
subscriber, you get the cars, parts and "scoop" 4 weeks
(approximately) before anyone else.
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3. New, re-production, and discontinued parts
MufflersNew muffler designs. To help distinguish the new designs we are
considering names to describe the sound coming form a tailpipe. The 3
chamber experimental design is code named "Hickory Stick BBQ"
for it's smooth and mellow delivery of exhaust gas. The standard 2
chamber design is renamed "White Castle" for it's strong
resonant exhaust note. Finally the single chamber muffler is being
designed under the code name "Chili Cook-Off".
Muffler Quote: "Well, I put the mufflers and tips on last week-end.
SOUNDS great.. and you can see that the mufflers hide up under the car a
lot better than any other models, and the (exhaust) tips look way better
than the originals." - James H. from Houston
At Texas Trans Am Service we believe in diversity, in fact recently
David shipped a pair of 3 inch inlet/outlet TexasTAMufflers for a CAMARO
in New York.
Fall promotion NEW TexasTAMufflers.com bumper sticker included with each
order of mufflers.
Wheel refinishing service for 7 and 8 inch "Snowflake" (WS6)
"Hereís another one of my rims that I need to get done. I want
the same thing with just the aluminum finish and clear coating. I was
very impressed with the last one that got refurbished. It looks great!
Thank you." Mike R., Lake Jackson, TX
Red and Black 1981 Recaro Seats from Daytona Pace Car
NOS Honeycomb Wheels
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4. Show Room
We are starting back to work on the show room with the mild autumn
weather breaking the Texas heat. We hope to have the central heat system
working by winter and we're planning on hanging more peg board and
lights. When you drop by, you'll see Texas T/A Tee-shirts, ball
caps and shop shirts. Survivor Honeycomb, Turbo and a sample
re-finished and painted gold spoke Snowflake wheel on display, new
fiberglass reproduction panels, spoilers, Texas T/A Mufflers and other
Oh, and bring your girlfriend along so we can check her out. ...
At the check out counter, what were you thinking?
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5. Secure on-line ordering: We are gradually adding standard items for
sale like the mufflers on our
More secure ordering coming soon on the Parts and Stuff page.
In addition to accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express, We can
now accept Discover Card. We are shipping parts nationally and to many
other Countries around the world.
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6.Top 100 Muscle Car Sites
Top100MuscleCarSites.com ranks a list of over 921 American Muscle
Car Web pages. If you haven't seen it, check it out.
However the counters seem to have stalled out at 65,535 votes for first
and second place. We sure wish someone would tell Wes about this firstname.lastname@example.org,
cause it would really look like sour grapes if we complained about being
During a quick search for other postings of our website recently, we
were surprised to find that according to Google Search's Business and
Industry, we are the most popular website in Kennedale, Texas.
Other sites listing "Texas Trans Am" with links to us include:
(The following list does not imply an endorsement of the sites
by Texas Trans Am Service and Restoration, it's just a list.)
The site for the Trans Am Nationals in Dayton OH.
National Firebird T/A Club
Blockers High Velocity Induction System for Hood Shaker
But these really threw us titled "Food Habits, Sex Ratio and Size
of Longnose Gar"
"Life History and Habitat Associations of the Broad Wood Cockroach
It seems that Texas. Trans. Am. is part of the catalog system (Editor
thinks they are just trying to ride the coat tails of our popularity.
Then by the seventh page of 564 results, the search got real
weird. You know your site title is popular when it is used as
"key words" by well, you know...those kinds of sites. (Editor KNOWS
they are just trying to ride the coat tails of our popularity)
David gets HUNDREDS of e-mails each month (That's just the price of
being an international celebrity) and tries his best to respond in a
timely manner, but sometimes it takes a few days to research the answer
and find time to respond. Remember if all else fails and it's an
emergency give us a call at 817-563-2121. Due to the proliferation of
computer virus we don't open e-mail attachments, unless we are expecting
the attached file, and know it's purpose.
Site Search from "WhatUSeek.com".
What are visitors searching for on TexasTransAms.com? Site Search helps
us to tune the site based on what you are looking for. The following
were the most popular searches for the last 30 days:
Count, Search Phrase, # Results
8 'new trans ams' 89
7 'formula 455' 84
5 '1975 trans am' 12
4 '78' 19
4 'interior' 16
3 'seats' 11
3 '1969 trans am' 4
3 'bodykits' 0
3 '69 firebird' 2
3 '400' 91
3 '74 bumper valance' 4
3 'gto' 8
3 '1970 trans am' 11
3 'transamricing' 0
3 'parts cars' 94
2 '1980 trans am turbo' 10
2 '1979 front spoiler' 11
2 'irock rims' 0
2 '10th anniversary' 5
This month's "searches not found" remind us that this is TEXAS
TRANS AMS, not Texas 'transamricing', 'irock rims', 'malibu', 'vega', 'mountin
dw', '1969 camero' or 'deca;s'. We suspect that "Ricing" is
what you do with a Japanese car at the drag strip, and we're
not sure what the K stands for in "International Race of
Champions". David does have an IROC Z28 project car, but it didn't
come with the original wheels. By the way we can help you get a 1979
front spoiler, 400 and 455 engine blocks, interior components, seats,
parts cars and especially the '74 bumper valance. E-mail us at email@example.com
or call us at 817-563-2121. Thanks for searching!
If you don't find what you are looking for, try changing your criteria.
For example if you search for:
'1978 transam' there are no results,
'1978 trans am' yields 11 total results,
'78 trans am' yields 72 total results.
Also check your spelling or word selection [rims] yields 1 page,
[wheels] yields 51 pages, [wheel] yields 4 pages.
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7. Shirts and StuffNew heather gray PontiacChick spaghetti strap t-shirt
with red piping, coming soon a baseball under-shirt style with red cap
Tee Shirts are still HERE! But selling quickly - Makes a Great
Shop Shirts are available with our exclusive firebird logo embroidery
above the left shirt pocket.
PontiacChick.com tank tops with the firebird logo. http://www.texastransams.com/pontiacchick/images/stuff/tank_top640.jpg
Check out our friends at PontiacChick.com, these women love their
We would love to have more articles from our female readers about why
the love their Pontiacs old and new, even restoration, modification and
racing stories. This hobby is for everyone. Please post related notes in
the Message/Forum section of PontiacChick.com:
Send picture attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
TexasTransAms.com bumper sticker version 1.3 is in stock and available
for $2.00 each, plus shipping and handling. Be sure to beg
for a sticker on orders over $100.00!
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8. At the Shop Recently ...
We are still refinishing and shipping a lot of snowflake wheels, splash
pans, mufflers, center caps and dash covers. A couple drove down from
Horicon, Wisconsin to adopt a car for a re-body project, and Robert F
drove down from Windsor Ontario Canada to adopt a '74 for a re-body.
Robert gets the road-runner award for this month for driving 2,023.61
kilometers or 1,257.41296 miles ONE WAY.
To date we have shipped parts to all states in the USA except for
Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont. So we are kicking off our
neglected states membership drive. Volunteers are standing by to receive
your call, or secure on-line transaction. When joining at the $500.00
level you will receive our TexasTransAm.com travel mug. When
joining at the $1,000.00 level you will receive a TexasTransAm.com
canvas tote bag. Without your support we could not continue to bring you
news, entertainment and products related to the second generation
Firebird restoration. JUST KIDDING... There are no travel mugs or tote
bags, but ask David for a bumper sticker when you call. We look forward
to shipping to you.
Dano's Black '79 The wheels are on the car and the car is on the
ground, for the first time in 2 years. The brake system is
finished. We decided to use silicon brake fluid (DOT 5) for two
reasons; DOT 3 has a boiling point of 287 degrees Fahrenheit when wet,
DOT 5 boils at 550 and does not absorb water. Under regular braking
conditions DOT 3 heats up and cools down which creates condensation in
the brake lines, moisture ends up settling in the calipers and after
extended periods of non usage the pistons rust inside the calipers, especially
on 4 wheel brake system cars of that era. Secondly DOT 3 will
eat the paint when spilled, DOT 5 will not harm the paint. If you do
uses DOT 5 the reservoir fill cap needs to be conspicuously marked for
DOT 5 only, as the combination of the two will create a jell and mess up
all the lines. Dano selected the Ram Air Restoration exhaust manifolds
which were painted with a high temp coating to look like gray cast iron.
The radiator has been repaired and re-finished. The radiator support has
been sandblasted and is awaiting repair and paint. The fuel tank has
been cleaned and awaiting re-finished.
Larry S's Black '81 - This black bird earned it's "wings"
recently following extensive buffing and polishing. The decals chosen
are the Maroon base with orange red and gold. "Man, it's almost
like having flames painted on it."
View the time-lapse MOVIE shot over 6 hours of the install process:
J-Walk's Black '79 6.6 Liter Air Conditioning system rebuild, seat frame
re-weld and exhaust system replacement. Still waiting on the
Kerry "Dubya" buffed out his surviving starlight black paint
and pondered what to do about the "get-a-way" backfire. We are
thinking about installing a set of the late second gen. splitter exhaust
tips just as a chance to show off the whole piece beneath his
disappearing rear quarters. But remember "HE IS DRIVING HIS OLD
Gary G's '78 Gold Y88 T/A - Engine bay restoration
Larry A's '71 T/A - Roll cage installed
Keep the hope alive for your "Old Dream", oh and sorry about
what we did to your Stretch Armstrong action figure.
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Your friends at Texas Trans Ams
High School memories of a Pontiac Chick.
"Restoring Old Dreams"