Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions for First Generation Firebirds that have been asked on First Generation Firebird-L mailing list. Special thanks needs to be given to all the Firebird-L owners that took the time to respond to other subscribers questions. These pages are continuously updated as new information is posted on the mailing list.
|Q:||400 Grill Molding for 1967-68|
Can someone explain the two different types of grilles on the '67 bird? One type has a chrome strip running down the center that extends out toward the nose and on the other, the chrome piece ends at the louvre part of the grill.
The ones on my bird are the latter, but the previous owner gave me an extra set that is like the former.
It looks as if I can remove the chrome strip and attach it to grilles on the bird since thay are just bolted on.
In regards to the 67- 68 Firebird Grill Chrome....
The "400" Firebirds had seperate chrome moldings in the grills (covering the center bar, extending towards the nose) and the non-"400" cars did not; you would just see the molded in plastic center bar. It sounds like some are implying that non-"400" cars had the 'flat' chromemolding when infact, this 'molding' is actually a part of the plastic grill and not chrome at all. The grills themselves were identical; you can take std. grills and drill them for the moldings (which are unique for RH and LH).
|A:||The extended mouldings, along with the arrowhead emblem on the front chrome "beak," 400 emblem on the right rear trunk lid, and scooped hood were 400 items exclusively. They are not correct on non-400 cars.|
|A:||The 400s came with the twin scoop hood, Pontiac arrow head on the nose of the bumper, and chrome ring around the inside of each grill (look at grill and notice the mounting holes). All models (350, 350 HO, 400, etc.) used the same grill but the chrome ring was added to the 400.|
|Q:||Chrome Inserts (Hockey Sticks) for a 400|
|Does anyone know who sells these chrome overlay pieces that go in the middle of the gille and continue all the out to the nose of the bumper?? Do any of YOU have some for sale?? HELP!|
Chicago Muscle Parts in Island Lake, Il. show these in their catalog.
part #893774, $79.00/pr. These are a reproduction item. I called
and the price is still good, but the parts are now out of stock,
having sold the last pair to me. The sales guy didn't know when
they would get more in stock, but said that if we could get together
an order of 10 or more, they could get them in in less than 3 weeks.
Chicago Muscle Car Parts
912 E. Burnett Road
Island Lake, IL 60042
The part number for the 400 grill trim is #893774. I called then today and found that they once again, have only one pair in stock
These are the hockey stick trim pieces that fit horizontally in the 400 grill.
|Q:||Grill Color for '67 or '68|
|I am getting two different answers from restoration veterans about the correct grill insert color on a '68 with a 400 (RamAir or otherwise). Several guys have told me that the silver/gray was the only color available and that the extra chrome strip was the only difference. To back this up I have found an article in Januarys High Performance Pontiac Magazine about a purple '67 RamAir 1 restoration. The magazine called the car "one of the most correctly restored 1967 Ram Air Firebirds". It has silver grills. Still other people have told me that the 400 option included grills painted an almost black charcoal gray with the extra chrome on top. Evidence of this can be seen on the cover of the spring '98 Year One Catalog (also a '67). I need to paint my grills soon, so I can get the car back together before spring.|
The 1967-8 Firebird grilles were identical, except for how they were painted. The correct grille colors for the '67-8 Firebirds are as follows:
1967 - Argent Silver outer, with a Black center.
1968 - Charcoal outer, with Argent Silver center.
The Charcoal and Argent Silver are the same colors that are used on Rally II wheels and they should be a satin finish, not gloss.
For both years, only the Firebird 400 came with a chrome (hockey stick) bar in the center of the grilles.
|Q:||Correct Grill Color for 69's|
Does anyone know the correct grill colour for 69's. I read the FAQ on
Geoff's site and it covered 67-8 but not 69. Are they all silver or do they
have a black center?
Do you paint the grill black (in addition to the silver) or does the whole insert stay silver. I have seen some 69's with the centre all silver and others with the centre painted back?
If it is does have a black center is it matt or semi gloss?
|A:||It's all silver (Argent Silver).It should be the same shade as the 67-68.|
|Q:||Front Bumper Gap|
|I just bought a 68 coupe here in Oklahoma and the front bumper has a gap of 1/2 to 3/4" between the rear of the bumper and the front bodywork (fenders and hood). Is there supposed to be a filler strip between the bumper and bodywork, or is the bumper too far forward?|
|A:||There should be a rubber filler behide the bumper.|
My '68 has a black rubber filler and is the same distance. I also found this in the Dealer Technical Bulletins that sounds like it applies in this case:
PONTIAC MOTOR DIVISION Number 67-1-5 Section 14 Data 9/22/67
Dealer Service Information Bulletin
Attention: Service Manager
Subject: 1968 TEMPEST HOOD TO BUMPER CLEARANCE (EXCEPT GTO)
Some concern has been expressed over the appearance of the gap between the front bumper and hood on the 1968 Tempest. Reports have been received of attempts to eliminate this gap by setting the bumper rearward. This practice should be discontinued immediately.
Proper clearance is 3/4". This can be checked by simply inserting a dime into the gap. It is important that there is 3/4" clearance to prevent the hood and front fenders from damage due to minor impacts.
P0NTIAC MOTOR DIVISION
GENERAL M0TORS CORPORATION
Read, Initial & Pass On - Service Supervision Parts Accounting
I did not find any reference to the rubber filler in the '68 Service Manual and Fisher Body Service Manual.
|A:||First, there is a black filler strip that goes around each edge of the chrome bumper. It attaches to the plastic grill assembly. Look at section 14 of the 67 Firebird Service manual, it tells exactly how the bumper is to be attached. Second, be aware of the possibilty that your front bumper is twisted. This is VERY common for the 67-8 bumpers. They are long and easily twisted without noticeable dents or other clues. Fortunately they can be muscled into place if the twist isn't too bad, but from personal experience I know that even putting a true, straight one on correctly is a process requiring patience.|
|Q:||Front bumper/wiper valence sheet metal removal|
|I need the list expertise. I need to remove the valence or sheet metal between the windshield and the hood, any ideas?. Also the whole bumper and grill arrangement.|
|A:||To remove the cowl panel (the sheet metal between the hood and the windshield), first remove the wiper arms then the four screws in the front of the panel under the hood. As far as the bumper, you should be able to remove it in one piece. Look behind the bumper and in front of the radiator. To the left and right, you should see the bumper horns that are attached to the front of the frame. If you remove the bolts behind the bumper the whole assembly should come off in one piece.|
|A:||I haven't done the control arms yet, but the valance isn't that bad. The hardest part is to remove the wiper arms. It's best to use a special tool for this (I know JC Whitney sells it for about $10). Otherwise, you can use a screw driver to move the locking clip underneath. As the name implies though, the screw driver will probably screw up your paint job (that's up to you whether it's worth it or not). The locking clip is on the bottom of the wiper and presses against a knotch on the shaft. Once you have the wipers off, there are several screws along the front edge where the hood overlaps. On mine, once those screws were out, I could lift up on the front edge and slide the whole thing forward and out from under the chome window trim. This way, I didn't have to remove the trim.|
|A:||Whenever I find myself in a situation where the paint job might get scratched, I put some masking tape followed by a layer of duct tape down on the area that could be damaged. The masking tape protects the finish from the duct tape glue while the duct tape absorbs the scratch. After removal, some denatured alcohol should eliminate any residue.|
|Q:||400 Bumper Emblem on a '68|
|Does anyone have a template for mounting a 400 bumper emblem on a 68 Firebird?|
I found a dimension template for the '67 - '68 400 bumper emblem that you might be able to use on the Generation-1 Registry web site.
|Q:||'68 2 bulb vs. 1 bulb parking lamps|
Figure 12-7 in the Pontiac Service Manual shows the bulb as LH (or RH) PARK &
DIR. SIGNAL LAMP. It also shows marker lamps, but this seems to be an error
since the assembly wraps around the corner of the car to serve as both the
parking and marker lamps.
I am trying to figure out what type of parking lamp is correct for my '68. I have also heard there is a one bulb version and a 2 bulb version. What is correct and what is the difference?
|A:||...Actually, there were 2 types of '68 Firebrd Parking Lamps. One type had a single bulb, another had two bulbs. 2 bulb is very early 68. Only for a couple of months of production|
|A:||The two-bulb parking lights had one bulb that was a parking lamp and the second side-facing bulb was a cornering light. I saw a factory option list that had this as an option. The parking lights on my '68 have the wrap-around lens and only one front-facing bulb. This seems like a reasonable thing seeing how there was a distinctly different harness for the two-bulb versus the one-bulb lights|
|Q:||2-Bulb Corner Lamps|
|Was there a certain number of turn signal assemblies that had two bulbs in it versus single bulb?|
Early model 68s had the 2-bulb markers,which were phased
out in the first couple months of production. Any models had this
not just one or another. As near as I can tell its sometime in Sept.
that it changed to a single bulb.
I think that alot had to do with the new government requirement to have side impact markers in 68. The Firebird didnt have a separate marker like the Camaro did ( much cleaner look than the ugly step sister) so they put a separator and bulb in the turn signal housing. Later it was modified to illuminate from the side and front with one bulb thereby saving money. Doesnt sound like much of a savings but one dollar each car and it justifies that cost engineers position.
|Q:||'68 Parking Lamp Housing|
|I am confused about the one-bulb or two-bulb parking lamp housing.|
|A:||A while back, there was much speculation about which 1968 Firebirds got the two-bulb parking lamp housings vs the one-bulb. I found the answer while reading the tech bulletins at firstgen. It was a mid-year change as well as a service swap-out. Here's the pic: http://FirstGenFirebird.org/dtb/docs/68-I-17.pdf|
Actually, it wasnt a midyear change.... more like a false start in production. Ive had several late Sept cars that had the single bulb and some early Sept cars that had the 2 bulb. This leads me to believe that it was used only for a few weeks in early production and when they ran out they were replaced with the "cheaper" version.
Here's how this all happened. Model year of 68 was mandated several safety changes/additions, one of which was front and rear side markers. PMD was unsure whether the front turn signal- parking lamp would be accepted as a side marker. When it was apparent that the side marker was legal without a separate bulb the first design was phased out. It was then that a replacement part superceded the earlier one.
|Q:||'69 Bumper Filler Gasket|
|Two questions: Is the rubber gasket around the front of the 69 that seperates the headlights housing and grill from the fenders and hood suposed to be black or is it O.K. to have it body colored. Will paint stick to it or flake off soon.|
|A:||The rubber should be black and yes paint will flake off.|
|Q:||'67 Bumper and Hood/Fender Gap|
|In regards to the front chrome bumper on my 67 bird convertible, there is a gap of almost an inch between the bumper itself and the hood/fenders. Now I attended the recent Pontiac Southern Nationals and saw no 67 Birds, but saw a couple of 68's - they appear to have some sort of rubber "gasket" between the bumper and hood/fenders, but in some of the pics I have seen for these cars the bumper looks to be closer to the hood than my car is. I don't see this gasket listed in the Ames catalog and I am wondering if the bumper can be adjusted closer or where I need to get the gasket from.|
67 didn't use the rubber fillers but I have seen a lot of them with a steel
trim plate instead. the gap can be adjusted.
Just make sure the hood and fenders line up first.
Shop manuals gives dimensions of the gaps to set
This would prevent any light from the headlight from leaking out of the gap in the side. In 68 they went to the rubber to prevent any light from headlight from leaking out. OF course 68s had side markers so it seems funny.
|I am looking for some info about getting my front bumper on a 67 firebird 400 convertible. re-chromed. Can anyone give me names of some places that do this and are good?|
|A:||Try TriCIties plating in Tenn. They do good work at a reasonable price. Sandblast the inside of yours and knock off the rough edges and sharp edges at the rear portion and you will get a nice job.|
|I am about ready to send my bumper off to Tricity Plating for rechroming. Any tips?|
|A:||make sure that you tell them to buff the sharp edges where the dies cut metal off on the backside or trailing edge. It gives the bumper a nicer finish.The only part I wasnt thrilled with was the rear at the tabs with holes(that serve no purpose once installed) the plating didnt get all the way under neath the tabs. Franks says it wont as by design the plating comes from underneath in the tank. I noticed the originals didnt have any there also. Just clean off the surface rust and repaint with silver POR 15.|
|Q:||Cornering Lights (parking lamps)|
|I was reading through my Classic Industries catalog and noticed a "front light harness" which mentions ..."with cornering lights". Pardon my ignorance but does this mean that the lights mounted under the headlights are parking lights only? Do they "flash" when the indicator is set or is a different assembly required ?...Why "cornering lights" ?|
The "cornerning lights" werent really that.... It was a 2 lamp turnsignal/parking /sidemarker lamp that had an extra single filament bulb on the rear portion of regular housing. If you look at all the 68 front lenses youll see a partition in the lense for 2 seperate bulbs.
This was not the same as other models cornerning lamps such as the Bonnies and GTOs. It was merely an extra parking lamp which helped for a side marker. It operated only when headlamps or parking lamps were on.
It was not an option as some people think. It was standard equiptment for all models of 68s. It was phased out sometime around early Sept.67. Probably a matter of suppliers keeping up with demand. It was a running change so its not clear cut as to when it was phased out. I ve seen some orginal cars built with the provisions (extra wire and socket was clipped off and taped back into harness.) Parts book makes note of this telling service replacement to do the same. Ive had several cars built late into Sept without 2 lamp front lights and some in the 1st week of Sept that have the 2 lamp. From this I would say perhaps the early Sept cars were the last of them.
|Q:||Headlight Pull Switch Removal|
|Help! I would like some info about how to safely remove the headlight pull switch to replace the bezel on a 69 bird. Thanx.|
|A:||There is a small button on the side of the switch that releases the knob and arm.|
|A:||There is a button on the side of the switch that faces the door. It is next to impossible to reach from underneath the dash without removing at LEAST the ball vent tube. I took a piece of welding rod and kept bending by trial-an-error until I could slide it through the gap between the dash panel and the windshield pillar (on top) and was able to press the button from the top. Take a flash light and shine through the gap and peek through the bottom of the windshield. You may be able to see it.|