Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions for First Generation Firebirds that have been asked and answered on FGF. Special thanks needs to be given to all the FGF members who took the time to respond to other member's questions.
Engine - Sprint Specific
Q: Sprint Option
I currently own: 1968 Firebird, Straight 6, 4.1 Litre overhead cam, 2-speed powerglide with 72,000 miles – unrebuilt.
I have heard the following things:
1) a 4.1 litre was more rare than the common 3.8 litre overhead cam – Question: Is this true?
2) that the basic configuration that my car currently has is almost impossible to find nowadays. – Question: Is this also true?
I am trying to figure out what my car is actually worth, but I do not know enough about the cars to figure it out. I am also trying to figure out if my model of car is actually as rare as people say it is. Everything on the car is original – it still has the original floormats. It is about 15% off of “mint” condition (does that statement make sense)? It burns a trace amount of oil – I believe it needs a ring job / rebuild I would like to know if dual exhaust came with the standard 2 barrel 326 convertible, or if this was an option that had to be ordered.
A: 1) Yes, the ‘Sprint’ option is hard to find and it is worth more. Also harder to find parts. The most popular Firebirds are the 400s and Ram Airs. I consider the Sprint to be in the same class as Ram Airs, cherished rare cars. I have yet to see both of them in person.
2) Same as above, only 7459 Sprint cars (including Tempest) were built. According to a couple of sources, the Sprint came standard with OHC 6, 4 bbl, at 215 hp at 5200 rpm. There were 1850 Sprint equiped powerglide cars.
3) It is desirable to have all the original equipment and accessories and new “mint” condition. I wish my car did so I did not have to scavenger around for parts. I still can not find some accessories. From the above information, I would be surprised if you could not get over $10,000 for it, more if it is a convertible. I have a hard time putting a definitive value since I can not see the car, market differences, and if you can find someone willing to pay top dollar.
Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm
Q: Differnece between Sprint and Regular OHC-6
What was the difference betwen a regular OHC-6 and the Sprint. I know the Sprint came with a 4BBL and a hotter cam
A: The Sprint package included these items you mentioned, also a higher compression head, larger balancer,low restriction exhaust with split exhaust manifold, dual valve springs, different distributor,different engine bearings and a few other things. You can add any of these items to fit your budget. I do have a complete running(still in the car) 1967 Sprint motor with new cam and followers for sale. email if interested.
Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Q: Sprint Build-Up
I want to make a Sprint out of my OHC-6. I realize this decision also involves a number of different changes – interior as well as exterior.
Anyone have the list of options the Sprint came with? I know a 3speed was standard, but was there and automatic? From the Master List from Pontic Historical it seems only the 400 got the Hydromatic, everything else got the 2-speed automatic, but did Sprints come with them? I’d think surely so, but you don’t know til you ask.
So far, this is what I’ve gathered that needs to be changed\added:
From Standard to Custom interior
Sprint Hood Emblems
Rocker Panel Sprint emblem
Things I have no way of knowing: Other engine and engine compartment changes – oil pump, water pump, alternator, battery, etc.
A: in fact you could get a Sprint with the 2-speed automatic, even mounted on the column! The Sprint option on the ‘bird was basically the engine, so if you’re going to add options, why not just create the car the way you want? Maybe stick with the neat triple teal color scheme plus the Sprint engine, plus whatever trans you’d like. A 4-speed with a tilt, hood tachometer and gauges, and a modern stereo. Some suspension mods, just enough for it to handle better, and a single piston front disc brake system from a 1969 bird or 1969-72 A-body.
A: There were TWO Sprint camshafts, the “E” cam and the “H” cam. The great unknown right now is whether you have a Sprint cylinder head, and you won’t know it until the cam cover comes off. The casting and date numbers are inside. The cam is marked on the end like a V8 cam. “A”, “B”, “C” and “D” cams are from one-barrel base engines. The “E” grind is what Jerry Woodland made a run of several years ago, but I don’t think he has any left. Gary had a local machine shop make an “H” pattern some time back to do regrinds, but you’ll have to discuss that with him. The “H” Sprint cam was used ONLY on 1969 manual trans cars, while the “E” cam was used on all 66-68 Sprints, and the 1969 THM350 Sprints (they quit the 2-speed option for Sprints only in 69).
There were no obvious changes under the hood except the engine – higher compression head, the 4-barrel and the dual-outlet exhaust that went to a Y-pipe. Outside the only difference was the rocker emblems, as all the OHC6 Firebirds had the “4.1 Litre OVERHEAD CAM” emblems. The manual trans cars came with the 3.55 ratio axle only. The automatics in 68 came with 3.23 as Standard release, and the 2.78 Economy or 3.55 Performance release axle ratios as options.
While the Custom interior is nice (and a favorite of mine, especially the Teal), it is a separate option from the Sprint package. Also separate were the posi rear, console w/floorshift on automatics, and anything else you might think was a performance option. The standard trans for the Sprint option DID come only in the Hurst floorshift however. One-barrel manuals were supposed to be on the column, but I have never seen a manual column shift in a 1967, 1968, and 1969 ‘bird.
A: The stripes were just like the HO stripe, but with no lettereing on the Firebird, and WITH the word “SPRINT” on the A-body cars. My Dad’s 69 LeMans Sprint convertible had them. They were available on Tempest/LeMans cars for all 4 years 66-69. The Firebird’s plain stripe was actually available on any 1967 and 1968, but the H.O. came standard with the lettered version. There were no stripes in 1969 on the Firebird until the Trans Am.
A: You mention the one that I didnt… the rocker panel emblems. However the hood emblems are the same as base OHC-6. Have fun adding whatever you want to the car…. if done properly and tastefully it will add to the value of the car. I would also (space permitting) save any orginal parts you have from the change over. I disagree that the Sprint option was an engine option. It was aimed at being a total package of ride and handling and performance. The idea of this was the first T/A type “tuner”that Herb Adams built, called PFST(short for PontiacFirebird SprintTurismo).It was based on a 1967 Sprint hardtop with triple webers, shaker scoop thru the hood, very large tire and wheel combo,upgraded suspension and brakes. This 300 hp Sprint would handle better than the V-8 counterparts and eat their lunch on all but the longest straightaways. Its too bad that tire melting muscle cars pushed the better balanced Sprints into extinction.
A: Sprints came with heavier springs,shocks,4 bbl with dual valve springs, different duration and lift on cam(same diameter valves)larger harmonic balancer, smaller chambered head to raise compression,split exhaust manifold with y pipe,larger clutch & Hurst floor shifter(manual trans). Different fuel pump,distributor,rear end ratio,larger tail pipe,and engine bearings. Im sure Ive left out something…
Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Q: Sprint Coil
Have a question about coils. Started having ignition problems on the 1968 droptop Sprint I’ve been restoring, so I went to replace the coil as well as condenser/rotor/etc. Went down to Napa and discovered the coil listed in all the catalogs is a typical oil-filled can style. What I have on my car (and judging by the rust and Delco Remey logo on it it’s original) is a much shorter air cooled coil. Looks more like something off a newer electronic ignition vehicle if it weren’t for the tower on top. Has a round coil in the middle, a square frame around the middle, and a bracket that bolts it to the block just aft of the distributor. Threw the Napa guy and all his contacts for a loop. I went ahead and bought an internal resistor coil and bracket and am looking for ideas on where to mount it, because it won’t fit where the original coil was. Questions:
1) Ever seen a replacement coil that matches the original?
2) If you converted at some point to a can style coil, where did you mount it? Firewall, fender, ???
A: The shorter air cooled coil is correct for the 1968-1969 OHC-6.
1966-1967 used a conventional oil filled coil. They had 2 different ignition systems for 66 and 1967 Sprints. The 66 used the infamous TI or Transistor Ignition. 1967 was improved (or so they say) to the newer CD or Capacitive Discharge ignition.
I have one of the TI ignitions for a 1966 Sprint and have been told there were only about 200 made. I also have most parts for the 1967 CD set up. Of course this wont help your situation but if its not a points judged car chances are 99.9% wont know the difference anyway. I say put a pointless conversion and conventional coil in and cruise on.
Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Content last modified: March 16, 2017 at 9:08 am