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Bought a Firenza

Old April 8th, 2019, 05:20 PM
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Bought a Firenza

So i ended up bying the firenza i looked at will keep it for a future project .The price was right so i figured why not? There isn't much of a following on these cars so info is hard to come by but ill figure it out as i go.

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Old April 8th, 2019, 06:28 PM
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Lots of drag cars were built using this platform, back in the day. Chassis/frame work will have to be done. I had a Firenza I was going to put in a 350 Olds. I still have the 350, but not the Firenza. Good Luck.
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Old April 8th, 2019, 06:36 PM
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You wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to put an olds engine in an olds . But apparently the Chevy motor is the easy swap . Did you actually try it Ralph or just didn’t get around to it ? I’ve been fishing around some hbody sites but not much info yet .thanks for replying.
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Old April 8th, 2019, 07:09 PM
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I never got around to it for a number of reasons. I "thought" they might have been available with a 260 Olds, but that may be entirely my wishful thinking. The platform is not real rigid, so you will have some things to ponder. You might need to look at some sites or Google Chebby Monza stuff and adapt. Dave Smith ran an NHRA Pro Stock many years ago, I think if I ran across a Firenza for sale, I would probably buy it. It wouldn't be a cheap thrill, but it would be a wild ride when done.
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Old April 8th, 2019, 07:18 PM
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Is the Firenza a FWD vehicle? If so, I would expect it to be difficult to put a V-8 in there.

Oh wait, I see that's the 70s Starfire platform. Never mind.

Last edited by Fun71; April 8th, 2019 at 07:24 PM.
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Old April 8th, 2019, 07:29 PM
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I see it retains it's original locking gas cap. Forgot all about that!

Doesn't look too bad overall, but is that decay I see on the bottom of the door? That's where mine rotted first.
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Old April 8th, 2019, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Fun71 View Post
Is the Firenza a FWD vehicle? If so, I would expect it to be difficult to put a V-8 in there.

Oh wait, I see that's the 70s Starfire platform. Never mind.
It is a Starfire, per the VIN. The Firenza name was uesd to designate a performance package, but the car is an H-body Starfire, same body from 1975-1980.

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Old April 8th, 2019, 10:14 PM
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Out of curiosity, was there an issue why these never became more popular? Atleast i like the look. Was it just simply lack of interest or?
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Old April 8th, 2019, 11:33 PM
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That car looks like its in good condition. Perhaps a repaint sometime ago.

As far as popularity goes, it was a pretty small car for those days standards. Sub compact.If you had a family, it wasn't practical. My sister bought new, the Pontiac version called Astre in 1976, which would fit the young single profile of buyer. The early versions had an all aluminum 2.3 four cylinder engine that didn't get a very good reputation. I remember talk about these having soft, teflon coated cylinder walls that didn't wear properly and thus failed to control oil consumption. I also remember them as being slow, at least the little engines.

I hardly see these cars and when I do, they're mostly turned into pro street style of car.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 03:35 AM
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This is a rear wheel drive car and it was painted at one point there is some door rust but actually not bad for the year.Joe i believe it is a starfire firenza the owner bought it in 82 and described the paint as grey upper and black lower with the firenza graphics on the doors. i will post the body tag when i get the car for help on decoding.it has the buick 231 v6 approx.110 hp in it now so the 307 should be a good power upgrade but still only in the 170hp range .there are plenty of upgrades for the h body ,but im spending as few dollars on this as possible
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Old April 9th, 2019, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Inline View Post
Out of curiosity, was there an issue why these never became more popular? Atleast i like the look. Was it just simply lack of interest or?
I grew up working on my Dad's used car lot, and I can attest that he used to sell a ton of these (Monza's, Ferenza's, Vega's, Maverick's, etc...). Mainly they went to teens for their first car, young families or a Mom's grocery getter. Personally, I never saw the appeal other than MPG. They rusted out early and often, the hatchbacks leaked like sieves and and engines lacked power for the most part. You could modify them and they made pretty good racers, but as a stock daily driver...not for me.

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Old April 9th, 2019, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
It is a Starfire, per the VIN. The Firenza name was uesd to designate a performance package, but the car is an H-body Starfire, same body from 1975-1980.

Thanks for that clarification, Joe. I was looking at another thread about putting a 307 in a Firenza and could only remember the Firenza as a FWD car, but I thought my memories were wrong, But I sure remember the Monza/Starfire. Wasn't there also a Buick and Pontiac version? That can be a really cool car, sorta unusual.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Inline View Post
Out of curiosity, was there an issue why these never became more popular? Atleast i like the look. Was it just simply lack of interest or?
In six years of production, Olds sold about 60,000 of these cars, so I wouldn't call them "unpopular". The problem is that they were crappy cars built on the Vega H-body platform and suffered rust just like the Vega. Not many survive today.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 05:48 AM
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I had a friend that had one of the Starfire GT's. I seem to remember it had a 260 and a five speed. Neat little car.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by edzolz View Post
I had a friend that had one of the Starfire GT's. I seem to remember it had a 260 and a five speed. Neat little car.
Unfortunately, no Olds motor were ever factory installed in these cars. The Chebby 305 was the only V8 offered. Most got the Buford V6, especially five speed cars. That was the T50 trans, possibly the only five speed that's weaker than the T5.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 09:50 AM
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greg i believe that was my thread and was hoping i could get info on installing an olds motor in this firenza.i dont even know if they use conventional frame pads and mounts like my older cars or if its something different since its a unibody design. i will see when i pull the buick motor and do whatever it takes to make it work . i still have to do research on this.
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Old April 9th, 2019, 10:12 AM
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Anything you want to do has probably been done by somebody at this site, if not they can probably get you 75% of the way there:

http://forums.h-body.org/
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Old April 9th, 2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
Most got the Buford V6, especially five speed cars.
I'm pretty sure most of the GM H-bodied cars of this period got the rattly 2.5 Iron Duke. I once had 6 or 7 of my buddies piled into mine as we verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly "ran" from the scene of a TP (toilet papering in the trees) job. I thought my car was dying, as it absolutely refused to get above 30mph.

"GO FASTER!!!"

"I CAN'T.... I HAVE THE PEDAL TO THE FLOOR ALREADY!!!!"
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Old April 9th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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Old April 9th, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Olds70supreme thanks great info !looks like I got my work cut out for me but nothing a cutoff wheel welder and hammer cant accomplish .
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Old April 10th, 2019, 06:04 PM
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Body tag
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Old April 10th, 2019, 06:52 PM
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I wouldn't think an Olds v8 would be that hard to do.
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Old April 10th, 2019, 08:38 PM
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Yeah, if it's possible to put a 307 in place of a 231, then you could also put a 403. Just imagine that...
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Old April 11th, 2019, 03:22 AM
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ken my thoughts exactly ! once i go through the work of getting the 307 in, it will be set up for any olds engine.we towed it home two hours from vermont yesterday had to get creative with the tire straps on the dolly .they were just too big for those 13 in tires. but made it safe! if any cares to check my body tag i would appreciate it .
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Old April 11th, 2019, 11:52 AM
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That's a pretty car! Definitely a cool project!
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Old April 11th, 2019, 01:04 PM
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Here is a picture for a little inspiration. The Starfire was at the Nats last year in Gettysburg.

Don W

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Old April 11th, 2019, 06:22 PM
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thats a nice looking car and i love the paint and graphics .im not crazy about the viper wannabe paint on mine but ill do something with it eventually
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Old April 12th, 2019, 05:14 AM
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Jeff, did you say your car has Viper wannabe paint because of the white stripes? Are they vinyl appliques? If so, maybe you could get them off with a heat gun and some adhesive remover. I do like the sapphire blue color. Was it the original color?
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Old April 12th, 2019, 05:20 AM
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Olds64 they are actually painted on and the original color was grey . According to the guy I bought it from that’s color is viper blue .i don’t mind the color so much but could do without the stripes . It does have an eighties vibe to it .
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Old April 12th, 2019, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
In six years of production, Olds sold about 60,000 of these cars, so I wouldn't call them "unpopular". The problem is that they were crappy cars built on the Vega H-body platform and suffered rust just like the Vega. Not many survive today.
When I was 16, I didn't think my '79 Sunbird GT was crappy. It had an iron Duke, 4-spd, front and rear sways and 14" rally wheels with Pirellis. Actually handled better than most every American offering at the time and would outrun most 4 bangers. I did however upgrade to a '73 Camaro LT/RS. My uncle had a Skyhawk with a V6 and it was decent for the period, but didn't handle as well as the GT.

Edit: make that 13" rally wheels. It has been awhile.

Last edited by bry593; April 13th, 2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 05:40 AM
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I had a 76 Monza with the crappy Vega engine. It was a fun car though, handled great compared to most 70's boats. Good memories....
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Old April 27th, 2019, 03:36 PM
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The Olds 260 installation in the H Body ended when it was discovered the starter would be located where the subframe connector currently resided. Anyone putting an Olds into a Starfire will have some notching and welding in their future.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Fun71 View Post
Is the Firenza a FWD vehicle? If so, I would expect it to be difficult to put a V-8 in there.

Oh wait, I see that's the 70s Starfire platform. Never mind.
There was a FWD Firenza made from 1982-88. It was a J-body clone of the Chevy Cavalier and sibling of the Pontiac Sunbird, Buick Skyhawk and Cadillac Cimarron. It was offered as a sedan, station wagon, notchback and hatchback coupe. The Firenza name began as a trim package on the Starfire in the late '70s. As noted by others, the Starfire was a direct descendant of the Chevy Vega.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 03:42 AM
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ive been looking this car over real good since i got it home and the underbody is in real good shape had to repair a broken timing cain cover bolt installed new chain and gears.horn wasn't working so ordered a new one alot of little things need to be done.as far as replacing the motor with an olds ,too much work and money!! it is one of about 1380 produced in 1980 so ill keep it original and drive it a while .parts for this car are a pita to find .
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Old May 17th, 2019, 04:54 PM
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found a rear sway bar and installed it today as well as took care of a couple leaks and a new wiper arm .got the pioneer super tuner up and running ,too loud for me these dayscleaned and clear coated the rally steering wheel .this little car is starting to grow on me.
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Old May 17th, 2019, 08:42 PM
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drop in a turbo buick v6, itll go then
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