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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 79 Bird with a 3.8 v6 I have started trying to restore pickedd it up for 500 off the street corner. Every one I talk to doesnt know of the engine it has and that it was ever in it. Through research i have tied it into the car. I cant seem to find parts worth a darn. Is there anything special about and would anyone know how many of the following car were produced. 1979 Pontiac Firebird 231 (3.8) V6 California High Altitude Automatic Without Air emissions. Stock was maroon I can barely tell through the fresh paint layer left by last painters on door. I plan on restoring it however difficulty finding parts is making me wanna throw a 350 in her. Any knowledge would be helpfull.
 

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There were 211,454 Firebirds produced in 1979, 38,642 of them were base FB's. As far as I know there was never a V6 in the 2nd gen cars, only a I6. And most of the base FB's had the 301 V8.(But I could be wrong, but I doubt it) I had one of the 10th Anniverasry Silver T/A's(403/A3), They are easy to find parts for. If I were you I would swap a cheap 350 into is, as they are plenty full and fairly cheap. I will do a little more research into it though, I have quite a few FB/TA books so mabey they will have something.
 

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Ah, you are rite! The 231ci V6 was introduced in 1977 as a replacement for the 259 I6. I havent been able to find production numbers for it yet. They were rated at a mind blowing 105hp!
 

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The I6 was an indestuctable engine. I had 78 Camaro with over 250K and I had to eventually junk it. The drive train was still great---just the rest of the car fell apart.

These early 3.8s werent the greatest--especially with all the smog controls on them. I would swap it for a gm crate engine if you are going to really bring this Bird back to life.
 

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You have a 3.8 in it now? I would suggest you put in a GN turbo motor w/intercooler in it (86/87 vintage). That should bolt right in, though you would need a PCM too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Honestly I wanted to return it to stock and restore it as a collectors car. However I am beginning to see that the parts are literally impossible to find. I have a 350 in my garage I may just drop in and get my jolleys out of her. First though as I have seen next to no info on this model and engine I am going to try an appraisal.
 

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Hows the condition of the car? is it worth restoring to back to stock? T-Type actaully has an excellent suggestion if you want to retain most of the originality of the car yet still be able to enjoy it like it should be.

I restored a 78 Formula way back and found that parts were all over the place. Are you just talking about the difficulty of obtaining the engine parts?

I used Year-One for many parts--not sure if they are still around but I think they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I have been trying to find out the rarity of the car seeing as no one knew that engine even existed. Hell it drew a blank on my face at first sight. The problem is no one has nor produces the part I need. I have done so much extensive research I have decided to take a break cap off the egr and remove the emissions for now. I am going to keep it stock and when I have more time and money rebuild the engine and try and further research it throughout time. Hell worsty come to worst I may just try and rebuild the original part. But for now I am going o keep it as close to stock as possible while stilll maintaining driveability. I have tried to get ahold of some one to estimate the value but to no avail so guess ill just have to sit on it untill I get lcky and find someone that knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Biggest problem I encountered is most of the sites had a ton of parts for the v8 and minimal parts for the sixs especially the 231 v6. Oddity is I found it was used widely in 79 and 80 the exact same engine and emissions system was in a few buicks including grand-national turbo, oldsmobiles, chevrolets, and other pontiacs as well however all though used in these others they discontinued a lot of parts i think due to not turing out quite the way they thought on sales. Not quite sure why but yeah most parts have been discontinued. Hell even finding head bolts has been a rough aspect.
 

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Hi Greg, I have a 1979 Esprit with a 3.8L V6 too ! We're at least two to have one lol

Do you have pictures of the engine, I'm looking for references but I can't find any. Are they so rare ? I know there was a mint Esprit Redbird with a 3.8 for sale on eBay recently.
 

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I thought most of those 231s in those days were mostly the same. Nothing to write home about but I agree that if you are trying to keep it origional that keeping the 231 is the only way to go. You could always get a turbo one and get the turbo for it. That would make it fun.
 
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