Saturday, May 23, 2020

Video: Project $300ZX lowbuck Z31 Nissan Part 2


$300ZX Part 2: Swapping V6 engines


Part 2 of our Project $300ZX picks up as we remove and transplant a used fuel pump into our $300 1984 300ZX. The donor part came from what would soon be our "new" parts car in the driveway — a 1986 Nissan 300zx 2+0 NA (naturally aspirated). When you have one non-running 300ZX make sure to buy another in worse condition. Makes sense, right? 

WATCH Project $300ZX Part 2:



The body shop owner, where we found the parts car, was nice enough to let us "try out" the fuel pump before we made a decision to buy the car. A sweet deal by any measure. Fuel pump worked. Deal made. Our driveway and neighbors would thank us later.

Joe, my 16-year-old son, and his buddy, Ethan, tore into the project. Removing fuel pumps, gas tanks and destroying their good clothes in the process. With the donor fuel pump in place, the running and "knocking" engine was verified during a two-lap drive around the neighborhood. The decision to yank the "ran-when-parked" engine from our new parts cars was official. Two 3.0 V6 engines would need to be pulled out.



1984 Nissan 300zx has a rusty fuel pump that didn't work. Time to find a donor since we couldn't afford a new pump at $500 on a $300 car.
1984 Nissan 300zx has a rusty fuel pump that didn't work. Time to find a donor since we couldn't afford a new pump at $500 on a $300 car.


A $350 parts car 300ZX was located. Ran when parked. Fuel pump worked, so we decided to buy whole car.
A $350 parts car 300ZX was located. Ran when parked. Fuel pump worked, so we decided to buy whole car.


We learned the 1984 $300ZX had a bad knock and we needed to replace the engine - cheapest way was toss the parts car engine into it.
We learned the 1984 $300ZX had a bad knock and we needed to replace the engine - cheapest way was toss the parts car engine into it.


$300ZX is in full swing!
Engines swinging on chains. Enjoy! And stay tuned for more! 


Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.




Sunday, April 26, 2020

Yard Bird: 2002 Pontiac Firebird finds 2nd owner

Daytime pic with Firebird parked on road with headlights up and glowing.

Bird’s eye view. Ever noticed a car and thought it was cool? Then you notice it again. Then you can take no more, and beg the owners to take some money in exchange for the car, a few papers and the keys?  We at Junkyard Life do that all the time. Sometimes we are cool about it, but if I (Ron) am involved, forget negotiating and playing with a poker face, for I have not one. Those other times we buy the darn thing and no one believes it randomly followed us home. A 2002 Firebird Sport Coupe in Sebring Silver Metallic  found it’s way to my garage. We love the Yardbirds – the Jeff Beck kind or this really cool Bird we found in a yard. 


Firebird ownership can be addictive. I had to have this one. This yard bird was still in the hands (yard) of Miss Debbie, the original owner. A really nice lady who took great care of it, didn’t let anyone else drive it and serviced it regularly. The interior was as clean as the day it rolled off the showroom floor.




Wearing a bright Silver Metallic exterior and a harmonizing black cloth interior, this 2002 Firebird Coupe was packed full of options. How many options can one cram into a Firebird? Miss Debbie was up to the challenge. Her poor Pontiac salesperson at Crown Pontiac in Hoover, Alabama developed writer’s cramp filling her order. She was among the last lucky people to own a brand new Firebird. What a day that was. She went straight to her mom and sister’s house. “Look what I got!,” she said.




What did she get?
A beautiful Sebring Silver Metallic Pontiac with tons of options. Power seat, power windows, power door locks, T-Tops, power mirrors, power rear hatch release, cruise control and more things we didn’t even suspect or knew were even available on a V6 car. We were pleasantly surprised to find a positive traction rear end with the optional 3:42 gear. It moves this Bird quite well. Thank you, Miss Debbie. Your Bird is in good hands.

Last of the breed
We know it was not the last Firebird, but it was built in late August of 2002 and depending on how many Birds were hatching per day, this may very well have been built in the last week of production. (A mere 1,349 from the last Firebird to roll off the assembly line.) We also know it isn’t a rare model, but consider the minuscule number of Firebirds you see cruising around today. They are an endangered species to be sure. Ask anyone at the Trans Am Nationals, which we attend every August, about the disappearing act the Firebird is pulling. Many people have fond memories of a Bird from their past, but now regret letting the car out of their possession.



The Big Bird Show
Despite not being a Trans Am or a Formula, my Silver six-cylinder coupe will be welcomed at the Trans Am Nationals, the aforementioned annual gathering celebrating Pontiac Firebird history and a fellowship of Firebird fans. We also provide a counseling service of sorts to people passing near this gathering of Birds and take the time to stop and tell us their Firebird story usually ending in some type of seller’s remorse. We nod politely and use comforting words while we vow to ourselves to never be on the other side of that conversation. Long live the Firebird!  

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life





Junkyard Life’s Firebird Fun Facts

  • The actual last Firebird built was a bright red Trans Am convertible. 

  • This Firebird was sidelined due to cooling problems. 

  • 2002 saw 23,330 Firebirds built.
  • 
Exotic birds, such as Scarlet Macaws or Cockatoos are often subject to quarantine before being sold to the public. I bought this Bird DURING a quarantine. There has to be a joke or an irony here, but I just can’t put it together.
  • The most popular color for 2002 Firebird Coupes was black, selling 1,545 cars, narrowly outselling Bright Red at 1,504 cars.

  • The rarest of the Firebird Coupes would have to be Sunset Orange Metallic, a stunningly beautiful color, but only 372 were made in that optical celebration. 

  • Our color, Sebring Silver Metallic was the  fourth best-selling exterior hue with 1,189 so equipped. 
  • Sebring name comes via the South Florida city known for auto racing and home to Sebring International Raceway, which is one of the oldest continuously operating race tracks in the U.S. The first race there was in 1950.

  • The name “Firebird” is based on the famous Phoenix bird, which comes from Slavic folklore. 

  • Rumor has it that the car’s name “Firebird” was not contrived on the spot, but more of a revival of a name from turbine powered show cars GM was considering in the 1950s.
  • 
John Delorean would not have named this late arrival to the pony car war anything less than something spectacular.


*Editor’s Note: Junkyard Life staffer Ron Kidd made it through this article with only one classic rock reference and one mention of his hero, John Delorean. This is progress for him.






Shiny chrome 5-spoke wheels and shiny silver paint.



Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.