Between 1970 and 1981, Pontiac designed an iconic line of cars, using top notch technology for all Trans Am parts. The Trans Am was launched in 1970, featuring a new design, with the front bumper and grille made out of Endura rubber and painted just like the body of the car, creating a bumperless appearance. Then, with the exhaust emission control regulations and modern styling, the second generation of Pontiac became even more sophisticated.
The 1979 Firebird Trans Am already displayed a distinct, even more stylish body, on which flexible and resilient moldings were applied, protecting the car from minor crashes and offering it a distinguished appearance, with smooth sections in the front and rear areas; the same year, the nose was redesigned for the second time (the first redesign happened in 1977).
Even though the hood of the car looked very sophisticated, under the hood, the 1978 Trans Am parts kept the car very straight-forward from a mechanical point of view. The Pontiac featured a 6.6 L engine, V8, overhead valve, automatic three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission featuring torque converter, and rear axle. Since straight line speed was more appreciated than cornering capabilities, the use of this rear suspension system for a powerful car like the Trans Am was well received in the U.S.
Between the years 1977 and 1981, the Firebird displayed 4 square headlamps. Special Trans Am versions were the Macho Trans Am (available just at the Mecham Pontiac dealership from Glendale), the 10th Trans Am Anniversary Edition (1979),the Pace Car Indy 500 edition (Turbo Trans Am) and NASCAR Edition (Turbo Trans Am).
In 1978, Pontiac raised the compression ratio by installing different cylinder heads that had smaller combustion chambers. The power was increased by 10% in the cars manufactured between 1978 and 1979 (total power was 220 hp). In 1980, determined by the demanding restrictions on emissions, Pontiac gave up its large displacement engines. Hence, the newer models were affected by the most significant changes to what the 1980 Trans Am parts were concerned.
The 301 was released in 1979 and was a credit option – until it became the standard engine, in 1980. The second generation of Firebirds continued to be manufactured with the same engines, but, in the final year – 1981, a new electronic carburetion system was added.
What you should expect in terms of prices
The Prices for second generation Pontiac parts vary from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the part that you need to replace. Here are a few examples of parts that you may need for your 1978 Pontiac and how much they cost:
- center caps wheel hub – $70,
- a Trans Am Firebird automatic transmission – around $140,
- a Trans Am Pontiac Turbo 350 tail piece – around $30,
- a transmission modulator- $4,
- axle shaft rear axle – $87-$90,
- a metal brake line kit – roughly $40
- front wheel bearing – $30.
As you can see, unless you need to replace heavy parts or rare parts, 1980 and 1979 Trans Am parts are not only easy to find, but actually quite affordable.