LS1LT1 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One Rare Bird
1997 Formula Firebird 1LE

Pontiac Race Division made only 28 of these 1LE race version Firebirds, and only sold 14 to the public. The other 14 were kept for the factory race teams.
This one is registered with the Pontiac Owners Group, and the 1LE.net site.
It is all original, not restored. The only modifications being the original track use 3.23 Positraction rear gears were changed to 4.10 Molybdenum Alloy Positraction gears for street use, a Hypertech intake airfoil, and a FlowMaster 3” dual exhaust system were installed.
All original parts and documents were kept, including invoice and window sticker.
The computer control program was optimized by Dragon Race Engineering, and Custom Hand Painted Ghost Flames were added by “Flames by Ray”.

The 1LE Story: The 1LE’s were originally made by Pontiac Race Division
for the Canadian Cup Race Challenge. Factory modifications included:
1. An LT1 Predator series 5.7L (350 c.i.) sequential Fuel Injected Engine
with a cast Iron block and Aluminum heads, WS6 Ram Air package,
roller rockers, 4 bolt center main bearings, and a gear driven water pump.
Producing 305 bhp and 325 ft.lb torque with a 6000 rpm Red line.
These were improved by Dragon Race Engineering to 315 bhp and 340 ft.lb.
2. A Borg Warner T56 6 speed manual Transmission.
3. An Aluminum drive shaft and 4.10 Molybdenum Alloy Positraction rear end.
4. Oversized 12” Brake rotors with dual piston Aluminum calipers.
5. 275ZR40X17 Track rated Racing Tires on heat treated Alloy Mag Wheels
6. “Koni” dual adjustable Racing Shocks
7. Oversized Sway bars and Traction bars
8. All Neoprene suspension bushings
9. 10 gauges including: Oil Temperature, Oil Pressure, Water Temperature
Manifold Vacuum Pressure, Ammeter, Fuel, Speed, Tachometer,
Odometer and Lap Odometer.
10.An oversized 18 gal. gas tank with dual deep sump pickups and baffles
to eliminate sloshing and fuel starving in tight cornering, down to ½ gal.

There were no options available, no electric seats, no electric windows, as these were not Racing Equipment. Originally placing an order required supplying GM with a copy of your Track Racing Certification, but this was eventually dropped, although factory literature listed the 1LE option as
“For the serious race competitor. Not recommended for Street Use.”
The one concession for units sold to the public was an available radio.
Even with the lower 4.10 gear ratio, 6th gear @ 5682 rpm = 200 mph

This car was appraised in 2003 by AMC Classic Appraisers (International Automotive Appraisers Association Master Certified) for $21,000.00, and in the appraisers own words “That is based solely on equipment and condition and does not include any premium for its extreme rarity and collectability, as it is hard to put a price on that”.
Of course that was before Pontiac closed its doors. There will never be another Firebird.

And NOW it is for sale! This is your chance to own a piece of Automotive History!
Email: [email protected] or Call Robert at 303-252-4697. Serious inquiries only! $20,000 o.b.o.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,849 Posts
Where are you getting your data? No 1LE (let alone any LTx) cars recieved forged rods, crank or pistons. They did not get the 4 bolt main block unless it was one of the last few 97s built when GM ran out of 2 bolt blocks and put in the corvette 4 bolt block. No LT engine other than the LT5 was rated over 330hp, and that was the LT4, which was only in 97 firehawks in f body's. A flowmaster catback and an airfoil don't add 30hp on top of that, maybe 2 from the airfoil, 0 from the flowmaster. You have a rare car yes, but don't post false information please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1LE Firebird

The information was provided directly by Pontiac Race Division and published specs on the 1LE. Shortly after I purchase this car I contacted Pontiac's Owner Assistance Center with a request for any information available on this car specifically by VIN number. They sent me a very nice letter all about my car and how rare it was. The 1LEs were all custom built by the Pontiac Race Team, these were NOT the same as the standard LT1 Formula Firebirds and Trans Ams that were sold to the public. The also sent me 4 pages of specific part numbers, listing all the parts that were different on the 1LE from the "stock" Firebirds. I did not make these claims lightly. No I have not disassembled the motor to varify the 4 bolt mains, but that IS what it is supposed to have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,849 Posts
The published specs for the 3rd gen 1LE state 4 bolt mains and a forged crank, the 4th gen 1LE was the same longblock as every other ltx, just with different suspension and weight reduction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
4 bolt mains

I would be interested in trying to verify whether or not my block has the 4 bolt mains it is supposed to have. Perhaps it is one of what you called the "late 97s that did get the covette blocks". However with both the Pontiac Owners Assistance and the 1LE.net sites being deceased, I don't know how I can confirm it short of tearing the block down. I have been trying to find some kind of 1LE club without success. Even Dragon Race Engineering (who specialized in F body) seems to have disappeared since 2002 when they originally did my performance upgrades. Do you have some kind of list by engine serial number? If so where did you get your information, and if not what makes you so sure of your "facts"?
As I previously stated my information came from the Pontiac Owners Assistance Group prior to the demise of Pontiac, but I do want accurate information on my car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gen. 4 1LE

Thanks for the link to 1LE Facts. I went there and am now trying to join. However I read the whole page, and NO where did it say anything about the 4 bolt mains and forged cranks on the Gen. 3 or anything about them being discontinued on the Gen. 4 1LE. Only that you didn't have to order them as several separate special orders. They were all included in the single 1LE special order. So again I ask where are you getting your information? What "Published Specs" are you referring to? The other link was just a YouTube video of somebody drag racing. Not relivent.
 

·
10 Second Opti Club
Joined
·
6,736 Posts
I have never ever come across a factory rotating assembly in an lt1 that was forged. If you can find any info on it aside from your letter, I'd love to read into it.

4th Gen Birds

4_1

I can only find balanced/blueprinted lt4, nothing about internals.

Wiki on lt4.

LT1 vs LT4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1LE specs

Again, thank you for the links to useful info. It does say that both the standard LT1 and LT4 had 4 bolt center main bearings and that the crank was powdered not forged. It does not give specs for the custom built engine in the 1LE, which was a hybrid of parts from different engines, many from the Corvette. For example I know for a fact that the engine in my 1LE has solid lifters with roller rockers, like the LT4. therefore it may have the cam from the LT4 also. I also know for a fact that the horsepower was higher than the stock LT1 engine. Part of the performance set up was to set some of the tolerances loose when cold to allow for heat expansion at sustained high speeds, such as the roller rockers, which will tick slightly until the engine warms up, and the shims in the positraction differential which has Molybdenum allow gears with an aluminum drive shaft. There were other changes made to accommodate sustained high speeds. It also has a gear driven water pump instead of a pulley drive, which was Very Expensive when I had it replaced due to a small leak. All of this makes it hard to get exact specs on the 1LE, especially since Pontiac went out of business, but the Pontiac Race Team sure knew how to build one bad ass engine/racecar!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,014 Posts
the lt4 does not have solid lifters, and neither does yours. they're hydraulic roller. that engine is a normal lt1, i know that much about 1LE but not much more.

i do remember someone telling me that a 4th gen 1LE is basically just an aluminum driveshaft, factory a/c delete, and upgraded sway bars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
1le

You are flat wrong. It does solid lifters, and the 1LE is not just a stock" basically just an aluminum driveshaft, factory a/c delete, and upgraded sway bars." You don't know what you are talking about so you shouldn't listen to "someone telling me" things they don't know. Talk to someone who owns a 1LE. Of course there are only 14 of us. Look up the production numbers.
 

·
10 Second Opti Club
Joined
·
6,736 Posts
All lt1's and lt4's have a gear driven water pump. Only lt4s have 4 bolt mains, no lt1 ever did from the factory. The lt4 did not receive solid roller lifters, they were hydraulic just like the lt1. The lt1 vs lt4 article covers the differences in an easier to read format. The 4_1 article has 1le info but doesn't dwell on engine specs. Here is a page from the sales brochure for 1997, and another. Another article here. I can't find anything concrete on the 97 getting an lt4 though I would imagine it did. Do you have any photos under the hood of yours?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1LE info

Again thank you for the links to the sales brochure. I have the original sales brochure (and original window sticker) for my car. It lists some of the major features, but like most sales brochures it is not intended as a complete list of every component. The 1LE option may well have included the LT4 instead of the stock LT1 or at least some of its features. As I said I know that it has roller lifters, which were not on the stock LT1. I have not found any complete data sheet specifically on the 1997 1LE engine. I would love to find one. As for only the LT4 having the 4 bolt main, that disagrees with the data sheet on the link LT1 vs LT4, which was sent by another reader above. It shows both the LT1 & LT4 as having the 4 bolt main, but again it is just yet another data sheet.
I have attached a picture.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
That engine never had solid lifters. EVER!!!

Wanna know for sure. Try adjusting a valve and see what happens.

I highly doubt that your gauge cluster has a factory vacuum gauge.

And an oversized gas tank?????? Where the hell are you getting this info from?

Sounds like you were lied to. BIG TIME!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Revised information

The information I listed was compiled from all available info from 1LE websites. Some information was conflicting. I am always trying to get the most accurate information I can. I want to be both accurate and truthful. I have revised the statement in the original posting to reflect the most authenticated updated info. I could get. some from links offered by readers who have kindly offered links to some sites with apparently good valid data. This included lowering the horsepower rating and dropping the forged crank. The original info was from sites that are no longer available and therefore could not be contacted for confirmation.
The information regarding the gas tank (p/n) #10121026, sender #25094804, double pickups #25121120, and bigger electric pump #25116163, were provided by Pontiac,1LE/doc/parts/index.html
The roller cam rockers info and adjustments info. was from Dragon Race Engineering who provided custom higher performance computer programs and other performance parts and setup including new rear gearing. They also sponsored our race team for several years.
I am not really interested in arguing with every person who thinks they "know" everything about every model Pontiac ever produced. I am interested in getting more accurate information from reliable sites. I am also interested in finding any 1LE Camaro/Firebird clubs, especially in Colorado.
Any body with a real interest in helping, or who might be interested in buying this great rare car, please contact me for personal contact information.
To everyone else thanks for all your interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
The roller cam rockers info and adjustments info. was from Dragon Race Engineering who provided custom higher performance computer programs and other performance parts and setup including new rear gearing. They also sponsored our race team for several years.
I'm guessing than they most likely installed the roller rockers, which are a common upgrade, at the same time as the tune and other "performance parts". AFAIK all LT4's have the red intake manifold. Any engine pics you can post? That is a very nice car regardless, but I highly doubt it's a factory LT4 car.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top