CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Flashing a Firebird computer

I am looking for a person who can flash an 86 firebird computer. I am putting the motor in a 38 Ford PU

You cannot flash a 1986 computer. They have replaceable EEProm chips. I don’t think you can even GET EEProm chips like that any more.

If you haven’t run the engine off that 1986 ECU recently, I’d suggest it is likely it no longer works.

Your solution is to use a Holley stand-alone ECU and one of their wiring harnesses to a Chevy TPI system. Summit Racing, Jegs or similar suppliers. Will allow you to use a speed-density system to eliminate the MAF and the plumbing for the MAF.

Pardon my ignorance, I didn’t realize I would get a response so soon. Thank you so much. Just to clarify, I have a 1986 Pontiac firebird computer and chip and motor and transmission and rear end I am putting in a 1938 Ford Pickup. Summit said I could buy the wiring harness to fit the computer and chip but I would have all the sensors on it. As I am sure you know, I won’t need all of them. Will the motor run if I don’t hook all the sensors up? From your earlier email you said this computer could not be flashed.

It depends on which sensors you leave off. Really, you do need all of the sensors or the car won’t run right or at all. You may also run into an issue with the security system as it uses a stand alone ECU for that as well in 86. I still think an aftermarket computer us your best bet. A plug and play unit may be available for this combination.

Thank you very much.

1 Like