Here's the deal... the retaining ring also had a foam seal attached to the ring to "seal" the assy.. Most firebird parts houses carry that. As Tinman mentioned the incorrect air filter will cause all kinds of fitment issues also.. I do like the fact you are not shortcutting the shaker by attaching it to the hood... Best of luck on your prep and resto.... Been though it ... if you get the time check out the resto on my "75"
75 Sterling Silver T/A original owner 406ci 350 Turbo (my first car)
69 Firebird TA Clone 77-400ci 400 turbo (dyno'd 289 rwhp )
85 Red TA 305 (transplanted 86) TPI 700r4 t-tops ,Custom Int
92 Green TA vert 305 5spd
00 Black WS6 6 spd 5.7 litre, Leather, T-Tops.
81 Basket case WS6 completed project ls2 4L80trans 74 Red T/A future project (another LS conversion with 6 spd)