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  1. #1
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default My 1979 Trans Am...

    I am bringing this thread here from Firebird Nation where I have a running thread about the work I am involved in on my car.
    It is for me to keep a record of events and upgrades and modifications...
    I was working and still am, 6~10 hour days and also working on my car at times until 3 am and also with some breaks in the time line due to work a need to sleep at least once a week, and cash flow, as I explain as I go along.
    Lastly I misspelled a lot of words almost seem drunk at times due to rushing and it is on a car website not something I am being graded on, so please go easy.
    They also regulate the amount of pictured uploads where I do not regulate anything except spam.
    Its about my Car nothing more and I want to keep it here on my own site.
    Here I Go Again...



  2. #2
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    First off I have to thank the guys that have been helping me out and with special mention to Ponyakr, Zippy and more...

    Ok I bought this TA about three weeks ago.
    I am doing restore and modifications as I go along.
    I have before during and after shots. But I do not think my lowly 79 deserves a special thread in the showroom section...
    But for an everyday driver it is going to be excellent.

    The previous owner lied about quite a few things but I can say the body is in excellent shape and appears to maybe have been driven about three years max in good weather conditions due to such minimal rust.

    Tee Tops are in Pristine condition with no Scratches at all look brand new.

    Odometer shows 13000 and in 2011 it was appraised with 2510 miles on it from reliable appraiser.
    at best I estimate 24,000 miles of use on car.

    The tires were wrong and rubbing even though brand new.
    So here is what I started with and as I go along I will continue to update.

    Also the Trunk was way off to the right side but not really rubbing just misaligned.

    Engine was reported to be a 400 HO from 76, well its not its 500557 numbered and comes from 76-78 model normal Pontiac 400 the car originally had olds 403 they said was busted block due to freeze.
    I am thinking since It has 4:10 gears someone was about to race this car, but why with this engine I do not know...Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Mark; May 17th, 2014 at 08:21 PM.
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  3. #3
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    so first thing I did was have tires put on that fit wheel wells.
    I used to run 235 x 60 x 15 so I put them on front.
    I used to run 275 x L60 x 15s but thought I remembered them as Huge so I down graded to 255 x 60 x 15.
    Shown now. I think car looks a lot better. When I wear out rears I will return to 275 x L60 x 15s I do miss the overall look, and could care less about rotation. Like the nose down a bit since these cars seem to ride back heavy even with air shocks, car is equipped with them. .

    I also started having issue with pwr steering hoses blowing since car was in storage a long time and left unmaintained.
    when I noticed it has chevy pump mounted and they cut the hose and used two different pieces, since I will be building a 403 eventually after this engine starts acting up I am ok with a bracket that was made to allow adjustment and compression fittings with new hose to make reliable at best.

    One ray of sunshine was the carb that needs to be rebuilt is an edelbrock quad 1904

    Next thing I did, since I do work for a living and I am not at home.
    I am working in PA at the moment...was start tweaking minor things like buying some cheap Gold prism tape and do the dash and the Shifter.
    these are the before shots.

    I removed the Dash and shifter plates / Bezel.
    and then cut to fit the dash bezel, the tape to do this was 26 bucks for both cheap fix until I buy the real ones, right now other fires to put out first.

    Once out you place the tape into position then about an hour or so the slower the better cut out all the openings...


    This is for the last two pics...
    Here is a great trick that is so cheap I have to teach you all how to do this...

    Want to see T/A in your tail lights, get a roll of electric tape and a flat screwdriver and a philips head...

    I have been doing this for years, I will add a funny story in a second...

    remove the tail lights by unscrewing those big black round with flat raised centers in the trunk right inside of where the tail light sections are located...
    I did not take a pic of that oops...

    then remove all bulbs and take inside you will have it looking like this.

    Next you or we are going to separate the outer shell from the housing with red lenses...
    it again is so simple there is one Philips screw on top side at center of car location dead top remove it. Then you will see clips that spread from one piece to the other again I should have snapped a pic, I will get better I promise.

    Once you have the clips all removed trust in yourself and gently pry the two pieces apart, they used a gooey rubber type water proof seal that gently will let go.

    Wipe and clean both the red lenses and then the smoked covers or clear lenses depending on what model you own.

    Ok did not want to loose post again.

    after that simple take electric tape and on the red lens or the smoked lens I prefer the red but makes no difference make the letters as shown to spice up the back and make it so people dont call your TA a freaking camaro...
    Then put all of it back together in reverse order again to get this look.

    I also like this better than the Blacked out type kits that only let the light out through the Logo blocking all the rest of the light this is the opposite version, with all lights still bright and working.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG0284.jpg   DSCF9809.jpg   Gold Dash and Shifter.jpg   Before Dash.jpg   Before Shifter 2.jpg   Dash Plate removed.jpg   After Shifter .jpg   IMAG0273.jpg   IMAG0274.jpg   IMAG0275.jpg  

    IMAG0277.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; May 17th, 2014 at 08:41 PM.
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  4. #4
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    I had the silver plated dash factory.

    so I like the gold look, as mentioned for 26 bucks its worth the time to make it look better.

    While in there since garage stated the wiring was a mess and I had no running lights had head lights and brake lights just no parking lights, I removed the switch well just moved it to one side then up so I could see the wires, two were simply unplugged so I knew garage lied to me and just did not either know how to fix them or did not want to waste time on it, I had them fixed in about ten minutes, but the dash lights were not coming on, since these cars usually have dim dashes. I simply spliced a wire from the brown lead coming from head light switch to the shift bulb a trick I learned years ago, you will not have adjustment but I do not really care since they are dim to begin with.

    This corrected the issue and now the lights were working.

    I lost post so I am starting over here...

    The next mod I started was the Shaker to force air to enter from rear and plug all other means for sir to enter.

    First thing I did was remove the Snorkel from Air breather bowl.
    You can do this by using a flat tip screw driver and gently prying the seam and tab off the bowl bottom.

    Next you will be able to remove the filter holder that prevents filter from sliding over and blocking the access, cut at bottom then slide toward shell wall then mig weld seal welding to stop air entry. I will add more pictures next week when I have access to welder and while I am doing a bunch of mods I have planned.

    Some of these will be out of order since I did these all in different stages.
    So just go with it if I seem to loose then come back to something or if images are out of order, the idea is that I am saving them on my own server and I capture the information, I am printing a book to go with my car and it will be in perfect order as work was completed.

    Here are two not to difficult mods that really make a big difference.

    First one is removal of all dash gauges and installing White faced vinyl decal sets another way to keep it cheap so to say with great effects.

    I bought a set for all makes of Trans Am's on Ebay 23.99

    remove dash bezel, removing three screws from under the top edge of the dash then unscrew the lighter plug remove rings around gauges, and then gently remove with finesse. Be careful not to bend the bezel on the right side where it gets weaker.

    Next I remove the right side gauges like Fuel and Battery so I can reach in and remove the speedometer from behind main gauge cluster. There is a light there with ground attached. remove the light socket from back of gauge cluster. Then remove master plug that is positioned vertically and then one more bulb with wire on left side of cluster then the set should compe out with no problem, while I had this out I had already bought Red led replacement bulbs but I need the numbers off the one bulb that is in the shifter and the one behind the battery and fuel gauges to complete red look. do not forget to swap the one out for climate control also, it can be reached right from behind it on left side.

    Now remove clear covers from gauges and then remove black metal isolation eyes holes whatever you want to call it.

    read the directions to install white faces and take your time the slower and more meticulous you work the better the results. Just like cutting out gold bezel tape.

    Next when done install in reverse order and you will end up with this look.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG0278.jpg   DSCF9981.jpg   IMAG0263.jpg   IMAG0280.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; May 17th, 2014 at 08:38 PM.
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  5. #5
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default

    Posted 2 weeks ago
    I need to sand down the edges a bit since hood due to engine caught lip with previous owner, I leave the center divider to break up the dead space a bit and for when I am going to add the Honeycomb mess painted Gold to the inside in about a week or so.

    I also have plans to take the original Honeycomb rims I have no idea where the term Snowflake and screaming chicken come from since they were originally advertised and Honeycomb and Phoenix Firebirds hence the name...

    The rims are 15s I may upgrade but right now that much cash for 2 inches on each tire seems like a waste since mine look almost brand new except dulled, now rub marks from curbs.

    I will be taking scotch bright to it or a buffing pad used to sand the plastic lenses when turning yellow to buff them clean, then I am going to buy gold paint tape them off meticulously and spray the center caps and honeycomb section Gold while keeping chrome look on edge of rim, they should pop nice then.

    I added a better shot showing rim just needs to be buffed and touched up, no big deal.

    I changed tires since then as shown earlier...

    I also will be painting the inside of the Shaker to match color of the body, I am going to go to paint store and have them match using laser gun.


    I am changing this to match all rims cleaning and repaint in this post to save time...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF9449.jpg   DSCF0020.jpg   DSCF9946.jpg   IMAG0291.jpg   IMAG0293.jpg   IMAG0299.jpg   IMAG0307.jpg   IMAG0313.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  6. #6
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default

    This one is Dash completely out and this was done about 8 times...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG0276.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  7. #7
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Just a bad angle they are the same, using phone...

    Ok now for story time..lol

    I was in North Carolina when I was in the Army.
    I was driving a Black TA All Silver and Chrome...sitting at a red light loping..lol
    A blue BMW with a Hot Blonde pulls up beside me, I do one of those quick looks at her and then right back to the red light...

    I hear what sounds like electric windows rolling down and glance back over to the gorgeous Blonde...
    She then says "I just Love the Way your car say TA TA as your leaving...lol ( no this is not a Blonde Joke, this happened..)
    I said you dumb Blonde, it doesnt stand for ta ta it stands for Trans Am, light turns green I leave her sitting in smoked tires...lol

    Thats a true story. I almost fell out laughing.
    Ok I was a Jerk...

    I also was 21
    Im not anymore...

    I learned these tricks years ago when every dime mattered. and I wanted my car to be mine...

    I also do another simple mod that is free but takes a bit of time.

    Remove the headlights if you can while you have to change one anyway to minimize the wasted time...

    Remove all four keeping them apart so you remember which ones are low beam and which ones are high beam. the low beams have three prong plug and the highs have only two.
    then swap them the plugs...

    The High beam plugs will just reach the outside where the Low beams used to be...

    Then place the low beams in the center openings.

    Now at night running on low beams, your car looks just Like a corvete from the front, which I will simply say It no longer looks like a TA...

    If someone saw what they thought was a Vette and then they are behind you...they dont pay too much attention to you from behind.
    Simply hit High beams and turn off and you will slip away...

    Used to do that one all the time, but of course that was when speeding at 75 got you a ticket, so I do not have to do that anymore...

    I have now shown you some very cheap modifications that you can do when it is raining and change the way your car looks without hurting its value at all and improving the looks.

    The air breather shaker mod is the best with Ts out you hear the engine sucking air. and it functions as true cold air, do not leave snorkel tube connected because air like water travels least resistance and it negates the reason to open the back unless you are going to force the air to enter that way.

    In fact you would in effect be creating a vacuum of rushing air past carb intake and actually pull air from the carb. I know folks will doubt it, personally I dont care, I use that technique all the time when pulling gas in a line using an air horn suction, so we can cut gas lines in service with no pressure but gas present.

    Hospitals also used a forced air system to help keep germ travel to min.

    If you want ram air leave snorkel in tack. if you want cold air that is true and your ok with the carb sucking it in then open the back like i do and plug everything else.

    This also leaves the old vent tube that connected to front to bring in air, now without tube but forcing air under hood creating positive air pressure and helping heat extractors on the fenders to perform more efficiently.
    Hello.

    These ideas and thoughts and reasons are my own opinion only, please dont jump into my thread to discuss air movements with me The thread is not about that, it is about why I do what I do.

    You may do as youd like after all its your car.

    if you think two air supplies means faster then go for it, I do not attempt to prove this in any way
    Below about sums it up...
    .

    Ok I will be updating more in the next week or so.
    Thanks for reading
    Here I Go Again...



  8. #8
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default

    I would also like to add.

    You can try or attempt taking your car apart and some are intimidated when they even think about removing their dash and gauges and such, rear light sections, but if you will find some pics have a will to try you may be surprised at how easy it actually is in the end.
    Sometimes just saying Im going to do it will get you going and then if you love these cars the way I do you will feel more comfortable. Then try even more.

    This coming weekend I hope if all parts arrive.

    I will be changing the rear end out from 4:10 gears to 2:73...

    Changing out the Drum brakes in the rear for a set of slotted Disk brakes.

    Adding a Chrome pumpkin cover with nice shinny bolts and new gasket.

    Installing an edelbrock Pontiac Performer Intake and rebuilt Edelbrock Quadrajet Carb.

    Adding New Brake Booster and Master cylinder set up for four wheel disk brake system.

    Seal welding the exhaust to stop leaks. pipes by last owner, the were flared and shoved in then u bracketed. allowing me to remove the U brackets.

    Seal Welding Shaker all closed up...I will see if I can get audio and video to show how car will sound sucking air...


    I also did the trunk Alignment but still need to drop left side edge down just a hair, but I did get seams to become equal...



    Today I am adding all the parts and mods that I mentioned the brakes to the carb...
    I will post pics as we work through things...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0770.jpg   Trunk Alignment.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  9. #9
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    I drove car to garage to start work tonight after work.

    Put car up on jack stands for safety.
    Removed hood and my buddies started removing the hood with my help and then dissecting the intake and carb.

    Then while they were unbolting I continued polish and removing the grime and old paint that is original down to where it would accept Paint from Can...9Temp I will but 17" new rims later.
    The goal is to make the car look a lot better, run and drive so it can be used as everyday driver for a short while until I get home and swap out for my Expedition.
    for work in PA.

    I am having disk brakes installed on rear, with new gears and chrome pumpkin cover while doing all this.

    While adding a Performer Edelbrock intake and the edelbrock Carb I bought...

    I also prepped for paint on rims.

    I also painted the Booster housing with master cylinder.
    When valley pan was exposed I painted it Gold underneath

    I then taped of the rim where I wanted to retain the unpainted surface. around beauty ring.
    Then I painted it.

    Then after paint was dry, I removed the tape I think they turned out pretty good for spray can three coats of top color and also the base coat.

    Then Intake was mounted and torqued.
    Carb was added need to buy an adaptable bracket for linkage from fuel pedal and Kickdown.

    I have to be at work in four hours then I will return to shop to continue rims and clean up with painting...
    the rest of the carb should get worked out while I am at work...
    Ill be back.

    I have already uploaded the rims so here are the engine mods...for now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF9940.jpg   IMAG0233.jpg   IMAG0288.jpg   IMAG0289.jpg   IMAG0290.jpg   IMAG0292.jpg   IMAG0294.jpg   IMAG0295.jpg   IMAG0316.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  10. #10
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Also discovered that My gears wont work everything else except I am making a bracket for the Gas throttle and kick down detent cable...

    But when the 3:73 Gears were pulled out they had to be put right back in since the b10 Bolt GM 8.5 2:73 gears WILL NOT FIT INTO THE CARRIER....The carrier is a 2007 and it will not accept the 2:73 ration Gears into housing, the rear end is GM.
    So I am now checking on a carrier at a race track tonight.

    I completed all 4 rims, and even though they will get chipped and scratched, they look way better than they did.

    I completed the Intake work and almost am ready to fire the car up after resetting the timing since it was in a forward position with the rotor cap which interfered with the Tach wire plug and voltage plug.
    Once bracket is all worked out I should be able to proceed with Brake conversion kit install I have drums sitting on the floor.

    Plus I got my 160 speedometer with 2839 on it and the gauge looks really new, no rust or anything awesome.

    I will update the pics soon .

    I grabbed it at Wal Mart..lol
    Duplicolor I will see what the code is tomorrow for you.
    I like the way it looks on the rims, so much, I am not going to sand the ridges with 1200.... I am leaving them alone.
    I put 4 coats on it is a Primer / Paint for outdoor use

    Give me until tomorrow night to come back since we are trying to do a custom mod of the air breather system.
    The bottom of air cleaner TUB... to make it fit and sealed, since this is a Pontiac and the former owner took out the Olds.
    So the Bottom of the tub was cut to allow for the throttle to enter above the bottom of the tub since it also was inside the air cleaner they may as well ran open Carb ...How about that...idiots.

    I am taking pics and also will upload tomorrow night of all we invent to make things work better than they should.

    I got to hear the car today with new set up big difference.
    I love it sounds throaty...4 Barrell Dumped beautiful. car started up with no pumping gas or having to do anything, right out of Box, then set the air mixture and trimmed it in there...

    Started the Disk brake conversion, things are going good except the Carrier and gears looks like I will have to stick with the 3:73 gears for now. Two weeks longer. I am interested to see the difference the Carb and intake make.

    After second thought I will add some real quick of some of the things.
    I also was able to white face the 160 speedo and added it to the cluster plus fix radio wiring that when I het the steering wheel would make sound stop to subs, crummy wiring job I corrected it in about 15 minutes.

    Tires are also clean for the best part in the new pics. I like it for the price and what I need for now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF9945.jpg   DSCF9944.jpg   DSCF9947.jpg   DSCF9954.jpg   DSCF9960.jpg   DSCF9991.jpg   IMAG0306.jpg   IMAG0311.jpg   IMAG0321.jpg   IMAG0324.jpg  

    IMAG0325.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  11. #11
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    These will be all out of order just realize it was Black and then hole was cut out then welded then cleaned then painted then trimmed in black...


    Ok Tech8 I need another day I was going to drive car home paint can is in the trunk buut ran into an issue with the conversion to disk Kit...

    Brakes so far...All disk and rotors installed...

    Emergency brakes in the kit are supposed to be different lengths for the EM Brake but they sent two the same length at 36.373"
    The required brake cables factory for a 79 TA are 53" and 61" when I call the supplier they stated they should be 43 and 37 or so, I stated they were wrong and additionally they did not include the right ones as advertised with kit But I can get them shipped from Autozone to my motel so its ok.

    The Next issue was the master cylinder and booster would not work as sent without modification of the aftermarket Brake arm so we remove Master cylinder and installed that without Booster, while bleeding lines we noticed we had fluid after a lot of pumping the brakes..lol
    But we had no piston actuation. Figured it might be the synchronize or equalizer whatever that little rectangle shaped deal is directly under the mater cylinder. I forgot and have worked until 3 am two days solid now I will be going to work tomorrow again.

    The carb that was on it was so bad I cant believe the engine was not blown or spun should I say the smell of Raw fuel was very strong coming out of the oil when I changed it and the filter.

    The fact they also (previous Owner) set the car up to either street drag or something is upsetting, 3:73 Gears are what I found out I had or at least thats the math I did 41 teeth and 11. I come up with 3.722222 figure that must mean 3:73s and my 2:73 will not fit into that carrier it was made in 2007. Plus when they installed the Air filter system of the original olds they square cut the bottom Bowl Pan and this allowed the air to totally bypass the Filter what freaking idiots, Not ASE ad they said he was for sure.

    To say Custom mod is an understatement.. But I saved 275 bucks...

    First pic is of the Bottom of an Eldelbrock Chrome air filter 14 x 3 Inch...this will become the new one for the Pic number 2
    Damaged one after IDIOTS...cut it up from the 403 to make it work on Pontiac.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0016.jpg   DSCF0015.jpg   DSCF0026.jpg   DSCF9951 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9952 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9955 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9956 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9957 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9959 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9965 - Copy.jpg  

    DSCF9971 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9973 - Copy.jpg   DSCF9999 - Copy.jpg  
    Here I Go Again...



  12. #12
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    Like I mentioned it is under the bowl between Filter and Carb so Filter may as well have been off running open Carb...First we cut out the base as shown, then we plugged and patched the entire bowl all the way around. including Snorkel tube opening and crank case vent and opening was Spot welded. The pic shown is the modification to slide the filter retaining wall inside to the outside edge fits nice once trimmed to fit then spot welded into position, seal all other openings as mentioned.

    Next place bottom bowl on engine and then temp slide the outer shell of old bowl to check distance and alignment for new weld to join.

    Drill holes into chrome Bottom for the slight drop you can experiment with different bowl and drops to get the desired effects, make sure you clear all obstructions like linkage and fuel lines.

    Then also look at the exact position of the final placement, way to achieve this is to spot weld 4 tacks and then position assemble and put shaker on to ensure clearance of hood and proper placement.

    I will take another picture of final location but it looks like a TA with a shaker, except mine now draws 100% air from rear of cut out shaker. and still fits hood. as Base shows.

    You also can start off by making sure you cut out the replacement bowl to match the original, But I also would check as mentioned above you do not want to grind off and have to repeat.

    Sorry about misspelled words and typing I was doing the work after hours and working during the day also.
    I was posting these up at 3am after two days in row plus I am working 60 a week but really putting in about 11.5 a day. on top of going to garage until 3 am.
    So try to weed through and No Im not drunk..lol

    If it was V bulletin it would allow editing unlimited here it does not so I cant fix.

    Told you guys I wasn't totally worthless..lol
    I may not know how to tell what engine I have...

    I may not be able to grasp the Gears and carriers and housings and swaps, what works what doesn't...

    I can detail and trim the crap out of one of these cars, I don't mean washing..lol
    I can drive the wheels off one for sure...lol
    I can creatively think out of the box...

    So I am glad that I have had comments about the Shaker mods, and the Tail light mod...Along with Rim Resto...
    Maybe it makes up for 1/3rd of my stupidity in all you guys have been helping me get through.
    I will paint modified Tub black I just did not have paint at that time...

    You will see the inside Chrome Cover replaces the factory Black one, you will be able to see the reflection once sun is directly able to enter the Shaker...but not a lot of the times...

    Last one I have to run and get Gear oil for rear end...
    Plus new studs to add to rear wheels since addition of Rotors...

    The air Shaker mod did allow me to drop down a little bit, on the hood just about 3/8" but it helps...
    Now if I wanted to run a 2" filter or flat filter I could mod it all the way down to min.
    Here I Go Again...



  13. #13
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    Here is the Mesh painted gold and installed forgot to snap one of it on car though saw Albino Deer and got side tracked plus im beat right now very sleepy
    Hang on there Tech8 on color I have to run up there twice tomorrow night and I will not forget paint code was supposed ti get to drive it home tonight but still have to wait for brake distribution block should be here tomorrow.

    Pumpkin cover is now on drove new 2:273s and I am happy...

    Completed Mesh install painted to match the Rims and bird
    Bolts or pumpkin cover were a 1/2 inch too long to fir so I had to reuse the originals...

    Pics are above for this all...
    Here I Go Again...



  14. #14
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    Thanks guys,
    My traction bars will be here today

    The distribution block for brakes should also be in today.

    Stud bolts are a little harder to find seems no one knows how to find a bolt and add a half inch to it and figure out what to order...

    set timing and Idle and drove new gears a bit, TA is really close, then two more mods and Im home...
    Here I Go Again...



  15. #15
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Tech8 see pics...
    I finally remembered ya.

    It was a bit tricky to get the correct lighting... But simply says Gold and it was at wal mart. Attached thumbnail(s)



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  16. #16
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    I need a better pic during day the mesh is Gold to match rims.

    I also painted the Shaker bottom Black Ill also snap a shot of it.

    I was able to install the Brake distribution block and get the brakes half way pedal, I will continue bleeding them to get them to full but after an hour of pumping I was glad to be able to stop at all..lol
    not too bad now but not slamming on quality yet.

    I also installed the Traction Bars tonight and will get some pics of it also in daytime but I need to adjust them a bit more they are only 2 inches off of the road...

    Ok that one does it Im going black inside shaker to cancel that white light out.

    At least its not in a garage right now only a couple mods left for me right now until I get time to build a new engine.
    I will be adding speakers to the front Center console an 8" sub and amp to the trunk and also a set of cup holders inside the center console...
    I also am adding Louvers to the rear window like I used to own as well as limo tinting which I have appointment next week to have done.

    Plus I need to get some mixed touch up paint to fix shaker...edge where hood was biting in.

    The 2:73 Gears i clocked the car using GPS after setting time with timing light and verifying the Tach is accurate very close...within 25 or so.hard to be precise with needle verses digital.

    At 2500 I was running right at 63 at 2750 I was hitting 70-69 That is much better.
    Runs more the way I remember it did.

    I ordered a New driver side door handle and saw a guy selling two for 200 bucks I got 2 for 24.99 thats insane...

    I am looking at a set of racing seats cheap but Black on black so I can start the modifications to switch to solid black interior, Wonder Why???
    lol
    Once outer paint peel chips and cracks bird I will go black on exterior and then It will get all trimed in Nice shiny Gold with stripes also.

    I also ordered a replacement pulse washer switch got it for 40.00 and I am waiting for the bolts that are chrome for pumkin cover.

    Installed Speakers into sides of center console tonight will get some pics up...Adding Amp to trunk to join the one thats already there, I also will convert the heaters factory in the seats to the new racing seats when I install them.

    Adding Louvers as soon as they come with Limo Tint when I get appointment in about Ten days....

    Personal Tag...on way, boy Im going to take some heat for this one.... 79 (Graphic) HO
    It will be when I get done with it. I can have up to 7 letters but My name is taken along with Trans AM also 1979 will split across Pic on tag. So I opted for 4 letters slammed to outside edges. and center graphics in middle with space on each side...

    2:73 Gears ....I love them almost wish Id gone down to 2:41 but with Eaton Posi and 2:73 as low as I can go using same carrier I will live with stock option.

    Just need to get another engine in it to have dependable car then I will build an engine to slap into it.

    I totally love my Car again even the Blue is fine for now...until Im ready in about two years since it looks nice like it is.

    oops almost forgot,
    I also bought New custom Chrome center dome with map lights...

    New headlight adjustment plastic inserts...
    I will add these in when I switch headlights around.

    White Faced Heater/AC control panel...
    I overlooked when doing the Gauges, I think I will red light that one since not an actual Gauge...

    New Gas tank Flap with Silver Bird, wont exactly match my Gold trim But I have an idea how to make it match...should be simple just take some time...'Another Mod coming with pics...

    New Keys with GM rubber on them to set as authentic, plus I bought a Hot wheel car to match what I am going for.

    New Old style Key ring with Trans Am on it original issue type.

    Blower Motor install coming for heat and AC.

    I will add AC later since I am in PA for now and love Tees out and drive home at night...to Florida...

    Ok I now need sleep see ya all tomorrow guys...

    Here is the Bottom part of the Shaker all painted nice...

    I also added the Louvers last night

    Here is the look with the Louvers and Traction Bars...

    I also snapped a pic of the Body Tag...

    I dont know how to read it but will dig into that later...
    Ok looks like so far
    79 =Car ok thats correct to Vin.

    L =Van Nuys Cali, thats where I was told the car came from...

    2SF87= Firebird as all Van nuys cars were stamped.

    309835= Body Production Number

    INTERIOR TRIM CODE 62B= CAMEL TAN

    CC1=Tee Tops

    WS4 was not used in Van Nuys plant...go figure.

    29L and 29U= Nocturnal Blue L=Lower and U = Upper

    W= Water based paint

    A51 = Seat code

    T034037900 ???


    I forgot I changed out the door on Fuel Tank Cover, it is Silver but I am doing the mod and adding in a Gold Sail Panel Bird that fits like the vid...at bottom of page.

    Soon I will have a new car..lol
    Blew Heater core out tonight...
    Not a lot left.
    Just the engine which is going to be replaced with another next week or so maybe two.
    I have a chatter or rattle right before it shifts into next gear, figure its the bearings due to all the wash from the Old Carb...

    Tomorrow, I plan on installing the amps, and a mini sub.
    Fixing the driver side door handle which arrived today.
    Correcting the shifter spin on the black knob...
    re assembling the back of the driver seat until I get racing seats with 4 point in about a week or so...

    I also will bypass Heater core until I can get a new one.

    Tech8 I also noticed they sell the Gold true color paint for rims...at Fbody warehouse First link is mod for Fuel door second link s for the color correct Gold for Tech8
    http://allgentransam...uild_video.html
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0020.jpg   DSCF0021.jpg   IMAG0336.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; May 17th, 2014 at 09:08 PM.
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  17. #17
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Tech8
    This one is for you...
    http://www.fbodyware...&cat=483&page=1

    I am copying this post over to keep track and continue to update this thread...
    here is what I am wanting to do and why, so there will be more update photos coming as I get through the next step in my TA rebuild and Modifications.

    Take a 1968 Bonneville engine, 340 Horse from Factory.
    That I Looked at yesterday shown in pics above ran strong sounding, fired right up has approx 100,000 on it.

    Place it into a 1979 TA that originally had an Olds but was replaced with a Pontiac 400 from 76-78 normal, (nothing special)
    The previous owner let fuel get into oil, and I believe ruin bearings they are slapping a bit just before the knocking stage,
    I really dont want the engine as it did seem good about 5 weeks ago but after replacing the intake and carb and noticing the bottom end noise, just want out of my way and life.

    I really do not want to build that particular engine, and I am running out of options, since I need to sell my other car and start driving this car daily at the moment. I am out of town working and live 1300 miles away.

    So far I have changed a lot of components like Rear drums over to disk, 3:73 gears to 2:73.
    Intake Eldelbrock performer 400 series along with 750 cfm Eldelbrock Carb, corrected the abortion of the hack job on the shaker bottom since they cut out for gas pedal linkage. now works on any TA with 4 barrel.
    Added Power steering line, Brake master cylinder, and Distribution block. and more.
    So I would want to be able to run the performer and intake, and since the engine is jammed so high the intake and all pushes the hood way up I was able to reduce slightly when modifying the Bottom of the shaker but I need to see If I can use the motor with no adapters since I can not go up and would prefer to drop it 1" overall.

    Ok I think that does it. I have owned this car for one month so far.

    Actually just got off phone with supplier pointed out above and I have to use the adapter brackets...Ouch...
    I ordered them so I will see Where it goes.
    I will continue to post in My 79 TA mods and upgrades thread as I go along. Now I know why the head slap.
    What happened to the good ole days of cutting off motor mounts and slapping a chrome chain in welding to frame and calling it a day? .lol
    I also will have to modify the shaker down again, going to get interesting, plus as mentioned may have header issues to deal with as well.


    This is the Gold Bird they sell for the Fuel Door...
    https://www.fbodywar...88&cat=0&page=1
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  18. #18
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Actually as you pointed out in my quote the universal ones worked great and give plenty of bite in fact I broke one off when replacing with long shank universals yesterday...
    Im glad you like the thread...
    I still have a ways to go yet.


    Ok I will put it up here instead.

    As mentioned above I lost Low beams on 79 TA, wipers were also acting funny so I had a new switch ordered and since it had an additional orange wire I decided to trace wires and splice in, I fixed them but need to refine just a bit since when wipers are on full time high.
    It is also attempting to spray the washers when on high I will look at my wires again. But I have it close, once I get all connections figured out I will snap a pic.

    The Lights I had to ground the block of the switch to the frame with additional wire and that helped them from blinking on and off with bumps on the road.
    When I tried fixing the low beams which I had noticed one was dim like it was burning out, then if I hit highs it came back on. I looked at the dimmer switch and figured I am not about to rip the steering out to mess up more items in there.

    The work around I came up with is simple.
    Connected the low beam with jumper wire over to a set of driving lights I added to the front end. So I pull on park lights, and have low beams also. (used to do that back in the day so the back of the car went dark...I will leave it at that)
    The end result is pull knob to first position = Running Lights / Park lights.
    Switch on toggle for low beams, then I can do either pull knob all the way out and try to use dimmers to switch back and forth normally, or I can simply pull lights to the on for Brights and then to dim slide the pull switch to park light position and only will have low beams using fo light switch.
    I am ok as long as when I really need them I can turn the on, and when I dont I can turn them off.

    So Now I am considering both issues fixed.


    Ok I did complete the washer switch modification to the different switch type by tracing wires and then connection and error.
    I also Put on the restoration decal for it I bought on Ebay and finally I am done with pulling the dash in and out so far I had it out 8 different times...

    I am starting on 68 engine this weekend by first pulling everything off of the engine and then I will sand blast the oil pan and things that will not get sand inside engine.
    Then paint up really nice.
    I am thinking Black engine bay while engine is out, then using Red anodized paint for frame rails and crossover, then Black on bottom oil pan, then Red on the Block Black on the heads then Red on Valve covers and then slamming the hood down and calling it a day.
    I will take before during and after pictures also.

    I forgot to add the part about the Studs, the front studs are a different size than the back studs in diameter also...I think that is what was listed but again I solved it by going with slotted rim universal long shank nuts and I am happy plus I needed the washers for the rims any how.


    Great news today folks, Finally for once I hit the Lottery with the engine I just bought.
    The 1968 Bonneville 400 Pontiac I was so worried about is a 340 Horsepower engine Reading engine codes and looking at the engine Here is what I have found out so far.
    I pulled YE off the front of the block, still need to clean it up some more.

    I was able to remove the 2 heads Oil pan the Inner pan that keeps oil at bottom, forget the name off hand but its really late and I also have to work again tomorrow.
    The crank is in very good condition and I do not need to replace the mains or the Rod bearings, so already it is in better shape than the one I got with the car...
    The lifters near the distributor are fine but I pulled the ones at the front and they are concave so I am installing a Blue racing Cam, which is just a low end torque cam to help fight off the doggy since I am running 2:73 gears.
    New lifters and then bolting it all up, I think it is a 420 lift or so I will let you guys know when I get it ordered just winging it off word of mouth right now. (Just a street Performer Cam)
    I already have a 2200 stall converter so it should work out nicely.

    Ok then the code on the engine according to the following listing about engine codes and tears to help identify at Junk yards you can read the following:
    On the 68 Reported Bonneville It has 2 bolts for the Motor mounts, that is 69 and below. 1970 and above have 3 so it is definitely a motor 69 or below...
    Now on the Block I noticed I had three Freeze Plugs just like current that signifies newer than 67 so it makes mine the 68 as reported to be.
    The Bonneville had a standard engine of 301 with the upgrade engine a 400 with 340 hpwr. YE is my engine code which does match the listing for that make model and year...
    here is the read located at http://www.antiqueca....net/tech02.htm
    Mine also had the 4 barrel Carb...

    *Note - blocks with only 2 mounting holes or pads (for the motor mounts) per side is from 1969 and older blocks with 5 or 3 mounting holes or pads (for the motor mounts) per side is from 1970 and newer blocks with 2 freeze plugs per side is 1966 and older blocks with 3 freeze plugs per side is 1967 and newer certain blocks for 4 bbl carb usage have scallops in the cylinders at the deck for unshrouding the intake valves. Most 1967 and earlier blocks place these scallops at approx 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock while 1968 and newer blocks place the scallops at 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock . Early 2 bbl blocks and most newer blocks did not have any scallops.
    Last edited by Mark; June 6th, 2014 at 02:29 PM.
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  19. #19
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    1968 Pontiac Motor from Bonneville with 340 horsepower...
    about to rip down and rebuild...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg   3.jpg   DSCF0043.jpg   DSCF0045.jpg   DSCF0046.jpg   IMAG0332.jpg   IMAG0333.jpg   IMAG0337.jpg   IMAG0338.jpg   IMAG0339.jpg  

    IMAG0340.jpg   IMAG0341.jpg   IMAG0343.jpg  
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  20. #20
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default Ok from now on they will be correct as I go and in sequence...

    I will be taking photos as I go and as I have demonstrated...

    Here are a couple of engine Painted, waiting for the Cam to arrive on Thursday
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0095.jpg   DSCF0093.jpg   DSCF0094.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; May 19th, 2014 at 09:28 AM.
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  21. #21
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default Today I added the following...

    And here is the New Limo Tint Installed...

    Car is a Bit dirty due to job site and hand prints from tint guy...But I am happy

    I removed an additional 2 inches of limo off the front today, it was just a tad too low, now its perfect,
    just striped the new tint with painters tape low adhesion then ran razor down the line got it pretty close to perfect, looks great.

    I also added a spacer to the Traction bars since I have staggered shocks, and they offset just a bit, but the major concern was the downward tilt towards front,
    installed the Spacers and leveled them right up to parallel with the chassis, best look and correct installation.

    I think, I mentioned I am going to mod the engine colors one last time... as I wait for the parts (mains and Connecting Rod bearings) to arrive.
    I am going to change the black components to Blue anodized on the heads and timing cover, water pump I am waiting to decide to make it Blue or switch it to red, I will look at it both ways then decide.

    I am leaving Oil Pan Black the rest will be either Red Anodized as shown or Blue anodized as I will show.
    I am dying to get the crap out from under the hood that is now misfiring more plus out of timing and just running with more chatter between gears under heavy load of rear end gears...Freeway,
    I cant wait until I can try out 400 + horsepower.
    The only thing left to go out on the car will be the Transmission, when it goes I am switching to R4 heavy duty one.

    I am happy with overall look and have a few minor things to take care of, as I continue to replace/restore this car.
    I am so glad I added the simple things like front speakers at front of the center console plus the cup holders.
    I cant believe the cup holders make that big of a difference, but when all vehicles now come with them and I remember using the hanging basket ones, I am very happy...lol
    I also like the fact the stereo sweetened up a lot with the additional front speakers and they are not on the doors so you dont hit them and they take away the dead spot on the console...

    Now just to get engine assembled, after I also get heads back from shop and paint them anodized blue...
    Then set up engine to run and all the required brackets for the 68 engine install, plus,
    I am using the original pumps and pulleys from the Bonneville so they stay set up the same way, and I can say goodbye to the Chevy power steering pump they hacked into my car...
    at least all the pulleys will work as designed.

    I cant wait to run it up the road and see how it runs....


    I also received the correct Chrome Bolts finally for the rear chunk cover and switched them out...
    The radio lights up Blue also but I did not have key in...lol

    Blue is a bit bright with drinks in though or misc items it dims them right down to just right. Plus the light is on the back and even empty they do not interfere with driving visibility on road. I love it.

    Oh yea, plus I hand painted the gold again to remove the slight black that crept up onto the honeycomb when I trimmed out shaker.
    I did this by brush after taking a small motel plastic room 7oz cup cut down to little bowl and then sprayed the paint inside until it pooled up then I brushed it on the mesh...
    I also like it.

    Just in case anyone is looking...
    You can find the Anodized Paint at Advance Auto if they do not have it ask them to order it, you can call ahead, I also recommend adding either a chrome or gold color base a couple coats first...
    I put on about 3-4 good coats of Gold on first same as rim gold I used, then over coated with about 4-5 coats of Red on Block.
    I am getting heads Vatted and will use the same color gold as I used on the Mesh which is just a bit brighter, Gloss, than the rims and then I will use the Blue. I will update when completed...
    Remember to keep can about 12-14 inches back and lightly spray areas do not over spray or you will get runs, let it set a bit and get tacky then add more as desired.
    The more coats you add the deeper and richer the final result.
    Especially with the anodized paints.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0186.jpg   DSCF0190.jpg   DSCF0198.jpg   DSCF0200.jpg   DSCF0204.jpg   DSCF0206.jpg  
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  22. #22
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Ok here is what I spent Memorial Day celebrating...I am Former US ARMY 7th Special Forces Group (A) so I respect all in service.

    Ok I spent the day with my TA alone in a Garage, since I am 1300 miles from my family, I spent it with my New Love..lol

    Ok I was able to move the Fog/Driving lights over toward the center one bracket spot on each side.

    I painted the Lighter Plug keeper ring Gold to get rid of old looking black, figure I could always paint it black again if I did not like it, came out ok...

    I also had a chance to update the paint on the water pump and timing housing, plus the oil cap.
    I like the luster of the Blue in comparison to the factory baby blue on Pontiacs.

    I really think the Red and Blue are going to look even better than the Black and Red I had originally picked out.
    I will leave the Oil Pan Black thats it for Black.

    And here they are the engine Minus heads until I get them back from shop Tuesday or Wednesday....

    I added the pics of Red and Blue...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0227.jpg   DSCF0207.jpg   DSCF0208.jpg   DSCF0209.jpg   DSCF0228.jpg   DSCF0210.jpg   DSCF0213.jpg   DSCF0214.jpg   DSCF0231.jpg   DSCF0235.jpg  

    DSCF0236.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; May 28th, 2014 at 11:22 PM.
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  23. #23
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default Engine in Car fired up and Broke in Cam

    Picking it up from Garage tonight after we put hood back on and perform a couple quick task...
    Last edited by Mark; June 10th, 2014 at 09:30 AM.
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  24. #24
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default Update

    Here are the last pics of work completed.
    I will be changing from an Automatic to Tremic TKO 600 5 speed
    Also switching center console, along with fabricating new door panels with speaker inserts Black and Tan
    Then dropping in the 500 Horse engine with sub frame connectors.
    Complete recovering of interior Black and Tan
    Complete minor body touch ups then repaint to Black and Gold.
    A couple of other mods then will follow after that
    I completed the dash upgrade with all new gauges and indicator lights.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG1235.jpg   IMAG1228.jpg   Manual console.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; March 22nd, 2017 at 08:33 PM.
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  25. #25
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Default A couple more updated pics...

    This is where I am today
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG0704.jpg   IMAG0680.jpg   IMAG1180.jpg   IMAG1164.jpg   IMAG1362.jpg   IMAG1360.jpg   IMAG1363.jpg   IMAG1410.jpg   IMAG1411.jpg   IMAG1216.jpg  

    IMAG1218.jpg   IMAG1221.jpg   IMAG1222.jpg   IMAG1234.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark; March 22nd, 2017 at 06:17 PM.
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  26. #26
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    Here is the 500 Horse engine and Paint for it installed with Wrapped Headers...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG1345.jpg   IMAG1390.jpg   IMAG1420.jpg   IMAG1422.jpg   IMAG1180.jpg   IMAG1196.jpg   IMAG1416.jpg  
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    This is where I am today
    What a beast. Excellent thread by the way, I've enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for sharing.

  28. #28
    Site Owner Mark's Avatar
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    I postedit here to save it more than anything It was up on a Trans am page before...Thanks again Im glad you liked it sir...
    Here I Go Again...



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