TAC Spotlight => Projects & Restorations => Topic started by: 4wheeling79 on November 19, 2017, 10:27:49 PM

Title: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 19, 2017, 10:27:49 PM
I should have posted as I went along but PB shut me down until today better late than never. I picked this complete 79 TA 400 with auto TH350 last August up in Dallas I knew when I picked it up it had rust issues but hey they all do had I know the extent of the rust though I would had past it up. But I brought it home for what I thought would be a pretty quick rebuild fresh paint, new interior and let it roll little did I know this would turn into a total restoration. Upon getting home I found the electric windows didn't work, door locks didn't work, only the driver seat was bolted down, no passenger seat track, shaker was glued to the hood, brakes barely working and trans was slipping. So she had a list of issues it had been half a$$ restored back in the 90's paint and motor rebuild from previous owner.
(https://i.imgur.com/SNwRLWZ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/2kpyrh4.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/sgSenrr.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/RG2UFoU.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/RJN6M8a.jpg)


Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 19, 2017, 10:48:46 PM
What I always find amazing is the work and extent a person will go to absolutely do it all wrong upon removing the carpet I found garbage bags covering this poorly floor pan repair. What I found under the paint was even more puzzling to me to the point I wanted to choke the life out of the person who did the repair. All four corners had this poor excuse for a repair the best I could figure that was bath or window cocking squeezed in then painted over. So the rust repair began I cut out and repaired all rust issues in the car along with new floor pans. Note the ugly spray painted dash horrible color it had to go!
(https://i.imgur.com/ugySdwb.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/U0MUCv5.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/Y1xfEBW.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/OLWtXy5.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/voUMhS9.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/42JzUiq.jpg)

Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 19, 2017, 11:14:35 PM
Once I was into the car 2 months I knew I was in for the long haul it was like the more I took a part the deeper I was getting the light at the end of the tunnel was very dim. Going into this I knew enough about paint and body work to be very dangerous. But I have always been fabricator so doing the metal work just came natural to me but for the paint work I had to call in reinforcements.
(https://i.imgur.com/Phlb6et.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/PlL0wHV.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/0V8LEiU.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/OmhN34h.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/bp4XFK5.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/D89lD38.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 19, 2017, 11:59:10 PM
Once I got all the rust repaired which seemed like it would never end I hate rust! Nothing on the sides of the car was straight door dings front to back. Once we started sanding on the car I found the car had been brown its entire life and had been repainted up to 7 times in most spots. But the car was not a numbers matching car and I did not want to go back with original brown so a complete repaint was in order just had to find the right color. But first prime and wet sand what seemed like for ever but I wanted it as straight as possible. I sand blasted the bottom side of the car the best I could repainted the entire bottom side.

(https://i.imgur.com/avSFslc.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/ZTMCp3j.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/u2cq1H0.jpg)
This what was left of the front sub frame bolts not much left.
(https://i.imgur.com/ruBkjnF.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/zY1iwof.jpg)
Primed and wet sanded multiple times
(https://i.imgur.com/ujdYHfB.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/nf1PtRQ.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/DB8mHjv.jpg)



Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Jack on November 20, 2017, 01:17:48 AM
Nice job, although the car looked pretty good in the first few pics.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: tlucas03 on November 20, 2017, 03:02:44 AM
Thank you for sharing your project.  The work you have put into it looks well done, and I greatly admire you and the other members of this group for your ability’s and thank you for sharing the journey with people like me.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 20, 2017, 08:15:34 AM
Nice job, although the car looked pretty good in the first few pics.

Looks can be conceiving and they were with this car the man I got it from kept it in his garage. But when I opened the door and set in it I could smell the mold so I knew the floor pan was toast. The paint was a 20/20 job had scratches top to bottom front to back. Had I have know about all the rust issues on the T-top and windshield channel I would had left it setting in the mans garage. The good thing is I picked it up for pennies on the dollar it was a complete running TA with a decent running 400. So from a starting point I thought I was money way ahead I had no idea what I was in for. Nor did I an on a complete restore job.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 20, 2017, 07:40:32 PM
After I looked at tons of TA pics I ended up deciding on PPG Martinique blue with about 5 coats of clear, gold bird and gold wheels. Spraying the base and the clear is the 2 things I didn't do on the car in fear I would screw it up. I was at work all day and the guys came over and knocked it out so when I came home and found the car sprayed I was blown away! I couldn't had been more surprised!
Now it seemed the hard part was all over the rest would be down hill I ordered tons of new parts to make reassembly a breeze plus at this pointy I wanted this car to be brand new.
(https://i.imgur.com/XAgGuKh.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/RrGaRen.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/Xvzmrr3.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/fnnWvqr.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 1975 ta on November 20, 2017, 08:27:38 PM
looks good
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on November 20, 2017, 08:28:29 PM
Enjoying seeing your progress.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 20, 2017, 11:03:06 PM
I ordered a the complete LE kit from Pro Touring for suspension, the rearend I totally rebuilt with Richmond axles, Auburn carrier and 3.42 gears. All new lines, fuel tank and every nut & bolt front to back.
(https://i.imgur.com/hySKsXT.png)

For the transmission it was slipping from the start so I ordered a complete rebuild kit so me and a friend rebuilt it at his transmission shop one afternoon. Upped the clutch packs, new pump and shift kit for the converter he got me a 2200 stall converter which turned to be close it actually stalls at 2K
(https://i.imgur.com/c9GkSPV.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/f3KW9MJ.jpg)

As for the motor I thought I would save a little money here the car ran pretty decent so I figured I would just freshen up the gaskets and changes cam shafts. So not the case once I got a good look in the spark plug holes I seen it had the dreaded 8 valve relief pistons. So I tore the engine a part and to my surprise internals was in awesome condition bores were perfect, crank had zero wear even though bearings had 1994 on them. It had a generic rebuilders cam in it and very low miles from what I could tell.
The good was I had the 988 block out of 1975 but heads were the larger 5C-8 castings. A stroker was out of the budget and roller cam wasn't in the budget either at this point. But who ever did the machine work back in 1994 did really work and ended up saving me some $$
(https://i.imgur.com/7GiUxO1.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: LeighP on November 21, 2017, 12:40:56 AM
Starting off with a complete car, even in poor condition is a boost to the project.....interested in seeing the final result. :)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: olds403 on November 21, 2017, 01:18:40 PM
Nice work.....well ahead of us.  Least you just needed floors and some areas around t tops.  Once these need floors, quarters, and tail panel you are in for a lot of money. 
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 21, 2017, 10:01:00 PM
I wanted to put as much muscle as I could into the motor rebuild on a limited budget and time frame both of these issues was killing my dreams. I tried looking for a reasonable priced 455 but couldn't find anything so I resorted back to the 400. Since 5C heads are basically 6X heads and I have been porting heads for close to 25yrs  I did a full port and polish job on the intake and exhaust side and lots of bowl work. I used 1 piece SS valves 2.11 intake and 1.77 exhaust. I did end up milling the heads but only enough to clean them up they ended up with right at 99cc's on the chambers. Finished them off with 3 angle valve job, comp springs, machined for positive seal and 10 degree locks.
The block was perfect bores where straight already .030 over, and main saddles was just like it was line honed yesterday it couldn't had been any better. So I ordered up all new bearings, Comp XE264 flat tappet, roller rockers, new balancer, trickflow pushrods, a set of Speed Pro pistons the machine shop I used is a Pontiac racer and he gave me a set of forged rods. He balanced the rotating assembly to a zero balance and polished the crank for me. I honed all the cylinder bores to fit the new pistons and put it together. Compression ratio ended up at a solid 9.2, I ported the factory intake and ordered up a Q-jet from summit. It should run pretty decent for a 400
(https://i.imgur.com/8HY5Ype.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/sKOGxzJ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/c2H0M86.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/drE7hbL.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/HnokzS8.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/yTsrIad.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/aGe2P2r.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/7PmwwMa.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/XcEBZSz.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/DeiG1uq.jpg)









Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: scarebird on November 22, 2017, 11:21:03 AM
Very nice to see.  my 79 was originally Martinique Blue, interesting to see what it looked like proper.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 1975 ta on November 22, 2017, 08:01:42 PM
looking good!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Jack on November 23, 2017, 07:19:24 AM
I like the color, it goes nicely with the motor.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: TransBam on November 23, 2017, 10:29:04 AM
Very nice work and in an open air carport! Nice reminder that the average person with knowledge/skill can build a car anywhere. In MN, it's harder to work outdoors... either too cold or the mosquitoes zero in on the light and carry you away.
Your car is looking great!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 23, 2017, 11:55:22 AM
Thanks guys! I actually went to Harbor Frieght and bought some tarps washed out my entire shop and carport. Then turned my carport into a paint booth. I put in fans to pull out the over spray and even radiate heaters to help cure the paint it looked like an awesome built getto paint booth it worked pretty good. I got one bug on the hood, one on the door and some trash on the deck Lid luckily every bit of it wet sanded out. One would never guess it was painted out side looking at it now.  :D
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 27, 2017, 10:20:25 PM
This was like putting together a lego set just one piece at a time there was so much to do and so many parts everywhere. I had to just focus on one thing at a time if not it would seem like it will never end for me I'm sure we have probably all experienced this part of a build. So I set the rebuilt rear end into place then started on the front the AC hadn't worked in no telling when so with the entire dash a part I replaced the entire AC/heater and put back all the factory duck work. I learned on youtube how to install the front and rear windows that worked out perfect.
I relined the front sub frame into place and installed all new brake lines, fuel line, brakes, bearings, rotors and so on....
(https://i.imgur.com/YOaeJy3.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/st9nLai.jpg)



Then set the engine and trans into place bolted up headers and accessories
(https://i.imgur.com/JQXJFEj.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/oMfuUHQ.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Bale9 on November 27, 2017, 10:28:56 PM
You are doing some amazing work on your car and all from your drive way.

Were you nervous swinging the engine and auto from the intake manifold? I'm assuming its the factory cast iron manifold.


Keep it up, looks great.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 27, 2017, 11:35:28 PM


Were you nervous swinging the engine and auto from the intake manifold? I'm assuming its the factory cast iron manifold.


Keep it up, looks great.

No I have been using carb mount lift since the early 90's but back then I built my own now they looked kinda sketchy, but yes it is a factory manifold and you can do the same with aluminum. Thanks I will post more pics tomorrow I lost 3/4 of the pics I took so having to really to get these.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 28, 2017, 09:56:13 PM
The next major task was the interior someone before me thought it would be a good idea to take some ugly off yellow spray paint and paint over the camel tan. The seat covers, door panels, head liner and rear package tray I could order but the dash and center console had me really worried. So I got out the center console and figured I really couldn't mess it up any more than it already was. I got some aircraft paint stripper for plastic spayed it inch by inch on the console and took my time removing that ugly paint the results was unbelievable. Hard to believe that was the same console!

Before
(https://i.imgur.com/SvOwHom.jpg)

After
(https://i.imgur.com/BDKH9Zo.jpg)


Why anyone would do something like this is beyond me?? I used the same approach on the dash removed as much old paint as I could. I ended up redoing the dash in black turned out looking pretty good. I really liked the black dash with the camel tan interior setting on black carpet. The old school Hurst dual gate shifter was in the car when I got so I restored it the best I could. I traced down all the electrical issues with the windows, door locks, blower motor and instrument cluster all of it was easy fixes just real time consuming so now all factory parts work.

UGLY before pic
(https://i.imgur.com/vQU277Q.jpg)

After
(https://i.imgur.com/7eVq1yW.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/KNQrZbo.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/7bL6GaI.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/dskl7Vs.jpg)

Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on November 29, 2017, 04:10:43 PM
I like the two tone interior. See them once in a while on the older cars but not too many as they get towards the end of the line.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: TransBam on November 29, 2017, 04:51:50 PM
I like the two tone interior. See them once in a while on the older cars but not too many as they get towards the end of the line.

I agree and the tan and black look great together.

I've got a 74 TA project car with an option listed as 'REDAPP-NC 75X' ...... black and red interior
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on November 29, 2017, 07:22:16 PM
Your seats look good. Are they PUI brand?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on November 30, 2017, 07:57:49 AM
Thanks for the compliments I looked at a lot of interiors before I made the final decision originally it was all camel tan. But being this is not a numbers matching car I wanted to build it the way I thought it should had came from the factory. Minus the 455 I couldn't make happen but without some way better tires 455 power would never get to the ground with factory size tires.
The seat covers I ordered from Classic Industies I'm not sure who actually made them? The rear seat I refoamed and recovered myself. The front seats I just didn't have the time so I had the guy up the road recover them for me and only cost $100 so I let him have at it.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on November 30, 2017, 09:04:19 AM
Okay, they must be PUI then, since that is what Classic Industries sells. Camel Tan is a good choice...one of my favorites. Thanks!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: FormTA on November 30, 2017, 10:34:04 AM
Wow! Great work. That console came out great considering what you started with.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 02, 2017, 01:54:01 PM
The next line of business was to get that freshly built engine fired up and break in the flat tappet cam I have probably done at the very least a 100 times but I get nervous every time still to this day. But I broke it in no worries I couldn't wait for the next day to do so at 10 o'clock at night there I was breaking in the cam. I had the attention of the family and my neighbors come down and watch the show.
(https://i.imgur.com/WqwwCC7.jpg)

Once I had the engine up and running before I tried setting the front clip on I wanted to get the front end alignment done. Since I had this entire front end a part I wasn't sure how straight it was and I didn't want someone I didn't know working over the fenders. I had a 4 wheel alignment done this part I was worried about how straight did I set front sub frame and how far was the camber off? Luck would have it my crude measurements I took with a tape measure and laser was spot on straight. I was only 3 shims off on the camber the guy told me the car was straighter than most newer cars that come in I was super thrilled about this!
I brought the car home unloaded it off the trailer and couldn't resist driving it the muscle it unloaded on the ground was unbelievable! I was instantly in love as I built this car to sell at this point I wanted to keep it now. The car had no rear bumper and no front end but I drove it around the block anyway.
(https://i.imgur.com/6R9SP9C.jpg)

Next was to get the front end on this is where I ran into a real set back I used the original front and rear bumper when we painted them with flex additive in the primer and paint. We stripped them both down repainted both and they both cracked a second time. I was super upset at this point costing me a lot of money and time so we stripped them down a third time. At this point we found it was the old plastic was cracking not a paint issue at all so I had to order new repo bumper cover and fit them. 
(https://i.imgur.com/6R9SP9C.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/jBoSB3x.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/AIgToyy.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/Q6mhidP.jpg)

In the mean time I ordered up an AC kit from Original Air Group to replace the original big ugly compressor it fit perfect literally had it blowing cold air in one afternoon. It worked out amazingly I would highly recommend it. Came with everything you would need.
(https://i.imgur.com/LZFRi70.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/tCebE1q.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/HsQMd08.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/tDHXMAa.jpg)


The fitment I was super concerned about but they went on like they was from the factory I didn't have to do much adjustment to either of them at all. Washed, primed, sprayed, cleared and buffed them out bolted them right on the car sounds easy anyway. This little project took me about 5 weeks to get done but the out come looked awesome.
(https://i.imgur.com/zP8qVGg.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/182wFy5.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/01H1s6Q.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/eoz15jr.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/tDHXMAa.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/MZuuBlH.jpg)

Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on December 02, 2017, 06:08:34 PM
Excellent work and great pics!

Your a/c kit looks just like my Classic Auto Air kit, so it's good to see your pics of it installed.

The new bumper covers look great too. Who did you buy those from?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 02, 2017, 07:49:22 PM
Thanks! The bumper covers I got from Classic Industries I will bet there the same ones that all the other vendors sell. Aside from a few bolt holes missing they fit very well the hardest part was degreasing them.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on December 02, 2017, 09:03:36 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: LeighP on December 03, 2017, 07:00:31 AM
Looking pretty darned nice!  8)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 06, 2017, 09:44:22 PM
When I acquired this car the shaker had been glued to the hood and for me this is not acceptable and luckily for me who ever did it used horrible glue. so removing the shaker wasn't to much trouble and a eraser wheel removed the rest of the glue. The problem was I did not have a drop base to use I had been looking for one since I started this project last year and paying $300-400 for one was not an option I would use. So I got me one that I believe went to a 301 but I never confirmed this of course it set way to low since I had an original drop base for my 78 I had the measurements I needed. So I cut out the center of the 301 base and added a strip of sheet metal and made my own drop base. The end result didn't turn out to bad the shaker to hood clearance was perfect.

(https://i.imgur.com/ovfXQj2.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/UPSKRZA.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/GIGXCgS.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/iDiNyRF.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/jhGKLsd.png)
https://imgur.com/a/HP4IG

Bolting the hood and lining up all the body lines was a major PITA it took me a whole Saturday there really close I can live with them but don't like it. But when I reached this point here I felt really good with the entire build I brought the car home August 2016 and these pictures was taken August of 2017. I had torn an entire car apart and rebuilt it from the ground up in a years time!

(https://i.imgur.com/msPhmuS.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/PlAvKcV.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/w9SBuEx.jpg)



Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on December 06, 2017, 10:35:59 PM
The air cleaner base you modified isn't from a 301. 301 base has a smaller diameter and looks different too.

Your base is from a 73-74 Pontiac a-body (Lemans, Grand Prix, Grand Am) with 350, 400, and 455 4 barrel carb engines. Good job on making it dropped!

If you're using a Pontiac quadra-jet, you shouldn't have filled in the 1/2" diameter hole, since that's for the bowl vent pipe to stick through, like on your 78 base.

I'd think you'd need to add the inward bulge at the back for distributor clearance too, like your 78 base has. 
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 07, 2017, 08:25:45 AM
The air cleaner base you modified isn't from a 301. 301 base has a smaller diameter and looks different too.

Your base is from a 73-74 Pontiac a-body (Lemans, Grand Prix, Grand Am) with 350, 400, and 455 4 barrel carb engines. Good job on making it dropped!

If you're using a Pontiac quadra-jet, you shouldn't have filled in the 1/2" diameter hole, since that's for the bowl vent pipe to stick through, like on your 78 base.

I'd think you'd need to add the inward bulge at the back for distributor clearance too, like your 78 base has. 

Ok so it's definitely not a 301 base? I aquired the base with the 14" lid and a shaker but the shaker I found to be for a 403 it was all give to me so I couldn't complain but I knew it wasn't for the Pontiac 400 the q-jet I have is a modified Olds so no need for the bowl vent. As for the clearance for the distributor on the base it didn't need it as it fit very well without that. Had I have known I could make it all work I might have put a performer RPM intake on the car and made the drop base a little deeper. But in the end I got the shaker all back like original working like it should so no complaints from me.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on December 07, 2017, 08:46:16 AM
Yes, definitely not a 301 base. Below is a pic of a 301 base. The 73-74 Lemans, Grand Prix, Grand Am base you have is about 16.5" diameter, which is the same as the 400 shaker base, which is why it works. The 301 is an inch or two smaller in diameter, so wouldn't work with a 400 shaker.

I have a 73 Grand Am, 73 GTO, and 75 Lemans, so that's why I recognize the base you modified. It's for 73-74 a-body Pontiac, but will fit 75-77 too. The 75-77's have a couple extra holes in them for more valves,, which is the way to tell the difference in the years used.

(https://i.imgur.com/1pMnsU5.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 07, 2017, 09:26:13 AM
Ok good to know so basically I got lucky in fact the that I got this base to modify other wise this would had been way more difficult. Thanks
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on December 16, 2017, 08:51:40 PM
I don't know how to post video's "yet" but the sound change I got was night and day. The exhaust kit I put on the car was the header back kit from Summit Racing I used that kit and the turbo mufflers it came with. I wasn't sure I would like them or not I installed the kit with the intension of changing the mufflers the sound was very raspy I did not like it plus interior hmmm was horrible. So before I swapped out the mufflers I built an H-pipe and welded it all up the new sound was a deep mellow tone and the interior resonance tone was gone. I know I'm giving up a few HP with the turbo mufflers but they sound good and no interior resonance.

(https://i.imgur.com/hcdtIeQ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/rfEjSn0.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/fvwvNUU.jpg)
 
This is how the car sets now it's not done I like putting on all the decals, radio and 17' Yearone wheels I will order these after Christmas. I restored the factory wheels but I found I personally would like 17'' wheels and tire options a lot better. This past Wednesday I got the inspection and tags so I am legal to drive around town the car is running good got most of the little bugs worked out. Me and the family took it out today for its first dinner outing and a quick trip around town it was awesome. But just my luck it started raining now it's ok for rain (but) I don't want to drive it in the rain I just fully restored the car and don't want road grime on it yet, maybe I'm anal but I came home and washed it top to bottom.
I did find with the Auburn carrier in the rearend the tires chatter turning a corner like a spool would do and any amount of applied throttle equals major tire slippage. 

(https://i.imgur.com/6cfEzXQ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/COIhzEg.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/gdk9PMo.jpg)

Just like any build it has had it's up's and down's and there was time when I thought I would never finish it and burning it to the ground crossed my mind a couple times. This rebirth of the car was all worth it these lower pictures are 14 months a part it's not totally finished but we are close!

(https://i.imgur.com/UNcndJO.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/Ta7wtfF.png)

Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 12, 2018, 09:42:58 PM
It's been a while since I updated my progress been working a lot so not much car time. I did get my decals in and since this isn't a numbers matching car I ordered the decal kit for the 81 in the one year only gold. The only issue I seen real quick was the rear spoiler Trans Am decal is the same size as the fenders I found a place local that said they could make me a full size decal but they have yet to do so. But I did get my 17'' Yearone wheels in and mounted tires 255-50-17 Nitto 555 G2. The traction and ride is night and day difference so much better plus I love the look even more now. One thing I have noticed I'm not liking to much is the shocks I went with I put on KYB none adjustable shocks and I do not like them I'm going to order up some adjustable shocks and give them a try next.

(https://i.imgur.com/HuBhtr3.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/DfRYNFE.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/kt2p2PB.png)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Grand73Am on February 12, 2018, 10:35:35 PM
Looks great!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: ryeguy2006a on February 13, 2018, 07:31:09 AM
Wow, that looks great and what a transformation!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 1975 ta on February 13, 2018, 08:44:38 PM
Looks great!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Old Chicken on February 13, 2018, 09:23:40 PM
Those new Wheels really Set It Off. Nice work!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 13, 2018, 09:31:09 PM
Thanks I can't wait until I get the decals on and really put some miles on as soon as it warms up.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 23, 2018, 11:59:23 PM
I was a little concerned going into this since I have never myself attempted to put on one of these birds but after a lesson from youtube I felt like an expert. So me and my eleven year old son went to work and installed this sweet gold bird! The only decal left to do is the rear spooler that will be left for another day these are the best pics I can get it supposed to rain tomorrow so maybe Sunday I get snap a better pic.

 (https://i.imgur.com/LS2E9Ul.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/07Hm7iJ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/tAZY7Le.jpg)
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: firebirdparts on February 24, 2018, 08:13:12 AM
Wow!  No problems with the bird then?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 24, 2018, 09:15:32 AM
I laid the bird out marked where it needed to go peeled the back off spayed it down with soapy water. Then me and my son laid it on the car squeegeed out water working from the front to the back it actually went on to easy.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: T/A81blue on February 24, 2018, 03:17:06 PM
looks really nice....i love the color
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 27, 2018, 11:36:06 PM
Thanks for the compliments! We finally got a break from the rain here in East Texas yesterday so I was able to get the car out and go for a real drive with the new wheels and tires. This was the first time I had ever got it out on the hwy plus this was the longest drive I had ever taken in the car and what an amazing drive. The car handles perfect drives straight as an arrow on the hwy, the Nitto 555 G2's are amazingly quite plus when they get warmed up they grip the pavement very well. I did a couple of 1st gear blast with very little wheel spin that was a first ever, it was late in the day so I didn't get a pic of the car. Well actually I did but the lighting was horrible so I erased it and kept on driving. If I had one complaint it would be I got to have some overdrive in the trans the 3 speed just ain't doing it for me a Gear Vendors overdrive maybe in the near future if I decide to keep the car. Maybe this weekend I can take it out for another spin and get some good pics!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: DD78TA on February 28, 2018, 06:29:58 AM
Great post and great work. We all enjoy and learn from the pictures - thanks. I'll bet your son had a good experience seeing it all be transformed too.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on February 28, 2018, 07:56:13 AM
Glad you were able to get it out on the road. Sounds like fun.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Jack on February 28, 2018, 08:34:59 AM
What everyone else said + love the color.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 28, 2018, 04:50:55 PM
Thanks! The first thing my son said after we got the bird on the hood was "wow I thought that would be a lot harder" and quietly to myself I said the same thing. Other than the decal on the spoiler and I guess a radio how ever other than the empty hole I don't care if it has one or not. But I probably  need to install one besides that the car is done and those two items are definitely not keeping it from going anywhere. Now time to start back on the Y88 it just needs paint and assembly I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks,
Randall
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: scarebird on February 28, 2018, 05:10:27 PM
I have an Audiovox radio that fits perfectly.  These are lightweight clones of the Delco unit; it takes a sharp eye to note the difference.  This uses 4 ohm speakers.  Sound is ok as it is a 1978 vintage unit.  If interested email me at: m at scarebird dot com
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on February 28, 2018, 11:36:16 PM
Thanks Scarebird I appreciate the offer but I actually have an original unit with a working 8 track that is in excellent condition if I decide to go that route not sure what I will do yet.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: scarebird on March 01, 2018, 08:23:16 AM
I would do that, put in reconed speakers and enjoy.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on March 10, 2018, 10:17:12 PM
Today was an awesome day so I got the car cleaning goods out and went to work on my cars and since I had them both clean up might as well get some pics. Then since me and my wife had to drive them out to get pics we might as well race these two machines I kind of all ready knew the out come. From a dead stop the T/A jumped out on the Cobra a car and half then pulled another 2 car links on the Cobra but now I now the T/A is way faster than the Cobra. I can't wait to get my Y88 painted and added to the mix they will look great together!


(https://i.imgur.com/MDyNuLA.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/y653fui.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/HUuS9Hj.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/XTjGdq5.png)


Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on March 11, 2018, 03:36:13 PM
Glad the Pontiac won! Cars look good together.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Jack on March 11, 2018, 06:23:53 PM
Does the TA look smaller or is it the angle of the pic?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on March 11, 2018, 08:52:12 PM
The TA does look smaller in the picture I thought the same thing looking at the pics, but it is definitely the picture angle. I am hoping by the end of the summer I will have some pictures with my Y88 with them all together.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: ryeguy2006a on March 15, 2018, 05:43:16 AM
Wow, that is a great pair of cars! Great pictures. Any specs on the Cobra?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Calamity on March 15, 2018, 12:28:17 PM
Here I am mad because of how small my garage is and you did all this amazing work outside! Did they paint your car outside also or did someone come and get it?

Looks awesome!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on March 16, 2018, 12:41:17 AM
The Fox body is an all original 93 Cobra with 55K miles a side from the short throw shifter I insalled in it I hate a factory shifter. The car is just as it was in 1993 plus I have all the original paper work. The original owner purchased it for his everyday work car, but took care to preserve everything for the car, I have owned the car for almost 8yrs now.

Here I am mad because of how small my garage is and you did all this amazing work outside! Did they paint your car outside also or did someone come and get it?

Looks awesome!

The T/A was painted out side I went to Harbor Frieght and bought some tarps, then built me a paint booth out of the carport. I sealed it all up put in 2 fans, wet the entire floor down and we painted it right there. We laid down a silver base, then shot the blue and about 5 coats of clear. Now it did indeed end up with some trash in the clear a bug got in the hood and driver door. But luckily every bit of it wet sanded and buffed out. Now don't get me wrong it was a bit of a PITA I had to time my job around the ever changing weather before we could paint it this took a few weeks to get right.
I did this to prove a point to myself that I could do it all at my house and build a good quality car at the same time it's no show car but it is a super clean driver to have fun with. I now have my 86 mustang GT in its place and I will start the rebuild process on it not hard to tell I like Fox bodies also. Hell really I love all cars if I could hide them from my wife I would buy more!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on March 16, 2018, 06:43:46 AM
I have probably said it before, but will say it again. You are to be commended on the work you did. Turned out fantastic. I too, kinda had the same attitude when I did my car. I wanted a challenge that was a change of pace from building furniture, and the deeper I dug into it, (and got discouraged) had to prove to myself and to the outsiders that said it will never amount to anything, that it would be a finished car someday.
I read an article in hemmings i think, there was a guy with a very nice T/A that won best owner restored car at a show. The article went on to say that the owner basically put the carpet and seats in the car. He had a shop do the body work and paint, someone built the motor, he sent the dash to just dashes, etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with doing a car this way, but IMO, the owner did not do the restore.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on March 16, 2018, 12:49:30 PM
I have probably said it before, but will say it again. You are to be commended on the work you did. Turned out fantastic. I too, kinda had the same attitude when I did my car. I wanted a challenge that was a change of pace from building furniture, and the deeper I dug into it, (and got discouraged) had to prove to myself and to the outsiders that said it will never amount to anything, that it would be a finished car someday.
I read an article in hemmings i think, there was a guy with a very nice T/A that won best owner restored car at a show. The article went on to say that the owner basically put the carpet and seats in the car. He had a shop do the body work and paint, someone built the motor, he sent the dash to just dashes, etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with doing a car this way, but IMO, the owner did not do the restore.

Thanks I do appreciate the kind words! I originally restored this car to flip it then do another and so one to prove it could be done, but along the way I got attached to the car. Now saying this once I get my Y88 done I may sell the 79 maybe?? I want to build me a bigger shop just park cars in that's the goal anyway my wife feels differentlly about that.
IMO that guy did not restore his car either he paid someone to do the work and that's fine just don't claim to have restored it yourself. I myself could not afford to pay some to restore a car I just don't have the funds for that. Plus I am way to picky and want things to be done a certain way and that way is my way!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Calamity on March 19, 2018, 10:03:50 AM
The T/A was painted out side I went to Harbor Frieght and bought some tarps, then built me a paint booth out of the carport. I sealed it all up put in 2 fans, wet the entire floor down and we painted it right there. We laid down a silver base, then shot the blue and about 5 coats of clear. Now it did indeed end up with some trash in the clear a bug got in the hood and driver door. But luckily every bit of it wet sanded and buffed out. Now don't get me wrong it was a bit of a PITA I had to time my job around the ever changing weather before we could paint it this took a few weeks to get right.
I did this to prove a point to myself that I could do it all at my house and build a good quality car at the same time it's no show car but it is a super clean driver to have fun with. I now have my 86 mustang GT in its place and I will start the rebuild process on it not hard to tell I like Fox bodies also. Hell really I love all cars if I could hide them from my wife I would buy more!

Awesome idea and definitely commendable. The car looks awesome.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 737driver on March 26, 2018, 11:36:34 PM
What a great job and what a great looking car! Exceptional work!
Jim
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on May 27, 2018, 08:59:06 AM
I hadn't done much of anything to the TA as it is pretty much a finished project still needs the radio installed. Last night was the first time I took the car out on a good long drive in the summer heat with the new AC and it worked perfect cools the interior down very well. The only problem I think is the old radiator I reused it looked good and I cleaned it before reinstalling it but the engine temp with the AC on in stop and go traffic slowly creeps up and eventually uncontrollable. So I need to research and find a really good radiator for the car. Anyone know of a good replacement? It has a 3 core copper radiator now and may even be the original to the car.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on June 22, 2019, 11:26:00 PM
Well since my last post on my car I have just been enjoying it but as we all know they are almost never done. Now that I have been cruising around town there are things that I would definitely do different if I had the chance again, one being a transmission with OD. I have debating on exactly how I would go about doing an OD trans, I considered a 4L80E but I would of had to buy a trans, converter and controller. But since how I already have a rebuilt TH350 in my car I decided on a Gear Vendors OD it made the most since. There is a cruise coming up that I want to drive my car in my car has 3.42 gears I don't mind driving my car at 60mph but I don't like driving it any faster over an extended amount of time so I finally pulled the trigger on the OD. 

(https://i.imgur.com/dKhWpvi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Or5Xewz.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Q1PZ6Ul.jpg)

Here is what I started with
(https://i.imgur.com/lM5Juhh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EczSNL3.jpg)


I bought the unit with the shortend adapter which requiered cutting 2.5" off the output shaft of the TH350 this option was supposed to limit to floor board modifications. But with this being said the floor board modifications was still a PITA! The line on the output shaft is where i made the cut.

(https://i.imgur.com/s8OcOij.jpg)

With the adapter was installed the real work started I must had installed the OD unit a million times fitting and cutting the floor board until it fit perfect.

(https://i.imgur.com/HjDcJvC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3keDl3a.jpg)

It took me 2 days for me to reach this point it seemed like for ever I just kept cutting and fitting but finnaly it was in!

(https://i.imgur.com/n93j6NI.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ibxLJxa.jpg)


When I rebuilt the transmission the guy that helped me talked me out of buying a shift kit he said he could put in a shift kit without buying a kit. He was not wrong it did shift good and solid but more like a heavy duty kit. So since i was going to be under it and I picked up a kit when Advanced Auto for $20 and I wanted to change the trans pan also as the one I had was dented up to much.

(https://i.imgur.com/mpcpz26.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/47xOsqC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/kR9z6Kk.jpg)








Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on June 26, 2019, 08:08:19 PM
Well I finally got the OD install done and gave it a pretty good road test I even jumped on the interstate for the first time ever! Let me say hands down down this is the best mod to date for the car I love it! I can manually operate it or just turn it on and at 44mph it will switch into OD. The install was a little more involving than I anticipated, I bought the super short adapter so I had to cut 2.5'' off the output shaft of the TH350 no big deal other than I don't have a lift and laying on my back using a cut off wheel wasn't a walk in the park. This was supposed to make the install easier I really don't think it did much of anything on saving time or work.
Then there was the floor modifications I must had lifted the OD unit into position a million times it seemed like marking and cutting that floor brace. There was a couple times I thought I could just hammer it out of the way and that was a no go! That floor brace was tough and double wall in some spots. When I do this again I will just save the time and hassle and cut that whole brace out of the way.
The B&M shift kit I installed I set up for street and strip   

(https://i.imgur.com/0h6Vhux.jpg)
The mark on the shaft is where I made the cut i actually made a better mark than this when I cut it just didn't get a pic

(https://i.imgur.com/lF2wJoh.jpg)
The exhaust fit with out no hassle but it was to close to the OD unit for my liking, so I added 6" to bring my H-pipe further back. Then i bought a ball & socket set so I can from now I can unbolt the exhaust instead of cutting and welding it back together. I then soda blasted the H-pipe and painted it with hi temp paint.
(https://i.imgur.com/EtPKflW.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Vg2dF7X.jpg)
Bolted the exhaust into place and fit like a glove.
(https://i.imgur.com/nOYA9lU.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/fdGCFfT.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/C7uXk0s.jpg)

The wiring was a pretty simple set up I marked their location the hardest part was figuring out how i going to do it and not make it permanent. 
(https://i.imgur.com/h90KAky.jpg)
The kit came with everything you needed but I used water proff wire connectors instead the ones they sent. There is a floor switch, on/off switch and speed sensor that had to wired up then a set of wires that ran straight to the OD unit. 12 volt power, ground and a set of wires going to the red and green LED lights to know when its on or off.
(https://i.imgur.com/N55q4Eq.jpg)

On fathers day I got a $50 off and I had $20 on my rewards so I bought a new radiator which turned out to be bigger than the one I had. My son was helping thru out the whole install I told him lets pull the old radiator and throw the new one in this should take no more than 30 minutes. Famous last words there was a pointed body bolt that we didn't see and punched a pin sized hole right in the bottom. had to pull it back out and weld the hole up ended up taken an hour and half! Hey but at least I got a new radiator now!
(https://i.imgur.com/uBw6HXE.jpg)

When we build our cars there is this vision that we strive to achieve, then when we are done there is always things we say hey I would had done this or this different. This OD made it on my list I had the vision and I got everything I wanted. It wasn't long after I finished the car I was looking for another gear the 3 speed wasn't getting it done for me. This whole install took me and my son working on it every day a total of 4 days to comeplete as of right now we have put about a 100 miles on the car and it has chaned the whole driving expirence. I just turn it on and drive the TH350 will bang thru its 3 gears and at 44 mph the OD will come on feels like any other 4 speed automatic transmission. So far I like it so much that I plan to now use the TH350 I have built for my 78 TA and a Gear Vendors on it now. I had planned on building a 4L80E but since I built the TH350 I will just use it and save a little money.

The shift kit I had originally in this car I didn't really like it would bark the 1-2 shift only when getting down on it that was ok with me but normal driving it would roll into gear. Like an old work truck I just never cared for it so when I got the B&M shift kit I knew this would fix it and boy did it. I set it up on the street and strip first time I drove the car it barked tires every gear change even at part throttle. Then if you hammered on it then it would lay some serious rubber on the 1-2 and even barked on 2-3 shifted way to hard now so yesterday I backed the modulator screw all the way out. I believe I can live with the way it is now I just need to put some miles on the car. This weekend is a 100 mile car cruise that plan to take it on as long as the rain holds out.


Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on June 27, 2019, 06:52:09 AM
Good Deal! Was the brace under the floor pan the only mod? Or did you have to cut the floor too? Im not thrilled with the 3 speed either, never thought there was another option besides a new tranny. Also, what did you do about the drive shaft?
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on June 27, 2019, 08:18:38 AM
Roadking the only floor mod was the cross brace and I made it harder than it should had been. I marked what only needed to be cut trying leave as much of it as possible in the end I should had just cut the entire brace out of the trans tunnel. I could of had that brace out in about an hour instead I marked and hacked on it for about 4hrs live and learn.
I totally for got about the driveshaft and I didn’t get a single pic of it I basically had to shorten it 14” the new driveshaft length was 37-1/8. I bought new U-joints then took my new yoke, measurement and driveshaft to a local shop they installed the U-joints shortened and balanced it for $177 it was done in about 3hrs. All said and done to have the OD unit up and running I had $2914 invested in it I know it’s a lot for one gear but I looked at all options. 700r4 I just didn’t want to do so it would have to be 4L65e or 4L80e and both of these options would had been more than the Gear Vendor plus with those I have to modify the shifter and change to electronic speedo.
It came a pretty good storm last night I so wanted to go for a spin in the car but I absolutely do not drive it in the rain. Maybe tonight will be better I can’t wait to drive the car now.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: roadking77 on June 27, 2019, 08:54:39 AM
Thanks. Yea, I looked up those units on their web. Def not cheap but if it makes the car that much more enjoyable then heck yeah! I dont drive mine that much to justify the expense at this point. Plus I can use that money towards the TATA resto. But I will keep this in mind for the future.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: FormTA on June 27, 2019, 09:10:42 AM
Great write up.  Always wondered about thos overdrive units. In was thinking about one but then went with a LS/4L60E swap. Great looking car!
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on June 27, 2019, 09:55:50 AM
Thanks FormTA I didn’t really drive the car a whole lot and when I do I take the same ole path around town so that I never went over 55mph to keep the rpm’s down. Now I see myself taken further road trips with out worry. On the interstate I was running 70mph and doing 2300rpm
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: Cdub on June 27, 2019, 10:40:26 AM
Thanks for the great pics and info. Like you, I just came back to the forum after (almost) completing a 79 TA resto. Mine's an SE and took me 6.5 years. This was the first resto I've ever attempted. I was getting ready to post some pics/work description when I saw yours. Great job.
Title: Re: 1979 TA restore almost done
Post by: 4wheeling79 on July 02, 2019, 09:33:22 PM
Well I have over 300 miles on the OD unit now so far it has worked flawless I just turn it on and it bangs thru all 4 gears like any other 4 speed trans. I drove it in the car cruise we made a 100 mile round trip stopped in 4 different towns it was awesome I would not had attempted this without the OD unit. I now find myself just looking for a reason to take the TA out on a drive and I drive further than I ever have considered.
The one thing I was worried about was I had read that the Gear Vendor unit was harsh when it engaged or disengaged, it honestly doesn't shift any harder than the TH350. But if rpm's are pretty high are disengage the OD yes it is harsh but it is to be expected when disengaging it is instant so no different than gearing down. As for gear splitting that on the other hand is not instant when splitting 1st there is about a 2 second delay because the OD works off hydraulic pressure. The more rpm the faster it works, splitting 2nd gear there is maybe a second delay noticeable but nothing like 1st gear. Splitting 3rd is almost instant and shifts no different than how the 2-3 shift is I couldn't be anymore happier with it's performance!


Driving in the cruise was great it rained so the car turn out was great but there was 30 cars all driving in a line down the hwy (never thought I would drive my car in the rain though)
(https://i.imgur.com/VqSqfjF.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/ATK2jgS.jpg)