Author Topic: 1981 Trans Am project ***New pics 6/30  (Read 18763 times)

avewhtboy

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1981 Trans Am project ***New pics 6/30
« on: January 09, 2008, 02:03:52 PM »
Hello everyone just wanted to say hello, I have been lurking here and on some other forums reading and getting up to speed.  Thanks for all the informative and fun posts. 

I just purchased a 1981 5.0 4 speed T-top car for a new project. I have the PHS documents for it and found that it was originally paint code 57 which is Dark Orange Metallic.  I found the car through craigslist in Boise Idaho and had it delivered to Atlanta GA.  I have an LT1/4l60 from another project thats gonna be a donor for this, but the transmission is going to be swapped out for a 6 speed and I have another block that is going to be bored stroked probably to a 396.  My plan is the pro-touring route and at some point a rotisserie restore and paint it black like my 1978.  But I may go ahead and paint it back to the original color since the color seems rare.  Currently I have the interior stripped, wanted to see what kinda shape the floors were in and repair a badly damaged dash.

Its been a while since I worked on one of these so I will probably have lots of questions.

This is the car I bought...has been repainted "chalk red" lol


This is the color this one was originally




I had a 1978 back several years ago which is what made me want to get another.



Rick
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 10:33:48 AM by avewhtboy »
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

ScottD3

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2008, 02:45:19 PM »
What part of Atlanta are you in. I am in Lilburn.
1978 Y82
1978 Y88 4sp (sold)
1985 Trans Am TPI (totaled)

avewhtboy

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2008, 06:07:28 PM »
I am close by in Tucker.
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

LeighP

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2008, 08:48:40 PM »
Welcome...great looking car to start with.....good potential. Have a good think about that colour...the dark orange metallic is awesome and rare....black T/As are, well...theres a few of them around.
Pro-touring route...cool stuff, keep the pics and info flowing.  8)
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe (project)

Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


ih8z28s

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 09:20:52 PM »
Welcome :D that's a solid looking project, I like the orange color, you should go back to it since it's not very common.
"Gonna need a fast car to run blocker"
"fast car"
"faster then that"

Blue 1980 T/A 400 auto

Re: New here with new project
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 09:20:52 PM »

rkellerjr

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 09:57:00 PM »
Welcome to the TAC family, great looking project, looking forward to seeing the restoration to Pro Street.

Milly

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 10:05:51 PM »
Nice project you have there. Please keep us updated with your build.  :D
John
1981 Trans Am (sold)
1996 Firebird (sold)
2001 Aztek AWD
2004 GTO

avewhtboy

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 10:22:14 PM »
Thanks for the welcome and as far as the color I already have a sample made up and its gonna be hard not to go back with that color....this is a picture of my previous project/donor vehicle and oddly enough the color is similar to the color of my stripes.


1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 01:47:27 AM »
This is Jay Leno's Turbo model painted that is the color this one was originally

Rick


Just curious about that pic as it appears to be the same pic shown here  http://www.78ta.com/smf/index.php?topic=5697.msg54607#msg54607  as owned by Orange 81 T/TA (member on 78TA)...
Jeff


Current Projects:
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1978 Trans Am 400/auto
1970 Camaro 350/auto
1970 'Cuda

BoDarvelle

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2008, 09:25:23 AM »
What part of Atlanta are you in. I am in Lilburn.

I will be in Atlanta with the Bandit Run on May 18 and 19..
Home of the Trans-Am you cant pass or catch!!


avewhtboy

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2008, 07:57:04 PM »
as far as the pic goes I may have saved it with the wrong name.  When I was trying to find one
that color I found one on Jay Leno's garage that was the same color.

I plan on going to YOE but don't know if the car will make it.

Rick
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: New here with new project
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 06:45:56 PM »
Well I ordered a new repop dash from year one today along with a bunch of weatherstrip and stuff.  They said 4-6 weeks on the delivery on the dash so we will see how close they come to that.

Anyone have one of these or seen one?
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

50kta

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2008, 06:11:06 PM »
sooooo is somebody FINALLY makeing a repop dash? or is it still a "cover"?
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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 12:41:07 AM »
Yes, after a dozen years of advertising them...they are finally being produced. A full dash pad, not just a cover.

They came out just a few months ago (and are already sold out and on back-order) and a few members have bought them... but I have yet to see anyone actually install one and post their feedback on the fitment. :???:
Jeff


Current Projects:
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1978 Trans Am 400/auto
1970 Camaro 350/auto
1970 'Cuda

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 08:50:01 PM »
I did see a thread where someone had received one of these dashes but had not installed it so the fit is unknown as far as I know.  Hopefully it comes in the 4-6 week period I have other things that need to be done in the mean time. I was first told 3-4 weeks.  Seems like a better option than sending out my old one and paying $1200 for it to be repaired.

No shipping charges either since I live in Atlanta and can pick it up.  Black is the only color so I need to get some SEM dye to color it.  My 81 model has a dark brown dash maybe that will cover the black well.


This is its what the interior looked like before I stripped it all out.  The dash is about as bad as I have ever seen.  I guess the car just sat and baked in the sun.  Paint looks like it too...but the seats look great, maybe the tint from the tops saved the seats.








« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 08:59:10 PM by avewhtboy »
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 08:50:01 PM »

50kta

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 09:29:57 AM »
i just talked to year one and they said they dont have anything like a dash repop, its still a cover? did i read youre thread wrong? or what is the part # can you elaborate? the guy said from year one "you didnt order a dash repop" because i told him "a guy from a trans am site posted a thread that he got a dash repop from year one". he said "no"
GOOGLE," NORTH AMERICAN UNION"

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 12:47:39 PM »
Jeff


Current Projects:
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1978 Trans Am 400/auto
1970 Camaro 350/auto
1970 'Cuda

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2008, 08:34:16 AM »
I picked up some of my parts Saturday they indicated the dash would be here 1st or 2nd week in Feb.
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2008, 06:58:45 PM »
Still waiting on the dash, now being told middle to late March. 

I have been trying to find some fake suede or ultrasuede or something like that in saddle brown to
cover some of the plastic intierior pieces.  I found some today at Wal Mart of all places. 

This is the first time I have tried to cover panels with fabric.  I did one of the main panels tonight but I am not happy with the results.  The fabric was only $4.00/yard and I bought all they had...7 yards.

Wasted one yard tonight doing this panel.  Any of you do this before?  sorry for the crappy pics they are from my blackberry



1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2008, 11:16:48 PM »
You might see if Mrpontiac80 has any tips for you ;)
Jeff


Current Projects:
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1978 Trans Am 400/auto
1970 Camaro 350/auto
1970 'Cuda

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2008, 01:44:31 PM »
Thanks for the tip I contacted him and now I have one of the panels at an upholstery shop to see what he can do with it.  When it comes to sewing I still have to draw the line.

I did get some new parts in





I am in the process of taking the old exhaust out...was wondering if any of you had any tips on how to get the factory tailpipes out with cutting them or removing the rear axle?

Still waiting on the dash from Year One, have a body guy coming over Saturday to tell me what he's charge me to get it ready for paint.

1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2008, 01:53:42 PM »
Oh...nice...shiny!  8)
What exhaust did you get? Complete system with tips? 2 1/2"?

After you take all the clamps loose and remove the tailpipe from the muffler, you should be able to free the tailpipe from over the axle by turning it (like a corkscrew)....if you have the car raised high enough for clearance.
Jeff


Current Projects:
______________
1978 Trans Am 400/auto
1970 Camaro 350/auto
1970 'Cuda

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2008, 06:29:59 PM »
thanks yeah i wasn't really expecting the headers to look that good.  Hopefully this makes the little 305 breathe a little better than the factory exhaust that was still on it.

It is the 2 1/2" system but i have not decided which way to go with the exhaust tips yet.  I like the splitter tips but the factory 305's came with straight pipe out so I may go that route, but I prefer the splitters.

need to put a patch panel on the pass side front floor though before I put the exhaust on but I may try to put the headers on this weekend to see how they fit.
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

takid455

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2008, 11:48:15 PM »
progress seems to be moving along.  noticed that you intend to eventually have a 396. that will have no trouble utilizing a t56, just pick a cam that cam run at low RPM as well as high RPM. I heard the dash takes some time to get.

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2008, 10:55:32 PM »
Progress is slow as is the way.  I have decided to make this mostly original and drive it.  Will make a nice driver I think.  So the LT1 and 6 spd may not go in this car.  I am looking for another one to buy.  This is bad when you need two of the same cars. 

I got the old manifolds off the car and was able to install the passenger side header without any clearance issues.  Looks fine would work well.  On the driver side there is interference with the clutch linkage.  The collector would need to be moved toward the front of the car about 4 inches I am afraid for it to work.   I called and ask specifically about this because I had read that shorty headers will not work on four speed cars.  But these were advertised as mid length and I was told it would work.  I called them today to inform them they are do not look like they will fit and they suggested I try and bend them to make them fit and if not they would take them back.  So I took everything apart and bolted it on to see if that seemed viable.  I don't think so from what I see. 

They would work fine on an automatic car but I dont think they are gonna work on a manual shift unless you converted to a hydraulic clutch. 

Heres a picture that shows the problem area                                                                                                     


1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2008, 12:21:26 PM »
Ah no progress to report... :-(

Got a call from year one and now they say its going to be end of May before I get my dash.

I also sent the headers back that didn't fit and have yet to receive my money back so I am waiting
on getting my money back before I order more.

I did buy a kenwood K3006 tape player with cd changer for it and have a guy coming over to give me
an estimate for getting it prepped for paint.

If I can get it painted and the dash isnt here I guess I am going to go ahead and put the interior
back together until the dash shows up...who knows when that might actually be.

1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

fixitrht

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2008, 12:45:51 PM »
Ah no progress to report... :-(

Got a call from year one and now they say its going to be end of May before I get my dash.


I gave up on the dash... Just picked up a 79 dash for my 77, at least it is not cracked  :)


My cars
77 400 4 SPEED W72 Y81 SE
73 455 4 SPEED TA Brewster (Waiting Restoration)
80 455 (Fun car)
87 GTA 5.7 (Driver)
71 Firebird (New Project)

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2008, 09:04:34 AM »




Couple pics getting prepped for paint.

this will take 3-4 weeks I guess then I can start putting it back together.  I was hoping to
have it together in time for YOE but of course it will be close.

I have a line on a used dash i may just do that until this one comes in

Rick

1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2008, 07:46:31 AM »
Got the car jammed last night....still a lot of work to do to get the rest ready for paint.  Heres the latest pictures.

I really like the color, burnt orange, but does not show too well with these camera phone pictures.









1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2008, 11:27:12 PM »






OK it's ready for paint now.  We were supposed to paint it on Saturday
but my painter had a schedule conflict with his sons camping trip so it
was delayed until next weekend.

Also sprayed some 3M body shutz undercoating in the trunk and passenger compartment.

I recieved my 3rd set of headers which seem to fit.  They are polished stainless I got
off of ebay but I forgot to take pictures of those.

1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2008, 10:11:55 PM »
Wall art...can you tell I am not married?




They say it's a good idea to unroll it and let it stretch out
before it's applied so this seemed like a safe place for it.
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2008, 09:50:51 PM »


Before and after picture of one of the wheels that came on my car. They are really oxidized
and pitted.  Kinda like polishing a turd. I got a quote from keystone for $120/wheel to reface them
and paint inside the spokes.  They would not polish them only machine it.   If they were 15x8 I probably would have sent them out to get professionally done, but since they aren't, I decided to kill a lot of time in the garage with assorted tools to see if I could get these looking at least good enough to put
on the car.    The first one has taken quite a while, i cleaned it with purple power, then I blasted them
with my glass bead cabinet.  Next I wanted to get rid of all the pitting on the face so i used various
sanding methods to get the face smooth.  Then I buffed it about 3 times with some mothers and a
buffing wheel on a drill.  Hopefully I have learned how to get some good results and the other 3 will go quicker.  I have about 8 hours in that wheel.  I painted them semi gloss the same the window trim will
be.

Off to the paint shop friday for paint on Saturday so next update should be new paint :)
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

Milly

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2008, 10:40:52 PM »
The rim turned out real nice. Good job.  :D
John
1981 Trans Am (sold)
1996 Firebird (sold)
2001 Aztek AWD
2004 GTO

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2008, 06:53:06 PM »
Nothing like new paint to make your car look better!!!

First picture is the money shot so to speak.  Came out really nice looks
like no buffing required too so I am excited to see it back together.  I will
get the car back Monday morning and start piecing it back together.  With
a lot of work and a little luck may make it to YOE with it.

We joked about painting it black instead of orange but this is the original
color seems like it should be painted that color, this is the best paint this
car ever had on it.

Right now I just have the hood decal in "charcoal", I am debating what else
to put on it as far as decals go.  Should I go the full set including 5.0 on the
shaker or what???

Also I have seen pictures of two that were painted orange and had the orange
decal on it....I didn't like the way that looks as well as the charcoal...since all the
trim is black too I was thinking the charcoal would look better.  I have no idea what
color bird came with it originally


Rick












1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

Milly

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2008, 08:15:23 PM »
That's gonna look soooo good when it's finished!!  :cool:
John
1981 Trans Am (sold)
1996 Firebird (sold)
2001 Aztek AWD
2004 GTO

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2008, 10:05:17 PM »
thanks john....are they ever finished lol....i think it looks great now    :P

Thats not me in the pictures btw that's a real good friend that paints at
a ford dealership for the past 20 years....the dealership was kind enough
to let us use their booths which really helps get a nice finish...with any
luck I might make it to the nats in dayton.

Rick
1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

Milly

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2008, 09:44:45 PM »
No, they are never "finished", the just evolve!!  8-)
John
1981 Trans Am (sold)
1996 Firebird (sold)
2001 Aztek AWD
2004 GTO

avewhtboy

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2008, 07:38:19 AM »
A few pictures from out in the sunlight this morning

Rick





1981 5.0 4 speed T/A


Ricky

Rick

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2008, 07:42:45 AM »
That looks really nice!  I bet you can't wait to start the reassembly work! :) :)

HectorM52

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Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2008, 08:03:34 PM »
Looks good man!  i guess I need to come help put it back together!

Re: 1981 Trans Am new project
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2008, 08:03:34 PM »
You can help support TAC!