Author Topic: 76 LS1 auto build thread  (Read 85355 times)

duffinatur

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76 LS1 auto build thread
« on: March 31, 2013, 12:54:08 PM »
Hi All
I was looking for my first car, a Goldenrod Yellow 76 TA when I learned it's sad fate.  So I bought THIS instead.  A rust free, 79 TA shell.  I've already looked through many posts and pictures of other builds to make sure I really wanted to take on a new project and to help me in the planning stages.  I'm still deciding what I want from this car is, (though originally it was 4.9 powered so full restoration is out).  I haven't decided yet on a 400, 455, or LS2 conversion.  I have decided a few things though: 5 or six speed TKO600, 15"or 17" WS6 style wheels, original Nocturne Blue paint with ghost bird. Black interior, stiff suspension, etc.  Kind of a mild resto-mod.
My last build was Shelby Cobra Replica and I know I can't match what I did with that car with my current budget, nor do I want to.  That car was fun, very fast, and a beast at the road tracks, but not very street friendly and didn't have a backseat or a top.  I built that car solo as a challenge (meaning not another person touched it from frame to paint). Prior to that the build I had was a 65 GTO.  I'm fairly certain this build will be fun...but the economy is a little different these days and there are more budget constraints on me now.  I welcome advice, comments, ideas and parts swaps, sources, etc. and I'll do my best to post updates on my progress so maybe some of the things I learn along the way may help someone else with their build.   Thank you for all of the good information I've already learned from some of your posts.
Duff

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 04:43:42 PM by duffinatur »
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 12:56:49 PM »
I've also decided on a rear disc conversion kit and am looking for advice on any suggested kits.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

Ag77T/A

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 01:16:48 PM »
Welcome to TAC. 

Front clip looks clean should be a fun project and good luck.

nocturneTA

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 01:48:11 PM »
Welcome, you will find a lot of helpful people on here and a ton of good information.   cant wait to see which direction you go with the car but love the color choice.

Im a little partial thou.

LS1 / 6SPD /  3.90 gears / C-5 Brake kit   Etc...

Jack

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 02:20:30 PM »
Welcome to TAC, it looks good and should be fun.
Would you happen to have pics of the Cobra and GTO?




Regards, Jack

Re: New project, new member
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 02:20:30 PM »

mi77burd

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 05:12:24 PM »
Welcome, looks like a solid start on your project. If you need to know info  this is the place.

LeighP

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 07:41:38 PM »
If you haven't already bought suspension, best bang for the bucks is Pro-Touring F-body stuff.....check feedback from other members running that suspension.

LS converseions are nice, but if you're including rebuilding/modifying an LS series engine, with management system, you could be looking at a lot more $ investment than traditional Pontaic power.

A 400 with a stroker kit rebuild is a great choice.....455 cubes, without having to search for a 455 block ($).

I'd stick with a 5 speed, people I know with double OD 6 speed boxes say that the top gear is pretty much useless, except on long freeway cruises....although, with a 455's low, fat torque curve, that 6th gear might work OK....depending on the cam you chose.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 09:35:43 AM »
@ Jack:
Here is the 65. Never got her quite done but the new owner did


And here is a few of my Cobra (She went through a few incarnations)

and

and

and for good measure my last Harley project

and my first car 25 years ago or so

76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

mrbandit

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 11:24:35 AM »
Growing up I always wanted a Cobra.  They are just perfect to me.

ryeguy2006a

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 12:40:56 PM »
Sweet looking project. Any way that you go with the project is going to be really nice, but it is hard to beat the power and efficiency of the LS motors. Not trying to sway your decision any,  :lol: BTW, that cobra is wicked. I love it. The color combo is spot on.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 12.8" Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, 17" Aluminum Rims, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro with 6?.?0?  5.3 w/ Z06 cam/T56
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

nocturneTA

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 01:04:03 PM »
I'm with Ryan on the LS stuff.  Either way you go, it will be a sweet project.   The Cobra is stunning!!!  I have always wanted one myself.

LS1 / 6SPD /  3.90 gears / C-5 Brake kit   Etc...

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2013, 01:50:42 PM »
Thanks guys for the kind words on my Cobra and the advice on the TA.  Unfortunately I had to sell last August due to a longer than anticipated layoff.
Another Cobra build is planned after the TA.

@Ryeguy: Being a fan of the 76's I read through your build post the other night.  I picked up quite a bit that I wasn't even thinking about...So thank you for the
sheer volume of information you've posted on your build.  I just somewhat completed my wishlist and needed parts list and

It looks like I'll go more conventional on the motor due to budget constraints.  I'll buy something that needs a rebuild and do it a piece at a time as cash and time allow. 
Either a stroked 400 or a 455.  I did find a 455 attached to a TH400 from a 70 GP for $1000 but I'm sure it needs a rebuild and I'm not sure about that price and the seller's
information on the condition is limited to "it will turn over"  I'm going with a manual gearbox so I wouldn't need the automatic.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 07:28:11 PM »
Had a few more hours to do some general clean up (It's awesome starting with such a clean car)

1. was able to clean, scuff and spatter paint the trunk:


2. Also clean, scuff and paint POR / Seal the floors: 
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 07:33:08 PM »
I just realized there was no grab handle on my dash... I wonder if this was a Firebird dash previously replaced? Did some TA's come without the passenger grab handle?
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 07:38:38 PM »
Has anyone had trouble with not just door alignment but also the contour/curve of the doors not quite matching either opening?  The previous owner did the re-skin on the doors, but I'm not entirely sure just picking up a different, original set of doors might not be a bad idea.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Much appreciated. 
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

Re: New project, new member
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 07:38:38 PM »

MD79TA

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2013, 07:48:38 PM »
I just realized there was no grab handle on my dash... I wonder if this was a Firebird dash previously replaced? Did some TA's come without the passenger grab handle?

I think that was a Deluxe interior option, I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time :D
1979 Trans Am
307 RWHP 380RWTQ / 13.8@103
1979 400 Block, 1970 Heads, Cams, Comp Cam Lifters, Edelbrock RPM Intake, Hedman Headers, Holley 750 Carb, WFO Drop Base

1968 GTO convertible
400 auto with A/C

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 05:23:39 PM »
Finally have the project car and the donor car in the same workspace!


Project: 79 TA coupe, originally a 301 turbo, auto,
Donor: 99 TA with LS1 and 4 speed auto.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2013, 05:35:26 PM »
I'm still thinking I want a 5 speed (TKO 600), but the price on the donor was pretty good and the auto fits in my budget a little better.

(I installed a TKO600 in my Cobra with a McLeod hydraulic throwout bearing and that was a GREAT set up!  no slave cylinder, no clutch fork, no linkage - just a pedal/reservoir and some braided hydraulic line)
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 11:38:29 PM »
Progress has been slow... work and other contract work getting in the way.
I was able to get the motor out today after work...

Getting the body of the donor car off the LS1 and 4L80E


and...


and finally...
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

nocturneTA

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2013, 10:11:18 AM »
looks like someone is going LS1 after all.   welcome to the dark side.  you will enjoy the drivability of the ls set up.   going with the auto will make for a simpler swap and will be a little more relaxing to drive (in heavy traffic)

good luck with the build.  I like what you have done with the others.

LS1 / 6SPD /  3.90 gears / C-5 Brake kit   Etc...

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2013, 02:00:21 PM »
I went back and forth regarding power-plants and trans...  Found a "can't pass up" deal on a wrecked 99 TA so made the decision.  Selling off the parts that I don't need has helped defer the cost by quite a bit.  I'll report the totals here when I'm done pulling and selling.  I'm still a little nervous about the wiring and harnesses for swapping to the LS1 not having done it before, but when the time comes I'll do my research and consult TAC.  Everyone here has been VERY helpful.

The thing about the other cars... I miss em all, especially the Cobra and Road King.  good times
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

LeighP

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2013, 01:04:46 AM »
Check around on www.pro-touring.com  forums. There are a lot of these conversions. Some companies offer stand alone wiring harnesses for the conversion.
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


Waygonner

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2013, 02:29:58 PM »
I've also decided on a rear disc conversion kit and am looking for advice on any suggested kits.

I went with the summit racing kit. It is based on a '87/'88 Thunderbird turbo coupe. Cool thing is that the calipers are set up for an emergency brake so you dont need to deal with the internal drum setup.

The parts in the kit look great. Ill be installing in the next week or so and will post my thoughts on that process over on my build thread.

Great looking project! welcome to the board
'78 TA 400 Auto Flat Black Trans Am

green bandit 77

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2013, 06:56:41 PM »
Just curious but didn't the TAs with the LS motors come with 4L60E trans stock? I know u could get the 80 in the truck

Grand73Am

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2013, 07:16:43 PM »
I just realized there was no grab handle on my dash... I wonder if this was a Firebird dash previously replaced? Did some TA's come without the passenger grab handle?

A TA with the standard interior had no grab handle on the dash. The handle came with the deluxe interior.
Steve F.

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2013, 11:10:05 AM »
Just checked it and it is the 4L60E, good catch.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2013, 11:32:10 AM »
Got the motor stripped down for cleaning.  I also pulled it off the crossmember and set it on a dolly under a tire.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

superdutybob

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2013, 01:53:58 PM »
I just realized there was no grab handle on my dash... I wonder if this was a Firebird dash previously replaced? Did some TA's come without the passenger grab handle?

Only cars with deluxe or custom interior got the grab handle. It's part of that package.
Having a Super Time!
Bob

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2013, 07:48:48 PM »
Bob and Steve: Thanks guys.
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

BLURR

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2013, 08:21:12 PM »
Great looking project car man and great progress. Yes the grab handle was only a deluxe interior option.  :cool:

BTW where are you located? Im interested in the Ram Air hood you have there on the donor car.
Joe
1970 grabber Green Mustang Mach 1 351C/Auto
1971 Lucerne Blue Formula 400/4 speed
1979 Mayan Red Formula WS6 400/Auto
1991 White Toyota Pickup 4 cyl/Auto (Daily Driver)
2000 Navy Blue Metallic Formula LS1/6 speed

duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2013, 12:37:46 PM »
Joe,
Thanks for your reply. I'm on the north side of Elkhart, IN. (very near the MI/IN line)  I'd happily sell you the hood cheap, but it has a few cracks on the nose from the accident, and the latch area has become unbonded, though I think repairable.  I've done a lot of fiberglass work and I wouldn't hesitate to repair it if I had a need for the hood.  You would want to see it in person to determine if you could repair.
I'll also have other parts from this car that will be available:
the rear hatch assembly,
interior parts, (dark grey, though the seats need recovering),
the T-tops,
Windshield,
Console (auto),
fuel tank (less the pump/sender)
front rotors calipers,

Duff
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

mrbandit

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2013, 02:32:58 PM »
You have a PM.

BLURR

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2013, 07:21:02 AM »
Man I hate that you're so far away. Im in North Louisiana and shipping would probably eat me alive. I want it though! :(
Joe
1970 grabber Green Mustang Mach 1 351C/Auto
1971 Lucerne Blue Formula 400/4 speed
1979 Mayan Red Formula WS6 400/Auto
1991 White Toyota Pickup 4 cyl/Auto (Daily Driver)
2000 Navy Blue Metallic Formula LS1/6 speed

LeighP

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2013, 09:51:06 PM »
That wheel came up very nice.....I prefer the 7" Snowflake pattern to the 8"....looks good!
Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
1968 Pontiac Firebird 428 5 speed coupe

Former Firebirds -
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe


duffinatur

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Re: New project, new member
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2013, 01:34:45 PM »
I refurbished a few more 15x7 snowflakes... they're not perfect but will work for me until I settle on a final wheel choice.
They will have 225/60-15's on them which are a little short for my tastes, but I had them laying around the garage with about 100 miles or less on the set.




I also stripped and painted the LS1, but it needs to be re assembled and cleaned out a little better when I get it running, was pretty gunked up on the bottom of the pan.  (no metallics, shards or water contamination though and good compression)
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

duffinatur

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Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2013, 01:41:12 PM »
I know those are the wrong center caps, but they were cheap and easy to paint.
Eventually I'll go 17x9 rally II's or 15x8 snowflakes (WS6).
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

nocturneTA

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Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2013, 04:19:25 PM »
its all looking good.  take it from me, you are going to love the ls motor.

LS1 / 6SPD /  3.90 gears / C-5 Brake kit   Etc...

duffinatur

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Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2013, 12:03:03 PM »
Having trouble getting motivated...not much extra cash right now but plenty of labor to do.
I started thinking about all of the large items I needed and expectation vs. budget.  I'm not
sure I'll end up with the car I originally planned, at least on the initial build.   In the past I've
tended to build a running driving car and then upgrade as I go.  Though I 'm thinking that I
should wait a little longer, buy the items I ultimately want, even if it adds a year or two to
the build.  I'm in no hurry.
I've been dong my own sandblasting and powder-coating on the small parts and grinding
(flapdiscs are great) away on the larger parts (like inner fenders) for rust/paint removal to
save every penny. 
Luckily I have a rust free shall to work with, though I can't say the same for the parts that
came with it. If I can physically do something to save a buck, I will. 

I could use some advice on cost vs benefit on the things listed below.

 I still need: (w/ notes)
LS1 alternator -
LS1 starter -
LS1 pwr steering pump assy -
LS1 Headers& exhaust - Is there a less expensive alternative to something like the Kooks?
LS1 harness worked over - thinking of tackling this myself but electronics is my weak area

shocks - really want QA1 adjustable...(have had them on all previous builds) but may have to go more conventional for now,
new fuel tank - have the old fuel tank but it has a large noticeable dent on the bottom. fix or just buy new? Gotta put the LS1 pump in it anyway
rear brakes - I may just go with rear drums to get the car built...with plans to upgrade to rear disc and bigger wheels later
windshield - cracked it the 2nd day home while removing the hood - is it easier to work on replacing the dash with the windshield out?
front seats - have the factory baby blue velour (terrible shape)  but recover vs aftermarket
radiator - have the 79 radiator but has been recommended to go with a more LS1 appropriate radiator w/ proper connections for trans, etc.
Doors - they were re-skinned by the previous owner but they don't match up very well at the doghouse (could just be alignment issue but I can't tell)
gauges - I need to find gauges that will work with my LS1 harness (need a lot more research on this..advice welcome)
dash - thinking of just going the dash cover route but the whole thing is nearly apart now and it would be the time to change it.
console - mines not bad but has a few blems...recover or buy repro?

Any advice is welcome and needed.  I'll be dong some searches throughout the forums in the next few days on some of these topics.
I'm also curious at what point have some of you began initial body work? after engine install? before? after/before glass install?  I think I can start principal
body work any time and though it might be easier now when the car is apart, what issues have come up?  panel alignment? fitment? scratches during re-assembly?
I've never had this car fully assembled (doghouse is on but not I think fender alignment is off).

Mucho, Mucho Thanks!
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
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  • Posts: 4744
Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2013, 01:55:57 PM »
Lots of things to think about on builds like this. I will pick out a few things that you mentioned and give you my two cents. After doing my LS1 conversion, I would do two things differently. Spend the money on proven headers that fit, and I would have pony'ed up the dough for the Holley HP efi system for LSx motors. The headers I ended up with were Mid-Length Ceramic Coated Holley conversion headers and they fit great. Only thing you have to do is add in your own O2 sensors in the mid pipe. I did and mine runs great.

Second thing is the Holley HP efi. After all the reviews I have read I would absolutely go with that route. Although for your case you would either need the Dominator to run your transmission or a stand-alone trans controller. The Holley system comes with a brand new harness that is plug and play for LSx motors and has the abilities to Self-tune and adjust for changes based on a set AFR that you input. Really cool system. That way you won't need to pay someone to re-tune your ecu everytime you make a small change.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 12.8" Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, 17" Aluminum Rims, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro with 6?.?0?  5.3 w/ Z06 cam/T56
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

duffinatur

  • Active Forum Member
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  • Posts: 407
Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2013, 04:36:52 PM »
Thanks Ryan,  I'll definitely heed your advice on the headers.  I reference your build page often.  I'll look into the Holley system (cost vs benefit)  as well as the Atomic set up and compare the options to having the OEM harness worked.

I've got plenty to keep me busy, but there are quite a few places I have to stop until I get more parts or get bigger jobs done on the car.  (ie: AC or no AC?  All I have is the under dash duct work anyway...no controller, shoebox, compressor..etc, but I hesitate to do much with the firewall until I decide. One of the things I need to look into is Vintage Air).  I used to install AC systems early in my career in everything:cars/trucks/conversion vans/RV's/ tour buses/etc. so figuring it out won't be a problem but deciding whether or not to have it ($$) might be.

I'm doing the front spindles, brakes and linkages tonight so I can get her on her feet to align fenders and mark their location...then I can decide if my doors are worth keeping.
One small step at a time seems to be the trick...just keep plugging away.

Thanks for the advice
76 Pontiac TA (long gone, first car)
69 Cadillac Eldorado (long gone)
00 HD Road King Classic
65 Pontiac GTO (gone, not forgotten)
67 Shelby AC Cobra replica (gone, winning shows still)
76 Trans Am LS1/4A TA (a recreation of my very first car)
74 Olds Cutlass Supr (status: on hold)
69 Pontiac Grand Prix (frame-off beginning soon)
Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=57079.0

Re: 79 LS1 auto build thread
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2013, 04:36:52 PM »
You can help support TAC!