2020-B1-4

Author Topic: '79 400 4spd  (Read 36348 times)

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #120 on: July 22, 2018, 10:14:05 AM »
Got some updates this week.

-Dave from PTFB came through and dropped off my suspension parts.
-After Dave came by, I got my control arms fully disassembled.  Once I got them dissassembled, I fitted up the AFCO lower control arm bushings in the frame and tack welded the sleeves in.  Those things are awesome!
-Frame, suspension and other engine bay parts should be getting dropped off for sandblasting this week.
-Finished welding in my Lab-14 lower control arm reinforcements.   

Some more parts ordered...
-UMI LS swap brackets.
-U-Pol Raptor Liner kit
-U-Pol Raptor Epoxy Primer Kit
-Lanolin wax kit for rust proofing the insides of cavities.
-621 Bellhousing for using a 4spd trans behind the LS
-'79-'81 WS6 backing plates from Facebook
-Hawk HPS front pads
-1LE front rotors


Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

NOT A TA

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #121 on: July 22, 2018, 11:40:33 AM »
Congrats on the new home!  Good to see you're making progress on the car.
John Paige
Lab-14.com

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #122 on: July 22, 2018, 12:32:49 PM »
Congrats on the new home!  Good to see you're making progress on the car.

Thanks John!  Hope all is well with you.  I wasn't trying to get into house at this point in time but it's more-so just happening.  This is pretty much what has forced me spend the money to get the car rolling again.  Since I'm doing all of this rather sudden, it has lead me to chase down the best parts I can get while staying on a low budget.  Besides the PTFB springs/shocks, AFCO bushings and some other things, I will be using GM supplied parts for the most part. 

I'm really excited to see how everything works out with the stock style 1LE front and WS6 rear brakes.  I have the master cylinder that Dave supplies so we're going to try it as a manual setup. 

One thing I'm wondering about is whether or not I'm going to need longer control arm studs like you supplied for Zack's Camaro.  Even though I have offset cross shafts for the upper arms, Dave was saying that I will probably need a lot of shims for a good alignment due to the +.5" lower and +1" upper ball joints.  We will have to see how much clearance I have once the engine is positioned in the frame. 

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #123 on: September 26, 2019, 04:39:52 PM »
Hey guys,

Been a while since I've posted on this thread...once again.  So many stories since last year.


LS1 story..........
This year I purchased an LS1 to have an engine shop build and set the 4.8 aside in the garage.  After going through some big purchasing, the owner of the shop I was trying to work with ended up making a big fit with me on the phone about deciding to get the heads ported and purchasing a camshaft.  The moment that happened, I decided to stop the process and pulled the LS1 out of the shop.  I didn't want to do business with the guy anymore.  Absolute rip-off.  Paid $5,000 for assembly, machining and dyno time.  Once I decided to pull out, they decided to order pistons/rods and overcharge me labor time for work they did not do.  If anyone lives in Illinois area, stay away from Speed Performance Engineering in Wauconda, IL.  Absolute rip-off artist.  I'm now returning or selling off all the parts that were intended for that build.  Shame as it was hovering $10,000 between everything at that point.  Losing thousands on this failure but I just have to take it on the chin and move on.


4.8 story........
After getting ripped off bad by that shop with the LS1 I was trying to build, I decided to clean up the 4.8 that I had sitting in the garage.  Before when I had found glass inside the piston cylinders, I was fairly not motivated and that I was why I coughed up coin to build and aluminum block instead.  After cleaning the engine up and posting on Facebook, a friend of mine said he'd buy it.  The engine is going to be featured in coming episodes for his YouTube channel and Facebook page.  Foy's Automotive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQG3AFJcXKY


Pontiac 400........

I never really voiced this on the forums but my 400 engine was actually used by some close people I know to pay off someone's theft debt.  I won't go into details over forum but my engine got ripped off by some very close people.  I always knew who had the engine but I was on bad terms with this person and basically stayed out of the sour subjects of others.  That's why I started working on putting together an LS engine.  After all this stuff happened with the LS engines, the guy who had my 400 engine started going through an ugly divorce.  I personally never wanted to pay money towards the guy for problems that I was not involved and, thus, never expected to see this engine again but I really didn't want to see anything bad happen to it so I called and asked if I could buy it.  Couldn't believe I was paying money for an engine that was pretty much stolen from me but I really wanted to keep the original engine with the car.  Here I am with a restart, yet again, on the original 400...
400 rebirth begins by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Car Article Feature...........
This past month I was contacted by a writer named Tommy Parry from HotRodHotline about doing a feature on my car.  I was a bit surprised because my car is currently not in the condition I was expecting to be asked for a feature but I reluctantly said yes.  After sending him some information about myself, why I'm into the project and other questions, he developed a draft.  I approved it but I also conveyed that I have a different direction I'm going with the car than what is currently posted online.  With that discussion, he said he would be interested in doing another follow-up article in the future.  Hopefully I can be ready fairly soon for that.  I really have some neat ideas planned out for the car.  For now though, please free to view the article here...
Jon's '79 Pontiac Trans Am
https://www.hotrodhotline.com/node/22112#.XY07yGZ7nIU


I hope this is a nice update for you guys!

More to come,

Jon

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #124 on: March 25, 2020, 08:43:24 PM »
Alright, been a while since I've made any progress car but it's been a great year personally.  Me and my wife just had a baby in January so I've been super busy with that among other things (OT at work, currently doing a mortgage refinance, etc.).

I bought another '81 Turbo 301 (computer control) distributor and am currently going about a rebuild on it.  Doing it myself this time around.  Ordered a bunch of parts from DUI (Davis Unified Ignition)...
-New magnetic pickup
-New coil harness
-New computer control harness
-New cap, rotor and performance coil (I had them send me a stock-appearing cover for a factory look)
-Gear shim kit (they're recommending .025"-.030" shaft end-play)

The start....
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


Gear pin popped out to remove...
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

After gear is removed, the shaft comes out....
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Housing with shaft removed....
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Mockup of new harnesses and pickup....
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Next door neighborhood helped me out with his Harbor Freight blast cabinet (he used a light soda media).  It didn't come out brand new but it cleaned up a good amount...
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


Trying out Evapo-Rust for the first time so we'll see how well this stuff goes.  Bought it at Harbor Freight...
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Maxthe222

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #125 on: March 26, 2020, 03:12:43 AM »
What's up with the'81 Turbo 301 dizzy Jonno? Is that dizzy going on your 400 Pontiac? Is there some lil' neat trick to that or do they wake the 400 up a bit? Or just a side project?

Also just saw the story about you getting your 400 back! Daaammmmnnn! That's awesome you got it back though! That's funny, something very similar happened to the 400 in my very similar '79 400/4-speed!  Y'know what, you bit the bullet getting the motor back, but I am 100% sure that you feel a lot better about getting the motor back with the car. It sucks, I would have been much more upset about it, but I think you've got the motor back in the most mature way without any reprocussions.

You seem like you've had a bad stroke of luck! (that's a motor joke everybody) How are there so many people out there giving you such a rough time with motors? Is there no legal reprocussions for these people? It's happened to me a few times through buying parts from various people in the US, it happens... but for that amount of money surely there's something you can do?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #126 on: March 26, 2020, 03:51:16 AM »
What's up with the'81 Turbo 301 dizzy Jonno? Is that dizzy going on your 400 Pontiac? Is there some lil' neat trick to that or do they wake the 400 up a bit? Or just a side project?

Also just saw the story about you getting your 400 back! Daaammmmnnn! That's awesome you got it back though! That's funny, something very similar happened to the 400 in my very similar '79 400/4-speed!  Y'know what, you bit the bullet getting the motor back, but I am 100% sure that you feel a lot better about getting the motor back with the car. It sucks, I would have been much more upset about it, but I think you've got the motor back in the most mature way without any reprocussions.

You seem like you've had a bad stroke of luck! (that's a motor joke everybody) How are there so many people out there giving you such a rough time with motors? Is there no legal reprocussions for these people? It's happened to me a few times through buying parts from various people in the US, it happens... but for that amount of money surely there's something you can do?

Hey Max,

This distributor will be going in my 400.  The ‘81 Turbo 301 was the only year a Pontiac engine used a fully computer controlled ignition/distributor.  They use a 7-pin HEI module that sends engine pulse to the computer and controls timing.  The plan is to use this distributor and a late 80’s Rochester 454 TBI to convert the engine to EFI.  This setup is pretty much a GM fuel injection that Pontiac never did.  My next debate is picking out the EFI computer.  I had a Megasquirt 2 (3.0 board) before and I wasn’t the most excited about it.  I’m probably going to try the assembled Megasquirt 2 (3.57 board) this time around.  I guess this is my own design as I haven’t seen anyone do it on a Pontiac.  Maybe someone has though.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I suggest looking into this...
https://www.diyautotune.com/support/tech/install/chevrolet-gm/carb-to-efi/

In regards to engines, yes, I’ve have a bad amount of luck. You’d be surprised, there’s a lot of idiots in the industry who pass themselves off as professionals but jerk people around. Working in and in conjunction with shops has shown me that unfortunately.  I just like to think of the future and my intentions rather than give up and dwell on the bad experiences at this point.

Maxthe222

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #127 on: March 26, 2020, 05:16:09 PM »
Ahhh, I see, that is one way to get use out of the CCC! I'll be sure to tax one from the next 301T I see getting thrown out incase I decided to go down the EFI route. Is it still the original Super T-10 behind the W72 or are you going to put in a different tranny or a bit more modern with OD or something?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #128 on: March 26, 2020, 05:21:25 PM »
Ahhh, I see, that is one way to get use out of the CCC! I'll be sure to tax one from the next 301T I see getting thrown out incase I decided to go down the EFI route. Is it still the original Super T-10 behind the W72 or are you going to put in a different tranny or a bit more modern with OD or something?

Original transmission...I'm looking for a reasonably bellhousing for it actually.

I'll save you some time/money being that you're in Australia.....for the distributor, you can lock your current distributor, replace the 4-Pin module with a 7'Pin (computer control) and get a computer harness.  The computer harnesses fill the area where the vacuum canister normally is on a vacuum advanced HEI.

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #129 on: March 26, 2020, 08:48:41 PM »
Ok, 1 day later, this rust remover stuff from Harbor Freight actually worked.  I still need to order/find a shaft seal but I think I'm pretty close to being ready to reassemble this thing.

Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #129 on: March 26, 2020, 08:48:41 PM »

Maxthe222

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #130 on: March 26, 2020, 10:13:45 PM »
Original transmission...I'm looking for a reasonably bellhousing for it actually.

I'll save you some time/money being that you're in Australia.....for the distributor, you can lock your current distributor, replace the 4-Pin module with a 7'Pin (computer control) and get a computer harness.  The computer harnesses fill the area where the vacuum canister normally is on a vacuum advanced HEI.

Is the stock one missing or is the stock one not good enough? I only have the stock one, I heard that it'd be fine infront of the D/N and behind the 400 without blowing, unless that's not the case and it will blow?

And ok, might as well keep the dizzy i've got! Well that's also something else to keep in mind! However there is a 1981 301T motor i've been eyeing for sale down here as just something to fiddle with while i'm in lock down since the F/A motor is in the shop (which is closed) I can't really touch the F/A body to send to the shop (because that one's closed too lol) and the T/A is mostly done.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

jonathonar89

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Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #131 on: April 01, 2020, 06:40:18 PM »
Got an '80-'81 NA 301 passenger side manifold in the mail today.  The reason why I picked this up is because these exhaust manifolds have an o2 sensor bung built in from the factory.  I have not done any test fitting but hopefully this should work for the EFI conversion.  One part that's different from my engine is that there is an extra bolt hole between the D-ports and I will need to block it off.  This obviously won't be high-performance but it should be a fun piece to add to the car since it's a factory Pontiac part.

My next debate is what manifold to use on the driver side.  I've been thinking a log manifold would be good to make it cheap but I've also been wondering if I could get a driver side Ram Air manifold and loop under the oil and to this manifold. 

Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


Came out a ton better after some wire wheel action.  I guess all the baked-on mud/grease helped keep this thing clean. 
Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

Re: '79 400 4spd
« Reply #131 on: April 01, 2020, 06:40:18 PM »
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2020-B1-4