Author Topic: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project  (Read 21614 times)

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #80 on: January 17, 2017, 11:01:11 PM »
   Another milestone!



If you're observant you noticed that those lights inside the car are not work lights...That's light from the courtesy lights and dome light!
I was able to rig things up so I could do some testing of the electrical system!

Julie and I took every wire out of the car, removed unused wires, replaced some sub-harnesses, cleaned every connection and re-soldered some questionable connections.  I've been nervous about what would happen when we put power through all that re-jiggering but wasn't sure how I could 'really' check it out without the drive-train installed. I had resigned to waiting until the drive train was in, but then...
What had happened was...
We needed to get the driver's side window up to do some work in the door.  I had previously used a 10.9V Dremel battery, connected right to the window motor to move the windows, but holding the wires to the battery, a ground, and the motor was a pain in the ass and a two person job. That dremel broke, so I figured I'd rig it up so I didn't have to hold the wires to the battery.  The result was this contraption...



I figured we'd try to use my new contraption to test the window wire harness by connecting it there...but it wasn't strong enough to move the windows through the harness. I did some looking over the wire diagrams and figured I could wire the + side of a battery to the wires which had been on the 'BATT' terminal of the alternator, and the negative wire to the front sub-frame(I connected it down on the drivers side where there's a ground cable that links the sub-frame to the body). 
It works!



We were able to test just about everything, and about 90% worked as expected.  All the interior lighting, including glove box and trunk, 'Start' position on the column (which we had also disassembled and reassembled). Headlights, markers, reverse lights (with relocated switch), and I even got to check out my refurbished taillights! Check out the video here...
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeTxpYnLSqg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeTxpYnLSqg</a>

5-13-17 Edit: Change to embed Video

And the red dash lights too...


We were really happy with this testing, but not everything worked.  Here's the downside....
1) The gauge illumination in the main cluster isn't working.
2) I'm not happy with the 'green' filters installed for the turnsignals. They look green as grass when not lit, but yellow when they are illuminated
3) The 'Brake' indicator light is constantly lit...



4) The Fuel gauge is pegged at Full.
5) The high beam indicator filter seems to have shifted, probably during shipping after the cluster was rebuilt...



6) The wiper motor doesn't move. It 'buzzes' when in Intermittent settings and does nothing in Low or High
7) The seatbelt/key in/lights on(car off) tone buzzes whenever the headlight or parking lights are on.  (At least it doesn't beep whenever a turnsignal is lit, like has done in the past! So this is actually an improvement.)

I WAS feeling really good about the testing...but now that I list all this out and number them...I don't feel as good as I did earlier...LOL.
I have some ideas about probable causes for some of these things, so we'll work them out.  I'm happy it happened now and not after I put the drive train in (when I'll be busy troubleshooting all that stuff too!).

A couple little side notes:
The console, with a cup holder installed is all but ready for paint:



And, the driver side rear wheel well is cleaned, seam sealed and ready for the final bed liner coating.

I'll post what I find regarding solutions to the electrical system as I find them.

Thanks for checking in!  Take care.

-Tom


« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 01:31:19 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2017, 11:01:44 PM »
I've spent 4-6 hours troubleshooting the electrical issues that came up during the first check of everything.
It looks like most of the problems with the main gauge cluster are related to the printed circuit.  Specifically, where the main 'wide locking tab' plugs in...The connectors on the printed circuit have delaminated and keep shifting around as I connect the tab.



 Depending on what shifts where, we get different interesting things happening. Sometimes wires get crossed (like the time the water temp gauge would freak out when the left turn signal was on), or wires miss their connection point (Like when there were no dash lights at all), or ground out (Like when the clock would stop working when the lights were turned on).
I wish the shop that refaced and refurbished the cluster would've replaced the printed circuit.  When I sent it to them I told them I figured it'd need to be replaced.  It looked a mess. I guess everything worked OK on their bench, so they put some tape on and decided to save me 70 bucks.  But honestly, I was already paying > $1K for the job.  Would've preferred saving the headache/frustration.

I had the thing in and out 6 or 8 times...



I used some superglue under the connection points to hold them in place, but it's still hit or miss.  So, I'm ordering a new printed circuit.

I DID get the fuel gauge fixed...There were a couple different issues which caused me a lot of head scratching and frustration.  I was running several tests and getting different/unexpected results AND at one point the Volt meter gauge (which worked OK on the first test) stopped working!! I was pissed when I exited the garage last night, worse off than when I went in. Ultimately what I found was:
1) The ground connection at the rear tail panel wasn't 'good'. I had to clear some paint away to improve that connection
2) I have two grounds coming from the top of the tank (Pump and sender).  They were mislabeled.
3) The wires at the gauge were 'reversed'.  Turns out, the pink/blk wire ('in', 12v, keyed) goes on the 'E' side of the gauge.  The solid pink wire
    ('out' from gauge to sender) goes on the 'F' side of the gauge).  I didn't disassemble these gauges earlier, and no pics were taken during
    that process. On the many diagrams I looked at, I couldn't really make out which was what side. This page helped me figure it out...
     http://www.modsandrods.tv/2012/03/29/bench-testing-fuel-gas-gauge/

Here's how they look working and lit up..Woo Hoo!


We also figured out a solution for the green turn signal lenses, which looked yellow with the stock lights.  I replaced those two bulbs with Phillips 194 LED bulbs.  The white light of the LED helps transmit the green of the lens better...



Here's a before and after - In this pic the color from the digital camera's not great, but you can definitely see a difference..


You can really see the difference in color between the LED bulbs and the incandescent stock bulbs in video below. It shows the two side by side. LED bulb is in the Left turn indicator, stock bulb is in the right. Both of those turn indicators are using the same exact green plastic filter in front of them, but the color is completely different! Aside from the color difference, it's interesting to see how the two bulbs actually light up, with the LED bulb immediately shining brightly with a harsh white light while the incandescent bulb has kind of a fade on and off.
   
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWBNIdoFY6M" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWBNIdoFY6M</a>

A A couple notes about my experience with these Phillips 94 LED replacement bulbs:
1) My gauge backing and 'cups' were painted with a florescent 'red' paint (which looks pink to my eye).   Supposedly, this is the same exact method and
    color GM used to make the red IC color in the 79 Anniversary cars.  The gauges do shine red using the stock bulbs.  BUT, the LED bulbs make gauges
    look very pink. 
2) The LED bulbs are sensitive to the electrical polarity.  The '+' side must be on the positive side of the light socket and the '-' must be on the negative
    side.j  If the polarity is reversed, the bulb will not light.  This isn't a big deal when dealing with just the two turn signal bulbs.  But, if you were doing
    all the IC lights with the LED bulbs, it could get to be a pain to get them all in there correctly. 

We disassembled the cluster to fix the high beam indicator, including a drop of super glue to keep if from shifting again. So, that's fixed too... Baby steps I guess.  At least they are steps forward (Today.).

I'm ordering a new printed circuit, headlight switch(it's 'suspect' with (at least) a dead spot in the dimmer function), and (maybe) a wiper switch too, hopefully this weekend.  I'm also going to check on the brake warning light circuit. The constant on of the brake warning light could be related to the printed circuit, but some quick checking I did earlier suggests it's probably a separate issue. It looks like it's activated via a ground being established either at the parking brake or the pressure switch.  I think that side of the circuit DOES have a ground in in somewhere.

Aside from this testing, my next big purchase will be motor mounts and Trans cross-member. I have concerns about the trans cross member mounting (The body is a little lower/closer to the front sub-frame by virtue of the solid body bushings).  If I get those two things 'in' I'll be really close to being able to drop in a motor (once I get one).

Thanks for checking in.
Take care....



 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 02:04:50 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #82 on: January 25, 2017, 09:46:01 PM »
A little more troubleshooting done tonight. Turns out the 'Brake' warning light was working as designed/intended...
I don't have the parking brake cable hooked up yet. The pedal wasn't fully released enough to engage the switch on that brake assembly.  I could swear I gave the pedal a pull all the way up at some point in the initial test, but I'll take the easy 'fix'.   The parking brake wont be hooked up until a repair around the hole for the cable on the drivers floor is completed when I send it off for metal, body and paint. So, I zip-tied the parking brake up enough to engage that switch.

We cleaned up the headlight switch, but it still has a dead spot in the dimmer. So, I think I'll replace it.  One thing I learned in playing with it...The ground strap between the cluster and the headlight switch seems to be (mainly) related to the dimmer's courtesy/dome light function. Without that strap the interior lights will not turn on when the dimmer is turned all the way. I don't know if it has any other functions, but that's one I'm certain of.

Just thought I'd share what I found and learned during this process.
I think tomorrow I'll play with the wiper circuit some.  I honestly don't remember the last time I tried using the wipers.  They worked when I parked it back in 1996. But, that's about all I know. The wiper motor itself is in pretty bad shape.  It got smashed during one of the engine swaps back in the early 90's.  It functioned after that, but all the contacts are all bent up and the cover's in a couple different pieces.  I suspect I'll have trouble until I get a new motor and switch. 

Other than that it's another wait for parts.

Thanks for checking in...Take care.
-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1036
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #83 on: January 26, 2017, 12:02:17 AM »
...We cleaned up the headlight switch, but it still has a dead spot in the dimmer. So, I think I'll replace it.  One thing I learned in playing with it...The ground strap between the cluster and the headlight switch seems to be (mainly) related to the dimmer's courtesy/dome light function. Without that strap the interior lights will not turn on when the dimmer is turned all the way. I don't know if it has any other functions, but that's one I'm certain of...  -Tom

lol - I found this out myself last week!

Box

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5102
  • Jinba ittai
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #84 on: January 26, 2017, 05:46:39 AM »
Gauges look great!  I'd be frustrated to that they didn't go ahead and replace the PCB, but oh well.

1996 Pontiac Firebird Formula hardtop 6-speed

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #84 on: January 26, 2017, 05:46:39 AM »

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #85 on: February 02, 2017, 09:59:00 PM »
Thx Box.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.
The guys that did the work on the gauges called me yesterday to follow-up on an Email I sent to tell them I was having trouble.  They were apologetic, receptive, and sincerely interested in hearing my feedback.  Sounded like they'll be a little more likely to recommend replacing the PCB on future projects in similar condition.  We discussed my other observations and they asked me to reach out to them again after I get the new PCB installed.  I'm definitely happy with the service.

Troubleshooting has continued...We worked on ,the wiper motor and washer pump assembly. During our first test it didn't work...Nothing on high or low settings and only a 'buzzing' sound in 'Pulse'.  Nothing at all from the washer.
It looks like the main problem was a poor ground...surprise, surprise!  One of the things etched into my brain during this process is that a bad ground is a likely suspect in most electrical problems in these cars.  It's definitely the first thing to check for, almost regardless of the symptoms.
With a known good ground the wiper functions in all three positions. And the washer pump sounded like it was working.
So, I pulled it off took it apart and cleaned it up and painted it.   I always hated the look of this thing, almost as much as the HVAC box on the passenger side.  Maybe someday I'll install one of the smaller aftermarket motors, but for now this'll do...



Unfortunately, I think I screwed something up on the washer pump and it's not working right after I put it all back together.  So, it's off the car again...I'm trying to figure out how to bench test the washer pump assembly. I might need a new one.

Speaking of new parts and fails....
I ordered a new washer pump cover. It was listed as "1970 - 1981 Firebird Windshield Washer Pump Motor Plastic Cover" at Firebird Central.  It looked a little different, but I didn't see any indication that there was more than one type of recessed, pulse wiper assembly.  That is, until I received the part, which clearly says "1st Design". Which obviously means that at least one other version exists. I'm guessing it's referred to as "2nd Design"!?



I still haven't been able to find the second design cover by itself.  The whole pump (with cover) is like 40 bucks.   I'll play with the pump assembly a bit to verify I really broke it.  If I can fix it I'll spend some more time looking for a cover. Otherwise I'll just replace the whole pump.  So, that's that....

I was also able to figure out the rest of the Reverse light/Neutral safety switch(NSS) relocation switch I installed on the shifter earlier.   I had the reverse lights working, but hadn't figured out how the two purple wires hook up for the NSS.  Turns out it's pretty straight forward...the Purple 'start' wire from the steering column gets cut and runs through the purple wires on the new NSS switch.  In one side out the other. Here's a link to a separate post I had started about it...
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=73567.0

So, that's done now.

One other thing I learned...I mentioned the ground strap from the headlight switch to the cluster earlier...In addition to grounding the dimmer's control of the courtesy/dome lights, it's also used as a ground for the Wiper switch.  I didn't play with it to see exactly what happens to the wiper circuit if it's not connected, but I can see in the diagrams I've been looking at to troubleshoot the wipers, it's almost definitely part of that circuit. Maybe I'll play with it later.

Finally...
Julie wired red LED's into the bottom of the cup holders we're installing in the console.  I'll post a pic of those once everything's in place.

The PCB should be here tomorrow. I'll let you know how that works out.

Thanks for checking in...Take care.
-Tom
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 10:17:41 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9157
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #86 on: February 02, 2017, 10:44:13 PM »

We cleaned up the headlight switch, but it still has a dead spot in the dimmer. So, I think I'll replace it.  One thing I learned in playing with it...The ground strap between the cluster and the headlight switch seems to be (mainly) related to the dimmer's courtesy/dome light function. Without that strap the interior lights will not turn on when the dimmer is turned all the way. I don't know if it has any other functions, but that's one I'm certain of.


The main purpose of the ground strap is for grounding the instrument cluster housing so the cluster lights will work.
Steve F.

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #87 on: February 03, 2017, 10:50:40 PM »
Ah Ha! Thanks Grand73. Since I'm doing all this electrical testing anyway, I'll verify the ground runs that way...I thought it was kinda going the other way...with the headlight switch grounding through the cluster? It'd be nice to know for certain, all that little strap can affect.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9157
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2017, 07:22:48 AM »
I thought that's the way it was, since people in the past have complained about having no dash lights, and they were missing the strap.

But you got me curious, so I looked closely at a wiring diagram. It looks like I may be wrong, and you may be right. The wiring diagram shows a ground contained in the connector that plugs into the back of the cluster connecting to the PCB. So, it appears the cluster gets its ground from the wiring harness.

I'm still curious as to whether the headlight switch only gets ground from the cluster, or is grounded somewhere else too. I can't tell that from the wiring diagram. I'll have to investigate further.
Steve F.

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2017, 05:08:04 PM »
Good work, and theres a lot of good info there. I may be needing it soon if I ever see my car again.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #90 on: February 05, 2017, 10:59:51 PM »
Your 77's looking pretty close Roadking...Pretty cool considering where you started.  I couldn't have taken on this car if it were in the same condition as your 77 was in.  Amazing work you've done! Can't wait to see the finished product. I have a soft spot for 77's, and I still haven't ruled out using a 77 nose on my '81.  IMHO '81 had the best taillights (blacked out with a bird on the door) and the '76-'78 had the best looking nose.

I played around with the headlight switch a little more today Grand73Am.  The instrument cluster lights -do- work OK without that ground strap. I wouldn't be surprised if that were different on other years, or maybe even a car without the rally cluster, or one with different options.  I just replaced the printed circuit board(PCB) on the IC too. Tracing the lines around the PCB, I can see there is a ground that comes in from the wide locking tab which hits one side of each of the 'illumination' light sockets. That ground terminates under the tach at one of the studs/nuts which 1) serves as ground for the clock and 2) passes that ground on to the body of the cluster.
On this car, with these options, that strap only seems to affect the dimmer switch function, the dimmer switch will not turn on the dome/courtesy lights without that strap.  Earlier, I mentioned it looked like that ground was used for the wiper switch too... But testing today suggests that's not true. The wiper switch has a separate ground, and it functions OK if it's not attached to the headlight switch (and/or if the strap from the headlight switch isn't installed).
It's -has- been interesting playing with this stuff.  This car has had many weird electrical gremlins over the years.   I feel like I'm learning enough to have some confidence that we've eliminated them (or will if we haven't already).  Speaking of which...
I thought the newly rebuilt clock in the IC might not be grounded well, and/or was not keeping time properly.  So I set it up today on the bench with my phone's time lapse camera setting 'on' to keep an eye on it.  I let it run about an hour, and it seemed to keep time OK (on the bench).  Anyway...I thought the resulting video was kind of cool. Especially since I've never seen the clock run in my 27 years of ownership!  Here's a few seconds of the video...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6KpXCV-G1A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6KpXCV-G1A</a>

-P.S. Has anyone successfully used that 'Youtube' link button/tags in this forum?  If I try to put this link between the 'youtube' link tags inserted by the youtube button in the editor, I get an 'Invalid Youtube link' error.  Just curious how that 'insert youtube link' button is supposed to work?
-Answer: The 'You Tube' button on the toolbar at the top of the message editor will insert a 'begin' and an 'end' youtube HTML tag into your message. (IE. "youtube" (begin tag), and "/Youtube" (end tag), each surrounded by right and left brackets). Between the begin and end tags you insert the youtube video code for the video you want to embed.  The video code is the string of letters and numbers you see at the end of a youtube video address or URL.  If you're watching a video, you can see it in the address bar of the browser you're using.(IE www.youtube.com/watch/v=videocode). Or, you can pull up a video in Youtube, then click 'Share'.  The Share URL will also have the video code at the end.  When you put that code between the begin and end youtube tags, it will be embedded into your post like you see above.

Anyway...
I'll post a little more detail maybe tomorrow, but I got the wiper motor bench tested successfully.  The washer pump isn't fully engaging all the time, so I'll be replacing it.  Bench testing the wiper motor was interesting and might be helpful to someone else down the road. I'll write that up here.
We just put the IC back in late this evening, hopefully once and for all!  I'll be testing everything tomorrow evening probably. I'll post a video of the functional IC later.

Thanks for checking in!
Take care.
-Tom

« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:46:55 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #91 on: February 22, 2017, 10:53:38 PM »
Hello again TAC. A couple more things done over the past couple weeks, and a couple annoyances. I'll start with the wins...

As I mentioned in my last post, I got the wiper motor and washer pump bench tested and sorted out. Ultimately, I had to replace the washer pump. Here's what I learned...
Bench testing the wiper motor was interesting.  The wire colors on the back of the switch do not match the wires that are in the main harness and  the terminals at the motor end of the wires.  Here's how the wires match up on my 1981 TA with pulse wipers. I'm pretty confident with all except the 'wiper Low' and 'Wiper High' wires. I'm about 80% they are not 'reversed' in my notes:

  Switch wire color    ->   Harness/motor terminal wire color  = Use
 -------------------------------------------------------------------
   Green               ->  Green      =  Pulse
   Black w/Blue    ->  Purple      =  Wiper Low
   Blue w/White    ->  Grey         =  Wiper High
   Black                ->  Pink          =  Washer pump
   Blue w/Black    ->  Black         =  Ground
  - NOTE: The Ground wire does not go through the firewall to the motor.  This wire runs through the main dash harness' ground circuit. The motor itself
     Grounds through the mounting screws the connect it to the firewall...The copper strap is necessary because rubber grommets isolate the wiper motor
      mounting points from the firewall itself. The copper strap jumps over that rubber isolator to complete the circuit. 
     For bench testing, the Blue w/Black wire should be connected to the body of the washer motor.
 
Also Note:  At the Motor you'll find an additional white wire. This is power, hot when the ignition is 'on'. A short white 'jumper' wire is used to jump the power from the 2 prong connector for the pump to the three prong connector for the motor.

The pics below show the wire colors at the motor/pump:



In this pic you can't see the Green wire's terminal... It's off by itself on the circuit board next to the two prong pump terminals. The three prongs on the side are hard to see...they are 'ppl'(Purple), 'wht' (white), and 'gry'(gray).

For the bench test you need to connect the negative from your power source to the body of the pump.
The positive side of your power source needs to connect to the two white connections.  Then, match the rest of the wires from the switch as described above and poof:



Here's a video of the bench test showing the pump operation. In my test you can see the cog in the center stops getting 'grabbed' and pulled around. I think something was misaligned in that little mechanism?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P0yQWDPbxU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P0yQWDPbxU</a>

Either way the pump never fully pumped any water, so purchased a mid-grade replacement part for like $40.00.  I don't know about the $90.00 ACDelco replacement, but the mid-level replacement part does not include the circuit board.  Bench testing was useful in verifying the circuit board seemed to be working OK. So I think it was worth the effort.

Not the most exciting shot, but it's one more thing fixed and done!



I have to admit, even after all this...I don't quite understand how the switch works. I mean, as near as I can tell, there's no power at the switch itself? And the ground wire from the switch is separate from the motors grounding?  So, how exactly  does it send a 'signal' to the motor?  I don't know...I guess it's more like a relay of some sort.  If anyone understands its operation, I'd like to hear about it.

So, that's one win this month.  We had one other 'win'...the trunk hinge (which broke probably sometime in 1994) is fixed! 
I'll post some pics of that maybe tomorrow. Then I'll share the annoyances that came up.

Thanks for checking in.
Take care!
-Tom







« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 10:47:09 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2017, 10:07:14 PM »
My other success over the past couple weeks is getting the trunk hinge repaired and re-installed.
This hinge broke probably a year or two before I stopped driving the car. So, for 20 years now I've had to prop the trunk open whenever I needed to get in there. It was a serious pet peeve, but something I didn't think I'd ever be able to fix myself.  I remember when it happened I didn't even know how the whole hinge/spring thing worked. I had no idea there were rods under that panel between the rear window and the deck lid.  So, I was really exited to get this fixed, as simple as it may seem.

The passenger side hinge snapped right in the middle. I always used the trunk release in the glove box, and even with the rods set at the lowest tension the trunk lid would bounce back against the fully extended hinge a couple times when it popped open. The result:


Luckily it was a clean break:


My neighbor's son in law has a machine shop at his home.  He was able to weld it back together:


I had made a video of the torque rod removal process.  So I figured I'd make a short video to cover reinstalling them too.  If your interested you can find it here.  I've never done this before, I'm no expert. So, if anyone has any tips, or see's something wrong with how I did things, please let me know. I'll share it along with the video.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJyP7SfrLI0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJyP7SfrLI0</a>

And finally, a sight I haven't seen in many, many years.  My trunk open with no board propping it up! Woo Hoo!



And, I can remove the warning signs I put on back in the fall....


One more thing done.

Now to the fails...
I replaced the PCB on the instrument cluster to fix a bunch of funky and inconsistent problems with the lights, clock, signals etc...
Here's the old PCB. You can kinda see how sketchy the contacts where the 'wide tab' connector fits in...


The new one is nice and straight, and this did fix the unusual/inconsistent problems I was having...


BUT...I learned I had one frustratingly consistent problem...The clock consistently stops at 7:04, 9:04 and 11:04! You can see it in the time lapse video below:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dliSW9snbBE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dliSW9snbBE</a>

I called the place that rebuilt the IC.  I'll have to pull it out and send it back to them to get the stopping clock fixed. I'm about over pulling this IC in and out.  But, what are you gonna do right?

The other annoyance...
I bought a new window switch from one of the CLASSIC car INDUSTRIES popular vendors.  This thing was 60.00, but is super cheap feeling.  And, the switch operation is less consistent than the original one I'm trying to replace.  Also, it looks kinda scratched up from being fresh out of the box.


 I wonder if someone didn't return an old used switch at some point and it ended up back on the stock room shelf to be sent to me. When I called the vendor for a return authorization, they told me they'd need to contact the manufacturer and would call me back in a couple days. We'll see where this ends up, but at this point, I'm kind of annoyed.

That's it for now.  Julie and I are working on tying up some electrical loose ends (Running wires for the check engine light, making a harness for the stereo and installing LED's in the ash tray and cup holders).  I'm not sure when I'll get my next significant parts order though....

Thanks for checking in.
Take care -
-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #93 on: March 10, 2017, 11:03:33 PM »
Not too much to report...but not falling off page one here helps keep me motivated!
Check Engine light has been wired up...
12v Power in 'Run' to the bulb...GRND wire out through the FW where I believe the ECM supplies ground to activate the light.  Hopefully I got that right.

We also installed LED lights in the new cup holder, which is now 'final installed' in the console.

I'll edit to post pics of these two exciting developments. I'm sure you can't wait!

C.I. made good on the window switch.  They sent a replacement part at no charge, and did not require return of the original, which was nice.
The replacement is good. No scratches and the quality is way better.  It's a different Manufacturer, but honestly, I think they were the victim of someone returning a used part. So, I'm not prepared to say the original poor quality switch is really from that Mfc shown on the box.

I just packed up the instrument Cluster to send back to AI to have the clock fixed.  I hope to ship it tomorrow and expect to get it back in a couple weeks.

One thing that might be a little interesting..I got PHS paperwork as a Birthday gift a couple summers ago.   I'm not a 'numbers' person. So, I'm not too sure if there's anything unique about these option combinations.  I did learn that my car's from Oklahoma City which surprised me. I always thought it lived its whole life here in the Northeast.   Here's the order sheet or whatever it's called (I uploaded this pic like a year ago and haven't looked at the paperwork but a couple times since then):


At the time I got my paperwork, PHS said they couldn't yet reproduce the later model window stickers.  They indicated they were working on it, but couldn't include it in my papers. I had been meaning to check back to see if they can do that now.

Next 'big' purchase will be motor mounts and Trans cross member.  Probably not for a month or so.  I have been making progress on fund for a motor and trans.  90% sure it'll be a 'pull out' and not a new crate motor as I had hoped.  In order to pull that off I'd need twice as long to budget for it, and that'll kill my goals regarding a timeline for this project.

In the mean time, we've been doing some smaller jobs.  One of which is a sealing problem on the RR Caliper.   We've been through 4 or 5 different sets of various Mfg's copper washers, Installing them hot, thoroughly cleaning surfaces etc. Trying different sizes and thickness.   I'm at the point where I think I'm going to by a new caliper and maybe the fitting/junction block the line connects to.  I've read over a bunch of posts about similar problems but haven't had any luck solving it yet.  Left side sealed fine, but the right side is leaking from the Inlet fitting, bottom side (where it mates to the caliper).
One think I might try first...
None of the copper washers I've been trying seem to cover the full surface area of the recessed mating surfaces.  I found that the GM Parts manual lists the washer size as M10.3x17.1.3.   The last washer I tried was close, but still a MM short in diameter and a couple tenths short in thickness. Dorman has a replacement washer measuring M10x16.9x1.2.  At .43 each, I might order these and give them a shot.
 
The junction block / Inlet fitting is nowhere to be found in any parts catalog or online parts store I've searched so far. I found it listed in the GM Parts catalog illustrations, but can't find a part number for it in the same manual.

Thanks for checking in. Take care.
-Tom
 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 11:09:58 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9157
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #94 on: March 11, 2017, 08:39:17 AM »
I had the same leaking problem with a rebuilt rear caliper long ago. I found that the seating area around the hole had been damaged, like being nicked or gouged. Might have been rust pitting damage now that I think more about it. In any case, the little concentric rings were not in good shape. I took it back to the parts store and we had to look at 2 others before finding one that didn't have a damaged seat. That one worked fine.

As for the fitting, I haven't seen a source for new ones, so it seems finding used ones is all there is, and those are hard to find for sale. Some people get around using the fitting by converting to a brake hose that will screw into the caliper, and then connect the line to the hose. I think they make a bracket on the rearend housing to hold the line end of the hose. Have to leave slack in the hose to allow for caliper movement. Not original, but works.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 08:43:15 AM by Grand73Am »
Steve F.

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #94 on: March 11, 2017, 08:39:17 AM »

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #95 on: March 15, 2017, 08:29:26 PM »
Thanks a lot for the input GrandAm.  I'll def. let you all know when I find a solution!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #96 on: May 12, 2017, 11:00:35 PM »
Hello again TAC.
 The past 8 weeks have been pretty quiet as far as my TA is concerned.  No significant parts orders or progress on a drive train. Still hoping to get one by the end of the summer. But, we did get a couple little things done and a new project I hadn't planned on taking on has crept into the scope of this 'early' part of my build.
To tie up a couple things from my previous posts...
Back on 2/24 I had sent the instrument cluster back to A.I. to check on the clock, which was stopping consistently at certain times. They got it, ran it for a week with no problems, and called me to say they can't recreate the problem.  If you recall, there was evidence suggesting it had taken a good bump when it was originally shipped back to me after the initial refurb. Apparently, that jolt was enough to make it unhappy.   They sent it back to me without making any direct adjustments. It's been running for weeks now with no problem. So...looks like shipping from VA to PA screwed it up, then shipping it from PA to VA fixed it.  Just something to keep in mind if you are ever troubleshooting your own clock.
Also..I had mentioned that we had wired the Check Engine light.  Not a big deal I suppose, but I think it's kinda cool that it'll be functional once the LSx is installed.  I think these were only present on 80 and 81 speedo's. 



After many, many times in and out we had the process down to a science...but (I hope I don't jinx myself) hopefully this is the last time.



In the pic below you can see the cup holders I installed in the console. It's not painted yet.  The lighting is a bit harsh, I'm looking to put a round piece of opaque plastic in the bottom of each hole to disperse the red LED lighting so it doesn't hit the dash so hard.



Now for that RR caliper...We finally got it to seal.  I couldn't see a problem with the naked eye.  But, when I used my camera in Macro mode (for super close-ups) I could make out a defect that goes through the last several rows of circles all the way out to the edge.  Here's a pic of that brake line inlet. In the top left pic, the defect is around 1:00. The larger pic is up side down, so it's at 7:00 in that one:



Bought a new (Reman) ACDelco caliper. It came with the correct size copper washers and sealed up fine.
In the mean time, Julie has become a disc brake expert...Like many other things, she disassembled and reassembled this assembly several times. Thanks Babe.



Now for something I was trying to avoid...The windows.  They worked 'OK', and I was going to leave well enough alone at this stage.  But, we needed something to do. And, the right side window had a lot of 'in and out' movement.  Research indicates that the inner door panel felt helps minimize this in and out movement. But, compared to the driver side (in the same state of disassembly) the movement you see in the video below seemed excessive to me. And, the window would bind up at certain points along it's up and down travel. So, we pulled it out to have a look.  I'm pretty sure the guide wheels on the window and inner track for the regulator shouldn't move this much...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-dQOfQ-Xs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-dQOfQ-Xs</a>
 
We pulled out the regulator and motor. I thought I'd need to replace the whole assembly. But, I couldn't find anybody that has the power window regulators for this year?  And, I found that a couple of the restoration parts catalogs have just the rollers at a few bucks each. They also have 'kits' which include all the various other wear parts for the power window glass and regulator. So, I'll replace the rollers and other wear parts in there.  Since it's out, and this isn't something you want to redo in the near future, I'll replace the motor too.

We also cleaned up my original Fisher Body sill plates.  They cleaned up well. I'll post pics of the window stuff and the sill plates soon.  I'm sure you all are just -dying- to see those!  Right?!? LOL.

Anyway,
Thanks for checking in. Take care.
-Tom

Thanks for checking in 
 
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

MNBob

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1444
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #97 on: May 13, 2017, 10:20:28 AM »
Thank you for making the trunk tension spring video!  I have this task to do and video was a real help.

You are really patient and persistent in tacking all problems, but especially all the electrical issues in the dash.  Looks you have it all worked out.

The only thing my wife does is to try to sell the car to anyone she can!
1979 TATA 4spd
Hedman elite; Pypes 2.5; Borla XS; MSD 6A; Edelbrock intake; open scoop; modified Q-jet; Powermaster 150; 4 core radiator/Mark VIII fan; RobbMc mini starter; subframe connectors; solid body mounts; fiberglass rear springs; poly sway bar and link bushings; 81 master; D52’s; Blazer disks; 225/60 & 235/60 17's TrueContact's; relays for PW, PDL, lights; keyless entry

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #98 on: May 13, 2017, 01:26:58 PM »
I like to see you keeping at it Tom. I think you made a good decision to replace the wear parts on the windows. I bought the complete kit as it was cheaper than doing it piece meal but it was still pretty pricey. I also put in new motors, I had no idea if the old ones were any good but I figured whilst I was working on it I may as well put in as much new as  possible.
I'm with MNBob, although my wife hasn't tried to sell my car yet, she still refers to it as the pos in the garage!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 589
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #99 on: May 18, 2017, 10:20:28 AM »
Just finished reading entire thread and have to thank you for taking the time to share details and pics. I know for myself when I get working on the car I just don't want to stop, find the camera/phone, take pics, make notes, etc...I'm sure we can all agree it's difficult enough to make time for this hobby let alone keep an account of what we're doing.

What's really amazing is the somewhat confined space (at least it appears that way from the pics) you and your wife have been working in, I can relate cause it looks similar to my garage. It could be a little late to suggest this but you may want to consider a garage heater to take advantage of the winter months. When I installed this gas fired, closed chamber, radiant heater it literally changed my life (you know what I mean, right?):





Anyway because of this thread there's a couple of projects I may consider tackling (after I'm done with my current ones) and this is gonna be my first go to for reference.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 01:12:47 PM by formula jg »

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #100 on: June 19, 2017, 09:48:49 PM »
Thanks for the kind words everyone.  I never really considered it before, but this sort of community is helpful in keeping things moving.  I'm happy others are able to make use of my experiences and trials too.  I know I'm lucky to have a wife who loves the car, and spending time working on it almost as much as I do. It's been around so long we both have some fond and (now) funny memories in it.
We have been able to use the garage over the winter...It's so small I've been able to keep it comfortable on even the coldest days using a 1500 watt Craftsman ceramic space heater and the 3 500 Watt Halogen work lights.  It's just a little over 10X20.
Hence -everything- hanging on the walls.  The car's on dollies so we can push it from one side to the other in order to fully open a door.  We've been able to make it work with some peg board and creative idea's, like 1/2in Ply wood hung from the ceiling for 32sq. ft. of storage:


And the related inventory system, looking up at that shelf from below:


And, that work bench folds up flat against the wall.

Anyway...
Things have been slow the past few months. As often happens, day to day job and household responsibilities have taken priority.  No new parts,  and any saving for a drive train has had  to take a back seat.   A couple little things I -can- share...

My experience removing all the power windows stuff...
 
This info is in the Fisher Body Manual, but I thought I'd share it as it wasn't entirely clear there. At least not to my mind. Your experience may vary.  But,  I had to read it a bunch of times. Below is a condensed version for removing -everything-.  If anyone wants more detail I can share the info from the manual and give this some more thought.  Know that the steps are different if you're only removing certain portions of the power window mechanism.  This is what I did to take everything out...

Take the window out first...Put it about half way down so you can get to the two bolts holding the window to the horizontal track. Undo those two bolts, then remove the two 'up' stops on the vertical tracks and pull the window straight up. These are held in place by one bolt each, near the top of the vertical track. There's an access hole for each.  Use a magnet to hold the stop and pull it up and out after the bolt's out.
With the window out, you can slide that horizontal track off the rollers connected to the regulator.

Then, there's this little horizontal track that's anchored to the door by these two bolts:


With those two bolts out, the little track will slid off the other small roller on the regulator.

Now, the regulator and motor are removed as one unit. It's held in place by three rivets that need to be drilled out...



With these three rivets out, the motor and regulator can be folded up and pulled out the big hole near the bottom of the door.

Here's a pick of the whole assembly (including the horizontal tracks) on the bench.  You can see how the tracks are oriented on the rollers on the regulator. The window connects to that longer track. In this position the window would be almost all the way down.


Now to get the motor off...
As you can see, There's a spring in the middle there that puts upward pressure on the arm with the wheel.  The only thing holding that spring tension at this point is the motor itself.
This is very important...BEFORE you try taking the motor off you need to do something to keep that spring from breaking loose.
Per the manual, this is accomplished by drilling a hole through the the semi circle gear and the main body of the regulator, then putting a bolt through that hole to hold the gear in position in relation to the main body.  Thus keeping tension on the spring.

I had to hook the assembly back up to power to use the motor to get the gear in a good position in relation to the main body. (So that the hole doesn't go through one of the bends or other irregularities in the main body.)
Then I drilled down through both the gear and the body...It's the hole right in the middle of the gear with a silver mark above it in the pick below:


Here's the back side, with the bolt installed (It's the one in the middle near the circle indent).



With that bolt in place, holding the gear and connected arm in relation to the main body where the spring is, you can remove the three bolts holding the motor to the main body of the regulator. In the pic above one of the motor bolt has been  removed already...You get the idea.

This left only the two vertical guides in the door one near the front and one near the rear.  They are held by two bolts going down from the top of the door and one coming in from the side near the bottom of the door.

The old grease in all these tracks was more sticky than slippery.  So, if you're doing this yourself, I'd suggest taking it all out to clean it.  Of course...This advice comes BEFORE I have to put it all back together and get it working and adjusted. So, I'll let you know if my opinion changes during the reassembly process. I have a feeling my opinion -will- change. I hear adjustment can be tricky. I -did- mark the position of all the bolts that have slots for adjusting. Hopefully that will get them close to set when I reassemble things someday.
Here's everything all cleaned up:








And...
I know you're all dying to see the sill plates I teased in my last post.  So, BAM! Here they are:



We hammered out some of the dents, sanded the deeper knicks and scratches and went to town with a fine sand paper, then polished using a Dremel and some of that brown polish that comes with their polishing sets.  Finished if off with Mother's polish.

This got way longer than I intended. So, I'll let you go...
We were working to repaint the T-Tops this weekend. The only other thing I have all the necessary stuff for is painting my interior pieces.  So, if we get some decent days I'll start doing that I suppose.

Still hoping for some more important parts sometime soon. We'll see.

Thanks again for the kind words.  And, 'Thanks' for checking in.

Take care,
 -Tom
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 11:52:10 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #101 on: June 20, 2017, 04:49:18 PM »
Nice work on the window tracks. I had to do the same thing. Do you have a large rivet gun to replace them? I ordered one online, but I think tractor supply has them.
I used white lithium grease when I put everything back together along with new motors. They work great now.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #102 on: June 20, 2017, 09:51:55 PM »
Thanks for the rivet tool tip.  That's a good point. We had to pick up a large rivet tool (one with two handles, like bolt cutters) when we replaced the rivets in the power door lock actuators.  Prior to that, I had one of the smaller 'one handed' chumpies. The little one was pretty much useless. Even for smaller rivets, like the ones that hold interior door release lever to the door, I could barely squeeze it hard enough to get the rivet to pop.  Plus, when you're having to struggle to pop the rivet,  it's harder to keep them set in place nice an tight.  For me, using the larger tool seems to help me to be able to keep pressure against the panel the rivet is going through...So it's nice and snug when it finally pops.
 Anyway, I expect to be able to rivet the actuator back in place using that tool.
Thanks for the white lithium grease info too...I was wondering what'd be best to use there.

Roadking, you used one of the power window repair kits to replace the rollers on the regulator...Right?
I was curious how the new rollers attach to the regulator?  The originals are sort of pressed/riveted in place.  Do the new ones bolt to the regulator arms?  And...It looks like there's a special tool to remove the rollers on the window?  Is that tool really necessary?  It's only 10 or 15 bucks, so I'll probably get one.  But if it's not necessary, I suppose I could save a few bucks.
Finally, I don't know what the rollers are supposed to look like with regards to 'wiggle' or 'play'.  If you saw my 'Window problem' video from 5/12, can you tell me if your new rollers are much 'tighter' by comparison?  Just curious.

Thanks!  Take care.
-Tom
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 10:05:54 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #103 on: June 21, 2017, 06:16:16 AM »
I am pretty sure I left the rollers on the assembly arms. Mine were in pretty good shape. I just cleaned everything up. I believe they should have a bit of play in them.  I replaced everything except the tracks themselves including new glass.  I would highly recommend getting the tool to install the new hardware. Its one of those specialty items that is well worth it. If you pm me with your address I can mail mine to you as a loaner, just mail it back when youre done with it. That should cost less than buying a new one. 
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

quizkid32

  • Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2017, 07:09:30 AM »
Tom,  I've learned more from this thread than I've ever read in a manual or restoration guide.   (this is true for most of the people sharing their Builds/knowledge on the forums.) Thanks for sharing the build process. Keep up the good work, it looks great.

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #105 on: June 21, 2017, 09:05:45 PM »
That's a killer idea RoadKing. I'll take you up on it once I get the parts ordered.  At this point it's looking like that wont be until late July, but I'll definitely take you up on it. 

I'm always happy to hear this thread is useful Quizkid.  From experience, I know it can take a lot of time trying to find reliable, complete info. Or, sometimes it's all right there, but it just isn't as clear to me as it might be to someone with more experience.    I've found the people and info here at TAC so helpful,  I'm happy documenting things I've learned and worked through is turning out to be a positive contribution to the forums.

Please feel free to contact me if there are questions about anything posted here.

Talk to you all later.
-Tom 
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #106 on: June 24, 2017, 09:14:12 PM »
Just thought I'd share something new...If you recall, I spent several weeks working on my tail light lenses. At the time I heard there were people working on repro's of the lenses for 79-81 but as near as I could tell they weren't readily available. Well...OER is now making them!  I came across these at the GM Nationals in Carlisle today. They were at the Ames booth, but they are not listed in the last Ames catalog I received (Winter '17).  They are listed in the most recent Classic Industries catalog though.  $499.00 - Per Side! Yikes!  But, it's nice they are available now.  Someday I'll replace mine...






I had looked everywhere for these while I was working on a parts list.  I may post something in the exterior or second gen section too.  In case someone else is searching.

Take care.

-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2017, 08:08:27 AM »
Those are nice but boy are they pricey!  Looks like my shaker seal sitting on the table next to them lol. I ordered one from Ames about a month ago, its on back order and I have yet to receive it.
Did they have a good showing of 'birds there? I missed going again, I guess I have to set my sights on this fall now.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2017, 09:58:13 PM »
LOL. You should send Ames an Email and tell them they don't need to wait for the new order, just go out to their promo truck...There's one in there!
The TA showing at Carlisle was not very good.   
The show itself was pretty well attended. But there were only maybe 6 2nd Gens (T/A's, Formula + Firebird) total.
I remember seeing only 1 first gen., maybe 3 3rd gen's, and probably 8 4th gens.  The Firebird area was sparsely populated. The Pontiac showing in general seemed less than what I've seen in previous years.  There was literally 1....ONE...early GTO.  That's just seemed odd to me. We noticed they changed the name this year from:
"GM NATIONALS
    At Carlisle"
to
"CHEVROLET NATIONALS
          At Carlisle
 (all GM makes welcome)"

I wonder if the name change didn't have something to do with it? 

Regarding the new tail-lights...
In my tail light post back in January 2016, I mentioned I had heard that there was a company in Australia working on replacement lenses.   After posting my excitement at seeing those OER's Saturday, I learned that those Ausie lenses are also now available here.     It sounds like they are distributed out of NV named PWDist via Ebay, the pricing is more affordable:
$369.00 for both outer lenses and a fuel door (79-80 no bird)
$299.00 for both outer lenses (no fuel door).
+ free shipping
Not bad, considering all most people would need is the outer lens.   
Looks like the Mfg. goes by the name 'AustlSet'  If you search Ebay for AUSTLSET you'll find them.  They have grilles for the late 2nd gen too.  Other's who have used both parts indicated the fit and finish is very good. And, apparently these Ausie lenses are date coded correctly, if that's important to you.

Thanks to Bandit818 and Grand73AM for sharing this info via a separate thread I created in the 'Exterior' session.

Hopefully these posts will save a future 79-81 owner some time and frustration in the future.
Here's a link to the Ebay listing:

   http://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-81-Pontiac-Firebird-TRANS-AM-tail-lamp-lens-KIT-w-smoked-W-Fuel-DOOR/352071235454?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D44729%26meid%3D8a7061f6a9b44a6b8a36ccfde8210607%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D352081939451


Anyway...On to my TA...
We spent they day today going through interior parts doing a final cleaning and getting parts painted.
I'll share some info on that later this week, after we've had a chance to evaluate how the paint is 'taking'.

Thanks for checking in. Take Care.
-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #109 on: June 26, 2017, 07:33:38 AM »
I did notice they changed the name. Another slap in the face for us Non Chevy guys!, I thought I read they were doing a special for the 50th anniv. of the Camaro and Firebird. I guess the Camaro took over.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6413
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #110 on: June 28, 2017, 02:31:06 PM »
Sorry for the hijack, but my shaker seal came today! I guess Ames had only ONE and had to wait until there show schedule was finished before they shipped it. LOL.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #111 on: July 03, 2017, 09:19:19 PM »
No worries..Happy to see things are moving along for you!
I put a reply in your thread to see if you still need a piece of ducting...
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #112 on: July 16, 2017, 09:03:00 PM »
Onward! Well...Baby steps...
I've had some other priorities, so no significant parts buys recently. My next parts will be to finish the windows, motor mounts and trans cross member. At least that's the plan for now. Since I have no room, I can't get a motor until I can drop it into the front sub-frame for safe keeping. So, it seems logical.
In the mean time, we spent some time cleaning and painting some stuff.  Some successes...and a fail too...

First successes...
We spent a couple days cleaning and painting most of the interior trim.  For the brand new parts, we cleaned with SEM Plastic and Leather prep + soap and water.  For the original panels being repainted, we used Acetone + soap and water.  I think it's important to let them sit overnight after cleaning.  But your results may vary.
After a week or two, everything was still holding together and adhering OK. 

P6250077 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Below, on the left is the newly repainted seatback. On the right is the original.
P6270013 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Thanks (again) to my wife Julie, in addition to letting me use the clothesline, she actually painted a lot of these pieces:
P6250087 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
P6250081 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

These are all painted with 'Medium Red' (C-VP71827 SEM) for the 'bright' red parts. This is the color we settled on as a very close match to the original 1981 Red + does not clash with the darker 'Dark Carmine' (SEM Napa) of the dash, console and rear package tray. 

We also got the center console painted (SEM 'Napa' red).  This really is an exact match for the darker red in the '81
dash, console, and rear package tray.  I read a GM dealer bulletin somewhere that documented that the dash and package trays are a different, darker color in order to reduce glare.

We didn't use primer on any of these pieces being repainted. There are a couple exceptions, but those pieces don't have a color coat yet, so I'll wait to see how they come out before I can pass along my experience on those pieces that had a fair amount of plastic 'wear' or degradation.  If you recall, our experience with the SEM Flexible primer on the front kick panels was that it didn't want to adhere well to the old plastic.  It does work fine on the new pieces, most of which are shipped just as the black plastic.  For those, the primer is a must in order to get the colors matched.  Hence the masking off of the black cup holders we installed in the console:

P6250096 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Also got the package shelf painted...We ordered this new in 'red' for a 1981 TA.  But the color was not even close to either the bright red or the Napa red pieces.

P6260006 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We also got that little strip of trim under the back window painted. I was prepared to leave it as is, since I had no intention of removing the rear window, but Julie masked it off, cleaned it and got it painted.
P7090046 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
P7090054 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
P7090064 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

So, you -can- paint that piece without removing the rear window.

Here's just about everything we got done before running out of Medium Red paint.  All the Napa parts are done, and about 75% of the bright red stuff...
P6270019 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I'm very happy with how the console cup holders came out.  They look pretty natural there...
P6280023 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We also got the T-Tops repainted.  If you recall...we had painted these once before, then put them in the bags and put the bags in the trunk.  Well, also in the trunk were a bunch of chemicals + an old battery I was using to position my new battery tray.  The paint softened and got ruined, there are pics somewhere in here if you are interested...
Anyway, we used VHT Epoxy, semi-gloss black for these...
P6250073 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
P7080034 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

One thing I learned in the course of painting and repainting these.
After the first paint softened apparently from chemicals in the trunk, and after used a chemical stripper to strip that first paint job off.  Even after many cleanings with a few different methods/cleaners, the new paint wouldn't 'take'.  Sanded, cleaned, water, soap, water...The new paint would just 'fish-eye- in many spots and just wouldn't stick! Ultimately, what corrected that condition was sitting the tops outside in the summer sun for several days.  I think the chemical stripper (or something) must've gotten into the pores of the metal?  A few days in the sun seems to have evaporated it all out.
So, if you have a metal piece that wont take paint...Fish eyeing and bubbling up in places....Try letting it sit in the sun for a couple days.

And now for the one pretty significant 'Fail':
Chemical strippers and 36+ year old plastic bumper covers apparently do -not- play well together!
 Now, I'm sure others have done this successfully, and I know I've seen this done on at least one TV show, but it didn't work for me.
We used Aircraft paint stripper from the auto parts store on my rear bumper cover. It had the original paint, +1 repaint on it. After a couple applications of stripper to get through the paint, the plastic softened severely and deformed.  As soon as I noticed something was going on I got the stripper off...but my rear bumper cover is all but ruined.  Here you can see how it shriveled up on the right side of this pic:
P7090057 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

So, careful stripping those poly bumper covers!  I'll be buying a new one.

On an unrelated note...
I've started using Flickr for photo hosting.  Photobucket is trying to charge $400 + dollars a year just to embed pics in forums like this. I'm sure you've seen some of the broken links on other posts, and I expect they will find mine and cut me off soon.  The photos in this post were embedded from Flickr.com:
 Upload 'em, click the 'Share' button, then select 'BBCode', and resize them to something like 'Medium 800x326'.
I hope photobucket doesn't ruin my build documentation by breaking all my photo links. I'm gonna try to move them over to Flickr, but it'll be a pain I'm sure.

Thanks for checking in!  Take care,
-Tom

« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 09:27:45 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Grand73Am

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9157
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #113 on: July 17, 2017, 10:11:32 AM »
Looking good. Too bad about the rear bumper, but thanks for the warning about the paint remover.
Steve F.

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1599
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #114 on: July 17, 2017, 10:55:15 AM »
Ditto...

I thought stripper might do something like that. I plan to wet sand mine. Which will take years to strip...

Interior panels look great. Keep the momentum. Your getting more done than I.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2017, 09:31:29 PM »
Boy, summers sure did feel longer when I was younger.  Can't believe it's over already. Still no movement on a drive train, but I did make a little progress.  I completed a rebuild of the power windows. Here's how that went....

In my May 12 post I documented the window problem. And, on June 19 I documented how things went pulling the windows and rebulators out.
I ordered a 'Door Glass Roller and Hardware' set which includes all the hardware attached to the window itself. The rollers that mount on the regulator (4@15/16" (2 per side) and 2@11/16" (1 per side)) were ordered separately. Both of these came from one of the Firebird restoration retailers which AMES to please. The motors were from a regular online parts retailer with ROCK solid AUTO parts selection. They were around &75.00 (each), new.  All told, the whole job set me back around $300.00.

We tackled the regulators first.  One of the thing that had me concerned was that the rollers are pressed on to the regulator like rivets. P9010043 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

You can see how we marked the back side of each (so we knew what side the roller went on) and to mark the small roller vs. the large ones.

To remove them we drilled them out like rivets.  I learned good drill bits make these jobs a LOT easier. I've tried a bunch, and in my opinion Milwaukee Cobalt bite the best and last the longest.  We drilled just deep enough to bet able to crush the remaining metal with vice grips:

P8090015 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We had to use these same needle nose grips to hold the center pin on some of the rollers...To keep them from spinning while drilling.

The rollers are plastic, with a center metal pin that pivots and is recessed in the plastic.  Since you have to whack the back of the pin to spread it out within the regulator hole like a rivet, it seemed smart to figure out a way to hold the roller steady, but support it using  that center pin only.  This is what we came up with.  IIRC it's a 1" socket with a 1/2 drive. In the 1/2 drive is a 4mm socket to match up with the center pin.  We also had to put some small washers within the 1/2 drive hole to raise up that 4mm socket a little...

P8090017 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Here's how it all fit together. In this pic you can see the Harbor Freight Chisel/punch set we used to spread the back side of the roller pin.  This set worked well with some pointed punches and some flat ones.   Before we put the roller in we used a chisel or a thin cut bit on my dremel to cut a little slot on the back side of the roller pin, to help is spread apart...

P9010047 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Here was the set up for the smaller roller...same concept, various sockets and bits to concoct something to hold the roller still and support the center pin...
P9010051 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

With all the rollers attached, we cleaned and packed the original power window motor gears (the new ones don't come with new gears).  We put them into the new motors and attached the new motor to the regulator.  Opposite process of removal described back in the June 19 post.
P9010054 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

P8090011 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And the finished product:
P9010057 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr


With the regulator done it was on to the window.  These were pretty straight forward, you do need a special window roller tool to remove the rollers. I was able to borrow one from another TAC Member.  The tool fits into to the two holes on the outside of these 'ring nuts'.  This one is the back side of one of the two rollers attached to the window. But, all the window attachments use these same nuts (the new one in this pic has the same type of nut on the opposite side)...
P8280027 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Most of these came out OK.  But this one I had to use penetrating oil and apply some heat.  I wet the glass around the nut and used as little heat as possible.  One other note...some of the new replacement washers that came in the kit were about half as thick as the originals.  So, where the original was still in good condition, I reused the thicker, seemingly higher quality original.

Here's all the new hardware on the window:
P8280028 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

With all that done, we installed the regulator back in the door...Same as removal noted in June 19 post. 
I removed the bolt I had installed to retain the gear/spring and had to put power to the motor to move it a bit, so it fit in the door hole.
The manual says you can use bolts to retain a replacement regulator, but I chose to use rivets.  The 1/4 Peel type rivets leave too much material on the back side of the door.  I used 'regular' 1/4 Rivets.   
One tip...I found that using one bolt to hold the regulator against the door made it easier to set the rivets.  You can see that in the pic below:
P9020062 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The factory only used 3 rivets, even though there are 4 holes. I chose to use all 4.

Here's proof that I got the window back in to the door:
P9020073 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Now came adjusting the window.  This post got too long, and I think I'll make a video so you can see how the new hardware addressed the window problem video I posted earlier.  So, I'll make a separate post on adjustment soon.  It wasn't as bad as I thought...At least getting them roughed in wasn't too bad.

Thanks for checking in...Take care
-Tom
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 09:44:08 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1599
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #116 on: September 06, 2017, 04:48:00 AM »
Great write up! Thanks for posting!
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #117 on: October 12, 2017, 10:26:38 PM »
Hello again TAC.
Nothing too exciting over the past month or so.  But, still a little movement forward.
First, to wrap up the window thing...
Adjusting the windows wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be.  But, as always, there is this disclaimer: Your results may vary.  I'm no expert. If you see something I missed, or if I'm misstating something, feel free to share!

As I noted in my 6/19 removal post, for each bolt that had an adjustment slot, I marked it's location before removal.  But, with the new rollers those positions were no longer any good. The window bound up after the initial install.  So, I loosened all these up a little:

P9010037 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And These:
P9010036 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

So, with these loosened the window stopped binding.  So I put it up and down a couple times tightening the adjustment (slotted) positions a little at a time till the window sort of settled in where it was comfortable. 
Once things were sort of settled in, I set the upward stops.  These were close to the original marks I had made, but did require a little tweaking.  When I thought it was close to being even across the top, I went on to the 'in/out' adjustments to get the top of the window so it wasn't too hard against the whether strip. Also, be careful of that 'blow out tab' at the top of the A-Pillar.

The in/out adjustment is done via those upper bolts, two forward, two rear at the top of each vertical track. This did require some patience, but it wasn't too bad.   
One thing was counterintuitive to me...
Adjustments using the slots at the top of the door are sort of opposite of what I thought they would be.  I found that moving those two bolts OUTWARD , towards the outside of the door, moves the top of the window IN, tighter on the weather stripping.  Likewise, pushing those top bolts IN towards the inside of the door panel, moves the top of the window OUTWARD.

After that in/out adjustment was decent I did have to go back to tweak the up stops a bit.
All in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  But again...Your results may vary AND it's quite possible I'll be adjusting them again once the car's together and on the road.
Finally, here's the pay-off.  This video shows the passenger side window 'slack' before and after the project:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhY81ZKM5Iw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhY81ZKM5Iw</a>
If you're not seeing the video embedded above, try using Google Chrome or Firefox to browse instead of IE.

I'm pretty happy with the improvement. The windows have never been this tight at any point in my almost 30 years of ownership!

One last observation...In my 'Window Problem' video from my May 12 post, I showed how the rollers move very loosely on their pins.  I wasn't sure if there was supposed to be -any- of that type of pivoting movement.  As it turns out, that movement (although way loose) is otherwise normal.  Each roller is on what feels like a little ball joint in the middle.  The new/tight rollers will pivot around the axis as shown in that video, but with some resistance.

Ok, so that's that. Windows are done.
Also complete...We've finished repainting all the interior plastics.  Nothing new or interesting to report in finishing this project. We used all the same products and processes as described in my earlier posts.  The only new news is that they are all DONE! We wrapped them with paper, then bubble wrapped in preparation for storing them away.  Here's an amazing photo in case you were wondering what that might look like...

PA120003 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Sweet! Right?

I did make a relatively significant parts purchase:

PA030126 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

That's a BMR Hot Rods motor mount and trans cross-member kit (at least most of it)! Woo Hoo! 

I'll share more about the motor mount test fit/install in my next post.
 
Finally...I've started shopping for a used LSx motor. I can't wait until I get $12k disposable income for the GM Performance 'Connect and Cruise' Motor and Trans I really wanted to use.  So I'm shopping for a used LSx (or related iron derivative).  We've been to a couple local salvage yards over the past couple weeks and found a couple candidates.  I'll keep you posted on what I find. 

That's it for now. Thanks for checking in.
Take Care,
Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 172
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #118 on: October 26, 2017, 09:41:37 PM »
Hello again.
Slow and steady suppose. But,  I really...really need to bite the bullet and get a motor into this thing.  I feel stalled, and stuff keeps coming up that has me a bit discouraged about staying on schedule.
 I did get a little done over the past couple weeks though. I'll try to stay positive and share what I learned test/rough fitting the BRP motor mounts and trans cross-member.

Here's what I got...
Trans Cross member, mounting brackets, upper and lower motor mounts and a bag of bolts.
PA030126 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Oh, and instructions...
IMG_1278 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We started by checking out the motor mounts.  Quality wise they seem pretty nice:
PA030126 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Those instructions indicate that installing the lower mounts to the sub-frame, and the upper mounts to the motor, then lowering the motor down to marry the mounts together can cause damage and fitment issues.  The instructions suggest that the upper and lower halves of the mounts be bolted
-to the motor-...THEN, lower the motor down to the front sub-frame to line up and bolt the lower mounts to the sub-frame.  Now, (again) I'm no expert, but I DID replace a lower mount on this car once before, during one of my early motor swaps.  I remember it being really really tricky getting access inside the sub-frame to get old mount disconnected. And even tougher to get in there to get the nuts on the bolts to install the new lower mount.  I Can't imaging trying to install these mounts as suggested.  It seems crazy...1) Having a 500lb motor hanging over me as I lay on the floor trying to get in there seems sketchy. B) Trying to line up the bolt holes with limited access from the top side (I think) would be tough. And, 3) We'd have to finagle the whole motor around while hanging from a chain to line up those holes? Really?  Additionally, I have very limited vertical space in my garage.  I literally do not have the clearance to hang a motor from the hoist AND have the car up on jack stands so I can get up under the suspension to get at the nuts in side there.  So...here's what I did instead...

First, there are a lot of holes involved here. I marked the holes to use for my year sub-frame on the lower mounts...
IMG_1284 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And on the matching holes on the sub-frame...
IMG_1283 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

So, it was easy to set the lower mount down, and put the bolts in to hold it in place.  Here's where it got a little tricky...
Now you have to get a nut -and washer- lined up and started inside the sub-frame.  The Passenger side had a couple access holes, which let us get a finger on the bolts, but to get the washer AND nut on there at the same time we had to get creative. for a couple of the positions we put a magnet on the bolt which was enough to hold a washer on the inside while we threaded the nut...
 IMG_1281 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Unfortunately, this wasn't strong enough to hold the washer in positions where access was more limted.  So, I took some Elmer's Glue, and glued the washers to the nuts...
IMG_1280 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Right side done. We were on a roll!  We thought...
On the drivers side...there are no access holes to get at the back side of the mount:

IMG_1286 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The only way to get at the back side of the bolts is up through where the lower control arm connects to the sub-frame....
PA200021 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Now, that's a longer reach than it looks in the pic.  But, with the washer glued to the nut, and with help on the top side I was able to use a magnet to reach up in there and get it started...
IMG_1282 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

This medium magnet was strong enough to push the nut over the end of the bolt, but weak enough to let it move to match the angle of the bolt so it would thread. 
Now, there may be an easier way of doing this, but I don't think this would've been possible with a motor attached to and hanging over all of this.
But, they are loosely installed now. So that's a win I think.  When it comes time to put the motor on, I think it'll be easier to lower the motor on to the top mounts and line up -those- bolts through the mount and into the block.  So, that's my plan...we'll see how it goes.

One final thought on the motor mounts...The hardware bag that came with the kit was marked as 'late first gen' firebird.  The contents didn't match what was in the instructions. BRP says that the hardware sets are 'the same' and that I got the right hardware.  So far so good, but I'm going to suggest they update the instructions so the instruction references bolt sizes that are actually present in the hardware kit. AND..How nice would it be if they provided nuts with washers loosely glued to their nuts?

Oh...I almost forgot...Official proof that I actually did all the stuff described above...
PA120004 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr


The Trans cross member test fit went fine.  I was a little concerned because the body/sub-frame mounts are solid mounts, installed in a 1'' lower position than stock.  I'll post some pics of the cross member install next time.

Thanks for checking in...Take care!
-Tom

« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:54:30 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

LeighP

  • Jedi Council
  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20189
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #119 on: October 27, 2017, 12:48:10 AM »
Looks great. Just a thought for you.....I found it a lot easier to swap engine mounts on the frame if you put the bolts up through the frame and put the nuts and washers on from the engine bay side.
Its relatively simple to tape the bolt into a spanner and slip it up through the hole. 
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


Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #119 on: October 27, 2017, 12:48:10 AM »
You can help support TAC!