Author Topic: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project  (Read 44828 times)

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #320 on: February 10, 2019, 06:42:15 AM »
I love reclaimed/distress looking furniture. Dude this turned out awesome. I redid my bedroom with 100 year old reclaimed wood from a steam bath we had on our property. Great idea for the inlay as well because it breaks up the white wash look a bit and gives it some balance. I love it
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

roadking77

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #321 on: February 10, 2019, 12:19:35 PM »
Furniture came out great! Not sure how accurate the road trip contact info is on here, but might be a good idea before you go to post a map of your route looking for members who will be in the general area.
Tire rack guy balanced my wheels, in fact I was impressed at all of the equipment he had in his van. I have bought tires for 3 vehicles so far.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
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

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #322 on: February 14, 2019, 12:26:08 PM »
Furnature and LS swaps, this guy can do it all! Seriously though, that cabinet looks terrific. Nice work.

Side note, you going to Spring Carlisle?

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

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #323 on: February 17, 2019, 10:45:31 PM »
Thanks guys.  I'm no craftsman, but I've always like building stuff.  My dad was always doing stuff around the house.  He taught me how to use a saw pretty young.
I hadn't thought about Carlisle's spring meet Ryan. I just checked, looks like it's April 24th?  If that' the case I probably wont go.  I think I'm going to set a date for getting the TA to my Brother in TN.  I'm shooting for the week Ty's on spring break, which is that week before Easter.

Spent a lot of time cleaning stuff the past few days...Got the Bumper and supports cleaned up...
  IMG_3772 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And the hood hinges...
IMG_3774 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Along with a couple miscellaneous front fascia brackets...
IMG_3815 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I painted the brackets, bumper and supports and got those installed...
IMG_3814 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The hood hinges are zinc plated or something.  They cleaned up OK, except for some over-spray from a prior paint job.  I'll install them as is with new hardware (a couple of the J-Nuts broke when we pulled 'em off.)  I had some new hardware in a front-end hardware kit I had purchased.  But had to figure out and get a couple of the larger speed nuts from Pep-Boys.  Here's the comparison and sizes for reference.
The left side shows old and new hinge to fender hardware.
Right side is old and new hinge to hood bolts.  Not an exact match but I'm pretty sure the new one (on the right, right...with some rust ont he tip from test fitting) will work OK:
IMG_3763 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Installed the plastic fascia support/bumper cover...I riveted the two outer points on each side (same as they were originally).  But my rivet gun wouldn't reach deep enough for the two center holes.  So I put bolts in those positions...
IMG_3819 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr


And BAM!
IMG_3831 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Front fascia's on! Whoo Hoo.   
Working on this part reminded me how important bagging, labeling and taking pics of everything is.  This was one of the first parts we took off the car 4 years ago.  Hardware was tagged, but not as organized as  some of the later work.  And, because it was 4 years ago memory of how it went together is faintest.  That said...we did a good enough job organizing things that we were able to figure it out with some help from the service and assembly manuals.

We also finished up the stereo install....
I had to fabricate a metal plate to support the 'cage' for the new stereo install because my original radio holes were damaged by thieves when the car was stolen back in the early 90's.  I used the same metal I used from the radiator support.  I also used  radio delete plate as a rough template and the cage to size the inner hole...
IMG_3775 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Then used that as a template to mark for cutting away the plastic that was left from the original stereo position...
IMG_3777 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I painted that metal plate to match the dash color and glued it into position after cutting away the plastic just enough to leave that inner hole.  I didn't think the little tab bend for the stereo 'cage' install would support the stereo.  So I had figured and positioned the stock stereo support bracket behind the stereo...I bent it straight and mounted it at the rear screw hole for the ashtray support.  Turns out it wasn't needed.  The metal plate and that stupid 'cage' with the bent tabs holds just fine...

IMG_3822 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The stock radio trim plate I got didn't fit well.  I think maybe the late dash stereo position is a different size as earlier?  And/or It could be the dash cover I have installed made that area just that much smaller.  Whatever...I'm happy with how it looks as is...So I wont sweat it.

Finally, I installed that amp in the trunk:
IMG_3825 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I wasn't happy with the stereo sound with just the head unit and 4 speakers.   The amp helps a lot.  My old Spark-O-Matics sound pretty good.  The sound is nice with all 4 speakers working.  But...I think I'm going to need to add a small sub-woofer down the road.  The base isn't 'punchy' enough for my taste.

So...I'm real close to being able to put some miles on this thing...
This week I'll get the front end buttoned up...lights installed and everything and get the new tires installed.   
Alignment, then to the exhaust shop. 

So close!

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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #324 on: February 22, 2019, 11:46:16 PM »
This week I dug the hood out from the corner it's been sitting in for 5 years now...

IMG_3840 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Got everyone together and we were able to get it installed yesterday evening...
IMG_3842 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Since the weather was decent today, and now that all the body parts are on I pulled it out and gave it a quick wash this afternoon.  It cleaned up nice...
1981 Black and Red TA by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Hah...Just kidding of course...(Thanks to whomever TA that is above! I love the red and black. Can't wait to get my body and paint work done!)
After getting the hood attached to the car last night,  I spent my 3 hours of garage time this evening tweaking the front end and the hood just enough for it to close and open 'OK'...
IMG_3855 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Well, I guess it wasn't a full 3 hours...I also checked the torque on all the body and suspension bolts and test fit coolant overflow reservoir, to replace the water bottle I have in there now.    Tomorrow morning I'll be taking it for it's first drive (with an actual destination in mind) since 1996!   I'm taking it to get an alignment at a local shop.

If you have 30 seconds...Below is a link to a time lapse style video of pics I took of the restoration.  The video starts about a year in, and runs up to tonight.  Wish I would've started taking pics earlier, but I think it's sorta cool.   I guess this is the end of the video since Body and paint will be done elsewhere.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGTqf3DM8dI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGTqf3DM8dI</a>
If you don't see the video embed above, try Firefox or Chrome or you can link to it here: https://youtu.be/OGTqf3DM8dI

I'm curios to see how it drives after the alignment.  Honestly, the short trips I've taking through my subdivision thus far have not been comfortable.  The ride seems 'choppy' or 'tight', almost how I'd expect a car that's lowered too much to ride. The Suspension package I purchased from PTFB should be closed to stock.  Additionally, the vibration from the engine is terrible. I suspect most of this is because the exhaust on driver side is pushed tight against the sub-frame.  And, there's no sound deadening/insulation installed.  It's too loud with the exhaust ending under the driver's seat.   I've driven it maybe 3 or 4 times, less than a couple miles total.  It has gotten better each time as I finish another thing here and there after each trip.  I keep reminding myself it's not anywhere near sorted out yet. 

Anyway...After the alignment I'm going to mess with the stereo/amp.  Something got screwed up after we locked it all down and it sounds like crap.  I think I have a crossed wire somewhere.  I also need to spend more time getting the hood aligned a little better. It's high on the passenger side and too tight on driver side rear.  I think I'm going to at least temporarily install the door seals.   I think that'll help with the doors not feeling or sounding as secure as I expected after new hinges, latches and all that work I put into them.  The windows need to be adjusted too.  They are sealing, but wont close all the way with the doors closed.  Maybe it's just the weather stripping is brand new.  Dunno.

That's it for now. Thanks for checking in.
Take care.
-Tom
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 12:08:33 AM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #324 on: February 22, 2019, 11:46:16 PM »

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #325 on: February 23, 2019, 10:12:53 AM »
I have heard that new seals will create the issue of your windows not rolling up when the door is shut. It might be something you have to live with for 6 months to a year.  I about died when I saw the fake picture! But your car still looks cool. I really hope my car doesn't ride too bad. I have the PTFB rear GT springs, solid body  mounts, subframe connectors and Hotchkis 2" drop coils. In short drive I had last year it didn't seem bad but my tires are garbage so....

Anyway great car and great job so far Tom! I really like the red 9n black, it screams 80's. I can't wait to see my new bright silver/charcoal graphics on my black car. Both of thos are not too common from what I have seen.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 10:16:30 AM by FormTA »
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???

roadking77

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #326 on: February 25, 2019, 08:07:28 AM »
Yeah, I liked that pic as well. Funny how washing the car can miraculously turn the grass green and bring the flowers to a bloom! LOL
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #327 on: February 27, 2019, 11:05:00 PM »
LOL. Yeah...I thought about photoshop'ing it but it seemed like too much effort. 

It's been frustrating week.
I was just checking in TAC to research door stuff.  Is there a trick to make these things stop shuttering?
I installed new seals, hinges, latches and window hardware...New rivets in the release levers...removed the manual lock release chumpies, new window felts...everything. But, they still shutter and rattle badly over bumps.  They are better than they were, I'm sure. But I'm not happy with how they sound and I was feeling a little defeated the other evening.   Maybe the door cards make a big difference (Mine aren't installed).  Maybe my modern cars have me spoiled?  (Our 2018 Durango RT felt like heaven in back to back drives!) I don't know. I suppose I just need to keep tweaking things.  We have some dynomat to put in there and Julie had an idea to replace those little cloth covers on the actuating rods for the door latch with some vacuum line or something similar. 
If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE...anything!

The next thing on my list to keep things moving was to get the alignment done...
 I talked to my local Midas, 'My' local auto mechanic shop.  Good car guys, no BS. They've been doing my inspections and stuff I can't/don't want to do myself for years.   I had talked to them about the TA a bunch of times...at least three times over the past few months(I had to get 3 cars inspected this winter.)  I asked about exhaust, tire mounting, alignment on the '81. They referred me to an exhaust shop and   assured me that they could do the alignment on the '81. When they mounted my tires, we talked in detail about the alignment. They told me to bring it in...they could do the alignment, no problem. Well...Turns out they were wrong. After having the car most of the day they called and said "Sorry, we can't do the alignment."   It sounds like the newer alignment equipment is computerized and doesn't go back past 1987.  And, I guess there's no way to bypass the computer...Like they can't even do some sort of manual straight up alignment? 

So, I'm still searching for a shop that can do the alignment.  I may have found one, but I'm waiting for confirmation before a Friday appointment. 

In the mean time, the car is at a local exhaust shop in Norristown PA.  Kar Automotive.  I dropped it off yesterday afternoon and expect it to be done tomorrow.  The shop has good reviews, and seems to have a decent reputation in town.  They had helped me out earlier by torching off the old stock LS1 exhaust manifold flange studs which frustrated me last fall...rusted in place.  They've been doing custom exhaust work in this location for decades apparently.  They are installing 2 1/2 system with a set of Thrush Turbo mufflers and stock style 'splitter' tips from Pypes.   
 
 I've had some difficulty getting the Speedometer calibrated. The speedo cable drive box procedure for calibration is a little tricky to follow and complete.  It's working, but it's about 30MPH 'off'. LOL.

Also this week...
 I replaced the fuel filter/regulator again.  My original pump was spewing fuel from its relief valve and showing almost 0 pressure at the rail.
Earlier I replaced that pump and that ACDelco Filter/regulator earlier and fixed the 'spewing fuel' issue, but then it started showing 85-90 lbs. pressure at the rail. Too high.   I ordered a Wixx fuel filter regulator and installed that...Pressure's down to 65-70 at the rail.  Closer I guess...but still not quite right. The return lines are clear and check out OK.  Could I be using the wrong regulator?
ACDelco GF822, Wix 33737...Right? 
 
And...
The Check Engine light came on again.  Showing 'too lean' codes for both right and left banks.  Not sure if that's related to the fuel pressure issue. (I thought it'd be 'too Rich' with the pressure too high?, but maybe it's just confused?)  OR Maybe it's related to the fact that I'm driving around with just a 'y' pipe for an exhaust system...And probably not totally sealed at the connections to the down-pipes because it does't fit well?). Dunno, I'll see if it goes away once the exhaust is complete.

My 90's vintage Spark-O-Matics are gonna have to go.  After troubleshooting the stereo sound issue, I've determined one of the 6x9's is hosed. They are 4 way speakers, and I think only 1-way is functional on the one side.  That was a little disappointing. I remember these things sounding really good back in the day. I thought they might be saved. 

Finally, (Boy, this is getting long)
 I had to drop the fuel tank again!  This time to adjust the rear leaf springs.  When I installed the PTFB kit I chose to use the upper shackle position (lower ride height).  I mentioned earlier, the ride didn't feel 'right' to me.  It was choppy, bouncy, or tight on the rebound.   As I imagined a car that's been lowered too much (and maybe not 'properly') might feel.  Anyway, I think is was a 'win'. Only took an hour and a half of time, less of a pain than I thought. Although it's only couple miles on the car after the change to the lower shackle position(higher ride height), it feels better to me.   This has got me thinking about what my end stance and wheel/tire combo will be.  I'm thinking I might end up with more of a stock height combo, or even a 'period' rake and staggered wheel size combo? Originally I was thinking along the lines of a lower, not too drastic 'pro-touring' look.  I think I'll be happy either way. I feel like I'm going to let the car and my seat of the pants feel guide the way to the final combo.

Alright,
Thanks for checking in.  I'll post pics of the exhaust
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #328 on: March 09, 2019, 10:38:44 PM »
Hello everyone,
  Got my exhaust installed last week. The shop did a great job.  I'll post pics a little later.  We got some other little odds and ends done too, including some progress on the door complaint.  And those 0171, 0174 'too lean' codes persisted after the exhaust install.  Working on those But...
I wanted to make a short post to ask for input or thoughts on my most annoying issue... The car has a terrible vibration which resonates through the whole body at idle while in gear.

My first thought was of the  solid motor mounts I had installed on my 04 GP. They transmit much more of the high frequency vibration into the chassis.  But, this doesn't feel normal to me. It's too much.

Here's a link to the mount set up I'm using:
http://www.brphotrods.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BRP&Product_Code=LSX2&Category_Code=CNV2
Anyone using these or a similar set up?

Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on what could be causing this, or contributing factors?
 Why is it only when the Trans is in gear?  Pop it up into neutral and it goes away...while moving everything feels OK.   Is it just the idle speed happening to be a resonate frequency for my old TA?
 Do you think it could be (in part) because there's no sound deadening material installed?  (Anyone have experience driving one of these
without the interior buttoned down?  Is it a big difference?)

Any thoughts would be appreciated!  It's unbearable.

-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #329 on: March 10, 2019, 08:45:18 AM »
Tom-

I think it may have to do with the stripped interior and lack of sound deadening.  My TA with the LS and a stripped interior also has a bad resonance at idle in gear. In park it's almost nonexistent. I could be wrong but seeing both of these with similar situations makes me believe that and have some hope.
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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #330 on: March 12, 2019, 02:48:23 PM »
Thanks FormTA.  It's helpful to hear that someone with the same set up is experiencing the same thing.   I really appreciate the insight. 
I have bigger fish to fry, being on a deadline with 4 weeks until we hit the road.

If anyone else has had a similar experience, or a different experience with their project, I'd be happy to hear it.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #331 on: March 13, 2019, 10:02:13 PM »
Hello TAC.
Thanks again for the input on the terrible vibration with the LS1 installed with no interior sound deadening or panels.  It gave me some hope.

As I alluded to the other day I'm now on a schedule.  On April 14th we are driving the TA to Nashville TN to drop it off at Classic Auto Painting for body and paint.  'Classic Auto Painting' is my brother's shop in Mt. Juliet TN.  Just East of Nashville.  You can see some of his work here: https://www.facebook.com/chris.stat.  So, I have some key stuff to get worked out before that trip...

Got the car back from the exhaust shop, Kar Automotive in Norristown PA.  They have been in the exhaust business for decades and as such have experience with the second gen F-Body's.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.
The reveal on the tips is pretty close to stock location, but they did have to move 'em forward an inch or two because 1) I (knowingly) installed the spring shackle bolts from the inside out...taking up some space between the shackle and lower 1/4 panel.  And 2) On my 21st birthday I ditched the TA, pushing that right rear 1/4 inboard a little.  You can see evidence of our terrible body work in the pic below.  Anyway, that 1/4 panel is pushed inboard some, further reducing space for tips:
IMG_3885 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The angle of this pic exaggerates the placement a little.  To anyone who hasn't been studying it, they look appropriate from the side and rear.   I'm very happy with how tight they got the exhaust tucked up underneath the car:

IMG_3881 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
IMG_3886 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr
IMG_3887 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

It's by far the best fitting exhaust I've had on this car.  And, I'm happy with the tone and loudness level of the Thrush 'Turbo' mufflers.  Next time it's out I'll record some audio to share.

Another high priority thing was troubleshooting the P0171 & P0174 'System too Lean' codes.   IIRC P0171 is for Bank1 and P0174 is Bank2
(IE. Both right and left cylinder banks).  Because an incomplete exhaust system could cause the O2 sensors to 'see' some un-metered air backing up into the system, I wanted to test after the exhaust was installed.  Unfortunately, the codes came back almost right away with LTFT's showing upwards of 20% while cruising.  So, I started checking for possible leaks in the intake (Post MAF) and around the intake manifold...A leak that could impact both sides of the engine.   I did find one obvious leak...This vac port under the MAP at the rear of the manifold:
 IMG_3879-001 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The MAP was removed so I could access the port, but the port itself was not capped or connected to anything.  Oops.  I put a cap on it.  Also, I don't know if this is normal, or if my solution is acceptable but...
I noticed the MAP itself felt loose in hits hole there.  The sensor is new, and the grommet is 'good'.  But it didn't feel tight in that hole.  I put a little bead of Silicone gasket maker around the very top of the grommet to try to close that (suspected) gap when installed.

Finally, I installed clamps on these PCV hoses.  I didn't put any clamps on during the installation 'cause they felt pretty tight. But now a couple of the connections felt a little loose.  So, I clamped them all down:
IMG_3878 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Regarding the doors slapping around inside their door holes...
I remembered that with all the work on the door hardware, I had not replaced the strikers.  I didn't realize they were 'wear items'.  The old ones were pretty shot.  The metal bushing in the middle is very loose:

IMG_3874 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

New ones are pretty cheap, and relatively easy to install.  The Fisher body manual has info on where the striker is supposed to be oriented within the latch mechanism.
IMG_3876 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Basically, you put putty in the space between the latch mechanism and the body of the latch.  Close the door enough to hit the putty, then check the measurement between the latch itself and the lager end of the striker.  'Measurement 'X' in the pic above needs to at last 2mm and no more than 4mm.  They say to make sure the door is adjusted for gaps within the hole before installing the latch.  But, one thing they don't mention is the placement of the striker vertically (Up and down) within the striker.  I think that vertical placement might be important because my first rough install showed a marked improvement.  Doors held tight over bumps.  But, after adjusting them a second time (per the manual and to improve the feel on 'close'), the Door shake over bumps got worse.  Still better than it was, but I'll need to do some additional adjustment.
Anyway...Here's what the new striker looks like:
IMG_3889 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Sweet, right?

One more thing to share...
This Before and after Pic of the engine compartment:
2019-004 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

With some frustration over the past couple of weeks, digging out some early pics served as a needed 'pick me up'.   I -have- made big improvements after all.

So, that's it.  I'm working on seat belts, fixing the stereo and getting the Aligment done.  Hope to put some miles on the car this weekend to (fingers crossed) verify the lean condition is gone.

Thanks for checking in!

Take Care.
-Tom






« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 10:07:16 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

kentucky yeti

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #332 on: March 14, 2019, 05:26:11 AM »
You are doing awesome.  Hope the next test drive proves the lean condition to be a thing of the past for you.  Love that engine!
Mike (aka Yeti)

1969 Firebird 400 (non-numbers)
1977 Y82 W72 Auto
2007 F-150 Lariat 4x4 (5.4)
2007 Ford Edge SEL AWD V6
2012 Mustang

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #333 on: March 14, 2019, 05:56:25 AM »
Great work. Love the exhaust!

You have given me the idea that I need to double check all of my connections for leaks.

I can't remember,  do you have the door seals installed, new or old?
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???

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #334 on: March 14, 2019, 09:57:43 AM »
Looking great Tom! Keep up the good work and you'll work all the bugs out. And that is normal for the MAP sensor, but the silicone can't hurt.

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

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

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #334 on: March 14, 2019, 09:57:43 AM »

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #335 on: March 14, 2019, 07:41:58 PM »
Thanks Guys...Good to know the MAP sensor movement is 'normal'.  But, yeah...A little silicone shouldn't hurt. I've had enough experience to grow out of a tendency to try to fix leaks with silicone.  But, in moderation and in used properly it has its place.
Form, if you're running a little lean I'd definitely check the PCV hoses.  Like I said, when I initially installed them they felt tight enough not to require clamps.   And, I hate the look of those screw clamps. So, I wanted to avoid them (I replaced the ones in the pic with a different style). Anyway the point is that after some run time, a couple of those connections felt much looser than I remember.  Most notably the two at the throttle body could be pulled off easily.  Even after just a few heating/cooling cycles.

FormTA,  I do have new door seals installed.  Initially I didn't put them on because the doors will need some work at the body shop.  But, when I noticed how bad the doors were shaking I through them on.  Installing the seals on did help a little.

Fingers crossed on the lean condition.  I hope to get the car out for a bit tomorrow evening.

Talk to you soon.
-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #336 on: March 14, 2019, 08:26:52 PM »
Got the seat belts installed.  I purchased these from Classic Industries:
https://www.classicindustries.com/product/sbfr2007.html

The color is a good match for the originals and quality is nice. However, the housings do differ a bit from the stock units. The stock ones have a cover that encloses the whole mechanism.  The new ones don't.  Functionally, they work the same and you can't see that part anyway:

IMG_3867 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

As far as what you -can- see, the new ones do not have the GM logo on the button.  Just a star sort of design.  And, there's no cover on the outboard belt where it connects to the floor.  In this pic you can see how the original had a cover riveted on there...
IMG_3866 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I think I'll look around to see if I can find those outboard covers and maybe GM stickers for the seat belt buttons somewhere.
Also, There's a plastic spacer that goes over the inboard bolt. Between the belt end and the floor.  I couldn't find them anywhere.  It looks like they just take up space to keep the inboard belt buckle from flopping around. I put a piece of rubber hose where the plastic spacer would've been.

Right now I'm working replacing the old Spark-O-Matics.  I stand by these things sounding nice back in the day.  They sounded 'OK' at first, but quickly went south.  Testing suggests one of the two 'went bad' for lack of a better term.  I did some research and ended up with these Alpines:
IMG_3923 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Initial check, with the one 'good' Spark-O-Matic and one of the Alpines is promising.  A big improvement, and (honestly) hearing one of the Alpines side by side with the one 'good' Spark-O-Matic, the sound quality of the Alpine is significantly better.  Can't wait to hear them both hooked up.

That's' it for now.  Tomorrow I plan on getting the other speaker installed. Maybe playing with the door strikers a little, and going for a drive to check the fuel trims.   I'll try to catch some audio of the exhaust too.

Thanks for checking in.
Take Care
-Tom

 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 08:31:46 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

roadking77

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #337 on: March 15, 2019, 06:44:45 AM »
Youre making good progress Tom, can you not drill out the rivet and reuse the sleeve from the old seat belt?
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
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

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #338 on: March 15, 2019, 06:57:22 AM »
Dude, you're killing it! Keep the momentum going.  8)

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

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

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #339 on: March 15, 2019, 07:09:10 AM »
That's what I was thinking but you may have to slit the back so you can slide them off.
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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #340 on: March 15, 2019, 08:14:04 PM »
Duh.  I didn't even think of taking the old ones off and reusing them!  I'll check their condition next time I'm in that parts box.  Another example of why it's good to hold on to stuff even when you think you're done with them.  I've been stingy hanging on to things, but do have limited space.  The original Seat belts are still out there in a storage box.

Thanks guys.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #341 on: March 16, 2019, 01:37:05 PM »
Wow, it's coming together nicely, Have the codes come back yet or is that an issue of the past?
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #342 on: March 16, 2019, 10:27:45 PM »
Thanks for asking Nexus...
 Today was the first day I got the car out to put some miles on after capping that vacuum port.   It looks like the p0171/P0174 code problem is FIXED!  Whoo Hoo!  Put 30 miles on the car today, including some of its first highway miles.  No codes!

The highway miles felt really good.  The car still needs an alignment...it's bit twitchy at high speed.  But it tracks nice with no vibrations up to around 80 MPH.   And, at 70-75 it cruises very nice.  Overdrive is a great thing!  I happen to know I was doing 80 because we finally got the Speedo calibrated!  So, that's nice too...Everything on the dash is working and accurate now!
 I'm also happy there's no drone or undesirable exhaust noise at highway speed. I even got a compliment on the exhaust sound from my neighbor today. He happened to be behind me when I accelerated quickly from a stop sign down the street. After I pulled in the driveway he stopped as he passed by to say the car sounded really nice.  If your interested you can check out the exhaust sound here:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne9GysXnRTU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne9GysXnRTU</a> 
Don't see the embedded video? Try Firefox or Chrome Or you can link to it here:
 https://youtu.be/ne9GysXnRTU

Regarding the door banging around in its door hole on sudden bumps...
I adjusted the door striker some.  I just eyeballed it and moved the striker inboard and down a little.  The noise from the door on sudden bumps is much reduced.  There's still some room for improvement there, but I think I'm on the right track with the striker adjustments helping to keep the door from banging around.

The only new thing is a final install for the coolant overflow.  I installed it around it's original position inside the passenger side fender.  Because of space and alignment constraints related to the AC and heater hoses,  I mounted it directly to the inner fender, without the little bracket that is used in the stock install.  It looks at home there and, although it looks crowded in the pick, accessibility is fine:
IMG_3928 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Continued planning for the trip to TN.
 I need to install the fender-> Rad support cross braces.
 I'll need seat covers and to install the seat belt guides so the belt's positioned comfortably.
 And thinking of body and paint,  I'm considering getting of the stock two panel rectangle marker lights.
 I plan on using these arrow heads from '67 on the rear:
 IMG_3926 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

 And, the small round '68 front marker lights.   Something like this:
IMG_3925 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Oh, and the new speakers are installed.  The stereo sounds much better now.  Down the road I'll want to install a sub, and maybe a small amp for the front speakers.  But, it's decent and good enough for the road trip now!

All in all, it was a good day.

Thanks for checking in.
Take care.

-Tom
   
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 10:33:41 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #343 on: March 17, 2019, 10:29:49 AM »
The vid clip put a smile on my face...It sounds great!!

I'm glad those small issues have been resolved...that can end up being a bigger PITA sometimes

Keep it coming!!
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #344 on: March 19, 2019, 09:09:00 PM »
I posted this in the suspension section, but thought I'd post it here to see if anyone has any thoughts regarding my suspension experience...

"I installed a Pro-Touring F-Body (PTFB) 'Super Duty' Suspension kit (70-81 1LE kitâ„¢ W/ valved shock) a while ago but just recently got the car on the road for some test miles. 
  The rear suspension doesn't feel right.  Initially it felt 'tight' or 'bouncy'. How I'd imagine a car that's too lowered might ride.  I switched the leaf springs to the 'higher' position in the shackles. That helped a little.  However, it still feels like the rear springs have no 'travel'.  They feel very tight.  Some tests over speed bumps suggest one side might be tighter than the other. 
One other thing I noticed...When I moved the position in the shackles the right side was easy to pull down to the lower shackle hole (higher ride height).   The left side was very different...That spring was very hard to pull down to the lower shackle hole.  It wanted to smack back up into the frame rail.

I guess my question is...Is it possible to install the rear leaf springs 'wrong'?   Wrong side...Front end in the rear shackle and vice versa?  It's been a couple years since I installed these...And I don't have any prior experience. "

Anyone have any thoughts?

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #345 on: March 20, 2019, 03:32:07 AM »
If you take a measurement from the center pin to the ends you may find that the pin is not exactly center...meaning one side could be longer than the other. If that's the case then you definitely want the short and long sides to match.
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #346 on: March 20, 2019, 05:47:50 AM »
I'd also try taking the rear shocks off and moving them through the travel. If the left side doesn't move freely, although slow, I would contact PTFB for a replacement. Hopefully since there are no significant road miles they would help work with you.

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

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #347 on: March 20, 2019, 08:04:44 PM »
Thanks guys.  I'll spend some time checking those things this week.  I also got a reply from a member I believe is 'the PTFB guy' or, at least associated with PTFB.  I know they're members here. Anyway, they suggested the bushings could be binding and suggested loosening the eye bolts up at both ends and tightening them to spec under the full weight of the car.  (At least that's what I understand them to be saying).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
Aside from that...This is quite the roller coaster ride!
The LTFT's are still a little out of wack. The P0171/P0174 came back after about 100 miles and while I had left the car idling for a 15 -20 minutes while I was checking coolant.   So, the changes made last week were an improvement, but there's still some work to do on that condition.
I was checking coolant because the temp seems inconsistent.  It's been 45-50 degrees and while driving in-town I noticed the temp get up to around 220 on a couple of ocassions.  It just looked higher than it should've been and -had- been in the few prior miles driven. Didn't find anything unsual. So, I'll keep an eye on it I guess.  I'm still getting to acquainted with the new set up.

Also...I noticed the speedo is a little whacky.  Up around 75-80 MPH it accuracy goes down and it starts to wiggle around.  Today it dropped to 0 out of nowhere...then came back and started working a minute later. 

And...There's still something funky with the stereo.  With the new speakers, the left channel partially drops from time to time.  I had played with the wires in the trunk and thought I found the problem...replaced the wire from the amp to the speaker, but the problem came back. It goes in and out.

On the up side....
We reconstructed the interior door panels over the past couple days.  I'll post some details about that project.  But, having even these temporary door cards installed has helped the interior noise and vibration.

I think...all and all it's still going well working the bugs out.  Got about 150 miles on the car over the past couple weeks and nothing has broken or fallen off!

I'll share details on the door card reconstruction later.  Highest priorities right now are: Continue checking for leaks related to the lean LTFT and getting the rear suspension worked out.

Thanks again for the input!
Take care.
-Tom

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #348 on: March 23, 2019, 10:35:50 PM »
Got the suspension problem corrected...

Today I loosened up all the bolts on the leaf spring.  I backed them off until a little space showed between the bolt head (or nut) and the shackle (or spring pocket).  Then, I tightened them up just snug.  I also removed the rear shocks.  A check of the shocks off the car didn't show anything unusual.
With the shocks out and the spring bolts backed off I took the car for a trip around the block and over a couple 25mph speed bumps. 
It felt very soft no more bounce or tight feeling.
I reinstalled the shocks and drove around the same loop.  This was interesting. Back to back I could definitely feel how the shocks control the spring movement and the impact they have on the ride feel. With the shocks installed the ride tightened up significantly,  but now feels normal.
No more 'too tight' feeling, unusual bounce.

Thanks to everyone for the input!

Back to chasing LTFT's....I've been over the intake with a fine tooth comb. Looking for anything that could let air in after the MAF.  I Clacped up everything I can think to clamp up.  Checked and re-torqued the intake manifold bolts.  Checked all the intake tubing, tightened down the O2 sensors...They are still outta whack.
I think I'll pull the plugs to see if there's anything unusual there. And, I'm considering redoing the intake manifold gaskets.  We put new ones in while going over the engine.  But, it's cheap, not too time consuming and a common cause. 

P0171 & P0174 code is taking longer to occur, but I can see the LTFT's are up in the high teens and over 20 at times.  So, somethings not right and I'm sure they'll be back soon.

I'll keep after it...

 

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #349 on: March 24, 2019, 01:39:41 AM »
Excellent news...glad to hear it
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #350 on: March 24, 2019, 07:05:04 AM »
Glad to hear you figured out th suspension.  I am now going to have loosen mine as well. I can't remember if I tightened them or not but like most, I'm sure I didn't read the destuctions.
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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #351 on: March 24, 2019, 09:03:07 PM »
It's been a little up and down over the past couple weeks.  But, I do feel like the car is getting better and more comfortable to spend time in as we work through these issues.  The car -has- been completely disassembled and reassembled by a couple of novice shade tree mechanics.  So, there were bound to be kinks to work out.
I HAVE to get this thing out of my garage and off to paint and body.   My local parts stores are getting much too familiar.  I got this in a package from Pep-Boys this weekend:

VJNC9633[1] by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I'm Platinum customer now!  20% off everything every day!  I feel special, but anyone else get one of these?

Anyway...I thought I share my door panel/door card experience here.
Julie and disassembled the door panels back in 2016.  The vinyl wasn't terrible but they were all warped and dirty and not staying on the car.  We took them apart to see if maybe we could save the vinyl and rebuild them.  We spent time cleaning the vinyl really good.  But, the grain is worn off in places.  Some of the grime is too embedded to get out, and rear top corner of the driver side (right at the top corner where you open the door) was completely worn away.  So, we decided they were too far gone and packed them away in a box.   Here are a couple pics from that disassembly in January 2016:
They didn't look -too- bad from the front...
P1090060 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The back sides were really beat...
P1090067 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

P1090066 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

So, with a long road trip coming up...and Julie knowing my significant lack of patience for undesirable noises, creaks and rattles in cars, she suggested we dig them out and see if we can reconstruct them to help control the noise and vibration in the car.   Just as a temporary measure.  We already had appropriate 1/4in plywood from other projects, so this would essentially be a freebee.

We started with this wood we had left over from our recent table project I think...
IMG_3932 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And...the old original cardboard backing...
IMG_3934 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We clamped the original cardboard along with the plastic caps to the plywood (upside down in this pic)
IMG_3933 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And traced all the holes from the cardboard to the plywood.
The original cards were really warped, so as a double-check of the hole locations we clamped the vinyl to the board to see how lined up.  We had to adjust some of the holes based on this test fitting...
IMG_3939 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

We also had to do a couple test fittings on the door itself.  In this pic the plastic cap pieces are taped in place.   We double checked the retainer openings and alignment of the cap peices this way.
IMG_3942 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

These test fittings also made it apparent that the original push in retainers were a little short to get a good grip through the plywood. So, we picked these retainers up from the local parts store:
IMG_3944 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

On the left side of that pic is the door retainers that came in 'Master' Interior Hardware kit from AMK Products.  Which is an awesome kit. 

After all the testing and adjusting of hole locations we ended up with this to replace the original cardboard:
IMG_3935 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I had marked the location of the plastic cap pieces on the back side of the plywood...
IMG_3946 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

And, I used this epoxy to attach the cap pieces to the plywood...
IMG_3945 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

and clamped it all together...
IMG_3947 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Once that set up, we attached the vinyl.  We lined the vinyl to the board with caps installed and clamped it in place.  Then, we un-clamped all but the top edge and folded the vinyl back exposing the back of the vinyl and the front of the backing board.   We used headliner
contact adhesive on both pieces then carefully worked the vinyl from the top down back over the board.  We clamped along the edges as we worked our way down to the bottom.
Once that was done we flipped it over and folded the edges around the back...
IMG_3954 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

If you look close in the pic above you can see the plastic retainers poking through.  In the stock cardboard, those usually twist into the cardboard from the back side.  That doesn't work with the wood.  They need to be installed and glued into place through the board before the vinyl is installed.  In order to be sure they are closely aligned to the retainer holes in the door, during one of the last test fittings we circled their actual final position with the board installed on the door.  This way, we could glue them in place on the board right where they want to be to match up to their holes in the door.

We used a combination of glue, gorilla tape and 1/4 staples to hold the folded edges on the back side...
IMG_3954 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Then we attached the carpet/map pockets to the bottom.  We reused the originals and attached them using a combination of the contact adhesive and staples .  Here's the finished product..
IMG_3960 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

The last thing we did was put some 'BoomMat' to the back side of the panels 
Altogether this cost like $20.00 and a couple nights in the garage.  Installing them on the car had a significant positive impact on the @ idle vibration noise, overall noise on the road and comfort inside.  I'm happy with the results...even if they are temporary it was worth the time. And, it was a good experience to see how these are constructed.  Thanks to Julie for pushing to give this a shot!

I think that's it for now. 

Thanks for checking in.
Take care.

-Tom





« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 10:05:05 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Nexus

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #352 on: March 24, 2019, 09:23:07 PM »
Well done and a darn good idea. I have the exact same colour on my car but I am changing to a mostly black interior. But this gives me new ideas....thank you
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(18 years and counting but still have her)

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #353 on: March 25, 2019, 04:53:00 AM »
You're getting there! It will be nice to have an interior at least until paint time.
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???

ryeguy2006a

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #354 on: March 25, 2019, 06:39:49 AM »
Great job on the door panels Tom! I remember reading someone's build a while ago that had a similar situation to yours with some error codes. What it ended up being was a pinhole in one of the welds on the headers. I know you don't have headers, but you did have someone weld up some of your exhaust pipes. It may be worth while to get under the car and inspect the welds for any soot that may indicate a porous weld.

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

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

TATurbo

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #355 on: March 25, 2019, 10:08:45 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion Ryan. Tomorrow morning I'll be taking the car out for alignment, so I'll get a few more miles on it.  Tomorrow night I should be able to spend some time installing new intake gaskets.  It's only $20.00 and should be pretty easy to do.  Anyway...I'll be sure to do a thorough inspection of the exhaust.
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

FormTA

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #356 on: March 25, 2019, 10:19:55 PM »
One other thing I thought of and it might not matter but do you have the little vacuum line that used to go to the HVAC controls plugged or hooked up? The other day while going over my engine I found the hose was not hooked up. I plugged it temporarily and it seemed to improve how the engine runs. My other issues with the bogging seemed to be a weak battery. I know that's not you issue though.
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???

roadking77

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #357 on: March 26, 2019, 06:37:54 AM »
Nice work on the doors. That should make your trip a bit more comfortable.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
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

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #358 on: March 26, 2019, 10:21:52 PM »
Thanks again for the input guys.  I can't say enough how nice it is to have a support group. LOL.
 
FormTA...What is the location of that HVAC Vacuum port?  Earlier on, I did find one at the back of the manifold, under the MAP that wasn't capped.  I got excited thinking that had to be it, but the problem persisted. If the one you're talking about isn't the one under the MAP, let me know...And "Thank you" for the suggestion!

I was finally able to get the alignment done today. So, that's done.
 I wanted to mention...A heads up, or 'warning' regarding a product...
 The Alignment shop (Maximum Auto in Conshohoken PA) couldn't get it completely dialed in because the left side outer tie rod is bottomed out in the sleeve.   They asked where I got the parts and suggested something in the steering linkage is probably not the correct part.
The tie rod ends are from Performance Suspension Technologies(PST).  Their "Original Performance Super Front End Kit".  In addition to this issue with the tie rods, I had a performance shop tell me the lower ball joints were "cheap, Chinese parts'.   I had taken the lower control arm and ball joint(s) to them to get pressed in because I couldn't get the ball joints pressed myself.  I tried, but couldn't get 'em into the lower control arm. That shop was a small performance/race oriented shop. When I picked them up they told me the ball joints fit poorly because of poor quality. And, that I probably wouldn't have had a problem if they were of better quality.
I probably would not recommend or use PST again.
For the record, the Center Drag Link is from Classic Industries (PN DS829). I checked it just now and it's listed for "1970-81 Camaro / 1980-81 Firebird V8 / 1975-79 X-Body". I'm more inclined to believe the issue is with the PST part and not the CI part.

Anyway...
Also got new intake manifold gaskets installed.  I'm going over the exhaust system one more time.  Then we'll see if there's any change to the LTFT's.

One other annoyance...
The speedo is dropping out intermittently.  Not sure what's going on there.  I had routed the Tach and speedo signal wires seperately, but they are both mounted in the left fender. I might have to try moving the tach box to rule out 'interference' as a cause.  It's weird.  It just seems to come and go at random.  Last time it dropped to zero for several seconds.  Then spun up to 70 before settling back at my actual speed (around 40).  So that's somethiing I'll need to check on. 

OH...AND...
I spent time tracking down a problem with the stereo.  The Left channel has been dropping in and out, from 0 to fine and from 'OK' sounding to muffled.  All over the place.  After much testing I figured out that the Rockford Fosgate Amp is defective.  Tapping it with a screw driver reproduces the intermittent problem (or clears the problem if the channel happens to be screwed up at the time).  The good news is that Amazon sent a replacement right away. IM'd with them today, it'll be here tomorrow.  Even though it's past 30 days.  So, Kudos to them.

Thanks for checking in!

-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

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

Jack

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Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #359 on: March 27, 2019, 05:38:35 AM »
Great to see you are at it again, this must be one of the longest builds on TAC.




Regards, Jack

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #359 on: March 27, 2019, 05:38:35 AM »
You can help support TAC!