Author Topic: 79 TATA Project in VA  (Read 15604 times)

mereness

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79 TATA Project in VA
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:20:03 PM »
So I was finally able to pick up a Trans Am a couple of weeks ago after looking for about 6 months for one that wasn't in need of extensive metal repair.  I picked this TATA up about an hour from my house.  The engine is locked and not the original.  It has a few small holes in the trunk.

My plans are to strip it down then determine if I want to stick with the TATA theme or change the color.

I will try to update this post as I progress through the restoration.  During my search for a car, this site was very helpful.  I am sure to have questions going forward.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/27463176389/in/datetaken-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39238848411/in/datetaken-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39210973662/in/datetaken-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/38544975974/in/datetaken-public/
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 04:20:47 PM by mereness »
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

Jack

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 09:25:04 PM »
Congrats, looks solid enough and you can't go wrong with a TATA.




Regards, Jack

T/A Addict

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 06:53:30 AM »
Awesome..... Will be glad to tag along with your progress as you go. Looks like a solid project for sure and a totally clean canvas at that.
Jeff
2016 Victory Cross Country
TATA '72 455 HO Auto
79 T/A 403 Solar Gold
69 F'Bird P-Touring T/A tribute to be
2010 Challenger R/T  PCP

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 09:47:36 AM »
That car looks familiar!
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

MNBob

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 12:42:43 PM »
Looking forward to following your build.  A TATA is a little more expensive to build and maintain.  Sometimes I wish mine didn't have all the graphics!
1979 TATA Extreme TKO .64
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

Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 12:42:43 PM »

mereness

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1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

4wheeling79

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 11:39:18 PM »
It looks like a really solid start what engine does it currently have and trans?
Every time I see one of these it reminds of a good friend of mine his older brother had one this was around 1990 it had 5K miles on it and looked brand new. I never seen it out of the garage it was his pride and joy his daughter had to have a surgery had to sell it then a 16yr old girl got it started a fire in it burn it to the ground just a couple months later. The last time I seen it was setting in the back yard just rotting away what a waste!
Keep the progress coming I will be following along.

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 09:39:08 AM »
How does the driver side look? Guy threw in a bunch of parts with my purchase. Included a dr. side full floor pan. I don't think I need it.
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

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 11:30:07 AM »
It looks like a really solid start what engine does it currently have and trans?
Every time I see one of these it reminds of a good friend of mine his older brother had one this was around 1990 it had 5K miles on it and looked brand new. I never seen it out of the garage it was his pride and joy his daughter had to have a surgery had to sell it then a 16yr old girl got it started a fire in it burn it to the ground just a couple months later. The last time I seen it was setting in the back yard just rotting away what a waste!
Keep the progress coming I will be following along.

Currently it has a 400 and I believe the original transmission.  The motor is locked, but hopefully I can free it up.  I put marvel mystery oil in each cylinder, hoping to get it to move.  The story that I was told was that the original owner toasted the original 403 and replaced it with a 400.  When he started the 400 it made a knocking noise.  He turned it off and walked away.  23 years later he sold it.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 11:36:05 AM »
How does the driver side look? Guy threw in a bunch of parts with my purchase. Included a dr. side full floor pan. I don't think I need it.

The drivers side has 2 spots of rust through (rot).  One is up on the drivers floor board about 6 or 7 inches long and 2 inches wide.  It follows the frame member (?) by the pedals.  The other place is where the rear seat attaches.  This is a small spot.  I will attach photos of both after the New Year.

Besides those spots, the passengers side floor board, which is the worse, has rot along with a smaller spot on the passengers side rear window where the window defrost is grounded.  So far I don't think it is to bad.  All the interior is out with the exception of the dash.  I'm not sure what I am going to attack next (maybe the front end so I can remove the engine).  I will need to get a buddy at the house to help with removing the doors and the hood.

Pictures will be following.  Thanks for all the great advice!
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 10:59:44 AM »
If you have an atv jack removing the doors is pretty simple. I used mine with a couple of crude pieces of 2x4's as stabilizers. There is also a jig made to attach to a floor jack that will do the job as well. Those things are extremely heavy!  As far as the hood goes, that is the one spot I did need help. Had my wife hold one end whilst I unhooked the other.
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

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 07:11:04 PM »
The bulk of the interior has been removed.  Below is the rust repair that I am facing thus far.

Rear window passenger side.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/24594579307/in/datetaken-public/

Passenger floor pan
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39430554252/in/datetaken-public/

Drivers floor pan
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/38752754254/in/datetaken-public/

Under Drivers rear seat
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39430508392/in/datetaken-public/

Trunk
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/38752694834/in/datetaken-public/

With any luck that will be all of the rot that I run into......
Probably dreaming though since I have just begun the tear down.

I am thinking the hood, nose, and fenders are next to be removed.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

4wheeling79

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2018, 11:02:57 PM »
Looks like you are on the right track so far there's nothing I hate more than rust it always seems like you find the last of it then out of no where it will show it's ugly face. I would rip out those T-top seals and look under them and the window seals for the A pillar. I hope there isn't any hiding in there but might as well find it now rather than latter on.

FormTA

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 05:40:37 AM »
Not to horrible. Mine were much worse. Good luck, keep making progress!
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???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 05:11:42 PM »
Looks like you are on the right track so far there's nothing I hate more than rust it always seems like you find the last of it then out of no where it will show it's ugly face. I would rip out those T-top seals and look under them and the window seals for the A pillar. I hope there isn't any hiding in there but might as well find it now rather than latter on.

I started to take out the T-top seals and found some rust (possible small amount of rot).  Is there a trick to removing these seals? 
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 05:11:42 PM »



4wheeling79

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 07:10:37 AM »
In the inside corners there is a metal tang with a screw holding the seals in the corners. But removing these will not make life much easier those seals are glued in they are a real pita to remove. With the use of a scrapper, flat screw driver and a wire wheel you will have it all out in an hour or so per side. I wish there was an easier way but there isn't it's just labor intensive.

Grand73Am

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2018, 09:14:18 AM »
If there's glue, soaking the area with some 3M 08984 general purpose adhesive remover would help release it.
Steve F.

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 04:48:06 PM »
OK, I made some progress this weekend although I fought with my small propane heater to heat my garage while the weather outside was below 10 degrees.

I removed the deck lid, tail lights, rear bumper and cover, gas tank, windshield wipers, hood, and hood hinges.  Pretty successful weekend considering I am still fighting with one stripped out seat belt bolt that won't give up.  Prior to New Years I dumped Marvel Mystery oil in each cylinder with hopes to free up the engine.  I put a pry bar on it this afternoon and ended up bending the bar I was using.  I guess it may be safe to assume the 400 is shot!  Is there any value to a seized up 400??????

Next up will be the nose and front fenders.  Any advice on removing the nose would help.....

Thanks!
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

xtrme_ta

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2018, 05:44:03 PM »
I would get a full replacement floor for that. With that amount of rust it would be the best way. Plus it's always nice to have a full new cleasn floor.
76 50th Anniversary Edition  Pro Street Trans Am 454 w/ 8.71 Blower, TH400 Full manual w/ reverse valve body. S&W race Cars Super car rear with Strange center section with 4:56 Gears.

Grand73Am

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2018, 06:05:00 PM »
I didn't see your story about the engine, but I have a 455 that was seized when I got it, about 10 years ago. I was able to un-seize it by filling the cylinders with a penetrant called Kroil. A local engine builder told me that's what they use. So, I ordered some(you can find it online). I filled up the cylinders, let it sit a few days and using a lever, I worked it back and forth. At first, it didn't move much. But, I'd give it another day and try again. Each time it moved a little more. Eventually it would rotate fully, and I was able to make the starter turn it. Unfortunately I don't think you can get Kroil from a local store. I had to order it. But, if I were to do it again, I believe PB Blaster(or just "Blaster") would do just as well. I've used Blaster a lot since then, and it's the only penetrant I've used that I can actually see it dissolving the rust when applied. And you should be able to find a gallon of Blaster locally. I bought a gallon at Advance Auto Parts, and it looks like they still sell it for around $30.

One problem I had was figuring out how I was going to lever the crank. It still had the transmission on it so there was no good access to the flywheel, plus I'm not sure how good trying to turn it by the flexplate would have worked. So, I devised a different way. I had an old rear wheel rotor laying around, so I drilled some holes in it so it would bolt up the front of the balancer. Then I welded some angle iron pieces on it, so I would have something to lever on. And the photo below is what it looks like. So, it's an idea, if you can scrounge up an old rear wheel disc rotor similar to mine, and if you can weld or know somebody who could weld some pieces of angle iron to it. I also used a rather large solid steel crow bar, about 3 or 3.5 foot, long to lever with, like the one pictured below.



Steve F.

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 08:09:55 PM »
The nose cone and headlight panel came off this week with some fight.  I am starting to get some bolts that are putting up a pretty fight.  What is the recommended rust remover for stubborn nuts and bolts??

More progress pictures will be coming this weekend.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

Grand73Am

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 10:11:14 PM »
The nose cone and headlight panel came off this week with some fight.  I am starting to get some bolts that are putting up a pretty fight.  What is the recommended rust remover for stubborn nuts and bolts??

More progress pictures will be coming this weekend.

PB "Blaster". Normally get it at the local auto parts store. Here's a link to Walmart so you can see what it looks like:  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Blaster-Products-16-PB-PB-Blaster-Penetrant-11-oz/16816083?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=1373&adid=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42423897272&wl4=pla-51320962143&wl5=9052492&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=16816083&wl13=1373&veh=sem
Steve F.

Grand73Am

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2018, 10:17:39 PM »
Also, I suggest wire brushing the fastener before spraying with the "blaster". Small wire brushes like these work well:   https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-Assorted-Mini-Brushes-3-Pack-AMB-HDX/206509388
Steve F.

olds403

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 10:42:06 PM »
Nice find....

If you decide to media blast the car and flip it over do entire underside.  Our TATA is down to body only and on a rotisserie  The drivers toe pan to the rear seat was replaced after we found more rust.  You would be amazed how many pin holes we had so we had to cut it all out.  We also replaced the pass rear toe pan as well.  Along with both rear qtrs, rear tail panel, and the deck lid. From the looks of yours you will need some of the inner structure for the rear quarter pans and the rear speaker deck area.  What we did was bought the back 1/2 of a 1979 Firebird and got all the rear end metal we needed except for the tail panel.  We used repo floor pans.  Got those from Jegs. 

I've not update the thread on our TATA lately as too busy with chasing parts for it right now and building the transmission for it. 

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 08:04:58 AM »
pb blaster will be your best friend. You will be amazed at how well it works. I think about one of the worst things to take off of these cars is the back bumper. Major PIA to get to a couple of the bolts and even worse if theyre seized.
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

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 08:50:41 AM »
It looks like I will be heading to get some PB Blaster and small wire brushes on my lunch today.  Thanks for the feedback.

Roadking77 - I am having the opposite experience on this TATA.  The front end collected all the road salt and has rusted.  So far, I know I will need to replace a couple of the small support brackets along with the Radiator Core Support.  All of the bolts in the front end have a good amount of rust.  The previous owner must have followed a salt truck every-time he had the car out.  The rear bumper came out pretty easy.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

DeCaff2007

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 01:46:07 PM »
Where exactly in PA are you?  I'm in NEPA.
1976 T/A 400, 4-speed swap.... 

Check out my resto thread:  http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=48626.0

It's all trial and error until something lines up...

FormTA

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 01:47:16 PM »
PB Blaster x 100. Great stuff!
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???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 02:06:54 PM »
Where exactly in PA are you?  I'm in NEPA.

I am about 10 minutes North of Reading.  I am new to the area.  Moved here Oct 2016 from upstate NY (Utica area).
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2018, 02:33:47 PM »
The bottom corners of the core support can be changed out without having to replace the whole thing, also its a given that the battery tray will need replaced. I would save and mark the bolts you are removing for reference, but get a replacement hardware kit for re-assembly.
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

MNBob

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2018, 07:13:10 PM »
Quote
All of the bolts in the front end have a good amount of rust.  The previous owner must have followed a salt truck every-time he had the car out.  The rear bumper came out pretty easy.

Mine had the same thing and I only drove it 2 winters.  There is stress on the bolts and u-nuts so they rust more easily.  Don't know if it is in your budget, but Total Stainless has blacked out stainless steel indented washer head 5/16 x 18 bolts in in 5/8", 3/4" and 1" lengths.  Otherwise you can rehab your originals in Evaporust or buy any 5/16" x 18 bolts.  You can get packs of 50 u-nuts on Amazon for a good price.
1979 TATA Extreme TKO .64
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

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2018, 04:17:19 PM »
More progress today.  I would have gotten further if it weren't for the dang rusted U-Nuts.  I swear everyone other one broke and I had to fight to try to get vise grips on the nut to get the bolt out.

Hopefully, get the passenger fender off and the remaining front parts.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/25800836138/in/album-72157689827498181/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/25800872688/in/album-72157689827498181/
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2018, 06:43:10 PM »
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

FormTA

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2018, 07:23:38 PM »
Looks like one of the old time anti theft systems.
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???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2018, 07:52:14 AM »
x2 on the alarm switch. You see them a lot on the outside of the fender (mine included). You need to develop some kind of a plan, not that its the right way but when i did mine i started at the back of the car and worked my way forward. I broke the car down into quarters and did one at a time, getting as much finished in one area as i could before i moved on to the next. Once i had the body finished i then moved to working on the interior. Along the way there may be opportunities to fix/restore smaller items. Like a steering column, taillights, dash, etc. Once i had the car in paint with the just the interior to finish i sent the motor off to be rebuilt. It was finished by the time i had most of the interior done. Then the car went to the shop for install. This all sounds pretty easy but lasted about 5 years in real time!
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

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2018, 03:30:58 PM »
This week consisted of removing the exhaust, fender flares, wiper motor, AC, Motor mount and tranny bolts.  So on to removing the brake lines/cables, gas lines, motor, and tranny.  The floor pans were also ordered this week in preparation for rust repair.

Floor Pan repair areas.
Driver side under rear seat
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/25949652728/in/datetaken-public/

Drivers floor pan
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39112968424/in/datetaken-public/

Passenger floor pan.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/152130756@N03/39112960584/in/datetaken-public/

Trunk needs a patch as well.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

4wheeling79

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2018, 09:52:15 AM »
You are making good progress just stay hard at it and keep your eye on the prize at the end!

mereness

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2018, 08:10:14 PM »
Anyone have tips for removing a windshield?  I tried the cold knife and I couldn't get it to budge into the adhesive.  I may try to pick some cable this week and look for a lucky helper to work the other end.  I have read that someone heated the adhesive to soften it.  One good thing is that the windshield is already cracked, so it doesn't matter if it breaks.
1979 TATA (Restoration has just begun)

4wheeling79

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2018, 08:51:16 PM »
The windshield removal kit from Harbor Frieght actually works very well I have removed 3 windows with it so far it will require 2 people though.

roadking77

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Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2018, 08:08:37 AM »
I got some wire from the auto parts store, it may have been marketed as windshield removal tool. You can poke it through the seal on an angle, then wrap each end around a piece of 3/4" wood dowell, or a screwdriver handle on both inside and outside. You will need someone inside as well as outside to use a bit of a sawing motion and work your way around. It actually cuts out pretty easy this way. The problem i had with mine was that by the time i got around it was sticking back to itself where i started and when i tried to push it out it cracked. Like you said, you don't have to worry about that though.  If you know a guitar player a string will do the same thing.
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

Re: 79 TATA Project in PA
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2018, 08:08:37 AM »
You can help support TAC!