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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2015 :  08:54:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is the continuation thread. Part 1 is getting too long and there's plenty of more to post as progress continues on the Trans Am.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 17 Nov 2015 12:19:33 PM

cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2015 :  10:23:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I remember telling you when i got done with my truck that if you subbed it out, you'd be done sooner and not having to deal with all the tiny details. I have to say though, no one would put this much love, time, and car into this car. The fit and finish you're working towards will be much better than the factory, and the paint job will be far superior. I can't wait to see this all come together.
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Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2258 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2015 :  5:16:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike, did you get my e-mail? Please call.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2015 :  8:33:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i did, sorry, been a hell of month. will try Monday or Tuesday.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2015 :  4:28:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 20 Oct 2015 -- Rear Bumper Cover

All of the paint is off the rear bumper cover. Most of it was taken off by machine and corners and grooves were done by careful hand sanding. Last week I saw those cracks and ordered, along with other products, a 2-part plastic filler and adhesive. Today FEDEX delivered everything but the 2-part plastic filler and adhesive...the stuff is on back order. I had hoped to make the repair on the bumper this week....I'll have to come back to it when it arrives. In the mean time, I'll move on to the front bumper cover.

If anyone wants to see some photos of the bumper cover stripping--let me know.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Sparafucile
Sitting Bull

158 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2015 :  8:28:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't that one of the early non metal bumpers. What's that stuff made of?

Spara
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2015 :  08:34:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
What's that stuff made of?

The plastic exterior parts on the 79 TA are urethane (polyurethane). Depending on the shape and location, the urethane cam be quite rigid while in other locations it's quite flexible. It is of far better quality than the interior plastic trim parts which decomposes after years of exposure to UV rays and high interior temperatures.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2015 :  08:55:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Wednesday 21 Oct 2015

This morning I grabbed the front spoiler (air dam) that is also made of polyurethane plastic. The condition of this piece was in good shape with only a few minor scrapes from pebbles or scars from front parking curbs. Looking closely at the existing finish which is body color (nocturne blue) I could see tiny cracks in the paint. I thought of saving this, leaving it as is because of its condition and location on the car, however, the cracks were consistent through the paint. So, paint stripping began.

What was noticed after removing the CC, base coat of blue, sealer and primer finally getting to the polyurethane, was that the plastic has marks it is like you'd see when you cut down a tree. They waiver throughout the plastic.

I stopped and took a break and took a look in one of my parts catalogs. A reproduction piece cost $170 plus shipping. Guess what? I'm sticking with my OEM piece and will refinish it.

My plan is to strip it down to the plastic and then apply adhesion promoter followed by several coats of primer-filler, followed by a sealer, top coats of color and then clear. Flex additive will be included where specified.

Let's see how far I get this morning.


*************
Stripping the paint off down to the plastic only took 90 minutes. The abrasive disc leaves a rough texture which can be cut down with higher # grades of sandpaper--but it will never get smooth like it came from the mold. The primer-filler coats are applied to fill in scratches and fuzzy plastic. With enough primer build up it can be sanded smooth for color coats.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 21 Oct 2015 10:33:54 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2015 :  08:04:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 27 Oct 2015
Nothing going on right now because of recurring lower back pain (pinched nerve). Out of necessity I had to rebuild a section of fence and install a new gate late last week. That took 3 days between de-construction and re-construction. Back felt okay until moving some patio furniture on Sunday. Took a short break and when I stood up, I couldn't stand up straight and pain was excruciating, once again. This is the second episode this year. I do what I can to avoid lifting too much weight--always lift with my legs, but what I'm discovering is that the pinch occurs from wrong movement or twisting of my torso, not lifting. Once again, I'm behind the ball.
Bill


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2015 :  12:12:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Inversion table and yoga time!

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2015 :  09:49:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 2 Nov 2015 --"I'm back in the saddle again."

Yesterday, the small fractures in the rear bumper cover (underside) were repaired with the 3M 2 part filler and adhesive. The fracture lines were widened with my Dremel and small stone to form a V. Dust was cleaned off and a small mixture of the product was mixed and applied to each of the 4 fractured areas. C clamps and some wood was used to keep it all in alignment. The product was pilled on and let sit to cure. Being on the inside of the cover none of these are sanded down. (used as an adhesive.) On the good side, the same thing was done and the product was applied and let to harden (30 minutes). Then each of the locations were sanded with 80 grit followed by 150. Additional skim coats were applied and sanded to get rid of any low areas. (Used as a filler.)

The crater imperfection on the top of the cover was handled a little differently. The product was used as a filler. The Dremel was used again to wide the crater and an area about the size of a quarter was ground down a bit to give the product a good foundation to bite into the plastic. Product was mixed, applied and sanded several times to get it flush with the surface. It was also sanded initially with 80 grit followed by 150.

All the areas are now fixed and the cover is ready for coats of primer-filler.

The two steel end brackets were removed from the cover to treat the rust that's formed over the past 36 years. Once painted each will be re-mounted to the cover. The brackets are secured to the cover with two tabs so re-bending them (closing them) will fasten them to the cover again.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 03 Nov 2015 1:18:12 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2015 :  08:53:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
BIG QUESTION: How to protect the rear wheel spoilers from rock & pebble (stone chip) damage?

With new paint eventually going on them, I certainly don't want them to getting nicked (again) from rocks and pebbles kicked up from the front tires. The current paints are quite resilient, I'm told, far better than acrylic lacquer BC/CC I'm stripping. So it could be better, but that's a gamble to rely on it alone.

Perhaps, a thin piece of rubber or vinyl glued to the wheel spoiler, post-painting, provide protection? 3M has a product--I wonder if this would work?

Would do you think? Any thoughts on this subject would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Bill

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 04 Nov 2015 09:02:47 AM
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2015 :  09:43:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Are we talking about those plastic pieces that "jut out" in front of the real wheels?

A lot of OEMs use 3m clear vinyl film there. It came on my 07 truck where the rear quarters jut out down low and has saved it from some good rock hits. I used it on my 66 truck where the hood bumpers hit the paint, where the tailgate bumpers touch, etc. It's thicker than like graphics film, clear, and pretty tough. Cut the shape you want and apply.


http://www.amazon.com/Scotchgard-Clear-Paint-Protection--60-inches/dp/B004VG8DS0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446647868&sr=8-1&keywords=3m+automotive+protective+film

Description of it on the trucks:

http://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/109439-notice-clear-plastic-on-new-truck-near-rear-wheel-well/

EDIT: In fact, those are some small enough pieces, i bet you could wrap them in it before putting them on, and you wouldn't even notice! When clean, you can't tell it's there except the edge and you wouldn't have one that way.

Edited by - cortcomp on 04 Nov 2015 09:45:01 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2015 :  10:19:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Are we talking about those plastic pieces that "jut out" in front of the real wheels?

Mike--those are the ones.

Looking at the ones on my car before stripping the paint off, most of the nicking is pretty low and tails off as you go up the rear wheel spoiler. So a small piece of protective film would all that would be needed (I'm thinking).

I'm also wondering if a small mud flap attached to the front wheel wells dropping 2" below the rocker panel could also be a solution by deflecting pebbles away from the rocker panel and the rear wheel spoilers.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 04 Nov 2015 10:20:35 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2015 :  09:59:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 6 Nov 2015

Below are 4 photos taken to chronicle the repair of the mold imperfection on the top of the rear bumper cover. The repair was performed using the 3M product shown. It is creamy smooth when applied and sets up for sanding in 30 minutes. I took my sweet time with this because of being unfamiliar with the product. My conclusion is that it does the job very well and is easy to work with. If using it be sure to wipe it of your spreader immediately. The stuff is really sticky.

This picture below shows the crater made larger and the edges feathered to the top.



Take note this is the 3M product--good stuff.



After mixing the product it was applied with a spreader. There's no noticeable shrinkage but after initial sanding another 2 coats were applied to get it "perfect."



This last photos is what it looks like prior to getting primer filler. It's flush with the surface and will be unnoticed as a repair.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 13 Nov 2015 10:09:09 AM
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2015 :  10:22:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That looks great, keep plugging along! With some luck, you'll be cruising in the spring. Well, our spring. Always spring down there for you.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2015 :  1:41:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Today is Friday and frankly I'm exhausted. Looking ahead, there's an unbelievable amount of work to be done and I have to wonder if I'm ever going to finish this project.

I started removing paint from the passenger side spoiler end cap. My original plan was to remove paint with a product from SEM. However, after reading the instructions, the removal solution might negatively effect the urethane plastic. So, to avoid a possible issue, I'm hand sanding both end caps. Once that's done I'll tackle the fiberglass rear spoiler followed by the shaker scoop.

The front urethane bumper will be the last thing that gets stripped.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and Christmas to follow, I'm hoping to get some of the aforementioned done by the end of 2015.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2015 :  10:10:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 16 Nov 2015

After due consideration, this morning I applied the SEM paint remover on one of the spoiler end caps. This cap was partially sanded removing the clear and most of the blue topcoat before the remover was applied (rattle can). Not wanting to do this in a confined area, I built a stripping station (nothing fancy guys) on to our wooden fence. Being outdoors and away from our pets was a good thing because of the odor and poisonous material that comes out of the can. (Safety first, always.)

The first coat of remover lifted much of the substrates. A second coat got it down to the original car finish, and that's were I plan to stop with the remover.

This remover is neutralized with water, so once all of the old paint is scraped off, the end cap will get dunked in a large bucket of water. Then it will be sanded to complete the job.

The other end cap is untouched and the remover will be applied to it to see just how well it lifts the clear, top coat etc. Several coats will be necessary, I'm sure. Scraping begins between the 10-15 minute window after being sprayed on.

Machine sanding didn't seem to work for me, and that's why I decided to give this product a try. Worst case scenario is that I ruin the urethane and have to replace the end caps...however, I don't think that anything will be ruined.


+++++++++
Additional: Once the cap was neutralized with water, I began the sanding process using 320 grit W&D paper to get it down to the black factory coating.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 16 Nov 2015 11:35:35 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2015 :  12:18:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
GOLD DISCOVERED!!!!!!



Today while removing the paint from the driver's side end cap, applying coat after coat of remover, removing CC/blue top coat/ reddish sealer/ gray primer/ blue color coat/ white primer/ gray primer there it was... gold. YES GOLD!

The gold is above the factory coating on the urethane. This end cap must have been pulled off a gold TA at one point at the factory and repainted nocturne blue. There is no other explanation, as I'm the original owner.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Sparafucile
Sitting Bull

158 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2015 :  9:15:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Simple explanation: It was built on a Monday or Friday.

Spara
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2015 :  10:50:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 23 Nov 2015--Front Bumper Cover

This morning, my focus was on the front bumper cover. Boy, that urethane cover is flimsy. (The Endura bumpers used on earlier 2nd Gen Firebirds is far more solid and I'm sure it's easier to work on.)

The primary issue was: How to hold and position the flimsy bumper cover so the old paint could be removed from it using paint remover?

I wound up running a 6' piece of angle steel from one side to the other and fastening it to the bumper to give it some rigidity. Then it was positioned on my make-shift work table and 2 pieces of wood were screwed to the table as vertical supports to keep the cover upright and in a workable position. The angle steel was clamped to the table holding it all in place.

Other things to do first...but the bumper cover is now ready for spray-on paint remover.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  08:46:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 30 Nov 2015

No progress since my last post. The past week was lost due to Thanksgiving with grand kids coming early in the week.

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, I now have a laundry list of things to do to decorate the house for Christmas so, the car is on hold for now and I'll resume posting when I'm back working on the TA.

Bill

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  7:16:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, did you end up finding a suitable shop for the paintwork or have you decided to take it on yourself?

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2015 :  06:05:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Phil, after spending a lot of time trying to work with a local paint shop that does terrific work on MB, RR's, Bentley's, Ferraris and other supercars, they lost interest in painting the TA. They never outwardly said they would not do it but their behavior toward me, not returning calls, avoiding my calls was a clear indication to leave them alone. It was like my project was not good enough for them. When people say they will meet with me at a specific time and place, to look at my car, to assess things, and miss the appointment and not know they missed it--something isn't right. I got the message.

My brother is the paint department superintendent at one of Florida's largest yacht repair facilities. He has plenty of spray painting experience personally on cars as well as multimillion dollar yachts. He will be applying the color coats and clear on the TA at the boat yard's paint booth. When the car is at that point we will get it there and do all last minute things to prep it for color.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2015 :  08:53:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Honestly, the work you're doing now is far more important than who's spraying, and you're doing fantastic at it. After clear and some wet-sanding and buffing, people will truly think you have a 20K paintjob on the car, even if you used off the shelf jobber paint, because your prep work is so thorough and the car is so straight.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2015 :  10:07:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike--A beautiful finish only comes about with a smooth and straight body. So, being meticulous with the body work should provide a great foundation for the color and clears. We shall see.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2015 :  10:31:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, have you done any welding on this project?

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2015 :  06:04:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Haven't had to weld a thing.

I saw an episode of Overhauling (78 TA) and that body was in terrible shape. Many panels and floor pan cut out and welded back. I've been blessed owning my TA since new and took care of it so everything that needed to be done was very minor in contrast to the Overhauling TA. (BTW the car was beautiful and they kept the Pontiac engine. )

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2015 :  2:41:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 28 Dec 2015

Our guests have gone home, the house is quiet again, and things are almost back to normal.

During the past few days, I've spent time looking at parts catalogs and getting my head together on what other things need to be addressed inside the car. One of the problems initially looked into but left unresolved was the fact that one of my rear speakers stopped working. Aside from them being junk, the wires running to one wasn't carrying any electrical signal. New 6x9 speakers are ready to be installed (someday). However, the wires from the radio to the speakers have yet to be tested for continuity. The connection to the radio also needs to be checked. It could be a bad OEM AM/FM radio.

So, to get into this problem, all seats, front an rear, are now out of the car. The 22 year old package shelf which my kitty (Garage Cat) found so relaxing to sleep on, was not in very good shape as I thought. A close inspection showed the screen like material to be breaking down and the foundation cardboard to be warping. This will be replaced.

Since new carpeting will be installed, the console was also removed. It's held in place to the underside of the dash with two small tapping screws and 3 tapping screws found under the storage box.

To remove the console, the manual Hurst shifter needs to be moved into 2nd or 4th gear to provide clearance to get it past the dash. The console needs to be considered fragile today. The plastic has aged and IMO is susceptible to fracturing so be careful around it. Replacing it will set one's budget back over $325 plus shipping.

Space in my garage is now at a premium. It's wall to wall with boxes with new and removed car parts, bucket seats, console etc.

No progress on removing the paint from the front bumper cover or rear center spoiler--that's on my "to do" list.

Despite the tornados and inclement weather across the US, I hope everyone, despite the weather had a meaningful holiday season.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2015 :  10:17:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Removed the visors and pulled out the old headliner.

Surprisingly, I found a mouse's (?) nest above the passenger side visor area. There were bird seed shells among the OEM insulation that was taken from under the passenger side rear cushion. I believe this was built around the same time that I discovered a nest under that rear cushion about 1998. How did a mouse get up above the headliner? Another mystery that will go unsolved.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2016 :  11:40:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."

With that said, my wife on New Year's Eve, made a wish out loud with wine glass raised, and stated, "I wish that Bill completes the Trans Am this year (referencing 2016.)" To which my family and friends toasted and agreed. Gosh, with everyone on my case, it looks like I have no choice but to really focus on the TA and get 'er done in 2016.

* * *
Update: 2 Jan 2016

With the interior gutted, there was no space for me to even turn around in the garage, let alone work on the car, so I freed up space in our tool shed to temporarily house the buckets, cushions and rear back. All these pieces will be re-upholstered.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2016 :  10:47:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Planning Ahead

6 January 2016--I've had a lengthy new parts list for some time and it continues to grow. Moreover, it's funny how my mind plays tricks on me. It seems like yesterday, I remember it vividly when the new front Pontiac arrow emblem came in the mail and I installed it on my front bumper cover. That event was in 1993. That new but old badge has faded out just like the original one did. Lucky, for me, I received a new one as a Christmas gift.

Rummaging through boxes of parts, old and new, including fasteners of all kinds yesterday, I examined the two front lower grills that fit into the front bumper cover. On all 79-81 TAs they are flat black. Over time they may get nailed by rocks and other road debris and get damaged or lose their shape or physically break down. Mine are in decent shape for a 36 yr old car, but probably not good enough to keep on the car as a show car. Finding NOS grills is quite unlikely today so good quality reproduction pieces will have to be located and purchased for the car. The quest for parts continues....


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2016 :  1:56:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."

I know the above is wisdom, but i have to say, it's only knowing that i'll have a well done shiny object at the end that keeps me going. I think of how much i'm going to enjoy it, how good it will look sitting next to other toys all shiny and clean and done. I do enjoy what i learn on the journey, but maybe i'm an ends vs means guy.

If you're opposite of me, you're probably having a ball now that you're getting back into it! I look forward to seeing some more progress!
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Matt H
Cochise

USA
310 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2016 :  01:21:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Matt H's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bill I am in the process of restoring my 81 TA. I have spent quite a bit on odds and ends that was missing from the car or just deterioted past help. I have boxes coming in every week from all vendors. I can tell you that my front grills were brittle and literally falling a part. I have replaced those, emblem for the gas door, new door panels ( pricey for a 81 pace car, red/black ) door pulls, outer door sweeps, felt for the window guides. headliner pieces, t-top trim. console door, shifter bezel, headlight bezels. Yea it adds up. But like you, I cant wait till its done. Interior first then body and paint.

Matt H

Edited by - Matt H on 08 Jan 2016 01:39:16 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2016 :  08:55:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some writer wrote those words. Philosophical words, but I too look forward to the end result. Imagine the folks setting out from the East to travel to the West in a covered wagon. That's a damn long, and slow journey when you've got a couple of horses or oxen pulling your wagon. Sure, there's pretty country, but along the way there's storms, hot and cold weather, break downs, illness, injuries etc. That to me is more like this journey. It has it's refreshing moments that produce satisfaction, even elation and smiles. But overall, the journey is tedious with long draughts between those happy moments.

I've got more parts arriving this coming Wednesday. That will make me happier as it's one closer step toward the next step, or the next stone or river to cross.

Today Matt, I'm faced with gaining some more room in the garage. That's become a never ending battle. Soon, I'll need to get the fenders back on and align all the sheet metal. That will free up some space for sure. I need to get some fender shims. I wish they were made of brass or bronze, or better yet SS. After a while, mild steel begins to form rust and break down. Mine are rusted and pitted after 36 years.

Good hearing from you Matt.


Bill

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2016 :  5:50:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 12 Jan 2016

Cleaning up bolts and nuts that hold the front fenders on to the car. They have been dipped in a degreaser, dried, placed in a tumbler, washed and soaked in 50-50 vinegar water, and hit with a wire wheel and repainted semi-flat black.

Removed the formula steering wheel so it can be sent out for refurbishing that will include refinishing the black spokes and the addition of a tight leather cover that will be sewn in place. It will be show quality when it's returned to me. This route is being pursed for 3 reasons, first, it's the original wheel. Secondly, because it is Camel Tan, and third a replacement would not be a good enough match color-wise. The leather being added is a Camel Tan match and should look good with the rest of the interior.

When the wheel is returned I'll post some before and after picts.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2016 :  11:55:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 21 Jan 2016

Everything that was disassembled on the TA which would be off the car for any length of time, was "bagged and tagged." As time passed and more things came off the car, finding a good place to store them became (and still is) a problem. Not the issue though....

Today, my goal was to mount the headlight support frame back on to the car. For all practical purposes there are only 10 fasteners involved. All bolts are secured with J nuts except two.

Most, if not all the bolts and nuts taken off the car have been cleaned up to be painted black. This process has become quite tedious. Those previous done already show signs of rust while sitting around waiting to be used--not good.

So, today, I placed an order with ClipsandFasteners.com and ordered new 5/16" - 18 x 13/16 hex washer bolts. These will replace all the same size bolts that I have wasted my time cleaning up to reuse on the car. New J nuts previously purchased will secure them.

Lesson Learned.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2016 :  8:06:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent progress Bill. Slow and steady completes the mission.

Body work has always been a bit of a black art to me. But I am playing around more and more with metal work and my little 125V mig. I may attack the rust holes on the quarter panel of the new Esprit. Nothing to lose as if I screw it up I'll be replacing quarter panels which was what I would have done in the first place anyway.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2016 :  09:08:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When you remove a screw or bolt and you may reuse it again--one typically looks at the condition of the head and threads. If it looks okay, you're good to go. Sometimes, there will be a fastener that needs to be replaced. There's a brief mental exercise one goes through with that. Do I have a replacement on hand? Is it a graded bolt? Is it coarse or fine thread? Metric or SAE thread?

With the work I'm doing on the TA, this process is being repeated often.

The world of fasteners is a big one. Not until you get deeply into to replacing what you have on your car, does that world become visible. It's like entering a candy store...it can be and often is overwhelming. Where to look...then to focus. Sorting things out is what you have to do.

Learning about fasteners --here is a really informative Internet link providing solid information about fasteners.


https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/printable-tools/Fastener-Basics.pdf

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 22 Jan 2016 09:09:48 AM
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2016 :  09:41:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've found you spend more time on picking the right fasteners or replacing wrong ones from a previous owner with right ones than a lot of other parts of a nice restoration. If you're doing custom work, it's even more time. Do i want round female allen head here? Small male external hex? Stainless? Chrome? black molly? What theme am i going for? Is this visible when you look later?

And of course, Do i have one on hand or do i need to stop everything and wait 4 days for a pack of special bolts to arrive so i can use ONE?
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2016 :  11:45:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike--buying a previously owned car has risks, and the fastener issue is just one little annoyance. Most people, slap on any bolt or screw that will hold the darn thing together (in many instances). What a PITA it is to find mismatched fasteners, no matter the scenario.

The other dilemma is having to purchase a box of screws / bolts/ when you need 3 or 6 or 10. What are you going to do with 94 left in the box? Between my dad's purchases of washers, bolts, and screws of all kinds, (many years ago) I have a mini-hardware store. And the worst thing is that, seldom if ever are the fasteners on hand ones that will work.

From time to time, I'll spot grade 8 hex bolts and nuts and buy some just to have on hand. Still got them--but you never know when you'll need one. I do the same thing when I find some good quality SS. Apparently, this trait is one passed down from father to son. I've got many monel fasteners from boats and many bronze bolts, screws etc that my dad bought 30 to 70 years ago.

Then of course there's the scrap metal bin.... SS, brass, bronze, copper and mild steel.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2016 :  12:16:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Then there's the box in the corner you throw ones leftover or you had out and didn't put back into the bin, you dig through it hoping that one you need will be there so you can keep working!

Bike i'm working on now is metric, so it adds a whole new level of annoyance to my project. I feel you on the mixed sae and metric project. Whatever you have, it's the other one.

And many repop panels with nuts pre-welded on, you'll find later in the project are metric threads.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2016 :  11:25:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 23 Jan 2016

Busy sorting through more and more fasteners removed on disassembly and bagged and tagged. Most are being cleaned up and will be reused. Others were cruddy and are being replaced with new ones.

Today, my dilemma is to clean up the 13 black phosphate M4.2-1.41 x 20mm hex head Sems with 20 MM washers or replace them. I found them in my AU-VE-CO catalog and are GM 14090382 replacements. Note: These are METRIC

These screws secure the front bumper cover to the headlamp frame. I can't use standard screws with washers because standard threads aren't the same as metric tapping screw threads.

I need 13, just 13, and can get them for $16.13 for a box of 50. That's about $1.25 per screw to do the job leaving 37 of 'em in the box to collect dust.

Will my little garage hardware store expand once again? Decisions...decisions....

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2016 :  10:08:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 25 Jan 2016

"When you're at the fork in the road, take it." (Something like Yogi Berra said).

Well, I did!

My decision was to clean up the metric bolts, rid them of all crud and rust and repaint them semi-flat black.

This was followed by me considering replacing both polished aluminum door sills. The driver's side had the usual scuffs from shoes from getting in and out of the car and some minor scratches from the seat belt buckle clipping it. The passenger side showed less scuffing but more little dings toward the rear where my eldest son would get in and ride in the back seat as a small child. (He affectionately called it the bloom-bloom car.)

Well, I thought I'd give it a try and see just how well they cleaned up--and how they would take buffing and polishing. I worked on each for a hour and they came our much better than expected. Each was wet sanded with 1000 grit sandpaper. Then each was buffed to a brilliant shine. Most of the scuffing marks disappeared so they're keepers. The 8 #8 Phillips head oval head chrome tapping screws that hold them in place were also cleaned and polished and look very good.

The things I'm doing now will allow me to piece the car back together more quickly when that time comes.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 25 Jan 2016 10:10:17 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2016 :  7:35:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've saved the bolt/fasteners from every 2nd gen bird I've parted out over the years. Recently, I finally went through the 5 gallon buckets and sorted them all into bins. Took almost a week of nights after work! But the reward has been great as I've been making faster and more efficient progress with the Formula project. So glad I saved all of that stuff as there are still 4 good 2nd gen birds here and parts cars aren't common anymore.

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2016 :  8:09:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And you'll find most aftermarket kits are wrong or missing something. You can always find the right fastener on a car where GM put it!
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2016 :  2:20:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After 36 years of leak-free performance, the trunk weather stripping will be replaced. It's shot. In addition, the seam sealer between the quarter panels and the trunk frame is crumpling so all of it will be removed and new sealer applied to make the trunk leak free again. Epoxy primer will be applied to protect the bare metal.


"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2016 :  1:59:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 28 Jan 2016

(30 years have passed since the Challenger disaster--28 Jan 1986)

With brand new 5/16" hex bolts in hand, the headlight crossmember was re-attached to the car (loosely). "Loosely" because adjustments need to be made at a later date to get the hood, fenders and bumper cover in proper alignment with one another.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2016 :  11:51:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's always an exercise in patience!

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2016 :  10:42:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 1 Feb 2016 --Arrival of Palco 1301 dash cover

The plastic Palco dash cover arrived yesterday afternoon. It was test fitted this morning on my dash. It is currently black and will be painted camel tan with a low luster clear coat.

A silicone adhesive is used to adhere it to the existing (original dash which is cracked). The test fit reveals that the cover itself will require minor triming especially on the passenger side where the "A"pillar meets the dash cover. The fit is excessively tight and squeaked during the test fit. The metal moulding cover that covers the "A" pillar will need to be slightly modified as well. Since the cover takes up some space and the moulding fits tightly to the original dash, the metal moulding cover will need to be trimmed and bent on the edges to provide adequate room (clearance) so the plastic dash cover doesn't rub and squeak. This has to be remedied. The expansion of parts is great in hot climates. (Those living south of the Mason-Dixon line--need to be mindful of this fact.)

For those contemplating a cover to solve unsightly dash board crack(s), the Palco comes in 2 variations for the 2nd generation TA depending on the year of the car. Also be aware that the dash cover is not soft and flexible like the original over, it is made of plastic that has the same texture as the original OEM pad but is not a "padded" soft dash cover.

So, just like everything, this cover needs some TLC to get it to fit correctly. This has to be a no squeak installation.

Finally I want to give a "shout out" to Peter DeFazio at Fbodywarehouse.com. He's a good guy and has been helping me accumulate some of the parts I need for the TA.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2016 :  1:09:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, can you install some thin felt or some such material in between to eliminate potential squeaks? Also, what are you using to achieve the Camel Tan color?

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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