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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2017 :  11:52:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Tuesday 10 October 2017

The new stainless steel gas tank was installed this morning with the assistance of my son Brian and my wife who ensured the filler neck was properly centered.



"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 - 10 Oct 2017 :  9:14:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here are some photos regarding the removal of the old tank and installation of the new one.




























"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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rkellerjr
Many Feathers

USA
1260 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2017 :  07:09:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very cool watching this restoration, appreciate you taking the time to take pictures and explain things.

Rich
1975 TA - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR86YT69yeY
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2017 :  11:29:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Rich. Revealing the good and bad aspects of doing things is being helpful to others should they meet the same issues and need to solve them, but there is also the personal element and that it helps document my effort and in typing or providing photos, which is motivational for me.

Getting the old tank out and the new tank in place was a major hurdle for me as it sets up other phases of the project.



"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 Oct 2017 10:42:04 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  11:28:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 13 October 2017

What about the gas tank installation? How difficult was the job?

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being extremely difficult, the installation was probably a 6 for me. First off removing the tank is a two-man job. Same is true with the installation.

Assembly of the tank components is a breeze, perhaps a 3 on difficulty. However, there are some shortcomings that I discovered when comparing the new tank with the original.

First off, the amount of hard line tubes is minimal compared to OEM. Return lines on a 79 TA with a Pontiac engine (not sure about the 403 Olds) run down the back side of the tank than make a loop bend and run back to the other side of the tank (passenger side). No such hard line tubing existed on my new SS tank.

Another thing I discovered is the odd location of the return line to the tank. It competed with the location of the hard line gas line. This violated my rule on stupidity so the return tube was pulled free from its solder and relocated. You can see this in one of the photos.

Another thing I felt was missing with the purchase of the product were metal clips to keep the hard lines affixed to the tank. The OEM tank used them, and they kept everything neat and compact. I had to improvise on the gas line, using and old clip from the old tank that clipped onto the metal seam. Clips should have come with the product, IMO.

Another thing that was discouraging was having insufficient clearance to remove the old straps and install the new SS straps. This was my own fault having switched from twin turbo mufflers to a transverse cross flow unit--that was clearly in the way. This screw up forced me to remove much of the exhaust system that I spent so much time installing. A TA with turbo mufflers would not have that problem. Good thing I never welded up the exhaust pipes.

Another unnecessary issue: the straps came with no screws for the hook locations. I finally was able to use self tapping #12 screws to get the straps properly fastened. Of course, with the thousands of screws in my garage, I only had one and then had to stop and go to the store to buy what was needed. It never fails!

The last thing which I finally solved this morning dealt with the ground wire. The damn wire was about 4" too short. I failed to notice how short the wire was compared to the OEM ground wire, so, it was a surprise yesterday afternoon when I easily plugged in the electric wire but couldn't get the black ground wire to reach the ground mounting location.

This morning I was able to get my big hands between the tank to lengthen the ground wire. Soldering would have been best for securing these pieces of wire, but guess what, you can't solder anything when your face is under the work. There was no room to work. I managed to use a small red butt connector making sure the crimp was fast. The ground was later secured without issue. So...the tank is done in every respect...ready for fresh 93 gasoline.

"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 Oct 2017 3:34:20 PM
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  4:31:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If i ever see you at a car show, you know i'm going to look under the back and go "is that...is that ground wire crimped with a butt connector there?!"
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2017 :  8:10:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow great progress!!

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 - 13 Oct 2017 :  9:41:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Details Mike, "a red butt connector."


"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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NOTROD
Buffalo

USA
64 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  10:44:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Of course, with the thousands of screws in my garage, I only had one and then had to stop and go to the store to buy what was needed." I thought this only ever happened to me.

Nice work! Another item checked off the list, very satisfying.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  12:11:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 15 October 2017

The weather looked great for spraying today, so after sunrise and having a quick breakfast, it was out into the garage to get things in play to shoot sealer on the two fenders.

Each fender was given the once over examination, wet sanded a few spots, cleaned the mess, wiped the fenders down with Prep-sol, followed it up using rubbing alcohol and when everything was dry used a 3M tack cloth to remove what shouldn't be on the surface before shooting medium gray sealer.


The TDS from Axalta recommended one wet coat, and I did that, but saw some minor scratches that I couldn't allow to stand, so another coat was applied to that area resulting in one fender getting 2 wet coats.

The next thing is to shoot base coat along the inside of the fender jamb (where it bolts on to the firewall). With that done, I'll be ready to re-install both fenders.

Making progress.

"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 - 15 Oct 2017 :  12:34:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bill, assuming when you shoot BC inside the fender jamb, going to clear it also?
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  5:16:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh yes. the fender jambs will get CC.

"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 15 Oct 2017 5:16:35 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2017 :  09:23:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Chromabase "4 to 1" 7740S 2K Urethane Sealer went on nicely. Below are photos taken within 2 minutes following the wet coat.






The way paints are today, they are designed for professional body shop usage where time is of the essence. What this means is that none of the substrates are designed to sit for days (and days) but rather get ready quick for the next stage of substrate etc.

There is a 16 hour window between the sealer and applying top coat. The sealer is not designed to sit for days and if it does the coating must be sanded with either 400 or 600 grit W or D sand paper.

So, in theory a body shop would prep the primer surfacer, get it cleaned up, followed by a wet coat of sealer and 30 minutes later base coats, followed by clear coats...all the same day.

Of course, this doesn't usually work for the DIYer like me, so extra work is involved every step of the way.

Before the fenders go on the car, two areas need to be hit with base coat. The fender jambs and the fold at the rear of the fender that is at the door opening. Moreover, the base coat is not supposed to be sanded at all. If there is a hair or some minor imperfection that needs to be fixed, that area can be sanded but BC needs to be re-applied over that area.

There are lots of logistics that need to be timed right to do the job according to specs in the body shop and are more involved when doing it elsewhere.

"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 - 17 Oct 2017 :  09:34:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looking good Bill!

The instant you get BC/CC on those fender jamb areas, you're going to be hooked!
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2017 :  11:30:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 18 October 2017

This morning while low dark clouds were rolling in, I pulled the shroud off of my compressor to examine the belt drive. It didn't sound like it usually does the other day when shooting the fenders. As it turns out the drive belt was sagging a wee bit so adjustments were made and its all back to running normal. Ready for more spraying...but wait...rain is forecasted and the humidity is rising. No spraying today.

"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 18 Oct 2017 11:31:24 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2017 :  2:20:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Holy crap, you're really moving along! So THAT'S what I can look forward to when I finally retire! Actually getting my projects done...

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.

Edited by - Phil on 18 Oct 2017 2:21:31 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2017 :  5:40:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Guys, it's not really moving fast enough for me. I'm tired of planning to do something just to be foiled because of the weather. As it turned out, despite the forecast, not a drop of rain, just broken clouds and clammy. Another wasted day, more or less.

"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 19 Oct 2017 1:22:50 PM
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2017 :  10:59:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's how you know you're making progress, when you can't stand when it's stopped. You're making more progress on your baby than most guys letting them sit there for a decade.
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4spta
Tribal Scout

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2017 :  12:53:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great thread coming along real nice Bill congratulations

400/467cu.310cfm kauffman D-ports w/1.65 steel roller rocker arms. XE274-H cam.Forged steel Ohio crank.Eagle rods. Icon pistons.Balanced.HSD intake.750mech.sec Holley.1-3/4in hedders.3 in collectors.2-1/2in exhaust.Flowmasters.ST-10 tranny.4.10 gears. 6 point cage.subframe connectors.every bushing polyurethane. F/R drag shocks line lock. Lightened up front end. Appox.3500lbs

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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2017 :  2:19:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The bodywork, primer and paint stuff is the "black box" part of this hobby to me. Pretty much everything else including welding I enjoy. But the technology and chemistry of the body work and paint processes seems to be constantly in a state of change and I am unable to wrap my head around it nor keep up. It puts me at the mercy of the "experts".

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 - 19 Oct 2017 :  2:42:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I understand what you're saying Phil. A hammer, wrench, ratchet, sockets and busted knuckles pretty much stay the same. You can pick up a hammer in 2000 and use it again in 2017 and it still works the same way.

Keeping on top of the re-finishing has required study, and I mean study. The only thing that was hammer like was my desire to stay with a DuPont product (now Axalta).

The process has to be looked at from beginning to end before one starts. Each product and how it's used requires careful review of the Technical Data Sheet (TDS). Each product behaves differently and requires a different approach to get to the next phase of the next product.

Today I'm busy with the fenders and will report more later on what I've done. Right now I'm taking a break. I've been at it since 7:45 with 15 minutes for lunch and this 10 minute break.

Sometimes, I feel like a one-armed paper hanger trying to do so many things at once.

"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 - 19 Oct 2017 :  8:18:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 19 October 2017

Up before dawn prepping to shoot base coat and clear coat on the fender jambs.

Since the window to shoot base coat on the fenders was long gone, the fender jambs needed to be sanded and scoffed. 600 grit was used on the flat area and indents were scoffed with 3M ultra Scotch pad. This was followed with a good cleaning, followed by an cleansing bath of rubbing alcohol and a microfiber towel. Next was the tedious masking.

My goal was to isolate the fender jambs and a hard line wasn't what I wanted. So 3/4" and 1.5" masking tape was use close to the edge of the jamb. Then I added foam roll near the edge to get a soft line of base coat and clear.

Once this was completed, the fender jambs were again cleaned with rubbing alcohol and a 3M tack cloth was used to remove any unwanted hair or dust or whatever floats around and lands where you don't want it.

The base coat and all the fixings were broken out and a small quantity of color was prepared to shoot. Two wet coats were required. Enough was mixed to do it without much waste.

The first coat went on using a 1.5 tip. After it flashed, a second wet coat of color was sprayed. While the second coat was drying, the "primer" spray gun with the 1.5 tip was disassembled and cleaned up.

All the base coat materials were packed up and stored. Then with that out of the way, I brought out the clear and it's necessary components. With the help of my son, Brian, we prepared a mix that would be sufficient to apply two full wet coats. The "special" Startingline finish gun with a 1.3 tip was to be used and the cup was filled with the clear. Figuring the correct pressure was a bit tricky. The humidity was climbing and clouds were growing bigger and bigger as the hour moved closer to noon.

I shot the first wet coat adjusting the pressure a few times. Then I found the sweet spot and applied the second coat to one of the fender jambs. Both coats were shot and completed before I took on the second jamb. The second jamb didn't require any spray adjustments and two wet coats were applied within 35-40 minutes.

Both fender jambs were painted out in front of the garage in the daylight. Although there was no visible sign of rain in any cloud, there were several times when a few drops from the heavens fell. Fortunately, the shooting was over when it happened.

All and all it was a very long day for me. Everything was concluded, cleaned and packed back into the garage by 4:30 pm. I was bushed.

Next focus will be on mounting the TA's fenders.

One more thing. The color that was mixed for me is somewhat darker in color than the original Nocturne Blue. From a distance, the color is bluish-green-black. How this "color" change will effect other areas of the car remains to be seen. What ever it is, I will deal with it.


"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 2017 :  10:05:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Nebel des Krieges." In, English, "Fog of War." In its simples terms it means, a concept of battlefield uncertainty during the fighting.

Folks, I am at war with the urethane spoilers. I'm fighting to re-use what is original to the car. If you recall, after spending days working the front bumper cover, fractures in the urethane were beyond repair to gamble on having unsightly fracturing deficiencies in the paint for a future show car. An aftermarket urethane bumper cover was ordered to replace the OEM unit. (not what I really wanted to do)

This morning, my goal was to shoot the front air dam and right and left wheel spoilers as well as the rear ones, the end caps and rear spoiler with sealer. The extractors also need sealer so I could re-mount them on the fenders.

However, the passenger side front wheel spoiler is cracking. The flex primer on the unit was nice and smooth, but the urethane underneath was cracking showing fractures in the primer. DRATS! A replacement costs $100.

Since the wheel spoilers are firmly mounted to the fender, I've decided to "try" and refinish this problematic spoiler rather than cough up another $100 for an aftermarket piece. I've applied more flexible primer to see if the extra coating will keep the surface intact. (the uncertainty of what I'm doing) Interestingly, the driver's side wheel spoiler is just fine.

"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 2017 10:06:54 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2017 :  11:24:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Sunday 22 October 2017--It's in the details

This morning I was going to shoot sealer. However, during my prep work my plans changed.

- Examined the front air dam, front and rear wheel spoilers, rear spoiler and end caps again.

- Looking much closer for any imperfections, a number of manufacturing defects were spotted. Some were tiny pin holes (like carpenter ant holes), and manufacturing defects at and around the edges of the urethane or fiberglass.

- Most imperfections were repaired with body filler using a razor blade to fill them and wipe away excess. When dry each was sanded with 400 grit.

- The rear spoiler will get another coat of primer filler to deal with some of the imperfections.

- It has become too windy to spray paint today. It's best to do when things are still.

"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 - 23 Oct 2017 :  11:26:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, I may have missed it in this thread but I'm assuming you are using a base coat/clear coat for the Nocturne Blue? If so, how well does that hold up with the soft urethane parts? A seasoned body man told me recently that the additives etc. available to the aftermarket does not hold up as well and is much less forgiving with soft pliable materials (urethane bumpers etc.) vs. whatever the OEM's use. (??)

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 - 23 Oct 2017 :  8:11:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Monday 23 October 2017

With everything prepped but for mixing some sealer, I set everything up again this morning to spray the extractors, rear wheel spoilers, end caps, and front air dam. (left the front wheel spoilers alone because of the trouble I'm having with one of them)

To be specific, because I haven't mentioned it before, I'm using the 3M PPS (paint preparation system). I purchased the 3M PPS starter kit to initially give it a try and I'm ready to purchase more liners and caps for it. This system is a huge time saver especially on clean-up. The other great feature is it's a closed system and doesn't rely on gravity which requires the air hole to always remain open for the gun to work smoothly. The closed system allows you to turn the gun sideways or upside down to get those hard to reach places. I recommend this system to anyone doing long process refinishing.

So the above parts were coated twice as was the shaker scoop. Everything came out nice. I used a 1.5 fluid tip.


Below are some photos to illustrate work performed in the past few days--







Next, back to shooting sealer--















Overall, I'm very, very happy with the appearance of the sealer which precedes base 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.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2017 :  08:57:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's fine work bill! That starting line gun is a great kit for people who don't want to put $500 into each gun. I moved slightly up to a tekna copper when i was having trouble. But looking back, it was likely my settings and not the gun. I won't paint without the PPS system anymore, even on small stuff!

Great progress, you have a thousand times more patience than i.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2017 :  09:28:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's great info about the gun and the kit. Makes a lot of sense. You guys are getting me more stoked about attempting a paint job on one of my projects. I can't imagine I'd do a worse job than say, Earl Sheib.

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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Brian R
Crazy Horse

USA
1672 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2017 :  10:08:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Been offline for a bit and finally caught up ...... Great stuff Bill.

Can't wait to read the next installment!
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2017 :  1:24:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys. I appreciate your comments. Making things look good is in the details. Being patient is critical. Working on things when one is tired causes mistakes and changes one's ability to focus and stay meticulous. What is passable one day doesn't pass the next when one is fresh. Example:

Today, my goal was to mount my driver's side fender. I installed the air extractor and added a washer to make it fit the space better, making the gap around it less noticeable. Because I was going to mount this fender myself, I wrapped it with masking paper to protect the body and edges. While doing this I noticed a fogginess on the clear coat where the flange mounts to the core support. I didn't notice it at the end of the day when I shot the clear. Puzzling to me, so I got 1000 grit and wet sanded the area. Then I buffed it out. That did not correct the defect, so, I will give it another coat of clear this week.

"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 Oct 2017 :  10:27:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Question: Refinishing the underside of the TA's hood

The OEM hood, I assume, was dipped after being manufactured. The exterior side of course was finished, painted and the big bird decal applied. The underside received no paint as far as I can tell, just the black coating following manufacture.

When something is dipped and left to dry, gravity forms little blobs of wet material that eventually dries in place. The material forms little bumps or pimples in the coating. These exist on the inside of my fenders, to some degree as well as on the underside of the TA's hood. To refinish the underside of the hood will require sanding, application of primer and paint.

Has anyone dealt with this situation?

"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 - 25 Oct 2017 :  10:52:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You nailed it, requires sanding like anything else. I try to just DA it but the braces are a PITA, so i'll use like an 8" section of the pool noddle soft blocks too, and some hand sanding.

Inside hoods are some of the more annoying areas to prep. I prefer to paint the underside of hoods upside down on stands below waist level so i can reach decently across without walking and the paint flows out. Keep in mind though, it's darker when it's installed even when open vs the outside of the car, and there's not as much reflection as say, the roof or top of the hood.

The underside of my hoods don't look as good as the rest of the car, but you can't tell that when you pop it, it looks just as nicely finished. Same with the trunk. I know you won't listen because you go 110%, but i wouldn't put as much prep effort here, the hood flexes, you don't see imperfections, and this is a good place to just get done and move on.

My advice though, read your data sheets and SKIP as much sanding as you can. You should be able to sand about 320 or 400, primer, let dry. And then sand straight to like 600, clean, shoot sealer, shoot base, shoot clear all without sanding (except nib sanding) in between if you stay within the windows. The products are made to work that way and will bind well, and will save you from having to sand the underside of the hood 10 times.

I like to read all the data sheets, make a quick timeline on a post it according to the directions, like:

1) Wipe/tack primer after sanding
2) Sealer/15 min/sealer
3) 1 hr/denib/tack
4) base coat/15 min/ base coat/15 min/base coat
5) 45 min/clear coat/15 min/clear coat/15 min /clear coat

Edited by - cortcomp on 25 Oct 2017 10:58:35 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  11:40:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the quick reply Mike.

I'm waiting for the weather to clear as we had a cold front hit us dropping temperature about 10 degrees early this morning and of course with the front came the usual cloudy sky and initially a down pour of rain. It's still overcast and a gusty right now so there still is a question on whether I can re-shoot clear on the driver's side jamb today. It's a wait and see for me.

In the past, I'd simply touched up the underside of he hood with the old Kyrlon semi-gloss lacquer paint and moved on. However, this time, with the fender jambs sparkling with the new bc/cc, something needs to be done with the underside of the hood to make it look better.

The underside of these hoods aren't pretty, they weren't meant to be, so shooting bc/cc on it may just show off too many imperfections. Maybe a semi gloss or semi flat black would be better to hide as much detail as possible--still not sure. Whatever is done, the underside needs to be sanded and properly prepped for topcoat. [Maybe I'll only give 100% this time. ]

"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 - 25 Oct 2017 :  1:43:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pool noodle eh? It's tips like this that make my day!

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 Oct 2017 :  4:39:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pool noodles do make a decent soft rounded block. Someone makes different square shaped blocks from similar material, i prefer them over durablocks. They're cheap, and you can cut to length easily and quickly for tight areas.

Bill, it won't show too many imperfections, trust me, i have bondo repairs under mine. Go for it. If you don't like it, you can always just scuff the clear with a grey scotchbrite and recoat with the black.

It is annoying to sand the underside though, so do all your prep and repairs and set aside time to shoot the materials together without sanding, if that's the what materials allow. Sanding 1-2 is annoying. Sanding 6 times is just punishing yourself.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2017 :  5:42:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Wednesday 25 October 2017

This afternoon with the weather turning fair (and much cooler) I was able to shoot more clear on the driver's fender jamb. It looks far better than it ever did! Both sides match now so the next step is to mount the driver's fender to the car.

As I mentioned before, this paint is a shade darker than the original nocturne blue. From what I can see with the sunlight on the fender jambs, the color and finish will be a perfect fit a 2nd generation TA.

In the evening, the car will look black. During sunny days it will sparkle with a bluish-green-black appearance, as shown below. On a cloudy day it will look very dark blue-black.


"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 Oct 2017 :  12:12:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Saturday morning 28 October 2017--Time to celebrate a little

This morning the driver's side fender was installed back onto the car. It's been off since 2-17-14. This is major progress. Final adjustments to the fenders will be made when the fenders and hood get aligned. The passengers side fender is still off the car. Here's why:

Instead of re-installing the old A6 compressors and related components and than re-fit it for 134a, I'm going to purchase a kit from Classic Auto Air that employs a smaller rotary style compressor and related components. It will not necessitate removal of the OEM air box as this is simply and upgrade to the old A6 system that used R12 freon. BTW, there's no point in installing the passenger side fender when I have better access to install the proposed AC system. The fender will wait.

"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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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3406 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2017 :  12:44:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good move on the modern a/c components IMO.


Bull Nose Formula/ 461/ Q-Jet/
TH400/ 3.08 8.5 / R44TS.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5335 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2017 :  10:35:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
yes, that will be a big plus for you, the A6 can really drag down a car's idle when it kicks on. The sanden style is a lot lighter drag. IIRC, to get the best from an R134 conversion, you should also replace the expansion valve, if you aren't already? I believe old air products out of texas makes a drop in valve for GM systems that's optimized for 134, if you didn't get one from classic auto air?
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2017 :  12:45:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 30 October 2017

This morning I ordered the AC upgrade kit for the TA. It should be delivered by the end of the week. This is it: https://originalair.com/77-81-firebird-134a-rotary-compressor-upgrade-kit-wpontiac-v8

My plan is to reuse the condenser and 2-piece hard line, neither of which is included in the kit.

Things are moving along.


"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 - 01 Nov 2017 :  09:46:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Lessons Learned

Today's automotive undercoats and paints are expensive and buying "just enough" can be troublesome. Buying "just enough" can make one skimp on the number of coats to be applied.

Take into consideration that undercoats are either designed to go on directly to metal or to go on properly prepared surfaces. Properly prepared surfaces means an area that has been properly sanded and treated. Properly sanded may include various grits of rough sandpaper to remove old paint followed by finishing grits, such as 180, 220, 320, 400 or higher to remove scratches and swirl marks. Coating a properly prepared surface is usually done with a primer, a filler primer, that is thick and is designed to fill in rough surfaces. Even though a surface may be sanded with 400 or higher paper doesn't ensure that one coat of primer filler is enough to do the job. Two, perhaps 3 coats may be necessary, especially when the surface will be block sanded to make the panels super straight, without waves or dings.

Bottom line: Don't skimp on the product to avoid having to spend more money. Do the job right by buying a little more than you need.

Another area is mixing undercoats and paint.

In a body shop, the object is to do the job quickly, make it look good and get paid. For the DIYer, doing the job correctly is of foremost concern, and doing it piece meal is often the only way it gets done.

Consequently, shooting this panel or that panel or these 5 parts will be problematic in the mixing of material. How much should be mixed? Too much product and not enough area to shoot causes unwanted waste of very expensive material. Knowing how much to mix is trial and error at best. Sometimes, I've mixed 10 ounces of material and found that 14 ounces were needed, so 6 ounces more were mixed with 2 ounces left as waste.

So far I've been pretty good at not mixing too much material. Overall the amount of waste has been minimal. There's a little over a quart of epoxy primer, primer filler, sealer, bc and cc in a can to be disposed of properly when the car is done.

Bottom line: Be smart about what you're doing which includes not adding catalyst to the product until you're ready to shoot it.

"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 Nov 2017 :  11:49:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Doing it in pieces definitely eats material. I've used double on a couple jobs vs doing an all over. It's a better job though.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2017 :  7:54:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The TA project is coming along. UPS delivered the new AC components this afternoon so installing all of the component is my next "thing to do."

"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 - 03 Nov 2017 :  09:08:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 3 November 2017

Talking about engines and performance is something I've been doing for decades learning more and more every day. However, one of the areas I've neglected to study or learn much about is an automobile's AC system. So, I've had to begin studying the subject to get a handle on it. I feel like I'm attending kindergarten on the subject.

I think what I'm about to state is generally the case: When someone knows little about doing something, directions provided are very important. When a person is well-versed in something, directions on how to do it maybe cast aside because the person has the big picture and delves right into it. With this upcoming AC installation, I'm walking on shaky ground, so the directions to make the installation are very important. Step-by-Step instructions with illustrations would be wonderful. However...this in not the case with the Classic Auto Air instructions-directions. Their directions are really generic and are especially lacking on electrical connections for the Trans Am.

I'm starting the installation today, so I'll have more comments to make (for sure) on the progress I'll be making. Mounting brackets are raw and need to be treated and painted so that will add time to "doing it right." [I would have paid extra for black powder coated brackets.] I will also have to determine the correct length of AC belt, I can't imagine the OEM recommended belt will fit--so that will be hit and miss. Of course to mount the AC belt will require temporary removal of all the other belts. (Lots to do, lots to think about.)

"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 - 04 Nov 2017 :  2:57:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Saturday 4 November 2017

My study of automotive air conditioning continues.

Yesterday, I began by examining all the components provided to me by Classic Auto Air. The general diagram they provided of the brackets wasn't too helpful, so the puzzle began to come together as I looked at the pieces and assumed this went here and that went there.

Once the mounting bracket to the head was figured out, it was temporarily bolted to the head. The parts that go to the compressor were examined and fitted (kind of). The bracket that mounts to the head bracket uses a 1" spacer that a long bolt runs through, however, the dimension of the compressor space was .010 too small or the spacer was .010 too large. The remedy was to remove .015 off the spacer by moving it across 100 grit sandpaper. It took a while and I used calipers to measure my progress. Once .015 was removed the entire mount plate slipped into place. That allowed a complete mock up of the compressor mounting on the head.

Next up was the fun part. I didn't have an AC belt so I used an electric cord to measure the approximate belt size. I came up with 59 1/2 inches. To make a long sordid story short, it took 3 trips to our brand new O'Reilly parts store, plus a visit to the NAPA store to get a 3/8" by 59 5/8" V belt to fit allowing room to adjust tension. At the O'Reilly story I wound up going into their back room to look at all the V belts because I was getting no where fast with the help. They had a 59 1/2" belt but I decided to stop by the NAPA store, and they had the longer 59 5/8 " belt.

Another problem encountered was the length of 5/8" heater hose that runs to the passenger side head. There was no room to run it between the air case and the accumulator and it wasn't long enough to route it differently, so, a longer length of house will be used to run the hose from the heater core to the head, and it will run between the accumulator and the back end of the compressor.

What else? The A-6 compressor system uses a fixed orfice tube. This tube is located at the fitting where the line from the condenser meets the line for the evaporator. The original orifice tube is stuck in place. Needle nose pliers didn't work nor did a surgical hemostat, so I will use an extractor too to remove it, as I don't want to break it and cause more problems. It should arrive today. Once the orifice tube is removed things should move along.

"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 05 Nov 2017 09:13:59 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2017 :  8:12:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
More from above....

"I don't want to break it and cause more problems." Well I did break it. Extractor tool pulled the orifice tube apart leaving 2/3 of it stuck in the pipe. One so-called remedy is to use a long dry wall screw and screw it into the brass tube element of the orifice tube and pull. Pulling did nothing. Now I'm at a standstill and must consult my neighborhood AC automotive tech for a better solution.

"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 05 Nov 2017 09:14:53 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7218 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2017 :  07:33:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, hit it a bit with a heat gun, then try pulling it out with the drywall screw or whatever else you're using.

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 - 05 Nov 2017 :  09:13:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Phil-- Thanks for your reply.

I was problem solving all night (this was bugging me) and decided the best thing to do is give it another "pull" try this morning and if it didn't budge, remove the air box as I call it (evaporator case) and then take the case with evaporator still in it to my air conditioning guy on Monday to see if he can get it out. I'll also have him pressure test the evaporator. If he's able to remove the orifice tube and the evaporator pressure test is good, I'll be happy.

The orifice tube (OT) has one little O-ring and can't be holding it in place. My guess is that when the OT was installed at the factory, the installer set it too deep and it is hung up on the dimples that stop the OT from going to deep into the evaporator's inlet tube.

[Worse case... I would have to replace the evaporator. $300]

"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 Nov 2017 :  5:14:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Below are photos to help you visualize what I've been talking about in my AC posts.


This is the stock AC set up on a 1979 Trans Am.


This drawing shows the flow of gas to liquid through the various parts on the Trans Am.


Close up photo of the orifice tube that's stuck in the inlet pipe of the evaporator.


A long drywall screw inserted and threaded into the orifice....


I figured the best grip would be a vise grip...but the orifice tube didn't move at all.


I needed professional help. Couldn't take the car to an AC shop, so my solution was to remove the evaporator case and bring it with evaporator inside to the expert-professional.


The inner fender, previously installed was removed along with the hoses and electrical parts so the case would be easy to remove. The toughest screws to remove were inside toward the engine...little room for big paws.


The case came off easily. This section of the firewall will be cleaned up, touched up if necessary to receive the case later on. New sealant will be applied to perfect t a good seal.


Tomorrow, the evaporator case goes to the AC shop. Hopefully, the expert can extract the stuck orifice tube and that the evaporator is sound and not in need of replacement.

"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 Nov 2017 :  8:22:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, that escalated quickly!
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