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 Bill Boyle's 79 TA Restoration Project--Part 2
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  12:38:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: 6 November 2017--Problem solved.

Mike, it sure did escalate quickly but the problem is now over.

This morning I took the evaporator case with the evaporator still in place to my local AC shop. Within 10 minutes after arriving the stuck orifice tube was out. Phil had a good idea using heat from a heat gun, however, the shop didn't mess around and broke out an acetylene torch and heated the pipe while pressure was being exerted on the screw that was threaded into the orifice tube. It came out without much effort.

Now the evaporator needs to be blown out with compressed air to remove any foreign particles that may be in there from 20+ years of non-use.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  12:44:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: 6 November 2017--Problem solved.

Mike, it sure did escalate quickly.

This morning I took the evaporator case to my local AC shop. Within 10 minutes following my arrival, the stuck orifice tube was out. The shop used heat from an acetylene torch on the pipe while exerting pressure on the threaded screw. In less than a minute the orifice tube was out.

Phil had the right idea using heat. So, keep this tip in mind.

The evaporator needs to be blown out with compressed air to remove any foreign particles that may be caught in it from non use over the past 20+ years.

"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
5416 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  3:13:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage
Another tip i got from old air products for the evap is to clean it with denatured alcohol and blow it out. The alcohol will gently clean build up and flow out, but evaporate instantly. Lowes has it by the gallon with lacquer thinner and other spirits.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  3:25:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Opened up the inside of the case and cleaned up all the edges that had old sealant putty on it. Also did the firewall. Ran compressed air and got some old oil out of it. Put in acetone and let that circulate and blew it out. I followed this with rubbing alcohol just to be sure. Your post Mike, suggests the same thing. I'm done for today. Getting back to regular time gets harder and harder every year it seems.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2017 :  11:28:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Thursday 9 November 2017

Removed all the putty-sealant from the evaporator case and thoroughly cleaned the case with detergent and alcohol. Ordered 3M strip caulk (it's black) that will be used in the perimeter casing groove and between the casing and firewall once fitted back onto the firewall.

Since all the components, but for the evaporator and condenser were new to work with the 134a upgrade using a Sanden compressor, I decided to install a new evaporator in lieu of re-using the OEM. The OEM is solid in every respect. I spent considerable time removing any old oil left over from the old R-12 system.

My reasoning to get a new evaporator was based on what I'd have to do to replace it should it go south on me. It entails removal of the hood, passenger fender, heater hoses--they usually require cutting to remove them from the heater core, removal of the evaporator casing, splitting the case at the centerline, installing a new evaporator, re-applying caulk and reinstalling everything above mentioned plus anti-freeze, at least topping it off. This would be a weekend job for me if not longer. I plan to hold on to the OEM evaporator, unless some Firebird enthusiast with AC needs one on a budget to replace their leaking evaporator.

This morning, the headlight and turn signal lamp wiring was routed in front of the support core and plugged into their respective sockets. Ground wires were also mounted. [ I'm glad lots of picts were taken during disassembly, as a quick referral to them made quick and accurate work on re-assembly.]

The Gold Die Hard battery purchased new years back has been on a trickle charger since it was removed from the car during disassembly. It was removed from the charger today and it showed 12.56 volts. A new battery may be required should this Die Hard lose too much of a charge in the next couple of days. If it's good, I'll mount it into the car.



"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  1:01:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
quote:
The Gold Die Hard battery purchased new years back has been on a trickle charger since it was removed from the car during disassembly. It was removed from the charger today and it showed 12.56 volts. A new battery may be required should this Die Hard lose too much of a charge in the next couple of days. If it's good, I'll mount it into the car.


The charge dropped to 10.10 volts over night. It's a goner.

A new AC/Delco is the 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.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 10 Nov 2017 3:10:14 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2017 :  3:06:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: 12 November 2017--my long diatribe!

The AC upgrade system from Classic Auto Air.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I ordered and received the R134a upgrade kit from Classic Auto Air. Shipping was fast and convenient, as they shipped from Tampa to me in South Florida.

When the box arrived I went through all the contents and believed everything was there that was needed to replace my old and non functioning A-6 compressor system that came with the car in 1979.

A few days later I ordered a replacement evaporator from Classic Auto Air. Again fast and convenient shipping.

As with just about anything aftermarket, there will always be differences. This requires not only a comparison between the old parts and new parts, but a slight difference in part size, not relevant to the old system but applicable only to the new upgraded system can cause fitment problems. Keep in mind that the factory engineers of PMD and Chevrolet and other GM marques designed their AC systems to work with their engine configurations, and as we all know, there were many variations of engines. The point is the engineers figured stuff out pretty well, and now I'm specifically referring to the old A-6 compressor system for the 1979 Firebirds.

Here's what I mean: The evaporator box contains the evaporator in a vertical position. There is a large outlet tube at the top and a long inlet tube at the bottom. The OEM accumulator attaches to the large outlet tube. The accumulator has another tube at the bottom that drops down a couple of inches and bends up and then turns. A rubber hose attaches to this tube and runs to the compressor. When the whole shebang is assembled the angle of the outlet tube is bent ever so slightly that the accumulator with lower tuber attached as one piece fits nicely along side the evaporator case. The accumulator in 1979 also had a support ring that went around its middle and that attached to a steel bracket mounted with 3 rivets to the front of the evaporator case. There was also a support arm for the inlet tube. The point is all of this fit tightly but simply with plenty of clearance. In contrast--

I ran into fitment problems with the new evaporator and the shorter accumulator provided by Classic Auto Air. The tube at the bottom of the accumulator was a screw on piece. The accumulator itself was an inch shorter or so. The problem was the separate tube at the bottom could have been designed better, if not that, the tube from the evaporator could have been straighter or the curve less, take your pick. As it turned out, I got the pieces to fit, but not without a lot of trial and error. The original bracket that mounted to the evaporator case with 3 rivets were drilled out and the bracket removed. This extra clearance was imperative, even then, finding the correct position of the bottom tube was a PITA, simply put. I thought for sure Classic Auto Air had sent me the wrong accumulator. In my opinion, the bottom tube needs to be redesigned, at the very least, to make installation for others less frustrating.

The instructions that come with the kit are generic and oversimplified. Much like watching a restoration TV show that buys a shell of a 1967 GTO for $4500 and miraculously transforms that shell of a car into an amazing $52,000 dream goat. It happens in a blink--too simple--the magic of TV restoration. What crap! The installation directions are like that in my opinion and should be specific and detailed. I'm not talking, "pick up 1/2 open box wrench and turn nut left to remove" kind of instructions, but details that actually are helpful to a DIYer with skills.

My example: "Around the outer perimeter of the evaporator box there are number screws with washers as well as two studs close to the engine that must be removed from the firewall. Remove these fasteners and the evaporator box can be slowly pulled away from the firewall. However, the factory used black putty to seal the evaporator box to the firewall, some of the putty should be removed along the edge to permit easier removal of the evaporator box."

Something else I want to point out is that today's vehicles are covered with shrouds to hide all of the wires and tubes going to sensors. In the early days, as with my car, having a tidy engine bay wasn't in the cards. My 79 TA was always a wish-mosh of vacuum hoses going in every which way. Same for the wiring. Trying to make the engine look clean and simple is possible, I suppose, but I'm having a heck of time trying to do it, and so far I'm failing.

Most importantly, progress is being made just about every day now despite issues that arise and need to be solved.

"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
3503 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  11:17:05 AM  Show Profile
Satisfying when the puzzle pieces start comming together .
Carry on fabricator Bill.

The pond is frozen, the geese have moved south, and my car is put up for the winter.


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

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 13 Nov 2017 11:20:36 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  6:40:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
quote:
The pond is frozen, the geese have moved south, and my car is put up for the winter.


Mark, I haven't seen the geese yet, but saw a large winged flight of ducks yesterday. Florida's "snow birds" fly here with their own wings, come in planes and drive in cars to our wonderful southern retreat beginning in November and stay until April. Those are by far the nicest months to live and frolic in this sub-tropical paradise.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  7:15:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Monday 13 November 2017

Today, I examined a dozen or more photos of 1979 and 1978 TA engine bays with L-78 Pontiac engines that I found on the Internet. I wanted to see how some of these untouched cars handled the routing of hoses and wires as well as looking for a TA or two with an upgraded Sanden compressor system.

One thing is clear, the hoses and electrical was a mish=mosh from the factory. Unsightly really.

With a longer 5/8" lower heater hose in hand, the hose was routed just like the factory did, between the back of the compressor and the accumulator, up over the chrome valve cover to the rear inlet tube in the passenger head (cylinders 2,4,6,8). There is enough hose to remove the valve cover in the future if need be.

I also spent time searching for some hi temp black corrugated wire looms. The hi temp stuff in made of nylon and can withstand 300 degree heat without melting. The hi-temp stuff also has a gray or dull white line that runs along its length. It comes in long lengths and I need maybe 4' of 5/8" and a few feet of 1/4". A local retailer must sell it by the foot (maybe)?

All hoses are now back on the engine and a 50-50 mixture of anti-freeze and water is next.

Before the engine is started (which is right around the corner, so to speak), the new AC/Delco battery will be installed so the blower motor operation can be double checked as operative before the passenger side fender is remounted onto the car.

The long journey 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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rkellerjr
Many Feathers

USA
1302 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  07:09:39 AM  Show Profile
Good stuff Bill!

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

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  10:30:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Check out some progress photos--












"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
5416 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  11:21:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage
Man, looking sharp there bill!

Is that an oil filter above the distributor? How do you change it without spilling? Whole assembly comes off to tilt straight up and down?
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  12:50:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Mike asked:
quote:
Is that an oil filter above the distributor? How do you change it without spilling? Whole assembly comes off to tilt straight up and down?

It's a remote oil filter set up. I've been using it for decades now. Originally it used rubber hoses and that was changed later to braided Aeroquip lines and fittings. A bracket was fabricated long ago to mount on the firewall. The oil filter is removed easily without spilling any oil.

Why did I go with a remote system? When the Hooker Super Comp 4109 headers were installed on the car in 1984 the engine was using the standard filter. When it was time to change the oil and filter, I couldn't get the filter out between the primary pipes. I wound up crushing the filter getting oil over everything. I contacted Hooker and they informed me that the header bolts should be loosened so the header could be moved enough to remove the filter. That's crap was my comment. My fix was the remote system that simplified subsequent oil changes.

BTW, it holds and filters more oil than the much smaller stock filter does.

"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
7265 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  8:30:21 PM  Show Profile
Excellent progress! I'm liking that remote oil filter idea more and more.

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
5010 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2017 :  3:47:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Thursday 16 November 2017

My immediate goal involves getting the Trans Am to my local AC shop so the new AC system can be properly charged--to get it up and running. The car needs to be drivable.

The new AC/Delco battery was installed today and electric will allow me to check out the blower motor and controls one more time to verify that what I worked on several years earlier and repaired is still operational. It will allow me to start the engine too.

If everything checks out, the passenger side fender will go on the car. Then the hood will be set on the fenders to see how much adjustment is needed to get everything square.

Then, I'll install the tail lights, rear bumper cover the old nose on to the car and driver's seat. Driving the car to the AC shop will save me from hiring a carrier to load and unload the car twice as well as keeping a few bucks in my pocket for other things.

"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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Red Horse
Cochise

277 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2017 :  12:45:04 AM  Show Profile
Engine bay looks really clean.
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7265 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2017 :  1:44:39 PM  Show Profile
I'm liking the fitment of that aluminum AC Compressor as it looks like a real neat install. And the OEM brackets too.

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
5010 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2017 :  3:38:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: 21 November 2017

Things have come to an abrupt halt on my TA because my lower back is causing me quite a bit of debilitating pain. I'm going to take a break for a few days and try to get back on track following Thanksgiving.

"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
7265 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2017 :  9:58:12 PM  Show Profile
Love my inversion table! Best investment for my back ever.

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
5010 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2017 :  08:38:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Phil-
At my age, leaning over at a certain angle or sitting on the garage floor, or getting up and down on or off the creeper repeatedly, irritates my lower back, right side, just above the belt. It gets inflamed and the pain increases beyond the help of of a few Ibuprofen tablets. My doctor tells me it's arthritis, the closing of space between vertebra and overall weakening of core muscles.

I am mindful of this and try to limit bending over or leaning in awkward positions while standing or sitting, yet the pain sometime becomes so strong, like it has just recently, that I have to take days off to recuperate. The acute pain does subside after a while so all I have to deal with is mild stiffness in the morning or after I've spent 3-4 hours working in the garage on the car.

Laying on the floor of the compartment to install all the heater and AC ducting under the dash isn't something I'm looking forward to doing.... For me this is a very uncomfortable position to be in and honestly, I'm dreading having to do it. I'll need to make the contoured floor pan more level with furniture moving pads--perhaps that will help minimize the awkward positioning of me with the floor and dash.

Phil, I'm becoming this old joke:


Patient: Doctor, when I lift my arm above my head like this my shoulder really hurts. What should I do?

Dr: Don't do that.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  5:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Sunday 26 November 2017

I'm not able to do much yet because my back is still ailing, however, it's giving me time to begin the hunt for fasteners and interior parts that I previously tagged and bagged. Going through boxes, one at a time, everything is coming in to focus.

Yesterday, I spent 30 minutes padding the passenger side of the floor pan so I can lay down under the dash board and be somewhat comfortable. Padding the floor, making it flat, allowed me to lay down on my back and look under the dash and see what needs to be reinstalled and to put together a sequence of installation. I have a plan and once my back is better I'll get to 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.

Edited by - Bill Boyle on 26 Nov 2017 9:16:09 PM
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tjs44
Cochise

USA
463 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  5:47:22 PM  Show Profile
I saw the hidden vin under the box.Tom
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Merrik66
Cochise

USA
380 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  02:27:53 AM  Show Profile
Bill, the documentation you've done for all of us is just plain awesome. These things are so time consuming and for me, it's an affirmation to do the right thing. It's not the same for everybody but that's how I prefer, I guess, to do it. It bugs the crap out of me if it doesn't look or act quite right. Some times I feel like I could sell my projects and drop the bag of bricks I've been carrying around. Just can't do it though. I hope someday the reward, when it's done, is worth it. Something tells me it will be. Thanks for sharing your experience with this. And yeah, your car is turning out to be a real killer rig.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  08:10:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Adam, thank you for your kind words.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  11:40:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Monday 27 November 2017

This morning, the tail light housings and electrical was installed as well as the rear bumper cover. This is all temporary as I'll remove it again for more painting. Why were these installed just to take them off again? The reason is to be able to drive the TA about 4 miles to and from the AC shop that will charge the new AC system. I will also install the old front fascia (nose) so the car looks kind of complete. That cover will be scraped for the new one that still needs work to get it into proper shape for paint. More on that in future posts.

The tail light housings are pretty easy to remove and replace. The bumper cover is more difficult. Because the bumper cover is just on their temporarily, it was installed with just the 4 studs and nuts that penetrate the body. All the plastic retainers that secure the cover to the steel bumper underneath will be used when everything is painted. BTW, the bumper cover must be installed before the tail light housing to access the holes on the top of the cover that get those little plastic retainers.

Another thing I just noticed this morning. I have spider cracks in the primer used on the rear bumper cover right at the edge that frames the license plate. I had used a SEM flexible primer, however, it's cracking. Another problem to solve. These are the type of problems that require corrective action. At the moment I'm not sure what the remedy will be but I'm guessing it will require sanding and applying Axalta primer with flex additive. Another purchase to be made. Another minor set back.

I need to mention the helpful assistance of my son Brian. He helped me adjust the location of the steel bumper in conjunction with the tail light housings. The gap between the two should be pretty equal. Now was the time to do it. Also, he fastened the bumper cover to the body so I wouldn't stress out my ailing back.


Here's a photo after the temporary installation. Boxes under the car contain parts for the car. They are everywhere!


"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 27 Nov 2017 2:55:48 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  8:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Additional Update: 27 November 2017

The spider web cracks shown above needs to be repaired. The cracks are in the plastic and were not visible to me when the paint was being removed from it unlike the cracks spotted in the front fascia (nose) bumper cover. I'm not going to purchase a rear bumper cover but will do the following to fix the areas:

The damaged areas will be sanded down to the urethane with 80 and then the fractures will be grooved out with my Dremel. The grooves will be V shaped and then filled with a 3M plastic filler. When the material dries, it will be sanded flush with the surrounding urethane. More plastic filler will be added and sanded until all blemishes and sanding marks are gone. It will be feathered in with the surrounding good areas. Then the fixed areas will be spot primed with flexible primer. This fixed surface will then be sanded smooth with 320 and coated with Axalta primer with flex additive. More sanding will following with 400 and then it will be coated with Axalta sealer.

Unexpected work to do, but it's got to be done. This "journey" has twists and turns--what an adventure.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2017 :  08:41:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Garage signs that are offered from various vendors, you know, with "Mike's Garage," Pontiac Parking Only, Cars Spoken Here, Busted Knuckle, etc. I need one.

One of my neighbors suggested that I have one made with "Bill's No Room Garage." I laughed, because it is so accurate. Looking at the photo above of the rear of the TA, there are part boxes underneath it, in the trunk, a dolly set up to the left with more part boxes sitting on it, a few items inside the compartment and the hood sitting on the roof.

"Bill's No Room Garage" is quite fitting. The terrible thing is that if it was a 3-car garage it would probably look the same. (more room, more stuff) .

"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 28 Nov 2017 08:42:41 AM
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rkellerjr
Many Feathers

USA
1302 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2017 :  08:52:06 AM  Show Profile
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Bill's Restoration Shop
Trans Am Garage, nothing else fits

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

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2017 :  10:28:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Hey Rich, what about, Bless this Mess!

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Bill's Restoration Shop--that's really pretty catchy.

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My wife, is always thinking about me. Knowing that I've been suffering with my back of late, she gave me an early Christmas gift to help me out. She purchased a very nice mechanics stool from Whiteside which was used this morning to reach the lower AC condenser line fitting so I could make the final connection to the new AC system. No more sitting on the floor reaching and straining my back. Very cool.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

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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
5010 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2017 :  11:14:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: 1 December 2017

I am happy. This morning the battery hot and ground wires were connected to the car and the fan blower operated at all speeds. What a relief. So, now it's on to installing the RH side (passenger side) inner fender and fender. My goal is to adjust both fenders so they align properly with the hood as well as the door gaps. This will be tricky for me because the radiator core support rubber and hardware was replaced...I expect a lot of tweaking.

Making good progress as the fan blower operation was a crucial hurdle for me to jump over.

"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2017 :  09:01:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Saturday 2 December 2017

Installed the inner fender. To do it required final positioning of the AC lines from the new compressor. Everything looks functional now so I can't imagine anything needs to be repositioned at the AC shop. The RH fender isn't on yet. It's a two-man job and my wife and son aren't available to assist me today or tomorrow, I am told. One of my neighbors said he'd help but he's not in town this weekend, so, there's a short delay. I won't be impatient and try to position the fender myself.

The AC ducting under the dash needs to be re-installed and since the fan works like it should at all speeds, this job is high on my "things to do list."



"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
5010 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2017 :  5:40:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Update: Monday 4 December 2017

"When restoring a car, expect the unexpected."

Consider what I'm about to write as part of "lessons learned."

2nd Generation Firebird front and rear bumper covers were manufactured out of urethane plastic. If you own one, you can be assured that the covers are not worthy of refinishing.

If you've been following my project closely, you may recall that I spent a substantial amount of time trying to refinish the front bumper cover (or fascia) but discovered spider cracks. The more I worked on it with pressure from my tools, the more spider cracks appeared. Thinking that the problem had run its course, cutting and filling the fractured areas with plastic filler, more cracks continued to appear. Once that occurred it was obvious that the front bumper cover was no good for restoration and needed to be replaced. I have a replacement. It is not yet far enough along to mount on the car. (more on that in a later post.)

The rear bumper cover had some tears in it that I spent time fixing. Those tears no longer are visible, however, after mounting the rear bumper on the car so I could eventually drive the car to the AC shop, I noticed fractures on the edge of the license plate frame. Today, I dug down into the urethane with plans to fix the fractures. Once again, the further I went and used my tools, more of the tiny cracks (fractures) appeared. Once again, I've come to the conclusion that the rear bumper cover needs to be trashed and replaced with a new unit.

This was unexpected. Those cracks didn't surface for 10 months or more since I lasted worked it. Now they are everpresent. Imagine, finishing the rear bumper cover with all the requisite substrates and flexible additives to see spider cracks reappear in the top coat and clear.

So, this is now an unexpected predicament requiring an unexpected expense to fix.

The bottom line: Replace those old urethane pieces so you don't waste your time and money trying to refinish them.

"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
7265 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2017 :  8:14:02 PM  Show Profile
Bill, are the replacements new or are you sourcing used stuff? If new, how's the quality of the replacement nose so far?

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
5010 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2017 :  06:37:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Phil the front nose cover is new (in black) and made of urethane. It comes in a large box and the piece takes on it own shape which I would say is presently deformed. The cut seems good for the most part with some molding edges at the very bottom near the front air dam location that needs attention to get them to appear sharp and clean. I also discovered the molding ears used to fasten the lower grills to the piece are not located correctly and will require most of my attention to correct. It is my belief that until the piece is actually mounted to the front bumper and let to hang there, nothing I can do ahead of time will remove the deformed shape of the piece. The steel bumper and filler defines the shape of the urethane cover.

Below is a photo of both pieces illustrating the shape between the old OEM cover and the new one with exceptions noted.



"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 06 Dec 2017 07:57:53 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7265 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2017 :  12:40:29 PM  Show Profile
Wow, that's always concerned me about those late 70's bumper covers. And there's no way to determine how well the repro will hold up over time. I know you're doing a resto but I may consider a fiberglass one if I every replace the one on the 80 TTA.

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 06 Dec 2017 12:42:30 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
5010 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2017 :  1:23:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage
Hey Phil--one way or another I'm going to find out how this replacement will eventually fit. If it turns out lousy, APE will here about it. That was the vendor I purchased it from. However, everything is premature so, comments will be deferred for now.

I've ordered a new rear bumper cover from Fbodywarehouse and it will be here in about 5-6 days. There's not much contour on it to re-shape so I expect it will be pretty true in shape out of the box. This is also urethane not fiberglass.

"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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Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster

853 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2017 :  1:37:03 PM  Show Profile
Part 3 of this thread continues with the progress on my restoration. This is the last entry on Part 2 and is now closed.

Jump to Part 3: http://psp.aquacomp.net/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12525

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

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