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

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  12:38:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  12:44:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
5335 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  3:13:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2017 :  3:25:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2017 :  11:28:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2017 :  1:01:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2017 :  3:06:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
3406 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  11:17:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  6:40:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2017 :  7:15:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
1260 Posts

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

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

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  10:30:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
5335 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  11:21:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2017 :  12:50:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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
7218 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  8:30:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
4794 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2017 :  3:47:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4794 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2017 :  11:15:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Notice: 17 November 2017

Because I've lost access to my FTP space on the Machost server where the PSP website resides, no additional photos can be uploaded until the problems with Machost are resolved.

Bill Boyle
Webmaster


Glitches with the host server resolved. More photos coming....

Bill Boyle
Webmaster


"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 Nov 2017 07:52:22 AM
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Red Horse
Sitting Bull

204 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2017 :  12:45:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Engine bay looks really clean.
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