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 Bill Boyle's 79 TA Restoration Project--Part 3
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Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster

852 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2017 :  1:33:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is the continuation thread. Part 2 is getting too long and there's plenty more to post as progress continues on the 79 Trans Am.

Will it ever get done?

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2017 :  11:38:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Today, the trunk jambs were re-coated a 2nd time. This was done so the new weather stripping can be installed and the trunk lid re-mounted on to the car. So, the fender jambs are done and the trunk jambs--I'm making progress.

The RH fender is still awaiting installation. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2017 :  3:50:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Below are two photos showing the trunk jamb painting that was shot this morning.




"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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Cowpatty69
Sitting Bull

USA
160 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2017 :  3:55:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That blue is an awesome color- it's so hard to tell how sharp it is in photos. Keep up the good work!

Got Poncho?
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  07:08:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The funny thing about fender jambs and trunk lid jambs on these Birds, all of them, is that, none were designed to look perfect from the factory. The welds and seam sealer were sloppy as well as the weatherstripping adhesive. The seam sealer and adhesive were simply slopped on...little time was spent to have a clean look. I spent time correcting the metal in both areas to "improve" what was done at the factory and what was received when the car was brand new.

When I'm done with this project, I expect the car to be better than it was when I purchased it. [It certainly is quicker and faster. ]

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  12:01:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 11 December 2017

With the help of my son the trunk lid was pre-fitted to the car this morning. The lid was aligned getting a near perfect fit left and right. The lid closed and latched the first time without a hitch. Afterwards, the location of the lid on the hinges was marked so it can be removed and re-installed so the sheet metal that sits above the lid that covers the spring can be painted with base coat. (I'm not sure what that piece is called, it probably has a part name.) It has to be done this way so that sheet metal gets a good coat of base coat.

Trunk weather stripping was installed the other day. It is from Steele and was applied using 3M Super Weather Stripping adhesive. The installation went well. In contrast to the unsightly factory application, there is no telltale sign of adhesive anywhere...everything is clean as...yes, a whistle.

************
Steele Rubbers Products: https://www.steelerubber.com/trunk-weatherstrip-82-0028-84

"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 11 Dec 2017 2:08:17 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  2:40:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Installing the trunk weather stripping--here is what was done.

2nd Generation Firebirds all have a channel where the original trunk weather stripping was adhered to the trunk fascia. The channel isn't flat so the replacement rubber requires a matching curve to sit correctly in the channel. The Steele Rubber Products trunk weather stripping fit that channel perfectly--very happy with the fit.

Before any adhesive was used, the rubber weather stripping was test fitted. To get a good, leak free seal, requires one end of the weather stripping to be centered at the very bottom of the trunk's channel, near the trunk latch. This is the starting position and the ending position of the weather stripping. On the test fit, I proceeded counter clockwise (my choice) and worked the rubber all the way around. Steele Rubber provides more than enough to do the job. I looked carefully all around the channel to make certain the rubber was fully seated. In one location at the LH bottom corner, the factory was overzealous with seam sealer and left a large hump of seam sealer. This hump was reduced by me, yet I could not get the rubber to seat in its unaltered state. My decision was to use a singe edge razor blade making several small cuts in the bottom edge of the rubber cutting out a small section where the "hump" was located. My cuts were small and within a couple of minutes the entire rubber fit perfectly right to the starting place. I left the rubber in that position for a full day (my choice) before working on the actual installation. This was done as a precaution because I did not know how pliable the rubber would be--I didn't want to see any position change. There was none.

The 3M adhesive was carefully squeezed out of the tube into the channel. This was done all the way around. It was a small thin bead that was spread out while putting it down into the channel. Next I put a bead of adhesive, full length on the rubber. Both were tack free in a few minutes. I added a bit more of the adhesive in the channel and immediately proceeded to install the rubber as I had done in the test fit. In 3 minutes, the weather stripping was in, and after two minutes it was there to stay.

Both the Steele weather stripping and the black 3M Super Weather Stripping Adhesive are quality products. Two thumbs up.

"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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mike389
Big Trees

USA
572 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2017 :  3:49:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks great Bill can't wait to see the finished product !!!
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2017 :  12:14:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 14 December 2017

A frustrating experience for me. Here's what I'm referring to:

Yesterday I began the process of remounting the RH fender on to the car. The LH fender went on easily. The door gap on the LH side was pretty uniform. The panel sits relatively flush with the driver's door. In contrast, the RH side was a nightmare.

Since I'm the original owner of the car, I have lots of photos of the car over the past 38+ years. One thing that existed from the beginning was the fit between the RH fender and the passenger door. The gap always was wider than the driver's side gap.

When I painted the car in 1992 (it was 1992 not 93 like I've written on an off on these various threads) photos of my work revealed a wide gap. I've been looking at those photos as I've attempted to decrease the gap on that side. My son and I spent 6 hours on it yesterday and 4 today. Decreasing the gap is futile. The fender panels from the factory are not very exact. I can't image how far they are off with aftermarket panels.

When the gap was close in width to the driver's side, the contour of the fender provided a staggering .018" of clearance between the door edge and the fender edge. To me this is dangerously close and encourages damages between the two panels at a later date. Shims were used to try and straighten and level things but to no avail.

We were able to get the panel positioned so the clearance when the door swings open is about 3/16". With this gap the side contour pretty much matches the contour of the door. So, this is where I intend to keep it. It may be slightly better than when the car was delivered to me in 1979, but not by much. I'm going to have to live with this. I'm disappointed.

Numerous measurements were taken at several locations between the fenders. My intention is to test fit the hood without hinges and latch to be certain the hood will go in between the fenders. I make note that the radiator core support received new hardware and rubber a while back as the old stuff had broken down badly. I'm hoping no further adjustments will be required to get the hood gaps relatively even all the way around. If possible we will test fit the hood today, if not, tomorrow.

Despite my frustration, the car is taking shape.

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2017 :  4:42:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 14 December 2017--Afternoon

My son and I took the hood off the roof of the car placing it on a body shop work stand. Then we took numerous measurements of the hood and compared them to the measurements taken earlier of the space between the fenders. The comparison clearly indicated the hood would fit with a gap of about ?? give or take a 32nd.

The hood was placed over the engine bay and moved to get the gap on each side near equal. We also had to adjust the position of the hood to meet the front of the fender. Doing that revealed a big flaw in the cut of the hood. Oooops!

As mentioned earlier the LH (driver?s side) fender was easy to mount. The door gap is pretty uniform. The hood curve near the ?A? pillar has a nice sweep to it. The RH side has problems. Below are photos showing the differences between the two. We also measured the length of the hood from the very tip near the ?A? pillar to the front of the hood. Our measurements showed that the RH side of the hood, the curve around the cowl, was off by 1/8?. Again, take a look at the picts below. They are worth a thousand words about PMD?s and GM?s quality control in 1979.

Update: 14 December 2017?Afternoon
My son and I took the hood off the roof of the car placing it on a body shop work stand. Then we took numerous measurements of the hood and compared them to the measurements taken earlier of the space between the fenders. The comparison clearly indicated the hood would fit with a gap of about ?? give or take a 32nd.
The hood was placed over the engine bay and moved to get the gap on each side near equal. We also had to adjust the position of the hood to meet the front of the fender. Doing that revealed a big flaw in the cut of the hood. Oooops!
As mentioned earlier the LH (driver?s side) fender was easy to mount. The door gap is pretty uniform. The hood curve near the ?A? pillar has a nice sweep to it. The RH side has problems. Below are photos showing the differences between the two. We also measured the length of the hood from the very tip near the ?A? pillar to the front of the hood. Our measurements showed that the RH side of the hood, the curve around the cowl, was off by 1/8?. Again, take a look at the picts below. They are worth a thousand words about PMD?s and GM?s quality control in 1979.









"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
5361 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2017 :  10:18:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very possibly a worn hood hinge? They can really send you chasing adjustments all over when it's the slop in them creating issues finding a good alignment.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2017 :  10:55:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nope--the hood is just sitting --no hinges in place.

"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
5361 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2017 :  11:17:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
good ole gm panel alignment!
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Red Horse
Cochise

210 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2017 :  12:30:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My 69 has a large gap in the same area. Its between the fender and the windshield.Only way to fix it would be to remove the fender and fab. a new piece of metal in to the offending area. Which means I would have to repaint the car as there is no way I could match the paint. So I have to live with it. As previously mentioned QC was not particularly important when these cars were built.
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Red Horse
Cochise

210 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2017 :  12:35:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice garage Bill wish I had one.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2017 :  06:13:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
15 December 2017

When the LH fender was remounted onto the car and I looked at the nice uniform gap between the fender and door, I thought this is really going to turn out nice, "I just need to do the other side and that will do it." However, when remounting the RH fender and could not significantly decrease the gap nor make it uniform (after 2 people working on it for 10 hours, 20 man hours) so the door would not be dangerously close to the edge of the fender when it was open, I was disgusted. Good grief how could one side be so far off I thought.

When you look at the LH side of the car, the fit of the door in relation to the fender and rear quarter is very good. The other side shows a door that doesn't have a good contour edge at the quarter panel and is not as good a door as the LH door. When the door skin was attached during the manufacturing of the RH door, the bending tool was out of sync, in my opinion.

I've taken numerous measurements to see if either door has sagged and that is not the case. Both are in the same place on the car, within thousandths of an inch at the same location on the car. So, it's the parts themselves. Some are better than others. Again, this is a lack of quality control.

This is not going to be a "Bitchin' Ride" like Dave Kindig and team does on the TV show, "Bitch' Rides." I don't have enough talent and the right equipment to improve the edge on the RH door. I may change the shape of the RH fender at the windshield so it matches the poor and short curve of the hood so from a quick look the problem won't be noticeable. (Still thinking bout it.) To do that will be a lot of extra work.

In today's car manufacturing business, that "bad door" and hood would be sent back to the scrap heap. In 1979, it was "good to go." I guess PMD and GM never thought some of their cars would still be around beyond 5-7 years back then and that the buying public wasn't pressing the Big 3 to build quality products until the Japanese and German's pushed the envelope forcing them to eventually compete using closer tolerances and upgrading their quality control.

"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 08 Jan 2018 1:16:30 PM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2017 :  2:08:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
More comments for Thursday, 14 December 2017

I mentioned taking various measurements and that close inspection revealed something that I had not noticed until today.

The LH door and fender fit far better than the RH door and fender. Door height was measured from the inside roof line edge to the door in several locations, front and rear, and the variance between the LH and RH was barely 1/16". However, one thing that was different was the location of the doors when closed in respect to the 'A' pillar. A straight edge was used to see the difference on the LH 'A' pillar and the door edge and the two were nearly flush. On the RH side of the car...a big difference. In contrast, the space between the two was 3/16." Thinking that could be the reason for the large gap between the RH fender and door, the door was opened and the hinges examined. Perhaps, there was a shim in place that bumped out the door. No, nothing...both hinges were flush against the inner body and bolted tight. This distance discrepancy I had never noticed until today. Sheesh!

I have no helper today so the hood sits in place to be moved back atop the roof so the hinges can be installed and then the arduous task of positioning the springs and hood will begin.

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2017 :  10:43:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: Friday 15 December 2017 (10 days until Christmas)

My brand new urethane rear bumper cover arrived via UPS. It's another tiny step closer toward getting the exterior refinished. The urethane needs to be prepped before any primer or paint is applied to it. The steel end brackets with studs need to be transferred from the old cover to the new one as well. Date? To be determined.

Unlike the new front cover which remains off the car and is funky looking, the new rear bumper closely resembles the OEM unit right our of the box. There is negligible distortion.

"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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Lee
Sitting Bull

126 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2017 :  2:20:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Looking good Bill!

Body work always ends up frustrating me, in contrast to the mechanical stuff that I love.

CURRENT: '73 T/A clone, boring at the moment...
67 Firebird (sold) 11.27 @ 119.6 Feb. '05 issue HPP
69 Falcon wagon, 10.51 @ 130mph Feb. '10 issue PHR (sold)
72 Cutlass Convertible, first car, owned since '82, now with a 6.0 LS, mild, putting just under 400 hp/tq to the wheels.
www.LNLPD.com
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Blued and Painted
Chief PONTIAC

USA
3432 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2017 :  11:52:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a no experience tec at the Chevy dealer in 1978, much of the work assigned was aligning hoods, trunk lids, doors and door glass. Not fun or profitable but a good learning experience.

Some cars were sent to the body shop where fender or door edges were slightly extended with bondo then the assembled gaps were re-cut with sand paper on a paint stick.


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

Edited by - Blued and Painted on 19 Dec 2017 11:58:30 AM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7236 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2017 :  09:27:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, 3 segments now! Progress is motivating even in the NE States where winter is applying its dampening effect.

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
4869 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2018 :  08:57:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Teddy Roosevelt said: "Believe you can and you're half way there." This is positive advice when faced with an uphill battle to overcome. It applies in many situations and is applicable to me completing the TA this year (finally).

I've decided to paint the underside of the hood satin black with SEM trim paint. It is mixed with urethane reducer (1:1 ratio). It' has been ordered an I await delivery. Painting it will depend on the weather (as usual).

"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
7236 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  3:51:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill, what did you decide about the "elongated" pass side hood issue? I was thinking you really can't trim the tip of the fender and corresponding door because that is a folded seam, right? Then you'd be getting into tig welding the seam back up, rustproofing, finishing, seam sealer etc. and generally a WHOLE LOT of effort for such a small gain.(??)

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
4869 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2018 :  5:49:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Phil--I've been comparing the door shapes on both sides of the car and taking various measurements to try and see why there's such a difference between the two sides/ panels. I've come to the conclusion it was all in the manufacturing process.

If I attempt trimming the fender to soften the obvious manufacturing flaw in the hood, it does nothing to reduce the wide gap between the passenger door and fender.

I've thought about loosening the door hinges and moving the door forward 1/16 of an inch, but doing that may not change the clearance needed between the door and fender when the door is opened. The rear edge of the passenger door is not exactly the same contour as the driver's door. It must have to do with the door skin bend when the passenger door was made.

It's possible that I may have to try moving the door and seeing if the clearance works and the gap is reduced.

Trimming the fender may require more skill and tools that I don't have to make the fix, just like you surmise in your question. At this point, I just don't know what is best.


"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  10:30:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 6 January 2018

The SEM trim paint I'll use on the underside of the hood arrived yesterday along with more 3M PPS liners and lids. So, everything needed to spray the underside is on hand.

Back to Phil's question on correcting the mismatched hood curve and trimming the passenger side panel.

Here is my assessment.

The passenger door:

Moving the passenger side door forward 1/16" will not decrease the front door gap so that it will not interfere with the full swing of the door. The door panel edge contour is pretty good but the panel shape differs ever so slightly from the panel shape of the fender. Then there is the style line--the peak on the door and fenders where dings occur from over swung doors from other cars--it aligns like it should between door and fender. Any effort to raise the door at the latch to decrease the wide gap at the top of the door and fender will alter the style line between door and rear quarter panel as well as the front fender.

My examination of the door panel to the rocker panel was interesting. Until today, I never really looked too closely. The fit of the rocker panel really doesn't match the shape of the door panel. The bottom of the door and the top of the rocker panel aren't close. At the hinge the rocker panel is at least 1/8 to 3/16' out beyond the bottom of the door and is like that a good 36" running along the door. The remaining section of rocker tapers in and the door bottom is very close to having the same contour between the two. I also noted the gap from front to rear on the bottom of the door at the hinges to the door edge at the latch. The gap is inconsistent (no surprise). The difference front to rear is 1/16".

So, I've decided that moving the door around isn't going to solve anything. It will stay where it is to avoid other fit issues.

The only possibility that I can think of to decrease the gap in the door given the fact that expert fabricators at "Bitchn' Rides are not working on my car, is to try once more to improve the passenger side fender fitment. However, I've looked at my photos of the car taken when the car was new, later when the car was repainted in 1993 and that horrid wide door gap is ever present.

I'm thinking that if I leave the bottom fender bolts in place and work on the top bolt and firewall bolt maybe the door gap can be closed a tad. That will be my last go round on this.

Moreover, I will not attempt to trim the top of the fender to try and match the curve of the hood which was made with an inaccurate curve at the factory. (The curve on the driver's side isn't the same as the passenger side.)

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  12:31:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 7 January 2018

Yesterday I had a long telephone conversation with Phil. During that conversation he gave me an idea about how I might be able to adjust the fender/door gap on the passenger door.

This morning I applied that idea and was able to reduce the gap 2/32". It entailed a few things along with a little "persuasion."

Here's what I did:

The A pillar bolt was loosened as was the top firewall and front firewall bolts. 3 shims were in place on the top firewall bolt, so one was removed. A thinner shim at the radiator core support was also removed. The fender was pushed and pulled and when the gap closed as measured using drill bits, the top firewall bolt was tightened. That was followed by tightening the front and A pillar bolts.

The body contour was checked with a straight edge and it wasn't too far out. I then believed that repositioning the bottom three bolts, again pulling and pushing would further improve the gap and get the contours of the fender more in line with the door. It worked.

I am now pleased with the new and better than factory alignment. Photos to follow.

"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
5361 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  12:53:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great work! It's like a weight lifted when you solve a problem like that. More dedicated to perfection than most would be!
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  3:01:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike.

Here are several photos taken during this morning's latest (and final) alignment effort on the passenger fender.













With all of these adjustments, I'm satisfied that I've gotten the best fit possible. Next I will revisit the driver's side and double check its fit.

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  1:14:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 8 January 2018

The driver's fender was tweaked a little this morning so both fenders are done.

Mike, thanks for your response on painting the underside of the hood before BC / CC on the exterior--makes good sense to me.

It looks like the temperature is getting back to normal around here. The past week it has been 30-40 degrees below the usual (darn chilly for spoiled Floridians like me).

************
Afterthought: I want to correct a comment made earlier about the shape of the curve on the hood. I believed the contour, the arch, was different on each side. Previous measurements showed the error, however, the length of the hood is really the difference, not the curve. Last night I made a cardboard template of one side, flipped it over and compared it to the other side and it was nearly identical. The reason it sits funny is the hood length. The hood is longer on one side than the other. (love that quality control.)

"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 09 Jan 2018 09:36:17 AM
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4869 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2018 :  3:09:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 9 January 2018

Things you learn along the way and problem solving.

Briefly, both fender jambs received BC and CC awhile back. I elected to do this rather than having my painter do it later because I didn't what the fasteners and washers painted with BC/CC. That look is fine on some cars but Firebirds never came that way. The fasteners and washers were always semi-gloss black.

The jambs came out looking very nice. The driver's side fender as you may recall from earlier posts went on smoothly so the fasteners needed to be tightened down only once, perhaps twice to get the fender aligned properly. In contrast, the passenger side fender gave me nothing but grief and it's alignment was tedious and difficult. What I learned is that BC/CC can't withstand a lot pressure from fastening and refastening bolts with heavy washers. Repositioning the fender repeatedly loused up my nice BC/CC on the top firewall bolt/washer location on the passenger fender. Bummer! More corrective work needed. But what to do?

Today, I had to solve this problem. The damaged area was about 1/8 to 3/16 beyond the outside of the bolt with heavy washer. At first I imagined sanding down the damaged area and reapplying BC followed by CC and try to blend it in so the damage would disappear. I began this process but soon became reluctant to continue. So, I thought what about hiding the bad paint with a larger washer. Hmm, that might be more practical, besides the larger washer would spread the load across more of the area. I found two larger SS washers that I could use to cover the damaged paint and copy it on the other side to make it look symmetrical. Both SS washers were painted semi-gloss black, centered over the hole and both top firewall bolts with washers were fastened down. That worked.

The front two bolts that fasten the top of the fender to the radiator support also had some evidence of paint damage. However, all I did was mix up some BC and touch up the bad area--hardly noticeable right now, and when time allows the BC will be sanded lightly and touched up with clear. A lot of extra busy work, I know, but it has to look great.

The hood was removed off the roof of the car and set into position to triple check the gaps around the hood to the fender. I also adjusted the front bumpers so the hood will sit flush with the fenders. All and all, the hood gap is very uniform. I' m happy with the fit.


"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2018 :  3:53:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 11 January 2018

Working under the dashboard today installing the AC ducting.

Weeks ago the main duct that comes off the heater core box was repaired with 3m plastic filler. Both bolt holes were also strengthened with the addition of brass that was glued on to the duct. The bracing will ensure that the plastic will not fracture in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the main duct on a 2nd Gen Firebird, the ducting is all plastic and the ducting fits, one into the other. At the main duct, there is a weather seal that ensures the cold or hot air goes through the ducting as designed. This foam seal broke down years ago and was replaced. Today, the correct GM seal doesn't exist (as I haven't found one), so I ordered a 1.5" x .50" x 42" AC foam weather seal. I'll cut this product to size and glue it to the duct using 3M weather stripping adhesive.

Surprisingly, the weather seal was not available locally. So there will be a short delay before this is completed.

"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
7236 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  09:40:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Quite an improvement on the gaps, your patience and persistence paid off.

Regarding the duct seal, that's a similar solution I ended up employing as well with AC weather stripping but I happened to have some leftover material from a wall AC install that I was able to cut/trim and use. It's worked so far but I'd like to find a more robust solution. I was thinking about hitting the car weather strip catalog for the next job to check profiles and find something that would be suitable and maybe comes in a roll too so I can use on some other Birds as well.

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
4869 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2018 :  10:02:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 16 January 2018

The dense AC weather stripping that I ordered arrived yesterday afternoon. It was 1/2" thick and 1 1/2 inches wide. An examination of the main duct with the heater core outlet was necessary to determine how this weather stripping should best be affixed to the mating surfaces.

The main duct outlet from top to bottom is not on the same angle so it doesn't meet the core outlet face completely flush. The top of the main duct fit's flush but the bottom angles away leaving a sizable 3/4" gap at the bottom. So, my decision was to glue the weather stripping wide side to the heater core using 3M black weather stripping adhesive and then doubling up on it on the lower half to close the gap between the main duct and the heat core box.

The weather stripping is very dense and I was able to trim a little with a single edge razor to try and get the angle coming off the flush side of the main duct. The under dash ducting is installed and there's a tight fit between the heater core outlet and the main duct so air flow should be good throughout the duct work. For those interested, this endeavor took a little over 2 hours 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
4869 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2018 :  3:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 16 January 2018--Afternoon

In order to get the car drivable (so I can get the air conditioning charged) the driver's seat, seat belts and steering wheel were installed in the TA.

The driver's seat looks just like it did when I started the project--it's in dire need of new foam and upholstery. The seat mechanism, all manual, was taken apart some time ago, cleaned up and reinstalled onto the frame. You would think that installing the seat would be pretty simple--just 4 bolts. However, there's a trick to mounting these manual seats and I found out all the wrong ways for over 1 hour. You see, the spring action on the glides can cause misalignment. They weren't the best operating seats when new, and the mechanism when cleaned up and reassembled, well...things were off. Anyway, the seat is in temporarily, same is true of the old, beat up, formula steering wheel I bought 20 plus years ago. The original reconditioned steering wheel will be installed when the interior is almost finished. Date of course, to be determined.


The underside of the hood is still awaiting prep and paint. Tomorrow another cold front arrives for several days so the hood will sit until better weather returns.

"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
4869 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2018 :  2:17:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Update: 18 January 2018

Vacuum lines abound in 2nd Generation Firebirds. Add wiring that was hardly concealed and the typical engine bay looks like spaghetti.

The emission control hose diagram decal that is affixed to the radiator support illustrates how the factory routed all of the emission hoses from one component to another. It doesn't provide a neat picture at all.

Changes made to my engine over the past 38+ years altered the emission control system and related vacuum hose routing. There are fewer hoses and emission components now than when factory stock, yet the vacuum hoses in use cause a routing problem especially if you want to make you engine compartment look neat.

Yesterday afternoon I began the task of installing the charcoal canister that sits in front of the passenger inner fender and the radiator over flow tank. The canister is held in place with two screws. In addition to installing the canister, I had to consider how the vacuum lines to it would route from their various starting points to the canister. The canister part # is 17064620DH. There are 5 inlets/ outlets: purge, air cleaner, fuel tank, manifold vacuum and carb bowl. The air cleaner outlet was capped (not in use), all others received vacuum lines.

Routing of the existing hoses had to be considered with the factory location of the over flow tank, as it sits off the passenger fender near the air compressor and the radiator and canister. The vac hoses needed to be routed cleverly to become somewhat inconspicuous.

The over flow tank was temporarily installed so the hose lines could be laid out in various configurations to see which provided the neatest look. Once things were laid out satisfactorily, new hoses were measured and cut to length and everything was assembled. See photos below:
















"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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