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

850 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
4834 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
4834 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
154 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
4834 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
4834 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
4834 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
569 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
4834 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
4834 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
5354 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
4834 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
5354 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

209 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

209 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
4834 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 "Bitch' 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.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4834 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
4834 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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