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    Thread: 1979 Trans Am

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States

      1979 Trans Am

      After selling my last couple of cars, I finally picked up what I've been wanting to build since I was 16. Growing up, my dad had a couple '79 Trans Am's that we'd cruise around in. Sadly, those cars were sold when my parents split up. I just picked this up on Saturday. It's a pretty dang solid car with a 400 Pontiac and 4 speed. At the moment, I'm going to leave the engine/trans setup in it but will be swapping it out for an LS setup hopefully next year. The first thing going onto the car will be a new suspension setup and brakes. It's straight out of the 70's at the moment. The traction bars and chrome mudflaps have already been taken off .

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      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Feb 2017
      Posts
      99
      It's a shame you're going to cut that car up.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Location
      Harrisburg, PA
      Posts
      78
      Country Flag: United States
      Build it, Beat it, Fix it... Repeat. Excited to follow the build!
      Joshua O

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by 76TA View Post
      It's a shame you're going to cut that car up.
      It's not really getting cut up. It will all be done with bolt on pieces.
      Quote Originally Posted by GTOtzel View Post
      Build it, Beat it, Fix it... Repeat. Excited to follow the build!
      That's the plan! Thanks Josh!


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Location
      IL
      Posts
      24
      I think what 76TA meant was it was the last year of the Pontiac 400, only available with the 4 speed, production of 2200 out of 200,000 cars...Not just another Trans Am. '79 Pontiac block was thick web like the early blocks. Pretty rare car.
      1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner - Turbo LS in the works
      1963-1/2 Mercury Comet Hardtop - 289 / TKO
      1972 GMC 3/4 Ton Suburban / 4speed/ 4x4 - Family Truck...
      1979 Pontiac Trans Am 400/4 Speed
      1994 Ford Mustang 302 / 3550 / 70mm Turbo

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by 79bird View Post
      I think what 76TA meant was it was the last year of the Pontiac 400, only available with the 4 speed, production of 2200 out of 200,000 cars...Not just another Trans Am. '79 Pontiac block was thick web like the early blocks. Pretty rare car.
      Ah, there's the catch. It's not an original 400 car. So this one is good to cut up?


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Aug 2010
      Location
      Seattle area
      Posts
      357
      Its your car just build it the way you want .And try to keep the original parts ,If you ever want to change it back.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Location
      Beach Park IL
      Posts
      2,551
      Country Flag: United States
      Glad you found a nice start!

      I have never met a single person that went back to stock.
      Donny

      Support your local hot rod shop!

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Jun 2012
      Location
      South Lyon, MI
      Posts
      1,170
      Country Flag: United States
      I like the styling. I think it would be cool to keep the paint and sheet metal original, but with the suspension and drivetrain modernized as you want. These Trans Ams are iconic.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Apr 2014
      Location
      DFW, TX
      Posts
      112
      Country Flag: United States
      Great Looking car John! Glad you found it and have it to drive around in, enjoy!
      1978 Pontiac Trans Am Y88-R, DSE suspension, LS3/T56
      2002 Firehawk by SLP, LS1, 1LE

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Zspoiler View Post
      Its your car just build it the way you want .And try to keep the original parts ,If you ever want to change it back.
      That's the plan!
      Quote Originally Posted by dontlifttoshift View Post
      Glad you found a nice start!

      I have never met a single person that went back to stock.
      Thanks man, I appreciate it. I really doubt I'll ever take it back to stock. I'll keep the parts for that purpose but I'm probably going to hang on to this one so it won't matter!
      Quote Originally Posted by cornfedbill View Post
      I like the styling. I think it would be cool to keep the paint and sheet metal original, but with the suspension and drivetrain modernized as you want. These Trans Ams are iconic.
      Thanks! I'm really excited about it.
      Quote Originally Posted by gscherer78ta View Post
      Great Looking car John! Glad you found it and have it to drive around in, enjoy!
      Thanks Greg. I've looked at your build several times in the past (and even more in the last few weeks). I'll probably hit you up with some questions in the future if you don't mind!


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Location
      IL
      Posts
      24
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]ridetech View Post
      Ah, there's the catch. It's not an original 400 car. So this one is good to cut up?
      Absolutely!! Haha. And I'm no collector or purist, just have one so I figured I'd chime in. When you look at prices for a Pontiac engine build, the LS is very attractive.
      1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner - Turbo LS in the works
      1963-1/2 Mercury Comet Hardtop - 289 / TKO
      1972 GMC 3/4 Ton Suburban / 4speed/ 4x4 - Family Truck...
      1979 Pontiac Trans Am 400/4 Speed
      1994 Ford Mustang 302 / 3550 / 70mm Turbo

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Aug 2005
      Location
      Hamilton, NJ
      Posts
      4,259
      Country Flag: United States
      That's a really nice color combo
      Scott from NJ.

      Vent Windows Forever! ... My junk, featuring the Red Dragon ... NastyZ28 ... NJ Camaros & Firebirds

      Feather-light suspension, Konis just couldn't hold
      I'm so glad I took a look inside your showroom doors

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by 79bird View Post
      Absolutely!! Haha. And I'm no collector or purist, just have one so I figured I'd chime in. When you look at prices for a Pontiac engine build, the LS is very attractive.
      Haha, no doubt. Luckily, this 400 is running pretty good right now. I will change it in the future but I'm just going to enjoy the car and play around with it for a little bit. I'll start changing stuff up this winter I'm sure.
      Quote Originally Posted by BonzoHansen View Post
      That's a really nice color combo
      Thanks!


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Apr 2014
      Location
      DFW, TX
      Posts
      112
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]ridetech View Post
      Thanks Greg. I've looked at your build several times in the past (and even more in the last few weeks). I'll probably hit you up with some questions in the future if you don't mind!
      Anytime! I'm happy to share what I've done, what's worked and what hasn't. I would definitely get going on the T56! That's going to be great and it makes the driving experience so much better.
      1978 Pontiac Trans Am Y88-R, DSE suspension, LS3/T56
      2002 Firehawk by SLP, LS1, 1LE

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by gscherer78ta View Post
      Anytime! I'm happy to share what I've done, what's worked and what hasn't. I would definitely get going on the T56! That's going to be great and it makes the driving experience so much better.
      I would appreciate it. I'd definitely like to get a T56 in it sometime soon, the 4 speed is a little clunky to say the least. I'm chasing down some wiring issues in it right now (it appears I'll end up changing it all out, it's a rat's nest now). The engine feels like it makes decent power so I'll make the most of it until it breaks or I can afford to start swapping out to a different engine/trans setup!



      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am


    17. #17
      Join Date
      Apr 2014
      Location
      DFW, TX
      Posts
      112
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]ridetech View Post
      I would appreciate it. I'd definitely like to get a T56 in it sometime soon, the 4 speed is a little clunky to say the least. I'm chasing down some wiring issues in it right now (it appears I'll end up changing it all out, it's a rat's nest now). The engine feels like it makes decent power so I'll make the most of it until it breaks or I can afford to start swapping out to a different engine/trans setup!
      If the engine runs decently spend your money on all that new ridetech suspension stuff and make it ride and handle really well. Then get some good tires and go enjoy, get seat time and improve your driving skills. Have fun all the while!
      1978 Pontiac Trans Am Y88-R, DSE suspension, LS3/T56
      2002 Firehawk by SLP, LS1, 1LE

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by gscherer78ta View Post
      If the engine runs decently spend your money on all that new ridetech suspension stuff and make it ride and handle really well. Then get some good tires and go enjoy, get seat time and improve your driving skills. Have fun all the while!
      That's what the goal is! I'm going to leave this engine in for now and make the swap later. I'll have a couple updates today actually. The stock suspension is getting ready to go into storage at my dad's garage!


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jan 2003
      Location
      Arizona
      Posts
      5,395
      Country Flag: United States
      I can't wait to go for a ride.
      /Steve
      ________________
      Steve Chryssos


      Ridetech.com
      Email: stevenATridetech.com

      My PT Garage:
      https://www.pro-touring.com/dto_show...preview&g=1288

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      I started working on the car the other night and ran into a couple things that I'd like to address while I'm doing the suspension install. The passenger side toe board shows signs (and a good size hole...) of where the heater core has leaked on it in the past. I ordered a new floor pan and it's coming in today. I called one of my good friends/ex-coworkers who is a plethora of knowledge, Herb (Yelcamino on here), for a little advice. During that phone call, Herb offered to let me bring the car over to his shop for some help and use of his lift, which will be a tremendous help. We'll be doing the suspension install over at his shop in the next week or so!


      Ridetech Suspsension
      Tech Specialist
      Phone: 812.481.4734

      Project Fox
      1979 Trans Am

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