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Thread: 1979 Trans Am

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  1. #1
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    Default 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
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    Default

    It's a shame you're going to cut that car up.

  3. #3
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    Build it, Beat it, Fix it... Repeat. Excited to follow the build!
    Joshua O

  4. #4
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    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
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    Jun 2010
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    IL
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    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
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    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh@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

  8. #8
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    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.
    There are plenty of restored Fbodys. Just think how much this will raise their value.

    Mod 'em all!
    The rule is measure twice and cut once. My problem is I still measure with a mic and cut with an axe!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Protour_Pinto View Post
    There are plenty of restored Fbodys. Just think how much this will raise their value.

    Mod 'em all!
    Hey, there you go! Good thought process!


    Ridetech Suspsension
    Tech Specialist
    Phone: 812.481.4734

    Project Fox
    1979 Trans Am

  10. #10
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    Aug 2010
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    Seattle area
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    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.

  11. #11
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    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!

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
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    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

  14. #14
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    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

  15. #15
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    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh@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
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    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh@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
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    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

  19. #19
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    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

  20. #20
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    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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