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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States

      Let the games begin....

      Great day for me today and I think some will enjoy seeing. Sold my '98 BPM Trans Am last night and made room in my new garage to start working on my '79 Trans Am again. Now that I'm down to just owning this one, the '79 will be at my full concentration.




      Here is the big messy pile of parts I started with last night after I got the other car out.


      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


      Once I was able to get in the garage this evening, I did some organizing for a bit and then took the fenders, core support and control arms off...then centered it up in my garage.
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


      After the car was stripped down up front I started doing an LS swap mockup with my spare "parts engine". Bolted my 4spd up to my 5.3 LS with the Silver Sport Transmission bellhousing and then threw on my 1" setback plates and UMI solid motor mounts. Got a little late doing all this but it's nearly in. I just have to double check and see how everything tightens up. So happy that the UMI mounts worked though. I tried two other brand mounts that were sold under my application but neither worked.
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      1,940
      Country Flag: United States
      Looking great! Glad those mounts worked for you.


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks Ryan,

      I know I told you earlier I decided to take John's advice and bought that cheap rear 2nd Gen seat this evening because the rear 3rd gen seats don't fit these cars very well. As I mentioned, my plan was to use take the both 2nd/3rd Gen rear seats to an upholstery shop tomorrow to get a quote on transferring the 3rd gen seat material to my 2nd Gen rear seats. While I was at the guy's place, he ended up having a set of Camaro seats he was trying to get rid of and gave them to me super cheap because he was desperately cleaning his garage out.

      Now that I have two full sets of 2nd and 3rd Gen seats, my new debate is which seat I actually want to use. In either case, I need to use the 2nd Gen rear seat frame (not pictured).

      1) The GTA seats are awesome and I can get them to fit but it's a decent amount of custom work to get it right. The fronts need custom fabrication for the seat brackets and the rears would need the 2nd gen seats custom-fitted with 3rd gen material to match correct. This route would cost some money. These seats have recline, cargo net, electronic air bolsters, adjustable headrest and adjustable lower cushion. A downside is they're heavier and slightly smaller in width.

      2) The 2nd Gen Camaro seats I just picked up actually have frames that are in super nice condition and bolt in with barely any labor. Mice ate the fabric but everything else is super nice and no rust at all. Even the seat bottom wires are still intact. These would look like crap now but I could sell the one-year-only red GTA 3rd Gen seats, fund the car more to get it running and restore the 2nd Gen to Firebird spec at a later date. They're lighter but unfortunately don't have any features like the later model seats.


      Decisions, Decisions, Decisions....hmmm

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      678
      Country Flag: United States
      You really have a long way to go and a short time to get there...

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by JustJohn View Post
      You really have a long way to go and a short time to get there...
      Hahaha, no black car here man but I hear you

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Hey Guys,


      No progress pictures this evening (phone died) but I dug into the project further than I intended this evening and needed to concentrate on what I was doing. After speaking with Tobin at Kore3 this past week and ordering braided brake lines for my car, I ended up deciding I would like to try manual brakes with the 1" master cylinder I currently have. Once I decided on that, I ordered a 70-81 F-Body manual brake conversion kit from manualbrakes.com. The part this evening that pushed me beyond where I've gone before on these cars, is the brake assembly needed to be removed from the car to modify the studs so I can install proper studs for the master cylinder. In order to do that, I had to remove the dash plate, steering column, and steering column/brake/clutch wires just to get the assembly out. It was a bit overwhelming at first but it ultimately doesn't seem like it's too bad. Now I just have to put it back together correct haha.


      I'm interested to see how this brake system turns out as I've never driven manual brakes before. To recap, my setup is the 12" 1LE rotors on B-Body spindles, factory WS6 rear disc, Kore3 braided lines, 1" aluminum master cylinder, and manualbrakes.com conversion kit.


      I'll post more pictures on this once I start getting to the installation portion.

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Made some slight progress this evening but took a lot of effort to get there. Once I got the pedal assembly out the other night, I found I have to remove the studs which held the original booster. They were welded on and it took a lot of grinding for me to get them out but I got them out. My neighbor convinced me to take apart the assembly and bring it by his house to sandblast and paint it. Hopefully I can bang that out before the weekend.

      To add to my previous parts list for brakes, I called up Kore3 yesterday and ordered Hawk HP+ pads for front and rear as they said it would be a better compound for pedal effort and feedback on manual brakes. This should be a fun setup between the Hawk pads, braided hose, 4 wheel disc, 12" 3rd gen rotors and manual master. I'm not a parts-seller but I'm going to call this brake setup the "Super WS6" package haha.

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      1,940
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks great man, any progress is that much closer to driving it. Keep it up!


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Oct 2012
      Location
      Kennewick, WA
      Posts
      255
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks like a great start to a great car. Always been a Pontiac guy at heart and a strong supporter of running a true Pontiac engine. That said, if I still had my GTO the original 400 would be in the corner in favor of an LS. So hard to go wrong with that choice. Recently picked up an LM7 for our 65 Malibu, will make it nice to driver with great power.


    10. #10
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by RMMiller View Post
      Looks like a great start to a great car. Always been a Pontiac guy at heart and a strong supporter of running a true Pontiac engine. That said, if I still had my GTO the original 400 would be in the corner in favor of an LS. So hard to go wrong with that choice. Recently picked up an LM7 for our 65 Malibu, will make it nice to driver with great power.
      Iíve been a big supporter of true Pontiac engines as well and actually had the original 400 built/driving for a couple years. You can do pretty much most of what an LS engine does with a traditional V8 but there are some features such as larger cam core, o ring gaskets and other that make LS engines better to a degree. As much as Iíve fought it, I finally made the jump to LS platform as of recent. I really wanted the aluminum block and better/cheaper selection of parts. Pontiacs are unfortunately expensive to build right.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      My neighbor got me convinced to using his sand blaster this evening. I said I wouldn't get too into the weeds with this build but this was actually a fun project I was able to complete this evening.
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


      After I got done with the blasting, I used some OER Chassis Primer then finished with their Chassis Paint. 2 coats primer, 1 coat paint and heat gun in between each round to speed up the process. I'm happy we got this done but now I have rusty looking pedals for a nice painted bracket haha
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      1,940
      Country Flag: United States
      That looks great, you won't regret taking the time to do that. Just hurry up and get it reinstalled before you start pulling other parts off haha.


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Went over to my neighbors house again for sandblasting this evening to work on my pedals and rear brake backing plates. For some reason, I was having issue with the media/equipment being really slow about removing the paint/rust. I was only able to clean up one backing plate but it still did not do a perfect job. Took forever and really frustrating but this is what I had to work with so I dealt with it for a 1-2hrs. Not much progress but it was something. We're picking up more media tomorrow so we'll see how it goes then.

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Couldn't help myself but this is more of a "show 'n' tell" rather than a progress post tonight. I got my Viking front coilovers and rear shocks that I ordered from Rodney at Suspension Geek today. Man, I'm excited to run this setup. Big cost for my budget but I'm happy I pulled the trigger. I don't know the weight difference but I can definitely feel this front coilover setup is much lighter than the stock style springs and steel shocks. Since I'm changing the weight of the car by couple hundred pounds and using the free-moving AFCO control arm bushings, I've been kind of wary about using generic shocks for my setup. Now that this setup will be adjustable, I can dial it in to what the car will like.

      In speaking with Rodney at Suspension Geek, I was originally intending on going with 550lb front springs like most small block applications but we ended up settling on trying out 450lb springs to start. Since I'm going manual brakes, 1" engine setback, aluminum LS1 engine, keeping the T10 4spd transmission and low-friction bushings, the car is going to be lighter than most applications up front.

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

      I'm not sure if I showed this online before but my upper control arms were rebuilt a few years ago. I disassembled them and Dave from PTFB helped me by installing the AFCO bushings, Moog offset cross shafts and powder coating them. For anyone looking to have this work done by Dave, don't get any ideas haha! He told me not to advertise this work from him because it's a hard job and it's actually more cost effective for buyers and himself to just to do new control arms. I haven't actually used these uppers but they're pretty much as good as you can get with the offset shaft and low-friction no-deflection AFCO bushings. When I had them worked on originally, I installed QA1 racing style ball joints but this evening I just swapped in standard height Proforged ball joints because I'm not trying to build a race car, as much as I think performance parts are cool.

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Got a set of Speedway Motors lower control arm reinforcement plates today. I couldn't find anything specifically for '70-'81 control arms and these were stated to be made for '67-'69 control arms so they're going to need modification to fit. My debate now is whether to install on the top side or bottom side of the shock mount.

      Option 1- Cut the heck out of these things down to nicely fit on the bottom side. I'm leaning towards this direction...
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

      Option 2- Just drop them in the top side, plug weld, and redrill the plates to the stock shock location. This route seems much easier but I would close up the available shock mounting length by 1/4".
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Oct 2012
      Location
      Kennewick, WA
      Posts
      255
      Country Flag: United States
      I would go option two, to my untrained mind I would think that would be the strongest option.


    17. #17
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by RMMiller View Post
      I would go option two, to my untrained mind I would think that would be the strongest option.
      I'm 100% agreement on Option 2 being stronger. I'm just not fully wanting to commit to that setup because I know that the shock will be compressed 1/4" at any given point in travel more than "stock" with the plate welded in that position. That's my main concern there.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Good amount of work done this evening while I had a few hours after work.

      -Finished sandblasting the rear backing plates and pedals. The backing plates did not blast out perfect but they ended up being about 98% clean. There were just some spots that did not want to come out (I believe undercoating) and it would've taken hours more to get it right with the blasting setup I was using.
      -Took the parts home from my neighbors place and quickly threw 2 light coats of primer on and then painted the parts. All with OER Professional primer and paint. Heat gun in between rounds to speed up the process.
      -Reassembled pedals to the pedal bracket.
      -Mounted the pedal assembly to the firewall for mock-up.
      -Attached the clutch and brake pedals for testing.

      My oh my, this is probably the first time the brake pedal has pushed a brake cylinder in, I'd guess, 7 years. I still have a ton to go for getting the brake system tested, modified and installed but this was a big leap towards getting it done.

      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jul 2017
      Location
      Island Lake, IL
      Posts
      124
      Country Flag: United States
      Fun update from yesterday. Got my Holley carburetor intake from Suspension Geek.
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr


      Today I got around to throwing on some engine primer and Pontiac Blue paint on the intake. Before anyone roasts me on my paint job, I figured it would be best to leave the pad not masked since there usually is some area of the carburetor that does not fully cover the pad.
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

      After messing around with the intake, my friend came over and worked on installing 8ft LED ceiling lights I pulled from my old house. This new place had a non-functioning fluorescent light when I moved in and now this update/fix has made for a huge improvement in lighting. The pictures don't do just but this will give an idea. I was having hard to time getting my camera to focus but this is the install....
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr
      Untitled by Jonathon Randolph, on Flickr

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      1,940
      Country Flag: United States
      Looking great. Keep up the progress. How's the clutch linkage fit?


      1968 Camaro 6.2 w/ LSA, TR6060-Magnum hybrid, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
      1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

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