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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    The inspiration to the rear suspension?
    Dedion was a quite common solution before the entry of the IRS. I was first about to go with a IRS, but since I wanted the car low (probably lower than whats usual) it was impossible to fit a IRS with decent geometry without cutting out the frame rails. I didn't wanna go with the live axle since it was A. heavy and B. not much of a engineering challenge. The dedion weights in at 37lbs and my 10b axle weights 121lbs. The dedion needs the center section and half shafts too to be comparable, and that adds another 55lbs appr. 92lbs compared to 121lbs might not be that much of a difference, but remember that the unsprung weight has been reduced with almost 90lbs. Besides that, it's possible to adjust toe and camber.



    The dedion performs much like a live axle, but it's lighter. It features more adjustment possibilities than the live axle however an IRS has of course even more benefits and can be made even lighter/stiffer than the dedion. From my point of view, an IRS isn't much faster in this kind of vehicle though. It offers a more comfortable ride on the street though, but that's not very important for me...


    As for color, I haven't decided yet. Don't think I wrote it here, but I'm going to make a -77 of it instead of the -74. I'm spending all of my budget on the suspension so I won't afford a expensive paint job. If money was no problem, I would go with the BMW Le Mans Blue;

    But money is a problem, so I'll probably end up with a solid color which is easier to do by myself. Probably solid white.
    I found this pic on the web alot of years ago and I really love it. Great body work and with a little imagination (squint your eyes...) that looks like my wheels too.
    If I paint it white, I'm gonna stripe it up like the -77 and probably add the bird on the hood in gold or silver. Or maybe I go the martini-route instead... We'll see, it's at least two years before that and I'll probably change my mind 100 times before it's time.


  2. #122
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    261
    Country Flag: Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
    The dedion performs much like a live axle, but it's lighter. It features more adjustment possibilities than the live axle however an IRS has of course even more benefits and can be made even lighter/stiffer than the dedion. From my point of view, an IRS isn't much faster in this kind of vehicle though. It offers a more comfortable ride on the street though, but that's not very important for me...
    I wouldn't be so quick to hand it all over to the IRS. Not that the IRS won't offer a little more, but I'd bet ride quality will take a pretty big jump with nearly 90lbs of unsprung weight gone. And that will also lead to less air time when the axle does encounter a mid corner bump, which would I think help a lot with the jumpiness a solid axle can exhibit. What size are those big rear tubes you're using there?

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    I'm working hard with finishing the last details on the body before it's time for sand blasting. I'm so tired at fixing rusty panels right now and it'll be really nice to get it in primer soon.

    The fenders(?) was supposed to be made in glass fibre and glued to the body, but I was afraid of it cracking in the future so I ended up with making them in steel even though it was quite much job.


    Modern wheels are slightly smaller diameter and since the body was lowered so much, I needed to raise the lip a little. The sides were moved appr. 1,5" closer to the wheel and the upper part was raised about the same.

    Since I don't have any fancy sheet metal tools other than the angle grinder and some hammers, I had to be a little creative. I made two pieces and TIG-welded them together. TIG weld is much softer than the MIG, so it was easy to align them after welding was finished.




    The new lip was tacked to the body. I had to use a profile to line it up along the body.


    After that, duct tape was used to create a template. The template was placed over a rolled plate. The big boys uses a english wheel and makes the piece double curved. I can't do that, but in fact - the stock pieces were actually single curved which was a great reason for why I actually did this in metal instead of composites.



    Theres always a mental barrier with cutting 100% after the template. Much easier to leave 1/4" around, test fit and THEN cut the rest... It actually fit really well, so it was just to go and cut it clean. After that it was tacked and left sitting there for a couple of months...




    Fully welded and the weld isn't visible after grinding. I still have some practice to do when it comes to concave welds. They're hard to grind.



    It's hard to see here due to all different colors, but use your imagination. I think it came out pretty nice.



    Much work with finishing the last things before sand blasting. Quarter panel took forever but this also came out really nice in the end. This weld doesn't need much filler to be invicible.


    The trunk is also finished. It'll mostly consist of the fuel cell when car is done...

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,272
    Country Flag: Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
    Excellent work. You make it look and sound easy.
    I couldn't help but notice the line drawn from the rear window. Are you playing with the idea of using a 1975 and newer rear window?

    Ken
    If there is a hard way to do something, I'll find it!
    My other car is a Vega.

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,897
    Country Flag: Australia
    lol...you'd have to be the first guy in the history of 2nd gens to put a late rear window into an early body....I've seen plenty of guys going the other way, though....
    Regards,
    Leigh

    Sydney, Australia
    1971 Firebird 455

    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...Project/page27

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    Leigh; Great! I'll send a photo of me for the history books! lol...

    Ken and Leigh; I'm going the -77-route mostly because I think it's one of the better looking models, much thanks to Year One's BRE-models.
    A 70-73 would be nice, but when I started the project I didn't know there were so many panels that needed replacement on the body. If I knew that, I would at least considered a 70-73 model before I started buying parts...
    Now it's a little bit too late haha.

    Not really sure how to do the mod, but it can't be harder than what I just posted pictures on.

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, SC
    Posts
    2,317
    a white and gold firebird? psh, that'll never work.

    So glad to see your continued updates, your car was one of the inspirations that led to me building a second gen. The flares look great!

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,897
    Country Flag: Australia
    I agree, great job on the flairs!
    Regards,
    Leigh

    Sydney, Australia
    1971 Firebird 455

    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...Project/page27

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    82
    Country Flag: United States
    what front end are you going with?hopefully the 77

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by formula View Post
    a white and gold firebird? psh, that'll never work.

    So glad to see your continued updates, your car was one of the inspirations that led to me building a second gen. The flares look great!
    I guess you're right - white and gold will never work. ;)
    I'm flattered that you had my project as an inspiration, that really makes me happy to hear since I've been drooling over your car a couple of times too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trans View Post
    what front end are you going with?hopefully the 77
    Yes, I bought a -77 or a -78 front end and the rear bumper.

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Valencia, CA
    Posts
    98
    Country Flag: United States
    Anders,
    Fantastic work on your 74/77 Bird. I know what you mean about converting the bumper caps to the 77-78 style- I have a 76 T/A and swapped on a 77 nose (luckily the 76 rear bumper matches the 77-78 models). I also appreciate that you kept the car Pontiac Powered- despite being 50+ years old it has proven to be an excellent design and capable of being upgraded to deliver serious power.

    Geno

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    82
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by 72blackbird View Post
    Anders,
    Fantastic work on your 74/77 Bird. I know what you mean about converting the bumper caps to the 77-78 style- I have a 76 T/A and swapped on a 77 nose (luckily the 76 rear bumper matches the 77-78 models). I also appreciate that you kept the car Pontiac Powered- despite being 50+ years old it has proven to be an excellent design and capable of being upgraded to deliver serious power.

    Geno
    kiss ass,every gm owner knows the 77-78 front end wast the best design

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Novi Mi
    Posts
    143
    Country Flag: United States
    Hey, I like the build that you have going on. I hope that my cad work looks like that some day considering I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering right now. Could I possibly get a copy of your 8.8" irs rear end? I am going to use one in my oldsmobile build that is in the planning phase right now.

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Liberal, KS
    Posts
    5,268
    Country Flag: United States
    The rear flare work looks great! That's something I have often thought about with my car. I want my TA to be low but the rear fenders don't allow for it. I think I might play with it and see what I can come up with though. Both my rear quarters need replacement or rust repair so basically, I can't screw them up any worse than they already are. I might play with fiberglass though instead. That's something I think would be fun to adapt to the car.

    One thing I do wonder about though is how do the front fender flares look now? Are they below the rears, level or higher?

    Keep up the good work.
    Trey

    "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
    ~ Jon Hammond

    1979 WS6 Trans Am stock LT1/T56 drive train out of my Formula. BMW M-parallel rims. C5/C6 brakes

    build thread https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=begins

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by olason View Post
    Hey, I like the build that you have going on. I hope that my cad work looks like that some day considering I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering right now. Could I possibly get a copy of your 8.8" irs rear end? I am going to use one in my oldsmobile build that is in the planning phase right now.
    That should be possible. I don't have the A-arms or correct drive shaft length, so I can't give you any total width. I just have uprights, wheel bearings, carrier/housing. I'll see what I can do. Just realized that I owe someone in here a Vette wheel bearing too, which I totally forgot about...

    Quote Originally Posted by WS6 View Post
    The rear flare work looks great! That's something I have often thought about with my car. I want my TA to be low but the rear fenders don't allow for it. I think I might play with it and see what I can come up with though. Both my rear quarters need replacement or rust repair so basically, I can't screw them up any worse than they already are. I might play with fiberglass though instead. That's something I think would be fun to adapt to the car.

    One thing I do wonder about though is how do the front fender flares look now? Are they below the rears, level or higher?

    Keep up the good work.
    Fiberglass would be real nice - then it would be easy to do them double curved. Perhaps you can integrate it with the Trans Am flare/bodykit. Then it would look natural to mount them to the body and not trying to hide the joint. Could be nice perhaps...

    I will have to do the same mod on the front flares, but I need the car in ride height on four wheels before I start and that's probably a little more than a year or so. Plan is to construct the front end during the next couple of months, then build a cage in the body, build the front end, mount the drive train so I can start the damn thing and after that get it rolling (brakes, seats etc). Then when it starts, turns, accelerates and brakes I'll start with the body panels...
    Hmmm, probably way more than one year when I think about it...

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    Some progress has been done. Even though it doesn't look to be that much, finishing the metal work took a lot more time than pictures can show. I spent weeks with grinding welds, fix some small rust holes, grind more welds, weld new welds, grind the new welds... well, you get the point.
    But in late october, I felt that the body was finished so we took it to the sand blaster.




    And after the sandstorm had subsided, the result looked like this;



    Same day all bare metal was covered with etch-primer


    A couple of weeks later in the garage;

    high res; http://www.propontiac.com/wp-content...s/DSC04586.jpg
    Quite a few mods was done to the under carriage... Raised trans tunnel, partly raised floor, Subframeconnectors, enlarged space for mufflers, seam welded, some unnecessary panels removed (to save weight), room for ATL-cell, new rear suspension and alot of other stuff... No wonder it took so long time to finish it!

    I just had to try to recreate a picture that I took when I started the project. This was the same day the body was mounted to the rotisserie, so it's kind of before/after



    All welds on the visible parts of the body was lead filled before priming.


    It was a great success to get the body in primer. Having the same paint of the entire body makes it look finished (eventhough the color is awfull) and really boosts motivation. There are still some welding to be done to it - larger rear window and some other stuff, so I'll keep it in primer for some time.

    What happens next?
    This, of course!


    120 lbs of tubes...

    Starting with a wood mock up since I don't have a tube bender in the garage...

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    882
    Country Flag: Sweden
    I wanted the cage around the seats to run really tight to the body, so some time has been spent at routing the tubes.

    The main loop...

    There are FIA-rules of how to design the cage if you plan to competing with the car. I don't have any plans right now but you never know, and a properly built cage increases the value of the car while a wrong cage probably will lower the value of the car.


    Mocking up the front tubes was harder since they are bended in two planes and not one. I used exhaust tube with same dimension since it was cheap and easy to get.
    Don't know if it's possible to replicate a tube with the mock ups yet since I haven't had time to get them done, but we'll see what happens during this week....





    And yesterday, it looked like this;




    I'm getting good at notching tubes...


    That's all for now...

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Albemarle, NC
    Posts
    1,119
    Country Flag: United States
    oh my. oh yes. so right.

    except for the later model treatment. one of my bucket list is a 76 formula 400. in yellow.
    Michael Crawford

    1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

    1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

  19. #139
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    LI,NY
    Posts
    304
    Country Flag: United States
    Looking awesome!

    65 Vista Cruiser
    67 Delta 88 Vert
    70 Vista Cruiser Pro-Tour Project
    96 T-Bird
    69 BSA A65L
    48 Ford F5
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...o-Tour-Project

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    709
    Engineer: Education + Practice + Psychology. Is the psychology covered in the educational practicum? Is it questioned before you begin? I thought I could do this when I was about 13; I became an English major...

    Keep up the awesome work!

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